Introducing new For Better Science weekly format: Schneider Shorts
I am off Twitter, but my sabotage on science continues. Instead of tagged tweets, I will be sending emails (much more impactful, btw), and focus on my own website which no lawsuit managed to destroy so far. In a way, I went into underground resistance, so listen very carefully I shall say this only once.
For those of you who miss my tweets, I have something even better now: Schneider Shorts (thanks Cheshire for the idea!), a weekly online leaflet with antiscience trolling, anarchist propaganda and disrespectful takes on scientific elites.
Basically, my Twitter antics will continue on my site, but in form of a weekly post, published every Friday. There will be references to updated or commented For Better Science articles, various bits of science, medicine and environment news I picked up over the week, and of course the most recent COVID-19 cures. You are invited to share with me other bits of information, just go ahead and comment below. And of course please do subscribe to my site, so you will get an email each time a new full-length article or a Schneider Shorts piece is published. Start now:
Today’s first instalment of Schneider Shorts is a bit long actually, that’s because it contains material from at least two weeks. Hope you will like this new format, and feel free to share it with friends, colleagues, or the people I write about to annoy them. You can also support me with donations, see below.
Schneider Shorts 17.04.2021
Updated on For Better Science
Remember the Israeli Ariel University, located on the occupied territories? Whose rector Michael Zinigrad sports a silly CV with fantasy research output (read here), and which newly founded medical school lacks an actual hospital or even medical specialists, unless you count the infamous crook, patient abuser and lying bully Gideon Koren (read here)?
Guess who was just now appointed as the new Ariel University president?
Yes, the autoimmunity quack and vaccine critic bordering on (and often straying into) unhinged antivaxxery, who was nevertheless elected two years ago into the Israel Academy of Sciences (read here). They must read my site at Ariel as inspiration, it seems. Shoenfeld, who will start as Ariel president in June, was quoted in a newspaper:
“I came to Ariel University and saw the sparkle in my eyes. It is our job to develop the university into scientific research excellence and regional partnership and peace“
British Duchenne dystrophy researcher Dame Kay Davies DBE FRS FMedSci has another source of cash income by joining another company board. The untouchable Oxford professor is indeed extremely qualified in obtaining the right scientific results even if it means Photoshop, and in ruthlessly dealing with whistleblower pests. Everything a biotech money scheme needs. A February 2021 press release by Oxford Biomedica:
“Professor Dame Kay Davies will be joining the Board as a Non-Executive Director, effective 1 March 2021. Professor Davies is a world-leading human geneticist with a research focus on the molecular analysis of neuromuscular and neurological disease, particularly Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). She has published more than 400 papers and pioneered approaches to the therapy of DMD. She is currently Professor of Genetics and Co-Director (and Founder Member) of MDUK Oxford Neuromuscular Centre at the University of Oxford.
Professor Davies has significant experience sitting on the Boards of both public and private companies and charities. She was co-founder of Summit Therapeutics plc and Oxstem Limited, both of which are spinouts from her research activities, and she also sits on the Board of UCB S.A. and The Biotech Growth Trust plc. She was appointed a governor of the Wellcome Trust in 2008 and was Deputy Chairman between 2013 and 2017.”
I believe this is called the Matthew Effect, where the devil shits on the biggest pile?
Fluvoxamine & ivermectin cocktail
The Silicon Valley multi-millionaire and sponsor of the controversial antidepressive for COVID-19 research, Steve Kirsch, tried to get me into a live YouTube debate, with none other but the ivermectin-peddling quack Pierre Kory, whose (now deleted) opinion paper was too embarrassing even for Frontiers. While trying to convince me, Kirsch admitted to be advising a team of four doctors who already treated 430 patients with the antiparasitic ivermectin and the antidepressive fluvoxamine drug combo, outside of any clinical trial supervision. Apparently, in America this is legal, or maybe only when you are a multimillionaire? Read more here, and read about ivermectin and Kory here.
Since we are talking about of repurposed COVID-19 drugs.
BMJ living review
Here a regularly updated interactive diagram, a living research paper from an international scientist consortium, last update was 6 April 2021.
R Siemieniuk et al Drug treatments for covid-19: living systematic review and network meta-analysis BMJ 2020; 370 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m2980
As for the drug’s effect on COVID-19 mortality, hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin and vitamin D are all categorised as “not different from standard care“, ivermectin‘s effect as “very uncertain“, but why is colchicine “most beneficial“???
That’s because the only existing colchicine RCT study by a Canadian cardiologist claimed a huge life-saving effect. Well, the lead scientist Jean-Claude Tardif claimed this in his press release and various media interviews, but when the data was eventually issued as preprint there was no significant difference between colchicine and control arm. Read more here.
Also proxalutamide, the drug which made huge news in Brazil (read here) is “very uncertain” on mortality, according to the BMJ diagram. Go figure.
A Brazilian article from 9 April, original in Portuguese, titled:
“Bolsonaro’s ‘new chloroquine’ study has evidence of fraud and serious flaws“
The proxalutamide RCT study (read here) seems to have been indeed rigged or even fabricated, as suspected. I’m very proud to see a reader of my site quoted:
“For this reason, researchers such as Jose Galluci Neto, an assistant physician who works at the Institute of Psychiatry of the USP School of Medicine, say that the study period is not feasible. “It is impossible”, summarizes Gallucci. “It is not a deadline at all.“”
Lab Leak Theory
Finally, a new article about the lab leak theory of COVID-19 origins by Ian Birrell on Unherd:
“This nugget about Dr Feng’s disturbing dual role — as a voice of the WHO study into pandemic origins while also party to a Communist dictatorship’s clampdown on unfettered scientific discussion — was dug out by an Indian architect and film-maker, who shared it earlier this month on social media under his moniker ‘The Seeker’.“
Accompanied by an interview podcast with Alina Chan on Slate:
Alcohol to see double
UK Biobank is a British genetic database of half a million participants, who logged every single medical or socioeconomic and even private details about themselves and their lifestyles. I wrote about it before, where the UK Biobank data was used to analyse Neanderthal smoking habits (funny) or to run eugenics studies to prove the genetic inheritance of educational attainment and even wealth (not funny). Turned out, UK Biobank not only doesn’t mind eugenics, but even helps British scientists to circumvent ethical obstacles via decoy application (read here).
The Guardian, proud of yet another British scientific achievement, in particular from Guardian‘s beloved UCL, wrote:
“British study links alcohol with lower risk of developing cataracts
Research finds lower risk among those who drink up to 14 units a week – especially if they drink red wine“
““Cataract development may be due to gradual damage from oxidative stress during ageing. The fact that our findings were particularly evident in wine drinkers may suggest a protective role of polyphenol antioxidants, which are especially abundant in red wine,” said Dr Sharon Chua, the first author of the findings, which have been published in the journal Ophthalmology.”
Here is the original research paper, probably written and peer-reviewed while drunk:
Sharon Y.L. Chua, Robert N. Luben, Shabina Hayat, David C. Broadway, Kay-Tee Khaw, Alasdair Warwick, Abigail Britten, Alexander C. Day, Nicholas Strouthidis, Praveen J. Patel, Peng T. Khaw, Paul J. Foster, Anthony P. Khawaja Alcohol Consumption and Incident Cataract Surgery in Two Large UK Cohorts Ophthalmology (2021) doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2021.02.007
Cheers to English science superiority.
More from UK Biobank:
Shaping Face and Brain
Scientists find genes coding for both your face shape and your… wait for it…. BRAIN shape !
From a KU Leuven press release:
“There were already indications of a genetic link between the shape of our face and that of our brain, says Professor Peter Claes from the Laboratory for Imaging Genetics at KU Leuven, who is the joint senior author of the study with Professor Joanna Wysocka from the Stanford University School of Medicine. “But our knowledge on this link was based on model organism research and clinical knowledge of extremely rare conditions,” Claes continues. “We set out to map the genetic link between individuals’ face and brain shape much more broadly, and for commonly occurring genetic variation in the larger, non-clinical population.””
This is the brain-folding paper:
Sahin Naqvi, Yoeri Sleyp, Hanne Hoskens, Karlijne Indencleef, Jeffrey P Spence, Rose Bruffaerts, Ahmed Radwan, Ryan J Eller, Stephen Richmond, Mark D Shriver, John R Shaffer, Seth M Weinberg, Susan Walsh, James Thompson, Jonathan K Pritchard, Stefan Sunaert, Hilde Peeters, Joanna Wysocka, Peter Claes Shared heritability of human face and brain shape Nature Genetics (2021) doi: 10.1038/s41588-021-00827-w
From a Stanford press release:
“We were astonished to find 76 genetic regions that affect both face and brain shape in the human population,” said Joanna Wysocka, PhD, professor of chemical and systems biology and of developmental biology. “That’s an amazing degree of overlap, and it shows how closely these two structures affect each other during development. However, nothing in our data suggests that it’s possible to predict behavior, cognitive function or neuropsychiatric disorders like schizophrenia or ADHD simply by looking at a person’s face.”
That’s a pity. More research into facial socio-prediction is needed!
Hallmarks of Trolling
The elite journal Cell (just one paper there will earn you tenure and a huge grant), published by Elsevier, apparently decided to test the sheepish loyalty of academia by once again doing something Bond-villainy-evil. Look at the new review paper Cell editors published while rubbing their hands and maniacally cackling:
Carlos López-Otín and Guido Kroemer Hallmarks of Health Cell (2021) doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2020.11.034
I mean, Cell specifically invited two of the most toxic scientists in cancer and ageing research, if not the two most toxic ones (in a very tough competition), just to prove how little this publisher cares about basic research ethics.
As reminder: Carlos Lopez-Otin was caught with massive research fraud, which led to retraction of 9 of his papers and his Nature mentoring award, despite all Spanish elites and media crying out in his defence. He also killed his entire mouse colony, 5000 rodents, officially because of an infection, or maybe because the mice knew too much? Guido Kroemer is Carlos’ best mate and in my theory the centre of the data fudging universe. Despite ~65 papers on PubPeer, Kroemer never had a single retraction, because retractions are actually the readout for how many friends a cheater has lost. Kroemer has many friends, including Didier Raoult (read here)!
Basically, Cell farted in your face again and you still would kill to publish there.
Vitamin D cures even cancer!
German scientists from DKFZ discovered something great, here is their paper:
Tobias Niedermaier, Thomas Gredner, Sabine Kuznia, Ben Schöttker, Ute Mons, Hermann Brenner Vitamin D supplementation to the older adult population in Germany has the cost‐saving potential of preventing almost 30 000 cancer deaths per year Molecular Oncology (2021) https://doi.org/10.1002/1878-0261.12924
From the abstract:
“In the main analysis, vitamin D supplementation was estimated to prevent almost 30 000 cancer deaths per year at approximate costs of €900 million and savings of €1.154 billion, suggesting net savings of €254 million. Our results support promotion of supplementation of vitamin D among older adults as a cost‐saving approach to substantially reduce cancer mortality.“
Local news coverage:
“The DKFZ epidemiologist Hermann Brenner explains that the mortality rate from age-related cancers has declined consistently in recent years, but that Germany still has a significantly higher death rate than Finland, for example. According to Brenner, there is an explanation for this: In Finland, many foods have been fortified with vitamin D for several years”
The same local newspaper recently celebrated Vitamin D as COVID-19 cure with a professor from Austria and MDPI-publishing Vitamin D enthusiast, Stefan Pilz. The newspaper also claimed Robert-Koch-Institut (RKI) established Vitamin D as COVID-19 therapy, that is not true. RKI merely advised it to elderly people with proven low vitamin D levels.
“Although we must of course be very careful with comparisons with vaccine studies, these results indicate that after a SARS-CoV-2 infection one has a similarly strong protection against a new infection as after a vaccination”, concludes Stefan Pilz from the Medical University of Graz“
And yet, the university deleted the press release, maybe because it’s scientifically shaky and sends a questionable message, combined with Pilz’ Vitamin D proselytizing?
Read about Vitamin D as COVID-19 cure here.
Israeli Scientists joke
Somehow everything Israeli scientists publish is a gigantic breakthrough. This one looks like a flashback to 1990ies where one-gene theories of cancer origin and cancer cures ruled.
Israeli media, even the english language newspapers were excited:
“The study was just published in the peer-reviewed Nature Communications journal, and Satchi-Fainaro said she hopes that human trials will be conducted soon and conclude that blocking the P-Selectin protein is a treatment for glioblastoma.
“We’re talking about one of the most aggressive cancers, which is considered stage four from diagnosis, and this is really exciting,” she said. “It is is paving the way for a new therapy for a disease that hasn’t had anything new in terns of treatment over the last decade.”
Here is the original paper:
Eilam Yeini, Paula Ofek, Sabina Pozzi, Nitzan Albeck, Dikla Ben-Shushan, Galia Tiram, Sapir Golan, Ron Kleiner, Ron Sheinin, Sahar Israeli Dangoor, Shlomit Reich-Zeliger, Rachel Grossman, Zvi Ram, Henry Brem, Thomas M. Hyde, Prerna Magod, Dinorah Friedmann-Morvinski, Asaf Madi & Ronit Satchi-Fainaro P-selectin axis plays a key role in microglia immunophenotype and glioblastoma progression Nature Communications (2021) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-22186-0
Maybe the huge media campaign was needed to recruit investors?
“H.B. is a consultant for AsclepiX Therapeutics, Perosphere Inc., StemGen, InSightec, Accelerating Combination Therapies, Camden Partners, LikeMinds, Inc., Galen Robotics, Inc., Nurami Medical and Be Cured: Fighting Brain Cancer. R.S.F. is a Board Director at Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.“
Wildlife and environment
This is the bit where I share news about wildlife and environment without sarcasm or irony, simply because it’s really interesting, or worrying.
Sulfate-reducing bacteria not only generate energy out of volcanic gas, they also refuse to evolve or even mutate since at least many millions of years:
Eric D. Becraft, Maggie C. Y. Lau Vetter, Oliver K. I. Bezuidt, Julia M. Brown, Jessica M. Labonté, Kotryna Kauneckaite-Griguole, Ruta Salkauskaite, Gediminas Alzbutas, Joshua D. Sackett, Brittany R. Kruger, Vitaly Kadnikov, Esta Van Heerden, Duane Moser, Nikolai Ravin, Tullis Onstott, Ramunas Stepanauskas Evolutionary stasis of a deep subsurface microbial lineage The ISME Journal (2021) doi: 10.1038/s41396-021-00965-3
“we compared [Candidatus Desulforudis audaxviator] genomes from Africa, North America and Eurasia using single cell genomics. [..] We therefore conclude that the analyzed CDA populations underwent only minimal evolution since their physical separation, potentially as far back as the breakup of Pangea between 165 and 55 Ma ago. High-fidelity DNA replication and repair mechanisms are the most plausible explanation for the highly conserved genome of CDA.“
Enormous amounts of DDT waste are leaking from countless rotting barrels sunk by the Montrose Chemical Corporation near the California coast in several decades since 1947. The sludge now poisons wildlife and endangers human health, a quarter of all local sea lions has cancer. CBS reports:
“For decades, the existence of these toxic barrels was surmised only by a very small group of scientists and regulators. That’s despite a startling report produced in the 1980s by a California Regional Water Quality Control Board scientist named Allan Chartrand, which asserted there may be as many as 500,000 barrels laced with DDT sitting on the ocean floor.”
That’s all, and till next week’s Schneider Shorts!
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