The Duke University Medical Center has agreed to conduct an inquiry into allegations of misconduct against Duke protein biochemist linkurl:Homme Hellinga,; according to a linkurl:letter; Hellinga wrote to Nature, which was published in the journal this week. Hellinga retracted two papers earlier this year that claimed to have redesigned ribose-binding protein (RBP) to catalyze triose phosphate isomerase (TIM) activity -- a reaction crucial to glycolysis in almost all types of cells. The retractions came after biochemist John Richard, from the State University of New York, Buffalo, tried to replicate the experiments and found that the enzymatic activity of the proteins was from wild-type contamination. In follow up linkurl:letters; published in Science, Richard and another biochemist, John Kirsch from the University of California, Berkeley, wrote that Hellinga's retraction letters did not satisfactorily explain what went wrong in the initial experiments. An linkurl:article; in Nature's news section in May...
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