Buck case

Last modified: November 8, 2018

Henk Buck was a renowned professor of Physical Organic Chemistry and Organic Chemistry at the University of Technology in Eindhoven. In 1990 he published an article in Science about phosphate methylated DNA inhibiting viral infectivity in HIV, together with virologist Jaap Goudsmit. Doubts raised immediately after the article appeared in Science, because pure phosphate methylated DNA is very difficult to produce, and easily contaminated. Even before publishing, his colleague’s Van Boeckel and Kuijpers warned him that his test material was not at all pure, but Buck refused to accept this fact and the university chose Bucks side, causing Van Boeckel and Kuipers to stop their research. After publishing, a committee was formed to investigate the proceedings and their conclusion was that no phosphate methylated DNA could be traced. Also the committee reproached Buck for not paying attention to criticism from within his faculty. The publication in Science therefore had to be retracted. A second investigating committee reported at the end of the year that the presentation of the results in Science bordered on fraud. As a result, Buck accepted early retirement, however he never accepted the outcome of this controversy. Up to this day he persists in his opinion that he could produce sufficiently pure phosphate methylated DNA.
(summary from Wikipedia)

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