Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘clinical study retractions’ Category

Plague or anthrax on the subway? Think again, says now-corrected study

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Cell SystemsAuthors of a widely covered study that documented traces of plague and anthrax on surfaces across New York City have revised the paper after public health officials challenged their interpretations of the data.

It’s hard to overestimate the attention these findings received when first published.

Bubonic plague found in NYC subway,” wrote The Daily Beast.

Your subway seat mate: Bubonic plague, anthrax, & mysterious DNA,” said Yahoo!

NY subway has bubonic plague,” declared Newser.

Not so fast. In an erratum published July 29, the authors write: Read the rest of this entry »

Nutrition researcher Chandra loses libel case against CBC

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CBCThe self-proclaimed “father of nutritional immunology,” Ranjit Kumar Chandra, has lost a libel lawsuit against the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC).

The suit was in response to a 2006 three-part documentary from the CBC, which examined allegations of fraud against the former Memorial University researcher.

After the 58-day trial, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice “ruled in favour of CBC, on the grounds that the words in the broadcast were true,” according to CBC producer Lynn Burgess: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Shannon Palus

July 31st, 2015 at 10:21 am

Golden rice paper pulled after judge rules for journal

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home_coverThe American Journal of Clinical Nutrition is retracting a paper that showed genetically engineered rice serves as an effective vitamin A supplement after a Massachusetts judge denied the first author’s motion for an injunction against the publisher.

The journal announced plans to retract the paper last year following allegations that the paper contained ethical mis-steps, such as not getting informed consent from the parents of children eating the rice, and faking ethics approval documents.

Last July, first author Guangwen Tang at Tufts University filed a complaint and motion for preliminary injunction against the journal’s publisher, the American Society for Nutrition, to stop the retraction.

According to the ASN, on July 17, a Massachusetts Superior Court “cleared the way” for the publisher to retract the paper. So they have, as of July 29. Here’s more from the retraction notice:

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“Falsified” data shelve two more drug studies from discredited U Colorado student

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The authors of a pair of papers in Molecular Pharmaceutics are retracting them following an investigation at the University of Colorado Denver, which found a graduate student had faked data.

Rajendra Kadam was a prominent member of the Research lab of Uday B. Kompella, until the investigation revealed earlier this year that he had “falsified” data from a liquid chromatography-mass spectroscopy (LC-MS) machine for years.

So far, we’ve found four retractions (including the latest two) and one expression of concern for Kadam. There may be more on the way: Read the rest of this entry »

Oregon grad student admits to faking data in four neuroscience papers

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oriweb_logoA graduate student at the University of Oregon in Eugene has admitted to faking data that appeared in four published papers in the field of visual working memory, according to the Office of Research Integrity.

David Anderson’s supervisor at the time was Edward Awh, who has since moved to the University of Chicago.

Anderson told Retraction Watch that the misconduct stemmed from “an error in judgment”:

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Author’s ties to NFL lead to correction for review that cast doubt on brain risk from sports

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PLOS ONE

A review paper that suggested the degenerative brain disease that’s striking former football players may not be tied to contact sports has been corrected to reveal the first author spent decades working for the National Football League.

The correction appears in a review in PLOS ONE about chronic traumatic encephalopathy the degenerative brain disease that was the basis of a $765 million settlement for former NFL players, along with a number of similar lawsuits. It fixes incorrect statements and adds conflicts of interest, including those with with first author Joseph Maroon, who spent more than 30 years working with the NFL and seven for the wrestling group the WWE.

It appears as if all the original paper declared was that Maroon was an “unpaid consultant” to the Pittsburgh Steelers. But apparently there was a lot more to it, according to the notice:

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Duke lung researcher up to seven retractions

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Enviromental Health Perspectives

More journals have pulled papers co-authored by researchers Erin Potts-Kant and Michael Foster, at Duke University, bringing the total up to seven for Potts-Kant and six for Foster.

Authors were unable to replicate the experiments after “concerns about the initial data from the animal physiology laboratory” led them to reanalyze source data, according to the note in Environmental Health Perspectives. The comparison showed “potential inconsistencies in the data,” which “significantly impact the overall conclusions of the manuscript.” Similar issues appear to have felled the pair’s other papers, including the other two recent retractions in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine and the American Journal of Physiology – Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology — but in the latter case, the discrepancies don’t affect the conclusion.

Potts-Kant was arrested on embezzlement charges in 2013. Authorities alleged that she stole almost $15,000 from Duke University.

Environmental Health Perspectives posted a retraction in July, for a 2012 paper that looked at the molecular underpinnings in airways that react to ozone.

Here’s the full notice:

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“To our horror”: Widely reported study suggesting divorce is more likely when wives fall ill gets axed

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home_coverA widely reported finding that the risk of divorce increases when wives fall ill — but not when men do — is invalid, thanks to a short string of mistaken coding that negates the original conclusions, published in the March issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

The paper, “In Sickness and in Health? Physical Illness as a Risk Factor for Marital Dissolution in Later Life,” garnered coverage in many news outlets, including The Washington Post, New York magazine’s The Science of Us blog, The Huffington Post, and the UK’s Daily Mail 

But an error in a single line of the coding that analyzed the data means the conclusions in the paper — and all the news stories about those conclusions — are “more nuanced,” according to first author Amelia Karraker, an assistant professor at Iowa State University.

Karraker — who seems to be handling the case quickly and responsibly —  emailed us how she realized the error:

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HIV postdoc faked data in published paper, 2 grants

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Julia_B

Julia Bitzegeio

An HIV researcher has admitted to faking data in a published paper, a manuscript, and two grant applications, according to a notice released today by the the Office of Research Integrity (ORI).

Former postdoc Julia Bitzegeio faked data in a 2013 paper, published in the Journal of Virology, about how HIV adapts to interferon. In the paper, “the manipulation was really minor,” Theodora Hatziioannouprincipal investigator of the lab at the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center (ADARC) in New York City where Bitzegeio worked, told Retraction Watch. “She just made cosmetic changes.”

The paper will be corrected, Hatziioannou said. Bitzegeio has left her lab, and her future is somewhat less clear:

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Half of anesthesiology fraudster’s papers continue to be cited years after retractions

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ethicsIn yet more evidence that retracted studies continue to accrue citations, a new paper has shown that nearly half of anesthesiologist Scott Reuben’s papers have been cited five years after being retracted, and only one-fourth of citations correctly note the retraction.

According to the new paper, in Science and Engineering Ethics: Read the rest of this entry »