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Indian scientist to be sacked for faking research data

Thursday January 12, 2012 09:00:11 PM, IANS

London: An Indian-origin scientist will be dismissed for falsifying the data in more than 100 instances while doing research at a US university on the benefits of red wine on cardiovascular health.

Dipak Das, director of the Cardiovascular Research Centre at the University of Connecticut, gained attention for research into an ingredient in red wine that has shown potential for promoting health, the Daily Mail reported.

Though the university did not say whether the falsifications occurred in research on that topic, its spokesman said the university was "deeply disappointed by the flagrant disregard" for conduct codes.

The university found 145 instances of fabricated, falsified and manipulated data, and has now started dismissal proceedings against Das.

Nearly a dozen scientific journals were warned of potential problems after they published the professor's studies.

The university said it started investigating Das' work after receiving an anonymous complaint in 2008 of potential irregularities in his research.

The university's health centre recently declined to accept $890,000 in grants awarded to Das as its review was under way, and has frozen all other external funding for his lab.

The university report found what it called "a pervasive attitude of disregard within the lab" for commonly accepted scientific practices.

It also said there were so many problems -- and over so many years -- that the review board members "can only conclude that they were the result of intentional acts of data falsification and fabrication, designed to deceive".

It said data was digitally altered, data from one experiment was used to justify findings in another, and controls from one experiment were used to denote another experiment's controls.

Philip Austin, the university's health affairs vice president, said they were "deeply disappointed by the flagrant disregard" for conduct codes, but grateful that the anonymous tipster notified authorities.







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