Scientists in the United States have come up with a tool for automatically analyzing digital photographs, making it possible to gauge the extent to which images have been altered or retouched. Advances in image-manipulation software have made it trivial to radically alter the appearance of models and celebrities in photos, notes Hany Farid, a computer scientist who studies digital forensics and image analysis at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.

But it turns out that scientists have been doing it as much as fashion magazines.  Farid notes that image manipulation is a growing problem in the scientific community, calling it "extremely disturbing”. He explains that it has become all too easy for some researchers to misrepresent their results, enhancing DNA bands in a gel, for example, or scrubbing out background blemishes, either to innocently make images look better or, in some cases, to skew the results deliberately.

Computer model spots image fraud by Duncan Graham-Rowe,