Our Observatory has been reporting different frauds in scientific research (read HERE). According to the latest news, 2 cases have involved researchers of high academic level in the area of biomedical research, which has objective implications in bioethics.

Uncovered Scientific frauds during 10 years in a British University

The British newspaper “The Guardian” published an article entitled, Top geneticist ‘should resign’ over his team’s laboratory fraud. In the piece, senior academics have called for renowned geneticist David Latchman, professor of genetics at University College London and master of Birkbeck, University of London, to take responsibility for a series of fraudulent scientific papers authored by his team of researchers, many of which covered projects funded by the British Heart Foundation.

The newspaper states that two investigations, which began in 2015, were “deeply critical of Latchman. Both found that his failure to run the lab properly, and his position as an author on many of the doctored papers, amounted to ‘recklessness’, and upheld an allegation of research misconduct against him.”

The aforementioned article gives examples of some of the fraudulent papers published:

“In one paper, six images had been flipped or copied and relabelled as new. In a statement retracting the study, one of the authors, Anastasis Stephanou, now at the European University in Cyprus, said he regretted the ‘inappropriate figure manipulations of which the co-authors were completely unaware’. Dr. Stephanou did not respond to a request for comment.

The second screening panel uncovered six more fraudulent papers. In one, an image of rat tissue appeared to be passed off as human. Another paper contained clear evidence of ‘cloning’, where parts of an image are copied and pasted.” (Read more HERE).

Prominent Harvard researcher in the area of chemical biology was arrested 

Charles Lieber, chair of the department of chemistry and chemical biology at Harvard University has been arrested for “concealing ties to China” (January 29, in American magazine, The Scientist), after it was found that he had received research funding from several federal agencies, whose conditions require that aid from foreign governments or entities be disclosed. At the same time, “unbeknownst to Harvard University […], Lieber became a ‘Strategic Scientist’ at Wuhan University of Technology (WUT) in China”, from whom he also received large fees. According to the magazine, “[t]he arrests comes in the wake of controversy over proposals from NIH [National Institutes of Health] and FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation] intended to identify researchers who may have acted against the United States.” In addition to Lieber’s arrest, two Chinese nationals were also charged on Tuesday in connection with aiding a foreign government.