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A scandal is erupting that threatens to undermine claims of extraordinary risk from genetically engineered crops. An Italian research group run by Professor Federico Infascelli at the University of Naples “Federico II” has just had a peer-reviewed paper forcibly retracted by the journal for plagiarism, however several sources predict that this is just the beginning. Multiple analyses suggest that the group manipulated research results, including potentially fabricated gel images used in papers.
Upon carefully reading the papers Professor Elena Cattaneo from the University of Milan found that an image had been duplicated from one publication to the next, though the figure legends claimed the images were from different experiments. Due to the grainy texture of the recycled paper she printed the studies on, she noticed that a critical ‘negative control’ lane from the copied image was artificially wiped clean. The control lane in the copy lacks the background noise typical of DNA gels.
Dr. Cattaneo approached the University of Naples directly to report the alleged fraud, and an investigation has already begun at the University level. Taking these allegations seriously, they convened a board of experts from ethics, molecular biology, and veterinary sciences to seek explanations for these findings. The University has not yet released its conclusions, but leaked reports suggest that the problems are very serious and could not be honest errors.
Read full, original post: Italian research group subject of data fabrication probe