Schneider Shorts of 24 December 2021 – Join our founder and CEO for a Yuletide party with chocolate, coffee, rotten cassava, autistic stools, schizophrenic minibrains, senolytics and antioxidants, and a scary RoboFish! Merry Winter Soltice!
Table of Discontent
- Eat Chocolate! – It lowers cholesterol and lifts mood!
- Drink Coffee! – It even cures bacterial infections!
- Coffee genetics – more evolved humans drink coffee and eat chocolate
- Jab against Aging – vaccinate yourself with senolytics!
- Schizophrenia in a dish – minibrains behaving funny
- Autistic stools – Pentagon money wisely invested
- Autism cure found! – Dr Penzes ready to inject children
- Beware of RoboFish! – Invasive species’ worst nightmare
- Cassava updates – Bottomless stupidity and pathetic sock-puppetting
- The Omicron Plague – Sputnik V to save the world
- Vitamin C? – Israeli Scientists find the real cause and the real cure
‘Tis the season to eat chocolate, Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la!
Christmas is for many the time to indulge, and you might feel a tad guilty for eating so much chocolate. You should not! Science is on your side! Chocolate is the healthiest superfood on the planet, which prevents all diseases, makes you smart and extends your life span! Or so say all the scientists on the payroll of Nestlé, Mars et al.
Do not believe those sad losers who warn of dangers of sugar for your cholesterol! Trust science! As the tabloid Daily Express informs us:
“Doctor Crystal Wyllie, Asda Online Doctor by ZAVA said that dark chocolate and cocoa powder could be healthy treats to improve cholesterol. She said: “Cocoa-rich dark chocolate is packed full of flavonoids which help arteries to dilate, allowing more blood to pass through, in turn helping to reduce blood pressure. “For maximum benefit, make sure to opt for a non-alkalized cocoa powder, which is especially high in flavonoids and has no added sugars.”
This Dr Wyllie is actually a gynaecologist, “Her particular interests are in reproductive, sexual, and women’s health.” I shudder to think what clever advice she offers in that area.
And here is another magic thing chocolate does: it makes you happy.
Sci-News quotes Ji-Hee Shin, a fresh graduate of the Seoul National University, now employed by the food industry lobby Korea Food Research Institute (“The authors declare no conflicts of interest“):
““We aimed to test our hypothesis that dark chocolate has beneficial effects on gut bacterial profiles that may serve to improve mood states,” they said.
“We performed a randomized clinical trial using dark chocolate with different cocoa contents (85% and 70% cocoa content) and identified changes in the diversity and composition of the gut microbiota following dark chocolate consumption, as well as the association between those changes and participants’ emotional states, in healthy adults.””
All 18 participants of the 85% cocoa chocolate arm of that clinical trial reported bliss and happiness, and their stools confirmed it. No effect was observed in those 16 participants who received 70% cocoa chocolate and the 14 control participants who were given no chocolate at all.
““These findings indicate that dark chocolate exerts prebiotic effects, as evidenced by its ability to restructure the diversity and abundance of intestinal bacteria; thus, it may improve negative emotional states via the gut-brain axis.””
Science is satirizing itself. This is the paper, since the study took place in 2017, it must have been constantly rejected everywhere ever since for being too full of crap, until an Elsevier journal took it in exchange for $3700:
Ji-Hee Shin , Chong-Su Kim , Lina Cha , Sojeong Kim , Seokoh Lee , Suyeon Chae , Woo Young Chun , Dong-Mi Shin Consumption of 85% cocoa dark chocolate improves mood in association with gut microbial changes in healthy adults: a randomized controlled trial The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry (2022) doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2021.108854
Coffee is even healthier as chocolate, in fact there is so much peer reviewed science in top journals on this superfood, that coffee enema should be standard therapy in every doctor’s office and every emergency room. People who refuse to drink coffee are worth than smoking antivaxxers, they should be stripped of their health insurance and charged with domestic terrorism against the public health. It’s only fair, our society must follow the science!
And now it’s also proven, by peer-reviewed science from Brazil, that coffee is the best antibiotics you can have!
Betty Mancebo Dorvigny, Lethicia Souza Tavares, Ingrydt Alcântara de Almeida, Lucas Nunes Santana, Esther de Souza Silva, Juliana Kelly Urtigas de Souza, Anísio Francisco Soares, Valdemiro Amaro da Silva Júnior, José Vitor Lima-Filho Antiinflammatory and antiinfective effect of caffeine in a mouse model of disseminated salmonellosis Phytotherapy Research (2021) https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.7349
The paper is paywalled and sci-hub doesn’t work. So I couldn’t find out what exactly these scientists propose to do to patients suffering from sepsis and other infections. Injecting coffee into all orifices or straight into blood veins?
We remain on the topic of coffee and chocolate.
Northwestern University in Illinois, USA, informs in a press release:
“A taste for black coffee and dark chocolate is possibly a genetic trait, a new study reports. Coffee drinkers who have a genetic variant that reflects faster caffeine metabolism prefer bitter, black coffee. The same genetic variant is found in those who prefer dark chocolate.”
Here is the study:
Cornelis, M.C., van Dam, R.M. Genetic determinants of liking and intake of coffee and other bitter foods and beverages. Scientific Reports (2021). doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-03153-7
The press release quotes the author:
“That is interesting because these gene variants are related to faster metabolism of caffeine and are not related to taste,” said lead study author Marilyn Cornelis, associate professor of preventive medicine in nutrition. “These individuals metabolize caffeine faster, so the stimulating effects wear off faster as well. So, they need to drink more.”[…]
“Drinking black coffee versus coffee with cream and sugar is very different for your health,” Cornelis said. “The person who wants black coffee is different from a person who wants coffee with cream and sugar. Based on our findings, the person who drinks black coffee also prefers other bitter foods like dark chocolate. So, we are drilling down into a more precise way to measure the actual health benefits of this beverage and other food.”
The benefits of black coffee are based on moderate consumption of two to three cups a day, Cornelis said.
It’s evolution, really. It only doesn’t make sense to you because you are a failed scientist.
Jab against Aging
In the event your chocolate and coffee consume has failed to sufficiently extend your life span, there is now an anti-aging vaccine! Why not buying one as a Christmas present for your elderly relatives?
Live Science informs us of the scientific breakthrough:
“The new vaccine targets senescent cells, which are cells that have stopped multiplying due to damage or stress, but don’t die when they should, according to the National Institute on Aging (NIA). These cells accumulate as we age, as the immune system becomes less efficient at clearing such cells from the body. Senescent cells release compounds that trigger inflammation and thus damage nearby healthy cells. And evidence suggests that this buildup of senescent cells contributes to a slew of age-related diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s and atherosclerosis, a disease where plaque builds up in the arteries. […]
To develop their senolytic vaccine, the researchers selected a specific target, or “antigen,” on senescent cells — a sort of bullseye for the immune system to aim at. But because cells throughout the body can become senescent, different senescent cells look different than one another, senior author Dr. Tohru Minamino, a professor at Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine and the director of cardiovascular medicine at Juntendo University Hospital in Tokyo, told Live Science in an email.
In this proof-of-concept study, the team zeroed in on just one cell type: senescent vascular endothelial cells, which line the insides of arteries, veins and capillaries. They analyzed which proteins appear in large quantities on the surfaces of these cells, to see which proteins would make a good target for their vaccine.”
This was just published in Nature‘s new parody journal Nature Aging.
Masayoshi Suda , Ippei Shimizu , Goro Katsuumi , Yohko Yoshida , Yuka Hayashi , Ryutaro Ikegami , Naomi Matsumoto , Yutaka Yoshida , Ryuta Mikawa , Akihiro Katayama , Jun Wada , Masahide Seki , Yutaka Suzuki , Atsushi Iwama , Hironori Nakagami , Ayako Nagasawa , Ryuichi Morishita , Masataka Sugimoto , Shujiro Okuda , Masanori Tsuchida , Kazuyuki Ozaki, Mayumi Nakanishi-Matsui, Tohru Minamino Senolytic vaccination improves normal and pathological age-related phenotypes and increases lifespan in progeroid mice Nature Aging (2021)
The study concluded:
We are also informed that “The authors declare no competing interests” despite Tohreu Minamino holding a patent 16/329154 for “Agent For Eliminating Senescent Cells“. Other holders of this patent are his Niigata University and Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corp. Do you really think Dr Minamino has no financial COI?
Senolytics are simply magic.
Schizophrenia in a dish
Science is amazing. Now US scholars simulated schizophrenia in cell culture using the amazing “mini-brain” technology!
The tiny cell clumps inside cell culture dishes, derived from the iPS-transformed skin cells of schizophrenia sufferers, complained of hearing voices discussing them and insisted that scientists were sent by the US government to look at them under the microscope.
This is the study, published in a high-impact-journal of Nature Publishing Group:
Michael Notaras , Aiman Lodhi , Friederike Dündar , Paul Collier , Nicole M. Sayles , Hagen Tilgner , David Greening , Dilek Colak Schizophrenia is defined by cell-specific neuropathology and multiple neurodevelopmental mechanisms in patient-derived cerebral organoids Molecular Psychiatry (2021) doi: 10.1038/s41380-021-01316-6
A press release by Weill Cornell informs:
“The researchers, whose study was published in Molecular Psychiatry on Nov. 17, used stem cells collected from patients with schizophrenia and people without the disease to grow 3-dimensional “mini-brains” or organoids in the laboratory. By comparing the development of both sets of organoids, they discovered that a reduced expression of two genes in the cells stymies early development and causes a shortage of brain cells in organoids grown from patient stem cells.
“This discovery fills an important gap in scientists’ understanding of schizophrenia,” said senior author Dr. Dilek Colak, assistant professor of neuroscience at the Feil Family Brain and Mind Institute and the Center for Neurogenetics at Weill Cornell Medicine. […]
“There were hints schizophrenia started during early development, but we didn’t have proof,” Dr. Colak said. […]
“We found a common pathology among all the patients with schizophrenia despite each of the patients having distinct disease presentations,” Dr. Colak said.”
Finding genes for schizophrenia or autism has been an old and very pointless game in neurosciences, there are also very useless but transgenic mouse models. But you have to be a special kind of idiot to assume complex brain diseases like schizophrenia can be studied in cell culture. Not that there are not enough idiots of this kind.
Of course with brain disorders it is a good time-honed practice to blame mothers for doing something wrong during pregnancy:
“Dr. Colak and her colleagues are currently using the mini-brains to start to tease out the role of individual cell types and to better understand how genetic factors may interact with the environment to cause schizophrenia. […]
“This may explain the link between maternal infections during pregnancy and schizophrenia seen in mouse studies,” Dr. Colak said.
In addition to helping scientists better understand schizophrenia, Dr. Colak said she thinks that mini-brains grown from patient’s stem cells may be a useful tool for studying other brain diseases.”
Sounds like another Molecular Psychiatry paper in preparation!
Imagine receiving over $2 million from U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) for to study autism. So much useful research can be done with so much money.
Or you can just publish a literature review in MDPI, and proclaim a new theory that autism is caused by gut microbiota and can be potentially cured with probiotics (hello Marco “Yoghurt” Ruggiero!), or stool transplants.
Michelle A. Chernikova , Genesis D. Flores , Emily Kilroy , Jennifer S. Labus , Emeran A. Mayer , Lisa Aziz-Zadeh The Brain-Gut-Microbiome System: Pathways and Implications for Autism Spectrum Disorder Nutrients (2021) doi: 10.3390/nu13124497
Here the press release by University of Southern California:
“The review synthesizes current understandings about the mechanisms by which gut microbiota, metabolic substances and the brain communicate to influence behaviors, including the different social–communication and restricted or repetitive patterns that characterize autism. Gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea have been reported in 46 to 84 percent of autistic people, giving recent rise to a hypothesis that gut dysregulation may be especially prevalent in autistic populations.
The paper was supported in part by Aziz-Zadeh’s four-year, $506,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) Autism Research Program Idea Development Award.
“To date, most autism studies in humans either look at the brain and behavior, or at the gut microbiome and behavior,” Aziz-Zadeh said. “Our DoD study is one of the largest autism studies to look at all three factors together—brain, gut and behavior. The current paper in Nutrients lays down the theory behind this endeavor, reviewing everything from rodent studies on the topic, potential neurotransmitter pathways that may be involved and potential brain regions that may be modified by this interaction.”
The penultimate author declares thes conflicts of interests: “E.A.M. is a scientific advisory board member of Danone, Axial Biotherapeutics, Viome, Amare, Mahana Therapeutics, Pendulum, Bloom Biosciences, APC Microbiome Ireland.” Aziz-Zaheh’s and Emeran Meyer’s last year’s report to DoD is available here, apparently nothing has been patented yet.
This gut microbiome theory of autism is both crap and nothing new. Already Andrew Wakefield connected intestinal infection to autism, for which he soon blamed vaccines. Another greedy quack, Sabine Hazan, does the same, but she also sells autism cures with stool transplants. That is, when she is not too busy selling ivermectin cures for COVID-19.
This is what DoD gets for their investment. An MDPI paper with no data but 4 diagrams, 3 of which are declared to be reproduced from other people’s papers.
Autism cure found!
Since we are at it. Of course US scientists just found the REAL autism gene.
A press release by the Northwestern University again:
Here is the paper, published in a fancy Cell Press journal:
M. Dolores Martín-de-Saavedra , Marc Dos Santos , Lorenza Culotta , Olga Varea , Benjamin P. Spielman , Euan Parnell , Marc P. Forrest , Ruoqi Gao , Sehyoun Yoon , Emmarose McCoig , Hiba A. Jalloul , Kristoffer Myczek , Natalia Khalatyan , Elizabeth A. Hall , Liam S. Turk , Antonio Sanz-Clemente , Davide Comoletti , Stefan F. Lichtenthaler , Jeffrey S. Burgdorf , Maria V. Barbolina , Jeffrey N. Savas, Peter Penzes Shed CNTNAP2 ectodomain is detectable in CSF and regulates Ca2+ homeostasis and network synchrony via PMCA2/ATP2B2 Neuron (2021) doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2021.11.025
The paper is boring autism gobbledygook which is meant to sound sciency, after all, papers are reviewed not for scientific content but for the shape of bullshit. But the scary bit is in the press release:
“We can replace CNTNAP2,” said lead study author Peter Penzes, the director of the Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “We can make it in a test tube and should be able inject it into children’s spinal fluid, which will go back into their brain.”
Penzes’ lab is currently working on this technique in preclinical research.
Beware of RoboFish!
Now onto more scary stuff!
New Scientist reports that a solution to the global problem of invasive species has been found by Australian scientists:
“Reducing numbers of eastern mosquitofish without harming other wildlife is a difficult prospect, but Giovanni Polverino at the University of Western Australia and his colleagues have come up with a potential solution. They designed a robotic version of the largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), which naturally preys on mosquitofish.
The robot fish looks like the real predator and even mimics its swimming behaviour. It is controlled from underneath an aquarium via magnets.
Polverino’s team ran experiments in aquariums with six wild-caught eastern mosquitofish and six wild-caught tadpoles. When an overhead camera saw a mosquitofish move to attack the tadpoles, the robot fish simulated its own attack on the mosquitofish.”
This was the paper, published in a Cell Press journal, and declaring to “open new frontiers for robotics in ecology, evolution, and biocontrol research“:
Giovanni Polverino , Vrishin R. Soman , Mert Karakaya , Clelia Gasparini , Jonathan P. Evans , Maurizio Porfiri Ecology of fear in highly invasive fish revealed by robots iScience (2021) doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2021.103529
The New Scientist story continues:
“The researchers say that after these robot attacks, the eastern mosquitofish exhibited weight loss, changes in body shape and a reduction in fertility, which they believe would lead to reduced numbers. Male fish began to develop thinner and more streamlined bodies with stronger tail muscles to escape predators, while females produced lighter eggs. These effects lasted several weeks even without subsequent attacks.
“This global pest is a serious threat to many aquatic animals,” said Polverino. “Instead of killing them one by one, we’re presenting an approach that can inform better strategies to control this global pest. We made their worst nightmare become real.””
Can someone design a “worst nightmare” robot to scare Polverino away from wasting public money on satisfying his inner little boy? It cost $3k alone to publish this puerile comic-book fantasy in iScience.
The stock-market traded biotech Cassava Sciences is described to be more criminal than Theranos. Very possible, but they are definitely more stupid. Luckily for Cassava, a number of academic elites in key positions are even more stupid.
Just as Journal of Neuroscience publicly backed down from their previous public defence of Cassava fraud with an Expression of Concern, another journal took over the baton.
But now Neuroscience embarrassed itself to please Cassava, regarding this paper:
H.-Y. Wang, E. Friedman, M.C. Olmstead, L.H. Burns Ultra-low-dose naloxone suppresses opioid tolerance, dependence and associated changes in mu opioid receptor-G protein coupling and Gbetagamma signaling Neuroscience (2005) doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2005.06.003
“In response to allegations of data manipulation in an article published in Neuroscience Vol 135, Issue 1, 2005, Pages 247-261, and following COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics) guidelines, the journal asked the authors for images of the original, uncropped Western blots from this study. After careful examination of these original material, Neuroscience found no evidence of manipulation of the Western blot data or other figures of this publication. […]”
These once again very unconvincing images of “raw data” were shared with the public. Elisabeth Bik swiftly exposed them as utterly fake.
You see, Cassava fraudsters are too dumb to even fake data half-way convincingly. Yet it suffices. There is a big bunch of esteemed neuroscience professors in editorial positions who keep falling for it. Aren’t you worried about the intellectual capacities of our science elites? I am.
And of course Cassava of course issued a press release about the Neuroscience editorial note, titled:
“Science Journal Finds No Evidence to Support Claims of Data Manipulation in 2005 Publication”
They also cite in their support an anonymous blog, ad-science.org, allegedly written by “A Neutral Party Who Is Expert In The Field“, who declares to have “a Ph.D. degree in Molecular Biology and has been an academic researcher since 2003. His laboratory studies cancer and other human diseases and routinely run western blots (~1,000/year) for their studies“. Thing is, the blog was set up in September 2021, with all its posts defending Cassava, occasionally attacking Elisabeth Bik. Not very convincing sock-puppetting, no?
The Omicron Plague
We all are worried about the omicron variant of SARS-CoV2. But luckily, Putin’s Russia is about to save humanity from the COVID-19 pandemic with Sputnik V, and all it asks for reward, is Ukraine and other ex-Soviet republics.
The Moscow Times has the news:
“Russia claimed its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine provides “robust” long-term protection against the Omicron variant Friday, contradicting the findings of an independent study which found the Russian jab produced no antibody response whatsoever to the new, highly transmissible variant.
Russia’s study, conducted by the state-run Gamaleya Institute which developed Sputnik V, said it had found “Sputnik V demonstrates high virus-neutralizing activity against the Omicron variant and is expected to provide strong defense against severe disease and hospitalization.” […]
But questions were immediately raised about the findings, which were published as a press release, as they appeared to contradict independent research showing Sputnik V produced no neutralizing antibody response against Omicron.
In a study published earlier this week, and reported by Bloomberg on Friday, researchers at the University of Washington and Swiss pharmaceutical firm Humabs Biomed found “individuals vaccinated with … Sputnik V … had no neutralizing activity against Omicron.”
This is the russophobic preprint from USA:
Elisabetta Cameroni, Christian Saliba, John E. Bowen, […] David Veesler, Gyorgy Snell, Davide Corti Broadly neutralizing antibodies overcome SARS-CoV-2 Omicron antigenic shift medRXiv (2021) doi: 10.1101/2021.12.12.472269
The Moscow Times continues:
“That study used a similar methodology, testing how blood samples from 11 healthcare workers in Argentina who had received Sputnik V responded to the Omicron variant.
It also tested responses among blood samples from individuals vaccinated with other vaccines, finding “significant and unprecedented” reduction in virus-neutralizing activity across the board.
But no other vaccine recorded the same complete disappearance in protection as Sputnik V. The most stable protection appeared to come from those who had both been vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine and had a previous Covid-19 infection.”
As Kremlin’s antivaxxer Goebbels Dmitri Kiselyov keeps reminding the Russian TV audience, Russia is prepared to reduce USA to a “pile of radioactive ash“. This unfriendly preprint is surely reason enough?
That was obvious, no, that Vitamin C is the cure for COVID-19, no? I mean, the Nobel prize winner Linus Pauling postulated this antioxidant as the cure for all possible diseases already decades ago, and did we listen? So maybe it’s time to listen to Israeli ScientistsTM!
Times of Israel brings us the good news, quoting Dan Mishmar, professor at the Ben Gurion University:
“Until now the mitochondria as a system was almost overlooked, and now we’re identifying it as a central player in the disease, and starting to explore how to help and improve mitochondria function and potentially lead to an improvement in symptoms,” he said.
“There are over-the-counter drugs, or strictly speaking supplements, that could help to do exactly that — they are antioxidants. They reduce the signals generated by the mitochondria, and given that the cytokine storm is essentially a signaling storm, could be very helpful in preventing this from happening.”
Like the RoboFish above, that scientific breakthrough was also published in Cell Press’ pay-to-publish-literally-anything-we-don’t-judge journal iScience:
Hadar Medini, Amit Zirman, Dan Mishmar Immune system cells from COVID-19 patients display compromised mitochondrial-nuclear expression co-regulation and rewiring toward glycolysis iScience (2021) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2021.103471
The paper never mentions the words “antioxidants” or “supplements”. So which one shall we take, Professor Mishmar? Good old Vitamin C? Or something more expensive?
News in Tweets
- “America’s Frontline Doctors, an organization that has been widely criticized for spreading false information about Covid-19 vaccines and advocating for potentially dangerous replacements, is expanding. According to a newsletter the group sent to its supporters last week, “AFLDS is opening its first medical clinic in the coming months, with many more planned shortly after.” The email includes a link to forms that can be filled out by doctors and nurses who want to work with AFLDS, and pharmacists who want to fill prescriptions for unproven Covid-19 medications, so they can become part of the AFLDS network.” (The Intercept)
- A long Twitter thread by Alina Chan (author of the book “Viral“) reminding us of all those problems with Andersen et al 2020 which Nature Medicine thinks are none of anyone’s business.
- “The authors regret that Figures 2 and 3 were incorrect. The authors inadvertently used wrong images, but this does not change the conclusions of the paper.” A recent Elsevier correction to a fraudulent paper by Thomas Webster and friends (Ge et al 2017). Read about the Webster affair here.
- “Dr. Charles Lieber, 62, the former chair of Harvard’s Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department, was found guilty of two counts of making false statements to federal authorities, two counts of making and subscribing a false income tax return, and two counts of failing to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts with the Internal Revenue Service. […] He was being paid $50,000 per month by the Chinese university and given $1.5 million to establish a nanoscience research lab at WUT, the Justice Department said in a news release. Lieberman was specifically affiliated with China’s Thousand Talents Program…” (CNN)