Sorry: this page is quite a bit out of date… the good news though is that you can go through the stripy revisited posts by browsing this link.
I have added a Timeline post which is also a useful place to get an overview of the story.
If you are new to the story, this guide might help you to navigate:
Start with the first post which introduces the topic and contains the references (hyperlinks) to the 23 articles which are based on the “stripy” hypothesis/artifact. That post has many interesting comments; why not add your own?
The second post is “responding to the response”. We had made a simple geometric argument that proves that the stripes cannot be a real feature at the surface of nanoparticles. That post addresses the shortcomings of Stellacci’s response – go there if you are interested by how scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) works (or if you are an expert and would like to comment).
The third post is Philip Moriarty extremely important contribution (guest post); he is an STM expert but his post is written for the non-expert too.
Beyond the mis-interpretation of a classical well-known artifact, one very disturbing aspect of this story is the publication in respected journals of a number of claims with literally no experimental evidence at all, or extremely little evidence. I give specific examples from three different articles in these 4 posts: 1) electron microscopy (Nature Materials 2004); 2) water-soluble stripy nanoparticles (Nature Materials 2008 and Chem Comm 2008; includes duplication of data); 3) non-specific interactions of proteins (Nature Materials 2004; claim repeated multiple times in following papers); 4) mercury-capturing stripy nanoparticles (Nature Materials 2012).
Seven years of imaging artifacts: What gives? Predrag extremely strong demonstration that stripes are an artifact… demonstration which dates back from 2005 when he was a graduate student in Stellacci’s lab.
Scientific controversy is healthy is a reflection inspired by an update on Douglas Natelson blog (see link below).
I have also published the letter to the Editor that accompanied the submission to Nature Materials in 2009. It included specific recommendation to ensure a fair reviewing process, including the request that the article should be sent to STM experts (and other relevant experts) outside of the nanoparticle field.
Francesco Stellacci has been invited (and the invitation remains valid) to comment here and even to write a guest post addressing the points made. For the moment, he has made the choice to ignore the controversy.
Comments (even anonymous) on the scientific debate as well as the broader issues are extremely welcome. You will be in good company too: thank you to Mathias Brust, Simon Higgins, Philip Moriarty,Vlad Tsuruk and all the others for sharing their views here.
Pep Pàmies, Editor at Nature Materials commented here prolifically as Pep; see my comment here as well as the robust discussion that followed; see also Ben Goldacre take on this episode, as well as Pep Pàmies response entitled “On my comments on Lévy’s blog“. Dave Fernig has responded to Pep Pàmies apologia for reuse of data on his blog (here) and Philip Moriarty has provided a comprehensive response as a guest post here.
Outside of Rapha-z-lab (let me know if I am missing something):
1. Chemistry World covers stripes controversy
2. Alan Dove comments on the web and peer review in his post entitled Do These Stripes Make My Nanoparticles Look Weird?
3. Dave Fernig has a growing list of posts, all worth reading (what else can I say, he is my boss); the “over the line” series relate to the issue of data duplication/self-plagiarism.
- Stripy nanoparticles: an outside opinion
- Blogs and science
- Errare humanum est sed perseverare diabolicum
- Over the line
- Well over the line: when does “minor” become “major”?
- Well over the line: an update
4. Douglas Natelson, professor of Physics at Rice University, discusses “a Nano Controversy” on his blog
5. Peculiar activity at Nature Materials… Ben Goldacre
6. On my comments on Lévy’s blog [Pep Pàmies, Editor at Nature Materials, in personal capacity]
7. Times Higher Education; Slow is no way to go, argues researcher, Paul Jump
8. Materialstoday.com; Have nanoparticles lost their stripes? – David Bradley
Cesbron, Y., Shaw, C., Birchall, J., Free, P., & Lévy, R. (2012). Stripy Nanoparticles Revisited Small DOI: 10.1002/smll.201001465
Yu, M., & Stellacci, F. (2012). Response to “Stripy Nanoparticles Revisited” Small DOI: 10.1002/smll.201202322