A Swedish ethical review board has censured two biologists and their employer, Uppsala University, for events related to “extensive image manipulations” in five papers published between 2010 and 2014. The case has led to criticism from an outside expert — who brought the allegations to Uppsala — over the current system in Sweden for handling such investigations.
Four of the papers have been retracted, and the authors have requested a correction in the fifth.
After correcting a paper due to problematic figure panels, researchers led by high-profile biologist Olivier Voinnet have now retracted it, after “further analysis of the paper revealed flaws in the interpretation of” another figure.
PLOS Genetics published the retraction notice September 3 for the 2013 paper on the molecular details of embryonic stem cells in mice. First author Constance Ciaudo and Voinnet assume “full responsibility for the mistakes on this paper,” according to the note.
One of the recent corrections we found is for a 2003 article in The Plant Journal, “An enhanced transient expression system in plants based on suppression of gene silencing by the p19 protein of tomato bushy stunt virus,” which details using proteins from a tomato virus to help alter gene expression. The study has been cited 862 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. Here’s the correction notice, posted June 8:
Ariel Fernandez, an Argentine chemist (who claims to hold the fastest-awarded PhD from Yale) and the subject of institutional investigations at multiple universities, has corrected several papers recently. What makes the moves particularly unusual — and interesting — is the stated reason for the amendments: disclaiming any funding from the National Institutes of Health for the work.
Fernandez was the recipient in 2005 of a $275,880 award “Protein packing defects as functional markers and drug targets.” The following year he received $294,217, and in 2007, $284,461, for the same four-year project, if we’re reading the link correctly.