Wednesday, November 14, 2012

LaClair retracts hexacyclinol

Well, it's not like that ever happened:
The following article from Angewandte Chemie International Edition, “Total Syntheses of Hexacyclinol, 5-epi-Hexacyclinol, and Desoxohexacyclinol Unveil an Antimalarial Prodrug Motif” by James J. La Clair, published online on February 9, 2006 in Wiley Online Library (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com), has been retracted by agreement between the author, the journal Editor in Chief, Peter Gölitz, and Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA. The retraction has been agreed due to lack of sufficient Supporting Information. In particular, the lack of experimental procedures and characterization data for the synthetic intermediates as well as copies of salient NMR spectra prevents validation of the synthetic claims. The author acknowledges this shortcoming and its potential impact on the community.
Never mind!

Hat tip to @JamesDFirth, who put it on Twitter first.

(Those looking for context, this Derek Lowe post from 2006 will do nicely.) 

11 comments:

  1. Paging Retraction Watch... They should have a field day with this if they dig a bit deeper and find the huge amount of blog material on this story. Especially LaClair's poster session story that he was working for the army and had a very big contract coming (although technically we only have anonymous backup for that one), or the whole Bionic Brothers thing.

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  2. Thanks for the Pipeline link. I didn't know much about this controversy. Is the CW that LaClair made the synthesis up, or that he made the wrong molecule?

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    1. I think the CW is that it was made out of whole cloth; Curious Wavefunction has the most complete blurb on it: http://wavefunction.fieldofscience.com/2012/11/angewandte-chemie-retracts-hexacyclinol.html

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    2. It's pretty amazing it got published in the first place.

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    3. It doesn't say much for the field. There's a lot of concern that the economic realities of our profession are driving away the most intelligent students. The reviewers for this paper would seem to provide evidence that that has already happened.

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  3. It's things like this that make me really question what Rudy Baum meant when he disparaged blogs as not real journalism, and upheld serious, academic journal publishing. Cases like this were completely let down by both.

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  4. J.J. LaClair is alive and kicking, he coauthored another high-profile paper with Borchard recently (I saw it, I believe, in Angew. Chem. Early View few weeks ago)

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  5. Oh, he's high profile all right...

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  6. We should not judge anyone based on one mistake!
    We all make mistakes!!!!

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  7. is J. J. LaClair really speaking at the 2014 Gordon natural products conference?
    http://www.grc.org/programs.aspx?year=2014&program=natprod

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