Schneider Shorts of 31 December 2021 – Happy New Year from our founder, president and CEO, with this year’s top ten most read articles on For Better Science, plus some cannabis, a saved English healer, a failed regmed business, and a Schneider conspiracy revealed in Oz.
Table of Discontent
- Macchiarini’s clever partners – Biostage near bankrupt, about to lose damage lawsuit
- Stebbing saved – Imperial College Professor gets the mildest punishment possible
- The Schneider Conspiracy – Gilles Guillemin under attack!
- Israeli Scientists – buy their cannabis products against cancer!
- Impress Elon Musk! – Greenwashing in Australia
Top Ten – Most Read of 2021
- How Dr Robert Malone Invented Antivaxxery – A masterpiece by Smut Clyde from October 2021 about an oldish man feeding his delusion of grandeur and messiah complex with quackery, antivaxxery, covidiocies, and fascism. Malone declared himself inventor of the mRNA vaccines and has been constantly ratcheting up his warnings to new levels of paranoia. I don’t know what the government does to hide all these alleged masses of vaccine-murdered children, but maybe Malone will soon reveal the TRUTH about underground pizzerias on his usual Nazi QAnon platform InfoWars? Smut Clyde’s article hit the nerve of 2021, hence by far the most popular story on For Better Science this year! Incidentally, like myself before, Malone has been just banned from Twitter.
2. David Sabatini TORmented by steaming turds – A story of fake mTOR science from January 2020, which suddenly became quite popular again because the MIT professor has been sacked in August 2021 by his Whitehead Institute for sexual harassment. Sabatini is now suing Whitehead and his victim, my follow-up article about this lawsuit is ranking Nr 13 on the 2021 most-read list. Sabatini’s research integrity shortcomings are not part of the Whitehead investigation or the lawsuit. Some of the lead authors of falsified papers from Sabatini lab are named by his lawyers as witnesses for his alleged support of women in STEM.
3. Paolo Macchiarini indicted for aggravated assault in Sweden – This September 2020 article became popular again because the court trial in Stockholm finally opened, ready to investigate the 3 deadly trachea transplants the Italian surgeon performed at Karolinska Institutet (out of around 20 worldwide). It is an appeal trial, brought by the victims’ families after Macchiarini was initially acquitted on charges of manslaughter. Well, this new Swedish trial almost opened. Apparently, they need to translate the entire court file into English (or Italian?) first before the deadly surgeon will take a stand for the first time (i.e., if he arrives in person, Macchiarini resides in a villa near Barcelona, his workplace whereabouts are unknown). As a reminder, in Germany Macchiarini remains adjunct professor at the Hannover Medical School (MHH), his German associates are all deemed innocent, and it is yours truly who was declared by a high court in Berlin to be the only guilty party in this trachea transplant affair, Macchiarini even functioned as an expert witness.
4. The Ballad of Claudio Hetz – This article from January 2021 made me a bit of celebrity in Chile, when the news of falsified neuroscience was picked up by Chilean newspapers, especially Interferencia. Also because, unlike elite universities in USA and Europe, the University of Chile swiftly opened an investigation, going through all the Hetz’ papers I presented in my article, one by one. Hetz was harshly criticised for his lack of ethics and charged with research misconduct, but not fraud, which he then presented as a victory. Also read my follow-up article about the University of Chile investigation.
5. and 6. Faking Data with an Iron Fist and Student, Meet Bus – two stories from July 2021 about a fraud and bullying affair in an elite biomedical research institute in India. At the centre is Arati Ramesh, a privileged bully biochemist who “predicts” bioinformatics results, then pressures her lab members to deliver wet lab data in support. The other central character is Ramesh’s former student who was first bullied into research misconduct, and when the fraud led to a retraction, blamed for everything, including for stealing reagents and and raw data (which was in reality kept at all times by Ramesh).
For some reason, certain Indian journalists decided to accuse me of falsifying the student’s emails or obtaining those from him under threats and extortion. Probably projecting from their own journalistic methods? The last instalment of the saga, the student’s interview on my site from August 2021, is ranking Nr 12 on the 2021 most-read list.
7. Ivermectin now, why… – This article from December 2020 predicted what 2021 will be about. Namely the horse deworming drug ivermectin. The antivaxxers and covidiots, who in 2020 used to tout chloroquine as the solution, hit one snag after another when the malaria drug was debunked in clinical trials, and its main proponent Didier Raoult exposed as a research fraudster who broke all possible ethics laws and conventions. It is not clear why ivermectin became chloroquine’s successor, but it was eagerly embraced by everyone in the antivaxxing covidiocy business, including Raoult’s gang in Marseille. In USA, courts even sentenced hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients with ivermectin, while at the same time victims of self-administered horse dewormer poisoning were rolled into emergency rooms. And if you think Raoult was already too freaky, you should read this follow-up article by Smut Clyde to meet the white-coated clowns at the forefront of the 2021 ivermectin circus, like Peter McCullough or Sabine Hazan.
8. Didier Raoult: “Je ne regrette rien” – Speaking of Raoult, my March 2021 article proved quite popular. The IHU director, never too shy or too modest, believes himself to be a hero of the French Resistance of World War II, defending France from the invading virus. Everyone who opposes Raoult is just like the Vichy traitors and Nazis, while all the actual French Nazis who support the Chloroquine Guru are noble patriots. Once Macron’s hero, Raoult lost a lot of power in 2021. He was exposed as a research fraudster who (unsurprisingly) manipulated clinical trial data to support his claims of hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 cure. Raoult also never had any ethics approvals for his human studies, not just those on COVID-19 patients: he hasn’t applied for an ethics vote for over a decade, while performing one microbiological clinical trial after another, on his own students, homeless people in Marseille and tribal people in Africa. By now Raoult was forcibly retired as Aix-Marseille University professor, his hospital privileges revoked, but he remains IHU director. He also announced via the IHU lawyer to sue Elisabeth Bik, yours truly and some other people, which he however never pulled through. There was also a recent book which unironically celebrated Raoult’s genius (read its review by Alexander Samuel).
9. Christian Perronne and other chronic lymericks – The joint article by Smut Clyde and yours truly from October 2020 saw its sudden peak of popularity in 2021. That is because this new friend of Raoult’s, the Parisian professor Christian Perronne, decided that peddling chloroquine as a cure for a made-up malaise (Chronic Lyme Disease) was not enough to raise public attention to himself in our pandemic times. So in August 2020, Perronne went full antivax, and announced in a video interview, in English, that it is the vaccinated who drive the pandemic and who must be locked up in quarantine. Of course Perronne also explained that COVID-19 is a non-existent conspiracy (PCR tests are all fake!) and not dangerous at all, with India as his example (sic!), but must be treated with “hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, ivermectin, zinc, Vitamin D“. Perronne also uncovered a global conspiracy where researchers intentionally murdered people with hydroxychloroquine overdoses to spite Raoult. All that was added as update to our article.
10. Is Frontiers a potential predatory publisher? An evergreen classic, the first ever article on For Better Science, published on 28 October 2015, and one of my most popular stories ever since. Why is Schneider so obsessed with the Swiss Open Access publisher Frontiers? Were his past papers rejected for research fraud? Was he sacked as Frontiers intern for stealing toilet paper? Was his perverse fetish obsession with Henry Markram never requited? I am sure Frontiers’ executive editor Fred Fenter, who used to troll me on Twitter and in my comment section, will eagerly tell if you ask. Maybe my real reason is Frontiers standing for and feeding off everything which is rotten in scholarly publishing, academia and research policies. No surprise Frontiers even had their fingers in Plan S.
Macchiarini’s clever partners
Speaking of Paolo Macchiarini and his deadly trachea transplants. The plastic tracheas and the bioreactors Macchiarini used as his murder tools were proudly provided by the US company Harvard Apparatus (part of Harvard Bioscience), which, when the Macchiarini affair exploded, renamed itself to Biostage.
But the company did not abandon its regenerative medicine plans. Biostage switched from plastic trachea to plastic oesophagus, and established a collaboration with their new thoracic surgeon partner Dennis Wigle at Mayo Clinic, Minnesota, US. Preclinical results were published in the journal Scientific Reports: La Francesca et al 2018 . In 2017, a human patient was treated with a Biostage oesophagus implant at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, a 75 year old man suffering from multiple terminal cancers. Biostage published the results only in August 2021:
Johnathon M. Aho , Saverio La Francesca , Scott D. Olson , Fabio Triolo , Jeff Bouchard , Laura Mondano , Sumati Sundaram , Christina Roffidal , Charles S. Cox , Louis M. Wong Kee Song , Sameh M. Said , William Fodor , Dennis A. Wigle First-in-Human Segmental Esophageal Reconstruction Using a Bioengineered Mesenchymal Stromal Cell–Seeded Implant JTO Clinical and Research Reports (2021) DOI: 10.1016/j.jtocrr.2021.100216
The study claims success for regenerative medicine, even if the patient didn’t really benefit from it, quite the opposite:
“a moderate, loculated right hydropneumothorax, extending into the posterior mediastinum was observed. The air tracks along the right aspect of the esophageal stent indicated the presence of a fistula or an esophageal leak from the proximal end of the stent near the proximal suture line. […]
Approximately 3 months from the surgery, the patient was readmitted (d +99) for symptoms associated with an esophageal leak (turbid chest tube discharge). A follow-up EGD was performed (d +104) to remove the esophageal stent and the polyurethane CEI scaffold device component. Similar to the observations from several large animal studies,8 the esophageal scaffold component of the CEI graft naturally separated from the newly grown esophageal conduit and was easily retrieved along with the esophageal stent […] In addition a 1-cm fistula tract to the right side of the chest that was delineated after contrast injection was noted.”
It got worse and worse, most obviously the failed oesophageal graft only increased that patient’s suffering, every month he was rolled into emergency surgery, and died of stroke and embolisms 7.5 months after the transplant operation. But it was good enough for Biostage to obtain an FDA approval to continue experimenting on terminally ill patients. A press release from 2020:
” Biostage, Inc. (OTCQB: BSTG) (Biostage or the Company), a bioengineering company developing next-generation esophageal implants, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Company’s Investigational New Drug application (IND) for the Cellspan Esophageal Implant (CEI) to treat patients with end-stage esophageal disease that require a segmental surgical resection to repair the diseased tissue. The FDA notified the Company that it removed the clinical hold and that the Company may proceed with its study.”
In between, the family of one of Macchiarini’s victims sued Biostage.
Well, the good news is Biostage is about to lose that lawsuit. Yet because they are near bankrupt, even their legal insurer has abandoned them, there is little hope for compensation for the victims’ families.
Read what Biostage themselves just submitted in this regard to US Securities and Exchange Commission:
“On October 1, 2019, the Court entered an order granting plaintiffs’ motion to compel the defendants to produce discovery. Subsequently, the plaintiff filed a motion for sanctions against the Company on January 6, 2020 claiming failure to produce the required discovery. The Company’s counsel at the time, which had been selected for the case by its liability insurance carrier, never notified the Company of plaintiffs’ motion and never responded to plaintiff’ motion. As a result of the failure of the Company’s former counsel to respond, on January 29, 2020, the Court entered an order allowing plaintiffs’ sanctions against the Company and the other defendants, which establishes a sanction of admitted liability. In June 2021, the Company was informed of these 2019 and 2020 court actions by new defense counsel appointed by its liability insurance carrier. On June 9, 2021, the Company, together with the other defendants, filed a motion to vacate the Court’s order allowing plaintiff’s motion for sanctions, and following a hearing on such motion, on August 6, 2021 the Court issued a ruling in our favor, vacating the sanctions. This case will now proceed on the merits, which the Company will continue to oppose vigorously.
On September 15, 2021, one of the Company’s product liability insurance carriers which had been providing a defense to the Company and Harvard Bioscience, notified each party that it was denying coverage under the applicable policy for the lawsuit and would no longer be providing a defense to each such company with respect thereto, or covering related legal expenses incurred after September 30, 2021. The insurance provider also filed a corresponding complaint for declaratory judgment with the Court asking the Court to declare that said insurance provider is not required to defend, indemnify or provide coverage to the Company and Harvard Bioscience with respect to the lawsuit described above. The Company intends to vigorously defend against this complaint for declaratory judgment and the insurance provider’s denial of the claim and related matters.
There can be no assurance that we and the other defendants will prevail in the insurance coverage litigation. As such, it is unclear at this point if our product liability insurance coverage will reimburse us for all or any portion of any defense costs or damages if we were to lose the underlying case on the merits. While we oppose such actions of the insurance provider, the Company will also continue to vigorously defend against the claims in the underlying case.
While there can be no assurance that we and the other defendants will prevail, we continue to believe that the claims made in this lawsuit are without merit. If we face a trial on damages and lose on the merits, we do not know the exact amount of compensatory and, potentially, punitive damages that could be awarded. Considering these factors, an estimate of potential liability cannot be made at this time. However, any potential loss on the merits, especially if not covered by our product liability insurance, would be likely to adversely impact our financial condition and may cause us to have to curtail or cease our operations. Further, in accordance with a separation and distribution agreement between Harvard Bioscience and the Company relating to the spin-off, we would be required to indemnify Harvard Bioscience against losses that Harvard Bioscience may suffer as a result of this litigation.“
They are really stupid, but dangerous.
Oh, and by the way, Green is back as CEO. A press release from a month ago announced:
“Biostage, Inc. […] today announced it has hired David Green as its Chief Executive Officer and appointed Mr. Green as Chairman of the Board of Directors (the “Board”). Mr. Green is the founder and CEO of Zero CarbonTM LLC, an energy-efficiency business. He is also the former CEO and Chairman of Biostage. Mr. Green resigned from his roles in Biostage in 2015 after he had been involved in a major road accident.”
The Imperial College London professor and quack oncologist Justin Stebbing was found guilty by the medical tribunal of abusing and poisoning his terminally ill patients in order to enrich himself (read here, here and here), on top Stebbing was finally exposed as research fraudster when his fake paper was eventually retracted.
But which punishment awaited Stebbing for all his crimes? The tribunal’s brutal verdict now arrived, as the oncology professor was relaxing in the Caribbean. Evening Standard reports:
“the panel rejected erasing Professor Stebbing from the medical register and instead decided on a nine-month suspension as there was a public interest in permitting him to return to practice “as soon as possible”.
Tribunal chair Hassan Khan said: “The tribunal took the view that a period of suspension would send a clear signal to Professor Stebbing, the public, and the wider profession in order to reaffirm the standards of conduct and behaviour expected of all registered doctors.
“The tribunal considered the mitigating factors in this case, including that the earliest relevant events took place approximately seven years ago, that Professor Stebbing has shown genuine remorse, has acknowledged his wrongdoing, and has taken considerable steps towards remediation.
“The tribunal also noted, based on the testimonial evidence, that Professor Stebbing is a highly skilled, competent, and dedicated consultant oncologist.”
Merely a 9 months suspension, and the tribunal even feels guilty for issuing that. Because Stebbings assured to have been a bit mentally ill when he abused his patients, and the tribunal also followed the lawyer’s argument that
Maybe the tribunal was also anticipating Stebbing to save the world from COVID-19, with arthritis drug baricitinib. Stebbing is namely scientific advisor and trial partner for BenevolentAI. He is too much of a rich white Englishman to fall.
The Schneider conspiracy
Yours truly is becoming known in Australia! The Sydney Morning Herald reports about the affair of Macquarie University professor Gilles Guillemin:
“Macquarie University is considering whether to investigate allegations of research misconduct after concerns were raised about more than 40 papers published by researchers at the Centre for Motor Neurone Disease Research that appeared to contain manipulated or duplicate images.
The university said in a statement it was conducting a “preliminary assessment” of Macquarie University-led papers, after it became aware of concerns related to published papers involving its own researchers as well as external authors at multiple research institutions.”
That was because of my article, the university announced to me in early September 2021 to begin its assessment, whcih apparently is still taking place.
The Sydney Morning Herald explains:
“Then in September this year, science blogger Leonid Schneider exposed more claims against Professor Guillemin after Dr Bik and other anonymous PubPeer reviewers identified unexpected similarities among images contained in a further 17 articles co-authored by him. […]
Mr Schneider, a German-Ukrainian science journalist and former molecular biologist, is controversial in the scientific community for exposing scientists in defence of research integrity. He has been sued for libel and banned from Twitter. His blog has also provided a platform for others to expose serious research fraud. […]
Professor Guillemin’s wife Robyn Tolhurst directs the corporate communications company Red Fern Communications, which until recently offered a service in editing research papers. Professor Guillemin was one of her best customers, appearing as a co-author on 14 of the 17 papers on her website.
Ms Tolhurst said Professor Guillemin had been the victim of an inexplicable campaign by Mr Schneider.
“Gilles is a very, very senior professor, in fact he’s in the top three in the world for his field of expertise in science,” Ms Tolhurst said.
“I know that there’s been a lot of trolling going on, but I can honestly tell you that he’s the most ethical, the most honest person I’ve ever met. This guy goes over and beyond to help people, and maybe that’s been his downfall. He’s not some kind of crook.””
Other scientists the newspaper quoted agree, and also inform us that no fraud happened and anyway, none of the conclusions were indeed affected.
Cannabis products are know to be an effective pain medication for cancer patients, especially in palliative therapy. But this market is way too small for some enterprising business people, who would rather cash in by peddling bullshit cancer cures to desperate cancer sufferers. Plus, it gets you celebrated in Jerusalem Post as national treasure and Israeli geniuses:
“Israeli biotech company Cannabotech reported on Monday the results of a cell model study conducted by Hadassah Medical Center physicians examining the efficacy of CannaboBreast products intended for treating breast cancer with drug protocols: chemotherapy, biological and hormonal. The findings claim the products show up to a sixfold improvement in killing cancer cells over the existing treatment.
Cannabotech develops medical products based on cannabis and fungal extracts. According to the study’s results, the composition of cannabinoids in combination with standard chemotherapy improved the effectiveness of killing cancer cells by up to six times compared to existing treatment (from 10% mortality to 60% mortality of cancer cells). […]
The treatment is slated to be commercialized in the second half of 2022.”
If you are worried about having or getting cancer, and can’t wait to “Supercharge your health“: Cannabotech is already selling its cannabis products online.
Impress Elon Musk!
Finally scientists stopped pretending to work for some obscure public good, like saving the environment. These Australian scientists openly admit to work on getting some cash out of Elon Musk, while green-washing for their country, world’s biggest coal exporter and CO2 polluter.
The Guardian celebrates these heroes.
“Scientists and engineers have pumped 300 litres of simulated whale poo into the ocean off Sydney as part of efforts to snag a share of Elon Musk’s US$100m prize for capturing and storing carbon.
The team, known as WhaleX, carried out its first open-ocean experiment on Sunday about eight kilometres off Port Botany in New South Wales after gaining clearance from the federal government.
The 12-strong team are racing to carry out a follow-up experiment using up to 2000 litres of the simulated poo – a mix of nitrogen, phosphorus and trace elements – before the end of January.
Tesla and SpaceX founder Musk announced in February he was funding a US$100m competition through the XPrize Foundation to find methods that could safely capture and store carbon dioxide at a scale of a billion tonnes or more a year.”
It is such a clever approach in geoengineering. After all, ocean fertilising is already well trialled and tested, as limitlessly applied agricultural fertilisers are being flushed by the rivers into the sea, regularly causing beautiful algal blooms which beautifully suffocate all marine life, turning the coasts into beautiful death zones.
Why not trying the same in the open sea? Especially if it impresses world’s richest man?
News in Tweets
- The world is gradually losing interest in where SARS-CoV2 came from. Meanwhile, Wuhan researchers keep publishing papers where they all but admit to sit on a huge database of bat viruses sampled in the south of China and abroad in the last decade. Some of these viral sequences have been even deposited at the NCBI database prior to the pandemic but remain hidden from the world under embargo, which nobody considers lifting. Fun fact: only viruses collected until 2016 are being occasionally published, the rest will probably remain secret forever.
- “The amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude larger than is needed to produce it.” Brandolini’s law. The pandemic keeps proving it daily. And instead of retracting (or rather never publishing) unhinged covidiocies, scholarly publishers prefer to publish rebuttals, thus boosting their journal’s impact factor and other citation metrics. Vaccination is the main driver of the pandemic, as vouchsafed by peer review? Let’s open a respectful academic debate, says the chief editor from Harvard!
- Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) has issued an Academic Integrity Awareness Index. The index on the most ethical research nations on the planet is measured by how many journals are can afford COPE membership, and how many earn money with papers on topics of research integrity. The winners are…. suspense suspense…. drum roll… USA and UK. Stop laughing, it’s peer-reviewed.
- If the cartoonishly evil criminal, fascist and Russian agent Donald Trump can become President of the United States of America, even allowed to attempt a violent coup, why can’t the fraudulent TV quack Mehmet Oz become US senator? Dr Oz has my endorsement, and may God continue to bless America!
- The intrepid science journalists of The Guardian expose yet another science fraud scandal. It turned out, Elena Ceausescu, the Romanian dictator’s wife, has enforced her name onto a number of chemistry research paper and had her PhD thesis ghost-written! Now, it is safe to report, because both Ceauesescus were executed in 1989 and their communist dictatorship was so unimaginably cruel, there aren’t many people in Romania or elsewhere who would defend them. Now some demand in The Guardian for Elena Ceauesescu’s name to be removed off the papers she co-authored, and her one-author papers to be retracted, because she contributed nothing except being the boss. Sure. Can we do same with all other scientific papers with undeserved authorships? Especially those whose undeserved authors aren’t dead yet? NO??? WHY NOT?