Notice anything strange with these blots? Apparently the data on it was faked and photoshoped along with "19 panels of Western blot data, appearing in 11 figures in 3 publications" by a post-doc fellow who shared working space with some bayblab readers and contributors. The story is all over the news today as we learned that her employment with the OHRI was terminated. You can find coverage of the whole story in the Ottawa Citizen and the National Post. The OHRI is trying to do some damage control, and thankfully the fraud wasn't commited here in the Ottawa lab but during Kristin's PhD at the university of Pennsylvania. The Office of Research Intergrity has taken the following disciplinary actions:
"for a period of five (5) years, beginning on June 7, 2007:
(1) Dr. Roovers is debarred from eligibility for any contracting or subcontracting with any agency of the United States Government and from eligibility or involvement in nonprocurement programs of the United States Government referred to as ``covered transactions'' as defined in HHS' implementation of OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension at 2 CFR part 376, et seq.; and
(2) Dr. Roovers is prohibited from serving in any advisory capacity to PHS, including but not limited to service on any PHS advisory committee, board, and/or peer review committee, or as a consultant."This is bad news for everybody involved, the university, the institute and the scientific community. How could such blatant fraud make it past peer review? I would hate to be one of the innocent co-authors. Science is stressful and sometimes frustrating, and there can be tremendous pressure to have experiments work, but I am still baffled by the extent of fogery in this case. Any thoughts on the subject?