Detection of species fraud in meat products is important for consumer protection and food industries. A molecular technique such as PCR method for detection of beef, sheep, pork, chicken, donkey, and horse meats in food products was established. The purpose of this study was to identification of fraud and adulteration in industrial meat products by PCR-RFLP assay in Iran. In present study, 224 meat products include 68 sausages, 48 frankfurters, 55 hamburgers, 33 hams and 20 cold cut meats were collected from different companies and food markets in Iran. Genomic DNA was extracted and PCR was performed for gene amplification of meat species using specific oligonucleotid primers. Raw meat samples are served as the positive control. For differentiation between donkey’s and horse’s meat, the mitochondrial DNA segment (cytochrome-b gene) was amplified and products were digested with AluI restriction enzyme. Results showed that 6 of 68 fermented sausages (8.82%), 4 of 48 frankfurters (8.33%), 4 of 55 hamburgers (7.27%), 2 of 33 hams (6.6%), and 1 of 20 cold cut meat (5%) were found to contain Haram (unlawful or prohibited) meat. These results indicate that 7.58% of the total samples were not containing Halal (lawful or permitted) meat and have another meat. These findings showed that molecular methods such as PCR and PCR-RFLP are potentially reliable techniques for detection of meat type in meat products for Halal authentication.
PCR-RFLP; Mitochondrial DNA; Meat species; Haram; Halal; Iran
In medicine, research misconduct is historically associated with laboratory or pharmaceutical research, but the vulnerability of epidemiological surveys should be recognized. As these surveys underpin health policy and allocation of limited resources, misreporting can have far-reaching implications. We report how fraud in a nationwide headache survey occurred and how it was discovered and rectified before it could cause harm.
The context was a door-to-door survey to estimate the prevalence and burden of headache disorders in Pakistan. Data were collected from all four provinces of Pakistan by non-medical interviewers and collated centrally. Measures to ensure data integrity were preventative, detective and corrective. We carefully selected and trained the interviewers, set rules of conduct and gave specific warnings regarding the consequences of falsification. We employed two-fold fraud detection methods: comparative data analysis, and face-to-face re-contact with randomly selected participants. When fabrication was detected, data shown to be unreliable were replaced by repeating the survey in new samples according to the original protocol.
Comparative analysis of datasets from the regions revealed unfeasible prevalences and gender ratios in one (Multan). Data fabrication was suspected. During a surprise-visit to Multan, of a random sample of addresses selected for verification, all but one had been falsely reported. The data (from 840 cases) were discarded, and the survey repeated with new interviewers. The new sample of 800 cases was demographically and diagnostically consistent with other regions.
Fraud in community-based surveys is seldom reported, but no less likely to occur than in other fields of medical research. Measures should be put in place to prevent, detect and, where necessary, correct it. In this instance, had the data from Multan been pooled with those from other regions before analysis, a damaging fraud might have escaped notice.
Fraud; Research misconduct; Epidemiology; Headache; Pakistan; Global Campaign against Headache
OBJECTIVES: To study and describe how a group of senior researchers and a group of postgraduate students perceived the so-called "grey zone" between normal scientific practice and obvious misconduct. DESIGN: A questionnaire concerning various practices including dishonesty and obvious misconduct. The answers were obtained by means of a visual analogue scale (VAS). The central (two quarters) of the VAS were designated as a grey zone. SETTING: A Swedish medical faculty. SURVEY SAMPLE: 30 senior researchers and 30 postgraduate students. RESULTS: Twenty of the senior researchers and 25 of the postgraduate students answered the questionnaire. In five cases out of 14 the senior researchers' median was found to be clearly within the interval of the grey zone, compared with three cases for the postgraduate students. Three examples of experienced misconduct were provided. Compared with postgraduate students, established researchers do not call for more research ethical guidelines and restrictions. CONCLUSION: Although the results indicate that consensus exists regarding certain obvious types of misconduct the response pattern also indicates that there is no general consensus on several procedures.
Assignment of an individual to the population from which it most probably originated based on its multilocus genotype has been widely applied in recent years. In this study, individual assignment based on microsatellite data was used to identify a case of fishing competition fraud. Despite the fact that the true population of origin was most probably not among the reference populations, recent modifications of the assignment tests were used in confidently excluding (p < 0.0001) the possibility of a 5.5 kg salmon (Salmo salar) originating from the fishing competition location, Lake Saimaa (south-east Finland). In fact, the probability of the suspect salmon originating from one of the regions that supply most of Finland's fish markets was found to be over 600 times higher than it originating from Lake Saimaa. When presented with this evidence, the offender confessed to purchasing the salmon at a local fish shop and criminal charges were laid. This study emphasizes the potential practical application of the individual assignment procedure, in particular the usefulness of confidently excluding populations as the origin of an individual. A similar strategy could be also used, for example in suspected cases of illegal poaching, in order to assign or exclude individuals from originating from a claimed population.
Claims for reimbursement of child support, the reversal of property settlements and compensation can arise when misattributed paternity is discovered. The ethical justifications for such claims seem to be related to the financial cost of bringing up children, the absence of choice about taking on these expenses, the hard work involved in child rearing, the emotional attachments that are formed with children, the obligation of women to make truthful claims about paternity, and the deception involved in infidelity. In this paper it is argued that there should not be compensation for infidelity and that reimbursement is appropriate where the claimant has made child support payments but has not taken on the social role of father. Where the claimant's behaviour suggests a social view of fatherhood, on the other hand, claims for compensation are less coherent. Where the genetic model of fatherhood dominates, the “other” man (the woman's lover and progenitor of the children) might also have a claim for the loss of the benefits of fatherhood. It is concluded that claims for reimbursement and compensation in cases of misattributed paternity produce the same distorted and thin view of what it means to be a father that paternity testing assumes, and underscores a trend that is not in the interests of children.
paternity fraud; misattributed paternity; definition of “father”; genetics; genetic relatedness
Publication of medical research is the cornerstone for the propagation and dissemination of medical knowledge, culminating in significant effects on the health of the world's population. However, instances of individuals and institutions subverting the ethos of honesty and integrity on which medical research is built in order to advance personal ambitions have been well documented. Many definitions to describe this unethical behavior have been postulated, although the most descriptive is the “FFP” (fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism) model put forward by the United States’ Office of Research Integrity. Research misconduct has many ramifications of which the world's media are all too keen to demonstrate. Many high-profile cases the world over have demonstrated this lack of ethics when performing medical research. Many esteemed professionals and highly regarded world institutions have succumbed to the ambitions of a few, who for personal gains, have behaved unethically in pursuit of their own ideals. Although institutions have been set up to directly confront these issues, it would appear that a lot more is still required on the part of journals and their editors to combat this behavioral pattern. Individuals starting out at very junior positions in medical research ought to be taught the basics of medical research ethics so that populations are not failed by the very people they are turning to for assistance at times of need. This article provides a review of many of the issues of research misconduct and allows the reader to reflect and think through their own experiences of research. This hopefully will allow individuals to start asking questions on, what is an often, a poorly discussed topic in medical research.
Ethics; fraud; plagiarism; research; scientific misconduct; United States’ office of Research Integrity
The amount of insurance fraud is increasing in Canada. This should worry physicians, because all personal-injury claims must be substantiated by a medical certificate. The vast majority of physicians are honest and ethical, fraud investigators say, but some are being duped as patients scheme to cheat the insurance industry. In one sensational auto-insurance-fraud case, some Ontario physicians are being investigated about possible involvement in a self-referral scheme. Nicole Baer looks at insurance fraud and the challenges it poses for doctors.
Widely reported cases of research fraud have eroded public confidence in scientific research. When funding agencies met last fall they underscored the importance of integrity in the research process and discussed steps that could be taken to promote it.
Peer review is an essential component of the process that is universally applied prior to the acceptance of a manuscript, grant or other scholarly work. Most of us willingly accept the responsibilities that come with being a reviewer but how comfortable are we with the process? Peer review is open to abuse but how should it be policed and can it be improved? A bad peer review process can inadvertently ruin an individual’s career, but are there penalties for policing a reviewer who deliberately sabotages a manuscript or grant? Science has received an increasingly tainted name because of recent high profile cases of alleged scientific misconduct. Once considered the results of work stress or a temporary mental health problem, scientific misconduct is increasingly being reported and proved to be a repeat offence. How should scientific misconduct be handled—is it a criminal offence and subject to national or international law? Similarly plagiarism is an ever-increasing concern whether at the level of the student or a university president. Are the existing laws tough enough? These issues, with appropriate examples, are dealt with in this review.
peer review; journal impact factors; conflicts of interest; scientific misconduct; plagiarism
Scientific misconduct and fraud occur in science. The (anonymous) peer review process serves as goalkeeper of scientific quality rather than scientific integrity. In this brief paper we describe some limitations of the peer-review process. We describe the catastrophic facts of the ‘Woo-Suk Hwang fraud case’ and raise some ethical concerns about the issue. Finally, we pay attention to plagiarism, autoplagiarism and double publications. (Neth Heart J 2009;17:25-9.)
double publications; fraud; scientific misconduct; peer review; plagiarism; stem cell research
This paper proposes an intelligent credit card fraud detection model for detecting fraud from highly imbalanced and anonymous credit card transaction datasets. The class imbalance problem is handled by finding legal as well as fraud transaction patterns for each customer by using frequent itemset mining. A matching algorithm is also proposed to find to which pattern (legal or fraud) the incoming transaction of a particular customer is closer and a decision is made accordingly. In order to handle the anonymous nature of the data, no preference is given to any of the attributes and each attribute is considered equally for finding the patterns. The performance evaluation of the proposed model is done on UCSD Data Mining Contest 2009 Dataset (anonymous and imbalanced) and it is found that the proposed model has very high fraud detection rate, balanced classification rate, Matthews correlation coefficient, and very less false alarm rate than other state-of-the-art classifiers.
In its one-and-a-half year history Genome Biology has witnessed the publication of the first plant genome, the first draft of the human genome (twice) and a more than doubling of the number of completed microbial sequences. There has also been a shift in 'functional genomics' away from simple microarray data and towards studies of the expression, structure and function of proteins, pathway and network analysis, and harnessing the power of comparative genomics. Debate has also raged over the past year on the importance and merits of providing immediate world-wide, barrier-free open access to the full text of research articles.
An electroencephalogram (EEG) signal is extremely nonstationary, highly composite and very complex, all of which reflects the underlying integral neurodynamics. Understanding the EEG “grammar”, its internal structural organization would place a “Rozetta stone” in researchers’ hands, allowing them to more adequately describe the information processes of the brain in terms of EEG phenomenology. This Special Issue presents a framework where short-term EEG spectral pattern (SP) of a particular type is viewed as an information-rich event in EEG phenomenology. It is suggested that transition from one type of SP to another is accompanied by a “switch” between brain microstates in specific neuronal networks, or in cortex areas; and these microstates are reflected in EEG as piecewise stationary segments. In this context multiple faces of a short-term EEG SP reflect the poly-operational structure of brain activity.
Electroencephalogram (EEG) phenomenology; short-term spectral patterns; neuronal assemblies; EEG oscillatory states; brain oscillations; EEG frequencies.
In Texas, a supplier of durable medical equipment was found guilty of five counts of healthcare fraud due to submission of false claims to Medicare. The court sentenced the supplier to 120 months of incarceration and restitution of $1.6 million.1
Raritan Bay Medical Center agreed to pay the government $7.5 million to settle allegations that it defrauded the Medicare program, purposely inflating charges for inpatient and outpatient care, artificially obtaining outlier payments from Medicare.2
AmeriGroup Illinois, Inc., fraudulently skewed enrollment into the Medicaid HMO program by refusing to register pregnant women and discouraging registration for individuals with preexisting conditions. Under the False Claims Act and the Illinois Whistleblower Reward and Protection Act, AmeriGroup paid $144 million in damages to Illinois and the U.S. government and $190 million in civil penalties.3
In Florida, a dermatologist was sentenced to 22 years in prison, paid $3.7 million in restitution, forfeited an addition $3.7 million, and paid a $25,000 fine for performing 3,086 medically unnecessary surgeries on 865 Medicare beneficiaries.4
In Florida, a physician was sentenced to 24 months incarceration, ordered to pay $727,000 in restitution for cash payments where the physician signed blank prescriptions and certificates for medical necessity for patients he never saw.5
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found that providers in 8 out of 10 audited states received an estimated total of $27.3 million in Medicaid overpayments for services claimed after beneficiaries' deaths.6
fraud and abuse; computer assisted coding; data mining
This descriptive research project identified characteristics of automated coding systems that have the potential to detect improper coding and to minimize improper or fraudulent coding practices in the setting of automated coding used with the electronic health record (EHR). Recommendations were also developed for software developers and users of coding products to maximize anti-fraud practices.
scientific integrity; fraud; misconduct; research; piracy; plagiarism; forgery; ethics