Health News Review

The BMJ reports:

“More than one in ten (13%) UK based scientists or doctors have witnessed colleagues intentionally altering or fabricating data during their research or for the purposes of publication, while 6% say they are aware of possible research misconduct at their institution that has not been properly investigated, reveals a BMJ survey published today which attracted over 2,700 responses.

…Dr Fiona Godlee, BMJ Editor in Chief, said: “While our survey can’t provide a true estimate of how much research misconduct there is in the UK, it does show that there is a substantial number of cases and that UK institutions are failing to investigate adequately, if at all. The BMJ has been told of junior academics being advised to keep concerns to themselves to protect their careers, being bullied into not publishing their findings, or having their contracts terminated when they spoke out.”

A summary of the report has been posted online, downloadable as a pdf file.

Meantime, Reuters reports:

“A University of Connecticut researcher (Dipak K. Das, who directed the university’s Cardiovascular Research Center) who studied the link between aging and a substance found in red wine has committed more than 100 acts of data fabrication and falsification, the university said on Wednesday, throwing much of his work into doubt.

…Although many scientists have been skeptical of various claims made about resveratrol, it has garnered significant commercial interest. British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline bought Sirtris, a company that worked on the compound, in 2008 for $720 million but later discontinued work on one version of a drug that mimics its activity because of disappointing results.

A Las Vegas resveratrol maker called Longevinex has promoted Das’ research, and he appears in a lengthy video touting the nutrient as the next aspirin.

Das also shared a 2002 patent on the use of another compound in grape skins called proanthocyanidin to prevent and treat heart conditions.

Other scientists have taken notice of Das’ work, citing 30 of his papers more than 100 times each, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. Last year, he won an award from the International Association of Cardiologists.”

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