Schneider Shorts from 25 June 2021: telomere stretching in Milan and other COVID-19 cures, Best Lab Leak Ever Award, the elusive Pandolfi, coffee and chocolate, and hooray, Raoult & Chabriere finally announced on Twitter to sue yours truly in Marseille.
Table of discontent
- Raoult vs Schneider: defamation lawsuit in Marseille announced
- Nobel Prize for the Best Lab Leak Ever
- Daszak, Recusing at Lancet COVID-19 Commission
- Ivermectin and Other Anti-Parasitics in clinical trials
- Broken Telomeres and how to fix them to survive COVID-19
Raoult vs Schneider
The Chloroquine Guru and IHU Marseille director Didier Raoult, together with his antisemite bulldog Eric Chabriere now lodged a civil lawsuit in Marseille court against yours truly and Alexander Samuel for defamation and harassment. This was announced by Chabriere himself on Twitter:
My crime is writing insolent articles about Raoult, and Samuel’s crime is to have translated them in French. This is one of the two articles subject to the lawsuit:
This is the other article:
Prior to that, IHU issued a press release (actually a stream of consciousness of a paranoid narcissist) from 21.06.2021:
“IHU Méditerranée Infection has been harassed by Ms. Bik, Mr. Barbour, Mr. Schneider through Pubpeer website. This phenomenon was triggered when we started to speak about hydroxychloroquine which seems to have excited them. […]
We also see all these comments as a gang harassment because the same comments were copied and pasted in 60% of the articles. We have carried out an exhaustive analysis of all these comments, which we will not send to Pubpeer, which is obviously a profoundly dishonest institution, against which we are also filing a complaint, after the ones against Mme Bik and against Mr Barbour, who relayed her to France, and against Mr Schneider, who has already been convicted of defamation in Germany.”
This was the first time Raoult named me. I am proud. Maybe my calling him a “Dirty Old Man” was the trigger? And since he keeps attacking Elisabeth Bik: here is a great long read in The New Yorker about her and her work.
Oh, and Raoult is mistaken, I don’t comment on PubPeer, the site’s owners won’t let me exactly because I harassed French scientists. The “gang harassment” of Raoult and his right-hand antisemite Eric Chabriere happened in my case exclusively here, on For Better Science.
Meanwhile, Chabriere’s anonymous Nazi friend @cunegonde1944 incites to violence against the daughter of Raoult (Mag R-C) for being a “traitor”, because she helped with the book review on my site. Remains to see if Raoult himself appreciates the persecution. Here are the two buddies:
Novel Prize for Best Lab leak Ever
While the world suspects the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) to be responsible for the lab leak of SARS-CoV2 which caused the COVID-19 pandemic (even US National Science Academies issued a statement), Chinese Communist Party once again takes steps to put things right. WIV is to get a Nobel Prize, but for now a national one will have to do. State media reports:
“The Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), has been listed as one of the candidates for the 2021 Outstanding Science and Technology Achievement Prize of CAS for its achievement in identifying the COVID-19 pathogeny.
China’s “bat woman” Shi Zhengli, and Yuan Zhiming, director of the WIV’s Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory were selected as the outstanding contributors of the WIV group candidates. […]
The WIV and scientists at the institute have been attacked in a new round of slander from Western politicians and media. China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson stressed at Thursday’s press conference that scientists working at the WIV should be awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine, rather than being blamed for being the first to discover the gene sequence of the novel coronavirus. The comments came after Shi refuted the “lab-leak” conspiracy from the US in a recent interview with the New York Times.”
If only Chinese authorities could finally decide where and when exactly the pandemic really started in Wuhan. The official version of Huanan Seafood Market and December 2019 seems more and more like bullshit. Here further evidence by US virologist Jesse Bloom, who published a preprint about deleted and recovered early SARS-CoV2 records. Bloom also comments:
“we’d expect the first #SARSCoV2 sequences would be more similar to bat coronaviruses, and as #SARSCoV2 continued to evolve it would become more divergent from these ancestors. But that is *not* the case! Instead, early Huanan Seafood Market #SARSCoV2 viruses are more different from bat coronaviruses than #SARSCoV2 viruses collected later in China and even other countries.“
Meanwhile, Peter Daszak (the British scientist whose EcoHealth Alliance channelled US governmental money to that same WIV for the purpose of gain-of-function coronavirus research), recused himself from the Lancet COVID-19 commission. The reason is Daszak’s conflict of interest, which is the size of a planet. And yet The Lancet, like in the Wakefield and Macchiarini affairs before, plays the victim of a pitchforking mob of malicious critics:
“There may be differences in opinion as to what constitutes a competing interest. Transparent reporting allows readers to make judgments about these interests. Readers, in turn, have their own interests that could influence their evaluation of the work in question.”
So Daszak finally teeth-gnashingly declared what he and his EcoHealth Alliance do, in a lengthy addendum to the Calisher et al 2020 position paper in The Lancet which authors announced already in February 2020 to “stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin.”
The Lancet COVID-19 Commission’s Task Force on the COVID-19 origins also had Daszak plus a bunch of other EcoHealth Alliance associates on board, but Richard Ebright says it’s being dissolved and reconstituted.
Ivermectin and other anti-parasitics
Now, onto COVID-19 cures. The antiparasitic ivermectin, usually pushed as COVID-19 cure by corrupt politicians and quacks like Eric Chabriere and Pierre Kory, is now part of the Oxford clinical trial in UK… Bloomberg reports:
“The drug will be analyzed as part of the Platform Randomized Trial of Treatments in the Community for Epidemic and Pandemic Illnesses, or Principle, the world’s largest clinical trial of potential treatments for the virus in non-hospital settings. Eligible U.K. participants with Covid-19 symptoms can join the ivermectin trial, which is being evaluated alongside the influenza antiviral favipiravir.
“By including ivermectin in a large-scale trial like Principle, we hope to generate robust evidence to determine how effective the treatment is against Covid-19, and whether there are benefits or harms associated with its use,” said Chris Butler, a professor of medicine at the University of Oxford and one of the study’s lead authors.
Meanwhile, in Germany they are testing another de-worming drug, niclosamide, also in a clinical trial. It is based on this paper from the Charité Berlin (from the lab of Marcel Müller, his institute director and Germany’s most prominent virologist Christian Drosten is coauthor):
Nils C. Gassen, Jan Papies , Thomas Bajaj , Jackson Emanuel , Frederik Dethloff , Robert Lorenz Chua , Jakob Trimpert , Nicolas Heinemann , Christine Niemeyer , Friderike Weege , Katja Hönzke , Tom Aschman , Daniel E. Heinz , Katja Weckmann , Tim Ebert , Andreas Zellner , Martina Lennarz , Emanuel Wyler , Simon Schroeder , Anja Richter , Daniela Niemeyer, Karen Hoffmann, Thomas F. Meyer, Frank L. Heppner, Victor M. Corman, Markus Landthaler, Andreas C. Hocke, Markus Morkel, Nikolaus Osterrieder, Christian Conrad, Roland Eils, Helena Radbruch, Patrick Giavalisco, Christian Drosten, Marcel A. Müller SARS-CoV-2-mediated dysregulation of metabolism and autophagy uncovers host-targeting antivirals Nature Communications (2021) doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-24007-w
News coverage in German media explains what possible cures the scientists found:
“However, the tapeworm remedy niclosamide performed best. It was able to reduce the production of coronaviruses in cell culture by 99 percent. “Niclosamide has shown the strongest effect in our cell culture studies and has also been a drug that has been approved for tapeworm infections for years and is well tolerated in potentially effective doses. We consider it the most promising of the four new drug candidates,” says Müller.
Therefore, doctors at the Berlin Charité now want to test in a phase 2 study with recently infected Covid-19 patients whether niclosamide in combination with the drug Camostat can improve the course of the infection. To do this, the clinic is looking for participants.”
Also the anti-parasitics chloroquine and ivermectin did quite well in vitro, just saying…
The Charite authors also tested spermidine (which was previously pushed by Austrian scientists who happen to sell the supplement (Schroeder et al Cell Reports 2021, read here). The mdr article quotes Müller:
“These clear effects of spermidine and especially spermine are of course encouraging on the one hand because fewer side effects are to be expected with the body’s own substances,” says virologist Marcel Müller. “However, we worked with pure substances that in this form are not suitable for drug use. Spermidine in particular is noticeably effective in cell culture only at a very high concentration.“
In this spermidin context, Italian scientists have been proposing a somewhat related substance, also present in bodily fluids, lactoferrin:
And what happened to Charite’s other COVID-19 medicine, sauerkraut? There was even a one-man clinical trial on that!
Broken Telomeres and how to fix them
Here is a COVID-19 cure which truly makes me immensely proud. For I had the rare honour to have worked between 2008 and 2012 in that very same lab at the IFOM institute in Milan. Once a Nobel Prize is awarded to my ex-boss, Fabrizio d’Adda di Fagagna, for solving COVID-19, I am available to proper science journalists to fondly reminisce about my time in his lab.
The cure is… patented telomere extension nucleotides. Bear with me.
Sara Sepe, Francesca Rossiello, Valeria Cancila, Fabio Iannelli, Valentina Matti, Giada Cicio, Matteo Cabrini, Eugenia Marinelli, Busola Alabi, Alessia Di Lillo, Arianna Di Napoli, Jerry W. Shay, Claudio Tripodo, Fabrizio D’Adda Di Fagagna DNA damage response at telomeres boosts the transcription of SARS-CoV-2 receptor ACE2 during aging bioRxiv (2021) doi: 10.1101/2021.06.09.447484
The preprint, likely soon to appear in Nature or at least in Nature Cell Biology, explains:
“We propose that during aging telomeric shortening, by triggering DDR [DNA Damage Response, -LS] activation, causes the upregulation of ACE2, the SARS-CoV2 cell receptor, thus making the elderly likely more susceptible to the infection.
There was also a press release. Basically, you get old because your telomeres (the DNA tips of chromosomes) get shorter (as every telomere researcher will testify). And as this Milan lab found out, short telomeres activate DDR. Which apparently activates ACE2 production, and you become defenceless victim of the virus, all because your telomeres were too short.
But now you surely want to know how you can extend your short telomeres to avoid being ravished by the coronavirus?
Well, Nobel Prize winner Elizabeth Blackburn says that yoga and meditation extend telomeres, try that.
Or you can go for Israeli Scientists approach of hyperbaric oxygen, which is being tested against COVID-19 even as you read this:
But I personally suggest you follow the Milan method. Here is what the d’Adda di Fagagna preprint says:
“In perspective, as ASOs [antisense oligonucleotides, -LS] are established medicines approved for a number of disorders (Crooke et al, 2021) and as telomeric DDR increases with age in normal and pathological conditions (Rossiello et al, Nature Cell Biology, under submission) we suggest that, upon additional validation, tASOs [telomeric ASOs, -LS] can have a potential as therapeutic agents to reduce susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection.”
In this regard, the preprint discloses that the authors Rossiello and d’Adda di Fagagna “are inventors on the patent applications PCT/EP2013/059753 and PCT/EP2016/068162“. One is the patent for oligonucleotides for telomere extension, the other are small RNAs to modulate DDR.
I am so proud you won’t believe how much.
We shall remain in Milan. In case you didn’t know, Italy has its own Nobel Prize, also worth €1 Million, and it’s called Premio Lombardia, issued annually in a pompous ceremony in La Scala in Milan (except last year, due to pandemic). But the year before it was none other but Guido Kroemer, the centre of the data fudging universe himself, was honoured. No wonder, when the jury included Carlo Croce and Adriano Aguzzi.
But now Pier Paolo Pandolfi was first included in the jury, and then removed, as Tiziana Metitieri spotted. Maybe my reporting spoiled things? Pandolfi was sacked in Harvard for sexual harassment and was about to start as institute director in Padua (Italy), but dismissed there under massive protests from peers (also because of research integrity deficits). Pandolfi however remains affiliated with the University of Turin (also in Italy).
Sylvie Coyaud wonders if the Premio Lombardia organisers understood the problem with Pandolfi, or simply allowed him to nominate himself for the €1 million award, hence the removal off the jury.
The jury of 15 scientists is 13 member strong, because only two are female (last time it was just one woman, so progress?). One of the award experts is Liberato Manna, professor at IIT (Italian Institute of Technology) and a proud bearer of Ashutosh Tiwari’s fake IAAM award.
So here an idea: why not thanking Ashu Tiwari by giving him a €1 million Premio Lombardia in return?
Pratical NIH grant
Neuroscientist Domenico Pratico gets another NIH grant of over half a million dollars (well, an extension of a previous one). Apparently, NIH National Institute on Aging counts on Pratico to find a cure for Alzheimer’s using Photoshop. This is all because his Temple University in Philadelphia has better things to do than investigating his ridiculously fudged papers and requesting their retractions.
Stupid Neanderthals, again
Svante Pääbo, the God of Neanderthal research field and director of Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, published yet another weird Neanderthal paper. This time, a gene was found which distinguishes modern humans from stupid Neanderthals and other monkeys.
The work was done together with Russian colleagues at Skolkovo:
Vita Stepanova , Kaja Ewa Moczulska , Guido N Vacano , Ilia Kurochkin , Xiangchun Ju , Stephan Riesenberg , Dominik Macak , Tomislav Maricic , Linda Dombrowski , Maria Schörnig , Konstantinos Anastassiadis , Oliver Baker , Ronald Naumann , Ekaterina Khrameeva , Anna Vanushkina , Elena Stekolshchikova , Alina Egorova , Anna Tkachev , Randall Mazzarino , Nathan Duval , Dmitri Zubkov, Patrick Giavalisco, Terry G Wilkinson, David Patterson, Philipp Khaitovich, Svante Pääbo Reduced purine biosynthesis in humans after their divergence from Neandertals eLife (2021) doi: 10.7554/elife.58741
Skolkovo press release explains:
“The team discovered that the modern human genome undergoes mutation which makes the adenylosuccinate lyase enzyme less stable, leading to a decrease in purine synthesis. This mutation did not occur in Neanderthals, so the scientists believe that it affected metabolism in brain tissues and thereby strongly contributed to modern humans evolving into a separate species.”
Maybe Pääbo got bored or funny with age? He previously found Neanderthal genes which cause COVID-19, and other Neanderthal genes which prevent it.
News in Brief
- Coffee prevents even more disease than we thought: now it’s also liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. Scientists from University of Southampton studied UK Biobank (great for correlating anything with anything) and discovered that 3-4 cups of coffee a day prevent all liver diseases (Kennedy et al BMC Public Health 2021). Basically, if you are into booze, combine your alcoholism problem with a coffee addiction, and you should be safe. (CNN, The Hill and many others).
- If that wasn’t silly enough for you: Chocolate makes you slim! A “randomized controlled clinical trial” by sweet-toothed scholars from Spain and Harvard proved that women who ate milk chocolate in the early morning and at night lost weight (Hernandez-Gonzalez et al FASEB J 2021). The trial NCT03949803 was registered 2 years ago and had 19 participants in total, those in intervention arms ate daily an entire bar of chocolate (100g) for two weeks either when waking up or before bedtime, plus a control arm who didn’t get any chocolate. Science parodies itself.
- The Russian COVD-19 vaccine Sputnik V is not wanted in Slovakia after all: 160k out of 200k shots the county bought from Russia for €2 million are to be given away to Balkan neighbours, because Slovak citizens eschew them. Even the former PM and now finance minister Igor Matovic, who aggressively pushed for its national approval outside of EU procedure, and still decries an anti-Russian conspiracy, refused to be get a Sputnik V jab. Meanwhile, WHO found safety issues with a Sputnik V factory in Russia,”with cross-contamination and sterility, as well as with tracing and identifying batches of vaccines“. (Tagesschau, in German, and Guardian)
- Mayo Clinic sacked a doctor who criticized its pandemic response. Steven Weiss, who worked at Mayo for 32 years, exposed in a self-published book forbidden things like “Staff wearing N95s for other than institution-approved indications, which don’t include routine care to patients with documented COVID infection, could be cited for ‘failure to work,’ prelude to possible termination.’” (Leader Telegram)
- American Fascism: Florida’s white supremacist and homophobic governor Ron DeSantis issued a law which will vet all university students and professors for their political views. If he finds liberal or left attitudes, public funding to these universities will be cancelled. The universities are also mandated to ensure “intellectual diversity”, i.e., by letting KKK and other violent racists hold rallies on campuses (Salon and Insider).