Friday, April 29, 2016

Full Of Shite: Why a Fecal Transplants Paper Was Retracted

Posted on by Julianna LeMieux

The bacteria in our gut are really in their glory days. Bacteria found in our feces have gone from being dumped on to being at the forefront of new cures for diseases such as Clostridium difficile infection through a process known as fecal transplantation. We now know that there is a balance between the different types of bacteria in your gut, and, that they can cause a load of problems by causing disease when they are out of balance. Now, don’t poo-poo it just because it involves having someone else’s feces transplanted into your colon. Someday, we might go for fecal transplants like we go to the dentist.

Whenever a scientific topic gets hot like this, scientists are under a lot of pressure to get their results published first. This is because a tenet of scientific publications is that once something is published, that same result cannot be published again. Sometimes this pressure leads to mistakes, but it can also result in fraud: intentionally making up data. This latter situation was recently reported for an article originally published over two years ago in “Diabetes”. ......“The lead and corresponding authors wish to retract the above-cited article,” the retraction announcement states, “as an institutional investigation has identified that coauthor Yassine Sakar falsified the data used to produce Fig. 4B, fabricated Fig. 5A, and fabricated the data used to produce Fig. S3(C).”.... Read more

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