The investigation, which came to light in late 2013, had focused on eight papers thought to demonstrate evidence of image manipulation.
The latest paper, in the European Journal of Cancer, studied mice with a genetic alteration associated with lipomas (benign fatty growths) in humans.
Here’s part of the notice for “Expression of a truncated Hmga1b gene induces gigantism, lipomatosis and B-cell lymphomas in mice”:
A reader contacted the Editors of the European Journal of Cancer regarding possible duplications in Figure 1D (‘RT-PCR analysis of the expression of the CMV-Hmgaib/T transgene in a panel of adult tissues from transgenic mice’) and in Figure 4D (‘RT-PCR analysis showing the expression of V-preB and Rag2 genes in TG and WT spleens’). The authors are unable to provide the Editors with the original source files that were used to generate the Figures. Therefore, the paper has been retracted from the Journal.
The corresponding author disagrees with the retraction decision and claims that the original files were lost in the transfer of the laboratory in 2003. Further, the author stands behind the results noted in the paper and asserts that further experiments have validated these results.
Now, we hear the “we don’t keep records that long” excuse fairly often, sometimes with a “I spilled coffee on the server” thrown in for good measure. But what we can’t figure out in this case is why a lab transfer in 2003 would have anything to do with records of experiments published in 2011. Elsevier, which publishes the journal, tells us that the timeline had nothing to do with the retraction.
We’ve of course tried to ask Fusco for clarification, but his email bounced.
The paper, which garnered some attention on PubPeer, has been cited twice, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.
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