Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘clinical study retractions’ Category

AIDS vaccine fraudster sentenced to nearly 5 years in prison and to pay back $7 million

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court case

A researcher who confessed to spiking rabbit blood samples to make the results of an HIV vaccine experiment look better has been sentenced to 57 months of prison time, according to The Des Moines Register.

Dong-Pyou Han has also been ordered to repay more than $7 million to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and will have three years of supervised release following his prison term.

In December, 2013, the U.S. Office of Research Integrity announced that Han, formerly at Iowa State University (ISU), had faked his results to make an HIV vaccine look more powerful. The faulty data made their way into seven national and international symposia between 2010 and 2012 (resulting in a retracted poster in 2014), along with three grant applications and multiple progress reports. Han agreed to a three-year research ban, and resigned from ISU in October the following year.

The NIH never sent the final $1.38 million grant payment of more than $10 million awarded to Han’s boss, Michael Cho, and ISU returned nearly $500,000 it had received for Han’s salary and other costs.

However, Read the rest of this entry »

Duke University lung researchers cough up fourth retraction, due to “inconsistent” data

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Journal of Applied PhysiologyThe Journal of Applied Physiology has retracted a 2012 respiratory study after the authors found “inconsistent” data that “could not be traced to their source.” It’s the fourth retraction for two of the researchers, including Erin Potts-Kant, who was arrested in 2013 for embezzling more than $14,000 from Duke University.

The study, “Effects of corticosteroid treatment on airway inflammation, mechanics, and hyperpolarized 3He magnetic resonance imaging in an allergic mouse model,” looked at how corticosteroid therapy, a steroid treatment used for asthma, worked on mice. It’s been cited four times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge, and was one of the products of the environmental lung health research conducted by Potts-Kant and Duke professor William Foster, the other co-author on the retracted studies.

Here’s the complete retraction notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Macchiarini co-author objects to investigation’s misconduct verdict

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dr-paolo-macchiarini

Paolo Macchiarini

One of Paolo Macchiarini’s co-authors on a 2011 Lancet paper describing an allegedly groundbreaking procedure to transplant an artificial trachea seeded with stem cells is objecting to a recent investigation that concluded Macchiarini had committed misconduct.

Ola Hermanson, who studies neural stem cells at Karolinska Institutet, argued in a report dated June 29 that the investigation contained “serious flaws and formal errors.”

Hermanson’s lengthy response (uploaded here except for supporting emails) is to the findings of an external review of allegations about Macchiarini’s work, conducted by Bengt Gerdin, of Uppsala University. In regards to the 2011 Lancet paper, Gerdin’s investigation found:

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Written by Alison McCook

July 1st, 2015 at 8:30 am

Two more retractions make four for bone researcher

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JAnatBone anatomists have retracted two papers on primate jawbone structure from the Journal of Anatomy due to “errors in the validation protocol and data,” marking the fourth retraction for one of the authors.

Olga Panagiotopoulou retracted two other papers over the past year, all of which were due to a common methodological problem. As Panagiotopoulou — who completed the work in the UK, before joining the University of Queensland in Australia in 2013 —  explained to us in April,

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Written by Alla Katsnelson

June 29th, 2015 at 9:30 am

“Proven plagiarism” extracts paper on keeping teeth healthy in outer space

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12548Aeronautic dentistry seems like a fairly unique field, but a review article about keeping teeth healthy in outer space has been retracted from the International Journal of Stomatology & Occlusion Medicine for not being quite unique enough.

Aeronautic dentistry: an upcoming branch,” a review article, appears to have lifted pieces of other works “verbatim and without citation,” according to a representative from the journal’s publisher.

According to the first author, any plagiarism was purely accidental:

The amount of material which seems to be plagiarised was not done intentionally.

The retraction note is a single line: Read the rest of this entry »

Yup, this happened: “Mystery” writer impersonated cardiovascular pathologist, penned published letter

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A 2014 letter in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology has been retracted because editors aren’t sure who wrote it.

“Can Grayscale IVUS Detect Necrotic Core-Rich Plaque?”, a letter on the potential of intravascular ultrasound, was submitted under the name of a researcher at the University of Copenhagen, Erling Falk. The paper was sent with a Gmail account (a technique used by some academics to conduct fake peer reviews), and editors communicated with the author through the acceptance process.

Shortly after the letter was published, Erling Falk of Aarhus University contacted the journal and asked who wrote the letter. They discovered that nobody by that name worked at the University of Copenhagen and emails to the author’s Gmail address went unanswered. So the journal issued a retraction.

Here’s the complete notice:

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Duplication, “manipulated” data send carpal tunnel paper down black hole

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ArchOrpthoak20The Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery has retracted a study about whether developing fistula puts hemodialysis patients at higher risk of carpal tunnel syndrome because it “duplicated substantial parts” and “manipulated some original data” from a study by other researchers.

The retraction notice says it all: Read the rest of this entry »

Cancer paper pulled due to “identical text” from one published 6 days prior; author objects

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ClinCancRes_ak16Clinical Cancer Research is retracting a paper on the immunosuppressive effects of glioma due to “evidence of duplicate and/or redundant publication.”

According to the retraction notice, the 2010 paper bore exceeding similarities to another one published by the same group of researchers six days prior. That second paper appeared in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, which – like Clinical Cancer Research — is published by the American Association for Cancer Research. Apparently, a reader tipped off the AACR about the similarity.

The corresponding author on both papers, however, has objected to the decision: Read the rest of this entry »

“I hold my hands up”: PubPeer criticisms spark a biochemist’s offer to retract

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MPIn a back-and-forth on PubPeer, a researcher appears to have offered to retract a paper after commenters challenged the use of identical control bands on a gel.

A person writing as Virginia Commonwealth University biochemist Paul Dent admitted the control bands of his 2007 Molecular Pharmacology paper, “Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Modulates Prostate Cancer Cell Survival after Irradiation or HMG CoA Reductase Inhibitor Treatment,” were duplicated “for comparison purposes,” but stated he was “in no way attempting to ‘intentionally manipulate the data.’”

In response, Dent appeared to offer to pull the paper, about using a hormone to help kill prostate cancer cells:

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Another “first author has accepted responsibility” retraction from immunity journal

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IAIScientists have pulled their 2013 Infection and Immunity paper after a reader noticed duplicated data in three figures, and the first author was “unable to provide the original data used to construct the figures,” according to the journal’s editor-in-chief.

According to the retraction note, “the first author has accepted responsibility for these anomalies” — similar to another recent retraction from the same journal, also due to image duplication reported by a reader (apparently the journal has one or more careful readers).

The paper, “Pseudomonas aeruginosa Outer Membrane Vesicles Modulate Host Immune Responses by Targeting the Toll-Like Receptor 4 Signaling Pathway,” concerns the role of outer membrane vesicles excreted by the bacteria to incite an inflammatory response in mice. It was written by authors at the University of North Dakota, Sichuan University in China, and the University of Chicago, and has been cited six times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

Here’s the complete retraction note:

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