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UConn accuses own researcher of faking red wine studies

The University of Connecticut has accused a top employee known for his work on the benefits of red wine to cardiovascular health of faking research that appeared in as many as 11 scientific journals, the university said Wednesday.

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Red wine displayed at Sauska, the local winery of Hungarian-born US businessman and winemarker Krisztian Sauska in the Villany region. (ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images)

The University of Connecticut has accused a top employee known for his work on the benefits of red wine to cardiovascular health of faking research that appeared in as many as 11 scientific journals, the university said Wednesday.

Reuters reported that Dipak K. Das, director of the university's Cardiovascular Research Center, studied resveratrol, touted by a number of scientists and the commercial sector as a way to slow aging or remain healthy as people get older.

Among his findings, according to a work promoted by the University of Connecticut in 2007, was that "the pulp of grapes is as heart-healthy as the skin, even though the antioxidant properties differ."

Following a three-year investigation, sparked by an anonymous tip in 2008 the US Office of Research Integrity, a university review board concluded that Das manipulated research data in at least 145 instances, CNN reported

The 60,000-page report indicated that other members of Das' laboratory may have been involved.

The University's interim vice-president for health affairs, Philip Austin, said in a statement — cited by Agence France-Presse — that the university had "a responsibility to correct the scientific record and inform peer researchers across the country now."

UConn has notified 11 journals that published Das' work, frozen all externally funded research in Das' laboratory and declined to accept $890,000 in federal grants awarded to him.

The journals include Antioxidants & Redox Signaling, where Das was one of the editors in chief, and the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.

The university has also begun dismissal proceedings.

Despite skepticism in the scientific community over resveratrol, GlaxoSmithKline in 2008 bought Sirtris, a company that worked on the compound, for $720 million.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/health/120113/uconn-red-wine-cardiovascular-health-resveratrol