In a case the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is calling the biggest instance of research fraud in more than 20 years, an Iowa State University researcher has admitted to lying about a breakthrough AIDS vaccine that, he falsely claimed, could utilize rabbit blood’s disease-fighting properties to cure human patients.

Dr. Dong-Pyou Han was able to secure $19 million in research grants from NIH after announcing the supposed medical miracle, but was later subjected to closer scrutiny by professional peers who were unable to reproduce his results. The NIH then checked.

That’s because Dr. Dong had secretly infused clinical samples with the blood of healthy human beings before announcing that his findings showed the serum from rabbit blood was (falsely) killing off the AIDS-causing virus in the tainted samples.

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