It’s hard to trust people in a monetary system. High risk, high reward paid off, until science catched up. Unfortunately a little too late. What if advanced research centers were available to a society trained in science? This might’ve been caught sooner. Or what if there was no incentive to commit this fraud? It likely never happened.
Science asked two independent image analysts—Bik and Jana Christopher—to review Schrag’s findings about that paper and others by Lesné. They say some supposed manipulation might be digital artifacts that can occur inadvertently during image processing, a possibility Schrag concedes. But Bik found his conclusions compelling and sound. Christopher concurred about the many duplicated images and some markings suggesting cut-and-pasted Western blots flagged by Schrag. She also identified additional dubious blots and backgrounds he had missed.