The correction replaces an expression of concern on the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS) paper, which followed allegations of data manipulation. It provides some un-cropped images, and removes a co-author from the paper. However, it does not appear to address previous allegations of misconduct, nor a recent ruling from an investigation at Hong Kong University (HKU), which found that some of the data were “invalid.”
A pair of chemical engineers has retracted a paper after another researcher was unable to replicate their work, in a case that we consider an example of doing the right thing.
Dennis Prieve, at Carnegie Mellon University, was interested in applying the paper — on how systems of molecules known as “reverse micelles” conduct electrical charge — to his own work, but was having trouble repeating the calculations. So Prieve contacted the authors — John Berg and his PhD student Edward Michor, based at the University of Washington — who supplied him with their original data.
It took several weeks of back and forth to figure out the problem, Michor told us, as the paper was published in 2012, so he had to decipher his old notes. When they found that several incorrect values were used in the paper, the authors issued a retraction notice, published in March:
Specifically, it appears as if Rodrigo J.G. Lopes made up the affiliations of multiple co-authors from the California Institute of Technology, causing the journal to “doubt the existence of the authors.”
Lopes first came to our attention in 2013, when he lost a paper in the Chemical Engineering Journal for including data he couldn’t have produced, as the lab lacked the necessary equipment. That had followed a previous retraction, when Lopes added co-authors without their permission. We’ve since found other retractions for Lopes, bringing his total to eight, by our count. Continue reading Author appeared to use phony Caltech co-authors, up to 8 retractions
A paper on nanoparticles that target cancer cells has been retracted for duplicating figures from three other papers.
The articles all share a first author: Manasmita Das, based at the time of the research at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur and the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER). According to her LinkedIn profile, she is currently a postdoc at the University of North Carolina.
The abstract of the 2011 Bioconjugate Chemistry paper explains just what the new nanoparticles would be useful for:
Multifunctional nanoparticles, developed in the course of the study, could selectively target and induce apoptosis to folate-receptor (FR) overexpressing cancer cells with enhanced efficacy as compared to the free drug. In addition, the dual optical and magnetic properties of the synthesized nanoparticles aided in the real-time tracking of their intracellular pathways also as apoptotic events through dual fluorescence and MR-based imaging.
But according to the retraction note, figure duplications “seriously undermine the conclusions presented in the research article.” Here’s more about the source of those duplications from the full note: Continue reading Journal retracts nanoparticles paper for duplicating figures
In 2014, school officials revoked Suvi Orr‘s degree after finding it was based, in part, on falsified data. Some of the data were also included in a paper in Organic Letters that was retracted in 2011 after some steps in the chemical synthesis the authors described were not reproducible. Orr, currently working at Pfizer, sued UT, and the school reinstated her degree.
Now, the school is trying to remove it again, according to the lawsuit, filed last week. The lawsuit says the school has scheduled a “hearing” on March 4, during which three undergraduate students and two faculty members will deliberate — “none of whom are qualified to evaluate the scientific evidence being used against S.O.,” the suit says.
Orr has requested a temporary injunction to halt the proceedings, and a hearing has been scheduled for next week, according to the Austin-American Statesman.
The suit argues the school does not have the right to strip Orr’s degree from her: Continue reading Chemist sues University of Texas (again) to keep PhD
An engineer has retracted three papers on a method for making nanoscale materials that are useful in solar cells.
The papers, all published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, contain irregularities in data, and one includes images “which have been published elsewhere and identified with different samples,” according to the note.
The first author on all three papers is Khalid Mahmood, who — according to the bio from a talk he gave last year on efficient solar cells — is currently a postdoc at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia. He did the work in the retracted papers while a student at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, where, according to the bio, he completed his PhD in two years.
A membrane paper has been retracted only two months after publication in the Journal of Physical Chemistry B because of an authorship dispute.
The paper, “Magnetic Interaction of Transition Ion Salts with Spin Labeled Lipid Membranes: Interplay of Anion-Specific Adsorption, Electrostatics, and Membrane Fluidity,” has not been cited, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. (It appears to be taken down entirely, but it looks like you can read its abstract here.)
Here’s the entire — very short — note:
Errors in the interpretation of some of the data — the result of “procedural flaws” — are to blame for the retraction of a paper on a way to help skin grow back after injury.
The paper explores a method involving nanofibers. According to the abstract:
In this study, tilapia skin collagen sponge and electrospun nanofibers were developed for wound dressing…the collagen nanofibers stimulated the skin regeneration rapidly and effectively in vivo.
The paper was published January 19, 2015 by ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, then retracted eight months later, in August. It has not been cited, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.
Here’s the retraction note:
The authors of a letter describing the synthesis of ketonitrones have retracted it, after new data showed that they incorrectly reported the product structures and the reaction mechanism.
We’re not sure what exactly went wrong with the original data in the letter, “Transition-Metal-Catalyzed Ring Expansion of Diazocarbonylated Cyclic N-Hydroxylamines: A New Approach to Cyclic Ketonitrones,” published in Organic Letters.
Here’s the reaction that the paper reported, from the abstract:
And here’s the very short note: Continue reading Authors retract chemistry letter after new data reveal problems in reaction, structure
A nearly ten-year-long series of investigations into a pair of plant physiologists who received millions in funding from the U.S. National Science Foundation has resulted in debarments of less than two years for each of the researchers.
The NSF Office of Inspector General recently posted its close-out report on its decision and a review of the University’s investigation, which had recommended a total of eight retractions or corrections. Although the investigator’s names have been redacted, the text of retractions and corrections quoted in the report corresponds to papers by Continue reading NSF investigation of high-profile plant retractions ends in two debarments