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Fraud in Primetime

Medical fraud made the primetime news this week as CBS' 60 Minutes had a segment on Anil Potti and his allegedly fraudulent research, which led to his resignation from Duke University. Unfortunately, says Pharmalot's Ed Silverman, it wasn't until it was discovered that Potti had supposedly lied on his résumé about being a Rhodes Scholar that his research was examined in depth by Duke and shown to be problematic.

"It became clear that there was no explanation other than it was a manipulation — a manipulation of the data, a manipulation of somebody's credentials, and a manipulation of a lot of people's trust," says Duke's Joseph Nevins — in whose lab Potti worked — in the 60 Minutes segment. "It simply couldn't be random, it simply couldn't be inadvertent. It had to have been based on a desire to make something work."

In addition, Retraction Watch reports that the Journal of Clinical Oncology has published "mega-corrections" to two more of Potti's studies, each with a dozen or more points of correction. This is in addition to nine Potti studies that have been retracted outright by various journals.

The Scan

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.