German paper on inflammation taken out of Circulation (Research) for data manipulation

Circulation Research, a journal of the American Heart Association (AHA), has retracted a 2009 article from a German group whose first author copped to manipulating data — and got called on it. From the notice: Continue reading German paper on inflammation taken out of Circulation (Research) for data manipulation

Emory looking into circumstances of three new retractions in the JBC

Emory University is looking into why the Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC) has retracted three papers published by Emory faculty from 2005 to 2007, Retraction Watch has learned. The papers were: Continue reading Emory looking into circumstances of three new retractions in the JBC

So how often does medical consensus turn out to be wrong?

In a quote that has become part of medical school orientations everywhere, David Sackett, often referred to as the “father of evidence-based medicine,” once famously said:

Half of what you’ll learn in medical school will be shown to be either dead wrong or out of date within five years of your graduation; the trouble is that nobody can tell you which half–so the most important thing to learn is how to learn on your own.

Sackett, we are fairly sure, was making an intentionally wild estimate when he said “half.” [See note about these strikethroughs at bottom of post.]  But aA fascinating study out today in the Archives of Internal Medicine gives a clue as to the real figuresuggests that he may have been closer than any of us imagined. Continue reading So how often does medical consensus turn out to be wrong?

Authors retract Nature Medicine cystic fibrosis paper after some results don’t hold up

The authors of a Nature Medicine study published online in September about the behavior of white blood cells in cystic fibrosis have retracted the paper, saying that further experiments suggested the original results were unreliable. According to the notice: Continue reading Authors retract Nature Medicine cystic fibrosis paper after some results don’t hold up

“Representative” image in liver paper leads to retraction

The journal International Immunology has retracted a 2007 article, “Amelioration of hepatic fibrosis via beta-glucosylceramide-mediated immune modulation is associated with altered CD8 and NKT lymphocyte distribution,” by a group of Israeli liver researchers whose manuscript included a composite image that didn’t quite call itself such.

The study, by scientists at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, purported to show that a soy-derived compound could reduce liver disease in mice. It has been cited 17 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. The journal is published by Oxford and the Japanese Society for Immunology.

From the notice: Continue reading “Representative” image in liver paper leads to retraction

Imperial, where Jatinder Ahluwalia earned his PhD, has re-run experiments, and is now reviewing results

If you’ve been wondering what’s happening in the case of Jatinder Ahluwalia, the University of East London researcher who has been found guilty of faking data as a graduate student at Cambridge and of misconduct at University College London, so have we.

We last reported, in February, that Imperial College London, where Ahluwalia earned his PhD, was repeating his key experiments “in light of new information received.” Today, an Imperial spokesperson tells Retraction Watch that those repeat experiments are complete, and “the results are currently being reviewed by the College.” We look forward to hearing the results of that review, of course.

A reminder that Ahluwalia’s current institution, the University of East London, is also reviewing his work. We’ve heard nothing from UEL, despite several requests. That’s consistent with the idea that the university has placed a gag order on its faculty and administration, although we haven’t confirmed that either.

In fact, we’re hearing a lot of rumors about this case, many of them left as anonymous comments, and while we appreciate any tips, we do our best to confirm verifiable facts before posting, even in comments. So if anyone has documentation of what’s going on, we’d welcome it.

We’ve also seen Ahluwalia apparently take a page out of the Anil Potti playbook, using social media and setting up a blog to extol his own virtues. Various sites discuss his papers and charitable donations, and he also has a Twitter feed that has a lot to say about the weather. Oddly, none of them mention the misconduct findings.

One of the comments left on his blog was from “MikeUSA”: Continue reading Imperial, where Jatinder Ahluwalia earned his PhD, has re-run experiments, and is now reviewing results

Second retraction by Harvard group studying cannabinoids, this one in JBC

Last week, we reported that a group of Harvard researchers had retracted a paper in Blood for “multiple instances of duplicate (redundant) publication of data, text, and images that are nonessential to the paper.” The retraction notice referred to a paper in the Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC):

The redundancies are between the above-cited Blood article and the following 12 November 2010 article, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC): Jiang S, Zagozdzon R, Jorda MA, et al. Endocannabinoids are expressed in bone marrow stromal niches and play a role in interactions of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells with the bone marrow microenvironment. J Biol Chem. 2010;285(46):35471-35478.

Today, we learned that the JBC paper has also been retracted. The notice, as we’ve come to expect from the JBC, is unhelpful: Continue reading Second retraction by Harvard group studying cannabinoids, this one in JBC

Another G&D paper retracted, this one for faked data

Genes & Development (G&D) — a journal published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory that published only its second retraction in its 24-year history a few weeks ago, has published another. The study, “PRMT1-mediated arginine methylation of PIAS1 regulates STAT1 signaling,” was published in 2009 and has been cited 22 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

The retraction notice places the blame squarely on first author Susanne Weber, who was a graduate student at the time the study was published and signed the retraction. The G&D notice, in the July 1, 2011 issue, reads: Continue reading Another G&D paper retracted, this one for faked data

Four mysterious retractions in the JBC for a group whose PI recently passed away

The Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC) has retracted four studies done in a Mount Sinai School of Medicine lab whose principal investigator died last month. The studies, by the late Maria Diverse-Pierluissi and colleagues, were as follows:

According to a Mount Sinai release, Diverse-Pierluissi died on May 7 of this year. The retractions are dated June 17, and all say the same thing: Continue reading Four mysterious retractions in the JBC for a group whose PI recently passed away

“Nonessential” duplication leads to retraction of Blood cannabinoid paper

The journal Blood has retracted a paper from a group of prestigious Harvard researchers after the article, which appeared in January 2011, was found to have multiple instances of material — text, data and other elements — that had appeared in a previous publication from several of the authors.

The article was titled “Cannabinoid receptor 2 and its agonists mediate hematopoiesis and hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell mobilization.” Its authors included Hava Avraham, a noted cancer researcher, and Jerome Groopman, known for his New Yorker articles about medicine and, scientifically, for his work on cannabinoids and cancer, among other areas.

According to the retraction notice: Continue reading “Nonessential” duplication leads to retraction of Blood cannabinoid paper