Last year we wrote about a ‘too good to be true’ sequencing paper published in Nature Nanotechnology. We wrote in Nanopore Sequencing by Divine Intervention? -
In contrast, the latest nanopore controversy is about a new paper that presented plenty of data, but the data look so good that others are wondering whether the researchers had help from God. If not, their paper would be worthy of Nobel-prizes from all branches of science. Strangely none of those critical breakthroughs are described in the paper. (h/t: @infoecho)
The journal editors woke up soon afterward and added the following note at the end of the online version of the paper.
Corrected online 28 August 2013
Editorial note: significant concerns have been raised about the validity of the data reported in this work After an internal inquiry, we contacted the authors’ institution, the National Chiao Tung University, and asked them to launch a formal investigation into the matter This.. investigation is now underway.
What transpired since then is quite bizarre, according to a media site written in Chinese (h/t: @infoecho). Based on google translation and help from @infoecho, we learned that the lab is located in a container that 300 km south of the university, as found by an investigation team at the university. Please note that 300 km is not a small distance in Taiwan, whose entire length is 394 km and the distance from China is only 180km. Also, it turns out that the only aspect of the experiment that the university managed to confirm is that the authors have Dell computer !! They have not found any equipment or cooling system for liquid helium or liquid nitrogen.
Investigation report provided by National Chiao Tung noted, “The lab is located in Tainan Kuanmiao somewhere … there is no address details. Laboratory by two similar containers composed of housing, … Whether for electromagnetic shielding room, Professor Chen Zhuli can not be confirmed, the other also do not know the source of the power supply, or whether the ground; … All the equipment or the use of an assistant professor Hoon set ??? not understand why the brand, for example, I do not know the form and meter measurement range, another Professor Chen Zhuli can not judge. The cooling system for liquid nitrogen or liquid helium, the only confirmed that the data acquisition computer brands as Dell, …. “
Here is one helpful finding. It appears that the lab (or the container) is close to a well-known temple, which the authors surely needed for divine intervention.