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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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Peer Review Battle Nets Firm $21 Million
1 November 1996 8:00 pm
WASHINGTON--A 12-year-old fight over allegations that one group of researchers misappropriated another's discovery during peer review ended abruptly late in the night on 31 October. This battle, which began with a dispute over who first discovered a human immune system molecule called interleukin-1 b (IL-1 b), concluded with a $21 million settlement just days before it was to go to trial in the U.S. District Court in Seattle.
According to an announcement issued today by both companies, Immunex Corp. of Seattle will pay $21 million to Cistron Biotechnology of Pine Brook, New Jersey, in five installments over a 4-year period. In addition, Immunex is giving Cistron the patents it holds on IL-1 b. In return, Cistron is dropping its claim that Immunex took IL-1 b data from Cistron. The joint announcement adds that defendant Immunex admits no wrongdoing but signed this agreement as a way of "avoiding a lengthy trial."
Cistron initially sued Immunex for damages of more than $100 million. It alleged that a former Immunex scientist used IL-1 b data from a confidential Cistron manuscript, which he had been asked to review for Nature, in Immunex's own research program. Immunex denied the charges but appeared to be preparing to argue in court that there is nothing wrong with making use of data from someone else's paper under review. Now that the case has been settled, it leaves unanswered the question of whether the traditional confidentiality of the peer review system has any legal validity.