[3dem] problematic paper about gold nano particle labeling just published in Structure

Stark, Holger hstark1 at gwdg.de
Thu Jun 26 07:53:29 PDT 2014

Dear Grant,

I had a closer  look at the images and it turns out that the plus minus Au images have been created simply by rotating one image with respect to the other by 90 degrees and shifting the area of the image. I have attached an image that shows the remaining overlapping region after the rotation and shift (approximately).

Best regards

From: 3dem-bounces at ncmir.ucsd.edu [mailto:3dem-bounces at ncmir.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Jensen, Grant J.
Sent: Mittwoch, 11. Juni 2014 03:25
To: 3dem at ncmir.ucsd.edu
Subject: [3dem] problematic paper about gold nano particle labeling just published in Structure

Dear colleagues,

bad news: a post-doc in my lab called my attention to a figure in a paper published recently in Structure that appears to be fraudulent.

It is Figure 3 of

High-Affinity Gold Nanoparticle Pin to Label and Localize Histidine-Tagged Protein in Macromolecular Assemblies<http://www.cell.com/structure/abstract/S0969-2126%2814%2900016-1>
Kelsey C. Anthony, Changjiang You, Jacob Piehler, Daniel A. Pomeranz Krummel
Structure, Vol. 22, Issue 4, p628-635
Published online: February 20, 2014

It appears that parts of one image have been duplicated and cut and pasted into other images, with "gold" particles added (photoshopped?) on top.  If you'd like to judge for yourself, please see the two slides I've attached.  Note how the background noise spots marked with the black arrows match, as do the noise spots marked with the red arrows, and note the strange square box around the particle marked with the blue arrow.  In the bottom, I have captured a screen shot of the particle marked with my star on the upper left corner and cut and paste it next to the two particles supposedly "decorated" with gold fiducials on the right, but notice how all three particles seem to be identical.  Even the noise around the particles match.

We alerted the journal editors a few weeks ago, but as it now appears that their process to deal with this could be long, we wanted to alert the community too before anyone lost time pondering this new "method".


Grant Jensen
Professor of Biology and Investigator, HHMI
California Institute of Technology, Mail code 114-96
1200 E. California Blvd.
Pasadena, CA  91125
626-395-8827 (phone)
626-395-5730 (fax)
office location: 359 Broad (northwest corner of campus)

Administrative Assistant Karin Mallard
626-395-8893 (phone)

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <https://mail.ncmir.ucsd.edu/mailman/private/3dem/attachments/20140626/ea6cd86f/attachment-0001.html>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: simple_rotation.jpg
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 1621496 bytes
Desc: simple_rotation.jpg
URL: <https://mail.ncmir.ucsd.edu/mailman/private/3dem/attachments/20140626/ea6cd86f/attachment-0001.jpg>

More information about the 3dem mailing list