Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Editor Quits After Fraud Allegations Surface

An editor of two biomedical journals has stepped down from his posts after a recent article in The Scientist said that he may be a scientific fraud, including misrepresenting data related to the age of the Shroud of Turin.

The Russian bioechemist Dmitry Kuznetsov has left his positions as editor of the British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research and the International Research Journal of Pure and Applied Chemistry after the article last week "exposed allegations" that he "had committed numerous instances of scientific misconduct, The Scientist says.

Kuznetsov, whose research focuses on the effects of magnetic isotope on enzymes, currently is a research Fellow at the N. N. Semenov Institute for Chemical Physics in Moscow.

According to The Scientist, Manisha Basu, an editor at ScienceDomain, which publishes both journals, asked Kuznetsov to step down.

“It seems that this article is going to be extremely harmful for the future of the two new journals (BJMMR, IRJPAC) unless some actions are taken to restore the faith of the authors," Basu wrote to Kuznetsov in an e-mail, The Scientist says.

Dan Larhammer, a professor at Uppsala University who has investigated and written about the problems in Kuznetsov's work, said that if the allegations against him are true then they would amount to "one of the worst fraud records in the history of science."

The allegations against Kuznetsov date back to 1994, when Larhammer, as a member of the Swedish Reserch Council's Committee for Investigation of Misconduct in Science, read a 1989 paper Kuznetsov had written about mRNA from wild timer voles that some creationists were using to support their beliefs.

Larhammer says that the paper showed that one species of vole could inhibit translation in a closely related species, but not in its own species or in a distantly related species. Larhammer wrote a letter to the editor of the International Journal of Neuroscience, which published the vole article, in which he quotes the paper: “This may be used as an argument supporting ‘the general creationist concept on the problems of the origin of boundless multitudes of different and harmonically functioning forms of life.’”

Regardless of the implications of such a statement, Larhammer told the journal that the study had serious flaws, used incorrect methods, reported unrealistic levels of accuracy, and it cited references that did not appear to exist.

The journal published Larhammer's critique, but never issued a retraction, The Scientist says.

Kuznetsov's work came under scrutiny again when a retired math teacher in Italy who has an interest in the Shroud of Turin noticed that Kuznetsov had researched the piece of cloth and found that previous carbon dating showing the shroud to be from Medieval Times was tainted by a fire in the 1500s – and he had suggested that the it could have come from the time of Jesus.

The retired teacher, Gian Marco Rinaldi, found inconsistencies and unverified sources of samples in Kuznetsov's research, and a later report looking into the matter found that a wealthy creationist had funded Kuznetsov's research project.

The Scientist says it received a long e-mail from Kuznetsov who said he did nothing wrong, explained why others were not able to reproduce his work, and explained that there are seemingly false citations in his work because he references articles that were originally published in the Soviet Untion, and in Serbian, Bulgarian, and other journals that haven't existed since the 1990s.

He told The Scientist that he is "sick and tired" of explaining why his work cannot be verified, and said he gave up trying to answer his critics about 10 years ago.