Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘society journal retractions’ Category

Misidentified genetic sequence causes retraction of pathogen paper one month after publication

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Genome Announcements

The author of an article mapping the genome of an infectious bacterium is pulling the paper because — well, it wasn’t the bacterium she thought it was.

Study author Celia Abolnik is retracting her paper in Genome Announcements because it didn’t actually map out the DNA of Mycoplasma meleagridis, a bacterium that typically infects turkeys but has recently been found in chickens.

The trouble was, the sequence for Mycoplasma meleagridis in the National Institute of Health’s DNA database, Genbank, was actually a different variety of bacteria — Mycoplasma gallinaceum, another scourge of poultry.

Here’s the notice for “Complete Genome Sequence of Mycoplasma meleagridis, a Possible Emerging Pathogen in Chickens:”

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Corrections (and one EoC) propagate for distinguished plant biologist, Olivier Voinnet

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Olivier Voinnet

Olivier Voinnet

There may be some deeply rooted issues in the work of high-profile plant biologist Olivier Voinnet, biology department research director at ETH in Zurich. Corrections have continued to pile up months after his work was hit with a barrage of criticism on PubPeer. We’ve tracked a total of seven corrections over the past five months (not including the April retraction of a 2004 paper in The Plant Cell). One of the corrected papers also received an Expression of Concern this week.

Collectively, the corrected papers have accumulated more than 1200 citations.

In January, Voinnet said he planned to correct multiple papers, after receiving “an anonymous email.”

One of the recent corrections we found is for a 2004 article in The Plant Journal, “An enhanced transient expression system in plants based on suppression of gene silencing by the p19 protein of tomato bushy stunt virus,” which details using proteins from a tomato virus to help alter gene expression. The study has been cited 862 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. Here’s the correction notice, posted June 8:

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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 »

JBC cancer paper felled by duplication is one author’s second retraction this month

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25.coverA 2002 paper in the Journal of Biological Chemistry on how lung cancer cells resist death has been retracted for duplicating figures from a 2001 paper.

The retracted paper, “Fibroblast growth factor-2 induces translational regulation of Bcl-XL and Bcl-2 via a MEK-dependent pathway: correlation with resistance to etoposide-induced apoptosis,” shares the first and last authors with the 2001 paper, in Oncogene, as well as two other co-authors.

Here’s JBC’s entire retraction note, a sub-genre with which we’ve become intimately familiar by now:

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MacArthur awardee retracts signaling biology paper

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A prominent biochemist and his co-author are pulling one of their papers in the Journal of Biological Chemistry because…well, we’re not sure.

That’s because the retraction note is – as we’ve come to expect from JBC – not very informative.

Here’s the only explanation for the retraction of “The Down Syndrome Cell Adhesion Molecule (DSCAM) Interacts with and Activates Pak”:

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Retraction after engineering journal presents new publishing guidelines — twice

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JHydrolEngineerEditors of the Journal of Hydrologic Engineering are retracting an editorial that presents guidelines for publishing in the journal because they mistakenly published it twice – once in June and once in November of last year.

(Presumably, one of the guidelines is to not publish the same article twice.)

Although the duplication was accidental, the corresponding author told us he wasn’t disappointed to learn more eyes may have seen the article: “It would not bother me if it were published in every issue.”

Here’s the retraction notice:

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Rabbit redo: Paper on lepus hepatitis pulled for mutation that “was not supposed to be present”

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JGVThe authors of recent article about the rabbit hepatitis E virus have pulled the paper after discovering an unexpected mutation in their viral clone that likely affected the analysis.

They realized their mistake soon after the article, “RNA transcripts of full-length cDNA clones of rabbit hepatitis E virus are infectious in rabbits,” was published online in the Journal of General Virology in November, 2014. They withdrew the article before it made it into print.

The article came from a group led by Xiang-Jin Meng, of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, an offshoot of Virginia Tech and the University of Maryland.

Here’s the notice, which — tsk tsk — sits behind a pay wall: 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 »

“Evidence of data duplication” infects lung inflammation paper from Harvard and Yale

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IAIA team of Harvard and Yale biologists have retracted an Infection and Immunity paper due to data duplication.

After the duplication came to light, the erroneous figures were corrected using original data, but the results affected “some of the manuscript’s conclusions.” An ethics panel subsequently recommended retraction, according to the journal, and the authors agreed.

The paper, “NOD2 Signaling Contributes to Host Defense in the Lungs against Escherichia coli Infection,” analyzed the role of the gene NOD2 in the lung inflammatory response against the bacteria Escherichia coli. It has been cited by 15 other papers, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

Figure 2B of the paper was previously corrected in 2012, but the retraction is for data duplication in figures 5F and 6A. Here’s the full retraction note: 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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