In the first installment of a four-part series, VICE News and the Center for Public Integrity dive into the world of business-funded scientific research.

In an attempt to downplay the harmful effects of asbestos, a corporate defense attorney in 2008 contacted the Gradient Corporation, an environmental consulting firm, and asked a principal there to publish a study supporting his “revolutionary” scientific theory. The falsified research was then used in several lawsuits against cancer victims.

While the participants in this case were eventually discovered and fired, businesses across the country continue to fund their own research with the help of scientists for hire.