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

 

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    Like

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    Like

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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

  15. 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.

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  16. 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

  17. 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.

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  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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