‘The problem is that there is no IL-26 gene in the mouse’ — an exasperated letter leads to a retraction

via Flickr

A group of ophthalmology researchers in China got caught trying to pull the wool over the eyes of readers by falsely claiming to have used a therapy that doesn’t exist. 

As its title would indicate, the article, “Anti-angiogenic effect of Interleukin-26 in oxygen-induced retinopathy mice via inhibiting NFATc1-VEGF pathway,” by a team from Jinhua Municipal Central Hospital in Zhejiang, purported to show that IL-26 could prevent the growth of new blood vessels in mice with damaged retinas. 

Per the abstract of the paper, which appeared in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (BBRC): 

Continue reading ‘The problem is that there is no IL-26 gene in the mouse’ — an exasperated letter leads to a retraction

“A flooding accident:” Engineer has seven papers retracted at once

via U.S. Library of Congress

A chemical engineer in China who claims his supporting data were wiped out in a flood has notched his ninth retraction, seven from a single journal, for suspicious images and related issues. 

The work of Dong Ge Tong, of Chengdu University of Technology, had come under scrutiny in PubPeer, and several of his articles received expressions of concern before ultimately falling to retraction.

Last week, the Journal of Materials Chemistry A pulled seven papers on which Tong was an author. Here’s the notice for one of those articles, “Hollow amorphous NaFePO4 nanospheres as a high-capacity and high-rate cathode for sodium-ion batteries,” first published in 2015: 

Continue reading “A flooding accident:” Engineer has seven papers retracted at once

Journals retract more than a dozen studies from China that may have used executed prisoners’ organs

Wendy Rogers, who has called attention to questionable papers

In the past month, PLOS ONE and Transplantation have retracted fifteen studies by authors in China because of suspicions that the authors may have used organs from executed prisoners.

All of the original studies — seven in Transplantation, and eight in PLOS ONE — were published between 2008 and 2014. Two involved kidney transplants, and the rest involved liver transplants. Two other journals, the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology and Kidney International, have recently issued expressions of concern for the same reason.

In an editorial explaining the seven retractions from its journal, the editors of Transplantation write:

Continue reading Journals retract more than a dozen studies from China that may have used executed prisoners’ organs

Aluminum paper foiled by slew of errors

Alloys of various metals

The authors of a 2019 paper on the properties of an aluminum alloy have retracted the work because, well, it was pretty much wrong.

The article, “Effect of ultrasonic temperature and output power on microstructure and mechanical properties of as-cast 6063 aluminum alloy,” appeared in the March issue of the Journal of Alloys and Compounds, an Elsevier title. The authors are affiliated with Taiyuan University of Science and Technology in China.  

According to the abstract

Continue reading Aluminum paper foiled by slew of errors

Article claiming acupuncture on parents would treat their kids through quantum entanglement has been retracted

Last year a Beijing doctor said he was “speechless” after reading a study.

The study in question, published in Chinese Acupuncture & Moxibustion in 2017, was titled “Discussion on quantum entanglement theory and acupuncture.” Dr. Zeng, the Beijing doctor, was among a number of critics quoted in September 2018 by What’s On Weibo, which reports on social media happenings in China: Continue reading Article claiming acupuncture on parents would treat their kids through quantum entanglement has been retracted

Group in China up to three retractions, ostensibly for three different reasons

A group of researchers at Harbin Medical University in China has had a third paper retracted, making for a tale of three notices.

The first retraction appeared in April 2017 as one of more than 100 from Tumor Biology for fake peer review.

The second, for “Functions as a Tumor Suppressor in Osteosarcoma by Targeting Sox2,” was from the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, an MDPI title, in 2018: Continue reading Group in China up to three retractions, ostensibly for three different reasons

Found in translation: Authors blame language barriers after forging co-authors

When the merde hits the fan, blame the translator. That’s Rule 1 of botched international diplomacy — and, evidently, botched international science.

Otolaryngology researchers in China have lost their 2018 paper in the American Journal of Translational Research for what they’re calling (with some degree of chutzpah) language barriers.

The article, “Therapeutic ultrasound potentiates the anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin to postoperative pain via Sirt1/NF-κB signaling pathway,” came from group whose primary affiliation was the Second Military Medical University in Shanghai. (It hasn’t been cited, according to Clarivate’s Web of Science.) However, the list of authors also included several scientists in Germany.

Evidently, the Germans were most unzufrieden.

According to the retraction notice: Continue reading Found in translation: Authors blame language barriers after forging co-authors

Rabbits don’t even have canines, but this group tried to pass off rabbit teeth as dog teeth

Canine canines, via Wikimedia

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:” Continue reading Rabbits don’t even have canines, but this group tried to pass off rabbit teeth as dog teeth

When is asparagus not asparagus? Why, when it’s ginger, of course!

Asparagus and ginger (and other ingredients) living happily together (via Beck/Flickr)

Allow us to explain that headline.

Food Science & Nutrition has retracted a 2018 article by a group of researchers in China and Pakistan for plagiarism. The article was titled “Experimentally investigated the asparagus (Asparagus officinalis L.) drying with flat-plate collector under the natural convection indirect solar dryer.”  

Per the retraction notice: Continue reading When is asparagus not asparagus? Why, when it’s ginger, of course!

Graduate student in China stripped of PhD after investigation that led to a dozen retractions

On Friday we reported on the case of a group of researchers in China who have retracted at least 11 papers for various kinds of misconduct. Here’s a bit more on that story, courtesy of our commenters.

First, it turns out that the retraction total is at least 12. But more significant is that the institution in question, Tsinghua University’s Graduate School at Shenzhen, announced yesterday that it had stripped one of the researchers involved in the studies of his PhD and sanctioned another in the matter. Continue reading Graduate student in China stripped of PhD after investigation that led to a dozen retractions