Authors retract Journal of Cell Science study after realizing they were using the wrong gene constructs

What do you do when it turns out the materials you used in your successful experiment weren’t actually the materials you thought they were?

If you’re Peter Zammit, of King’s College London, and colleagues, you retract a 2008 paper in the Journal of Cell Science. Here’s the notice, for “B-catenin promotes self-renewal of skeletal-muscle satellite cells:”

The authors wish to retract this paper after it has come to their attention that the two constructs that they thought were encoding for B-catenin or stabilized B-catenin are, in fact, expressing an unrelated protein. This was discovered when both constructs were used as part of another study, and it became clear that they had been confused with an unrelated construct from another project that does not express B-catenin or stabilized B-catenin.

The authors apologize for not having detected the error prior to publication.

The paper has been cited 37 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

We salute the authors, just as we did the team that realized they’d ordered the wrong mice and the one that became aware they’d used chemicals from a mislabeled bottle.



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