Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Science fraud at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

In a post titled St. Jude postdoc faked images , Tia Ghose at The Scientist discusses the fraud of Philippe Bois, once a postdoctoral student in biochemistry at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and now an assistant professor at the Scripps Research Institute in Florida.

One theme Ghose emphasizes in the piece is that the fraudulent material was retracted relatively quickly, thereby reducing the problem of other people relying on the false information.

Janet Shipley, a sarcoma pathologist at the Institute of Cancer Research in England, cited the JCB paper in a 2006 review in the Journal of Clinical Pathology. She credits the co-authors for withdrawing the paper so quickly. “Due to the timing, I do not think that the paper had a major impact in the field.”

Still, Shipley was initially shocked by the withdrawal. But “when we subsequently did similar blots for another reason it was indeed clear how flawed the premise was,” she said.

But note:

Grosveld brought the errors to the journal’s attention, and the paper was retracted in May 2007, after being cited 7 times, according to ISI.

“It was an absolute low point in my scientific career,” Grosveld said.

While JCB was only out for five months before it was retracted, the falsifications derailed the research of another graduate student in Grosevld’s lab who was following up on Bois’s findings, Grosveld said. “My graduate student spent a whole year frustrated to the bone because he couldn’t replicate any of it.”

**In the realm of legal research, maybe it is time to stop relying on the article in the Stanford Observer which in turn relies on a non-existent 1947 article in the New York Times to belittle the understanding of the inventors of the transistor.


Lemley on the myth of the solo inventor



Post a Comment

<< Home