Festive Fraud

Two biomedical researchers have been found guilty of falsifying data.

Jan 2, 2013
Dan Cossins

FLICKR, STEAKPINBALLFederal investigators ended 2012 by censuring two researchers for scientific misconduct.  In a Federal Register notice published last week (26 December), the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) announced that Terry S. Elton, who studies the role of messenger RNA in cardiovascular disease at Ohio State University, had falsified or fabricated Western blots—a technique used to identify proteins—in a National Institutes of Health grant and in 18 figures included in six different published papers. As a result of the investigation, Elton agreed to exclude himself from federal grant applications for 3 years and requested the retraction of five papers.

Two days later (28 December 2012), the ORI announced that Martin Biosse-Duplan of the Harvard School of Dental Medicine falsified data in a lab meeting and two published abstracts. Biosse-Duplan, who studies the cellular basis of bone formation and resorption, agreed to exclude himself from federal grant applications for 2 years. For another 2 years after that period, his research will be supervised by the ORI to ensure scientific integrity.