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Alzheimer's Disease Analysis Retracted

A team of Columbia University researchers has retracted its 2013 Nature paper describing an integrative genomic analysis of Alzheimer's disease. According to the retraction notice, sample numbers, image panels, and data points in the ELISA and subcellular localization studies were "inappropriately manipulated and inaccurate."

The researchers led by Columbia's Asa Abeliovich had reported that a molecular pathway associated with APOE4 promoted the risk of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

However, as Retraction Watch reports, the Office of Research Integrity in April had found first author Ryousuke Fujita, a former Columbia postdoc, responsible for faking and falsifying research in 74 panels in three papers. The group previously retracted a 2011 Cell paper that purported to show that skin cells from Alzheimer’s disease patients could be transformed into functioning neurons. The third paper is unpublished.

"[W]e deeply regret that one of our former employees engaged in research misconduct and that his misconduct affected two published scientific articles," a statement from the medical center says. "We recognize that the proper conduct of research is one of the most important responsibilities of a university."

In the retraction notice, the researchers say they are "confident in the transcriptomics and human genetics analyses [they] reported" and are repeating the cell-based studies.