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Misconduct Costs Job

A researcher at DNA sequencing firm Karmagenes has lost his chief scientific officer job after reportedly admitting to data fabrication, Retraction Watch reports.

Pranav Ullal allegedly admitted to fabricating data that appeared in a 2015 Journal of Cell Biology paper while a postdoc at the University of Lausanne. According to a previous Retraction Watch post, that paper was retracted when Lausanne's Sophie Martin attempted to reproduce data that Ullal generated while in her lab and was unable to do so. The retraction notice appearing in JCB said that Ullal admitted the fraud.

It's now cost him his job at Karmagenes, which Retraction Watch notes, conducts genetic personality testing. Karmagenes CEO Kyriakos Kokkoris says the company "immediately had an internal discussion" and determined Ullal should no longer be CSO.

In addition, Kokkoris tells Retraction Watch that as a panel of five researchers made scientific decisions there, "Ullal's academic misconduct [cannot] affect in any way Karmagenes technology."

Initially, Karmagenes stripped Ullal of his CSO role, but said he'd continue to serve as scientific narrator for the company, but Kokkoris has since told Retraction Watch that Ullal is no longer associated with the company at all. The company website has been updated to say that Ullal has left the company to pursue a food business.