A team led by a senior South Korean scientist is retracting two papers, in Science and Nature Chemical Biology, following a university investigation into the research.

Tae Kook Kim, of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Daejeon, had reported a new method for imaging living cells that used magnetized nanoparticles (J. Won et al. Science 309, 121–125 ; 2005, and J. Won et al. Nature Chem. Biol. 2, 369–374 ; 2006). KAIST's investigation is ongoing, but last month it reported preliminary findings that the “scientific truth” of the papers was in question. Investigators are also probing whether misconduct is involved.

Terry Sheppard, editor of Nature Chemical Biology, says that the KAIST investigation team told him that the authors wanted to retract the paper. The retraction, he notes, will occur “as soon as possible”. Science also confirms that the team is working to retract its paper.