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In a Bind

Earlier this month, our sister publication ProteoMonitor wrote about Massachusetts Institute of Technology researcher Alice Ting and a method her lab had developed combining enzymatic tagging and mass spectrometry for mapping organelle proteomes.

Now, from Retraction Watch, comes word that Ting has retracted a 2010 Cell paper that described an enzymatic tagging approach to image binding of neurexin and neuroligin proteins.

According to the retraction notice published last week in Cell, Ting's former postdoc and first author on the paper, Amar Thyagarajan, falsified data for the publication and, Ting notes, her lab has since been unable to reproduce their original findings.

The notice goes on to state that an MIT investigation found Thyagarajan to be solely responsible for the misconduct and that he declined to sign the retraction

In a note to Retraction Watch, however, Thyagarajan asserts that he was not contacted by Cell about the retraction and that it was done over his objection.

"I stand by the data that was published and the methodology that I developed. I and others have reproduced this method over four years," he writes.

An update to the post, however, notes that Thyagarajan has resigned his position at patent law firm Clark + Elbing, where he worked as a technology specialist.

Ting, meanwhile, notes that her team has found that "with modified constructs and protocols" they now in fact are able to detect binding of neurexin and neuroligin proteins, and that they plan to publish these results in a future paper.

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