The Office of Research Integrity found that a former postdoc at Washington State University "engaged in scientific and research misconduct by fabricating and falsifying data" that appeared in two figures of a 2006 Endocrinology paper. The Endocrinology paper was retracted, adds The Scientist. According to the ORI report, Hung-Shu Chang "fabricated the methylation status of CpG sites in eight candidate genes" and that finding supported the conclusion that vinclozolin, a chemical found in fungicides, changes the epigenetic state of germline cells and thus "promotes transgenerational disease states." In addition, ORI says Chang "falsified the methylation status of CpG sites in eight additional candidate genes." Chang has accepted ORI's findings, and The Scientist notes that Chang has left science.
Now, though, The Scientist reports, a new paper repeating the study with newer methods is to be published in PLoS One. "That hypothesis was confirmed with this newer study," PI Michael Skinner says. "The specific epigenetic sites, though, are completely different."