The Stem Cells and Development has retracted a study by Newcastle University which claimed to have made sperm from stem cells due to plagiarism. The journal's editor told Nature that all introductory paragraphs of the study were copied from a review in the journal Biology of Reproduction, which appeared in 2007.
"This is clearly scientific misconduct," said Allan Pacey, secretary for the British Fertility Society. "I can understand why people might think, if they were sloppy here, maybe they were sloppy elsewhere."
AdvertisementThe Newcastle University blamed the whole mess on a research associate who has since left his post. It added that the science behind the study was not in question.
"No questions have been raised about the science conducted or the conclusions of the research," the statement said.
However Pacey remained unconvinced that sperm could be grown in a lab. "It was bad enough to begin with, and now we've got another scandal to deal with," he said.
Elizabeth Wager, chairperson of the Committee on Publication Ethics said the journal was right to retract the paper.