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Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘immunology’ Category

Third retraction for Karel Bezouška, of lab break-in fame

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bichaw_v052i049.inddWe’ve found a third retraction for Karel Bezouška, the Czech scientist, who, as we reported this summer, broke into a lab in an attempt to tamper with experiments trying to replicate his own falsified data.

The article, “Molecular Characterization of Binding of Calcium and Carbohydrates by an Early Activation Antigen of Lymphocytes CD69,” had appeared in 2003 in Biochemistry. and has been cited 29 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

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

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Written by amarcus41

December 13, 2013 at 11:30 am

PNAS retraction notice reveals name of Leiden University researcher fired for data manipulation

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pnas 1113In August, we reported on a case in which a researcher had been fired from Leiden University in the Netherlands for fraud. The university said there would be two retractions, but did not name the researcher in question. At the same time, however, there were clues in the university’s report that suggested it could only be one person, the lead author of a 2010 study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) that was to be retracted.

That notice has now appeared, and confirms that the fired employee was Annemie Schuerwegh, as a number of our comments surmised. Here’s the notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ivanoransky

November 26, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Authors retract two papers on Remicade following legal battles

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april_2009_ar_coverA group of Belgian researchers has retracted two decade-old papers in Arthritis & Rheumatism following an investigation and court case.

The papers involved the use of the drug infliximab — sold by Johnson & Johnson as Remicade  — to treat Sjögren’s syndrome, an auto-immune condition marked by the destruction of exocrine glands that secrete saliva and tears.

Infliximab is not approved for Sjögren’s. Although the two now-retracted studies suggested that it might be helpful, subsequent data did not support those findings.

Neither, apparently, did the studies themselves. Here’s the retraction notice (it’s a PDF): Read the rest of this entry »

University of Minnesota swine flu researcher under investigation for alleged misconduct

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Sagar Goyal, via University of Minnesota

In late December, we reported on the retraction of a 2010 research letter in Emerging Infectious Diseases looking at the genetics of swine flu.

The notice in the journal, a CDC publication, indicated that the conclusions were in error, although it didn’t really say much more:

To the Editor: We would like to retract the letter entitled “Triple Reassortant Swine Influenza A (H3N2) Virus in Waterfowl,” which was published the April 2010 issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases (1). The nucleoprotein gene sequences from the viruses reported in that letter are very closely related to those from the earliest detected triple reassortant swine influenza viruses [CY095676 A/sw/Texas/4199–2/1998(H3N2)]. Although these viruses could have acquired a swine-origin segment, the branch lengths are quite short for 9 years of evolution. Therefore, we have withdrawn these 4 isolates from GenBank and subsequently retract this letter.

As it happens, there was more to the story.

Read the rest of this entry »

“Unreliable” findings fell TB gene study in PLOS ONE

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plosoneHere’s a nice example of how science should work.

A team of Swiss microbiologists has retracted their 2012 paper in PLoS One on the genetics of the TB mycobacterium after learning that the fusion protein they thought they’d used in their study was in fact a different molecule.

Here’s the retraction notice for the article, “A β-lactamase based reporter system for ESX dependent protein translocation in mycobacteria,” which has been cited once, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge: Read the rest of this entry »

Study finds many authors aren’t sharing data when they publish — and leads to a PLOS ONE retraction

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clinical chemistryA new study in Clinical Chemistry paints an alarming picture of how often scientists deposit data that they’re supposed to — but perhaps not surprisingly, papers whose authors did submit such data scored higher on a quality scale than those whose authors didn’t deposit their data.

Ken Witwer, a pathobiologist at Hopkins, was concerned that a lot of studies involving microarray-based microRNA (miRNA) weren’t complying with Minimum Information About a Microarray Experiment (MIAME) standards supposedly required by journals. So he looked at 127 such papers published between July 2011 and April 2012 in journals including PLOS ONE, the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Blood, and Clinical Chemistry, assigning each one a quality score and checking whether the authors had followed guidelines.

What he uncovered wasn’t pretty — and has already led to a retraction. From the abstract: Read the rest of this entry »

Plague paper partially retracted

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iandi213coverPartial retractions — as opposed corrections or the full monty —  are unusual events in scientific publishing. But they appear to come in twos.

The journal Infection and Immunity, the work of whose editor, Ferric Fang, is much admired by this blog, has a fascinating example of the breed in its February issue.

The article in question, by a group from the University of Kentucky in Lexington led by Susan Straley, appeared online in 2007. It was titled “yadBC of Yersinia pestis, a New Virulence Determinant for Bubonic Plague,” and, as the words suggest, involved a gene marker for the virulence of plague. Or so it initially seemed.

But according to the partial retraction, the researchers are walking back one of their main claims. Consider: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

January 22, 2013 at 12:00 pm

High school whiz kid retracts PLoS ONE herd immunity paper

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Georgette speaking at the Davidson Institute’s award ceremony, Library of Congress, 2008

It’s pretty impressive to publish two peer-reviewed papers on complicated vaccination models while you’re still in high school. So it’s not surprising that Nathan Georgette, who grew up outside of Jacksonville, Florida, earned a prestigious fellowship from the Davidson Institute for Talent Development.

But perhaps even more impressive is realizing you’ve made a fundamental error in one of those studies, and retracting it while you’re still a college senior at Harvard. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ivanoransky

October 19, 2012 at 4:22 pm

University clears leading dermatology lab head of misconduct as authors issue two corrections

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Michael Hertl, a leading dermatology researcher at Philipps-University Marburg, has been cleared of any wrongdoing in a case that spawned a retraction last year and two just-published retractions.

Felicitas Riedel, a legal officer for the university, tells Retraction Watch that the

…Committee for Scientific Misconduct of the Philipps-University Marburg closed the matter and submitted its results to the President of the University who in the meantime after examination consented with it.

The findings? Read the rest of this entry »

Allergy researchers lose second paper over “severe problems” with data

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Last spring, we reported on the retraction in Clinical and Translational Allergy of a 2011 paper by researchers in Egypt and Finland after “severe problems in the data set” were uncovered. The notice cited an earlier study, from 2009, in Acta Paediatrica, that formed the basis for the subsequent trial.

At the time, the Acta Paediatrica paper still stood. No longer: Read the rest of this entry »


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