Forensics Friday: How was this image manipulated?

Ever wanted to hone your skills as a scientific sleuth? Now’s your chance.

Thanks to the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), which is committed to educating authors on best practices in publishingfigure preparation, and reproducibility, we’re presenting the second in a series, Forensics Friday.

Take a look at the image below, and then take our poll. After that, click on the link below to find out the right answer.

Continue reading Forensics Friday: How was this image manipulated?

Biochemist in Spain retracts eight papers at once

Carlos López-Otín

A high-profile researcher at the Universidad de Oviedo in Spain has retracted eight papers from the Journal of Biological Chemistry for figure issues.

All of the papers were co-authored by Carlos López-Otín, who studies a group of enzymes that break down proteins, cancer genomics and aging, and whose lab web site boasts that

His works have been collected in more than 400 articles in international journals and have been cited to date more than 44.000 times, with an aggregate Hirsch index of h=100.

A representative notice: Continue reading Biochemist in Spain retracts eight papers at once

An Australian university cleared a cancer researcher of misconduct. He’s now retracted six papers.

Levon Khachigian

The story of Levon Khachigian’s research is a long and winding tale.

One place to start would be in October 2009, when a paper co-authored by Khachigian — whose work at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) has been funded by millions of dollars in funding from the Australian government, and has led to clinical trials, although more on that later — was retracted from Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. The “corresponding author published the paper without the full consent or acknowledgement of all the researchers and would like to apologize for this error,” according to that notice. Continue reading An Australian university cleared a cancer researcher of misconduct. He’s now retracted six papers.

Journal retracts paper by controversial Australian journalist

Maryanne Demasi

The Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC) has retracted a 2003 paper that resulted from the PhD thesis of Maryanne Demasi, an Australian journalist whose reporting on statins and the risks of cancer from cell phones has been a lightning rod.

The move, for what the journal says was attempts to reuse images to represent different experiments, follows an investigation by the University of Adelaide into allegations of image manipulation in Demasi’s thesis. In the investigation, Demasi

Continue reading Journal retracts paper by controversial Australian journalist

Researcher in South Korea racks up three retractions and at least 10 corrections

Joohun Ha

A professor at Kyung-Hee University in Seoul, South Korea, has retracted three articles and had at least ten corrected, all for image manipulation, duplication, or errors.

Joohun Ha’s three retractions all appeared in the Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC). One of the papers, “AMP-activated protein kinase activity is critical for hypoxia-inducible factor-1 transcriptional activity and its target gene expression under hypoxic conditions in DU145 cells,” first published in 2003, has been cited 186 times, according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science. Here’s the retraction notice: Continue reading Researcher in South Korea racks up three retractions and at least 10 corrections

University of Kentucky cancer toxicologist retracts three papers for image duplication

Xianglin Shi

A researcher at the University of Kentucky who studies the cancer risks of toxic chemicals has retracted three papers.

All of the retraction notices, which appear in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, refer to some kind of image duplication. The papers were originally published between 2014 and 2017, with the 2014 paper cited 39 times, according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science.

Continue reading University of Kentucky cancer toxicologist retracts three papers for image duplication

Cancer researcher at OSU up to nine retractions

Samson Jacob

A cancer researcher and emeritus professor at The Ohio State University has retracted four more papers, bringing his total to nine from a single journal.

The four retractions of work by Samson Jacob appear in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, from which Jacob retracted five papers in March. The original papers — one of which has been cited more than 250 times — date back to 2002.

OSU declined to say whether Jacob’s work was under investigation: Continue reading Cancer researcher at OSU up to nine retractions

Journals flag two papers by prominent researcher — who is also on trial for domestic abuse

Adeel Safdar was once a rising star in the field of kinesiology. After completing his doctorate degree at McMaster University in Canada, working with one of the titans of his field, Safdar took a postdoc at Harvard, then accepted a newly created chair position at another university in Ontario.

That all came crashing down last year, when Safdar went on trial in Canada, accused of horrifically abusing his wife. Over the course of the trial, allegations arose about his research, prompting two journals to flag papers he co-authored with his former mentor, Mark Tarnopolsky.

Tarnopolsky — author of more than 400 papers, which have collectively been cited more than 17,000 times, according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science — told Retraction Watch:

Continue reading Journals flag two papers by prominent researcher — who is also on trial for domestic abuse

Cancer biologist retracts five papers

Samson Jacob

A cancer researcher based at The Ohio State University has retracted five papers from one journal, citing concerns about figures.

The notices for all five papers state the Journal of Biological Chemistry raised questions about some figures, and the authors were not able to supply raw data in all instances. Four of the notices say the authors offered to submit data from repeat experiments and corrected figures, which the journal declined.

According to Kaoru Sakabe, data integrity manager at JBC, the authors “agreed to withdraw these articles after we declined their offers.”

Continue reading Cancer biologist retracts five papers

Controversial Australian journalist’s paper flagged by journal

The Journal of Biological Chemistry has added an expression of concern to a 2003 paper that arose from the PhD thesis of a once-prominent — and controversial — science journalist in Australia.

The first author of the paper is Maryanne Demasi, a journalist whose reporting created unintentional headlines in recent years. In 2013, she produced a controversial series about cholesterol and fat (and even cast doubt on cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins); in 2016, she was fired from the science program Catalyst, after it aired an episode alleging wi-fi could cause brain tumors.

Now, it appears the research community is taking a second look at some of the work underlying her PhD in rheumatology from Royal Adelaide Hospital. Here’s the notice from the journal:

Continue reading Controversial Australian journalist’s paper flagged by journal