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又一造假事件---细胞期刊注销一篇论文

时间:2004-02-24 00:00来源:biomedcentral 作者:admin 阅读:
又一造假事件

科研道德:成也“细胞”,败也“细胞”

因数据作假,哥伦比亚大学一研究学者注销其在"细胞"期刊上发表的论文。该项消息一传出即震惊研究生命科学领域的学者。
  Gary Struhl博士在美国哥伦比亚大学所率领的研究小组以研究细胞信息传递路径的整合驰名于细胞生物学领域。其中,又以有关Wnt分子的相关研究特别杰出。Wnt分子可以藉由和其在细胞膜上的受器Frizzled结合来活化β-catenin,β- catenin接着进入细胞核激活其它的特殊转录因子(如Tcf)来调控细胞的成长与发育。但Struhl实验室却发现在果蝇中,Armadillo(β- catenin)分子可以不须经由进入细胞核,即可活化Wnt分子的信息传递路径。他们将此项惊人的结果顺利发表于知名期刊”细胞”上。
  想当然,这个挑战传统认知的学理顺理成章的引起其它学者的质疑。而Strul本人也尝试重复此项实验结果,但却始终没有再现性。于是Struhl向原本主导这个实验的博士后研究Siu-Kwong Chan对质,Chan也坦承其发表的数据有许多根本就没有实际操作过或甚至是得到与原来相反的结果。不巧的是,屋漏偏逢连夜雨,康乃尔大学的研究学者也在2004年二月十日出刊的PloS Biology上发表与Strul实验室截然不同的结果,并证明Wnt分子确实是需要经由β- catenin进入细胞核来活化其信息传递路径。Struhl本人也不得不在2004年二月六日出刊的”细胞”上刊登道歉启事并注销其于2002年十月十八日在”细胞”上发表的大作。
  Siu-Kwong Chan一失足成千苦恨!不但赔上了原本好不容易累积的学术成绩,也使原本所属实验室的信用受到打击。生命科学界的竞争一日千里,想要在这个热门领域瓜分一片田地本属不易。或许就是这种压力逼迫了某些年轻的科学家运用欺骗的手段来取得学位或发表论文。连诺贝尔奖大师David Baltimore也曾受实验室成员数据作假所累。但研究生命的本质不就是为了追求生命的真理,如果真理的背后必须背负人类的原罪,那研究生命的意义便荡然无存了!


原始论文:

  G. Struhl, “Retraction,” Cell, February 6, 2004.

  S.K. Chan, G. Struhl, “Evidence that Armadillo transduces wingless by mediating nuclear export or cytosolic activation of Pangolin,” Cell, 111:265-280, October 18, 2002.

  “Wnt signaling relies on nuclear Armadillo,” Public Library of Science Biology, DOI:10.1371/journal.pbio.0020102, February 10, 2004.

原始网站:
http://www.biomedcentral.com/news/20040213/04/

A Columbia University researcher retracted a paper from the journal Cell last week due to fabricated data. Scientists said the fraud was more disturbing than damaging to the field of research on Wnt signaling, a major pathway in embryonic development and human cancer. Its impact on the scientists involved may be more serious.
“Although the data caused a stir, I think most peoples view was that there was some interpretation problem early on, so it really hasnt dramatically changed most peoples thinking,” said Xi He, of Childrens Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School. “I think it is a bump in the Wnt field, but it has not moved the field several years backwards.”
Gary Struhl of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and Columbia University in New York retracted the paper from Cell on February 6. The paper, published in 2002, challenged the conventional theory on Wnt signaling.
Wnt protein is thought to bind to its receptor, setting off a signaling pathway in which beta-catenin (or Armadillo in the fruit fly) enters the nucleus and activates transcription factors. Struhl and postdoc Siu-Kwong Chan argued in the paper that Armadillo can be tethered to the membrane and transduce Wnt signals without entering the nucleus.
When Struhl recently attempted to replicate the experiments, which were largely conducted by Chan, he “personally obtained the opposite result for the key negative control for the experiments in Figure 5,” he writes in the retraction. When confronted, Chan reported that some of the results were “either not performed or gave different results than presented in the paper,” according to the retraction.
Struhl declined to elaborate further.
“The retraction says it all,” he said in an E-mail message. “Columbia and HHMI have mandated protocols to investigate misconduct when it occurs. I contacted Columbia, HHMI, and Cell Press immediately upon discovering that crucial experiments in the paper had been fabricated.” Columbia and HHMI are investigating the incident, Struhl said.
Chan, who was at Albert Einstein College of Medicine since November 2003, resigned from his position on January 21. He could not be reached for comment for this article.
The retraction coincides with a paper published February 10 in Public Library of Science (PLoS) Biology, in which Princeton Universitys Nicholas Tolwinski and Eric Wieschaus confirm that membrane-bound beta-catenin is unable to activate transcription. Their finding demonstrates that the Wnt pathway does depend on beta-catenin entering the nucleus.
His group spent “a year and a half trying to do experiments we would never have done had the Chan–Struhl paper not been out,” Wieschaus told The Scientist.
“We had shown that they were wrong, we had given them the manuscript and given them the reagents and submitted our paper to PloS, and it was accepted,” he said.
“It just came out February 10,” Wieschaus said. “Because the Cell retraction came out on February 6th, our paper is like beating a dead horse.”
The episode was “tragic” and “sad,” Wieschaus said. “I think that Gary has done so many great experiments in his life,” he said. “I think its probably a lesson for him, and in a way, its a lesson for all of us.”
Xi He said the incident probably would not cause colleagues to doubt the quality of future work produced at Struhls lab. “Gary has been doing really great work; I think its a very unfortunate situation,” he said. “My view on this is if someone intentionally wants to cheat, it can escape detection.”
Chans career, however, is another story. “If you have fabricated the data, I dont think anyone would dare to hire somebody like that,” Xi He told The Scientist. “Whats the point?”
But Mariann Bienz, from the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK, thought the affair might cast a shadow on the senior author.
She noted in an E-mail interview that Struhl already had an earlier retraction about a Nature paper in 1996. “However, he then published an exoneration of that Nature paper, in Nature 1997, together with Chan! Its all the more remarkable since Struhl runs a small group, and has only published with 3 or 4 coauthors from his own lab in the last 7 years,” she told The Scientist. “How can this happen twice?”
She added that a number of researchers strongly believed that Struhls paper should never have been published in Cell, “since the science was not up to the normal Cell standard and since it warmed up an old story that had been buried convincingly some time ago.”
“We believe that the reviewing process had failed in this case,” she said. “A careful reviewer should have also spotted that one of the images was used twice (though rotated and cropped differently the second time) for two different constructs!” This went unnoticed originally, but had later been corrected by Chan and Struhl.
Links for this articleXi Hehttp://www.helab.org/biography.html
Gary Struhlhttp://www.hhmi.org/research/investigators/struhl.html
G. Struhl, “Retraction,” Cell, February 6, 2004.http://www.cell.com/content/article/fulltext?uid=PIIS0092867404 001229
S.K. Chan, G. Struhl, “Evidence that Armadillo transduces wingless by mediating nuclear export or cytosolic activation of Pangolin,” Cell, 111:265-280, October 18, 2002.[PubMed Abstract]
“Wnt signaling relies on nuclear Armadillo,” Public Library of Science Biology, DOI:10.1371/journal.pbio.0020102, February 10, 2004.http://www.plosbiology.org/plosonline/?request=get-document&doi =10.1371%2Fjournal.pbio.0020102
J. Dubnau, G. Struhl, “RNA recognition and translational regulation by a homeodomain protein,” Nature 379:694-9, February 22, 1996.[PubMed Abstract]
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