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Stem Cells? Stop me if you've heard this before...

Maura Lerner has another excellent article about the latest scandal at the Lake Wobegon Medical School in today's Star-Tribune.

I've got a version of the article with added emphasis on the other site, as well as a remark or two.

The comments are starting to accumulate on Ms. Lerner's article. They're not pretty. Some examples:

"These are very serious charges, and if true, these two are frauds or incompetent. Independent reproducibility by other competent scientists is a fundamental aspect of research. The fact the "New Scientist" won't let this go, and given the prior history of one of the authors of the articles tells me there may be something very fishy here. As an University of MN alumni, I hope these were honest mistakes. Desperation may be the reason why if they in fact did fabricate or alter data. There is lots of grant money available for stem cell research and the competition for the money is brutal."

"If these allegations are found to be true, it's time to clean house. Anyone found to be falsifying data, pictures or whatever should be fired immediately. The fact that these problems keep happening suggests there is some problem with oversight at the U. When the original problems were found, these researchers should have been put on probation and had all their work checked for accuracy by independent panels prior to being released. If these new fraud allegations are true, the Stem Cell Institute may be finished as a reputable scientific organization."

"I work at the U in the biological sciences field. This is completely unacceptable. Anyone can look at my notebooks, I stand behind everything I have written over the last 20 years. Which is not much, relatively speaking, but that is the deal, I could have jammed duplicate information into a second publication, added a little twist to the title, and gotten a second publication on my CV. But it would not have added anything to the body of information. Don't publish unless it is new, useful information. And don't publish until you are sure that your data are legit----that you repeated your results. And if the information is really significant, have someone else repeat the experiment to make doubly sure that you have what you think you have. This makes me mad as it reflect on the entire U and me."

And the beat goes on...

I suggest that perhaps a new set of administrators for the U of M AHC and medical school is perhaps in order? The current occupants have been there for a loonnggg time and yet these problems persist.

Business as usual is no longer acceptable.

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