Here’s the latest one we’ve picked up: Lung Cancer has retracted a 2014 paper on the genetics of tumors after concluding the authors cribbed a figure that had appeared in a 2005 feature story in Science.
The paper, “ß-elemene against human lung cancer via up-regulation of P53 protein expression to promote the release of exosome,” drew attention on PubPeer last September from a reader who noticed striking similarities between one of the images the authors used and a figure in the Science piece (subscription required). According to the PubPeer commenter:
This paper contains a very nice electron microscopy image of isolated exosomes (Fig. 3C). However, this image is composed by cutting and pasting exosomes out of a figure in a Science paper by Jennifer Couzin published in 2005 (“The Ins and Outs of Exosomes”: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/308/5730/1862.full => figure on page 1862, left panel). I have placed these images next to each other and could identify all vesicles from the Li et al. paper in the original figure (coloured boxes): http://imgur.com/8oXUrpp
Here are the images the reader uploaded:
What’s more, the reader pointed out:
The image was originally published in a 2004 paper by Fevrier & Raposo, to which the Science article indeed refers (“Exosomes: endosomal-derived vesicles shipping extracellular messages”, Current Opinion in Cell Biology: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955067404000729 => Figure 2, right panel).
According to the notice:
This article has been retracted: please see Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal (http://www.elsevier.com/locate/withdrawalpolicy). This article has been retracted at the request of the Editor in Chief. Figure 3C has been composed by cutting and pasting from a figure which was published in a paper in Science in 2005 by Jennifer Couzin titled “The Ins and outs of Exosomes”.
The 2014 paper has been cited six times, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science. The authors, led by Yili Wang, are based at Xi’an Jiaotong University in China.
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