Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Ah, 'It's Complicated'

Esteemed Harvard researcher Marc Hauser is taking a year-long leave of absence after a Harvard board of inquiry found evidence of scientific misconduct in his lab, and after he retracted a 2002 study published in Cognition on whether monkeys learn rules, reports the Boston Globe's Carolyn Johnson. According to a letter that Hauser sent to some colleagues, his lab has been under investigation for three years, but he and Harvard are being tight-lipped about what kind of misconduct was found, why the investigation took so long, and whether Harvard forced Hauser to take the leave as a punishment, Johnson says, but the retraction says that Harvard found that the data for the monkey trial don't support the findings. The investigation has also called into question two other papers co-authored by Hauser, she adds.

David Dobbs at Neuron Culture says that it's important to keep in mind that allegations of scientific misconduct do not equal fraud. "It could mean something really ugly or it could mean something just kind of messy," he says. The fact that the investigation has been going on for so long suggests this is a complicated situation, he adds.

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.