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Paleontologist accused of fabricating data on dinosaur-killing asteroid impacts

Paleontologist accused of fabricating data on dinosaur-killing asteroid impacts

#Paleontologist #accused #fabricating #data #dinosaurkilling #asteroid #impacts Welcome to Alaska Green Light Blog, here is the new story we have for you today:

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Artist's rendering of a large asteroid impacting Earth.

In December 2021, a team of paleontologists released data suggesting the asteroid impact that ended the reign of dinosaurs could be pinned down to one time of year — spring 66 million years ago — thanks to an analysis of fossilized fish remains at a famous northern site could Dakota.

Now another group of researchers are accusing the former group of falsifying their data; The journal that published the research added one Editor’s note to the paper stating that the data will be verified.

The location was reported first from the publication Science last month. Melanie While, a paleontologist at Uppsala University in Sweden, submitted a paper for publication in the journal Nature in June 2021. The main finding of the work was that the large asteroid that crashed into Earth at the end of the Cretaceous period struck in the spring, a conclusion was reached by examining fossilized fish found in North Dakota.

But two months before while paper would be published, a paper came out in scientific reports “Reaching essentially the same conclusion, based on a completely separate data set,” reported Science. The latter paper was published by a team led by Robert DePalma, a former While collaborator and now a paleontologist at the University of Manchester.

Both papers drew their conclusions based on analysis of fish remains at the Tanis fossil site in North Dakota. Tanis is a rich fossil site containing a host of marine life that appear to have died in the immediate aftermath of the asteroid impact, or the KT extinction.

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According to the Science article, “While suspects that DePalma, anxious to claim credit for the find, wanted to steal it — and made up the data to support his claim.”

DePalma made big headlines in March 2019 when a splash surfaced New York history revealed the Tanis site to the world. The media article was published several days before an accompanying publication research paper on the website came out in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Gizmodo covered the research at the time. Tanis is on private land; DePalma holds the lease for the site and controls access to it.

“This is not a case of ‘he said, she said.’ It’s not about stealing ideas. This is misconduct,” While wrote in an email to Gizmodo.

Both studies examined 66-million-year-old paddlefish jawbones and Tanis sturgeon fin spines. The fish contain isotopic records and clues as to how the animals’ growth matched the season (tree rings do the same). The fish remains, in turn, revealed the season in which their lives ended – the exact time of the devastating asteroid impact on the Yucatán Peninsula.

Last month, while published a Comment on PubPeer claims that the dates in DePalma’s paper could be fabricated. In the commentary, While, her co-author Dennis Voeten, and her supervisor Per Ahlberg highlight anomalies in the other team’s isotopic analysis, a lack of primary data, inadequately described methods, and the fact that DePalma’s team did not specify the laboratory location the analyzes were performed .

As detailed by Science, the isotopic data in DePalma’s article was collected by archaeologist Curtis McKinney, who died in 2017. It is not clear where McKinney performed these analyzes and raw data was not included in the published article.

“It feels like ‘the dog ate my homework,’ and I don’t think Curtis McKinney’s relatives deserved that,” While told Gizmodo.

DePalma did not respond to a request for comment from Gizmodo, but told Science, “We would not and have never fabricated data and/or samples to match the results of this or any other team.”

On December 9, a note was added to DePalma’s paper on Scientific Reports’ website. It reads: “Editor’s Note: Readers are cautioned that the reliability of the data presented in this manuscript is currently being questioned. Appropriate editorial action will be taken once this matter is resolved.”

On the same day, Ahlberg tweeted that he and While had filed a complaint of potential research misconduct against DePalma and Phillip Manning, one of the paper’s co-authors, with the University of Manchester.

When asked for more information about the situation Jan. 3, a spokesman for Scientific Reports said there were no updates.

More: The science publisher withdraws 44 articles because they are complete nonsense

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