Paper claiming Muslim patients are “particularly sensitive” retracted

A paper about medical treatment for migrant patients in Germany has been retracted after the authors made unsupported claims that Muslims are “particularly sensitive” to pain.

The paper, titled “Diversität im klinischen Alltag der Augenheilkunde,” or “Diversity in everyday clinical practice in ophthalmology,” in English, was published in Der Ophthalmologe, a German medical journal, in November 2019. It has not yet been cited, according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science. 

The original article, penned by ophthalmologists at the Cologne University Eye Clinic, is in German. We ran it through Google Translate to get a sense of its content. The paper begins with a case study of a 52 year-old Turkish migrant, explains how to use smartphone speech translators to overcome language barriers, and highlights cultural differences that physicians should consider while treating migrants. 

Continue reading Paper claiming Muslim patients are “particularly sensitive” retracted

How a plagiarized eye image in the NEJM was discovered

via Wikimedia

The Images in Clinical Medicine section of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) is prime real estate for physicians and others wanting to share a compelling picture with their colleagues. But earlier this month, an eye specialist in Michigan saw double when he looked at the Dec. 5, 2019, installment of the feature. 

Depicted was a picture from a pair of eye specialists in India who claimed to have seen a case of a person who’d suffered retinal bleeding after having been struck in the eye by a tennis ball:

Continue reading How a plagiarized eye image in the NEJM was discovered

‘We decided to play it safe.’ Journal doesn’t retract paper even though the authors neglected to mention that they didn’t do the experiments themselves.

via James Heilman/Wikipedia

An eye journal has issued an expression of concern for a paper on glaucoma that, given the litany of problems with the data, could well have been retracted. Not least of the issues: The authors admitted to using an outside firm to conduct experiments they’d tried to pass off as having done themselves. 

The article, “Fisetin rescues retinal functions by suppressing inflammatory response in a DBA/2J mouse model of glaucoma,” came from a group at People’s Hospital of Rizhao. It appeared online last February in Documenta Ophthalmologica, the journal of the International Society for Clinical Electrophysiology and Vision. 

According to the researchers: 

Continue reading ‘We decided to play it safe.’ Journal doesn’t retract paper even though the authors neglected to mention that they didn’t do the experiments themselves.

‘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 paper about eye damage in astronauts got pulled for “security concerns.” Huh?

Here’s a head-scratcher: A 2017 paper examining why long space flights can cause eye damage has been taken down, with a brief note saying NASA, which sponsored the research, asked for the retraction because of “security concerns.”

According to the first author, the paper included information that could identify some of the astronauts that took part in the study — namely, their flight information. Although the author said he removed the identifying information after the paper was online, NASA still opted to retract it. But a spokesperson at NASA told us the agency did not supply the language for the retraction notice. The journal editor confirmed the paper was retracted for “research subject confidentiality issues,” but referred a question about who supplied the language of the notice back to NASA.

Now lawyers are involved.

So we still have some questions about this one. Here’s what we do know.

Continue reading A paper about eye damage in astronauts got pulled for “security concerns.” Huh?

Caught Our Notice: Another retraction for researcher paid $100k to leave uni

Via Wikimedia

When Retraction Watch began in 2010, our co-founders Ivan Oransky and Adam Marcus quickly realized they couldn’t keep up with the hundreds of retractions that appeared each year.  And the problem has only gotten worse — although we’ve added staff, the number of retractions issued each year has increased dramatically. According to our growing database, just shy of 1,000 retractions were issued last year (and that doesn’t include expressions of concern and errata). So to get new notices in front of readers more quickly, we’ve started a new feature called “Caught our Notice,” where we highlight a recent notice that stood out from the others. If you have any information about what happened, feel free to contact us at retractionwatchteam@gmail.com.

Title:  Diabetes and Overexpression of proNGF Cause Retinal Neurodegeneration via Activation of RhoA Pathway  and  Diabetes-Induced Superoxide Anion and Breakdown of the Blood-Retinal Barrier: Role of the VEGF/uPAR Pathway 

What caught our attention:

Continue reading Caught Our Notice: Another retraction for researcher paid $100k to leave uni

ORI finds misconduct in case of biologist paid $100K by university to leave

A biologist who studied the impact of diabetes on the eye inappropriately altered data in five images from three papers, according to a new finding of misconduct issued by the U.S. Office of Research Integrity (ORI).

Readers may be familiar with the subject of the findings: Azza El-Remessy, a former tenured associate professor at the University of Georgia (UGA) in Athens, spoke to us earlier this year about her battle with UGA. In June 2016, UGA found her guilty of research misconduct and recommended she be terminated. El-Remessy fought back, hiring a lawyer to contest the findings, and the university ultimately paid her $100,000 to leave. (For more, here’s UGA’s June 2016 investigation report and the settlement agreement between UGA and El-Remessy.) Continue reading ORI finds misconduct in case of biologist paid $100K by university to leave

Work by group at Australian university faces scrutiny

A journal is investigating research by a group in Australia, after receiving “serious allegations” regarding a 2017 paper about treating eye burns.

The journal, Frontiers in Pharmacology, has issued an expression of concern (EOC) for the 2017 paper while it investigates. The notice does not specify the nature of the allegations.  Meanwhile, several other papers by the three researchers, based at Deakin University in Geelong, Australia, have also come under scrutiny. Late last month, Frontiers in Pharmacology retracted a 2015 paper by Kislay Roy, Rupinder Kanwar, and Jagat R Kanwar, citing image duplication. A 2015 paper in Biomaterials received a correction in May 2017, again flagging image duplication.

Roy, the first author on the papers, is a postdoctoral research fellow; Rupinder Kanwar, a middle author, is a senior lecturer; and Jagat R Kanwar, the corresponding author on all three, is head of the Nanomedicine-Laboratory of Immunology and Molecular Biomedical Research.

Gearóid Ó Faoleán, the ethics and integrity manager at Frontiers in Pharmacology, explained that the investigation into the flagged article is ongoing and the EOC “must serve as the extent of our public statement for the present.”

A spokesperson for Deakin University declined to comment on the allegations: Continue reading Work by group at Australian university faces scrutiny

When a tractor stabs a man in the eye, who gets to write up the case report?

A journal has retracted a paper after the university notified the editors that the authors presented the gruesome details of a patient who they didn’t directly treat.

But the paper’s corresponding author disputes that claim, arguing that the first author — a radiologist, who has since passed away, provided a crucial diagnosis in this case. We’ve tried to track down the doctors who lodged a complaint about the paper, alleging they were “actually involved in the original patient treatment,” but have so far been unsuccessful.

The paper describes an unfortunate accident during which a man fell from his tractor and stabbed himself in the eye on part of the machine. Initially, doctors could not locate the eye and “believed it to have been completely destroyed,” and discharged the patient after seven days. One week later he was back, complaining of headaches — and doctors found the eye embedded deep inside the skull, intact.

According to the retraction notice, issued by the Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology, an investigation by a university in Iran determined the doctors who initially described the case didn’t have the right to do so: Continue reading When a tractor stabs a man in the eye, who gets to write up the case report?

Patient didn’t okay including her picture in plastic surgery paper

indian-journal-of-plastic-surgeryA plastic surgery journal in India has retracted an article about rehabilitation following removal of an eye after a patient contacted the editors to say she hadn’t consented to publish her picture.

Mukund Jagannathan, the journal’s editor-in-chief and a plastic surgeon in India, told Retraction Watch:

The patient wrote to the editor, mentioning that her photo was present in the article originally published, and politely asked us to remove her photos from public display on the Internet.

Asked whether the journal considered issuing a partial retraction to only hide the patient’s identity, Jagannathan said: Continue reading Patient didn’t okay including her picture in plastic surgery paper