Embryonic Stem Cell Researcher Resigns, Fabricated Experiment

Bioethics   Steven Ertelt   May 1, 2012   |   7:36PM    Washington, DC

More on the” crises of competence and character” (as I call it) that has infected science–along with general society–as the West increasingly turns its back on what made it great and heads in a decidedly decadent direction.

A UK scientist, now in the USA, fabricated a stem cell experiment in the quest to obtain federal funding. From the British Medical Journal report :

A British ophthalmologist who headed a US laboratory involved in pioneering stem cell research fabricated the results of a non-existent pilot experiment in applying for two federal grants, the US Office of Research Integrity (ORI) has found. Peter Francis, who has resigned from his job as associate professor and director of the Translational Clinical Trials Center at Oregon Health and Science University’s Casey Eye Institute, was granted permanent US residency on the basis of the country’s national interest in attracting clinical researchers. In 2002, while still in Britain, he won the National Research prize for “Best up and coming medical researcher in the UK.”

The ORI found that Francis had “fabricated results of a pilot experiment in which he claimed to have injected retinal pigment epithelial cells obtained from Rhesus monkey embryonic cells into a strain of rats that develops retinal degeneration.” He claimed that when the rats were tested they showed “enhanced photoreceptor preservation and no adverse effects,” compared to mock injected controls. But Francis admitted that the pilot experiment had not even been carried out when he submitted the two grant applications to the National Eye Institute for federal funding, the ORI said. The office was called in after an investigation by the university.

Good for the university.  But we see too much of this. I say we got trouble, right here in River City.  In fact, we could call it Fraud City.  One way to chill such lying is to pursue fraud charges against the scientist.

LifeNews.com Note: Wesley J. Smith, J.D., is a special consultant to the Center for Bioethics and Culture. He writes at his blog, Secondhand Smoke.