Legal medicine journal pulls paper over image goof

Irony alert: The Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, which really ought to know better, is retracting a 2012 article by an Australian researcher that threatened to run afoul of…privacy law.

The article, “A challenging injury interpretation: Could this be a stab wound?” was written by Les Griffiths, of the Clinical Forensic Medical Unit at University of Queensland in Brisbane. According to the notice: Continue reading Legal medicine journal pulls paper over image goof

Unnamed “ethical” lapse leads to retraction of fructose paper

The Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition — the official publication of the Society for Free Radical Research Japan — has retracted a 2012 paper by a group of Turkish authors for some form of misconduct better left unstated. At least, that’s what the notice seems to suggest.

The paper, “Effects of coenzyme Q10 and α-lipoic acid supplementation in fructose fed rats,” was written by  Özdoğan Serhat,  Kaman Dilara, Bengü Şimşek Çobanoğlu, of Firat University and published in February of this year. According to the notice: Continue reading Unnamed “ethical” lapse leads to retraction of fructose paper

Update on the Gressner case: Son Olav says he’s the unfairly targeted “bête noire”

We have an update on the case of Olav and Axel Gressner, a father-son (or, in this case, son-father) pair of German liver researchers caught up in a fraud investigation. The inquiry focused on Olav, who left the University of Aachen under a cloud of suspicion. A 2008 research letter on which he was a co-author (his father was senior author) was retracted earlier this year by the Journal of Hepatology.

The journal’s position in the retraction notice,  published online in June and in print in September, bears repeating here. The authors: Continue reading Update on the Gressner case: Son Olav says he’s the unfairly targeted “bête noire”

Another stem cell paper retracted, for “breach of established ethical guidelines”

Last week’s big Retraction Watch news — which got us quoted in the New York Times — was a Nature paper by Amy Wagers and Shane Mayack. The now-retracted paper suggested that the aging of stem cells could be reversed, and Blood has issued a notice of concern about a second paper.

Now comes news about another stem cell finding. The International Journal of Urology has retracted a 2009 paper by Japanese researchers who claimed to have used stem cells derived from fatty tissue to treat urinary incontinence in two men. The men had developed bladder problems after undergoing surgery to remove their cancerous prostates.

According to the editor’s note, the article Continue reading Another stem cell paper retracted, for “breach of established ethical guidelines”

Update: German university investigating authors who retracted caffeine-liver fibrosis letter

Yesterday we reported on a retraction in a European liver journal involving post-acceptance shenanigans by a group of German researchers including a father and son, Axel and Olav Gressner. Well, it turns out there’s a bit more there there.

Didier Samuel, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Hepatology, where the team’s letter to the editor was retracted, tells Retraction Watch he was contacted earlier this year by the University of Aachen. The university was investigating potential misconduct by Olav Gressner. The journal launched its own inquiry, leading to the retracted letter, Samuel says.

Samuel’s journal has not pulled any other papers from the Gressners. However, the group “is not encouraged to submit to our journal” in the future, he says. Although the lab has claimed that “typewritten errors” were to blame for the alerted manuscript, Samuels says, “the editors were not convinced” of this explanation. Continue reading Update: German university investigating authors who retracted caffeine-liver fibrosis letter

Liver spots: Hepatology journal yanks research letter on caffeine-fibrosis link, saying authors falsified data

Work from a prolific father-son team of liver researchers in Germany has come under scrutiny after accusations that they falsified data in a 2009 letter to the editor that appeared in the Journal of Hepatology.

The letter, retracted in the September issue (after an online notice in June), referred to a 2008 article in the journal by Axel Gressner, his son Olav, and their colleagues at University Hospital in Aachen in which the authors reported that doses of caffeine might be an effective treatment for liver fibrosis, scarring of the organ that results from chronic ailments such as cirrhosis or hepatitis.

Epidemiologic evidence has suggested that people who drink coffee are somewhat protected from liver fibrosis—although some experts dispute the purported connection—and the German group claimed to have been among the first to find a plausible molecular mechanism for the link. Their November 2008 paper on the subject has been cited 16 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Science, a hefty number for just 22 months.

In their follow-up letter, they went a step further, stating that injecting rats with caffeine blocked the expression of a key protein associated with growth of connective tissue necessary for the formation of liver scars.

But the evidence backing the letter appears to be far weaker than the researchers initially let on. Continue reading Liver spots: Hepatology journal yanks research letter on caffeine-fibrosis link, saying authors falsified data