33 more papers with manipulated, duplicated images from Indian Institute of Toxicology Research

IITR Building 1_0-Optimized

With 33 more problematic papers spotted on Pubpeer today, the total number of papers containing manipulated and/or duplicated images now stands at 106. Has Indian Institute of Toxicology Research become a factory churning out papers with questionable images? If the images are questionable, will the results in such papers still be valid?

There are 33 more papers from the Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (CSIR-IITR), Lucknow that have been posted on Pubpeer website for the same reasons — image manipulation and duplication. This comes a day after 73 problematic papers from CSIR-IITR were found listed on Pubpeer, taking the grand total to 106 papers.

Today, the main authors in the papers are different and the researchers who have posted these papers on the Pubpeer website are also very different.

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Duplication within the same paper.

For a few papers, the authors have made an attempt to explain certain discrepancies cited on Pubpeer but have not been able to provide answers for all the problems identified in the images.

There are many researchers who are co-authors in at least one of the problematic papers. While hopefully a few would have actually indulged in manipulating the images, one begins to wonder if others were completely in the dark about this unethical practice or were silent participants or spectators.

With 106 problematic papers published between 2004 and 2018 by different teams and labs at CSIR-IITR, the institute appears to have become a factory churning out papers with questionable images. If the images are questionable, will results in all such papers still be valid? Or will we soon see the first wave of retractions coming from CSIR-IITR?

IITR 3-OptimizedThe concerns raised by Dr. Elisabeth M. Bik, Science consultant at Harbers-Bik LLC, San Francisco, California and others in a 2016 paper in the journal mBio is turning out to be true. The authors had studied the country of origin for each of the 348 papers with problematic images published in the journal PLOS ONE. And what they found was highly disturbing — the proportion of papers containing problematic images was higher in the case of China and India.

Dr. Bik and her team also found that authors of such questionable papers tend to be repeat offenders. This was true in the case of CSIR-IITR researchers too; though the numbers varied the trend was clear.

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List of problematic papers listed on Pubpeer

1) Atrazine or bisphenol A mediated negative modulation of mismatch repair gene, mlh1 leads to defective oogenesis and reduced female fertility in Drosophila melanogaster

Divya Vimal, Sanjay Saini, Ravi Ram Kristipati, Debapratim Kar Chowdhuri

Chemosphere (2019)

2) Over-expression of superoxide dismutase ameliorates Cr(VI) induced adverse effects via modulating cellular immune system of Drosophila melanogaster

Prakash Pragya, Arvind Kumar Shukla, Ramesh Chandra Murthy, Malik Zainul Abdin, Debapratim Kar Chowdhuri

PLoS ONE (2014)

3) Induction of hsp70, alterations in oxidative stress markers and apoptosis against dichlorvos exposure in transgenic Drosophila melanogaster: modulation by reactive oxygen species

Subash Chandra Gupta, Hifzur Rahman Siddique, Neeraj Mathur, Achchhe Lal Vishwakarma, Ranjit Kishore Mishra, Daya Krishna Saxena, Debapratim Kar Chowdhuri

Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (2007)

4) Prenatal Exposure of Cypermethrin Induces Similar Alterations in Xenobiotic-Metabolizing Cytochrome P450s and Rate-Limiting Enzymes of Neurotransmitter Synthesis in Brain Regions of Rat Offsprings During Postnatal Development

Anshuman Singh, Anubha Mudawal, Pratibha Maurya, Rajeev Jain, Saumya Nair, Rajendra K. Shukla, Sanjay Yadav, Dhirendra Singh, Vinay Kumar Khanna, Rajnish Kumar Chaturvedi, Mohana K. R. Mudiam, Rao Sethumadhavan, Mohammad Imran Siddiqi, Devendra Parmar

Molecular Neurobiology (2016)

5) Activation of Autophagic Flux against Xenoestrogen Bisphenol-A-induced Hippocampal Neurodegeneration via AMP kinase (AMPK)/Mammalian Target of Rapamycin (mTOR) Pathways

Swati Agarwal, Shashi Kant Tiwari, Brashket Seth, Anuradha Yadav, Anshuman Singh, Anubha Mudawal, Lalit Kumar Singh Chauhan, Shailendra Kumar Gupta, Vinay Choubey, Anurag Tripathi, Amit Kumar, Ratan Singh Ray, Shubha Shukla, Devendra Parmar, Rajnish Kumar Chaturvedi

Journal of Biological Chemistry (2015)

6) Proteomic approaches to investigate age related vulnerability to lindane induced neurodegenerative effects in rats

Anubha Mudawal, Ankita Srivastava, Anshuman Singh, Jai Shankar, Sanjay Yadav, Manisha Mishra, Pradhyumna K. Singh, Vinay K. Khanna, Devendra Parmar

Food and Chemical Toxicology (2018)

7) Plasma Fibrinogen Is a Natural Deterrent to Amyloid β-Induced Platelet Activation and Neuronal Toxicity

Vijay K Sonkar, Paresh P Kulkarni, Susheel N Chaurasia, Ayusman Dash, Abhishek Jauhari, Devendra Parmar, Sanjay Yadav, Debabrata Dash

Molecular Medicine (2016)

8) Prenatal exposure to lambda-cyhalothrin alters brain dopaminergic signaling in developing rats

Yogesh K. Dhuriya, Pranay Srivastava, Rajendra K. Shukla, Richa Gupta, Dhirendra Singh, Devendra Parmar, Aditya B. Pant, Vinay K. Khanna

Toxicology (2017)

9) In vitro induction of cytotoxicity and DNA strand breaks in CHO cells exposed to cypermethrin, pendimethalin and dichlorvos

Sushila Patel, Mahima Bajpayee, Alok Kumar Pandey, Devendra Parmar, Alok Dhawan

Toxicology in Vitro (2007)

10) Proteomic approaches to investigate age related vulnerability to lindane induced neurodegenerative effects in rats

Anubha Mudawal, Ankita Srivastava, Anshuman Singh, Jai Shankar, Sanjay Yadav, Manisha Mishra, Pradhyumna K. Singh, Vinay K. Khanna, Devendra Parmar

Food and Chemical Toxicology (2018)

11) Prenatal exposure to lambda-cyhalothrin alters brain dopaminergic signaling in developing rats

Yogesh K. Dhuriya, Pranay Srivastava, Rajendra K. Shukla, Richa Gupta, Dhirendra Singh, Devendra Parmar, Aditya B. Pant, Vinay K. Khanna

Toxicology (2017)

12) Involvement of PKA/DARPP-32/PP1α and β- arrestin/Akt/GSK-3β Signaling in Cadmium-Induced DA-D2 Receptor-Mediated Motor Dysfunctions: Protective Role of Quercetin

Richa Gupta, Rajendra K. Shukla, Ankita Pandey, Tanuj Sharma, Yogesh K. Dhuriya, Pranay Srivastava, Manjul P. Singh, Mohammad Imran Siddiqi, Aditya B. Pant, Vinay K. Khanna

Scientific Reports (2018)

13) Anomalies in ovary following oral exposure to oxytocin: mechanistic studies

Manjari Mishra, Vivek Mishra, Bhushan P. Chaudhuri, Vinay K. Khanna, Sanjay Mehrotra, Shakir Ali, Mukul Das

Reproductive toxicology (Elmsford, N.Y.) (2013)

14) Differentiating neurons derived from human umbilical cord blood stem cells work as a test system for developmental neurotoxicity

Mahendra P. Kashyap, Vivek Kumar, Abhishek K. Singh, Vinay K. Tripathi, Sadaf Jahan, Ankita Pandey, Ritesh K. Srivastava, Vinay K. Khanna, Aditya B. Pant

Molecular Neurobiology (2015)

15) Expression and inducibility of cytochrome P450s (CYP1A1, 2B6, 2E1, 3A4) in human cord blood CD34(+) stem cell-derived differentiating neuronal cells

Abhishek K. Singh, Mahendra P. Kashyap, Sadaf Jahan, Vivek Kumar, Vinay K. Tripathi, Maqsood A. Siddiqui, Sanjay Yadav, Vinay K. Khanna, Vinita Das, Swatantra K. Jain, Aditya B. Pant

Toxicological sciences : an official journal of the Society of Toxicology (2012)

16) PI3K/Akt/GSK3β induced CREB activation ameliorates arsenic mediated alterations in NMDA receptors and associated signaling in rat hippocampus: Neuroprotective role of curcumin

Pranay Srivastava, Yogesh K. Dhuriya, Vivek Kumar, Akriti Srivastava, Richa Gupta, Rajendra K. Shukla, Rajesh S. Yadav, Hari N. Dwivedi, Aditya B. Pant, Vinay K. Khanna

Neurotoxicology (2018)

17) Depolymerized chitosans functionalized with bPEI as carriers of nucleic acids and tuftsin-tethered conjugate for macrophage targeting

Sushil K. Tripathi, Ritu Goyal, Mahendra P. Kashyap, Aditya B. Pant, Wahajul Haq, Pradeep Kumar, Kailash C. Gupta

Biomaterials (2012)

18) Citrinin-generated reactive oxygen species cause cell cycle arrest leading to apoptosis via the intrinsic mitochondrial pathway in mouse skin

Rahul Kumar, Premendra D. Dwivedi, Alok Dhawan, Mukul Das, Kausar M. Ansari

Toxicological Sciences (2011) 

19) A novel function of TLR4 in mediating the immunomodulatory effect of Benzanthrone, an environmental pollutant

Prachi Tewari, Payal Mandal, Ruchi Roy, Somya Asthana, Premendra D Dwivedi, Mukul Das, Anurag Tripathi

Toxicology Letters (2017)

20) Purification, characterization and allergenicity assessment of 26 kDa protein, a major allergen from Cicer arietinum

Alok Kumar Verma, Akanksha Sharma, Sandeep Kumar, Rinkesh Kumar Gupta, Dinesh Kumar, Kriti Gupta, B.H. Giridhar, Mukul Das, Premendra D. Dwivedi

Molecular Immunology (2016)

21) ZnO nanoparticles induced adjuvant effect via toll-like receptors and Src signaling in Balb/c mice

Ruchi Roy, Dinesh Kumar, Akanksha Sharma, Parul Gupta, Bhushan P. Chaudhari, Anurag Tripathi, Mukul Das, Premendra D. Dwivedi

Toxicology Letters (2014)

22) Ochratoxin A-induced cell proliferation and tumor promotion in mouse skin by activating the expression of cyclin-D1 and cyclooxygenase-2 through nuclear factor-kappa B and activator protein-1

Rahul Kumar, Shamshad Alam, Bhushan P Chaudhari, Premendra D Dwivedi, Swatantra K Jain, Kausar M Ansari, Mukul Das

Carcinogenesis (2013)

23) Anomalies in ovary following oral exposure to oxytocin: mechanistic studies

Manjari Mishra, Vivek Mishra, Bhushan P. Chaudhuri, Vinay K. Khanna, Sanjay Mehrotra, Shakir Ali, Mukul Das

Reproductive toxicology (Elmsford, N.Y.) (2013)

24) Mechanism of uptake of ZnO nanoparticles and inflammatory responses in macrophages require PI3K mediated MAPKs signaling

Ruchi Roy, Vyom Parashar, L.K.S. Chauhan, Rishi Shanker, Mukul Das, Anurag Tripathi, Premendra Dhar Dwivedi

Toxicology in Vitro (2014)

25) Zinc oxide nanoparticles induce apoptosis by enhancement of autophagy via PI3K/Akt/mTOR inhibition

Ruchi Roy, Sunil Kumar Singh, L.K.S. Chauhan, Mukul Das, Anurag Tripathi, Premendra D. Dwivedi

Toxicology Letters (2014)

26) Benzanthrone induced immunotoxicity via oxidative stress and inflammatory mediators in Balb/c mice

Prachi Tewari, Ruchi Roy, Sakshi Mishra, Payal Mandal, Ashish Yadav, Bhushan P. Chaudhari, Rajnish K. Chaturvedi, Premendra D. Dwivedi, Anurag Tripathi, Mukul Das

Immunobiology (2015)

27) Phaseolin: a 47.5kDa protein of red kidney bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) plays a pivotal role in hypersensitivity induction

Sandeep Kumar, Alok Kumar Verma, Akanksha Sharma, Ruchi Roy, Dinesh Kumar, Giridhar BH, Anurag Tripathi, Bhushan P. Chaudhari, Mukul Das, S.K. Jain, Premendra D. Dwivedi

International Immunopharmacology (2014)

28) Cutaneous exposure to clinically-relevant pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan) proteins promote TH2-dependent sensitization and IgE-mediated anaphylaxis in Balb/c mice

Rinkesh Kumar Gupta, Sandeep Kumar, Kriti Gupta, Akanksha Sharma, Ruchi Roy, Alok Kumar Verma, Bhushan P. Chaudhari, Mukul Das, Irfan Ahmad Ansari, Premendra D. Dwivedi

Journal of Immunotoxicology (2016)

29) Mechanism of Nanotization-Mediated Improvement in the Efficacy of Caffeine Against 1-Methyl-4-Phenyl-1,2,3,6-Tetrahydropyridine-Induced Parkinsonism

Naveen Kumar Singhal, Swati Agarwal, Priyanka Bhatnagar, Manindra Nath Tiwari, Shashi Kant Tiwari, Garima Srivastava, Pradeep Kumar, Brashket Seth, Devendra Kumar Patel, Rajnish Kumar Chaturvedi, Mahendra Pratap Singh, Kailash Chand Gupta

Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology (2015)

30) Trans-blood brain barrier delivery of dopamine-loaded nanoparticles reverses functional deficits in parkinsonian rats

Richa Pahuja, Kavita Seth, Anshi Shukla, Rakesh Shukla, Priyanka Bhatnagar, Lalit Kumar Singh Chauhan, Prem Narain Saxena, Jharna Arun, Bhushan Pradosh Chaudhari, Devendra Kumar Patel, Sheelendra Pratap Singh, Rakesh Shukla, Vinay Kumar Khanna, Pradeep Kumar, Rajnish Kumar Chaturvedi, Kailash Chand Gupta

ACS Nano (2015)

31) Engineered polyallylamine nanoparticles for efficient in vitro transfection

Atul Pathak, Anita Aggarwal, Raj K. Kurupati, Soma Patnaik, Archana Swami, Yogendra Singh, Pradeep Kumar, Suresh P. Vyas, Kailash C. Gupta

Pharmaceutical Research (2007)

32) Synthesis of biocompatible iron oxide nanoparticles as a drug delivery vehicle

Krupa Kansara, Pal Patel, Ritesh K Shukla, Alok Pandya, Rishi Shanker, Ashutosh Kumar, Alok Dhawan

International Journal of Nanomedicine (2018)

33) Resveratrol Prevents the Cellular Damages Induced by Monocrotophos via PI3K Signaling Pathway in Human Cord Blood Mesenchymal Stem Cells

Jahan, D. Kumar, S. Singh, V. Kumar, A. Srivastava, A. Pandey, C. S. Rajpurohit, V. K. Khanna, A. B. Pant

Molecular Neurobiology (2018)

 

Published in The Hindu on June 1, 2019

4 Thoughts

  1. Honestly, the best is not appointed as Scientist. The one gets appointed who is a sycophant with required degree on paper. With manipulations, they get hired while good and qualified is ignored. The qualified never do hobnobbing and rely on their education and talent while sycophants and informants to administration get hired because they are viewed as yes man. What will happen, a disaster which see destruction of Indian scientists image in India and abroad.
    The truth is even bitter. The administration has not credited certain individuals in patent and paper by ITRC and CDRI. This is being done purposefully. A reproductive toxivologist dif not get sn intetviee when position is advertised for Reproductive Toxicology. Eliminating qualified candidate to select their own has been the norm at ITRC and CDRI. You can never anticipate better result than forgery and manipulation to remain viable in the job.
    Rais Ansari

  2. There is a severe lack of latest equipments , funds and manpower. At the same time papers published is the major yardstick. Not that the situation is different from other institutions. We must develop our institutions with more funds and manpower to solve such problems.

    1. This is a complete nonsense argument..India has enough funding, even some good foreign institutes doe not have equipment what these Indian Institutes does have.. ..Its Indian mentality to manipulate things…Moreover, these people are also not qualified to be as scientist in such reputed institutes..its all due to bad politics they get chances….

      1. Sir we pay Rs 15000 per month to qualified PhDs which is less than what I pay to my house helper. Many a times even that is not paid in time. I spend my tax paid money. Possibly you are blessed with equipments and support. Happy for you

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