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Another Paper Gone

Jasti Rao, a former cancer researcher at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, has had an eighth paper retracted, Retraction Watch reports.

Rao, it notes, has had six papers retracted by PLOS One this year, including this most recent paper, called "Upregulation of PTEN in glioma cells by cord blood mesenchymal stem cells inhibits migration via downregulation of the PI3K/Akt pathway," that was originally published in 2010. This paper purported to show that mesenchymal stem cells could potentially be harnessed as therapeutic agents, but the retraction notice says there are concerns about the reliability of the results. The two other retracted papers appeared in Cancer Research, according to Retraction Watch's database.

Retraction Watch adds that the University of Illinois began an investigation in 2013 that looked into allegations that Rao committed research misconduct and violated ethical standards. Namely, Rao was accused of not only plagiarism and image manipulation, but of also asking employees to pay him to keep their jobs, it says in a previous article. This led to both Rao's resignation from the university but also his filing of a lawsuit against it for discrimination that he later lost.