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Case Dropped

Cell Press investigated and didn't find enough evidence to support image manipulation accusations swirling around two papers from 1999 and 2001 that used chromatin immunoprecipitation to study gene regulation, Retraction Watch reports.

Readers had brought concerns about images in a Cell paper and a Molecular Cell paper from first author Maria Pia Cosma, then at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology in Austria and now at the Center for Genomic Regulation, to the publisher's attention. In a previous post, Retraction Watch reported that the anonymous accusations of image re-use and manipulation surfaced on PubPeer. At that time, the University of Massachusetts Medical School's Craig Peterson told Retraction Watch that this includes "one of the first papers to use ChIP to monitor sequential recruitment of transcriptional regulators to a eukaryotic gene, yeast HO." He added that his own work in the area has been consistent with that paper's findings.

In a notice appearing in both Cell and Molecular Cell, the publisher says that IMP provided Cosma with high-resolution images of her lab notebooks from that time that she brought to the Cell Press office and sifted through with editors. "The notebooks contained original images, alternate exposures, and/or replicate data for most of the figures in the papers, providing support for the reported findings," the notice says.

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