After an investigation found evidence of misconduct, a biologist has issued a third retraction.
Sudarsanareddy Lokireddy — now a research fellow at Harvard Medical School — “admitted falsification,” a Research Integrity Officer at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore told us in December. According to The Scientist, another journal has also published a correction that the authors had requested earlier.
The newly retracted paper is “Myostatin is a novel tumoral factor that induces cancer cachexia,” published in Biochemical Journal and cited 40 times, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science. Here’s the retraction note:
Following an investigation by Nanyang Technological University (NTU), instances of falsification of Western blot data by the first author, Sudarsanareddy Lokireddy, have been reported. Following the outcome of the investigation, the senior author and co-authors retract this paper. The Journal has been unable to contact Sudarsanareddy Lokireddy, and he has not agreed to the retraction.
The paper has an erratum from 2015, which notes a missing funding source.
The correction note to “Myostatin Augments Muscle-Specific Ring Finger Protein-1 Expression Through an NF-kB Independent Mechanism in SMAD3 Null Muscle,” published in Molecular Endocrinology and cited six times, adds clarifications to
instances where data were presented without proper explanation of how they were derived.
NTU alerted us last year that the paper was going to be corrected, after concluding data “were presented without proper explanation of how they were derived.”
The correction note provides clarifications in the context of the original figure descriptions. Because the whole thing is long, here are the new parts:
Figure 2: The same protein extracts were used in blots shown in Figure 2A (i) and Figure 3A (i), with one representative α-tubulin shown for both figures.
Figure 3: The same protein extracts were used in blots shown in Figure 2A (i) and Figure 3A(i), with one representative α-tubulin shown for both figures.
Figure 4: The same protein extracts were used in blots shown in Figure 4 and Figure 5, with one representative α-tubulin shown for Figure 4A, B and between Figure 4C and Figure 5A (ii).
Figure 5: The same protein extracts were used in blots shown in Figure 4 and Figure 5, with one representative α-tubulin shown for Figure 4C and Figure 5A (ii).
Figure 6: All lanes are from one representative gel. Lanes 1, 2 and 3 in panel (i) are also shown in Lanes 1, 2 and 3 in panel (ii) to allow for direct comparison. – See more at: http://press.endocrine.org/doi/full/10.1210/me.2015-1321#sthash.Qm8uG2Yr.dpuf
We asked Sriram for more information:
The corrected figure legends clarify some of the data which were presented without proper explanation of how they were derived. Now all of the clarifications have been made in the Corrigendum; there are no changes to the overall take-home message of the study.
Lokireddy has not responded to requests for comment.
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