As any kid knows, Snoopy is a laconic beagle and Bugs Bunny is a mouth-running rabbit. The difference is pretty clear, right? Evidently not.
A group of researchers in China have lost a 2017 paper in Medical Science Monitor for trying to pass off cellular images of rabbit teeth as those of beagles.
According to the original notice, which has now been replaced with “The article is withdrawn by the authors request:”
We have become aware of potentially serious scientific fraud. The article published in our journal, Med Sci Monit, 2017; 23: 4601-4611, utilized beagle dogs in an animal model of peri-implantitis and is titled “Effects of Nano-Hydroxyapatite Polyetheretherketone-Coated, Sandblasted, Large-Grit, and Acid-Etched Implants on Inflammatory Cytokines and Osseointegration in a Peri-Implantitis Model in Beagle Dogs”. Dr. H. W. Yang of the Department of Stomatology, Shanghai Tenth People’s Hospital of Tongji University, was the first author of the paper. Unfortunately, figure 3 of this paper depicts HE-stained tissue sections identical to those depicted in figure 4 in a 2018 paper utilizing a rabbit model of mandibular damage and repair titled “Effect of Choukroun Platelet-Rich Fibrin Combined with Autologous Micro-Morselized Bone on the Repair of Mandibular Defects in Rabbits” and published in the J Oral Maxillofac Surg., Epub 2017 Jun 2. Dr. T. Zhou of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial-Head and Neck Oncology, Shanghai Ninth People’s Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, was the first author of the paper. Depiction of identical stained histological sections in 2 different papers as derived from 2 different animal species is indicative of serious scientific fraud over and beyond clear-cut plagiarism in the case of these 2 figures.
Both studies were supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant No. 31140007 and 81472516), the Natural Science Foundation of Shanghai (No. 14ZR1424200), and the Shanghai Leading Academic Discipline Project (No. S30206).
The corresponding author did not respond to a request for comment.
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