US: Probe reveals holes in oversight of science

Investigations into a case of alleged scientific misconduct in the United States have revealed numerous holes in the oversight of science and scientific publishing, reports The Economist.

Anil Potti, Joseph Nevins and their colleagues at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, garnered widespread attention in 2006 when they reported in the New England Journal of Medicine that they could predict the course of a patient's lung cancer using devices called expression arrays. At the time, this work looked like a tremendous advance for personalised medicine and the team started to organise a set of clinical trials.

It was only in 2010, after it emerged that Potti had falsely claimed to have been a Rhodes Scholar in Australia, and despite concerns raised in the interim by scientists trying to replicate the results, that a thorough investigation by the Institute of Medicine was requested. Since then, a committee of the institute, appointed for the task, has been trying to find out what was happening at Duke that allowed the problems to continue undetected for so long.
Full report on The Economist site