With some conservatives fulminating over President Obama’s eternal lust for “death panels,” we have our own case of end-of-life outrage to report.
BMC Medical Ethics has retracted a November 2010 paper by two authors from Mayo Clinic whose manuscript — “End-of-life discontinuation of destination therapy with cardiac and ventilatory support medical devices: physician-assisted death or allowing the patient to die?” — contained passages that closely echoed those in another article, “Moral fictions and medical ethics,” published online in July 2009 in the journal Bioethics.
According to the retraction notice: Continue reading Irony alert: Shades of plagiarism undo med ethics paper on terminal care
We have a little more information on the lab-tech case out of the University of Chicago that we reported on last week. A brief summary: The journal Small retracted a 2007 paper on a method of producing insulin-secreting cells after one of the co-authors, a technician named Matthew Connors, was found to have fabricated a key figure. Connors has had a long career as a lab tech and his name has appeared on several published articles.
Reached by e-mail, Milan Mrksich, a chemistry professor at Chicago and a co-author of the retracted paper– as well as an investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute — told us that the fraud surfaced during follow-up research: Continue reading Update on Small retraction: Co-author says failed follow-up led to detection of tech’s fraud
The European Respiratory Journal (ERJ) is retracting a paper about whether mothers with asthma are more likely to have poor birth outcomes, after the journal found it overlapped with an earlier paper by the same group. The ERJ paper was published online on June 18, 2010.
The retraction notice said only that Continue reading Nearly identical twins: European Respiratory Journal retracts asthma in pregnancy paper similar to another by same group
Earlier this month, we reported that a group led by Jicun Ren, of Shanghai Jiaotong University, had retracted a paper in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS) on a way to measure the concentration of gold nanoparticles. Turns out they are also retracting a very similar paper about silver nanoparticles published in the January 18, 2010 issue of Chemistry: A European Journal.
Ren tells Retraction Watch that the silver paper, “Ultrahighly sensitive homogenous detection of DNA and microRNA by using single-silver-nanoparticle counting,” is being retracted for the same reason as the gold one. From our earlier post (just substitute “silver” for “gold”): Continue reading No medals: Group that retracted JACS gold nanoparticle paper retracts silver one, too
A leading Japanese virologist has received a 10-year publishing ban from the American Society of Microbiology after many of his published articles were found to have evidence of data manipulation.
In its January 2011 issue, Infection and Immunity, an ASM title, is retracting five articles by the researcher, Naoki Mori, of the University of Ryukyus in Okinawa. The articles, published between 2000 and 2009, involve work on Helicobacter pylori which Nori conducted with co-authors from the United States and elsewhere. Some of the studies listed co-authors from drug companies, including Merck and Boehringer Ingelheim, although it’s not clear whether the companies helped support any of the research.
Despite the impending holidays, Ferric Fang, editor of Infection and Immunity, graciously and quickly replied to our request for comment yesterday (as he has before, about another paper in Nature involving fraud): Continue reading Japanese virologist hit with publishing ban after widespread data manipulation
Readers of this blog are aware that many of the retractions we’ve covered involve the misadventures of post-docs. That makes some superficial sense: post-docs, after all, are trainees, and therefore might be more likely to make mistakes. They’re also hungry to break into their chosen specialty, and how better to do that than by producing spectacular results? (None of this is to say that post-docs are by nature incompetent or venal — only that the raw ingredients exist for typecast villainy.)
But one figure about whom we haven’t written (to the best of our knowledge) is the career lab tech — until today.
Matthew Connors was working as a tech at the University of Chicago (Chief Research Technologist, on his online resume) when he became a co-author on a 2007 study, published in the journal Small, purporting to show a technique for encapsulating pancreatic islet cells in a coating that’s opaque to the immune system. As the researchers explained: Continue reading Small problem: Nano-micro journal pulls diabetes paper with phony figure
The authors of a Global Ecology and Biogeography study originally published in November 2009 and retracted last week are appealing the decision with the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), Retraction Watch has learned. Continue reading Authors plan to appeal Global Ecology and Biogeography retraction
It’s easy to focus on the downstream scientific effects of retractions. But sometimes they have financial implications, too.
Two weeks ago, we covered the retraction of a PNAS paper on a potential breast cancer treatment, one that would make tumors that didn’t respond to tamoxifen respond to the drug. We learned earlier this week from a Retraction Watch commenter that Wnt Research, a company based on the breast cancer finding and other work, was about to go public.
In fact, their initial public offering (IPO) happened today, and you can follow the price of their stock — listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange as WNT — here. But what we learned when we looked into the IPO was that it was originally scheduled for late November, and was delayed because of the retraction.
Tommy Andersson, one of the researchers on the now-retracted paper and Wnt Research’s chief scientific officer, told Retraction Watch that the company had initially planned on going public on November 26. They had written a memorandum describing the company’s work to date, and its plans, and the public was given a chance to invest before shares hit the Stockholm exchange. That memorandum included a mention of the PNAS paper, as follows (translated from Swedish): Continue reading Wnt Research: How a retraction delayed an IPO, shrunk investment — but should build public trust
On October 20, the Journal of the American Chemical Society retracted a 2009 paper. The retraction notice for “Single Gold Nanoparticles Counter: An Ultrasensitive Detection Platform for One-Step Homogeneous Immunoassays and DNA Hybridization Assays” was somewhat opaque:
This article is being retracted due to inaccurate DNA hybridization detection results caused by application of an incorrect data processing method. The authors regret any confusion that may have been created by the paper’s publication.
We contacted the paper’s lead author, Jicun Ren, of the College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Metal Matrix Composites, Shanghai Jiaotong University, to ask for more detail. He responded: Continue reading Journal of the American Chemical Society retracts gold nanoparticle paper
C. P. Snow famously bemoaned the gulf between science and the humanities. The following retraction might be the sort of thing that would have given the physicist-cum-author fits for its estrangement from the English language.
Writing in the latest issue of Applied Physics Letters, a team from
China Singapore and MIT appear to be confessing a case of self-plagiarism in their 2005 paper, “Growth of single crystal ZnO nanorods on GaN using an aqueous solution method: (we added a link to the earlier paper)” Continue reading Obfuscation watch: Self-plagiarism (we think) leads to retraction of nanorod paper in Applied Physics Letters