Schneider Shorts

Schneider Shorts 11.02.2022 – A Deeply Caring Person

Schneider Shorts 11.02.2022 - Farewell to a racist and to an antivax homeopath, lame mice walking and other breakthroughs by Israeli Scientists, return of vitamin D and ivermectin, how to treat brain disorders with senolytics, supplements and sh*t, plus President's science czar discovers one shouldn't bully outside of academia, and anthropologists congratulate Harvard peer on over 40 years of sexual harassment.

Schneider Shorts of 11 February 2022 – Farewell to a racist and to an antivax homeopath, lame mice walking and other breakthroughs by Israeli Scientists, return of vitamin D and ivermectin, how to treat brain disorders with senolytics, supplements and sh*t, plus President’s science czar discovers one shouldn’t bully outside of academia, and anthropologists congratulate Harvard peer on over 40 years of sexual harassment.

Table of Discontent

Science Elites

  • Presidential Bully – MIT’s Eric Lander’s culture-clashed when screaming at people outside academia
  • A deeply caring person – Harvard’s John Comaroff’s four decades of sexual harassment in anthropology finally recognised
  • Beloved Racist – academics unconditionally love the late E.O. Wilson, but why?


Science Breakthroughs

News in Tweets

Science Elites

Presidential Bully

Eric Lander, Joe Biden’s presidential science advisor, cabinet member and director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), has resigned after being exposed as a misogynous bully. The background of the White House investigation were originally reported by Politico earlier this month, most recently on 7 February 2022:

“The two-month investigation found “credible evidence” that Lander — a Cabinet member and director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy who the White House touts as a key player in the pandemic response — was “bullying” toward his then-general counsel, Rachel Wallace, according to a recorded January briefing on the investigation’s findings.

Christian Peele, the White House’s deputy director of management and administration for personnel, said that the investigation also concluded that there was “credible evidence of disrespectful interactions with staff by Dr. Lander and OSTP leadership,” according to the roughly 20-minute briefing, which included a representative of the White House Counsel’s office.

There was also “credible evidence” that Lander had spoken “harshly and disrespectfully to colleagues in front of other colleagues,” Peele said, according to the recording. “The investigation found credible evidence of instances of multiple women having complained to other staff about negative interactions with Dr. Lander, where he spoke to them in a demeaning or abrasive way in front of other staff,” Peele said in the recording.”

Lander eventually apologised for having been a bit unfriendly, but refused to resign. Yet he was untenable, since Biden announced a zero-tolerance for bullying in his team when taking office. Especially after the whistleblower reported this:

“Wallace told POLITICO that Lander “retaliated against staff for speaking out and asking questions by calling them names, disparaging them, embarrassing them in front of their peers, laughing at them, shunning them, taking away their duties, and replacing them or driving them out of the agency. Numerous women have been left in tears, traumatized, and feeling vulnerable and isolated.””

Imagine how many other authoritative science news media the whistleblowers tried to reach, and only the German-owned Politico listened to them and exposed the scandal. Imagine how many PhD students, postdocs and junior faculty Lander terrorized in his decades-long academic career, and it only became a problem when he had to deal with non-academics, unaccustomed to being bullied and humiliated.

There is bit in the Politico article:

““[Lander] has a bit of Jekyll and Hyde personality. If he’s in a meeting with external people, he’s positive and ebullient, even. It’s behind closed doors that he changes,” said one OSTP staffer.[…]

“Everyone is afraid of him,” said a third OSTP staffer. “Lander yells — screams. He’ll ask the same thing over and over but getting louder and louder each time,” said the staffer, who has witnessed his behavior.”

Many of my readers in the lab will recognise their own Principal Investigator here.

A reader commented on my site:

I cannot believe Eric Lander was bullying women in White House, Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), but he was an angel to his staff at Broad Institute. That’s not possible.
So, I guess MIT is planning to review Lander’s behavior for the last 30 years.

Good point. But MIT is currently busy with David Sabatini’s sexual harassment affair and the lawsuit he brought against his former employer. And Lander is very rich, $45.5 million, he could sue everyone.

Like with Sabatini, bullying and harassment often goes hand in hand with bad science. Was Lander really such a great science advisor to the nation? The Broad Institute researcher founded a company named Codiak Biosciences with a certain cancer cheater from MD Anderson, Raghu Kalluri. The multi-million heavy biotech markets exosome therapies based on unreliable or even falsified data. Kalluri is immune to any investigation, possible due to Lander’s immense influence. Which hopefully faded now.

A deeply caring person

Three PhD students sue Harvard for failing to protect them from sexual harassment by anthropology professor John Comaroff.

The Boston Globe reports:

“Comaroff has already been placed on unpaid leave by the university, a measure it took late last month after its own investigations found the professor violated the school’s sexual harassment and professional conduct policies. […]

The lawsuit alleges that Comaroff, on more than one occasion, forcibly kissed Kilburn, groped her in public, and graphically imagined her rape and murder aloud. It also alleges that the professor cut the student off from her other professors and derailed her degree process.

The complaint says the other two students reported Comaroff to the university and sought to warn other students about him. It alleges that Comaroff retaliated by ensuring the pair would have difficulty finding jobs in their field.

All three plaintiffs filed Title IX complaints with the university, but after a process that took more than a year, Harvard issued limited findings that downplayed the seriousness of the alleged conduct, according to the complaint.”

Here is the lawsuit file of Margaret Czerwienski, Lilia Kilburn and Anulya Mandava vs Harvard, I also saved a copy here:

Apparently, Comaroff engaged in sexual harassment of his female subordinates and the retaliated against them for not complying for many decades, the lawsuit describes past attacks starting from 1979 back at University of Chicago, which Harvard knew about when the hired Comaroff in 2012. Even now, Harvard and Comaroff’s peers tried to hush up the affair as “nasty rumors” and went to great length to scare the victims into silence:

” Mandava, one of the three plaintiffs, said she and the other two students tried for years to solve the problem quietly, through internal channels at Harvard, but only encountered dead ends and pushback. […]

In response to the sanctions against Comaroff, a group of 38 Harvard professors, including Henry Louis Gates Jr., Paul Farmer, Jamaica Kincaid, and Jill Lepore, rose to his defense, questioning whether his punishment was necessary.”

Here is the archived copy of the open letter. Some of its signatories started to withdraw their support once Harvard officially found Comaroff guilty of sexual harassment. But lawyers protest that “Professor Comaroff is not only a leading scholar in his field — he is a deeply caring person who has devoted his energy for decades to mentoring and advancing generations of students.

Oh yes. Sex for career, and no career for refusing sex, common deal in academia. Hence the initial support, but then the victims sued.

Beloved Racist

Michael Balter wrote a kind of obituary to the evolutionary biologist E.O Wilson, who died last December aged 94. While professional science journalists dismiss Wilson’s critics as stupid violent commies, Balter reminds us that Wilson was actually a racist:

“But now, barely a month after Wilson’s death and while the hagiography is still more or less in full swing, we are suddenly faced with revelations that leave little doubt Wilson was—behind the scenes, and despite his public protests—a racist, or minimally, a sympathizer of race science (which is the same thing.) The scoop goes to Science for the People magazine in its new incarnation (the publication was moribund for many years), in a February 1 article by Stacy Farina and Matthew Gibbons, a wife and husband team (Farina is an assistant professor at Howard University with a PhD in evolutionary biology, and Gibbons works in public health.)

Digging into Wilson’s letters held at the U.S. national archives, Farina and Gibbons came across a trove of correspondence between Wilson and the late scientific racist J. Philippe Rushton, who died in 2012. I will leave it to readers to look at this painfully clear article, but in my view it leaves no doubt that Wilson wholeheartedly supported, encouraged, and cheered on Rushton’s bogus and long discredited attempts to show that differences between Blacks and whites in IQ, socioeconomic status, and other measures were based on biological racial differences. There is no ambiguity here, which is making it very difficult for Wilson’s apologists to question the evidence (although they will still try.)

And it turns out that while Farina and Gibbons were working in the archives, an independent pair of historians of science, Mark Borrello of the University of Minnesota and David Sepkoski at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, were looking at the same documents and coming to the same conclusions. Their somewhat more comprehensive analysis, published on February 5 in The New York Review of Books, leaves little doubt about Wilson’s real thinking. And should it be that much of surprise? Nearly all the obituaries of Wilson emphasize his roots in Alabama and the segregated University of Alabama, and depict him as a southern gentleman scientist—without any examination of the possibility that the prejudices of growing up in the south might have left on Wilson’s psyche.”

Here is Rushton (left) , with his racist academic friends.

Wilson also warned Rushton’s employer, the Western University Ontario, not to investigate his friend for racism and research misconduct, whom he deemed a great scientist. Farina and Gibbons quote from that letter:

““Dear Professor Vanderwolf: First rule for one who finds himself in a hole: stop digging. The University of Western Ontario is in a deep hole, being on the verge of violating academic freedom in a way that will give it notoriety of historic proportions.” Wilson’s letter begins, dated July 3, 1990 (box 143, folder 9). This was only months after Rushton made appearances on American talk shows by Geraldo Rivera and Phil Donahue to defend his claims about racial differences, fueling the broad notoriety that became characteristic of his late career.15

Wilson’s letter continues, “To be sure, you and Professor Cain have found fault with Professor Rushton’s writings on race, but some noted specialists in human genetics and cognitive psychology have judged them to be sound and significant.” Wilson asks Vanderwolf to consider a poll that “found that a large minority of specialists of human genetics and testing believe in a partial hereditary basis for black-white average IQ differences.” Further, Wilson states that the National Association of Scholars (a right-wing advocacy group) is soon to publish an analysis “concluding that academic freedom is the issue in this case and that Rushton’s academic freedom is threatened.” The National Association of Scholars remains actively involved today in fighting affirmative action in higher education admissions and against the teaching of critical race theory.”

[Read about this so-called National Association of Scholars here]

What that Nazi-associated racist Rushton (he headed the Nazi-funded Pioneer Fund) specifically did, was to apply Wilson’s own famous evolutionary r/K section theory to human “races”, and Wilson applauded and defended Rushton for that. Here a thought: what if so many white academics unconditionally love E.O. Wilson not despite, but exactly because of his “race realism”?


Ivermectin in Mexico

A preprint about a COVID-19 clinical trial in Mexico extolling ivermectin as COVID-19 cure caused such protests among scientists and in media that it was deleted by OSF and SociArXiv where it was originally published.

Animal Politico explained:

“The Government of Mexico City spent 29 million 290 thousand pesos in the purchase of 293 thousand boxes of ivermectin, 100 thousand of acetylsalicylic acid and 93 thousand of azithromycin, drugs not recommended or approved for the treatment of Covid-19 by the federal government , but that in Mexico City they were delivered to some 200 thousand people who tested positive for the virus. […]

To defend the effectiveness of this measure, specifically the use of ivermectin, the Digital Agency for Public Innovation (ADIP), the local Ministry of Health (Sedesa) and the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS), reported that they had carried out a “quasi-experimental” analysis showing that those who received ivermectin were 68% less likely to develop symptoms requiring hospitalization.[..]

Although in theory no public institution provides these drugs to people infected with Covid-19, Animal Politico confirmed that, for example, the IMSS in Mexico City still delivered kits with ivermectin in January 2022.”

That was the preprint:

Jose Merino, Victor Hugo, Borja Oliva Lopez, José Alfredo Ochoa, Eduardo Clark, Lila Petersen, Saul Caballero Ivermectin and the odds of hospitalization due to COVID-19: evidence from a quasi-experimental analysis based on a public intervention in Mexico City SocARXiv (2022) doi: 10.31235/

A copy is still available on the website of Mexican government.

It was an obvious bold-face exercise in data manipulation to fabricate a desired outcome, as the methods openly stated:

“A quasi-experimental research design with a Coarsened Exact Matching method using administrative data from hospitals and phone-call monitoring. We estimated logistic-regression models with matched observations adjusting by age, sex, COVID severity, and comorbidities. For robustness checks separated the effect of the kit from phone medical monitoring; changed the comparison period; and subsetted the sample by hospitalization occupancy,”

The code behind the analysis, announced with an online link, was actually never available. The authors basically delivered what their employer wanted them to deliver:

We found a significant reduction in hospitalizations among patients who received the ivermectin-based medical kit; the range of the effect is 52%- 76% depending on model specification.
The study supports ivermectin-based interventions to assuage the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health system.”

That toxic waste should have indeed never been published. A PubPeer commenter quipped:

The medrxiv model of close vetting of medical preprints seems to be vindicated by such cases.

Cheater finds a cure

An MDPI study announces the solution for the pandemic.

Guillermo H. Jimenez-Aleman , Victoria Castro , Addis Londaitsbehere , Marta Gutierrez-Rodríguez , Urtzi Garaigorta , Roberto Solano , Pablo Gastaminza SARS-CoV-2 Fears Green: The Chlorophyll Catabolite Pheophorbide A Is a Potent Antiviral Pharmaceuticals (2021) doi: 10.3390/ph14101048 

“We found that the chlorophyll derivative Pheophorbide a (PheoA), a porphyrin compound similar to animal Protoporphyrin IX, has an extraordinary antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2, preventing infection of cultured monkey and human cells, without noticeable cytotoxicity. We also show that PheoA targets the viral particle, interfering with its infectivity in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Besides SARS-CoV-2, PheoA also displayed a broad-spectrum antiviral activity against enveloped RNA viral pathogens such as HCV, West Nile, and other coronaviruses. Our results indicate that PheoA displays a remarkable potency and a satisfactory therapeutic index, which together with its previous use in photoactivable cancer therapy in humans, suggest that it may be considered as a potential candidate for antiviral therapy against SARS-CoV-2.”

But it is not just pointless stupidity. The study’s co-author, the plant scientist Roberto Solano of the National Centre for Biotechnology (CNB-CSIC) in Madrid, Spain, has a history on PubPeer. One of his papers, in Science, Beloqui et al 2009, was retracted after a CSIC investigation.

Have a look what Solano else published:

I would not rush for Solano’s COVID-19 cure now.

Vitamin D by Israeli Scientists

Once again, Israeli scientists save the world by discovering yet another COVID-19 cure. This time, surprise, it’s Vitamin D, which used to be a big thing for quacking racists in 2020, until the world moved on.

The Times of Israel brought a celebratory headline:

Israeli study offers strongest proof yet of vitamin D’s power to fight COVID

Bolstering previous research, scientists publish ‘remarkable’ data showing strong link between vitamin deficiency, prevalent in Israel, and death or serious illness among patients

The genius doctors of the Galilee Medical Center of the Bar-Ilan University found the real reason why their country can’t shake off COVID-19: the populace suffers from low Vitamin D levels due to not getting enough sun.

“Dror insisted that his team’s research showed that the importance of vitamin D was not based on incomplete or flawed data.

“People should learn from this that studies pointing to the importance of taking vitamin D are very reliable, and aren’t based on skewed data,” he said. “And it emphasizes the value of everyone taking a vitamin D supplement during the pandemic, which, consumed in sensible amounts in accordance with official advice, doesn’t have any downside.”

The data of course is not skewed, it’s just garbage. Here it is, in Plos One:

Amiel A. Dror , Nicole Morozov , Amani Daoud , Yoav Namir , Orly Yakir , Yair Shachar , Mark Lifshitz , Ella Segal , Lior Fisher , Matti Mizrachi , Netanel Eisenbach , Doaa Rayan , Maayan Gruber , Amir Bashkin , Edward Kaykov , Masad Barhoum , Michael Edelstein , Eyal Sela Pre-infection 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels and association with severity of COVID-19 illness PLoS ONE (2022) doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0263069 

Randomized controlled clinical trials (which by the way have long since debunked Vitamin D as COVID-19 cure) are for losers.

“The records of individuals admitted between April 7th, 2020 and February 4th, 2021 to the Galilee Medical Center (GMC) in Nahariya, Israel, with positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) were searched for historical 25(OH)D levels measured 14 to 730 days prior to the positive PCR test.”

As a proper Vitamin D study, racist undertones are gratuitously included. The paper seems to blame Israeli Arabs for overburdening the Israeli healthcare with COVID-19 by being too sickly due to their diet “traditionally low in meat and fish dishes“, which “play an essential role in observed low vitamin D levels in this group“. All the while admitting that “our data showed no effect of ethnicity on disease severity and mortality“. Why blaming Arabs then?

Jerusalem Post, always good for the trashiest pseudoscience claims, even dispensed medical advice:

“The recommended dose is around 1,200 mg. per day, Bashkin said, though people should consult with their healthcare provider before taking any supplement to be sure not to take too much or too little.

“Despite being in a sunny country, we know that most of the population has a level of vitamin D lower than 30 nanograms per milliliter, which means most of the population has insufficient vitamin D levels,” Dror said.

“If you are going to encounter COVID-19 next time, perhaps in a next wave, you better have a sufficient level of vitamin D in your body,” he said.”

Science Breakthroughs

Dr Dvir’s new miracle

We remain on the topic of genius Israeli scientists. The biggest genius in Israeli science is probably Tal Dvir, Tel Aviv University professor for regenerative medicine, incidentally with the same rugged sexy look of Paolo Macchiarini. And same grandiose plans to revolutionise medicine.

Dvir is currently funded by ERC with €1.5 million to create a 3D-bioprinted heart for human transplants (yes, they take it seriously). And now he gave hope for millions of paralysed people to walk again. Times of Israel brought this headline:

World 1st: Hope for paralyzed as Israeli lab spinal cords restore mice mobility

Tech got 12 out of 15 mice in study moving well; human trial expected in less than 3 years, aiming to ‘offer all paralyzed people hope that they may walk again’”

Now, I don’t want to be a party-pooper, but bullshitting disabled people with bullshit hopes based on bullshit science in order to bullshit your way to some real money is not nice, actually cruel and very wrong. But then again, the Tel Aviv University and Israeli newspapers find all this entertaining, so let them have their fun. Times of Israel continues:

“The world-first experiment took place at Tel Aviv University, where a large team engineered spinal cord tissue from human cells, and implanted them into 15 mice with long-term paralysis. Twelve of the mice then walked normally, the scientists revealed on Monday in newly peer-reviewed research published in the journal Advanced Science.

“If this works in humans, and we believe that it will, it can offer all paralyzed people hope that they may walk again,” Prof. Tal Dvir’s research team at the Sagol Center for Regenerative Biotechnology told The Times of Israel, adding that discussions regarding clinical trials have been opened with America’s Food and Drug Administration.

He said that while all his mice received spinal implants from cells of three people, if the innovation is deployed in humans, the plan is to grow a unique spine for each patient using cells from their own body.

Dvir predicts this will “enable regeneration of the damaged tissue with no risk of rejection,” and it will eliminate the need to suppress the immune systems of recipients, as happens in the case of many transplants.

“There are millions of people around the world who are paralyzed due to spinal injury, and there is still no effective treatment for their condition,” Dvir said.”

The breakthrough was published in a Wiley journal:

Lior Wertheim, Reuven Edri, Yona Goldshmit, Tomer Kagan, Nadav Noor, Angela Ruban, Assaf Shapira, Irit Gat-Viks, Yaniv Assaf, Tal Dvir Regenerating the Injured Spinal Cord at the Chronic Phase by Engineered iPSCs-Derived 3D Neuronal Networks Advanced Science (2022) doi: 10.1002/advs.202105694

The mice were not even fully paralyzed, but “hemisected at T10, leaving the left hindlimb paralyzed“. And even Dvir’s own data shows that mice recovered even without the implant treatment:

Figure 4

Here, Dvir used iPS cells reprogrammed from human fat tissue:

“….a porcine omentum-based hydrogel was mixed with human iPSCs, the cells were specifically differentiated to SC motor neurons and SC implants were generated.

Miraculously, they made lame mice walk by implanting human iPS cells turned into what Dvir decided were neurons. The Tel Aviv genius is ready to market the therapy via his company, Matricelf. Just days before the recent paper was published on 7 February 2022, Dvir’s company announced on 22 January 2020 to have successfully treated a paralyzed pig with human cell implant, but back then it was human bone marrow cells, not iPS. This is what happens when you lose track of your own bullshit.

And of course Dr Dvir also makes money on the side with lab-grown meat.

Depressive crap

Science, world’s biggest authority on all of science, educates us on where depression really comes from and how it can be cured:

“Now, a study involving thousands of people in Finland has identified a potential microbial culprit in some cases of depression.

The finding, which emerged from a study of how genetics and diet affect the microbiome, “is really solid proof that this association could have major clinical importance,” says Jack Gilbert, a microbial ecologist at the University of California, San Diego, who was not involved with the work.

Researchers are finding ever more links between brain conditions and gut microbes. People with autism and mood disorders, for example, have deficits of certain key bacteria in their guts. Whether those microbial deficits actually help cause the disorders is unclear, but the findings have spawned a rush to harness gut microbes and the substances they produce as possible treatments for a variety of brain disorders. Indeed, researchers recently reported in Frontiers in Psychiatry that fecal transplants improved symptoms in two depressed patients.”

The “provisionally accepted” Frontiers paper from University Psychiatric Clinic Basel, Switzerland, led by the clinic director Undine Lang, is about stool transplant therapies on depression patients.

Jessica P. Doll, Jorge F. Castellanos, Anna-Chiara Schaub, Nina Schweinfurth, Cedric Kettelhack, Else Schneider, Gulnara Yamanbaeva, Laura Mählmann, Serge Brand, Christoph Beglinger, Stefan Borgwardt, Jeroen Raes, André Schmidt and Undine E. Lang Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT) as an Adjunctive Therapy for Depression – Case Report Frontiers in Psychiatry (2022)

It offers only an abstract so far:

“Here, we present the first two patients with major depressive disorder ever treated with fecal microbiota transplantation as add-on therapy. Both improved their depressive symptoms four weeks after the transplantation. Effects lasted up to eight weeks in one patient. Gastrointestinal symptoms, constipation in particular, were reflected in microbiome changes and improved in one patient. This report suggests further FMT studies in depression could be worth pursuing”

Science tells of the new discoveries:

“Two sections of the human genome seemed to strongly influence which microbes are present in the gut, the researchers report this week in Nature Genetics. One contains the gene for digesting the milk sugar lactose, and the other helps specify blood type. (A second study, also published today in Nature Genetics, identified the same genetic loci by analyzing the relationship between the genomes and gut microbes of 7700 people in the Netherlands.)”

The second Nature Genetics paper mentioned doesn’t seem to be at all about depression or any other mental disorders. The first one, led by Guillaume Méric of Baker Institute in Australia, was:

Youwen Qin , Aki S. Havulinna , Yang Liu , Pekka Jousilahti , Scott C. Ritchie , Alex Tokolyi , Jon G. Sanders , Liisa Valsta , Marta Brożyńska , Qiyun Zhu , Anupriya Tripathi , Yoshiki Vázquez-Baeza , Rohit Loomba , Susan Cheng , Mohit Jain , Teemu Niiranen , Leo Lahti , Rob Knight , Veikko Salomaa , Michael Inouye , Guillaume Méric Combined effects of host genetics and diet on human gut microbiota and incident disease in a single population cohort Nature Genetics (2022) doi: 10.1038/s41588-021-00991-z 

and it concluded:

“Mendelian randomization analysis indicated a potential causal effect of Morganella on major depressive disorder, consistent with observational incident disease analysis.”

Quite possibly, all these studies are just depressive crap.

Senolytics rejuvenate again!

A press release by Cell Press:

“Destroying senescent cells in the aging stem cell niche enhances hippocampal neurogenesis and cognitive function in mice, researchers report January 20 in the journal Stem Cell Reports.

“Our results provide further support for the notion that excessive senescence is a driving factor behind aging, and even late-life reduction of these cells can rejuvenate and restore the function of the stem cell niche,” says senior author David Kaplan of The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, Canada. “Moreover, they identify stem cells as a key cellular target, potentially explaining the widespread effects of senescent cells on tissue decline.”

The senolytic drug the scientists used was the leukaemia chemotherapeutic Navitoclax. This is the paper:

Michael P. Fatt, Lina M. Tran , Gisella Vetere , Mekayla A. Storer , Jaclin V. Simonetta , Freda D. Miller , Paul W. Frankland, David R. Kaplan Restoration of hippocampal neural precursor function by ablation of senescent cells in the aging stem cell niche Stem Cell Reports (2021) doi: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2021.12.010

The study’s authors discuss human therapy:

“Safe-in-human senolytics such as ABT-263 (Navitoclax), developed for the treatment of cancer, are therefore promising therapeutic agents to treat aging-associated conditions, with several in clinical trials to ablate senescent cells in osteoarthritis, diabetes complications, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and chronic kidney disease (Robbins et al., 2021). Our findings suggest that senolytics may also be considered for age-related cognitive decline.”

Now, even assuming Navitoclax really had a rejuvenation potential as described (count me sceptical), one PubPeer commenter noticed: “As per earlier reports, Navitoclax (ABT263) has limited ability to cross the blood-brain barrier {PMID: 22071632 and PMID: 31222722}. So senescent cell “ablation” in the hippocampus by the direct action of ABT-263 is doubtful without much pharmacological evidence.

Not a problem! Kaplan replied:

ABT-263 has indeed been reported to be very inefficient at accumulating in brain tissue after peripheral injection. This is why we performed intraventricular injection of ABT-263….

Kaplan is welcome to inject the brains of some vain rich old gits right now for all I care.

Oh, and by the way, Navitoclax not only rejuvenates and bestows eternal health, it also cures COVID-19, as German scholars discovered in Nature:

Eat Selenium

If you are a bit shy having a cytotoxic drug injected straight into your ageing brain, you can rejuvenate it by popping some selenium supplements.

Again, Science has spoken:

“A good workout doesn’t just boost your mood—it also boosts the brain’s ability to create new neurons. But exactly how this happens has puzzled researchers for years. “It’s been a bit of a black box,” says Tara Walker, a neuroscientist at the University of Queensland’s Brain Institute.

Now, Walker and her colleagues think they have found a key: the chemical element selenium. During exercise, mice produce a protein containing selenium that helps their brains grow new neurons, the team reports today. Scientists may also be able to harness the element to help reverse cognitive decline due to old age and brain injury, the authors say.

It’s a “fantastic” study, says Bárbara Cardoso, a nutritional biochemist at Monash University’s Victorian Heart Institute. Her own research has shown selenium—which is found in Brazil nuts, grains, and some legumes—improves verbal fluency and the ability to copy drawings correctly in older adults. “We could start thinking about selenium as a strategy” to treat or prevent cognitive decline in those who cannot exercise or are more vulnerable to selenium deficiency, she says, such as older adults, and stroke and Alzheimer’s disease patients.”

Greta to hear Dr Cardoso likes this scientific breakthrough which confrimed her own genius discovery about selenium supplements. Maybe she was a peer reviewer?

Odette Leiter , Zhan Zhuo , Ruslan Rust , Joanna M. Wasielewska , Lisa Grönnert , Susann Kowal , Rupert W. Overall , Vijay S. Adusumilli , Daniel G. Blackmore , Adam Southon , Katherine Ganio , Christopher A. McDevitt , Nicole Rund , David Brici , Imesh Aththanayake Mudiyan , Alexander M. Sykes , Annette E. Rünker , Sara Zocher , Scott Ayton , Ashley I. Bush , Perry F. Bartlett, Sheng-Tao Hou, Gerd Kempermann, Tara L. Walke Selenium mediates exercise-induced adult neurogenesis and reverses learning deficits induced by hippocampal injury and aging Cell Metabolism (2022)
doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2022.01.005

Science also points out that also Walker’s Australian-German-Chinese research “was not funded by the supplement industry“, but reminds us that “Selenium is a cheap and widely available supplement.”

Chocolate and red wine

Let’s end with this scientific breakthrough in MDPI on treating obesity. With chocolate and red wine.

Here an institutional press release:

“A group of scientists examined the browning of fat induced by dietary administration of flavan-3-ols (flavanols / FLs), a family of “catechin” containing polyphenols abundant in cocoa, apple, grapeseed, and red wine. In a new study published in the journal Nutrients, the team led by Professor Naomi Osakabe of Graduate School of Engineering and Science, Shibaura Institute of Technology, Japan proved that FLs enhance browning of adipose tissue by activating the SNS [sympathetic nervous system]. The findings revealed a direct correlation between fat browning and FLs consumption, which could help researchers develop new treatments for obesity-related diseases. […]

Higher concentrations of AD and NA in the urine following a single dose of FL clearly demonstrated SNS activation. Although the use of urine samples to evaluate SNS activation is still controversial in clinical research, it has been validated in stressed rodents. “Oral administration of FLs likely activate the SNS because they are considered stressors in these models,” explains Prof Osakabe. […]

“Although the mechanism of adipose browning is not fully understood, it is possible that repeated administration of FLs may produce browning via catecholamines and its receptors,” explains Prof. Osakabe. “Further studies will be required to understand how this process is induced by FL-rich foods,” she concludes.”

Basically, consume chocolate and red wine to literally burn calories. It is such trash, no wonder it ended up in MDPI.

Yuko Ishii, Orie Muta, Tomohiro Teshima, Nayuta Hirasima, Minayu Odaka, Taiki Fushimi, Yasuyuki Fujii and Naomi Osakabe Repeated Oral Administration of Flavan-3-ols Induces Browning in Mice Adipose Tissues through Sympathetic Nerve Activation Nutrients (2021) DOI: 10.3390/nu13124214

News in Tweets

  • Didier Raoult, in his last months as IHU director, decided to try some antisemitism and equal vaccine regulations to the Holocaust. In a recent IHU video, he drew comparisons: “…Jews no longer have the right to a certain number of public jobs in particular the teachers at the university, so from October the rectors were instructed to put in order an operation preventing Jews from teaching, […] in addition, Jews were subsequently forbidden to enter all public places, whether they were restaurants, whether it’s balls, whether it’s sports meetings and so, you can’t, so of course this has nothing to do with the final solution and the extermination of the Jews in the concentration camps. It’s discrimination, it’s how we set up the discrimination of a part of the population… ” (transcribed by a reader).
  • Luc Montagnier, the esoterically-minded French homeopath, antivaxxer and covid-conspiracy-theorist, has died aged 89. Montagnier won the Nobel Prize in 2008 for the discovery of the HIV virus and the invention of the first AIDS test, because he was lucky enough to be the boss of the Institut Pasteur scientists who did all the work. After taking the HIV credit in 1980ies, the genius immunologist went on to discover nothing but teleportable DNA sending radio signals, homeopathy, antivaxxery and other unhinged quackeries. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Montagnier became a hero of all covidiots in France and worldwide, unashamed to got to bed with the most toxic characters. Raoult sure is a worthy successor:
  • Elsevier explores new depths of unethical science. This time, animal torture, because China pays good money for that. So here we have a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) paper Zhu et al J Ethnopharmacology 2022 where powdered bear bile was used (“”BBP was provided by Heilongjiang Heibao Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (China)“). Businesses like this one are giant “farms” where thousands of Asian black bears are kept in tiny cages and tortured daily while their bile is extracted via permanent catheter to be sold as magic TCM woo. Now passed peer review in a journal run by an South African editor, Alvaro Viljoen.
  • Papermill sleuth Anna Abalkina learns how Elsevier ethics work: “Eventually, I’ve got no reply from Elsevier.” I think we must be greateful to Elsevier they don’t send hired thugs to teach us not to meddle in their business.
  • Press release by a US biotech from April 2021: “Pacira BioSciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: PCRX) today filed a lawsuit against the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) and various other defendants seeking pecuniary damages and the retraction of three articles that create the false and misleading impression that EXPAREL® (bupivacaine liposome injectable suspension) is not an effective analgesic. The articles, included in its official medical journal, Anesthesiology, were published in print and on the ASA website under the summary headline, “Liposomal Bupivacaine Is Not Superior to Standard Local Anesthetics.”” Pacira now lost, but caveat: from court argument (“The peer-review process—not a courtroom—thus provides the best mechanism for resolving scientific uncertainties“) it appears had the scientific criticisms been published not as peer reviewed papers, but as preprints or even as blogposts, the plaintiff may even have won.
  • Where was the study given 91.8% weight published? In MDPI Sustainability. MDPI is a controversial outlet, was classified as predatory journals.” A covidiot meta-analysis Chisanza et al 2022 get debunked in a Twitter thread.

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26 comments on “Schneider Shorts 11.02.2022 – A Deeply Caring Person

  1. smut.clyde

    The mice were not even fully paralyzed, but “hemisected at T10, leaving the left hindlimb paralyzed“. And even Dvir’s own data shows that mice recovered even without the implant treatment:

    A lot of the neural circuitry for synchronised gait is down in the lumbar spine (why send everything up to the brain when it can be handled locally?) So if enough neural stimulation gets down to start one leg moving then the other leg will move in counterpoint.

    People keep rediscovering this. I remember an episode of The Human Body from 1998 in which Robert Winston waxed all lyrical about the immanent arrival of spinal regeneration therapy, all because some numpty had reported signs of synchronised leg movement in mice subjected to spinal injury. [Fritz Zwicky voice] Ve haff known about zis for zee past 30 years![/Fritz Zwicky voice]


    • Did ERC ever give you €1.5 million to revolutionise transplant surgery with bioprinted heart? Were you ever celebrated as the second Israeli man in history who made the lame walk? Quiet down there.


      • Wow, Shulamit Levenberg is actually a man? Didn’t know about that…


      • “Two years ago, Dr Levenberg made lame rodents walk, and humans are next!”

        So, he was the first Israeli who did it, two years before Tal Dvir, right?


      • Oh right. I forgot that before Jesus of Nazareth and Tal Dvir there was Shulamit Levenberg. So many wonders in the Holy Land!


      • For sure Jesus of Nazareth cannot be called an “Israeli”! Instead, he is worshipped by some Palaestinians – and consequently, they are punished for doing so by the Israelis. In the Gaza Strip, where Jesus is not worshipped, there is no such punishment by annexation. As is well known, almost the whole world admires this very wise policy.


      • Actually, Issa (Jesus) is one of most important prophets in all of Islam.


      • Well yes, but Islam is somewhat strange and irrational. They claim Issa/Jesus has never been crucified, do they? I think that’s why they only respect him, but not worship him. Evidently one has to be crucified to be worshiped, as Jim Watson, or Didier Raoult, or Donald Trump, and many others who REALLY suffered!


  2. Lee Rudolph

    I am impressed to learn that Heilongjiang Heibao Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. has a “permanent caterer” on staff for its bears. They must have learned that from Silicon Valley.


  3. What is very strange with Wilson is that there is no doubt he had knowledge in population genetics, hence he should have known that a “black race” (or white) is a genetically baseless concept. There is a typo in the hyperlink it should be “selection” and not “section”.


    • Well, Jim Watson is also a geneticist, and a disgusting racist, women-hater and homophobe who stole his Nobel credit. Nobody minded for decades.


    • Wilson seldom mentioned race in his works, and as far as I know he did not discuss race as a biological conception in formal or informal publications/presentations. His main interest in the Rushton affair appears to have been defense of intellectual freedom of expression, especially when those seeking to suppress it were on the extreme left, like his Harvard colleagues Dick Lewontin and Steve Gould. The articles seeking to posthumously cancel Wilson read like single-minded hatchet-jobs performed by those incapable of appreciating Voltaire’s distinction between defending someone’s freedom of expression and embracing what they say as gospel truth. Pious carping is the easy choice for pipsqueaks.


      • Well. The point is that Wilson was qualified enough to see that Rushton’s claims are scientifically untenable and just poorly disguised racism. Yet he supported Rushton.


      • Or maybe he wanted a softer target out there to take some of the flak aimed his way.


  4. Pingback: Scienziati e social – ocasapiens

  5. You are unfair with the microbiome Frontiers paper, it was conducted in TWO patients, not one. It’s reproducible, it’s science. More seriously, I am affected by a gut disaese and I have been hearing for 25 years I would be cured thanks to microbiome. Absolutely nothing ever came out of it. I really start to believe those statistical associations are either artefacts, or just correlations with an unknown hidden confounding factor.


    • If it was just one patient, it would’ve only made it into MDPI. But with 2, it’s Frontiers, and celebrates by Science.


    • smut.clyde

      People with autism and mood disorders, for example, have deficits of certain key bacteria in their guts

      Science reporter is careful not to identify these “certain key bacteria”, because
      (a) No study has reported a 100% “bacteria deficit :: autism” connection; and
      (b) the studies that report a “bacteria deficit :: autism” tendency, all specify a different bacterial phylum.

      It all reminds me of that period when geneticists kept finding “the gene for homosexuality” and Plomin kept finding “the gene for intelligence”, and pop-sci churnalists kept credulously regurging those discoveries, even though the magic gene was on a different chromosome each time. It is as if each disproof of a previous claim just convinced them all the more that the underlying connection must be true.


    There is still no word on whether Eric Lander, former director of the Broad Institute and professor at MIT and Harvard, will return to his academic positions following his resignation from the Biden White House. […]
    Asked about Lander’s future at MIT and Harvard, both institutions said Lander is currently on unpaid leave and gave no further comment. The Broad made a similar statement.
    Lander did not respond to a request for comment about his future plans.[…]
    There was swift reaction from the scientific community. The American Association for the Advancement of Science disinvited Lander as a speaker at its annual conference this month.
    “Unfortunately, toxic behavioral issues still make their way into the STEM community where they stifle participation and innovation,” the association said in a written statement.

    From a year ago, by “500 Women Scientists”
    “Eric Lander Is Not the Ideal Choice for Presidential Science Adviser”
    While we can celebrate the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to science, we must recognize that Lander has a reputation among some scientists for being controversial, and colleagues have criticized him for his “ego without end.” We cannot forget that in 2016, Lander wrote a widely criticized history of the revolutionary technology CRISPR, dubbed the “Heroes of CRISPR,” that erased the contributions of two women colleagues. This conspicuous exclusion is emblematic of the forces in science that hold back women and scientists of color from attaining the level of prominence he enjoys.

    These are hardly contributions that could be omitted by mistake. In 2020, those scientists, Emmanuelle Charpentier of the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens and Jennifer Doudna of the University of California, Berkeley, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work, solidifying their place in history.

    In 2018, Lander was pressured to publicly apologize for making a gross error in judgement—and in leadership—by toasting James Watson, who was forced to step down from leading Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory after a long history of racist and sexist comments, and who himself failed to acknowledge the contributions of Rosalind Franklin.


  7. alfricabos

    Let’s remind everyone that neurogenesis is highly unlikely to exist in the adult human brain:

    Claims such as neurogenesis modulation could be considered as a potential approach for treatment of human ailments are grossly exaggerated.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hey, here is more antisemitism bordering plain negationism from Raoult and his supporters. Brace yourself

    Here Raoult says there is a risk the unvaccinated ends up in ghettos or camps, and the journalist answered “yes you are right, people should remember that the Warsaw ghetto was created by the Nazi simply to eradicate the typhus disease”.

    I thought you would like that nice touch of negationism from a leading columnist. Business as usual in the far right French media. The thing is, I actually believe the journalist is indeed too stupid to understand he is peddling Nazi propaganda.


  9. more from israeli science… a team at Weizmann have created electrical conducting polymers with simple irradiation- or do they? They tell what the product is in the title- and then the last thing: “The isolation and full characterization of the soluble oligomers produced by irradiation at low temperatures are under investigation in our laboratories.” wait, what was that title again?


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