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Researcher Fabricated Data On Red Wine Research

Researcher Fabricated Data On Red Wine Research

Scientists have been touting wine as having anti-aging properties, but one researcher has been found guilty of fixing results…

A University of Connecticut researcher has been accused of committing more than 100 acts of data fabrication.

The researcher, Dipak K. Das, who directed the universitys Cardiovascular Research Center, studied resveratrol a substance found in red wine, which is believed by some to have anti-aging properties.

The university said the investigation, which began following an anonymous tip off in 2008, has thrown much of his work into doubt.

Among his findings, was that the pulp of grapes is as heart-healthy as the skin, even though the antioxidant properties differ.

scientist fabricated data on red wine health benefits

Researcher Fabricated Data On Red Wine Health Benefits

Image Credit: Quinn Dombrowski, 2009.

Philip Austin, the universitys interim vice president for health affairs, said in a statement:

We have a responsibility to correct the scientific record and inform peer researchers across the country,

The university worried that other members of Das laboratory may have been involved, and they too are being investigated.

Das could not be reached for comment, but a letter he wrote in 2010 to university officials claiming the investigation was a “conspiracy against him. In a second letter he explained how the accusation had taken a heavy toll on his health:

As you know, because of the development of a tremendous amount of stress in my work environment in recent months, I became a victim of stroke for which I am undergoing treatment,

Nevertheless the university has declined to accept $890,000 in federal grants originally awarded to Das, and has since dismissed him from work. The university has also alerted 11 journals who regularly published Das’ work.

The university has been working to resolve the matter with the Office of Research Integrity; a part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health that investigates alleged misconduct by federal grant recipients.

Works in need of rectification include several papers featured in the journals Antioxidants Redox Signaling, where Das was one of the editors in chief, and the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. Das’ work is also cited more than 100 times by other researchers.

Las Vegas resveratrol maker, Longevinex, has also promoted Das research, and he appears in a lengthy video touting the nutrient as the next aspirin. And in 2002, Das shared a patent on the use of another compound found in grape skins called proanthocyanidin. Proanthocyanidin is thought to help prevent and treat heart conditions.

Although Das’ work may have been falsified, some researchers like, Dr. Nir Barzilai, of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, said that the impact of the fraud on the field will be minimal. Barzilai said:

There are many investigators who are working on resveratrol…

That doesnt mean we know the whole truth. But Rome wasnt built on Dr. Das.

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