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Peer review: Key journals published molecular biology papers with altered data?

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From the Asahi Shimbun:

A group of biologists at a research institute of the prestigious University of Tokyo likely altered or forged materials in 43 published scientific articles, a university panel has concluded.

The panel recommended the withdrawal of the papers authored by Shigeaki Kato, a former professor at the University of Tokyo’s Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, and other members of his lab. Most of the irregularities concerned images used in the publications.

Note: Here’s more from Retraction Watch, and here also:

This is Kato’s fifth retraction, by our count, including one in Nature, and another in Cell. Retraction Watch readers may recall that the investigation into his work was prompted by a whistleblower’s YouTube video.

Without sites like Retraction Watch, we would just never know about it.

One Reply to “Peer review: Key journals published molecular biology papers with altered data?

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: Endoplasmic Reticulum: Scientists Image ‘Parking Garage’ Helix Structure in Protein-Making Factory – July 2013
    Excerpt: The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is the protein-making factory within cells consisting of tightly stacked sheets of membrane studded with the molecules that make proteins. In a study published July 18th by Cell Press in the journal Cell, researchers have refined a new microscopy imaging method to visualize exactly how the ER sheets are stacked, revealing that the 3D structure of the sheets resembles a parking garage with helical ramps connecting the different levels. This structure allows for the dense packing of ER sheets, maximizing the amount of space available for protein synthesis within the small confines of a cell.
    “The geometry of the ER is so complex that its details have never been fully described, even now, 60 years after its discovery,” says study author Mark Terasaki of the University of Connecticut Health Center. “Our findings are likely to lead to new insights into the functioning of this important organelle.”,,,
    ,, this “parking garage” structure optimizes the dense packing of ER sheets and thus maximizes the number of protein-synthesizing molecules called ribosomes within the restricted space of a cell. When a cell needs to secrete more proteins, it can reduce the distances between sheets to pack even more membrane into the same space. Think of it as a parking garage that can add more levels as it gets full.,,,
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....130617.htm

    related notes:

    Your Rotary Engines Are Arranged in Factories – August 2011
    Excerpt: As if ATP synthase was not amazing enough, a team of scientists in Germany now tells us they are arranged in rows with other equipment to optimize performance. From electron micrographs of intact mitochondria, they were able to detect the rotary engines of ATP synthase and other parts of the respiratory chain. Their diagram in an open-source paper in PNAS looks for all the world like a factory.,,, “We propose that the supramolecular organization of respiratory chain complexes as proton sources and ATP synthase rows as proton sinks in the mitochondrial cristae ensures optimal conditions for efficient ATP synthesis.” The authors had virtually nothing to say about how this might have evolved, noting only that the structure is “conserved during evolution” in every sample they examined (3 species of fungi including yeast, potato, and mammal). What this means is a lack of evolution over nearly two billion years, in the standard evolutionary timeline.
    http://crev.info/content/11081....._factories

    The Cell as a Collection of Protein Machines
    “We have always underestimated cells. Undoubtedly we still do today,,, Indeed, the entire cell can be viewed as a factory that contains an elaborate network of interlocking assembly lines, each which is composed of a set of large protein machines.”
    Bruce Alberts: Former President, National Academy of Sciences;
    http://www.imbb.forth.gr/peopl.....erts98.pdf

    Problems with the Metaphor of a Cell as “Machine” – July 2012
    Excerpt: Too often, we envision the cell as a “factory” containing a fixed complement of “machinery” operating according to “instructions” (or “software” or “blueprints”) contained in the genome and spitting out the “gene products” (proteins) that sustain life.
    Many things are wrong with this picture, but one of the problems that needs to be discussed more openly is the fact that in this “factory,” many if not most of the “machines” are themselves constantly turning over — being assembled when and where they are needed, and disassembled afterwards. The mitotic spindle…is one of the best-known examples, but there are many others.
    Funny sort of “factory” that, with the “machinery” itself popping in and out of existence as needed!,,,
    – James Barham
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....62691.html

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