Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Former FDA chemist who admitted taking bribe wins back right to work in drug industry, 20 years later

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FDAMore than 20 years after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration permanently debarred a former chemist for accepting bribes — and a puzzling 17 years after he asked for a pardon after helping the agency prosecute other cases — the FDA is lifting its debarment.

In 1994, chemist David J. Brancato:

…was permanently debarred from providing services in any capacity to a person with an approved or pending drug product application…

This suggests that he wasn’t even able to work with anyone with an FDA-approved product.

The reason the debarment was lifted?

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Written by Alison McCook

July 21st, 2015 at 9:30 am

HIV postdoc faked data in published paper, 2 grants

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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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Two retractions cost economic historian book chapter and journal article

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markets and morality

Francisco Gómez Camacho has lost an introduction in The Journal of Markets and Morality of a 2005 issue “for improper use of published material without attribution, as well as a a chapter in a collection of 13 scholarly essays  by Brill Publishers due to “serious citation issues.”

The introduction — to a translation of another scholars’ work, Luis de Molina’s Treatise on Money — is no longer in the online version of The Journal of Markets and Morality. On the cover page, and in the table of contents, of the treatise, references to the introduction are crossed out. Where it once was in the text — page 5 of the PDF of the treatise — is a short retraction notice:

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Written by Shannon Palus

July 20th, 2015 at 12:25 pm

Gynecologic cancer researcher up to 13 retractions

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13277Noriyuki Takai, a gynecologic cancer researcher at Oita University in Japan, has lost another five papers. With a new total of 13, that means he’s now on our leaderboard.

Three of the retractions are from the journal Tumor Biology, one is from the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer, and one from Anticancer Research.

Takai is the first author on all 5 papers.

As has been the case with Takai’s retractions, and there’s evidence that all were felled by issues with figures. In all, according to the retraction notices, “original data were processed inappropriately.” Four end with the following sentence (or some close variation thereof):

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Written by Shannon Palus

July 20th, 2015 at 9:30 am

Weekend reads: How to publish in Nature; social media circumvents peer review; impatience leads to fakery

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Written by Ivan Oransky

July 18th, 2015 at 10:55 am

Gut paper retracted after university review says “figures cannot be validated by original data”

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IBDA biologist at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Ohio has retracted a paper from Inflammatory Bowel Diseases after a university review found the figures within it could not be “validated by original data.”

The 2010 paper, “Elevated IL-13Rα2 in intestinal epithelial cells from ulcerative colitis or colorectal cancer initiates MAPK pathway,” concerns the elevated expression and role of an inflammatory protein in colon cancer cells.

According to the notice, corresponding author and biologist Alan Levine — who recently received a $3.9 million Avant-Garde Award for HIV/AIDS Research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse — requested the retraction.

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

Paper cited by New York Times for key stat gets retracted

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the-new-york-times-logoA paper that had served as the key aspect of an April New York Times article about a recent surge of violence against immigrants in South Africa has since been retracted for plagiarism.

The research, which appeared in the Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, had served as the source of the newspaper’s statement that the country is “home to about five million immigrants.” That figure was later quoted in other media outlets about the issue.

However, a 2011 census put the number closer to 2.2 million immigrants, according to the non-profit fact-checking organization Africa Check. After issuing a report about the discrepancy, which also quotes experts who say the numbers are unlikely to have doubled by 2015, Africa Check contacted the Times. As Africa Check reports:

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Hundreds sign letter criticizing Science for reinforcing “damaging stereotypes”

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scienceAfter an advice columnist for Science Careers suggested a postdoc “put up with” an adviser’s wandering gaze in June, and an author of a piece in Science partly credited his success to his wife (a Ph.D. scientist) who assumed “the bulk of the domestic responsibilities” in July, some readers have gotten fed up.

These examples are two of four recent instances from Science that reinforce “damaging stereotypes about underrepresented groups in STEM fields,” according to a letter penned by scientists Aradhna K. Tripati, Jennifer B. Glass and Lenny Teytelman. As of this morning, the letter has been signed by more than 300 people; it will be sent to Science/AAAS Editors on Tuesday, July 21.

We showed the letter to Marcia McNutt, the Editor in Chief of Scienceset to become the first female leader of the 152-year-old National Academy of Sciences — and she told us:

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Written by Shannon Palus

July 16th, 2015 at 11:30 am

Posted in science (journal)

“Data fabrication and manipulation have occurred”: Taste bud paper soured by fraud

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The Journal of NeuroscienceA 2013 paper on the neurological impact of flavors has been retracted from The Journal of Neuroscience. The retraction notice offers few details (which is typical for the journal), but a statement sent to us by the last author noted that an investigation at the University of Maryland “determined that data fabrication and manipulation have occurred in this study.”

Gustatory Stimuli Representing Different Perceptual Qualities Elicit Distinct Patterns of Neuropeptide Secretion from Taste Buds” examined the relationship between flavors and neuropeptides, molecules that send signals to the brain.

Here’s the retraction notice:

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JBC retraction on neuron development marks second for two biologists

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JBCTwo biologists have retracted a second paper on the development of neurons, but that’s about all we know.

The 2007 paper from the Journal of Biological Chemistry, “The Interaction of mPar3 with the Ubiquitin Ligase Smurf2 Is Required for the Establishment of Neuronal Polarity,” concerns the role of a protein, mPar3, in neuron development. It has been cited 29 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

We don’t know why this one was retracted, because JBC (as usual) offered no explanation in its retraction note:

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