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Former Harvard dental school researcher found guilty of research misconduct

A former research fellow at Harvard School of Dental Medicine falsified numbers in slides presented at a laboratory meeting and in research summaries submitted to conferences, according to a finding by the federal Office of Research Integrity.

The scientist, Martin Biosse-Duplan, switched numbers to show differences in bone density between genetically-modified mice and a comparison group of mice, according to the notice, published on Friday. The finding was based on an investigation by Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Dental Medicine.

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The changes were used to “falsely demonstrate a difference in bone density when there was none. The numerical data were presented at a lab meeting, and false text was included in two submitted meeting abstracts,” the notice published in the Federal Register said. The research, basic research into bone density, was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

A Harvard Medical School spokesman said that Biosse-Duplan was a researcher in the department of oral medicine, infection, and immunity at the dental school. His job there ended on October 1, 2011, and the terms under which Biosse-Duplan left were not disclosed.

Biosse-Duplan has agreed that if, in the next two years, he applies for and receives federal funding for biomedical research, he will have his research supervised. He is not permitted to participate in federally sponsored health research without a supervision plan approved by the federal Office of Research Integrity. He has also agreed to exclude himswelf from serving as a peer reviewer or in any advisory capacity to the federal government’s Public Health Service.

Carolyn Y. Johnson can be reached at cjohnson@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @carolynyjohnson.
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