A report published in the Oct. 19 edition of leading scientific journal Nature Cell Biology has been pulled after users of an online academic forum found that a National Taiwan University (NTU) research team led by professor Kuo Min-liang (郭明良) allegedly forged research findings using duplicated images.
The paper, which claimed to show how protease G9a could possibly regulate the proliferation of colorectal cancer cells and help scientists create new treatments, was trumpeted by the university in an online NTU newsletter last month.
Users of Pubpeer — a Web site that allows scientists to search for publications and engage in anonymous discussions — this month posted photographs taken from the NTU team’s research that claimed to show two sets of of mice implanted with colorectal cancer cells reacting to different protease treatments in an almost identical manner.
A user expressed doubt over the photos, saying that the authors could have duplicated them, using the same image to represent the results of different tests.
Posts on the Web site said that the researchers could have manipulated images produced by gel electrophoresis — a process by which proteins can be imaged — by rotating them and using different views as results from multiple tests.
Some images looked like they were partially duplicated and presented as different samples, a forum user said, adding that a number of protein electrophoresis images associated with an experiment did not seem to match up with images from a control group, which were shown in supplements to the paper.
NTU post-doctorate researcher Cha Shih-ting (查詩婷) — first author of the paper — said in the thread that she had “inappropriately duplicated” some figures in the article and that it would be retracted over “issues raised about academic ethics and her misconduct.”
Cha apologized for any inconvenience that errors in the research could have caused her fellow academics.
NTU secretary-general Lin Ta-te (林達德) said Cha had resigned from her post.
Lin said Kuo, who is also vice president of Kaohsiung Medical University, last week asked the journal to pull the article and reported the incident to the university.
The university would put together an academic ethics committee to investigate the incident, Lin said, adding that Kuo would be punished by an NTU evaluation committee for any breaches of academic ethics it finds.
Taiwan might be China’s next target after it has “walled off” Hong Kong from the rest of the world with its new national security legislation, Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said on Thursday. At a seminar organized by the Economic Democracy Union, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Hong Kong Outlanders and the Judicial Reform Foundation, Wu said that the legislation is simultaneously a fig leaf concealing Beijing’s autocratic rule in Hong Kong and a figurative “Berlin Wall,” denying democratic countries access to Hong Kong. Wu said it is evident that Taiwan would be China’s next target. The
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
The National Taiwan Museum’s Railway Department Park in Taipei is to open to the public today. The park in Datong District (大同) near the North Gate (北門, Beimen) is one of the museum’s four branches. During the Japanese colonial era, the site housed the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation. After World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) for several decades. In 2007, it was listed as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法). At an opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung
CHALLENGER DEEP: Lin Ying-Tsong was invited by Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo to join him on a 10-hour long trip in the company’s submersible Taiwanese-American Lin Ying-Tsong (林穎聰) last month became the first person from Asia and the 12th in human history to dive into the deepest part on Earth, the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. Lin, 45, an expert in deep sea acoustics with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts, joined US adventurer and Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo, 54, on June 22 in a descent to the central pool of the Challenger Deep, the deepest point of the trench, which lies at a depth of more than 10,900m. The pair made the descent in a submersible named Limiting Factor, a US$37