Improper citation, disregard for antecedent research, and shoddy experimentation - those are just a few of the allegations levied against a recent research paper written by a team of Stanford University scientists. One of the paper's chief critics, University of Cambridge biologist linkurl:Peter Lawrence,;http://www.mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk/PAL/ says that the problems with the publication exemplify a broader problem in scientific publishing. "There's a pressure on scientists to publish in these top journals," Lawrence told __The Scientist__, "to promote their work as more novel than it really is." The linkurl:paper;http://www.cell.com/abstract/S0092-8674(08)00680-6 in question, published in a June issue of __Cell__, described a model for understanding the genetic and cellular machinery underlying planar cell polarity (PCP), the cell-to-cell communication that epithelial cells use to align and arrange themselves to function as an organized tissue. Developmental biologist linkurl:Jeffrey Axelrod,;http://www.stanford.edu/group/axelrodlab/index.shtml the paper's main author, defended the work, writing in an email to __The Scientist__, "our paper (Chen et...
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