Egyptian paper retracted for photo-shopping!


Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University Hospitals

Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University: Image via Wikipedia


Retraction Watch has this amazing story of faking data by photoshopping pictures of warts!

The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology has retracted a paper it published earlier this year online by authors from Zagazig University.  Zagazig is a town in Lower Egypt, in the eastern part of the Nile delta, and is the capital of the province of the Sharqia Governorate.

Retraction Watch writes:

According to the Egyptian researchers, the MMR therapy “completely” cleared plantar warts in 20 of 23 patients (nearly 90%), and partially removed them in one more patient. Helpfully, the journal abstract provides a section on limitations, which lists the small size of the study and the lack of a control group.

Per the editors:

This article has been retracted because Figure 1C appears to be a digitally altered version of Figure 1B. In addition, the lead author asserts that the signature on the submission form for the manuscript is  not hers. The lead author also asserts that the published figures were not part of the investigation that is the subject of the report.

Indeed, the last two images—a rather plump left foot lying against some kind of floral-print backdrop—appear to be identical with the exception of the missing lesions in the final shot. The placement of the foot against the details of the pattern is so close that it seems highly unlikely to have occurred twice by chance.

The lead author Hend Gamil, MD, who asserts that her signature has been forged on the paper submission remarkably maintains the validity of the study since the apparently photoshopped pictures were from a patient who was not part of the study.

Two wrongs making a right apparently!

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