Caught Our Notice: “Profoundly sorry” researcher retracts Alzheimer’s-DDT paper

Via Wikimedia

TitleImmune response cytokines as potential biomarkers for DDT induced neurodegeneration

What Caught Our Attention:  Does exposure to pesticides such as DDT influence the onset of Alzheimer’s? Hard to say, especially after a researcher retracted a recent paper purporting to find a link in mice, a few months after a press release was issued about the work. The notice took on an unusual format — it was in the form of a personal letter from senior author Mark Robson, who issued a heartfelt apology for calculation mistakes and flawed data. The retraction appears in a publication of the National Institute of Public Health-National Institute of Hygiene in Poland; Robson has published six papers there since 2014 (including the newly retracted paper).

First author Hector Maldonado-Perez performed the study as his “culminating MPH fieldwork project,” and is now a PhD student in the Population Health Sciences program at Harvard.

JournalRoczniki Panstwowego Zakladu Higieny (Annals of the National Institute of Hygiene)

Authors: Héctor Maldonado-Pérez, Judith Graber, Mark Robson

Affiliations: Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA

The Notice:

Dear Dr. Cwiek-Ludwicka

I am writng [sic] to humbly and respectfully request that the manuscript: Maldonado, et al, in Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig 2017, Vol. 68, No 2. be retracted. We have found serious error in the calculations and we feel the data are incorrect.

The retraction is necessary so that the manuscript is not cited because of the erroneous information.

We are profoundly sorry for this error and we apologize.

Sincerely yours,
Mark Gregory Robson, PhD MPH DrPH
Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor
Professor of Plant Biology

Date of Article: June 2017

Times Cited, according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science:  Journal not indexed

Date of Notice: September 1, 2017

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