Research integrity University Affairs

Spanish elites rally in support of data manipulation

Carlos Lopez-Otin was forced to retract EIGHT papers in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, right after he retracted a very important paper in Nature Cell Biology. Spanish elites cry foul, a letter signed by 50 Spanish researchers was sent to JBC to prevent retractions. The ringleader is Juan Valcarcel of CRG in Barcelona, and I release 3 incompetent investigative reports Valcarcel commissioned in 2015 to whitewash his CRG colleague Maria Pia Cosma.

A horrible, horrible conspiracy befell Spain. Worse than anything you can imagine: Carlos Lopez-Otin, a star of cancer and ageing research from the University of Oviedo, was forced to retract EIGHT papers in the Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC), right after he retracted a very important paper in Nature Cell Biology. Spanish elites cry foul, and point accusing fingers at the evil deed by JBC, and of course also at yours truly, without naming me, for my “virulent and libellous attacks” on poor Carlos. A letter signed by 50 Spanish researchers was sent to JBC trying to dissuade the journal from retracting the 8 papers. The ringleader here appears to be a certain Juan Valcarcel of CRG in Barcelona, and I shall use this occasion to release the 3 incompetent investigative reports Valcarcel commissioned in 2015 to whitewash his CRG colleague, the Italian zombie scientist Maria Pia Cosma.

All 8 Lopez-Otin retractions in the JBC issue from January 25th 2019 are similarly worded: some image data was found inappropriately manipulated or duplicated, after the journal used the occasion to scrutinise all the papers the Oviedo lab published there. Original data was not available, so the authors were asked to withdraw their papers. After which Lopez-Otin and his friends took to Spanish media to decry the injustice perpetrated by JBC.

screenshot_2019-01-30 table of contents — january 25, 2019, 294 (4)

Whitewashing Inc

The whole circus is somewhat similar to what happened in France, in the Catherine Jessus case, where another top-rank biologist became victim of my reporting and of PubPeer data analysis campaign instigated by my readers. Also in France, there was a whitewashing investigation, and a signature campaign in support (read here). The differences are: French newspaper Le Monde played a key part in uncovering the affair (and got huge flak for it), while Spanish media chose to leave the podium to Lopez-Otin and his supporters, largely unchallenged. Main difference however is: Jessus never hat to retract anything, the journals blinked and issued passive-aggressively worded corrections only.

JBC however has a different stance on data manipulation, and is unafraid to do mass-retraction if they see either excessive fraud or a pattern of recurrent data manipulation from the same lab. This happened to several other researchers, Rony Seger, Yehiel Zick or Samson T Jacob. When only one paper is found manipulated, it may be bad luck, a rogue student, the journal will issue a correction. Otherwise, it gets progressively more and more suspicious, especially if the only common name on these 8 papers is that of principal investigator, here Lopez-Otin. 

Apparently in Spain (similarly to France), the elites of science are either too crooked or too incompetent to understand this. So here comes a statement from the University of Oviedo, via its president, Santiago García Granda, from 28.01.2019, as announced in the local newspaper Asturias Mondial:

“Given the press reports about the recent withdrawal of several articles by the group of Professor at the University of Oviedo, Carlos López Otín, we as the institution express our full support for this research, his team and his work. The group of Professor López Otín has collaborated with publishers by providing all required information and kept the academic authorities informed at all times. Our support is based on the findings from an investigation conducted by the Ethics Committee of the University of Oviedo, and the analysis of the articles retracted from the Journal of Biological Chemistry by an expert group of Spanish scientists which sent its conclusions to the University.

These findings support the scientific validity of the published results despite the deficiencies found in some of these studies. The evidence analysed confirms the reliability of this research, as multiple studies by independent laboratories later corroborated it, based on the cited work. As mentioned in the statement of the Institute of Oncology, “reagents generated in these works, including plasmids, recombinant proteins, antibodies, etc., as well as the valuable animal models developed in this laboratory, have always been shared with dozens groups worldwide, allowing validation of the results described in numerous publications by international laboratories. In fact, many of the work done by this group has opened up new lines of research, up to now.”

In any case, the University of Oviedo reserves the right to take legal action to preserve the good name and reputation of our institution as well as to defend the honour and the reputation of the members of our university community, and to allow them to practice their scientific investigations, teaching and management”.

I am not sure whom the University of Oviedo meant to threaten here with legal action? Myself? I had this before, from another fake clown of a rector in Italy, Giorgio Zauli, and again from France, and that time it was the Government itself, on behalf of minister Frederique Vidal and her Ministry of Research and Innovation. 

If only Spanish biomedical elites could be interested in doing something about real injustice. Like, to call for an investigation of patient abuse and deaths caused by Paolo Macchiarini in Barcelona. This was where I actually was sentenced in court for, so maybe Lopez-Otin’s university and his Instituto Universitario de Oncología in Oviedo did speak of Macchiarini as another victim of mine, when their present and two past directors wrote in this press release (which was already quoted above):

“There have been very virulent and libellous attacks in some social networks, whose goals are completely away from constructive criticism and scientific debate. “We are facing a very complex media situation where attacks which compromise the activity of several research groups are carried out with impunity and whose main victims are leaders of groups with high research activity”.

induced fit

Save-Our-Carlos Letter

Now even the regional Government of Asturia expressed support for Lopez-Otin, because in Spain they do not separate between scientific and state issues. If this gets out of control, Spain might even send war ships to bomb the offices of JBC and the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology:

“Also, the Minister Fernando Lastra, who spoke at the press conference as spokesman of the Governing Council, pointed personal relationship of the Asturian President, Javier Fernández, with the researcher so their support is even a “little beyond “the expression of recognition of their work by the Governing Council.”

Before that, we had the Ethics Committee at University of Oviedo whitewash Carlos-Otin, assisted by some unnamed external investigation, and finally, there was a letter to JBC signed by 50 scientists, as reported by El Mundo.:

“Fifty Spanish scientists also asked the journal not retract the papers completely, but to allow the correction of errors. But they found a ‘no’ for an answer.

“Mistakes must be corrected, but the retraction of the articles does a disservice to science,” says geneticist Juan Valcarcel, one of the scientists who has defended the work of Otín and coordinated the appeal to the journal.

“The detected errors do not affect in any way the research findings, which have been validated independently on multiple occasions and have served as a basis for further work as the development of animal models for understanding cancer progression. Nobody doubts its validity, ” says the researcher.

Beside him, the letter was signed by first class personalities in the field of science such as Margarita Salas, professor Ad Honorem Center Severo Ochoa Molecular Biology; Manuel Serrano, researcher at IRB Barcelona; Elias Campo, scientist at the Institute of Biomedical Research Pi i Sunyer Augus Barcelona; Cristina Garmendia, former Minister of Science; López-Barneo José, Institute of Biomedicine of Seville and Juan Bueren, Center for Energy, Environment and Technology in Madrid, among others.”

It is actually an exorcise in nepotism. Margarita Salas, the grand dame of Spanish biology, trained by the revered Nobelist Severo Ochoa, is herself the doctorate mentor of Lopez-Otin. Manuel Serrano is another star of Spanish life science, who also did PhD with Salas. His ex-wife is Maria Blasco, who is a regular coauthor of Lopez-Otin and another graduate of Salas. So is the signatory politician Cristina Garmendia, who is also a personal friend of Lopez-Otin since their common time in university. Elias Campo is Lopez-Otin’s co-author and has his own PubPeer record. Elsewhere Juan Bueren is mentionedanother newspaper names Jesús Ávila as a signatory, guess under whom he did his PhD? Exactly, Salas.

Salas is appalled by my and my readers’ behaviour: “I do not know who or how many are behind this, but have done unnecessary damage“, she also explained how to think properly of her Carlos and his data manipulations:

“For me he is, if not the best, one of the best researchers we have in Spain. Without a doubt, one of the most brilliant scientists. He has all my confidence, my support and my respect. His career is absolutely flawless”

 

The Maria Pia Cosma affair

But I would like to go back to Juan Valcarcel of CRG in Barcelona, the instigator of that letter to JBC. It is not the first time Valcarcel engages in whitewashing activities to help a colleague caught with manipulated data. I interacted with Valcarcel in 2015, on the affair of the CRG group leader Maria Pia Cosma, who story I later presented in this article. The issue was an “investigation” Valcarcel commissioned to declare that all those obviously duplicated bands in Cosma’s papers from her previous stints as PhD student at the infamous Università di Napoli “Federico II” in Italy and as postdoc at the Institute for Molecular Pathology (IMP) in Vienna, Austria, were actually never ever duplicated.

These were the three papers:

Cosma MP, Cardone M, Charlemagne F, and Colantuoni V. (1998). Mutations in the extracellular domain cause RET loss of function by a dominant negative mechanism. Mol Cell Biol , Vol. 18 (6) :3321-9

Cosma MP, Panizza S and Nasmyth K (2001) Cdk1 triggers association of RNA
polymerase to cell cycle promoters only after recruitment of the mediator by
SBF. Molecular Cell, Vol. 7 (6): 1213-1220

Cosma MP, Tanaka T and Nasmyth K (1999) Ordered recruitment of transcription and chromatin remodeling factors to a cell cycle and developmentally regulated promoter. Cell ,Vol. 97 (3) : 299-311

These are the three investigative reports, here, here and here. Back then, I presented the excerpts on PubPeer for debate, see thread here.

The expert was in all three cases Josep Manel Rodríguez Sánchez, Senior Engineer in Computer Science from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. In the nutshell: whenever the expert found one single pixel difference between two bands, he used it as evidence to declare them as utterly unrelated. In detail, this was his methodology:

“Steps I followed:
1. Obtaining the original images published in the different articles with the highest possible quality. To do this, I downloaded the published article PDFs.

2. Visual Analysis: the first step was to determine visually if there was cause for a more
detailed examination. For this I used the best possible images that can be obtained. Specifically, I obtained the digital images contained in the cell.com website where the article was published.

3. Forensic Analysis: If necessary, the second step involved the forensic analysis of the
images to determine if the reasons of the comments were valid or not, or whether there
were additional evidences that might be detected.
This forensic analysis was performed with computer tools for the treatment of images,
basically the Adobe Photoshop version 2014 of which I have the corresponding
authorization for use. “

This is an embarrassing approach from an IT expert, who should know how compression works. If a gel band is digitally duplicated in an image, and the image is then compressed into a pdf, tiny pixel differences are bound to be discovered if you only search long enough. But these papers were done actually in pre-Photoshop days, and the bands are not likely to have been digitally duplicated. Back then, thermoprinter images from the gel camera were printed out, re-photographed and sent to the journal as figures. Another scientist, Heike Lange, recently had together with her former PhD advisor Roland Lill to correct a paper from around same time, after she admitted to having inadvertently printed out too many copies of the same band and collaged them together into one continuous western blot image. With such “analogue” duplication with print-outs, scissors and glue, there are bound to be even more pixel dissimilarities, even if otherwise bands look identical and neatly superimpose.

screenshot-drive.google.com-2019.01.30-13-56-13
How Sanchez proved to Valcarcel that the bands are not duplicated, Cosma et al Mol Cell 2001.
screenshot-drive.google.com-2019.01.30-13-58-45
A particularly egregious example. All aside, the upper band is much wider than the lower one, which makes it obvious they are not part of same gel lane.

Valcarcel explained to me in May 2015:

“While we are not ourselves experts in forensic analysis, the expert, who as you know was designated by the Official College of Computer Engineers of Catalonia, and whose reports are legally recognized (e.g. in a court of law), has stated that he took into account possible compression artifacts and used the best images available. Unfortunately records of original data are not available for the majority of the claims.”

I approached Sanchez with some of the criticisms his methodology met on PubPeer. This was how he replied back then:

” in deference to you and to CGR I have no objection to clarify that the images they use for the issuance of the report, as indicated in the are of the highest possible quality, in the following order:
* Original picture extracted from the documentation hanging on the web ( powerpoints and images )
* Extracted image of the PDF.The majority of the images were of the original powerpoint and in very few cases use images extracted from the pdf.
All it is known that the extracted image of the PDF may suffer some variation in the conversion process. I followed the recommendations of Dr. John Krueger from ORI ( The Office of Research Integrity ) in this aspect and perform the appropriate actions at the time of the analysis. I recommend the reading of a report published by Dr. Krueger (https://www.aclu.org/sites/default/files/assets/krueger_affidavit.pdf) for more details on the subject as well as tools and techniques that I have gleaned from the website of the ORI (http://ori.hhs.gov/advanced-forensic-actions ). In any case, try at all times avoid the effects of compression and compare images among themselves to the extent possible. “

screenshot-drive.google.com-2019.01.30-14-04-04
One has to be utterly clueless or a crook to declare those bands dissimilar (Figure 5, Cosma et MCB 1998)

In July 2015, Valcarcel wrote to me:

The forensic analysis of the expert assigned by the Official College of Computer Engineers of Catalonia is considered professionally and legally valid. Given this report, the absence of primary data and the corrections issued or in process in various Journals, we have decided to close the case.”

Just days after this email, Cell issued this editorial note (which I covered in my article at that time):

“Concerns about duplicated images in Cosma et al. (Cell, 1999) and Cosma et al. (2001, Mol. Cell 7, 1213–1220) were brought to our attention by a reader. We, the editors of Cell and Molecular Cell, have investigated the matter, communicating with the corresponding author, Dr. Kim Nasmyth; the first author, Dr. Pia Cosma; The Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP), where the research in question was conducted; and the Center for Genomic Regulation, Dr. Cosma’s current institute, which conducted its own investigation. The IMP located Dr. Cosma’s notebooks and provided her with high-resolution copies. As part of our investigation, Dr. Cosma brought those copies to the Cell Press office, where we went through them with her, identifying data for the figures in the paper. The notebooks contained original images, alternate exposures, and/or replicate data for most of the figures in the papers, providing support for the reported findings. In a few instances, original data could not be located, making it difficult to assess the concerns raised about those specific data panels.

While we understand the reasons that the figures in the paper were flagged by the community, in our judgment the burden of proof for determining inappropriate data handling or image duplication has not been met. Furthermore, the available original data support the findings of the papers. With these things in mind, based on the information available to us at this time, we have decided not to take any further action. This statement is to notify the community of our investigation and findings”.

screenshot-drive.google.com-2019.01.30-14-09-29
The lengths one goes to prove two identical bands were different. From Cosma et al Cell 1999

Valcarcel’s bullshittery, combined with the impressive fraud tolerance of Cell editor at that time, Emilie Marcus, as well as IMP’s obvious reluctance to damage their former director Kim Nasmyth, proved successful. The gel bands which most obviously look duplicated where proven to be not duplicated exactly because original data was available, though not specifically for these questioned figures.

Again, these are the three investigative reports, here, here and here.

Such a success story apparently prompted Valcarcel to try it once again (he even compares Lopez-Otin to Christopher Columbus here). Only that JBC is exactly the opposite of Cell in research ethics,  and apparently unafraid of bullshitting bullies like Valcarcel. He now looks very silly now. Serves him right.

-olr5yv7

And his friend Carlos? Hiding in Paris, with another dishonest elite scientist Guido Kroemer; one wonders if the “sabbatical” is paid from Lopez-Otin’s ERC grant. Maybe his wife Gloria Velasco (professor at the same department) continues supervising his research in the Oviedo lab. Soon the convalescing Spanish victim of persecution will be visiting the Galapagos islands, as his son tweeted. Not sure if Kroemer and/or his charming co-author, Laurence Zitvogel, will be joining Carlos there.


 

 

Update 4.02.2019.  Events happen quite fast, if you want to keep track, follow my comment section and tweets. In particular:

  • Some months ago, almost 6000 of Lopez-Otin’s transgenic mice had to be culled due to a mysterious infection.
  • Right-wing newspaper El Comercio and the rector of Oviedo fingered certain Oviedo scientists as masterminds behind my reporting, these claims are made up, I never had any sources in Spain

 

Donate!

If you are interested to support my work, you can leave here a small tip of $5. Or several of small tips, just increase the amount as you like (2x=€10; 5x=€25). Your generous patronage of my journalism, however small it appears to you, will greatly help me with my legal costs.

€5.00

 

194 comments on “Spanish elites rally in support of data manipulation

  1. Thank the science gods for JBC, and the arrogance of fakers who publish therein. The Nature family (barring mama herself) are also to be praised for clearing out the garbage. I think we have a fair sampling of the outputs from this gang, and can take it as read that the rest is crap as well, although well ensconced in retraction-shy publications. The minute they accuse you of libel by name, get your lawyers after them.

    Like

    • Magnus Alvergard

      JBC was the premium journal back in the 90s. Then the impact factor game came and this changed

      Like

  2. From the list of people who wrote a letter of support for Carlos Lopez-Otin,

    “Manuel Serrano, researcher at IRB Barcelona”,

    did not seem to notice problematic data in a 2006 Nature paper, where he was senior and corresponding author, as it was not retracted until 2017.

    https://retractionwatch.com/2017/07/12/nature-retracts-paper-stem-cell-scientist-appealing-dismissal/
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/A11F4C0AAB8E847EC737DBBB434D49

    Manuel Serrano still does not notice problematic data in papers, where he is co-author:-

    Correction to this paper does not address the multiple problematic western blot panels.
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/76D41452BFD0AE703A3A476E77DFED

    Manuel Serrano is penultimate author on this paper, but does not notice the frequent problematic data.
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/ABB7746FD5493450293B8B1F2BBA61

    Again penultimate author, but does not notice any problematic data.
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/7726499A135DF6A597014E16753C36

    Like

  3. Can Spain learn? E.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Zacuto
    “With the general expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, Zacuto took refuge in Lisbon, Portugal.”

    Like

    • The problem is that the Jews who were the ones who helped with the brightest period of Portugal history the discoveries in the 15th and 16th centuries were further expulsed from Portugal
      At this time point they are only worried in saving their skin because they all eat from the same dish as we say in Portuguese so if one falls the remaining ones may loose as well their previledges all of this supported by politicians who eventually become members of governments i.e. a highly structured gang

      Like

  4. “goals are completely away from constructive criticism and scientific debate”

    Who says criticism has to be “constructive”? A bit of a contradiction. Most people understand that criticism is negative otherwise it would not be criticism. Praise might be a better word, but what is praiseworthy? How can you construct something if the foundations (data) are lacking. Scientific debate does not have to be “constructive” either. Why smother criticism with court etiquette?

    Like

    • adamselwith

      How well thought-through is this comment? Criticism doesn’t “have to” be (no obligation) constructive, but: it “can” be (i.e. it can be built that way).

      Debate, well, it’s about incremental criticisms, improvements, counter-criticisms, and so on, in self-repeating cycles.

      In any case, is “hard water” a contradiction? Is invisible light (waves) a contradiction?

      Like

  5. Hi Leonid,

    Let me start with a quote from Monty Python “… nobody expects the spanish inquisition…”,
    anyway, another slam dunk by you. And a giant step for integrity in science thanks to JBC.
    Why does anyone in Spain still insist of doing any business/science with Lopez-Otin is a mistery to me.

    He should be shunned as an outcast and never heard from again!!

    Cheers, Oliver

    Liked by 1 person

  6. https://www.20minutos.es/noticia/3549000/0/bioquimico-victor-quesada-defiende-labor-lopez-otin-sostiene-que-errores-no-afectan-conclusiones/

    El bioquímico Víctor Quesada defiende la labor de López Otín y sostiene que “los errores no afectan a las conclusiones”

    The biochemist Víctor Quesada defends the work of López Otín and argues that “errors do not affect the conclusions”

    Victor Quesda is conflicted as he has 55 publications with López Otín.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Quesada+v+lopez-otin

    Including 2 publications which were corrected in 2018.

    J Biol Chem. 2003 Apr 11;278(15):13382-9. Epub 2003 Jan 31.
    Identification and characterization of ADAMTS-20 defines a novel subfamily of metalloproteinases-disintegrins with multiple thrombospondin-1 repeats and a unique GON domain.
    Llamazares M1, Cal S, Quesada V, López-Otín C.
    Author information
    1
    Departamento de Bioquíimica y Biologíia Molecular, Facultad de Medicina, Instituto Universitario de Oncologíia, Universidad de Oviedo, 33006-Oviedo, Spain.

    2018 correction.
    http://www.jbc.org/content/293/30/11785.short
    In Fig. 4A, the actin panel for the Northern blot containing spleen, thymus, prostate, testis, ovary, intestine, colon, and leukocyte samples was inadvertently rotated 180°. Since the amount of RNA in each lane was equivalent, this change does not affect the results for the Northern blot detecting ADAMTS-20. Additionally, the actin panels shown in this figure were reused from previous publications describing the hybridization of other human genes to a different set of the same commercial filters used in this article (Multiple Tissue polyA Northern blots, Clontech). This commercial product was guaranteed by the manufacturer to have equal loading (approximately 2 μg of polyadenylated RNA per lane). Therefore, the corrected version of Fig. 4A is provided in which these panels are omitted. The authors apologize for any inconvenience these errors may have caused. This correction does not affect the results or conclusions of this work.

    J Biol Chem. 2005 Jan 21;280(3):1953-61. Epub 2004 Nov 9.
    Human polyserase-2, a novel enzyme with three tandem serine protease domains in a single polypeptide chain.
    Cal S1, Quesada V, Llamazares M, Díaz-Perales A, Garabaya C, López-Otín C.
    Author information
    1
    Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Facultad de Medicina, Instituto Universitario de Oncología, Universidad de Oviedo, 33006 Oviedo, Spain.

    2018 correction.
    http://www.jbc.org/content/293/30/11784.short
    There was an error in Fig. 3. The actin panel for the Northern blot containing spleen, thymus, prostate, testis, ovary, intestine, colon, and leukocyte samples was inadvertently rotated 180 degrees. Since the amount of RNA in each lane was equivalent, this error does not alter the interpretation of the results shown in the figure. Additionally, the actin panels shown in this figure were reused from previous publications describing the hybridization of other human genes to a different set of the same commercial filters used in this article (Multiple Tissue poly(A) Northern blots, Clontech). This commercial product was guaranteed by the manufacturer to have equal loading (approximately 2 μg of polyadenylated RNA per lane). Therefore, the corrected version of Fig. 3 is provided in which these panels are omitted. The authors apologize for these errors. This correction does not affect the results or conclusions of this work.

    Like

    • Víctor Quesada has a 2019 retraction of a 2003 paper with López-Otín.

      J Biol Chem. 2003 Feb 7;278(6):3671-8. Epub 2002 Nov 21.
      Human autophagins, a family of cysteine proteinases potentially implicated in cell degradation by autophagy.
      Mariño G1, Uría JA, Puente XS, Quesada V, Bordallo J, López-Otín C.
      Author information
      1
      Departamento de Bioquimíca y Biología Molecular, Facultad de Medicina, Instituto Universitario de Oncología, Universidad de Oviedo, Spain.

      2019 retraction notice.
      http://www.jbc.org/content/294/4/1431

      This article has been withdrawn by the authors upon request from the Journal. The Journal raised questions regarding Figs. 3 and 4A. The authors were able to locate original data for some panels, and for the others, the authors state that new experiments were performed. The authors assert that all of the results reported in this article are valid, some of which have been validated in the literature by different groups (e.g. Choi et al. (2011) Autophagy 7, 1052; Hemelaar et al. (2003) J. Biol. Chem. 278, 51841; Shu et al. (2010) Autophagy 6, 936; Tanida et al. (2004) Int. J. Biochem. Cell. Biol. 36, 2503).

      Like

      • Víctor Quesada has a 2019 retraction of a 2005 paper with López-Otín. That makes 2 retractions with López-Otín. Víctor Quesada is conflicted.

        J Biol Chem. 2005 Apr 8;280(14):14310-7. Epub 2005 Feb 1.
        Identification of human aminopeptidase O, a novel metalloprotease with structural similarity to aminopeptidase B and leukotriene A4 hydrolase.
        Díaz-Perales A1, Quesada V, Sánchez LM, Ugalde AP, Suárez MF, Fueyo A, López-Otín C.
        Author information
        1
        Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular and Biología Funcional, Facultad de Medicina, Instituto Universitario de Oncología, Universidad de Oviedo, 33006 Oviedo, Spain.

        See: https://pubpeer.com/publications/570E7CEB0B8FA108DB091C7A7E8037#1
        and https://pubpeer.com/publications/570E7CEB0B8FA108DB091C7A7E8037#2

        2019 retraction notice.
        http://www.jbc.org/content/294/4/1433
        This article has been withdrawn by the authors upon request from the Journal. The Journal raised questions regarding Fig. 4, A and B. The authors were able to locate the original autoradiographs corresponding to Fig. 4A, detecting two duplicated GAPDH control bands. In Fig. 4B, an actin lane appears to be duplicated. Since the original data for the experiment shown in Fig. 4B, performed 13 years ago, could not be found, the authors state that a new experiment was performed using RNA from mouse testis from different ages (10–74 days). The authors state that the AP-O expression results concur with an RNA-seq–based transcriptomic analysis reported independently by other researchers (Margolin et al. (2014) BMC Genomics 15, 39). The authors assert that all of the results reported in this article are valid.

        Like

  7. Need a simpler disclaimer. How about: “The results presented do not affect the conclusions of this work.” Saves time.

    Like

  8. good read. Learned something new: how to do a low-quality almost embarrassing white-washing and call it forensic image analysis.

    Like

  9. In order to proper address the mentioned letter signed by 50 Spanish “researchers” sent to JBC trying to dissuade the journal from retracting the 8 papers, I will send a letter to the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities in Spain and the University of Oviedo with copies to funding agencies.

    In this letter I will ask for an independent investigation of the López-Otín lab due to the many retractions and additional concerns discussed at Pubpeer.

    I hope that as many as possible will support this letter by sending a confirmation with your name and affiliation either by mail (truesciencecommunity@gmail.com) or here.

    Like

    • Dont waste your time with letters sent to the Spanish institutions, I am from Spain and know nothing about biology but I understand how the common mindset works – do not challenge power and wait sheepishly for your turn. Only a similar letter sent to the European Union institutions could have some effect

      Like

  10. Ay Leonidas que usted mismo se desacredita haciendo comentarios personales sobre Guido-su mujer y Otín.
    For Better Science ¿Really?

    Like

    • Dr Zitvogel is key coauthor on a number of photoshopped papers, and (Zebedee can tell you more) has her own PubPeer record, independent of her life partner, Dr Kroemer. Their hosting of Dr Lopez-Otin must be inspired by their common interest in research integrity as a tool to cure cancer.
      https://www.lejdd.fr/Societe/Sante/Laurence-Zitvogel-et-Guido-Kroemer-l-amour-contre-le-cancer-827302
      https://pubpeer.com/search?q=zitvogel

      Like

      • Magnus Alvergard

        Ha, ha, you do your resarch… I did not know about Gloria Velasco been his wife.

        Like

      • Dear “Magnus Alvergard”, I have deleted some of your comments for following reasons:
        1. You use a fake email address and scrambled IP-addresses (geolocated all over the world).
        2. You keep trolling a whistleblower in Gonzalez case, after I announced this debate to be over
        3. You now tried to post a comment luring another source of mine to get in touch with you.

        Like

    • I totally agree. This allegedly “heroic” fight for better science sounds more like a gossip column in the gutter press.
      [this comment came from a location near Oviedo, acc to IP address. -LS]

      Like

      • What do think about the data in the papers being discussed?

        Like

      • What sounds like gutter press is the unanimous defense of Otin based on “envy”, without providing any evidence. The standards of transparency in Spain are still very far from those demanded by serious publications. The commonsensical reaction would have been to apologise, not call all the papers and make this childish fuss

        Like

  11. “Margarita Salas, the grand dame of Spanish biology, trained by the revered Nobelist Severo Ochoa, is herself the doctorate mentor of Lopez-Otin.”

    J Virol. 2002 Apr;76(8):3936-42.
    African swine fever virus IAP-like protein induces the activation of nuclear factor kappa B.
    Rodríguez CI1, Nogal ML, Carrascosa AL, Salas ML, Fresno M, Revilla Y.
    Author information
    1
    Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa, Universidad Autónoma, Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain.

    See: https://pubpeer.com/publications/86A3C0F9F2D138C79192A527730EEA#4

    Like

    • Salas ML= María L. Salas

      Like

    • Magnus Alvergard

      I think that Salas has a clean sheet of retractions by now, not sure tought

      Like

      • http://www.jbc.org/content/277/8/6733.long
        February 22, 2002 The Journal of Biological Chemistry 277, 6733-6742.
        The Bacillus subtilis Phage φ29 Protein p16.7, Involved in φ29 DNA Replication, Is a Membrane-localized Single-stranded DNA-binding Protein*
        Alejandro Serna-Rico‡, Margarita Salas§ and Wilfried J. J. Meijer¶
        – Author Affiliations

        From the Centro de Biologı́a Molecular Severo Ochoa (CSIC-UAM), Universidad Autónoma, Canto Blanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain.

        Figure 5.

        Like

  12. http://www.jbc.org/content/279/48/50437.long
    November 26, 2004 The Journal of Biological Chemistry 279, 50437-50445.
    Phage φ29 DNA Replication Organizer Membrane Protein p16.7 Contains a Coiled Coil and a Dimeric, Homeodomain-related, Functional Domain*
    Daniel Muñoz-Espín‡, Mauricio G. Mateu, Laurentino Villar, Anabel Marina, Margarita Salas§ and Wilfried J. J. Meijer¶
    – Author Affiliations

    Instituto de Biología Molecular “Eladio Viñuela” (CSIC) Centro de Biología Molecular “Severo Ochoa” (CSIC-UAM) Universidad Autónoma, Canto Blanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain.

    Figure 6B. There are only 2 lanes.

    See:

    Like

  13. http://www.jbc.org/content/278/35/33482.long
    August 29, 2003 The Journal of Biological Chemistry 278, 33482-33491.
    Verónica Truniger‡, José M. Lázaro, Miguel de Vega, Luis Blanco and Margarita Salas§
    – Author Affiliations

    Instituto de Biologáa Molecular “Eladio Viñuela” (CSIC), Centro de Biologáa Molecular “Severo Ochoa” (CSIC-UAM), Universidad Autónoma, Canto Blanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain.

    Figure 4. L384Q panel. Vertical splicing at the top of the panel, but not lower down in the panel.

    See:

    Like

  14. An infectious outbreak forced to sacrifice the thousands of mice with which he was investigating
    https://www.elcomercio.es/asturias/brote-infeccioso-obligo-20190131002134-ntvo.html

    Like

    • Wait, so just as when University of Oviedo investigated Lopez-Otin and found all his research 100% reliable, with a big stress on his mouse models, and how trustworthy and useful these mice are, this happened?
      “There were about 6,000 animals when, last year, an infectious outbreak with a murine virus was detected in these facilities that forced evicting them and sacrificing irretrievably all its inhabitants to sterilize the vivarium. It was a severe blow for Lopez-Otín and his team. Not surprisingly, it were the mice he worked for more than two decades on to achieve a certain genetic modification. Without these valuable animals which he is dependent on to move forward, he is expected to suspend much of the research being carried out in his laboratory. University of Oviedo itself acknowledges that “these events are causing a huge backlog” in the work of researchers affected.”
      https://www.elcomercio.es/asturias/brote-infeccioso-obligo-20190131002134-ntvo.html

      Hello???

      Like

  15. The leader of the Asturian Government and The Minister of Health of the Government of the Principality of Asturias, Francisco del Busto, speak in support of Carlos López Otín.

    https://www.lavanguardia.com/local/asturias/20190131/46130341568/del-busto-dice-que-la-categoria-cientifica-y-humana-de-otin-esta-por-encima-de-dudas-intencionadas.html

    “El consejero de Sanidad del Gobierno del Principado de Asturias, Francisco del Busto, ha tenido este jueves palabras de apoyo para el investigador y catedrático en el área de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular en el departamento de Bioquímica de la Universidad de Oviedo, Carlos López Otín (Sabiñánigo, Huesca, 1958).”

    “The Minister of Health of the Government of the Principality of Asturias, Francisco del Busto, this Thursday has words of support for the researcher and professor in the area of ​​Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the Department of Biochemistry of the University of Oviedo, Carlos López Otín ( Sabiñánigo, Huesca, 1958).”

    “”Pienso de todo corazón que la categoría científica pero también humana de Carlos López Otín, está por encima de las dudas intencionadas que se han suscitado en torno a una pequeña parte de su enorme contribución a la ciencia y que el propio profesor Otín se encargará de aclarar y explicar suficientemente”, ha dicho Del Busto en una intervención que ha realizado en la II Jornada de innovación de la Fundación para la Investigación y la Innovacion Biosanitaria (Finba) – Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de Asturias (ISPA).”

    “”I think with all my heart that the scientific but also human category of Carlos López Otín, is above the intentional doubts that have arisen around a small part of his enormous contribution to science and that Professor Otín himself will take care of clarify and explain sufficiently, “Del Busto said in an intervention that has made in the II Conference of innovation of the Foundation for Research and Innovation Biosanitaria (Finba) – Health Research Institute of Asturias (ISPA).”

    “En su discurso, el consejero asturiano ha querido que su primer mensaje se para “uno de los nuestros”, en referencia a Otín, al que ha calificado como “una de las figuras más insignes de la investigación de excelencia que ha dado nuestro país, un referente internacional en su campo, un científico de primer orden que es un verdadero lujo para la Universidad de Oviedo pero también para el conjunto de la sociedad asturiana y que, nos consta a todos, está pasando unos momentos difíciles”.”

    “In his speech, the Asturian councilor wanted his first message to be “one of ours”, in reference to Otín, whom he has qualified as “one of the most distinguished figures of the research of excellence that our country has given, an international benchmark in his field, a first-rate scientist who is a true luxury for the University of Oviedo but also for the whole of Asturian society and that, we all know, is having a difficult time. “”

    “El dirigente del Gobierno asturiano ha dicho que espera que el reconocimiento a Carlos López Otin sirva también para ilustrar en qué medida el mundo de la investigación científica de calidad, de la innovación, de la excelencia, es un campo enormemente “competitivo y apasionante”, que conjuga “diversos intereses de todo tipo”, pero que es “un enorme motor de progreso porque en este ámbito de la investigación médica más avanzada se están manejando algunas de las claves del progreso, de nuestro devenir como especie, del desarrollo individual de muchísimas personas, pero también del futuro de la humanidad”.

    “The leader of the Asturian Government has said that he hopes that the recognition of Carlos López Otin will also serve to illustrate to what extent the world of scientific research of quality, innovation, excellence, is a hugely “competitive and exciting” field, which combines “diverse interests of all kinds”, but which is “an enormous engine of progress because in this area of ​​the most advanced medical research some of the keys of progress, of our becoming as a species, of the individual development of many people, but also the future of humanity. “”

    Like

  16. Francisco del Busto: ”I think with all my heart….”. In science we believe in facts, not in an individual’s feelings.

    Does anyone has an overview of the timeline for the incidence with the 6000 sacrified mice vs start of the allegations and “investigation” and retractions?

    Like

    • Welcome back, the real Morty!

      Some of the problematic data made public September 2017 at Pubpeer.
      Pupbeer now states number of years ago, but used to date the comments.
      https://pubpeer.com/publications/10FB7126BF313F0A591E72548FE73D

      First article by leonid 19 Dec 2017.
      https://forbetterscience.com/2017/12/19/nature-rewards-data-manipulation-with-a-mentoring-award/

      The latter would have a wider audience.

      “6000 sacrified mice”.

      https://www.elcomercio.es/asturias/brote-infeccioso-obligo-20190131002134-ntvo.html

      “There were about 6,000 animals when, last year, an infectious outbreak with a murine virus was detected in these facilities that forced evicting them and sacrificing irretrievably all its inhabitants to sterilize the vivarium.”

      Infections are a real and severe problem in mouse facilites, but there are usually ways to rescue some of the mice.
      Zero out of 6,000 rescued?

      Like

      • More information: the cull of all of Carlos’ mice happened “a few months” ago. Carlos left to stay with Guido and Laurence in Paris in July 2018, so it happened afterwards.
        https://www.20minutos.es/noticia/3552221/0/mas-5-000-ratones-con-que-investigaba-lopez-otin-sacrificados-por-infeccion/
        Also from the article:
        En cualquier caso, tanto en Asturias como en París, Otín señala que ha sido víctima de acoso. “El acoso pretende terminar con la destrucción del acosado. Cuando la situación alcanza a científicos reconocidos, el acosador y sus redes no sueltan a su presa hasta el final. En algunos países es un fenómeno que ha causado ya preocupación. Como se puede imaginar, hace falta ser muy fuerte para soportarlo y ya se han dado varios casos de suicidios entre los acosados”, responde en una parte de la entrevista.
        “Tampoco olvido que algunas de las personas que trabajaron en el laboratorio en el pasado están sufriendo el mismo acoso y la misma indefensión que yo padezco. Y por último recuerdo a los que animan a responder con agresividad, que pretendo recuperar mi estabilidad mental y no acabar engrosando la lista de los que se defendieron en un terreno que no es el nuestro, perdieron, y se suicidaron. Así de claro y así de fuerte es el juego”, añade López Otín.

        In any case, both in Asturias and in Paris, Otín indicates that he has been a victim of harassment. “The harassment aims to end the destruction of the victim, when the situation reaches recognized scientists, the harasser and his networks do not release their prey until the end, in some countries it is a phenomenon that has already caused concern. It is necessary to be very strong to endure it and there have already been several cases of suicide among the harassed, “he responds in a part of the interview. “I also do not forget that some of the people who worked in the laboratory in the past are suffering the same harassment and the same helplessness that I suffer from, and finally I remember those who encourage me to respond with aggression, who intend to recover my mental stability and not end up swelling the list of those who defended themselves in a terrain that is not ours, they lost, and they committed suicide. That’s how clear and how strong the game is, “adds López Otín.

        Like

      • When you place your mouse (not the one among the poor 6,000) on the Pubpeer message, an exact time stamp will come up. I tried to post a screenshot for that but Leonid’s site prevented me doing that.

        Like

      • “Some of the problematic data made public September 2017 at Pubpeer.
        Pupbeer now states number of years ago, but used to date the comments.”

        https://pubpeer.com/publications/10FB7126BF313F0A591E72548FE73D

        Time stamp for Pubpeer page above.
        commented September 24th, 2017 7:05 PM and accepted September 24th, 2017 9:05 PM

        Thanks to advice from
        虎仔 (@TigerBB8)
        February 4, 2019
        When you place your mouse (not the one among the poor 6,000) on the Pubpeer message, an exact time stamp will come up. I tried to post a screenshot for that but Leonid’s site prevented me doing that.

        Like

  17. I am sure they did not keep any tails for genotyping.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Pedro Villarías López

    The mistakes affect the conclusions of the papers…¿yes or not?

    Like

  19. Pedro Villarías López

    The defense of Mr.Otin et al. is that it is all about minor mistakes that don´t invalide the conclusions of the articles and, the key point, that the results had been duplicated by others. Than you.

    Like

  20. Is López Otín talking about the STAP stem cell suicide? It was sad, but no sane person can say it was the result of “persecution” by outside agents.

    Like

  21. Compared with EIGHT Retraction at JBC, the retraction at Soria-Valles’ Nature Cell Biology shows worse pattern of misconducts including swapped sample labels and mocked up bands. And worst, the study involves donation of progeria patients’ specimen and hope to cure the diseases. More of Spanish sources are talking about JBC, but never comment on NCB.

    Like

  22. When did blatantly faking results become a “mistake”? Or is this a Spanish thing? The mistake is getting caught, perhaps?

    Like

  23. Hi Leonid, Margarita Salas wasn’t the PhD mentor of López-Otín, was Enrique Méndez in the Ramón y Cajal Hospital. I don’t know his relationship with Salas.

    Like

    • Carlos Lopez-Otin is often described as a “disciple” of Margarita Salas, eg here:
      https://elespiritudelchemin.wordpress.com/2013/07/27/escuela-de-biologia-molecular-eladio-vinuela-2013-uimp/

      Btw, look what I found. The man on the right is Francisco Ayala, another victim of false and unfair accusations, as some of his colleagues wrote to Science

      Like

      • Although many Spanish scientists did not have their PhD theses supervised directly by Salas she was their mentor in other stages of their careers. While I was working on my PhD thesis in Spain I heard in some circumstances sour criticisms against Salas and her late husband Eladio. Certain academics
        argued that Salas and Eladio stollen great amounts of money from the Spanish government. What is right what is not right about these accusations I don’t know. I once attended a meeting in Madrid where Salas was one of the speakers…I have never talked with her but I know Marisol Soengas (who was really nice), Manuel Serrano ( sympathetic but distant) and Maria Blasco (the most antipathetic person I ever met…. I hope she forgives me…). One thing may be the truth: Salas for sure must be quite responsible for the current state of the science in Spain… although I think she does not have too much publications in nature..

        Like

  24. Margarita Salas I think was Maris Blasco PhD mentor and scientists like Manuel Serrano and Marisol Soengas at least spent some time in her lab

    Like

  25. BMC Cancer. 2011 May 16;11:172. doi: 10.1186/1471-2407-11-172.
    Germ-line mutations in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) are rare but may contribute to oncogenesis: a novel germ-line mutation in EGFR detected in a patient with lung adenocarcinoma.
    Centeno I1, Blay P, Santamaría I, Astudillo A, Pitiot AS, Osorio FG, González-Arriaga P, Iglesias F, Menéndez P, Tardón A, Freije JM, Balbín M.
    Author information
    1
    Laboratorio de Oncología Molecular, Instituto Universitario de Oncología del Principado de Asturias, Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias, (Celestino Villamil s/n), Oviedo, Spain.

    Figure 2.

    293 EBNA P-EGFR panel. Bands lane 2 have vertical, sharp right edge (spicing).
    293 beta-actin panel. No signs of splicing.
    There are only 4 lanes.

    Like

  26. Francisco José Rodríguez Díaz, transgenic mouse unit head at IUOPA, uniovi, would know the best detail of 6,000 mice affair.
    “The Head of the Unit began to work at Dr. Lopez-Otin’s laboratory in 1999 and started working in the generation of knock-out mice under his supervision. Early at the beginning he was in charge of both, manipulation and culture of ES cells. The work accomplished during the first years helped to establish knock-out mice deficient for important proteases as it was further demonstrated: FACE-1, FACE-2, MT-5 and MMP-19. He was also in charge of maintenance of all genetically modified mice generated during this period.”
    https://www.unioviedo.es/IUOPA/?page_id=1215&lang=en

    Like

  27. EMBO J. 2001 Nov 1;20(21):6060-70.
    Mechanism for the switch of phi29 DNA early to late transcription by regulatory protein p4 and histone-like protein p6.
    Camacho A1, Salas M.
    Author information
    1
    Centro de Biología Molecular ‘Severo Ochoa’ (CSIC-UAM), Universidad Autónoma, Canto Blanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain.

    Figure 4.

    Band lane b has vertical, straight right edge.

    Like

  28. Post-Franco-fascism Spanish media now calls for actual blood.

    They finger as masterminds behind my reporting… wait for it… the unsuccessful applicants for professorships at Oviedo which where already promised to Lopez-Otin’s own internal candidates. This is made-up fascist denunciation of innocent people, perpetrated by Oviedo rector Carlos Suarez Nieto and loyal journalists of El Comercio, these clueless people I never heard of will now face worst possible persecution on made-up charges!

    “The “harassment” on the biochemical increased following the award of two professorships members of his team | The scientific community is unanimous: the obligation to remove several items for failures that do not alter the results of the investigation “is unfair”
    https://www.elcomercio.es/asturias/lopez-otin-retirada-articulos-20190203005619-ntvo.html

    In La Nueva Espana, Nieto equalled me to murderous terrorists of ETA.

    The responsible LNE journalist, Pablo Alvarez, is a known Opus Dei member and apparently also a personal friend of Lopez-Otin. As a reader pointed out to me, Alvarez wrote a book in 2012, on the teachings of Jesus Christ, the foreword came from Lopez-Otin.
    https://www.lne.es/gijon/2012/06/28/pablo-alvarez-presenta-libro-ensenanzas-jesus-nazaret/1262767.html

    Please Spanish and foreign academics, stand up now and defend yourself before it’s too late! Don’t let fascism-nostalgic academic elites like Nieto, Juan Valcarcel and Margarita Salas, together with their loyal fascist Opus Dei journalists destroy democracy and science.

    Like

    • Luis F. Junior

      I hate when the newspapers and journalists say his enemy’s at home. He managed to make all kind of enemies at home and everywhere, by pushing university authorities to comply all the time with his own rules when it came to grants, professorship positions awards etc,. He’s always had a double standard for measuring academic merits depending on if the evaluated subject was a member of his lab or from somewhere else. Let’s be clear: I don’t know personally these people nor I have anything personal against Otin or his lab (except his cheating on science, of course) but I got to listen to this version of the story: according to my source, a long time ago, his wife (yes, GV. for the records) was promoted to full professor with no competitor for the placement, in what was supposed to be a competitive concurrency contest. But any suitable candidate refrained to show up into the contest because it was the university policy to promote one person at a time, according to seniority-based hierarchy. It was his wife’s turn. Years later, when more positions became available he changed these rules to get his lab colleagues promoted over those from other labs with longer service times and thus higher seniority-based hierarchy who btw, in the past, refrained to participate in his wife contest to make her promotion smooth and stressless and to be respectful with the policy governing by the time. So this guy changed the rules and there was no more seniority-based solo contests. Then, all those people enrolled in fights for permanent professorships. Contests that of course, where ultimately, mostly won by his lab members thank to a pleiad of high-profile journal papers that, only very recently, turned out to be fake. So, dear journalists, yes: He likely got enemies! However, it wasn’t his enemies who made up his papers figures.

      Like

    • Zebedee

      2019 retraction where Carlos Suarez Nieto (Oviedo) is penutlimate author.

      Int J Cancer. 2005 Mar 20;114(2):242-8.
      Frequent genetic and biochemical alterations of the PI 3-K/AKT/PTEN pathway in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
      Pedrero JM1, Carracedo DG, Pinto CM, Zapatero AH, Rodrigo JP, Nieto CS, Gonzalez MV.
      Author information
      1
      Instituto Universitario de Oncologia del Principado de Asturias (IUOPA), Universidad de Oviedo, 6a planta C/Julián Clavería s/n, 33006 Oviedo, Asturias, Spain.

      Pubpeer: https://pubpeer.com/publications/DDA78170B20ED614426621158BB6E5

      2019 retraction notice.https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ijc.32347

      Pedrero, J. M., Carracedo, D. G., Pinto, C. M., Zapatero, A. H., Rodrigo, J. P., Nieto, C. S. and Gonzalez, M. V. (2005), Frequent genetic and biochemical alterations of the PI 3‐K/AKT/PTEN pathway in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Int. J. Cancer, 114: 242–248. doi:10.1002/ijc.20711

      The above article, published online on 12 November 2004 in Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com), has been retracted by agreement between the journal Editor in Chief, Prof. Christoph Plass, the Union for International Cancer Control and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. The retraction has been agreed due to irregularities in 3 out of the 5 sub panels in Figure 2. After analysis of the figure by a subject expert, we have reason to believe that single Western Blot bands may have been reused within one panel. Due to apparent inconsistencies in the splicing of individual bands, we suspect that the panels shown in Figure 2 are not derived from one Western Blot as reported. The authors were unfortunately unable to source the original data due to the time elapsed since original publication. In addition, the results of the original Western Blot experiments could not be reproduced due to the lack of one control in the original three samples analyzed.

      Like

  29. Why is the double helix above a cartoon of López Otín in the article by Nieto?

    People who have supported López Otín by letter,
    Elias Campo,
    https://forbetterscience.com/2018/12/17/lopez-otin-and-daley-retract-nature-cell-biology-paper/#comment-3088 Manuel Serrano,
    https://pubpeer.com/search?q=manuel+serrano,
    or in a newspaper,
    Víctor Quesada
    https://www.20minutos.es/noticia/3549000/0/bioquimico-victor-quesada-defiende-labor-lopez-otin-sostiene-que-errores-no-afectan-conclusiones/
    2 corrections and 2 retractions with López Otín,
    correction http://www.jbc.org/content/293/30/11785.short
    correction http://www.jbc.org/content/293/30/11784.short
    retraction http://www.jbc.org/content/294/4/1431
    retraction http://www.jbc.org/content/294/4/1433
    have problematic data of their own.

    Like

  30. Any bets on how long this golden oldie is going to remain uncorrected?

    Golden oldies are important as they become like layers in sedimentary rocks.

    Cancer Res. 2000 Feb 15;60(4):877-82.
    Human MT6-matrix metalloproteinase: identification, progelatinase A activation, and expression in brain tumors.
    Velasco G1, Cal S, Merlos-Suárez A, Ferrando AA, Alvarez S, Nakano A, Arribas J, López-Otín C.
    Author information
    1
    Departamento de Bioquimica y Biologia Molecular, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Oviedo, Spain.

    See:https://pubpeer.com/publications/CD3325D6086BF005D1C72E75ED722D#2
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/CD3325D6086BF005D1C72E75ED722D#6
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/CD3325D6086BF005D1C72E75ED722D#8
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/CD3325D6086BF005D1C72E75ED722D#13

    Last autumn the publisher of the Cancer Research, Christine Rullo,
    http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/78/17/5178
    went on the record:

    “Unfortunately, we have been delayed in correcting the published record, and for this we apologize.

    We have significantly improved our procedures and processes so that, going forward, we can make these corrections to the published record in a more timely manner. It will take several months to publish various types of corrections related to a number of older cases on which we are working.”

    and quoted an editorial by Chi Van Dang, Editor-in-Chief:

    “(August 1, 2018 issue, page 4106; http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-18-1751)“…. it is our collective responsibility as investigators, authors, manuscript referees, and editors to ensure that manuscripts submitted to and published by Cancer Research are based on rigorous, well-controlled studies that are robust and have the highest probability of being reproducible.”

    Like

  31. We died so that he may escape: seis mil ratones muertos.

    Like

  32. I am a Spanish scientist, and Oviedo is my alma mater. I know López-otín personally, have always admired him and and have a lot to thank him. But this is simply too much. Seeing how they protect each other, invent conspiracies and simply ruin science there. Data manipulation si bad enough on ots own, but one could hope scientists in that environment get more critical and careful in the future. The way they are handling it means that they don’t care about good scientific practice, that the only issue is that we are all jealous and envy their productivity. What are the chances that a scientist from that location is judged objectively after this? I will be very skeptical next time I have to review a paper or a project not only from that lab, but from the whole region. I will do my best to be objective, but I am only human and now I know what they think of scienctific ethics…

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Age (Dordr). 2010 Mar;32(1):1-13. doi: 10.1007/s11357-009-9095-2. Epub 2009 May 22.
    Chronic 17beta-estradiol treatment improves skeletal muscle insulin signaling pathway components in insulin resistance associated with aging.
    Moreno M1, Ordoñez P, Alonso A, Díaz F, Tolivia J, González C.
    Author information
    1
    Department of Functional Biology, University of Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain.

    Figure 4. Alpha1 NaK/ATPase panel.
    Bands lanes 5 to 8 same as bands lanes 9 to 12. Note spot under bands lanes 8 and 12.

    Like

    • Figure 4. Age (Dordr). 2010 Mar;32(1):1-13.

      Like

      • Age (Dordr). 2012 Aug;34(4):895-904. doi: 10.1007/s11357-011-9286-5. Epub 2011 Jul 15.
        Age-related changes of apolipoprotein D expression in female rat central nervous system with chronic estradiol treatment.
        Pérez C1, Navarro A, Martínez E, Ordóñez C, Del Valle E, Tolivia J.
        Author information
        1
        Department of Morphology and Cellular Biology, 8ª Planta Facultad de Medicina, University of Oviedo, c/ Julián Clavería s/n, Oviedo, Spain.

        Figure 2.

        Figure 3.

        Like

    • Hi zebedee, are those new in addition to those included in the retracted papers? If so, man, there are a lot to be investigated.

      Like

  34. Endocrinology. 2008 Jan;149(1):57-72. Epub 2007 Sep 27.
    Chronic estradiol treatment improves brain homeostasis during aging in female rats.
    Alonso A1, Moreno M, Ordóñez P, Fernández R, Pérez C, Díaz F, Navarro A, Tolivia J, González C.
    Author information
    1
    Department of Functional Biology, University of Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain.

    Figure 5A. Bands lanes 5 and 10 much more similar than you would expect.

    Like

  35. I am starting to hate my own country with news like this one.
    Otin was my teacher years ago, I had a great admiration for him. However, nowadays, since this blew-up, everything is shattering to pieces.
    I was hoping too much I guess, sadly.
    I am starting to understand why it is so complicated to find work in the scientific sector in Spain, it is not only due to the poor I+D+i invest, … everything is being swallowed by corruption.
    I do not know what to do at this point, to be honest.

    Like

    • On contrary to others who suffer poor I+D+i invest in Spain, lineage of Lopez-Otin is benefited significantly. Regardless of their retraction records, they are receiving fellowships and professorships. Even one could retract high profile journal Nature Cell Bio. and still funded with Juan de la Cierva Incorporacion.

      Like

      • That is what I hate the most, there are a lot of teams out there without enough money to keep doing their researches… and even after this outrageous scandal Otin is like untouchable or you will be a “troll” or they will say it is a “witch hunt” towards him. I am truly sad and mad.

        Liked by 1 person

    • everything is being swallowed by corruption
      it’s not only in Spain. In Spain it’s just more visible… —
      take this: they get money from the EU institutions for decades, and those institutions know very well the grant recipients, all these retractions and so on stories

      Like

      • Ana Pedro

        Never contribute again to certain charities worldwide….you exactly know that the money will go to certain grant recipients….

        Like

  36. Send to
    J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2009 Sep;116(3-5):160-70. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2009.05.010. Epub 2009 May 23.
    17beta-estradiol treatment is unable to reproduce p85 alpha redistribution associated with gestational insulin resistance in rats.
    Alonso A1, Ordóñez P, Fernández R, Moreno M, Llaneza P, Patterson AM, González C.
    Author information
    1
    Physiology Area, Department of Functional Biology, University of Oviedo, Spain.

    Figure 6B.

    Like

  37. PEDRO VILLARIAS LOPEZ

    To Mr.Owlbert.For me the key point is if the results can be replicated or not. If this is the case, as Mr.Otin says (and others) ,then we can speak about “mistakes” . Thank you.

    Like

    • Do you know how scoops work, Pedro? See nice data on a conference poster, run back to lab, fake your own, publish fast. When caught, your scoop victim is your main witness that your results are reproducible. I was one myself.

      Like

      • Nah, it’s much easier to become a group leader, grant reviewer and respected Nature-published peer who gets first squint at all of the good data. Then mock up a few figures from old blots, and hey voila, you’re first into print with results that will be published farther down the journal pole by the dumb stiffs who did it right. And you get the grants, too. Of course it pays to keep that suitcase packed and a number for the mouse exterminator for when the shit comes down. Anybody who defends this clown is a bigger one.

        Like

  38. Int J Cancer. 2005 Mar 20;114(2):242-8.
    Frequent genetic and biochemical alterations of the PI 3-K/AKT/PTEN pathway in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
    Pedrero JM1, Carracedo DG, Pinto CM, Zapatero AH, Rodrigo JP, Nieto CS, Gonzalez MV.
    Author information
    1
    Instituto Universitario de Oncologia del Principado de Asturias (IUOPA), Universidad de Oviedo, 6a planta C/Julián Clavería s/n, 33006 Oviedo, Asturias, Spain.

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ijc.20711

    Figure 2A.
    pAkt panel. Bands lanes 2 and 3 look much more similar than you would expect after horizontal flipping.
    Akt panel. Bands lanes 2 and 4 look much more similar than you would expect after horizontal flipping. Bands lane 5 looks like smaller version bands lane 3 after horizontal flipping (cropped differently).

    Like

    • For full names
      Int J Cancer. 2005 Mar 20;114(2):242-8.
      https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ijc.20711
      Frequent genetic and biochemical alterations of the PI 3‐K/AKT/PTEN pathway in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
      Juana Maria Garcia Pedrero Dario Garcia Carracedo Cristina Muñoz Pinto Agustín Herrero Zapatero Juan Pablo Rodrigo Carlos Suarez Nieto Maria Victoria Gonzalez.

      The penultimate author shares the same name as the person who wrote the article entitled
      “un cientifico incompatible con el fraude” regarding Lopez-Otin,
      See Leonid Schneider post
      February 3, 2019
      and who is the scientific director of the institute for investigation of health for the principality of Asturias (IPSA) (upper left corner of newspaper article)

      http://grupos.uniovi.es/web/csnieto/inicio
      In PRESENTACIÓN ” Otorrinolaringología”, Int J Cancer. 2005 Mar 20;114(2):242-8 “Head and neck”.

      Like

    • Figure 2 Int J Cancer. 2005 Mar 20;114(2):242-8.

      Like

  39. Hablo porque se vincula una entrada de mi blog y la gente la visita. Carlos se consideraba discípulo directísimo de Margarita Salas pero eso hay que entenderlo dentro del contexto en que se dijo. Carlos no es discípulo de Margarita sino de su marido Eladio. Y luego no es discípulo de nadie sino de su conciencia, que es la de un hombre muy bondadoso, al que no le gusta el circo de lo mediático. Habéis materializado la creo que es su peor pesadilla, estar en boca de todos en la manera en que lo está. Pero bueno si ya no tiene remedio lo que yo os deseo es que os veáis en la misma tesitura, para ver si luego sois menos ”maricas” y tenéis un podo de piedad virtual con los rivales, ya que me parece a mí que directamente seríais unos cobardes.

    Like

  40. Smut Clyde

    I wonder if Prof. López-Otín’s defenders have really read the JBC retraction notices. It’s not a question of the unacknowledged reuse of an Actin control band, or anything trivial and easily corrected. I was looking at the relevant PubPeer threads, and it is undeniable that results were fabricated. Lanes were duplicated. Parts of lanes were copied and pasted elsewhere. Splice lines were smeared out with rather clumsy Photoshop. These were not the work of an envious outsider or conspirator working to blacken López-Otín’s reputation.


    So I can sympathise with the JBC editors. If they had noticed these fabrications at the time, they would not have accepted the manuscripts. It seems reasonable to unpublish them now that they have become aware of the issues. If the authors have repeated the experiments, and have better data, then fine, they can submit a new manuscript.

    Anyway, someone in López-Otín’s lab was forging results, 15 years ago. The ideal response at this point would be to find out who was responsible (one person or several), and determine whether they stopped – because otherwise there could be other fake results polluting the scientific record, not yet exposed. Then everyone can get on with their work.

    The ideal response is not to hunt for whistleblowers, or blame everything on an outside scapegoat.

    Like

  41. Pingback: Inspector Voinnet, Wollman in fraud-overdrive, and Farewell to Jessus – For Better Science

  42. I am slightly disappointed by the response of some of the Spanish scientific establishment.

    Although Spain exhibits about the same level of fakery as Italy
    I used to think that Spain was attempting to clean up its act, whereas Italy makes no efforts.

    Evidence for this were:-
    retractions of work by Susana Gonzalez,
    https://retractionwatch.com/2017/09/18/stem-cell-scientist-appealing-dismissal-loses-another-paper/
    with the caveat that Manuel Serrano still has problematic data he needs to correct, or retract.
    https://pubpeer.com/search?q=manuel+serrano

    Retractions from Dunach, Barcelona (Catalonia is not a cut above the rest of Spain),
    https://retractionwatch.com/2016/06/03/authors-reused-images-in-three-papers-concludes-journal-probe/

    That a Catalan kingpin was coming into view at Pubpeer.
    https://pubpeer.com/search?q=cordon-cardo
    Retraction: https://mcb.asm.org/content/37/18/e00365-17

    A naive belief that Spain was not mafia-ridden, and that Spain has a Royal Family, which might give national example of ethical behaviour (I am not an avid reader of Hello magazine).

    I was wrong.

    Like

  43. https://www.europapress.es/asturias/noticia-asociacion-transparencia-pide-explicaciones-claras-rigurosas-universidad-oviedo-otin-20190205165412.html

    “Asociación para la Transparencia pide explicaciones claras y rigurosas a la Universidad de Oviedo y a Otín”.

    “Association for Transparency calls on University of Oviedo for clear and rigorous explanations Otín”

    “Consideran que el ‘cierre de filas’ que se está produciendo puede generar más dudas”

    “They consider that the ‘closing of ranks’ that is taking place can generate more doubts”

    Like

  44. These problems should be liftet to a higher level. The Ministry of Science, innovation and universities should be more responsible in order to improve the culture in spanish research institutes and to increase the trust and reproducibility.
    Research misconduct is very costly for the society, it slows down the scientific progression, which will affect the development of new drugs and patient safety in a negative way.

    For that reason, politicians should take action for the best of science and society.

    However, due to the high corruption level among spanish politicians, my expectations are not high…

    Like

    • Every conservative Spanish Government has Opus Dei members in its ranks, sometimes the entire government is run by Opus Dei (cf José María Aznar). Every single Spanish university has Opus Dei people in high administrative positions. Many prominent scientists also have Opus Dei connections, direct or indirect.
      In this regard, I wonder if any of my Spanish readers can find records to the Antonio Brugarolas-Mario Gosálvez-Norgamen scandal which took place in Asturias in 1980, since all information that used to be on Internet about it has been eliminated? It took place in Hospital General de Asturias, involved massive research fraud with fake cancer cures, bans form publishing in certain journals… and exorcism. Yes, Exorcism of the Devil, done by hospital head clinician, Jiménez-Lacave and Opus Dei on Gosalves.

      Like

  45. Pingback: Boycott Elsevier, passim - Ocasapiens - Blog - Repubblica.it

  46. “We need to talk about systematic fraud”
    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-00439-9

    Like

  47. PEDRO VILLARIAS LOPEZ

    To Mr.Schneider and Mr.Owlbert: I apologize for my ignorance in some issues. You can noticed that I am not a scientist myself.
    I don´t understand that if you get the (good) data first (so you can post them in a panel in a conference) you cannot publish first .So is the problem here fake data from other (good)sources?. If that is the case, which are these sources?.Why they don´t speak up?. Your response is inconsistent with Mr.Olbert suggestions (or the other way around) about the death of the mice (a strange event) . If the results are true but “stolen” from a panel in a conference,for example, and my data are fakes created only for a quick publication, my unique and rare mice are my best alibi.They can show (afterwards) that my results are true.
    To Mr.Smut Clyde: Mr.Otín affirms that what he call “mistakes in the graphs” are minor ,well, “mistakes” and don´t affect the results and that he offered the journal submit corrections but JBC refused just by the power of internet sites like this one.
    Thank you very much for your answers.

    Like

    • “JBC refused”. JBC has its own policies and makes its own decisions.
      It is one of the pioneers in publication ethics.
      https://retractionwatch.com/2012/11/19/jbc-publisher-asbmb-hiring-manager-of-publication-ethics-and-why-retraction-watch-is-cheering/

      ” Mr.Otín affirms that what he call “mistakes in the graphs” are minor ,well, “mistakes” and don´t affect the results” That’s what he says.

      The most significant problematic data are image duplications used to represent different things.
      That does affect the results as they are the results.

      Directly below, as previously mentioned by Smut Clyde February 4, 2019,
      February 4, 2019, shows image duplication for different treatments (scroll down to see the fibrinogen panel).
      https://pubpeer.com/publications/357783222F3529B2B43C2184EE4B6B#11

      Directly below is duplication and flipping:
      https://pubpeer.com/publications/6FB396DF025A286AD45D16C5A0D9C9#11

      Directly below is the same image used to represent different things.
      https://pubpeer.com/publications/10FB7126BF313F0A591E72548FE73D#3

      Like

      • Smut Clyde

        “Mistakes”? Lanes of gel do not just stumble and duplicate themselves by mistake. Someone very carefully created the images that JBC were no longer willing to host.

        Like

    • adamselwith

      Credit to you Pedro Villarías López for hanging on in this thread if you are not a scientist. In truth, there is a large divide between the highly-focused and quantitative nature of scientific results and the much broader political arguments that have been made in this case.

      The word “mistake” without adjective, defaults to “unintentional”. However what we are talking about here is intentional mistakes. I.e. manipulations. The political commentary has not dwelt on that aspect. The political commentary also treats the issues in a black and white fashion. I.e. the results are valid, or they are not. In scientific terms, a degree of confidence would be attached to the results. And this confidence suffers from the manipulations. It does not invalidate them outright, except in the eyes of the JBC unfortunately.

      The JBC is a prestigious journal, authors who get published there attract funding more easily than lower-ranking journals, so there is frustration that JLO has benefited from prestige and funding success which perhaps was not so well deserved. Although, having 8 articles retracted in one go is certainly a varapalo that no one will be envious of.

      Like

      • “except in the eyes of the JBC unfortunately”

        That’s not true. Nat Cell Biol retracted a 2105 Lopez-Otin paper in December 2018.

        Nat Cell Biol. 2015 Aug;17(8):1004-13. doi: 10.1038/ncb3207
        NF-κB activation impairs somatic cell reprogramming in ageing.
        Soria-Valles C1, Osorio FG1, Gutiérrez-Fernández A1, De Los Angeles A2, Bueno C3, Menéndez P4, Martín-Subero JI5, Daley GQ6, Freije JM1, López-Otín C1.
        Author information
        1
        Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Facultad de Medicina, Instituto Universitario de Oncología, Universidad de Oviedo, 33006-Oviedo, Spain.
        2
        Department of Pediatric Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Division of Hematology/Oncology, Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.
        3
        Josep Carreras Leukemia Research Institute, Cell Therapy Program of the University of Barcelona, Faculty of Medicine, 08036 Barcelona, Spain.
        4
        1] Josep Carreras Leukemia Research Institute, Cell Therapy Program of the University of Barcelona, Faculty of Medicine, 08036 Barcelona, Spain [2] Institucio Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA), 08035 Barcelona, Spain.
        5
        Departamento de Anatomía Patológica, Farmacología y Microbiología, Universitat de Barcelona, IDIBAPS, 08036 Barcelona, Spain.
        6
        1] Department of Pediatric Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Division of Hematology/Oncology, Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA [2] Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA [3] Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Harvard University and Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA.

        2018 retraction notice.
        https://www.nature.com/articles/s41556-018-0259-0
        Retraction Note: NF-κB activation impairs somatic cell reprogramming in ageing
        Clara Soria-Valles, Fernando G. Osorio, Ana Gutiérrez-Fernández, Alejandro De Los Angeles, Clara Bueno, Pablo Menéndez, José I. Martín-Subero, George Q. Daley, José M. P. Freije & Carlos López-Otín
        Nature Cell Biology (2018)
        Published 17 December 2018

        “We, the authors, are retracting this Article due to issues that have come to our attention regarding data availability, data description and figure assembly. Specifically, original numerical data are not available for the majority of the graphs presented in the paper. Although original data were available for most EMSA and immunoblot experiments, those corresponding to the published EMSA data of Supplementary Fig. 8a, the independent replicate immunoblots of Fig. 8b and Supplementary Fig. 1e, and the independent replicate EMSA data of Supplementary Figs 6e, 8b, 8c and 8d, are unavailable. Mistakes were detected in the presentation of Figs 3c, 4i and Supplementary Figs 6a, 8a, 8d, 9, and in some cases the β-actin immunoblots were erroneously described in the figure legends as loading controls, rather than as sample processing controls that were run on separate gels. Although we, the authors, believe that the key findings of the paper are still valid, given the issues with data availability we have concluded that the most appropriate course of action is to retract the Article. We deeply regret these errors and apologize to the scientific community for any confusion this publication may have caused. All authors agree with the retraction.”

        Like

    • You take a carton of milk out of the fridge in the morning and sniff it. If it smells bad, I dump it down the sink. There may be some milk in there that is in fact still OK, but I have neither the time nor inclination nor skill to recover it. I move on to another carton. Carlos the clown does not pass my scientific sniff test, so for me everything he has done is worthless in supporting the narrative that he is a competent researcher. I hypothesize that he never had an original idea in his life, and he is an arrogant sod who rode the political gravy train to local fame and glory, and burned anyone and anymouse who got in his way. He has no way to disprove this, and no way to prove his false narrative of self importance. This may be acceptable within his culture, but it marks him as a pariah in the international scientific culture. Big h-index, but no scientific huevos.

      Like

      • adamselwith

        That’s quite a condemnation, you seem to be ready to group him in with Macchiarini Schoen, etc. However, a few of those faults (arrogance, self-importance) are very common in high status scientists like CLO. Also what you describe is the “ruthless careerist” mould, which is not a small club. But your comment about burning perhaps that’s a bit more specific, that information hasn’t come out in the latest revelations, although it can be conjectured and I think his defense has used it as one of the possible reasons for the ocaso/onslaught.

        I also think “un gran par de huevos” is actually necessary for presenting those images to JBC, Surely science is just plain hard work, some inspiration (Thomas Edison style) and risk reduction which seems the opposite really.

        Like

  48. https://www.20minutos.es/noticia/3556533/0/ridea-reitera-su-peticion-para-que-lopez-otin-sea-galardonado-con-premio-princesa-asturias-investigacion/

    “El Real Instituto de Estudios Asturianos (Ridea) ha reiterado su solicitud para que el Premio Princesa de Asturias de Investigación Científica y Técnica sea concedido al catedrático en el área de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular en el departamento de Bioquímica de la Universidad de Oviedo, Carlos López Otín (Sabiñánigo, Huesca, 1958).”

    “The Royal Institute of Asturian Studies (Ridea) has reiterated its request that the Princess of Asturias Award for Scientific and Technical Research be awarded to the professor in the area of ​​Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the Department of Biochemistry of the University of Oviedo, Carlos López Otín (Sabiñánigo, Huesca, 1958).”

    “Desde el Ridea han emitido un comunicado de apoyo a López Otín después de que el investigador haya tenido que retirar un artículo en Nature Cell Biology y otros ocho en Journal of Biological Chemistry por errores en las imágenes que contenían los ‘papers’. Según el comunicado del Ridea, López Otín está siendo víctima de “injustificados ataques” y los artículos han tenido que ser retirados “sin oportunidad de corrección de los fallos detectados a pesar de los reiterados ofrecimientos realizados por los autores”. Los fallos, añaden desde el Ridea, no invaliden la “sobresaliente” trayectoria científica de López Otín. “Su calidad humana, sumada a su capacidad docente, revela una persona con elevados rigor científico y ética profesional”, han señalado. Consideran que es merecedor del Premio Princesa de Asturias de Investigación Científica y Técnica, que otorga la Fundación Princesa de Asturias, en reconocimiento “a su ingente y pionera labor sobre las claves genéticas del cáncer y el envejecimiento”.”

    “From the Ridea have issued a statement of support to López Otín after the researcher had to withdraw an article in Nature Cell Biology and eight in the Journal of Biological Chemistry for errors in the images that contained the ‘papers’. According to the statement of the Ridea, López Otín is being victim of “unjustified attacks” and the articles have had to be withdrawn “without opportunity of correction of the detected faults despite the repeated offers made by the authors”. The failures, added from the Ridea, do not invalidate the “outstanding” scientific career of López Otín. “His human quality, coupled with his teaching ability, reveals a person with high scientific rigor and professional ethics,” they said. They consider that she is worthy of the Princess of Asturias Award for Scientific and Technical Research, awarded by the Princess of Asturias Foundation, in recognition of “her enormous and pioneering work on the genetic keys of cancer and aging.””

    Like

  49. Pingback: El Teatro de la Ciencia y la Academia. El Otín-Gate – Investigadores En Paro

  50. PEDRO VILLARIAS LOPEZ

    Thank you, Adamselwith, I understand that duplicated and flipped lanes for different treatments are forgeries but this raise some important questions: How is possible that a so “prestigious journal” as JBC with so high ethical concerns had been foxed , not one or two, but ¡EIGHT! times? and how its readers didn´t see the forgeries?.
    The second question is this: if the reviewers of JBC were foxed is not possible that Mr.Otin were unaware of the data manipulation also?.
    To Mr.Owlbert. I don´t know Mr.Otin ,I never meet him,but the description of his character by his acquaintances don´t match yours, on the contrary.
    I thought that words like “sod” or “clown” were of no use for scientists (I am clearly an outsider) and I find your hypothesis hard to believe. I thing that it is very difficult to build a very long career in experimental sciences based in systematic forgeries: the possibility of confirm or reject the discoveries is very high (not so in social sciences).
    The cases of Obokata or Schon are good examples: their supposed findings didn´t match the test of independent experiments and their careers finished very soon. Their mentors had very much to lose than they had. And you know how true is this.

    Thank you very much.

    Like

    • “duplicated and flipped lanes for different treatments are forgeries”.
      Why not leave it at that? Any reasons they were not spotted earlier does not take away from that.

      Like

    • “I thing that it is very difficult to build a very long career in experimental sciences based in systematic forgeries: the possibility of confirm or reject the discoveries is very high (not so in social sciences).”

      I don’t know if the exact sciences are any better than the social sciences, both are performed by humans.
      The things in high school physics books are likely correct, tested over decades, but the latest articles off the scientific presses I am not sure.

      To think that it is not possible “build a very long career in experimental sciences based in systematic forgeries” is at present not known.

      As Nefaria
      February 6, 2019
      posted “We need to talk about systematic fraud”
      https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-00439-9

      Like

    • “How is possible that a so “prestigious journal” as JBC with so high ethical concerns had been foxed , not one or two, but ¡EIGHT! times? and how its readers didn´t see the forgeries?.”
      Readers did see the forgeries, and reported them to the journal directly or indirectly (e.g. via PubPeer). Crap papers got into the journal because peer review is an honor system, and the peers involved were clearly not honorable. It’s called an “in club”. Every graduate student learns about this. To consistently get into the good journals (and even a lot of crap ones) it is often necessary to join a gang where the members give each other’s papers the old matador wave through the review process (an apt metaphor here), especially if care is taken to cite the work of fellow old boys. Many times I have seen stuff that would not past muster as a high school science fair project get a glowing one-paragraph wave through by one of the author’s pals. There is usually a gentleperson’s agreement that this does not go as far as allowing outright fraud get past, but hey, cultures differ. Since no editor can known everything, many journals are happy to have editors that know nothing. But the great and unique thing about JBC, JCI and other rare birds in the journal jungle is that if you’re caught down the line they throw out the trash. If all journals did that, then maybe the gangs would start doing what they are supposed to do. As for using nasty words to describe the fraudster, well if 50 people jump up to reflexively to defend another for purely tribal reasons, surely it’s fair to point out that they are all buffoons.

      Like

      • To address owlbert’s point about the “fifty”; I wonder if some of these supporters will regret putting their names to this letter……maybe some are already.

        Like

  51. https://www.redaccionmedica.com/secciones/sanidad-hoy/la-universidad-de-oviedo-ya-nego-irregularidades-de-lopez-otin-en-2017-4580

    “La Universidad de Oviedo ya negó irregularidades de López-Otín en 2017 Lo hizo por medio de carta a un ciudadano que había planteado dudas sobre sus trabajos”

    “The University of Oviedo has already denied irregularities of López-Otín in 2017 It did so by means of a letter to a citizen who had raised doubts about his work”.

    “La Universidad de Oviedo negó el 30 de octubre de 2017 la existencia de irregularidades en diferentes artículos científicos en los que había participado como autor Carlos López Otín como catedrático en el área de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular en el departamento de Bioquímica de la Universidad de Oviedo.

    Así consta en una carta con el sello de la Universidad firmada por el vicerrector de Investigación de la Universidad de Oviedo, José Ramón Obeso, dirigida a un ciudadano que había planteado dudas acerca de los artículos.

    En la misiva, Obeso explica que el Comité de Ética de Investigación de la Universidad de Oviedo estudió el asunto y, tras escuchar a “expertos en la materia”, concluyó que no existen “irregularidades relevantes en los artículos que menciona y la investigación se ha desarrollado siguiendo los estandares establecidos por las diferentes publicaciones”.

    Además, Obeso añadió en la carta el “apoyo expreso” de la Universidad de Oviedo a Carlos Otín y a su grupo de investigación, añadiendo que en la institución estaban muy preocupados “por las consecuencias potenciales de publicar ese tipo de dudas en Internet”.

    “The University of Oviedo denied on October 30, 2017 the existence of irregularities in different scientific articles in which Carlos López Otín had participated as a professor in the area of ​​Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the Department of Biochemistry of the University of Oviedo.

    This is stated in a letter with the seal of the University signed by the Vice Chancellor for Research of the University of Oviedo, José Ramón Obeso, addressed to a citizen who had raised doubts about the articles.

    In the letter, Obeso explains that the Research Ethics Committee of the University of Oviedo studied the matter and, after listening to “experts in the field”, concluded that there are no “relevant irregularities in the articles mentioned and the investigation has been developed following the standards established by the different publications “.

    In addition, Obeso added in the letter the “express support” of the University of Oviedo to Carlos Otín and his research group, adding that in the institution they were very concerned “about the potential consequences of publishing such doubts on the Internet.””

    “La carta no se publicó hasta ahora

    La carta no se hizo pública entonces. Fue la semana pasada, casi año y medio después, cuando ha trascendido la retirada de nueve artículos entre cuyos autores figura López Otín. En concreto, fue retirado en octubre un ‘paper’ publicado en 2015 de la revista ‘Nature Cell Biology’ tras detectarse irregularidades en algunas imágenes. Más recientemente otros ocho artículos en los que ha participado el investigador, publicados entre 2007 y 2009, también fueron retirados en su totalidad por los mismos motivos por sus autores, a requerimiento de la revista Journal of Biological Chemistry.

    Desde la Universidad de Oviedo se emitió un comunicado de tres párrafos en apoyo de López Otín, quien se encuentra realizando una estancia sabática de seis meses en París. Posteriormente añadieron que Otín se reincorporará próximamente a la Universidad de Oviedo y declinaron dar más detalles ni responder a preguntas, alegando que habían facilitado ya “amplia información”.

    Por su parte, López Otín dijo que la retirada de ocho de sus artículos de la revista ‘Journal of Biological Chemistry’ resulta “dañino tanto para la ciencia como para los científicos”, ya que se trata de publicaciones “muy antiguas” y sus resultados están “ampliamente validados” y “no tenían ningún impacto sobre el mensaje principal del artículo”.

    “The letter was not published until now

    The letter was not made public then. It was last week, almost a year and a half later, when it has transpired the withdrawal of nine articles whose authors include López Otín. Specifically, in October a ‘paper’ published in the magazine ‘Nature Cell Biology’ was removed in October after detecting irregularities in some images. More recently, eight other articles in which the researcher has participated, published between 2007 and 2009, were also withdrawn in their entirety for the same reasons by their authors, at the request of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

    From the University of Oviedo, a three-paragraph statement was issued in support of López Otín, who is on a six-month sabbatical in Paris. They later added that Otín will soon rejoin the University of Oviedo and declined to give more details or answer questions, claiming that they had already provided “extensive information”.

    For his part, Lopez Otín said that the withdrawal of eight of his articles in the journal ‘Journal of Biological Chemistry’ is “harmful to both science and scientists,” since they are “very old” publications and their results they are “widely validated” and “had no impact on the main message of the article”.”

    “5.000 ratones sacrificados

    En una entrevista concedida al diario asturiano La Nueva España la pasada semana, López Otín, reveló que más de 5.000 ratones con los que investigaba habían tenido que ser sacrificados hace unos meses por culpa de una infección “sin precedentes”. Explicaba además que era objeto desde hace tiempo de una campaña de acoso.

    Tras esa revelación, la Universidad de Oviedo confirmó mediante una escueta nota que hace unos meses se detectó en el Bioterio de la institución un brote infeccioso con un virus murino. “Con objeto de erradicar la infección, se procedió al desalojo de las instalaciones, a su limpieza en profundidad y a su esterilización”, se han limitado a declarar sobre lo sucedido, sin querer aclarar más detalles sobre lo ocurrido.

    Para distintos miembros de la comunicad científica e investigadora las explicaciones no están siendo suficientes. La Asociación Transparencia Universitaria (ATU) advertía esta semana que el ‘cierre de filas’ que se estaba produciendo podía ser contraproducente y generar aún más dudas.

    En un comunicado han solicitado que se ponga fin al “oscurantismo” y han anunciado que solicitarán formalmente la información sobre el caso y los procesos de experimentación animal, tanto al propio investigador López Otín y a la Universidad de Oviedo, concretamente al Vicerrectorado de Investigación, a la Comisión de Bioética y al Comité de Ética de la Investigación de la propia Universidad.”

    “5,000 sacrificed mice

    In an interview with the Asturian newspaper La Nueva España last week, López Otín revealed that more than 5,000 mice with which he was investigating had to be slaughtered a few months ago because of an “unprecedented” infection. He also explained that he had been the target of a harassment campaign for some time.

    After that revelation, the University of Oviedo confirmed by means of a brief note that a few months ago an infectious outbreak with a murine virus was detected in the Bioterio of the institution. “In order to eradicate the infection, we proceeded to evict the facilities, to clean them thoroughly and to sterilize them”, they have limited themselves to declaring what happened, without wanting to clarify more details about what happened.

    For different members of the scientific and research community the explanations are not enough. The University Transparency Association (ATU) warned this week that the ‘closing of ranks’ that was taking place could be counterproductive and generate even more doubts.

    In a statement they have requested that the “obscurantism” be stopped and they have announced that they will formally request information on the case and the processes of animal experimentation, both to the researcher López Otín and the University of Oviedo, specifically to the Vice-Rector for Research, the Bioethics Commission and the Research Ethics Committee of the University itself.”

    Like

    • All universities do the same: I obtained the same answer from Cornell. University and Champalimaud Foundation regarding Dr David Lyden

      Like

  52. Pedro Villarias, I take that you honestly try to understand what the problem in Lopez-Otin case is. In my view, the problem does not have to do on whether Lopez-Otin is a good or bad person. You are correct that many of his friends say that he is a good person and they probably are right. However, many other people who try to do research in Spain, but did not get a grant, are also good persons. Many of these out of job scientists did not get funding because Lopez-Otin and his likes, who are in the granting committees, said that they did not deserve to be granted because they did not have enough papers. So the problem is huge, honest scientists that publish few papers because they do a very careful job are not granted, while those that publish a lot forging data, trick the system to get all the money and fame. Is what I a call the “elegant violence” of charming but fame hungry “look alike scientists” who think they are better than the honest guys. The scientific community is global, and people who publish forged results and do not have the shame to admit it, and even say that they did not know the results were manipulated, have to be forced out of science, even if they are good persons. If the scientific community of Spain supports Lopez-Otin and other people who have been forced to retract articles and does not manifest publically against Lopez-Oting and it will be an accomplice to forgery and the spanish scientific community will be irreversibly discredited making very difficult to do honest and credible science in Spain.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “However, many other people who try to do research in Spain, but did not get a grant, are also good persons. Many of these out of job scientists did not get funding because Lopez-Otin and his likes, who are in the granting committees, said that they did not deserve to be granted because they did not have enough papers. So the problem is huge, honest scientists that publish few papers because they do a very careful job are not granted, while those that publish a lot forging data, trick the system to get all the money and fame.”

      If your analysis is true the system is self-seeking, not self-correcting (inside Spain).

      One partial solution:
      only let non-Spanish people review grant applications submitted by Spanish people.
      Bar Spanish people in the country, and Spanish people outside the country (same networks),
      from reviewing grants submitted by Spanish people.
      Foreigners will less likely be competing for the same pool of resources, whereas natives will more likely be competing for the same resources and will tend to deny their competitors resources.

      This could be applied to any country. Only foreigners to review grants submitted by natives.

      Like

      • As you already indicate, this could be a partial solution, but I do not think it is even partial. Some private funding institutions in Spain use the “foreign” strategy review process, and it does not work because the results are the same, only the “Stars” get funded. The problem of scientific review, either for grants or papers, is very complex and there may not be a single solution. For example, “foreign” is difficult to define in terms of a global scientific activity/community. If we focus in the issue of the scientific “stars” like Lopez-Otin, one clear example is ERC review and funding. Many of the “stars” that appear in pubpeer have been awarded ERC grants even after having been forced to retract papers. In this case, the problem is not due to reviewers from their own country; it is rather due to reviews from “natives” of the same research area and network. Perhaps one alternative could be to defend that granting agencies or journal take into account only the quality of the projects or the papers, and not on the number or impact of previous publications to get a grant or a paper published.

        Like

      • That’s sounds nationalistic. I strongly disagree that rogue science is a Spanish feature, ERC example here is already given.
        It’s not a big deal to bring the other set of examples, not necessarily related to funding.
        Spaniards are more prone to nepotism, that’s true, and sometimes this type of connections (families or other… em…mates) not so easy to spot. They are also too open in their corruption which often does have a look for them like: «oh, dear, how come you say these awful things about Pedro, he’s so nice guy, we’ve watched many matches together, everything is fine with him!» etc — here above you could notice that too.

        Like

  53. Pedro Villarias, bis. Regarding your surprise on why did journals like JBC and NCB and reviewers not notice the forgeries, here is my view. Journals send articles for review to peers and it may happen that the peers are friends or most often do not spend the time to check carefully the figures and data they review. They cannot. In addition, until very recently, scientific journals did not ask for the actual data or the whole images used to make the figures. It has been only until very recently, after the extremely valuable effort of people like Leonid or anonymous peers in pubpeer who devote time to improve scientific reporting and have discovered so many forged articles, that Journals have started asking for the real data. By the way, the peer review in the majority of scientific journals is anonymous because up to know is the only way to better scientific articles outside the menace of powerful “scientists look alike”. When someone, in the cover of anonymity, does not provide sound arguments or does not act correctly, it is obvious.

    Like

  54. Some more small details being reported by the Spanish press, but mainly the same as the report in
    https://www.redaccionmedica.com/secciones/sanidad-hoy/la-universidad-de-oviedo-ya-nego-irregularidades-de-lopez-otin-en-2017-4580

    https://www.lavanguardia.com/local/asturias/20190207/46284718015/la-universidad-de-oviedo-nego-ya-en-octubre-de-2017-la-existencia-de-irregularidades-en-articulos-de-lopez-otin.html

    “La Universidad de Oviedo negó ya en octubre de 2017 la existencia de irregularidades en artículos de López-Otín
    0 La Universidad de Oviedo negó el 30 de octubre de 2017 la existencia de irregularidades en diferentes artículos científicos en los que había participado como autor el catedrático en el área de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular en el departamento de Bioquímica de la Universidad de Oviedo, Carlos López Otín (Sabiñánigo, Huesca, 1958).”

    “The University of Oviedo already denied in October 2017 the existence of irregularities in articles by López-Otín
    0 The University of Oviedo denied on October 30, 2017 the existence of irregularities in different scientific articles in which the professor in the area of ​​Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the Department of Biochemistry of the University of Oviedo, Carlos López, had participated as author. Otín (Sabiñánigo, Huesca, 1958).”

    “OVIEDO, 7 (EUROPA PRESS)

    “La Universidad de Oviedo negó el 30 de octubre de 2017 la existencia de irregularidades en diferentes artículos científicos en los que había participado como autor el catedrático en el área de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular en el departamento de Bioquímica de la Universidad de Oviedo, Carlos López Otín (Sabiñánigo, Huesca, 1958).

    Así consta en una carta con el sello de la Universidad firmada por el vicerrector de Investigación de la Universidad de Oviedo, José Ramón Obeso, dirigida a un ciudadano que había planteado dudas acerca de los artículos.

    En la misiva, Obeso explica que el Comité de Eética de Investigación de la Universidad de Oviedo estudió el asunto y, tras escuchar a “expertos en la materia”, concluyó que no existen “irregularidades relevantes en los artículos que menciona y la investigación se ha desarrollado siguiendo los estandares establecidos por las diferentes publicaciones”.”

    “OVIEDO, 7 (EUROPA PRESS)

    The University of Oviedo denied on October 30, 2017 the existence of irregularities in different scientific articles in which the professor in the area of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the Department of Biochemistry of the University of Oviedo, Carlos López Otín, had participated as author. (Sabiñánigo, Huesca, 1958).

    This is stated in a letter with the seal of the University signed by the Vice Chancellor for Research of the University of Oviedo, José Ramón Obeso, addressed to a citizen who had raised doubts about the articles.

    In the letter, Obeso explains that the Research Ethics Committee of the University of Oviedo studied the matter and, after listening to “experts in the field”, concluded that there are no “relevant irregularities in the articles mentioned and the investigation has been developed following the standards established by the different publications “.”

    “Además, Obeso añadió en la carta el “apoyo expreso” de la Universidad de Oviedo a Carlos Otín y a su grupo de investigación, añadiendo que en la institución estaban muy preocupados “por las consecuencias potenciales de publicar ese tipo de dudas en Internet”.

    La carta no se hizo pública entonces. Fue la semana pasada, casi año y medio después, cuando ha trascendido la retirada de nueve artículos entre cuyos autores figura López Otín. En concreto, fue retirado en octubre un ‘paper’ publicado en 2015 de la revista Nature Cell Biology tras detectarse irregularidades en algunas imágenes. Más recientemente otros ocho artículos en los que ha participado el investigador, publicados entre 2007 y 2009, también fueron retirados en su totalidad por los mismos motivos por sus autores, a requerimiento de la revista Journal of Biological Chemistry.

    Desde la Universidad de Oviedo se emitió un comunicado de tres párrafos en apoyo de López Otín, quien se encuentra realizando una estancia sabática de seis meses en París. Posteriormente añadieron que Otín se reincorporará próximamente a la Universidad de Oviedo y declinaron dar más detalles ni responder a preguntas, alegando que habían facilitado ya “amplia información”.

    Por su parte, López Otín dijo que la retirada de ocho de sus artículos de la revista ‘Journal of Biological Chemistry’ resulta “dañino tanto para la ciencia como para los científicos”, ya que se trata de publicaciones “muy antiguas” y sus resultados están “ampliamente validados” y “no tenían ningún impacto sobre el mensaje principal del artículo”.”

    “In addition, Obeso added in the letter the “express support” of the University of Oviedo to Carlos Otín and his research group, adding that in the institution they were very concerned “about the potential consequences of publishing such doubts on the Internet.”

    The letter was not made public then. It was last week, almost a year and a half later, when it has transpired the withdrawal of nine articles whose authors include López Otín. Specifically, a ‘paper’ published in the Nature Cell Biology journal in 2015 was removed after detecting irregularities in some images. More recently, eight other articles in which the researcher has participated, published between 2007 and 2009, were also withdrawn in their entirety for the same reasons by their authors, at the request of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

    From the University of Oviedo, a three-paragraph statement was issued in support of López Otín, who is on a six-month sabbatical in Paris. They later added that Otín will soon rejoin the University of Oviedo and declined to give more details or answer questions, claiming that they had already provided “extensive information”.

    For his part, Lopez Otín said that the withdrawal of eight of his articles in the journal ‘Journal of Biological Chemistry’ is “harmful to both science and scientists,” since they are “very old” publications and their results they are “widely validated” and “had no impact on the main message of the article”.”

    “En una entrevista concedida al diario asturiano La Nueva España la pasada semana, López Otín, reveló que más de 5.000 ratones con los que investigaba habían tenido que ser sacrificados hace unos meses por culpa de una infección “sin precedentes”. Explicaba además que era objeto desde hace tiempo de una campaña de acoso.

    Tras esa revelación, la Universidad de Oviedo confirmó mediante una escueta nota que hace unos meses se detectó en el Bioterio de la institución un brote infeccioso con un virus murino. “Con objeto de erradicar la infección, se procedió al desalojo de las instalaciones, a su limpieza en profundidad y a su esterilización”, se han limitado a declarar sobre lo sucedido, sin querer aclarar más detalles sobre lo ocurrido.

    Para distintos miembros de la comunicad científica e investigadora las explicaciones no están siendo suficientes. La Asociación Transparencia Universitaria (ATU) advertía esta semana que el ‘cierre de filas’ que se estaba produciendo podía ser contraproducente y generar aún más dudas.

    En un comunicado han solicitado que se ponga fin al “oscurantismo” y han anunciado que solicitarán formalmente la información sobre el caso y los procesos de experimentación animal, tanto al propio investigador López Otín y a la Universidad de Oviedo, concretamente al Vicerrectorado de Investigación, a la Comisión de Bioética y al Comité de Ética de la Investigación de la propia Universidad.”

    “In an interview with the Asturian newspaper La Nueva España last week, López Otín revealed that more than 5,000 mice with which he was investigating had to be slaughtered a few months ago because of an “unprecedented” infection. He also explained that he had been the target of a harassment campaign for some time.

    After that revelation, the University of Oviedo confirmed by means of a brief note that a few months ago an infectious outbreak with a murine virus was detected in the Bioterio of the institution. “In order to eradicate the infection, we proceeded to evict the facilities, to clean them thoroughly and to sterilize them”, they have limited themselves to declaring what happened, without wanting to clarify more details about what happened.

    For different members of the scientific and research community the explanations are not enough. The University Transparency Association (ATU) warned this week that the ‘closing of ranks’ that was taking place could be counterproductive and generate even more doubts.

    In a statement they have requested that the “obscurantism” be stopped and they have announced that they will formally request information on the case and the processes of animal experimentation, both to the researcher López Otín and the University of Oviedo, specifically to the Vice-Rector for Research, the Bioethics Commission and the Research Ethics Committee of the University itself.”

    Like

  55. Ay Leonidas, si vives de las donaciones debes de estar forrándote con los cebollinos que no sacaron la plaza de catedrático en Oviedo. Aunque en realidad son tan “listos” que te hacen ellos todo el trabajo.
    Si escribiesen la mitad de artículos en revistas científicas que las entradas que escriben aquí, tendrían más premios que Otín…
    La verdad que esto engancha es como el Sálvame cutre de la investigación.

    Like

    • adamselwith

      pero si sólo son cuatro gatos aquí! ah y un hombre murciélago. Vamos, que te pasas un pelín.

      Like

  56. We should have a list of current fundings of Lopez-Otin, his related people and 50-signed scientists. And ask each agency what happens to their funds and if the proposals were based on the retracted/concerned studies.
    The retracted Nature Cell Biology paper resulted in
    -2.5 million euros for ERC grant to Lopez-Otin’s ageing research;
    -60K euros for Juan de la Cierva Incorporacion to Clara Soria-Valles back to University of Oviedo.
    JBC papers are decades old, but surely produced lots of past fundings which will never be back.

    Like

  57. Pedro Villarías López

    Thank you very much for your answers to my questions . To Zebedee (1) the time table for the detection is important because here I heard that the reason for all of this is a personal feud in the Otin´s department not an unselfish search of scientific truth.The articles are old but only very recently (October 2017) appears a letter point to them and the JBC´s retractions.(2). He says that he was unaware, you can believe him or not. (3).I confess that I don´t know that a scientist can be “retracted” so many times as it shows the retraction watch page that you post so it seems that there is a huge problem in biological sciences but I hold my believe (my words were “very difficult” not “impossible” and it is an opinion not a fact) because the conclusions of the experiments must be validated as it seems is the case in Mr.Otín career .Surely you know the nearly perfect agreement of Mendel peas experiments with the theory (6022 yellow seeds/2001 green seeds=3.009, something very rare in a experiment with organisms (probably Mendel discarded some anomalous peas) but, obviously Mendelian genetics are true inside the limits of its application. But if Mendel had trying to sell another (false) proportion we never had heard about him (never he had been “rediscovered”).Perhaps I must used the expression “long and successful career” (400 papers) because it is obvious that the retractions in Otín´s case are important because are rare. It was a big surprise, at least, for me.
    To Mr.Owlbert: You draw a very bleak picture of science and I believe you but if JBC is the rare bird in the jungle of scientific publications who can “throw out your trash” ¿why submit to this journal , one of the rare that would give you a severe reprimand, not one but eight manipulated papers?. Surely Mr. Otin had had others safer options. “Clown” and “sod” are directed to Mr.Otin not the peers that supports him and here enters my response to “concerned” and Zebedee about personal traits. Thank you for your answers. In Spanish “good person” and “honest person” are synonymous. You cannot be a good person (“buena persona”) and a trickster (“estafador” ) at the same time so here there are two pictures of the same person that don´t match one with the other, in fact, they are the opposite. Thank you, I am learning a lot about science (surely much more that in a reality show of TV I believe , despite I never had seen one)

    Like

    • “To Zebedee (1) the time table for the detection is important because here I heard that the reason for all of this is a personal feud in the Otin´s department not an unselfish search of scientific truth.The articles are old but only very recently (October 2017) appears a letter point to them and the JBC´s retractions.”

      Personal feuds happen all the time. If it were just a personal feud why would 2 journals, one based in Washington D.C., and the other based in London, retract 9 articles? The articles retracted are not “very” old, 8 retractions 2000-2007, and a 2018 retraction of a 2015 paper. Even if they were very old that is not a reason not to retract them.

      (2). He says that he was unaware, you can believe him or not.

      That is a typical defence used by higher-ups when things go awry. Once, or twice, but 9 times?
      In civil courts it is on the “balance of probabilities”, not “beyond reasonable doubt”, which is for criminal courts.

      (3).I confess that I don´t know that a scientist can be “retracted” so many times as it shows the retraction watch page that you post so it seems that there is a huge problem in biological sciences but I hold my believe (my words were “very difficult” not “impossible” and it is an opinion not a fact) because the conclusions of the experiments must be validated as it seems is the case in Mr.Otín career”

      What is the evidence for “conclusions of the experiments must be validated as it seems is the case in Mr.Otín career”? He is saying that. The mice are all dead.

      Like

    • Smut Clyde

      I heard that the reason for all of this is a personal feud in the Otin´s department

      That is certainly a possibility, but it is not an enormously helpful theory, unless there is outside evidence to support it. It does not explain the retraction of the Nature Cell Biology paper, which started when a well-established Pubpeer contributor raised a question in PubPeer, starting a thread that wandered all over the place and grew steadily worse.

      The theory is not flattering for the other people in the department. The important point is that the criticisms were all valid: JBC retracted 8 papers because figures were fabricated (we don’t know by whom). If one person knew about these fabrications from a decade ago, but was only motivated to announce them in late-2017 because of a “personal feud”, we wonder how widespread that knowledge might be – how many other people also knew?

      Like

      • At Spanish universities, “personal feuds” are typical, everybody knows what is going on but everybody remains silent afraid of reprisals including seeing their careers going through the sink

        Like

  58. Another thing you will learn from following Retraction Watch, PubPeer and this esteemed blog is that for this case we only have the “first wave” of retractions so far. As the sleuths turn the cold light of inspection on the outputs of the great Mousekiller of Oviedo there is little doubt that much more will turn up. Our boy will be rocketing up the RW List of Shame week by week, and when it is revealed that fake crap was used to get grants and award graduate degrees even the Spanish Inquisition will have to do something other than rattle the nationalist tambourines. Of course if this follows the established Euro pattern ol’ Carlos will be allowed to rattle off into comfortable retirement – who knows, maybe even become Minister of Science or head of his University – while the real shitstorm will come down on his trainees and collaborators. Then again, at least one of them must have started all this by ratting him out, no?

    Like

    • Yes!! You are rigth! CRG and Valcarcel seem to be at the hot spot of the ring. Following their trace may lead to very interesting findings. BTW the CRG scientific director recently appeared in an interview in El Pais saying that they cant even spend the huge amount of money they have, and he was pictured in his lavish building right in front of the beach.. 5 star science tourism

      Like

      • «pictured in his lavish building right in front of the beach.. 5 star science tourism» — this does not come only from Spain/Catalonia: some people blissed to work there, being not Spanish at all, consider that CRG does not make enough advertising of their location to get more money of those, who «want to learn biology on the beach» (they sell courses for that) their guests on twitter repeatedly report with the same view, also referring to good food… — «we are in science to have fun», aren’t we?

        Like

      • «an interview in El Pais saying that they cant even spend the huge amount of money they have» — I found this — https://elpais.com/elpais/2019/01/31/ciencia/1548956263_585614.html
        see the context: he complains that they have 3 years financial plans from the govs and then they can have cut out for the next 3 years so he asserts that previous 3 years money had been spent in wain as 3 years aren’t enough, so they have to fire people (olala, in my case that were officially discipline and disobedience, I still wonder where are my 5 year contract’s money…)

        but the most captivating part is the bottom of the article in El Pais 😉
        where they complain that the Minister is avoiding their clown SOMMa alliance
        but
        they had still unconfirmed appointment on 11 of February (today)
        fingers crossed 😀

        Like

  59. Oh, BTW, Juan Valcarcel is a member of the PRBB Good Scientific Practice Working Group http://portal.prbb.org/information/for-researchers/good-scientific-practice/10 along with some well connected CRG’s officer, who has nothing to do with research but organizes courses right «near the beach with so fascinating view on the sea in sunny Barcelona» (true sci-touristic business)

    Like

    • Yes!, you may be right about having fun. That may explain everything, of course while you our out lunching in michelin star restaurants and go to the beach afterwards, there is no time to do experiments, and it is really necessary to become a photoshop expert (like some of the CRG residents that profusely appear in pubpeer).

      Like

  60. Thanks Zebedee for providing the retraction info. These CRG people with pubpeer reports and retractions still receive huge amount of funding. Like CLO, they are now more sophisticated and changed photoshop westerns by bioinformatics and next generation sequencing. It is now much more difficult to check reproducibility of their papers. Some of them promoted by the relationship of multinational sequencing companies that advertise in fashion journals. There is a lot of investigative work to do in the future

    Like

  61. Pedro Villarías López

    Thank you very much for your answers: To Zebedee: (1) some recent clash in the University (“one of them must have started all this” as Mr.Owlbert says, but precisely now) would explain why the JBC has been notified just now about the problems in articles more than ten years after its publication (11-18 years) . The personal feud is not with the Journal, the retractation is a tool against Mr.Otín and I don´t deny that its convenience is independent of the time of publication.
    (2) I am not familiar with immuno-assays but one photograph posted by Mr.Smut Clyde seems to have been magnify a lot of times. It seems to me that if you had to discover the duplication of the lanes you must think beforehand that there had been one and where to look.
    (3) I don´t know but surely there is more mice of this breed in others laboratories and I suppose that the validation of his findings (I assume that correct findings explain his high citation index) have been carried out along this 11-18 years span (a long time for science in our times, I believe) before the demise of the mice .
    To Mr.Owlbert: You (and Zebedee also hints to it) suggest that Mr.Otín is the responsible of the mice infection (a very serious accusation, I am surprised by your animosity towards him ) but if his findings with the mice had been validated it makes no sense killing them (a severe blow to his students and a personal lose for him) and again it would reveals a Machiavellian mind that don´t match the description of his character. He was not in Oviedo so he would have ordered someone to carry out the task. I think all of this very implausible. Again, I am (as in the Mendelian example of my last post) making a difference between experiment/paper and conclusions=findings/theory.
    To Mr. Smut Clyde : I believe that the Nature paper is an independent case.
    There is one thing that eludes me yet: if the protein is there, if the gen is there, if your findings are true, as it seems in this case because a lot of work of others is based in Otín´s papers, why retouch some graph?.Do this save you a lot of time and work?.
    Thank you.

    Like

    • Again, it doesn’t matter if this is a result of a feud or from suposedly people who envy CLO fame and success. The real evidence is that Lopez-Otin published fake results as a responsible author. So he should be responsible. There is no clear evidence that the fake results have been reproduced. Moreover, yes the proteins and genes are there, but almost all of them could be easily obtained by any group based on previous literature. Nothing really original or no significant breakthrough in CLO otin long succesful career. Why manipulate figures? Some people are capable of doing anything for fame, vanity and glory. But the worst, in my opinion, is that he says he was unaware of the forgery. If that was the case, it is clear that he should not be in science., because he signs papers as a responsible author without even reading them..

      Liked by 1 person

    • Smut Clyde

      (2) I am not familiar with immuno-assays but one photograph posted by Mr.Smut Clyde seems to have been magnify a lot of times. It seems to me that if you had to discover the duplication of the lanes you must think beforehand that there had been one and where to look.

      I disagree. I magnified the image, and enhanced its contrast, to make the manipulations sufficiently obvious that some very skeptical people, who are reluctant to believe that anything was wrong with the papers, would be convinced.

      However, for observers who have trained their eyes, the manipulations are easy to see. That is why, when you read a number of Pubpeer threads, you will see some contributors who comment a lot – they have learned how to see. It is only a matter of knowing which papers to look at.

      So I find it easy to believe that someone could have noticed something wrong in one paper, and then looked at other papers from the same authors and about the same date, and found more problems. And then other people joined in. Although Pubpeer threads are not an essential part of the whole story… some of the retractions from JBC, and some of the corrections, involved issues that had not actually been raised at PubPeer. Which is to say, either the JBC Data Integrity team performed their own examination and found those issues, or someone contacted them through non-Pubpeer channels.

      I heard that the reason for all of this is a personal feud in the Otin´s department

      Is there outside evidence to support this theory? From whom did you hear it?

      Like

  62. “The retractation is a tool against Mr.Otín.” Nope, just standard practice for throwing out the scientific trash, no matter the source.
    “It seems to me that if you had to discover the duplication of the lanes you must think beforehand that there had been one and where to look.” True. The same applies to most forensic procedures. One has to suspect before one inspects. When the evidence confirms the suspicion, on we go with the trial.
    “Surely there is more mice of this breed in others laboratories.” Maybe, but they will not be the exact same mice, and we can be sure that CLO is counting on that to cut both ways: it’s a shame they are gone because they could have confirmed my work, and only those mice could have done so. Call me suspicious by nature, but the timing is just too good here. I have never heard of a colony of that size being totally wiped out. They could have saved some sperm, if nothing else.
    If you think Machiavellian personalities thrive by being openly so, you might want to re-read your Machiavelli. The Discourses, not the Prince.
    You are probably right about Mendel. Obvious stats juggling going on there by modern standards. Maybe that’s why he’s credited for founding genetics in the poetic sense, while the guys that established it as a science were experts at statistical analysis. In fact as I recall, they invented most of it.
    In the end, what has CLO accomplished other than building a little Potemkin village of almost-biology? My main beef against him is that I know modern science is a zero-sum game. Every job or grant dollar awarded to a corner-cutting hack is one less given to someone else who might have been just a bit slower to submit because they did things right, and never made into the inner circle because they spent most of their time in the lab rather than rubbing shoulders with B-movie stars and the like.
    Consistent fraud is not a mistake, it’s a career choice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, owlbert, clear explanation and rigth to the point. I fully agree with you, particularly in saying that consistent fraud is a career choice. Unfortunately there are many that have chosen the fraudster path to appear as sucessful scientists, so many that I have students asking me whether the only way to be successful is to cut corners. Although it is not a rewarding activity, the only way to convince early career scientists to keep honest is to uncover the fraudsters and show that the success of these fake stars is not worth. The spanish scientific community should not support CLO or any scientific fraud. I do not have anything personal against CLO or the other people who have been forced to retract articles. I just think it is very important to send the message that, in science, fraud does not pay, and to explain that people who commit fraud are not scientists.

      Like

    • “rubbing shoulders with B-movie stars”

      A not B.

      https://en.fpdgi.org/news/news/1017-actor-antonio-banderas-and-biochemist-carlos-lopez-otin-to-open-the-princess-of-girona-foundation-awards-ceremony/

      “FPdGi Awards

      “Actor Antonio Banderas and biochemist Carlos López-Otín to open the Princess of Girona Foundation Awards ceremony”

      Like

  63. “I have so many friends and I am a good person” How can a scientist make such as non-scientific excuse to his own fraud. The solid argument here is that he had retractions at 1 NCB and 8 JBC.

    Like

  64. Pingback: El Teatro de la Ciencia y la Academia. El Otín-Gate – Información Alternativa

  65. http://www.rebelion.org/noticia.php?id=252342

    “¿Qué va a suceder ahora con esa hipotética plaza, beca o proyecto ganados por la mínima debido al mérito de tener un artículo más que tus oponentes?
    El Teatro de la Ciencia y la Academia. El Otín-Gate”

    “What is going to happen now with that hypothetical place, scholarship or project won by the minimum due to the merit of having an item more than your opponents? The Theater of Science and the Academy. The Otín-Gate “

    Like

  66. http://www.rebelion.org/noticia.php?id=252219

    “Los caminos de Escrivá de Balaguer son inescrutables
    Los ratones no van al cielo”

    “The paths of Escrivá de Balaguer are inscrutable
    Mice do not go to heaven”

    “En las últimas semanas está habiendo un gran revuelo por un sector de las redes sociales debido a un gran escándalo que ha pasado totalmente desapercibido para la sociedad española. Uno de los más prolíficos investigadores bioquímicos del país, Carlos López-Otín, ha tenido que retirar 8 publicaciones científicas de la revista JBC, que se suman a otra, un Nature Cell Biology del 2015 retirado el año pasado porque habían desaparecido resultados originales, y las imágenes publicadas no coincidían con las originales enviadas a la revista.”

    “In recent weeks there has been a great stir by a sector of social networks due to a great scandal that has gone completely unnoticed by Spanish society. One of the most prolific biochemical researchers in the country, Carlos López-Otín, has had to withdraw 8 scientific publications from the JBC journal, in addition to another, a 2015 Nature Cell Biology that was withdrawn last year because original results had disappeared, and the published images did not coincide with the originals sent to the magazine.”

    Like

  67. Señores ¿quién es el cabeza hueca que les informa?
    Decir que Carlos López Otín es del Opus Dei es como decir que Michelle Obama es del Ku Klux Klan…me parto con Zebedee…el caso es enfangar…¿no?
    Hasta para enfangar hay que ser inteligente, lo hacen ustedes con muy poca elegancia..
    For Better Science, really?

    Like

    • Opus Dei is irrelevant.

      What do you think of Carlos López Otín’s data?

      Like

      • A ver, que yo me entere, están hundiendo y desacreditando con inquina a un científico, porque introducen todos sus western blot en un programa informático y como resultado se encuentran que hay corta-pegas, y además éstos aparecen en varios trabajos. La revista donde se encuentran publicados, desde hace más de 10 años, obliga a los autores a la retractación “por presión de sus lectores”.
        Los autores reconocen los errores, repiten los western pero mantienen que esos “corta-pegas” no afectan a las conclusiones, porque dicen que son IRRELEVANTES.
        Lo mismo que está diciendo ahora usted acerca de la falsedad que publica sobre la relación/pertenencia al Opus Dei del autor para correspondencia….que esa información ES IRRELEVANTE.

        Tremendo, ustedes que van de abanderados de la ética.
        Debían ser espectaculares como científicos si se tienen que dedicar a esto…..
        Supongo que la presión de los lectores a la que se refiere la revista…serían ustedes enviando fake-mails a cascoporro….
        Cambien el nombre de está web…le va más….FOR WORST SCIENCE

        Like

      • You just made that quote up “por presión de sus lectores”, “under pressure from readers”.
        In reality, JBC retracted Carlos’ papers because I bribed them. There was no pressure, just my dirty money.
        You are right of course that Carlos figures were faked by “a computer program” and not a human. Must be a virus of some kind. Or maybe JBC editorial manager faked them? I think you are onto something.
        About Opus Dei: your dear Carlos wrote a foreword to a book by Opus Dei member about Jesus of Nazareth. Hopes and prayers, Batman.

        Liked by 1 person

  68. I didn’t say anything about Opus Dei.

    What do you think about the data?

    Like

  69. Leonidas cambia de traductor o búscate un español que te traduzca que no pillas una.
    Escribir un prólogo de un libro no significa ser del Opus Dei

    Like

    • Getting caught fudging westerns is highly RELEVANT to revealing a cheater who should have all of his papers retracted and forgotten. Quite the scoop about Michelle Obama – why was that particular name plucked out of the air, senor murciélago?

      Like

  70. “La revista donde se encuentran publicados, desde hace más de 10 años”

    2018 Nat Cell Biol retraction was of a 2015 paper.

    Old papers with problematic data if left in the literature become like layers in sedimentary rocks.
    It is important that they are removed.

    Like

  71. Pedro Villarías López

    Open letter to Mr.Owlbert: You had mentioned the “Spanish Inquisition” in a previous post. The inquisition still exists today ,the catholic one and a lot of others .And it seems to me that you would be a good inquisitor in medieval times. The Spanish Inquisition lost its power and influence when the accusations could not be anonymous any longer (so your jealous neighbor cannot safely to accuse you of witchcraft). You can make a little investigation about the number of “witches” burnt by the Spaniards (with trial) and other European countries in that dark times (without one). If this page is really an “esteemed” one as you write, must be read by a lot of people. In fact, you know quite well that Internet allows your accusations spread to reach millions but you have confessed yourself that you have no means of proof or disprove them. Imagine that a son can feel seeing his father treated in this way in front of the whole world.
    A person is not a can of milk and cannot be treated as such specially under the cover of anonymity. You have insulted Mr.Otín (“sod” and “clown”) and you have accused him of stealing all his ideas of others using and discarded them just as mice in his long career despite that all his acquaintances draw a very different (just the opposite) picture of him . All of this doesn´t sounds to me a very scientific and objective approach to the whole affair. I quite aware of corruption of the Spanish society and its University. I had seen it I had heard about it to others but you cannot mend an injustice with other. Surely you had seen accolades bestow to people that you thought that didn´t deserve them (of the level a school science fair as you have said) but ,beware, because it is possible that you had been misleading. Great scientific advances began as very simple experiments (electricity is a good example).
    Stephen Hawking said in one occasion that one must growth to realize that life is not just. Virus killed millions of people each year, the movement of tectonic plates, thousands. For them justice is a meaningless concept, it makes no sense. They don´t know us but we know them and as long as our knowledge increases we can ,to some extent, control them .Virus kill us but also virus give us some mutations that make us humans and allow us to reach a population of 7 billion on the Earth, the true trolls (Neanderthals) kill us and rape our wives (they were quite more beautiful than theirs were) but also give us some genes very useful in the cold winters of Europe. If you see to the Moon you could see with your eyes the alternative: the Universe of Parmenides, static, permanent and without change, that is, nothing. To fight (the Muslim “yihad”) in this world that don´t know us we must join forces. And I believe, strange at it can sounds, that you and Mr.Otín would make a very good team.
    I proposed you and your team (“the trolls of Internet” as Mr.Otín depicts you) and Mr.Otín´s team and his others “friends” on his nice “in-group” and any other that can read this ,an interesting research that I cannot make by myself (I am not the means nor the time) : to discover the gen of love.You surely knows that they are fishes that hatch its brood (here there is the relevant genii https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fish_species_that_protect_their_young) as birds do. Check the DNA of this fishes, the DNA of some birds (Mr.Otín´s son could give you a list of best species), the DNA of some mammals and the Human genome. I think that you must search for smell related genes because mammals were organisms of nocturn habits most of his evolutionary story (mama can´t see his loved child) and in the human species in a context of equity the female is directed to mate with men mostly by smell clues (if I had know this when I was a teenager!). So you must looking for a gene (I will call it NEMO, from the film of Walt Disney ) that shows a multiplication or overexpression in humans relative to mammals, in mammals relative to birds and birds relative to hatching fishes. Furthermore it is quite possible that a new mutation in its regulatory areas has appeared in the human populations of the Mediterranean basin around 1000 years before Christ because this would explain the quick expansion of the Christianism (a religion compassion-based and female-prone, you can see this in the Christian marriage relative to other “f****** agreements” as Muslims would say )in this area. As love is real NEMO is there in some place, at it must not be very complex if some fishes had one .I believe that find it is a far more interesting quest (FINDING NEMO!)for your sleuths that looking for tiny “mistakes” in the old Otin´s papers. If you succeed your finding will have huge medical implications (for the treatment of psychopaths for example) and probably you will deserve a Nobel prize. A shared Nobel prize with Mr.Otin would be a good outcome for all this mess. Greetings.

    Like

    • Pedro, are you OK? All these ramblings about Christian genes and protecting our women from extramarital sex with Muslims or Neanderthals…
      Actually, there is a theory that it was our subspecies who were the trolls, not Neanderthals. https://forbetterscience.com/2018/07/02/the-anti-social-mini-brains-of-neanderthals/

      Like

    • Oy Pedro, you make some interesting points, and then there’s a journey into the dark realms of the psyche, or at least your psyche. Sort of a Bohemian Rhapsody of a comment. Allow me my own dark moment of the soul and consider this: if the people running science were mostly real scientists, and the people running societies were capable of listening and appreciating actual knowledge, might the world we live in be less fucked than it is now?
      CLO is not a disease, he’s a symptom. He is the reflection the half-bright wankers who run the world want to see when they look in the scientific mirror; a likely lad as we say round these parts. They don’t want the laser beam of reason pointed at them, but they do want to look like they control such powers via their minions. Science minions are willing to cut corners to make it to the top just like minions do in other fields and businesses. Scientists get especially pissed off at this because they think they are a special caste above lawyers, accountants and other useless drones, who for some unfathomable reason get paid more.
      Comments about minions have to be anonymous, because aside from pulling the ladder up behind them, their other well-documented skill is that of revenge. Personally, I have nothing to fear from CLO, but I have colleagues who may be exposed to the tail-thrashings of this doomed lizard. He’s already in a scientific cyst, and now that we are in the middle of a global mass extinction event he hardly merits any more effort than it would take to squash one of the last remaining bugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  72. Dark Avenger

    Pedro, why does the way Lopez-Otin deal with people a consideration at all?

    You honestly think that bad people go around in dressed in nothing but black sneering at the people around them?

    Like

  73. Mol Cell Biol. 2004 Jun;24(12):5304-13.
    Diet-induced obesity and reduced skin cancer susceptibility in matrix metalloproteinase 19-deficient mice.
    Pendás AM1, Folgueras AR, Llano E, Caterina J, Frerard F, Rodríguez F, Astudillo A, Noël A, Birkedal-Hansen H, López-Otín C.
    Author information
    1
    Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Facultad de Medicina, Instituto Universitario de Oncología, Universidad de Oviedo, Spain.

    Figure 4.

    Like

  74. Jose Schneider

    Pedro Villarias, please DO stop the delirium of some of your comments. You are putting the rest of
    us Spanish scientists to great shame, in an acute case of what we here call “vergüenza ajena”. As if we did not have enough with all what is raining on us because of this case!!

    Like

  75. Jose Schneider

    Pedro, you are doing much more harm to Lopez Otin with your completely derailed comments, than the one he has done to himself alone

    Like

  76. Jose Schneider

    And have someone check your English grammar, please, lest the readers might think that we do not know how to write proper English in our country!

    Like

  77. https://www.europapress.es/asturias/noticia-presidente-academia-ciencias-no-tiene-ninguna-duda-integridad-lopez-otin-20190214142605.html

    “El presidente de la Academia de las Ciencias no tiene “ninguna duda” sobre la integridad de López Otín”.

    “The president of the Academy of Sciences has “no doubt” about the integrity of López Otín”.

    “La revista JBC confirma que no tiene pendientes más retiradas de artículos del investigador oscense”.

    “The JBC magazine confirms that it does not have pending more withdrawals of articles from the researcher from Huesca”.

    “OVIEDO, 14 Feb. (EUROPA PRESS) – El presidente de la Real Academia de Ciencias, Jesús María Sanz Serna, ha afirmado este jueves que no tiene “ninguna duda” acerca de la integridad del investigador de la Universidad de Oviedo Carlos López Otín, después de que le fueran retirados nueve artículos en dos revistas científicas.”.

    “OVIEDO, Feb. 14 (EUROPA PRESS) – The president of the Royal Academy of Sciences, Jesús María Sanz Serna, said Thursday that he has “no doubt” about the integrity of the University of Oviedo researcher Carlos López Otín, after nine articles were withdrawn in two scientific journals.”

    “En declaraciones a Europa Press, Sanz Serna ha explicado que, si bien la Academia “aún no ha tomado una postura institucional” acerca de este asunto, le consta que “muchos Académicos”, entre los que se ha incluido “a título personal”, no tienen “ninguna duda sobre la integridad del Académico Profesor López Otín”.”

    “Speaking to Europa Press, Sanz Serna explained that, while the Academy “has not yet taken an institutional position” on this issue, it is clear that “many Academics”, among which has been included “on a personal basis”, they have “no doubt about the integrity of Academician Professor López Otín”.”

    “No obstante, ha puntualizado que la Real Academia de Ciencias “concede gran importancia a las cuestiones éticas, sean éstas malas prácticas en las publicaciones o denuncias anónimas infundadas”.”

    “However, he pointed out that the Royal Academy of Sciences “attaches great importance to ethical issues, whether these are bad practices in publications or unfounded anonymous complaints.””

    LA REVISTA JBC NO PREVÉ RETIRAR MÁS ARTÍCULOS Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC), la publicación que pidió al equipo investigador de López Otín que retirase ocho artículos por irregularidades en las imágenes, ha confirmado a Europa Press que “no hay correcciones, retiradas ni retractaciones pendientes” de los artículos que el investigador de la Universidad de Oviedo publicó a lo largo de los años en este medio.”

    “THE JOURNAL JBC DOES NOT PREVENT TO REMOVE MORE ARTICLES Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC), the publication that asked the research team of López Otín to remove eight articles due to irregularities in the images, has confirmed to Europa Press that “there are no corrections, withdrawals or retractions pending “of the articles that the researcher of the University of Oviedo published over the years in this medium.”

    “La revista anunció el 25 de enero que los autores de los ocho artículos los habían retirado a petición de la revista después de apreciar dichas irregularidades, a pesar de que, según confirmó López Otín, el equipo investigador ofreció a la revista rectificar los errores, llegando a repetir los experimentos para demostrar que los resultados de los mismos eran correctos. JBC, por su parte, ha explicado que la revista tiene el compromiso de corregir las publicaciones cuando “es apropiado …”

    “The magazine announced on January 25 that the authors of the eight articles had withdrawn them at the request of the magazine after appreciating these irregularities, despite the fact that, according to López Otín, the investigative team offered to rectify the errors, arriving to repeat the experiments to show that the results of the experiments were correct. JBC, meanwhile, explained that the magazine is committed to correct publications when “it is appropriate …”

    “”SI HACE 20 AÑOS HUBIESE DUDAS, NO SE HABRÍA PUBLICADO” El biólogo molecular asturiano Xosé María Fernández, que actualmente trabaja en el Instituto Marie Curie de París como director de datos, ha defendido la trayectoria de López Otín, su mentor y director de su tesis doctoral, y ha explicado que el hecho de que se retire un artículo de una revista científica, no implica que la investigación y los resultados que en él aparecen reflejados no se hayan producido.”

    “”IF YOU HAD BEEN DOUBT 20 YEARS AGO, IT WOULD NOT BE PUBLISHED” The Asturian molecular biologist Xosé María Fernández, who currently works at the Marie Curie Institute in Paris as data director, has defended the career of López Otín, his mentor and director of his doctoral thesis, and has explained that the fact that an article is removed from a scientific journal, does not imply that the research and the results that appear in it have not been produced.”

    “En este sentido, ha argumentado que, si bien es “absolutamente factible” que en un proceso investigador se pueda cometer un error a la hora de seleccionar las imágenes, de ello no se puede deducir que se haya producido con la pretensión de “falsificar” los resultados. “López Otín identificó cientos de proteasas que luego fueron clonadas por otros grupos, que se retiren los artículos no quiere decir que esas proteasas dejen de existir”, ha alegado.”

    “In this sense, he has argued that, although it is “absolutely feasible” that in an investigative process an error can be made when selecting the images, it can not be deduced that it was produced with the pretense of “falsifying” the results. “López Otín identified hundreds of proteases that were then cloned by other groups, that removing the articles does not mean that these proteases cease to exist,” he said.”

    “Respecto a las imágenes, ha precisado que hace veinte años, cuando se hacían experimentos, la toma de fotografías era un proceso más complejo que ahora con las cámaras digitales. “Era un proceso de horas”, ha especificado, en el que había que revelar las fotos a mano y crear un archivo de fotos en papel, no digitalizado. “Para un artículo se escoge la más bonita, no había posibilidad de manipulación”, ha añadido.”

    “Regarding the images, he pointed out that twenty years ago, when experiments were done, taking photographs was a more complex process than now with digital cameras. “It was a process of hours,” he specified, in which the photos had to be revealed by hand and a photo file created on paper, not digitized. “For an article you choose the most beautiful, there was no possibility of manipulation,” he added.”

    “Además, y después de que todo el foco se haya puesto sobre López Otín, Fernández ha explicado que no es el investigador oscense el que toma las imágenes ni realiza los experimentos, sino que es quien planea y supervisa la investigación.”

    “In addition, and after all the focus has been placed on López Otín, Fernández has explained that it is not the Huesca researcher who takes the images or performs the experiments, but rather who plans and supervises the research.”

    “Por otro lado ha argumentado que la práctica científica habitual es que, cuando se va a publicar un artículo, hay tres autores independientes, tres revisores, que replican el experimento previamente para constatar que es correcto. “Así que si en aquel momento, hace veinte años, hubiese dudas sobre la existencia o no de esas proteínas, no se habría publicado”, ha clarificado.”

    “On the other hand, he has argued that the usual scientific practice is that, when an article is going to be published, there are three independent authors, three reviewers, who replicate the experiment previously to verify that it is correct. “So if at that time, twenty years ago, there were doubts about the existence or not of these proteins, it would not have been published,” he clarified.”

    “El problema de la retirada de estos artículos, ha explicado, es que dejan “un vacío” en la literatura científica, algo que “no es habitual, pero tampoco extraordinario”.”

    “The problem with the withdrawal of these articles, he explained, is that they leave “a vacuum” in the scientific literature, something that “is not usual, but neither is it extraordinary”.”

    “Considerando “amigo y mentor” a López Otín, ve “extraño” que haya quien intente “socavar” la labor del investigador en base a unos errores que precisamente trataron de subsanar con la revista replicando los experimentos que llevaron a las conclusiones reflejadas en los artículos ahora retirados. López Otín, ha defendido, “ha creado escuela y ha puesto a la Universidad de Oviedo en el mapa”.”

    “Considering “friend and mentor” to López Otín, he sees “strange” that there is someone who tries to “undermine” the researcher’s work based on some errors that they tried to correct with the journal replicating the experiments that led to the conclusions reflected in the articles now retired. López Otín, has defended, “has created a school and has put the University of Oviedo on the map.””

    “A su juicio “se están sacando las cosas de contexto”. “Con 500 artículos publicados, que le hayan retirado ocho seguro que le da rabia, pero su retirada no quiere decir que se les haya dado la vuelta a las imágenes para intentar engañar a los revisores”, ha añadido.”

    “In his opinion, “things are being taken out of context.” “With 500 articles published, which have removed eight insurance that gives anger, but their withdrawal does not mean that they have turned around the images to try to deceive the reviewers,” he added.”

    Like

  78. You have to agree that he put Oviedo on the map.

    Like

  79. https://www.lavozdeasturias.es/noticia/opinion/2019/02/17/carlos-lopez-otin-ilustre-acosado/00031550429414035885814.htm

    “Carlos López Otín, el ilustre acosado”.

    “Carlos López Otín, the illustrious harassed”

    “ESTHER CANTELI
    18/02/2019 05:00 H
    El acoso laboral es un grave problema en España, tan grave que podría convertirse en endémico y estructural. Existe un auténtico techo de la necedad que, con una constancia implacable y una organización nada desdeñable, persigue el talento de forma casi sistemática.”

    “ESTHER CANTELI
    2/18/2019 05:00 AM
    Workplace harassment is a serious problem in Spain, so serious that it could become endemic and structural. There is a real roof of foolishness that, with a relentless perseverance and a non-negligible organization, pursues talent almost systematically.”

    “Sin embargo, ante nuestros ojos cotidianos y distraídos con mil historias de supervivencia y manipulación, llega incluso a pasar desapercibido, excepto cuando nos toca de cerca.El acoso laboral es uno de los miles de rostros del maltrato, y afecta tanto a hombres como a mujeres, aunque nosotras nos llevemos muchas veces la peor y más silenciosa de las partes en este capítulo de la crueldad de la naturaleza humana.”

    “However, before our everyday eyes and distracted with a thousand stories of survival and manipulation, even goes unnoticed, except when we touch closely. Harassment at work is one of the thousands of faces of abuse, and affects both men and women. women, although we often take the worst and most silent of the parties in this chapter of the cruelty of human nature.”

    “Precisamente el caso del eminente profesor Carlos López Otín pone de manifiesto que también los sabios, y mucho más a menudo de lo que nos imaginamos, sufren de forma constante y sibilina el acoso y la persecución delictiva por el mero hecho de ser brillantes, de hacer descubrimientos que mejoran la calidad de vida de todos nosotros y de crear una escuela con discípulos que seguirán la escondida senda del maestro, al que admiran como lo que es: una auténtico líder en sus vidas científicas y personales.Lamentablemente, López Otín, talentoso descubridor de nuestros paisajes genómicos, aún no ha sido capaz de identificar y aislar el gen de la maldad cotidiana, de la envidia malsana que invade los entornos que uno considera a menudo los más saludables e idealistas que existen: estoy refiriéndome a la Universidad, esa noble institución que surgió para incentivar el talento y la ambición de conocimiento, al amparo de valores éticos y morales que sean un ejemplo para toda la Humanidad.”

    “Precisely the case of the eminent professor Carlos López Otín shows that also the wise, and much more often than we imagine, suffer from constant and sibylline harassment and criminal prosecution by the mere fact of being brilliant, of doing discoveries that improve the quality of life of all of us and create a school with disciples who will follow the hidden path of the teacher, whom they admire for what they are: a true leader in their scientific and personal lives. Regrettably, López Otín, talented discoverer of our genomic landscapes, has not yet been able to identify and isolate the gene of everyday evil, the unhealthy envy that invades the environments that one often considers the healthiest and idealistic that exist: I am referring to the University, that noble institution that emerged to encourage talent and the ambition of knowledge, under the protection of ethical and moral values ​​that are an example for all The humanity.”


    La figura de Carlos López Otín ha internacionalizado como ninguna otra la Universidad de Oviedo, y la ha posicionado en el mapa de los grandes proyectos del genoma humano, y por ende de la vanguardia científica mundial. Pero eso poco nos importa, aquí siempre tenemos a la vieja del visillo, astuta, viperina, ociosa y mediocre, haciendo de las suyas, para poner en cuestión por nimios detalles las conclusiones y avances científicos del dignísimo heredero de Severo Ochoa y Margarita Salas.El asunto es revolver y difamar, y de paso crear confusión, y por supuesto minar a la persona que está en el punto de mira del acosador o acosadores, que siempre suelen trabajar en equipo. Cuestionada la reputación científica, todo se torna más difícil a la hora de recuperar el equilibrio personal y la credibilidad, y a veces, se ha perpetrado un daño irreparable.

    “The figure of Carlos López Otín has internationalized like no other the University of Oviedo, and has positioned it on the map of the great projects of the human genome, and therefore of the world scientific vanguard. But that little we care, here we always have the old woman of the curtain, cunning, viperine, idle and mediocre, doing their own, to question the details and scientific advances of the most dignified heir of Severo Ochoa and Margarita Salas. The issue is to revolt and defame, and in turn create confusion, and of course undermine the person who is in the spotlight of the harasser or stalkers, who always tend to work as a team. Questioned the scientific reputation, everything becomes more difficult at the time of recovering the personal balance and the credibility, and sometimes, an irreparable damage has been perpetrated.”

    “Personalmente, confío en que el profesor López Otín salga indemne de esta indecente tropelía que lleva el cuño de los zafios, envidiosos y mediocres (que también los hay en el ámbito universitario). Que para la próxima, si es que la hubiere, con algún otro científico de los de verdad, los revisores o auditores de las publicaciones científicas no sean unos cantamañanas que den pábulo a las maquinaciones de cualquier zote que pasaba por allí.Le deseo al profesor López Otín la mejor de las venturas en el presente inmediato, y espero verlo algún día recogiendo el Premio Princesa de Asturias de Investigación Científica y Técnica, y el premio Nobel de Medicina. Otín no está solo. Somos miles los que sabemos cómo es de axfisiante y destructivo el techo de la necedad allí donde florece.”

    “Personally, I trust that Professor López Otín will emerge unscathed from this indecent outrage that bears the stamp of the uncouth, envious and mediocre (who also exist in the university environment). That for the next, if any, with any other scientist of the truth, the reviewers or auditors of the scientific publications are not some cantamañanas that give pabulum to the machinations of any zote that passed by there. I wish the teacher López Otín, the best of the best in the immediate present, and I hope to see him one day picking up the Princess of Asturias Award for Scientific and Technical Research and the Nobel Prize for Medicine. Otín is not alone. There are thousands of us who know how the ceiling of folly is flourishing and destructive.”

    Like

  80. J Biol Chem. 2004 Sep 10;279(37):38294-302. Epub 2004 Jun 30.
    Melatonin, an endogenous-specific inhibitor of estrogen receptor alpha via calmodulin.
    del Río B1, García Pedrero JM, Martínez-Campa C, Zuazua P, Lazo PS, Ramos S.
    Author information
    1
    Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular and Instituto Universitario de Oncología Del Principado de Asturias, Universidad de Oviedo, 33071 Oviedo, Spain.

    Figure 5.

    Like

    • Rex Rictor

      I think we should aim to make a new standard. When reporting such fraud, not only should the image fakery be displayed with the right annotation. The implications for the claimed results/title etc should be predicted.

      In this case basically throws into questioning the very claim whether Melatonin is an inhibitor of the ER via calmodulin.

      What horrific stuff from Spain.

      Like

  81. Perhaps it is time for retraction notices to become little papers on fraud, showing all of the bad stuff that was done in graphic detail. Let them call that Nazi propaganda.

    Like

  82. Pingback: El Science Washing del Otín-Gate – Investigadores En Paro

  83. I read a bunch of your blogs and my personal opinion is that your arguments are a bit sloppy to show research misconduct. For example, the main reason that you bring against several accused people is image duplication. First, there is just a visually comparison which may not be too accurate to conclude a research fraud. Some pictures, plots, microscope images, or whatever could be arbitrarily similar to each other and that does not imply necessarily research fraud. I would prefer to use more convincing tools to “prove” that indeed two images are identical in some of these articles such as digitizing the images and subtract them pixel by pixel and see if they match exactly or not. Otherwise visual inspection to conclude image duplication and finally research fraud is a sloppy method like the sloppy research method that is used in accused papers. Also, I’m wondering why you put responsibility for research fraud directly at principal investigators?! I mean a lot of these misconducts are done by grad students or post docs and principal investigators may never be aware of these frauds at all. I mean it looks ridiculous to me that a giant researcher with well known international reputation open photoshop or paint to manipulate images by himself. These kind of manipulative activities most of the times are done by grad students, so it’s not really ethical to target principal investigator directly as harsh as you do here.

    Like

    • “Otherwise visual inspection to conclude image duplication and finally research fraud is a sloppy method like the sloppy research method that is used in accused papers “.

      It will require analysing the data, weighing the evidence and making a judgement.

      “I would prefer to use more convincing tools to “prove” that indeed two images are identical in some of these articles such as digitizing the images and subtract them pixel by pixel and see if they match exactly or not.”

      Pixel by pixel may very well change if re-imaging has occurred.

      In the case of Lopez-Otin J Biol Chem has retracted 8 papers, and Nat Cell Biol has retracted 1 paper.
      The decision to retract is likely made on more than one thing. The journals don’t have to host his papers.

      “I mean it looks ridiculous to me that a giant researcher with well known international reputation open photoshop or paint to manipulate images by himself.”

      Reality before reputation.

      Like

    • Ah, this pixel-by-pixel comparison of low resolution images is exactly what experts did in Cosma case and proved the bands were never duplicated. Bless her, an angel of innocence. Pity all raw data and even higher-res pictures were lost.
      Anyway, are you suggesting Otin’s 8 JBC retractions happened on trumped up charges, all evidence fake? That is an interesting theory, would you like to contact El Commercio or LNE, or the local Opus Dei office?

      Like

    • Concerned

      The principal investigator (PI) is responsible for what he publishes. he receives the medals and acknowledgements that should be given to grad students or postdocs who have done the work. A PI who says is unaware of the work he publishes is a complete fraud. The reaction of lopez Otin against the withdrawal of his fake publications by blaming other people shows that he is a complete fraud because he is not a scientist.

      Like

    • It’s always refreshing to hear comments coming from a completely ignorant perspective. In science we have standards that are unfathomable to the rest of the world. Simply put, there is never, never, never any reason to do fake shit. Not to rough out the results of an experiment, not as a placeholder for a draft of a paper, not to make a point at a lab meeting – just never. Nor are we obliged to use the (apparently) most advanced techniques to scan every damn pixel. The fakery here is obvious, and it was spotted by one of the very few journals who take this sort of thing seriously. We don’t need to sift through the works of CLO and his clownlings to find the few grains among the chaff, because it is all crap and irrelevant to science. They commandeered resources that could have gone to others, some of whom one optimistically hopes would have been more competent and honest. I’m beginning to doubt that, personally. I think in this case we may just be looking at the output of the best hustler among a gang of them. The proof of that will be when CLO regains his position of glory and is declared innocent of all mean accusations.

      Like

  84. I’m not defending Lopez-Otin. But, I’m just saying: if we are scientists and particularly, we are saying: we are better than Lopez-Otin, Kroemer, Jessus, etc. in science, I think it’s better to use scientific tools to judge their works and reach a definite conclusion and have a solid evidence to prove their fraud. This solid evidence would prevent their proponents counter-attack (like that stalinist letter in France or the letter of 50 Spanish researchers to support Lopez-Otin). For pixel by pixel comparison still I’m thinking it should work to some successful degree cause those accused duplicated images looks pretty similar visually so I believe the result of digitizing and pixel by pixel comparison should “prove” indeed their identical origin. When we proved those images in those 8 retracted papers are duplicated (even I believe it should be possible to compare resized or re-imaged pictures pixel by pixel by using image processing techniques), these cheaters and their supporters would not have any word to defend their work. Otherwise, it falls on opinion based nature of these judgments (even if it is obvious for us that those images are duplicated may not be obvious for other people) and those cheaters could hide themselves behind these opinions.

    Like

    • You do know journals employ image forensics experts just for this purpose? This is exactly why authors get asked for raw data. In most cases, the data doesn’t exist, like in Carlos’ case.

      Like

      • Ana Pedro

        These are all very serious issues. The only ways to go indeed is making compulsory the presentation and publication of raw data and/or promote more wide independent reproducibility studies so that patients and public contributing for funding of certain charities can exactly know where does the money/ samples donated where used for

        Like

      • It’s interesting that in those 8 Lopez-Otin’s retracted papers, authors claimed that the results of these researches are reproduced or verified by independent researchers such as this one:

        Withdrawal: Dm1-MMP, a matrix metalloproteinase from Drosophila with a potential role in extracellular matrix remodeling during neural development:

        This article has been withdrawn by the authors upon request from the Journal. The Journal raised questions regarding Figs. 3 and 5A. The authors were able to locate some, but not all, of the original data generated 20 years ago. Fig. 3 was assembled from three different gels, and an empty area was duplicated. In Fig. 5A, the lane corresponding to Type II collagen, which is not cleaved by the enzyme, was duplicated. The authors state that new experiments were performed. The authors assert that all of the results reported in this article are valid, some of which have been independently confirmed in the literature (Zhang et al. (2006) Genes Dev. 20, 1899; LaFever et al. (2017) Sci. Rep. 7, 44560).

        Are there any problem with those “independent” researches as well that their results confirmed a faked article?!

        Like

      • Concerned

        These references do not confirm LO results. LaFever shows that dMmp1 and dMmp2 cleave different substrates. Zhang et al show Mmp1 involvement in tracheal cell adhesion. Nothing to do with neural development. I do not think I am better than LO. I just say that an IP who blames others from data manipulation in his own papers is not a scientist

        Like

    • You are missing an important point. CLO has admitted to doing what the journals said he did, so there is no division of opinion regarding the fakery. A pixel-by-pixel analysis in this case would simply show how they did what everybody knows they did, which is a waste of time given the obviously pathetic hacking involved. CLO and company have not engaged in any dialog regarding their fakery because they know they do not have a leg to stand on. Rather they have tried to brazen it out and brush it aside as “mistakes” and unimportant details, while pushing a political subtext that “everybody else does it,” which may largely be true in Europe. And of course you do realize that a detailed image analysis would require access to the originals, which I don’t see happening here.

      Like

    • somebody else

      Robert, the duplicated images are only the tip of the iceberg. Although I have some reasons to suspect fraud in some teams that I know, I’ve never seen that photoshop job. People have usually enough unused pictures that they could use to prove their point and they don’t have to duplicate the images that they use in the same article. This is a very rare and extreme case of fraud. Most people just ignore the data that do not fit with the conclusion of their paper. If people don’t react to duplicated images the right way, how could they react to less obvious forms of fraud in their team?

      Like

      • Ana Pedro

        I know about scientists in Spain who many years ago submitted a totally adobe “photoshoped” paper for publication…the paper was thus totally unreal and invented….the pictures were amazing…fortunately there was good sense and the reviewers straight away rejected the paper….
        However I am not speaking about a famous Spanish scientist….because if it was….perhaps the paper in question had been published…..

        Like

  85. Pingback: How Andrea Cerutti molested and defiled Journal of Immunology – For Better Science

  86. Pingback: Pier Paolo and Pier Giuseppe, the titans of IFOM-IEO – For Better Science

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: