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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 This is in addition to nine Potti studies that have been retracted outright by various journals.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

Missed Early Cases

A retrospective analysis of blood samples suggests early SARS-CoV-2 infections may have been missed in the US, the New York Times reports.

Limited Journal Editor Diversity

A survey finds low diversity among scientific and medical journal editors, according to The Scientist.

How Much of a Threat?

Science writes that need for a provision aimed at shoring up genomic data security within a new US bill is being questioned.

PNAS Papers on Historic Helicobacter Spread, Brain Development, C. difficile RNAs

In PNAS this week: Helicobacter genetic diversity gives insight into human migrations, gene expression patterns of brain development, and more.