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BU Researchers Under Fire for Misconduct

The Office of Research Integrity has found that Boston University cancer researcher Shen Wang made up experiments that he reported in two NCI- and NIH-funded studies, and engaged in "research misconduct," reports Retraction Watch's Ivan Oransky. The two papers, published in Molecular Endocrinology and Oncogene in 2009, have been retracted and Wang has accepted ORI's findings of misconduct, though he hasn't admitted or denied that he did indeed falsify data, Oransky says. He also agreed to exclude himself from any "contracting or subcontracting with any agency of the United States Government and from eligibility or involvement in nonprocurement programs of the United States Government," and from serving on any advisory capacity to the US Public Health Service, the ORI notice states. In a statement provided to Oransky by Boston University, the school says Wang no longer works there, but didn't say on what terms he left.

The Boston Globe's Carolyn Johnson reports that the ORI decision resulted from an internal review process initiated by Boston University, and that Wang was found to have fabricated experiments used in six out of seven figures published in one paper, and six out of eight figures published in the other. Both papers explored the role of the HIC1 tumor suppressor gene. "According to Google Scholar, the Oncogene paper had been cited 13 times in journal articles by other scientists, and the Molecular Endocrinology paper had been cited twice, small numbers that suggest the work had not been very influential," Johnson says. "The fabricated figures in both cases include multiple charts that were used to show the outcomes of experiments that used tools to measure gene activity or the interactions between proteins and DNA."

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.