Pursuant to the investigation, the University of Kentucky identified that in the above-identified paper in Nucleic Acids Research, there were: Inclusion of blank panels and/or manipulation of confocal and PLA microscopy data for negative controls in Figures 1, 5 & 6; falsification. Failure to maintain original data; fabrication. More specifically: Figure 1c: Using noise software techniques, the investigation concluded that blank (black) panels were substituted for original PLA images for the 'no UV' conditions. Figure 5b: Using noise software techniques, the investigation concluded that blank (black) panels were substituted for original PLA images for the 'no UV' conditions (middle column, first and second rows). Figure 6a,b,d,e,g,h: similarly, noise-detecting software techniques confirmed substitution of PLA images with blank black squares in each of the panels in question, again for the 'no UV' negative controls. None of the original images were annotated and/or saved. The laboratory, during the course of the investigation, was able to go back to the core facility computer housing the confocal microscope used for the experimentation. By matching nuclear contours and characteristics (DAPI signal), the authors were able to identify many but not all distinct cells whose images were used in the figure panels. The authors uncovered significant irregularities, including the presence of fluorescent signal in several of the original images serving as negative controls (vs. no signal in the images used in the published figure). Therefore, this is data falsification. Moreover, therewas evidence that two photoswere taken of the same cell but from different exposure times and labeled as distinct conditions (6g, 6h).
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