Misuse of data forces retraction of paper on sow’s milk

jchrombA group of veterinary researchers from Taiwan has lost their 2012 paper in the Journal of Chromatography B for misuse of propriety material.

What that means we’re not quite sure, but we have a guess.

The article, “Pilot production of recombinant human clotting factor IX from transgenic sow milk,” was published last July by four scientists at the Animal Technology Institute of Taiwan.

But, as the retraction notice explains, the paper didn’t stick:

This article has been retracted at the request of the Authors.

The authors would like to apologise as they unwittingly used certain proprietary information that they were not entitled to and so have found that they have no choice but to request a retraction of the article. The mistake was made in good faith.

As a careful reader pointed out to us, the construction “in good faith” carries important legal connotations — suggesting legal pressure or the threat of it. On the other hand, it may be simply a nicety. We have emailed the journal to see if we can learn more about the matter.

We did find, however, that the corresponding author, Chon Ho-Yen, appears on a U.S. patent for a method

for expressing multiple recombinant proteins in transgenic non-human mammalian milk, characterized in which human clotting factor IX gene and porcine lactoferrin gene are transferred into the mammal by gene injection and embryonic implantation to obtain expression in the milk of transgenic mammal and its filial generation. The method of this invention can maintain the stable expression of multiple recombinant proteins in the transgenic mammal during lactation and stable expression amount proximate to that of the first generation in the offsprings of the transgenic non-human mammal.

None of Chon Ho-Yen’s co-authors is named in the patent, which suggests that his fellow patent-ees may have been tweaked by the publication.

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