Imaging journal retracts article after pressure from NASA

A journal article published in Radiology in April 2017 was retracted after NASA said there were “security concerns” about the article’s content. This news comes courtesy of Retraction Watch, a company that tracks such retractions “as a window into the scientific process.”

The article, “Role of Cerebral Spinal Fluid in Space Flight Induced Ocular Changes and Visual Impairment in Astronauts,” was written by lead author Noam Alperin, PhD, University of Miami, and colleagues. NASA sponsored the original research. The retraction notice can be read here.

The paper in question detailed new research into eye damage experienced by astronauts. NASA feared the identity of some of the astronauts could be determined based on information in the study.

“This paper by the primary author was retracted at NASA’s request due to the inclusion of information that would allow the identity and medically sensitive data of the human subjects to be revealed,” NASA said in its statement to Retraction Watch. “NASA works with researchers to ensure that all legal requirements and best practices are used to ensure medical and research data privacy is maintained.”

Retraction Watch also notes that NASA revoked a $600,000 research grant it had awarded to Alperin.

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