In the past months I have been going through my spreadsheet with over 2,000 papers with image or other problems. Many of these papers were reported by me in 2014 and 2015 to the editors of the journals in which they were published. Now, around 5 years later, it is time to see what happened with my reports.
In this post, I want to show you an example of a paper that I reported in 2014, and that was corrected about a year later.
In my opinion, the Editors of the journal made a huge mistake here. This should have been a retraction.
A quick post about a story I have been reading this morning. The Wisconsin State Journal reported last week about a graduate student who committed suicide after spending seven years working for an abusive Engineering professor at UW-Madison.
The article does not mention scientific misconduct, but it gives a glimpse behind the scenes of the toxic environments that some principal investigators (PIs) create. Something that is very much related to science misconduct, because extreme pressure by a professor might be one of the reasons that scientific studies might include fabricated or falsified data.
This blog post expresses my personal opinion and is not an accusation of misconduct.
An exciting new paper about STAT3
The STAT (“signal transducer and activator of transcription“) protein family consists of proteins involved in many important aspects of cellular function, such as growth, differentiation, and apoptosis (programmed cell death). These transcription activators are activated themselves if other molecules bind to them, and they act as messengers that transfer changes outside of a cell to inside the nucleus, by binding to promoters and determining which genes are switched on or off. One of STAT proteins, STAT3, in particular has been the topic of many studies, because it might play a role in cancer. Simply put, the continuous activation of STAT3 might induce cancer, and STAT3 might be a target for new anti-cancer drugs.
A recent study, published on 28 August 2019 in Nature by authors from Harvard Medical School and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, therefore gained quite some attention. It reported on one of the ways by which STAT3 can be activated, through the binding of fatty acids in a process called palmitoylation.
One of my recent investigations led me to expand my set of figure types to look at. For our 2016 mBio study, in which I scanned >20,000 papers for image duplication, I focused on real photos of Western blots, agarose gels, tissue sections, etc.