News of the WeekScientific Misconduct

EMF Researcher Made Up Data, ORI Says

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Science  02 Jul 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5424, pp. 23-25
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5424.23b

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In a blow to a research area hungry for credible findings, the federal Office of Research Integrity reported last month that biochemist Robert P. Liburdy "engaged in scientific misconduct ... by intentionally falsifying and fabricating data and claims" in two studies on how electromagnetic fields (EMFs)--the kind shed by power lines and home appliances--affect living cells. Liburdy, formerly of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, has agreed to ask the journals to retract the results. Liburdy's findings were among the first to offer a plausible mechanism for a possible link between EMF exposure and cancer or other diseases, suggesting that EMFs alter calcium signaling in cells.