McGill University finds scientists published ‘falsified’ images

Prof. Maya Saleh accepting an award from McGill\'s Dean of Medicine Dr. Richard Levin in 2011.
Prof. Maya Saleh accepting an award from McGill’s Dean of Medicine Dr. Richard Levin in 2011. PHOTO: McGill

Published: January 29, 2013

A celebrated Montreal scientist and a senior executive at one of the world’s biggest drug companies co-authored a study that contains “intentionally contrived and falsified” images, according to a report from McGill University.

The two researchers and McGill officials are saying little publicly about the case that is attracting international attention.

But a summary of a McGill’s internal investigation obtained by Postmedia News says “falsifications” were found in a study co-authored by Maya Saleh, an associate professor in McGill’s medical faculty, and Donald Nicholson, a vice-president and senior scientist at Merck Research Laboratories in New Jersey. Nicholson is listed as an adjunct professor of biochemistry at McGill, but university officials say he does not teach at the school.

McGill’s committee on research misconduct concluded in November that two figures in a study by Saleh and Nicholson, published in the high-profile journal Nature, “were intentionally contrived and falsified,” the summary says. Continue reading →

Time to resume controversial flu experiments, scientists say

Staff cull chickens in a Hong Kong market on June 7, 2008, after the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus was found (AFP/File, Andrew Ross)

Staff cull chickens in a Hong Kong market on June 7, 2008, after the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus was found
(AFP/File, Andrew Ross)

Postmedia News, Jan 23, 2013

Leading researchers, including a senior scientist at Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory, say it’s time to resume controversial flu experiments that raised fears of  “doomsday” viruses escaping from the lab.

The scientists declared an end Wednesday to their voluntary year-long moratorium on experiments that makes highly pathogenic H5N1 avian flu virus transmissible in mammals.

In a letter published in two major research journals,the researchers say the dreaded virus continues to evolve in nature and H5N1 virus transmission studies are “essential for pandemic preparedness.” Continue reading →

Lake Toxins Tied to Oilsands

oilsands - smol

Alberta’s oilsands operations ~ Queen’s/Environment Canada photo

Story published Jan 8, 2013, A1 Calgary Herald

Margaret Munro, Postmedia News; With Files From Dan Healing, Calgary Herald.

Leading federal and academic scientists have uncovered “compelling” evidence that Alberta’s oilsands operations have been sending toxins into the atmosphere for decades.

The team has found “striking” increases in contaminants known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) at the bottom of six lakes up to 90 kilometres from the massive oilsands operations in northeastern Alberta.

“Industry’s role as a decades-long contributor of PAHs to oilsands lake ecosystems is now clearly evident,” the team reports in a study published Monday in the U.S. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Continue reading →