A huge setback for the fight against AIDS took place when it was found that a researcher tampered with study results.
Iowa State University assistant professor of biomedical sciences, Dong-Pyou Han, resigned when others in the medical community got suspicious of positive research results from a potential vaccine against HIV.
The Des Moines Register reported Monday that Han actually added human blood with HIV antibodies in it to the rabbit blood used in the experiment. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS.
The mixed blood made it look like infected animals were building immunity to the virus, when in reality they were not.
"At Iowa State's request, the research samples in question were examined by researchers at another university; they confirmed samples had been spiked," ISU spokesman John McCarroll said in the report.
The first reports about the potential vaccine convinced institutions and the U.S. government to pour $19 million into ISU’s research team.
The report said that officials are unsure if they will need to reimburse the grant money or what the financial future of the department is.
It appears that the institution took action quickly after finding out about the fraudulent test results.
Other research teams around the world seem to be onto something, although this case could cast doubt on results.
One example is that European scientists are researching the GP411 protein found in the virus to see how to manipulate the properties of the infection according to Euro News.
At ISU, Han will not be allowed to participate in research that uses federal grant money for at least three years.