The professor of the University of Oviedo Carlos López Otín has been forced to withdraw eight scientific articles published in the American Journal "Journal of Biological Chemistry" between the years 2000 and 2007. This publication, dependent on the Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the United States, maintains that these works They contain errors in the images and manipulations.
Otín has denied "absolutely" that these failures invalidate the substantive conclusions of these works. The Huesca researcher living in Asturias denounces that he is being subjected to "chronic professional harassment" which is the reason why he has temporarily moved to a laboratory in Paris in search of mental respite. His idea is to publish shortly high-impact works and resume his classes in Oviedo next March.
The withdrawn articles refer to the identification of human genes involved in cancer or in other pathologies, Otín's priority field for years. Many of his colleagues and collaborators have intervened in them. Otín observes a clear attitude of bad faith in his adversaries: "In no case did he contact us to request information or request a correction, but a dossier was prepared to be disseminated anonymously and try to discredit and cause the greatest possible damage".
The scientist from the University of Oviedo, one of the most cited in his field in Europe, defends the work carried out in his laboratory over three decades: "Anyone can consult in the human genome if the genes that are describe in those articles exist, if they have the sequence that we publish, if they are expressed in the tissues that we had described, and there is no doubt that these are human proteases that have opened new lines of research for dozens of research groups in all the world".
A few weeks ago, he had to withdraw another of his articles in the journal "Nature Cell Biology" in 2015. Previously, the researcher points out, "exhaustive" reviews were carried out that showed that "the experimental data are correct and endorse the conclusions of the article", despite the fact that "to avoid any further doubt, it was considered that the withdrawal of the article it was the most correct alternative, since the original records of some experiments could not be located. "
Otín adds that, despite everything, the retired article "has been the starting point for new lines of research on cell reprogramming in vivo both in our laboratory and in other international groups. "