Ugh. Nature summarizes the continued (& spreading) negative repercussions of the retracted Dwyer et al. papers discussed here and throughout the scientific community. An excellent Nature feature article by Erika Check Hayden covers the entire saga in detail.
Earlier, our man-on-the-spot David added a nice summary of an article in the May 5, 2008 issue of Chemical & Engineering News, including a bit more insight from John Richard in Buffalo and Hellinga’s dismissive reply (thanks so much, David, for all your contributions).
Nature notes that Richard and his group “wasted seven months and tens of thousands of dollars failing to reproduce the results from Hellinga’s lab” and that Mary Dwyer’s scientific career is over before it started. The editors also observe the questionable rationale in Hellinga’s accusing her of scientific misconduct: “As Dwyer’s adviser, Hellinga was responsible for training her. If she made mistakes, they are ultimately his responsibility.”
And, Nature spreads the wealth by noting that Duke itself owes something to the scientific community, and indeed, one hopes they are not holding their breath and hoping this will blow over so Hellinga can get back to the business at hand: bringing in research dollars to the University.
Earlier discussion can be read first here (initial Science retraction and detailed comments on problems with the science involved) and then here (The Scientist blog coverage, Chemical & Engineering News synopsis, et al.).