Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘genetics retractions’ Category

Einstein grad student admits cooking data, settles with Office of Research Integrity

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Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 1.05.49 PMOne Friday in January, graduate student Meredyth Forbes was reviewing material for her dissertation with her mentor when she decided to make a confession.

She “burst out with a statement that some of the data was fabricated,” said Edward Burns, research integrity officer at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where Forbes worked. It was, Burns told Retraction Watch: Read the rest of this entry »

Authors correct highly cited biology paper due to “genuine mistake”

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Journal of Cell ScienceAuthors of a highly cited biology paper in the Journal of Cell Science (JCS) have corrected the data underlying one of the figures.

The 2003 paper, “The transcription factor Slug represses E-cadherin expression and induces epithelial to mesenchymal transitions: a comparison with Snail and E47 repressors,” has been cited 566 times, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science. One of the authors is the last author on a recent high profile retraction from Nature Genetics, which cost the first author a grant from the European Molecular Biology Organisation.

The correction note tells us a bit more: Read the rest of this entry »

Retraction count for Shigeaki Kato climbs to 39

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Shigeaki Kato

Shigeaki Kato

We’ve found another retraction for Shigeaki Kato, number seven on our leaderboard.

Our count for Kato has now risen to 39; we added five retraction notices to our count for Kato last month. These notices follow an investigation at the University of Tokyo, where Kato used to work, which found 43 papers contained “likely altered or forged materials,” according to a 2013 news article from The Asahi Shimbun.

Here’s the retraction note for “1alpha,25(OH)2D3-induced DNA methylation suppresses the human CYP271B1 gene,” published in Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology:

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Journals retract two heart papers with “nearly identical” abstracts

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Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 4.46.17 PMJournals have retracted two papers after realizing that they contain “nearly identical” abstracts and introductions, published only months apart. 

The two retracted papers, along with a third that also contains similar text, all conclude that a certain polymorphism could signal a risk for coronary artery disease among Chinese people, though each paper presents different data. The papers do not have any authors in common; the first authors are all based at different hospitals in China. The editor in chief of one journal told us that some of the reviewers did not use institutional email addresses, which leaves open the possibility that they were fake emails, and the peer-review process was compromised.

Here’s the first retraction notice, for “Fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 polymorphisms and susceptibility to coronary artery disease,” published in DNA and Cell Biology. The notice states the paper contains:

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How did two papers on same gene with different authors, publishers, end up with identical retraction notices?

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1-s2.0-S0006291X16X00058-cov150h1Here’s an interesting case: We’ve found two retracted papers that describe the same gene, and both have nearly identical retraction notices. What’s unusual is that the two papers don’t have any authors in common, and appeared in two different journals published by two different companies.

The cause of both papers’ demise: Plagiarism, and use of unpublished data without permission “from an unnamed source,” who wishes to remain that way. The author of one of the papers confirmed to us that the unnamed source is a “3rd party service company.” Springer told us that the third party in the other paper, however, is another researcher.

It’s a puzzling case, to be sure. We think we have uncovered some of what happened, but remain slightly fuzzy on the details.

Here’s the first retraction, for “KDM3A interacted with p53K372me1 and regulated p53 binding to PUMA in gastric cancer,” originally published online September 30 by Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications:

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Plant scientist Voinnet’s correction count grows to 22

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nature structure molecular biologyWe have found another correction for high-profile plant scientist Olivier Voinnet, bringing his total count to 22. Voinnet, who works at ETH Zurich, also has seven retractions, a funding ban, and a revoked award.

Voinnet’s most recent corrections involve problems with figures; the same issue is cited in this latest correction notice, for “Competition for XPO5 binding between Dicer mRNA, pre-miRNA and viral RNA regulates human Dicer levels.”

The correction notice in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, issued earlier this year, explains:

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Seven papers flagged earlier for fake reviews now retracted by Elsevier

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elsevierElsevier has now retracted the seven papers it flagged in October as being affected by fake peer reviews.

If you’re not keeping track, we are: We have logged a total of about 300 retractions for fake peer review, in which some aspect of the peer-review process becomes compromised — for instance, in the case of the newly retracted papers, authors appear to have created fake email accounts in order to pose as reviewers and give the green light to their own papers.

The same retraction note applies to five of the recently retracted papers:

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Mystery conflict between authors fells molecular bio paper

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mirna-journal-coverA journal has pulled a paper about tools to knock out a key transcription factor because of a conflict between the authors.

The retracted article is “Generation of Knock down Tools for Transcription Factor 7-like-2 (TCF7L2) and Evaluation of its Expression Pattern in Developing Chicken Optic Tectum,” published just last year in MicroRNA.

We’ll get right to the reason — the retraction note provides one short one:

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Duplicate publication uprooted from plant journal

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AJPS2015012714522401The American Journal of Plant Sciences has retracted a duplicate publication — and is considerately describing what happened in a checklist that accompanies the retraction note.

The checklist is similar to one that friend of Retraction Watch Hervé Maisonneuve has proposed to the Committee on Publication Ethics.

The retracted paper shares one author with the paper that it duplicated from: Irfan Talib, whose affiliation is listed on the retracted paper as the University of Agriculture in Pakistan.

Here are the relevant fields on the checklist for “Study of Genetic Diversity in Germplasm of Upland Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) in Pakistan” (a PDF on this page includes the checklist and the original paper):

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Another paper by GM researcher pulled over manipulation concerns

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Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 11.52.18 AMA researcher who published findings questioning the safety of genetically modified organisms has lost a second paper following concerns of image manipulation.

Last week, the journal animal retracted a 2010 paper by Federico Infascelli, an animal nutrition researcher at the University of Naples, which claimed to find modified genes in the milk and blood of goats who were fed genetically modified soybeans. The retraction stems from an investigation that concluded the authors likely manipulated images, according to the note. Earlier this year, another journal retracted one of Infascelli’s papers that contained a duplicated figure.

In February, Italian paper La Repubblica (which we read with Google Translate) reported that the university found problems in three of his articles and issued a warning.

Here’s the retraction note for “Fate of transgenic DNA and evaluation of metabolic effects in goats fed genetically modified soybean and in their offsprings:”

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