Schneider Shorts

Schneider Shorts 6.05.2022 – Porn and Penis Jokes

Schneider Shorts 6.05.2022 - how mTORman almost got a job at NYU, the 996 work morale, many great editorial decisions, rejuvenating stools, a minibrain curing autism, vitamin D against cancer, with an evil microscope maker, and a lewd Yale professor you probably don't want to meet.

Schneider Shorts of 6 May 2022 – how mTORman almost got a job at NYU, the 996 work morale, many great editorial decisions, rejuvenating stools, a minibrain curing autism, vitamin D against cancer, with an evil microscope maker, and a lewd Yale professor you probably don’t want to meet.


Table of Discontent

Science Elites

Scholarly Publishing

Science Breakthroughs

News in Tweets


Science Elites

mTORman on the market again!

The most famous sexual harasser in science, David Sabatini, almost became professor at New York University (NYU) Langone Health. As reminder, the fallen star of biomedicine who calls himself mTORman was sacked first by Whitehead Institute and then by MIT for sexual harassment, for which he now sues his victim, Whitehead, and the institute’s director.

Meanwhile, Sabatini was applying for new jobs, and he almost succeeded getting recruited to NYU, supported by two billionaire donors, medical school’s dean Robert Grossman and vice-dean Dafna Bar-Sagi, (read here). Protests by graduate students and faculty didn’t impress them, the decision to recruit Sabatini was staunchly defended, but then all big national media, including the New York Times reported, so the pressure got too big.

This week, Grossman and Bar-Sagi sent around this email in the faculty:

“After careful and thorough consideration that included the perspectives of many stakeholders, both Dr. David Sabatini and NYU Grossman School of Medicine have reached the conclusion that it will not be possible for him to become a member of our faculty.

Our overarching mission at NYUGSOM is advancing science and medicine to save lives. That is what compelled us to give careful reflection to hiring Dr. Sabatini after he initially reached out to us. In the course of our due diligence, we heard voices of support from many dozens of Dr. Sabatini’s colleagues, lab alumni, and peers who described their first-hand experiences working with him. But we also heard clearly the deep concern from our own faculty, staff, and trainees. Our thorough review and deliberate approach was essential for us to make an independent evaluation consistent with our own institutional priorities. We appreciate and respect the input we received from so many people in this process.”

VICE quotes this statement by Sabatini:

“False, distorted, and preposterous allegations about me have intensified in the press and on social media in the wake of reports last week that New York University Langone Health was considering hiring me.

I understand the enormous pressure this has placed on NYU Langone Health and do not want to distract from its important mission.  I have therefore decided to withdraw my name from consideration for a faculty position there.

I deeply respect NYU Langone Health’s mission and appreciate the support from individuals who took the time to learn the facts.  I remain steadfast in believing that the truth will ultimately emerge and that I will eventually be vindicated and able to return to my research.”

Of course Sabatini did not withdraw his application voluntarily. But how come they wanted him so desperately at NYU in the first place? Why did they even hand out to Sabatini private emails between the former NYU professor (and now Whitehead director) Ruth Lehmann and Sabatini’s victim, in order to help this sexual predator with his lawsuit against these women? Sure, because of money from billionaires Ken Langone and Bill Ackman who shoulder-slapped Sabatini for being a real man, sure, because his father, David Sabatini Senior, is emeritus professor at NYU Langone Health, but still, why? Word got around by now that Sabatini’s science is full of forgeries and not reproducible, he would have struggled with getting big NIH grants. Why did these bigwigs at NYU so desperately want him?

Well, I think I can at least explain why the NYU Langone Health Chief Scientific Officer, Executive Vice President and Vice Dean for Science, Dafna Bar-Sagi has such high degree of tolerance for both research fraud and sexual harassment.

Bar-Sagi did her PhD at the pharmacology department at SUNY Stony Brook, supervised by Joav Prives, the two soon became a couple and are still together. But back when Bar-Sagi was his graduate student, Prives was married to the cancer researcher Carol Prives, who published a string of papers with fake data. See this article:

Now, Joav Prives’ best friend from his graduate days at the Weizmann Institute in Israel was the then NYU professor Joseph Schlessinger, who is said to have been very supportive of Bar-Sagi’s scientific career. What the problem with Schlessinger is?

Academic Misconduct Database links to this 2006 article in Yale Daily News:

“Mary Beth Garceau filed a complaint last week with the U.S. District Court alleging that her supervisor, chair of pharmacology Joseph Schlessinger, made repeated lewd observations and suggestions to her, from telling jokes about penis size to showing her hard-core pornography. The harassment started on her first day of work in 2001, she said, and continued until her resignation nearly three years later. […]

Garceau stated in the complaint that University officials protected Schlessinger when she informed them of the situation and told her that not only would her complaints be ignored, but that she would be the subject of investigations into her own conduct. As a result, the complaint said, Garceau resigned in March 2004. […]

In several incidents over the next year, Schlessinger showed Garceau pictures of naked women and, on one occasion, a hard-core pornography Web site, the complaint alleged.

Schlessinger claimed that a photo of a naked woman without a head was his wife, Irit Lax, an assistant professor in the pharmacology department, the complaint stated. While he was showing Garceau the photo, according to the account, Lax walked in and started yelling at her husband.”

The lawsuit ended with a financial settlement, Schlessinger left NYU for Yale and Bar-Sagi inherited his as chair as biochemistry professor at NYU. We do not know what kind of jokes and photos that dirty old man may have shared with Bar-Sagi, but surely having a mentor like this steeled her for dealing with Sabatini.

That is not all. Bar-Sagi, Prives and Schlessinger are close friends with Arnold Levine. Levine is of that old generation of revered men of cancer research who published massive fraud in their days (see PubPeer) and don’t care about it at all. I never wrote about Levine, and maybe I will eventually, but for now please have a sample here, a paper this academy member contributed to PNAS:

Sandra L. Harris , German Gil , Harlan Robins , Wenwei Hu , Kim Hirshfield , Elisabeth Bond , Gareth Bond , Arnold J. Levine Detection of functional single-nucleotide polymorphisms that affect apoptosis Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2005) doi: 10.1073/pnas.0508390102 

Or this, also flagged by Clare Francis years ago:

Zhaohui Feng , Wenwei Hu , Elisa De Stanchina , Angelika K. Teresky , Shengkan Jin , Scott Lowe , Arnold J. Levine The regulation of AMPK beta1, TSC2, and PTEN expression by p53: stress, cell and tissue specificity, and the role of these gene products in modulating the IGF-1-AKT-mTOR pathways Cancer Research (2007) doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.can-06-4149

Hoya camphorifolia: “At left – Figure 1D. At right – Figure 1B from Hu et al (2010). I submit that the bands are the same.”

It’s not just fake science. 20 years ago, Levine resigned as president of the Rockefeller University because he filled up a student with alcohol and then had sex with her. Nature reported:

“According to the sources, the encounter occurred in the university’s faculty club, a popular meeting place for researchers and graduate students. Both Levine and the participating student were intoxicated, the sources say, and she is said to have told university officials that the encounter was consensual. A male student who was in the faculty club confronted Levine during the encounter, one of the sources says, at which point Levine became angry. This student reported the incident to the Board of Trustees.”

As it happens, Sabatini was also sacked at Whitehead and MIT for getting students drunk and then abusing his immense power to coerce these young women into having sex with him. Times have changed, this kind of sexual predation is not called “consensual” anymore, because there can be no consent when one party is drunk, powerless and cornered, while the other professorial party threatens to destroy her career unless he gets to have his way with her.

So now you see how Bar-Sagi formed her views and why she supports Sabatini, despite, or maybe because of his sexual and research misconduct. Bar-Sagi never replied to my emails.


996 work morale

This is what is expected from you if you wish to succeed keep your job in science, as the student newspaper of University of Illinois, Daily Illini, reports:

“Jinbei (Walden) Li, a former graduate student at the University who worked in a bioengineering lab run by Dr. Ting Lu, recently shared concerns about mistreatment and harsh behavior at the lab, which gained widespread attention on social media with over 400 thousand views on LinkedIn.  […]

When Li first joined, 60 hours of work per week was expected of him, which he said was nothing surprising for a research lab. 

Slowly over time, Li described how Lu began enforcing the “996” work schedule — which is 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., 6 days a week — to all the Chinese students at his lab, which made up a majority of his student researchers. “

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign professor Ting Lu also yelled at his Chinese subordinates and humiliated them otherwise, but not towards white ones, one of whom shared his observations:

“A common recurrence is Lu checking the lab at random times throughout the week to see if his graduate students were present and if not, they often had to explain their absence in depth […]

Meldgin talked with other graduate students in the lab who described how they were working for almost 36 hours straight.”

An investigation is said to be ongoing. I suggest to curb your expectations, because Lu is a young shooting star who brings serious cash. Last year his university announced:

“- Ting Lu, a professor of bioengineering at The Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign received the 2021 Future Insight Prize. Established by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, […] The prize comes with €1 million ($1.19 million) of research funding to incentivize winners whose work has enabled significant progress towards making this vision a reality…”

Bullying always leads to bad science, I suggest to screen Lu’s papers for data manipulations.


Scholarly Publishing

Olympus did it!

Maybe you remember this article about the Spanish fraud lab in Barcelona, led by the Alzheimer’s researcher Antoni Camins?

And specifically this bizarrely fake paper, a Nobel-Prize worthy scientific breakthrough where a “Type III diabetes” was discovered which is caused by high-fat diet and obesity, and in turn causes Alzheimer’s?

Oriol Busquets, Miren Ettcheto, Mercè Pallàs, Carlos Beas-Zarate, Ester Verdaguer, Carme Auladell, Jaume Folch, Antoni Camins Long-term exposition to a high fat diet favors the appearance of β-amyloid depositions in the brain of C57BL/6J mice. A potential model of sporadic Alzheimer’s disease Mechanisms of Ageing and Development (2017) doi: 10.1016/j.mad.2016.11.002  

Fig 2
Fig 3

There was more fake microscopy data in that paper. Camins protested back then:

Who is the person who questions the work of the research team? I cannot be reviewing all my works, looking for photos, images etc when they have already been reviewed by experts in the journals. All expert scientists who work in this area (BRAIN) know that it is impossible to falsify these images. T[…] I repeat that we do NOT have anything to hide nor do we have to falsify results. This doesn’t have to be a witch hunt.

He then sent what he declared to be “the original figure that we made for the journal. The photos are taken and have not been modified“, which was in reality just another Photoshop-faked picture.

Camins’ institute director Jordi Alberch announced a year ago that

in a couple of weeks you will receive an institutional report of this investigation after examining all the data.” Of course I received nothing.

The Editor-in-Chief of the journal Mechanisms of Ageing and Development and professor at the National Hellenic Research Foundation in Athens, Greece, Efstathios Gonos, announced, also a year ago (bold his):

I would expect Prof Camins and the authors to respond back to the journal within 4 weeks. It will be also essential at this stage the authors to submit all raw data in relation the mentioned article. In case the journal finds authors’ response unsatisfactory or receives no response, the Publisher may decide the retraction of the article.

Now you probably expect me to share the retraction notice with you? Oh come on, this here is not Retraction Watch, you read For Better Science long enough to know what is coming, right?

This Corrigendum was issued in January 2022, to replace figures 2, 3 and 5 (bold mine):

“The authors regret that there are some errors in the original Figures 2, 3 and 5. A reader brought to our attention that there was a manipulation in the figures of the GFAP and IBA1 inmunohistochemistry in the control group and mice treated with a high fat diet in the hippocampus. After consulting with experts, the authors confirm, that these accidental duplications in the photographs of cell antibodies are due to problems with the camera. Hence, the authors declare that the errors in the photographs are not intentional. Indeed, the results of the study have been maintained at all times, showing that high fat diet causes an activation of the glial cells that is associated with neuroinflammation in the hippocampus. Therefore, the results of our study are experimentally reproducible, as we and other laboratories have reported in later publications and do not alter the conclusions of the manuscript at any time. The corrected version of Figures 2, 3 and 5 has been provided and replaced. […]

The authors would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

See, professor Gonos’ thundering announcement of a retraction was just dishonest posturing, pretentious bullshit to portray himself as a hero. Also Camins’ Institute of Neurosciences at the University of Barcelona did what every Spanish research institution does in such cases: whitewash the fraud, rally behind the fraudster, and maybe also start a witch hunt for whistleblowers and critics. In fact, this university is very experienced in such procedure.

But most importantly, these failed scientists are blaming the manufacturer of the X61 Laboratory Microscope, the company Olympus, for faking their pristine science.

I really wish Olympus would sue this whole lot and Elsevier for libel.

Btw, Gonos is also Editor-in-Chief of another journal, IUBMB Life. Which became target of Chinese paper mills, uncovered by Smut Clyde. In September 2021, Gonos announced to me to take care of that “this thoroughly requires time“. There haven’t been any retractions since.

I bet Gonos also was also merely just posturing when he bloated this out in his email to me:

  1. We do not consider articles if they are submitted using commercial e-mails and/or do not quote a funding agent and grant’s number
  2. We request raw data, including entire blots, if the presented blots are just short stripes of perfectly “clean” bands
  3. All accepted articles are checked additionally by “Image check analysis” provided by the Publisher

Given all these measures the number of submissions has dropped to about 60% in comparison to 2020 submissions and moreover the number of currently accepted articles is less than 10%.”


NO evidence of image manipulation

Human Molecular Genetics, published by Oxford University Press, is a journal by fraudsters for fraudsters. It now has a new Editor-in-Chief, the previous one, the Oxford professor, research cheater and bully of whistleblowers Dame Kay Davies and her fellow upper class twit of the year, Anthony Winshaw-Boris, are now “Honorary Editors”.

So here is a fake paper from the lab of Robin Ali, ophthalmologist and director of Centre for Cell and Gene Therapy at King’s College London.

Mei Hong Tan , Alexander J. Smith , Basil Pawlyk , Xiaoyun Xu , Xiaoqing Liu , James B. Bainbridge , Mark Basche , Jenny McIntosh , Hoai Viet Tran , Amit Nathwani, Tiansen Li, Robin R. Ali Gene therapy for retinitis pigmentosa and Leber congenital amaurosis caused by defects in AIPL1: effective rescue of mouse models of partial and complete Aipl1 deficiency using AAV2/2 and AAV2/8 vectors Human Molecular Genetics (2009) doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddp133

Cheshire reported this to the journal, probably unprepared that they will lash out him to defend a fellow fraudster. Val C. Sheffield, Professor of Pediatrics and Ophthalmology at University of Iowa, USA, retorted (highlights mine):

Dear Anonymous, I have reviewed this paper including all the figures, not just the figure in question (Figure 6 H).  In my opinion there is NO evidence of image manipulation in this manuscript.  While there are small parts of the image in Figure 6H that do appear to be similar to each other, it would make no sense in the context of the whole figure for it to have been manipulated. For example, even if everything to the right of the red circles were deleted, the figure would still make the point that the authors are trying to show (the complete loss of photo receptor cells). To me this is a case where you, the Anonymous PubPeer user, have looked closely at the figure for small regions of similarity without thinking about the purpose of the figure in the context of the whole.  I recognize that you provide a valuable service in identifying manipulated images in published research, but I do not believe that this is such a case. “

Dr Sheffield is at best a patronising nincompoop without a clue about research integrity. Plus not very smart, like his fellow editors at HMG. Still learning to lash out at whistleblowers, I guess.

And how will he explain this gel?


An appeal for the integrity of science and public policy

This was the title of an open letter the editorial board of the Elsevier journal Toxicology published in 2016 (its DOI 10.1016/j.tox.2016.08.015 is broken for some reason, but the pdf link works). The letter went:


“We, scientists and signatories of this appeal assert our concern for the erosion of scientific principles in the purported validation ofexperimental evidence, which is manifest in arguments disguised as true science. Such arguments are used to simulate and exaggerate hazards and risks that justify official intervention policies in health, safety and environmental issues. This erodes public confidence in science and government, leads to misallocation of public resources, cause massive economic distortions, and strains court adjudications.

Our concern is motivated by the importance of adhering to the self-evident precepts of the scientific method in arriving at defensible conclusions. Those precepts require observational and experimental data that are authentic and of known measurement error; experimental variables that are relevant to the hypotheses being tested; the control of externalities that may confound observations and experimental results; and reproducibility by other performers or counterfactual verification. […]

We believe it is necessary to affirm the reliable and evidence-based power of science to ensure the rational and ethical integrity of public policies and regulations, and of legal proceedings. Not only is science in play, but also those ideals of justice and rationality that sustain free intellects, free persons and free societies”

My guess is that these toxicologists must have protested against glyphosate decisions (hence references to courts), without naming the pesticide they deem as safe. They most certainly are not concerned about research fraud and antivaxxery, and I know this because a number of signatories are fraudsters and antivaxxers themselves, or their enables.

In fact, two are editors-in-chief of Elsevier’s notorious Toxicology Reports:

Also Tsatsakis’ antivaxxer buddy, editorial colleague and antivax co-author Michael Aschner, plus the antivaxxer chief editor Jose Domingo, are on board, and so are probably other toxic characters. These people are telling you how “integrity of science and public policy” has to work.


Science Breakthroughs

Old Crap

Stool transplants do magic. As every scientifically educated person knows, faecal transplants are the solution to all problems. If you are ill, you need to faeces from a healthy person up your bum (works also for autism, ask Dr Sabine Hazan!), if you are overweight, you need stools from someone thin, if sports is not your thing, take crap from an athlete, if you are stupid, fight for access to Nobelists’ toilets, and of course, if you are old, rejuvenate yourself with young people’s faeces. Simple then with their blood for sure!

So here is yet another paper on how to get young with shit, a press release by the University of East Anglia:

“….scientists at the Quadram Institute and the University of East Anglia have provided evidence, from research in mice, that transplanting fecal microbiota from young into old mice can reverse hallmarks of aging in the gut, eyes, and brain.

In the reverse experiment, microbes from aged mice induced inflammation in the brain of young recipients and depleted a key protein required for normal vision.

These findings show that gut microbes play a role in the regulating some of the detrimental effects of aging and open up the possibility of gut microbe-based therapies to combat decline in later life.

Prof Simon Carding, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School and head of the Gut Microbes and Health Research Program at the Quadram Institute, said: “This ground-breaking study provides tantalizing evidence for the direct involvement of gut microbes in aging and the functional decline of brain function and vision and offers a potential solution in the form of gut microbe replacement therapy.””

The ground-breaking crap science by Carding et al was published in a BioMedCentral journal in exchange for £3090.

Aimée Parker, Stefano Romano, Rebecca Ansorge, Asmaa Aboelnour, Gwenaelle Le Gall, George M. Savva, Matthew G. Pontifex, Andrea Telatin, David Baker, Emily Jones, David Vauzour, Steven Rudder, L. Ashley Blackshaw, Glen Jeffery & Simon R. Carding Fecal microbiota transfer between young and aged mice reverses hallmarks of the aging gut, eye, and brain, Microbiome (2022). DOI: 10.1186/s40168-022-01243-w

A series clinical trials is of course being prepared:

“A new facility for Microbiota Replacement Therapy (MRT), also known as Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT) is being built in the Quadram Institute that will facilitate such trials, as well as other trials for microbiota-related conditions.

Lead author of the study, Dr. Aimee Parker from the Quadram Institute said: “We were excited to find that by changing the gut microbiota of elderly individuals, we could rescue indicators of age-associated decline commonly seen in degenerative conditions of the eye and brain.”

Start with your own elderly relatives, you gobshites.


A minibrain cures autism

The University of California San Diego professor Alysson Muotri is considered to be a genius by fellow neuroscientists and stem cell researchers, which lets me question their own intellectual capacities, maybe our academic elites are not as smart as we tend to trust. Muotri’s trick is to use his networks of fans and supporters to publish in elite journals bullshit which is so outrageously insane that nobody dares to call it out for what it is: pseudoscience trash, at best incompetently misinterpreted and at worst just made up.

Muotri’s speciality are so-called minibrains: spherical cultures of stem-cell derived neurons and glia, which he even managed to send into space becasue someone paid for that. Muotri previously reported creating autistic and schizophrenic minibrains, Neanderthal minibrains, minibrains with cognitive capacities of newborn children, COVID-19 was also solved with minibrains, minibrains trained to fight each other in “crab-like robots” (I am not making this up!), and now this Californian minibrain has cured autism in minibrains.

UC San Diego issued a press release:

“In a study published May 02, 2022 in Nature Communications, scientists at University of California San Diego School of Medicine used human brain organoids to reveal how a genetic mutation associated with a profound form of autism disrupts neural development. Using gene therapy tools to recover the gene’s function effectively rescued neural structure and function.

Several neurological and neuropsychiatric diseases, including autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and schizophrenia have been linked to mutations in Transcription Factor 4 (TCF4), an essential gene in brain development. […] To explore this question, researchers focused on Pitt-Hopkins Syndrome, an ASD specifically caused by mutations in TCF4.”

This is classic Muotri bullshit: pull a random gene out of your arse and declare it as the gene responsible for brain disorders like autism and schizophrenia. Then let your “create” the desired lab results, nudge nudge wink wink say no more.

And never let contradicting results stand in your way:

“Existing mouse models of Pitt-Hopkins Syndrome fail to accurately mimic patients’ neural characteristics, so the UC San Diego team instead created a human research model of the disorder. Using stem cell technology, they converted patients’ skin cells into stem cells, which were then developed into three-dimensional brain organoids, or “mini-brains.”

Initial observations of the brain organoids revealed a slew of structural and functional differences between the TCF4-mutated samples and their controls.

“Even without a microscope, you could tell which brain organoid had the mutation,” said senior study author Alysson R. Muotri, PhD…”

Here is the paper:

Fabio Papes , Antonio P. Camargo , Janaina S. De Souza , Vinicius M. A. Carvalho , Ryan A. Szeto , Erin LaMontagne , José R. Teixeira , Simoni H. Avansini , Sandra M. Sánchez-Sánchez , Thiago S. Nakahara , Carolina N. Santo , Wei Wu , Hang Yao , Barbara M. P. Araújo , Paulo E. N. F. Velho , Gabriel G. Haddad , Alysson R. Muotri Transcription Factor 4 loss-of-function is associated with deficits in progenitor proliferation and cortical neuron content Nature Communications (2022)
doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-29942-w 

Like with all these other autistic, schizophrenic and Neanderthal minibrains Muotri created before, these “TCF4-mutated organoids were substantially smaller than normal organoids, and many of the cells were not actually neurons, but neural progenitors.” Never mind that mice deficient in these genes have perfectly normal brains instead of a shrivelled cancerous pulp Muotri’s research predicted. That’s why his research is so magical: Muotri’s lab gets groundbreaking results were others find absolutely nothing, no effect, no difference, and no paper in a Cell or Nature journal.

Muotri already announced to prepare a gene therapy on children:

“The team is currently optimizing their recently licensed gene therapy tools in preparation for such a trial, in which spinal injections of the genetic vector would hopefully recover TCF4 function in the brain.

“For these children and their loved ones, any improvements in motor-cognitive function and quality of life would be worth the try,” Muotri said.”

And this is how he fundraises such enormous money. Muotri constantly promises to cure sick children.


Vitamin D prevents cancer

A press release by Frontiers:

New research published in the journal Frontiers in Aging found that a combination of high-dose vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and a simple home strength exercise program (SHEP) reduced cancer risk by 61 percent in healthy persons aged 70 and older. […]

Mechanistic studies have shown that vitamin D inhibits the growth of cancer cells. Similarly, omega-3 may inhibit the transformation of normal cells into cancer cells, and exercise has been shown to improve immune function and decrease inflammation, which may help in the prevention of cancer.

Bischoff-Ferrari and her colleagues wanted to fill these knowledge gaps by testing the effect of daily high-dose vitamin D3 (one form of vitamin D supplements), daily supplemental omega-3s, and a simple home exercise program, alone and in combination, on the risk of invasive cancer among adults aged 70 or older. […]

To do so, the researchers conducted the DO-HEALTH trial: a three-year trial in five European countries (Switzerland, France, Germany, Austria, and Portugal) with 2,157 participants. […]

The results show that all three treatments (vitamin D3, omega-3s, and SHEP) had cumulative benefits on the risk of invasive cancers.

Each of the treatments had a small individual benefit but when all three treatments were combined, the benefits became statistically significant, and the researchers saw an overall reduction in cancer risk by 61%.

61% cancer risk reduction, god almighty, with nothing but with two cheep prescription-free supplements, get a Nobel Prize to everyone on that paper and name streets after them!

The study compelted already in January 2018 but its results were published only now. Obviously these results were so groundbreaking only Frontiers was good enough to publish them. Specifially, a new Frontiers journal which doesn’t even have a cherished impact factor yet.

Heike A. Bischoff-Ferrari, Walter C. Willett, JoAnn E. Manson, Bess Dawson-Hughes, Markus G. Manz, Robert Theiler, Kilian Braendle, Bruno Vellas, René Rizzoli, Reto W. Kressig, Hannes B. Staehelin, José A. P. Da Silva, Gabriele Armbrecht, Andreas Egli, John A. Kanis, Endel J. Orav and Stephanie Gaengler, DO-HEALTH Research Group, “Combined Vitamin D, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and a Simple Home Exercise Program May Reduce Cancer Risk Among Active Adults Aged 70 and Older: A Randomized Clinical Trial” Frontiers in Aging. (2022) DOI: 10.3389/fragi.2022.852643

The authors report consulting fees from various pharma companies, one author “is the scientific director of Forum D: a website dedicated to the critical revision and dissemination of knowledge regarding the medical uses of Vitamin D“.

This was the clincial trial, NCT01745263, supported by DSM Nutritional Products, Nestlé and Roche, the principal investigator is Heike Bischoff-Ferrari, of University of Zurich, Switzerland. 2152 participants were anticipated but 2157 recruited, unclear why.

The Zürich professor is a staunch proponent of Vitamin D supplementation for everyone over 65, so I quickly checked if she also recommended it for COVID-19, and of course she did:

Heike A. Bischoff-Ferrari , Reto W. Kressig , Christian Meier , Petra Stute Empfehlung zu Vitamin D im Rahmen der COVID-19-Pandemie für Geriater*Innen und Hausärzt*Innen Journal für Gynäkologische Endokrinologie/Schweiz (2021) doi: 10.1007/s41975-021-00180-5


The Yale Breakthrough

Yale researchers found the gene responsible for both cancer and obesity and how it can be pharmacologically targetted, for them to get rich and for you to get slim.

Here the Yale press release:

“Yale scientists have discovered that a protein known as augmentor-alpha regulates body weight in mice, a discovery that could lead to new treatments for metabolic disorders.

The findings were published on April 11, 2022, in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The research team decided to take a closer look at augmentor-alpha because of its connection to cancer.”

The last author is… the sexual harasser Joseph Schlessinger you met above, the one who likes to entertain his female lab members with porn pictures and penis jokes. Do you trust his science?

Anyway, Schlessinger has been working on ALK for years trying to market it for cancer, now he seeks a new, an even bigger market, which is obesity and diabetes:

“Fasting appeared to be a signal to make more of this protein,” said Joseph Schlessinger, the William H. Prusoff Professor of Pharmacology, co-director of the Yale Cancer Biology Institute, and senior author of the study.

The team then studied mice that lacked the protein altogether. Compared to typical mice, those without augmentor-alpha were thinner, whether they ate a normal or a high-fat diet. They were also more physically active than typical mice but did not eat significantly more food, which likely contributed to their thinness.”

Here is the paper:

Mansoor Ahmed, Navjot Kaur, Qianni Cheng, Marya Shanabrough, Evgenii O. Tretiakov, Tibor Harkany, Tamas L. Horvath and Joseph Schlessinger, “A hypothalamic pathway for Augmentor α–controlled body weight regulation” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (2022) DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2200476119

“The authors declare no competing interest.”

That despite Schlessinger holding a patent for “ALK regulators for the treatment of diseases and disorders“, assigned to the company Celldex where Schlessinger sits on scientific advisory board. If this isn’t a COI, what is, dear PNAS?

Instead of going through proper peer review, the PNAS paper was

“Contributed by Joseph Schlessinger; received January 10, 2022; accepted March 15, 2022; reviewed by Umut Ozcan and Emmanuel Van Obberghen”

Umut Ozcan was accused of sexual harassment himself, plus racism, bullying and other nasty things (read here). Harvard took Ozcan’s side, just like Yale took Schlessinger’s side. No wonder the two toxic men are such friends. Well bloody done PNAS.


News in Tweets

  • Ronald Plasterk, once research institute director, then Dutch government minister, now a businessman, might lose another paper for fraud (read here for backstory). Expression of Concern for Kloosterman et al PLOS Biology 2007.
  • The sleuth team keeps finding new fraud in papers by Squadrito’s Fraud Squad in Messina.
  • Royal Society of Chemistry admits that distilled water can’t be magnetized, although it passed peer review. The retraction notice declares: “The evidence provided does not support claims made by the authors of the paper regarding the likelihood of the reaction occurring as presented and the existence of magnetised water as described.
  • It wasn’t the first time Royal Society of Chemistry made this discovery, here an earlier retraction: “Although we maintain that the results obtained in distilled water are accurate, and believe that further experiments will confirm our conclusions, following discussions between the authors and the Royal Society of Chemistry, we have determined that the evidence presented regarding magnetised water in this paper is insufficient to support the conclusions and needs further investigation
  • First author Zhi-Qing Zhao in March 2020: “Since the original data were not available to retrieve the source of these figures, we decided to retract this article.Correction by Elsevier on 30 June 2020: “Figures 5, 6, and 7 have been removed as unfortunate errors appeared to show two panels with some features removed or added in Figure 5, one panel with repetitive features in Figure 6, and multiple panels with visible identical area within the same panel in Figure 7.” Zhao then on PubPeer, after more fraud was found in Fig 3: “Removal of these figures did not affect the quantitative statistical analysis because the mean in every group was obtained from 8 animals.
  • Elisabeth Bik is confused regarding this Elsevier Correction from 2019: “Could the authors please explain how a photo of a single western blot could show the same band twice as the result of an error? It looks to me that the duplication could only have happened by changing the photo digitally after it was taken. The new figure looks completely different from the original figure – were all the lanes in the original figure incorrect? How can the actin blot show double bands?
  • As you see, Springer Nature is taking research integrity seriously also. Look at this Correction for some fraudsters in China: “In the original publication of the article, there were several inadvertent errors in the Fig. 9a, b and Fig. 10c, d.
  • Please always remember that research fraudsters are all good, nice, caring people who dedicate their lives to serving humanity, how dare you accusing them.
  • Never spare money on papermills. Always order quality produce or you will get hack jobs like these. Oh never mind, it passed peer review anyway.

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13 comments on “Schneider Shorts 6.05.2022 – Porn and Penis Jokes

  1. Zebedee

    https://forbetterscience.com/2022/05/06/schneider-shorts-6-05-2022-porn-and-penis-jokes/#hmg

    “So here is a fake paper from the lab of Robin Ali, ophthalmologist and director of Centre for Cell and Gene Therapy at King’s College London.

    Mei Hong Tan , Alexander J. Smith , Basil Pawlyk , Xiaoyun Xu , Xiaoqing Liu , James B. Bainbridge , Mark Basche , Jenny McIntosh , Hoai Viet Tran , Amit Nathwani, Tiansen Li, Robin R. Ali Gene therapy for retinitis pigmentosa and Leber congenital amaurosis caused by defects in AIPL1: effective rescue of mouse models of partial and complete Aipl1 deficiency using AAV2/2 and AAV2/8 vectors Human Molecular Genetics (2009) doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddp133”

    As well as the problematic data pointed out in figure 6H there is also problematic data in figure 6I.
    Much more similar than expected.

    https://pubpeer.com/publications/8086D75DBDA8D17DF3933D38890A78#6

    Like

  2. Zebedee

    Human Molecular Genetics (2009) doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddp133

    https://pubpeer.com/publications/8086D75DBDA8D17DF3933D38890A78#7

    “Brought to my attention by another reader, Figure 6H appears to originate from Figure 4.9D (page 263) the PhD thesis of the first author, currently available here: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1318142/1/1318142.pdf

    Like

  3. Zebedee

    Paper shared author with Molecular Genetics (2009) doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddp133

    Gene Ther. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2010 Jul 1.
    Published in final edited form as:
    Gene Ther. 2010 Jan; 17(1): 117–131.
    Published online 2009 Aug 27. doi: 10.1038/gt.2009.104

    PMCID: PMC2804971
    NIHMSID: NIHMS137916
    PMID: 19710705
    Gene Therapy with a Promoter Targeting Both Rods and Cones Rescues Retinal Degeneration Caused by AIPL1 Mutations

    Xun Sun,1,* Basil Pawlyk,1,* Xiaoyun Xu,1 Xiaoqing Liu,1 Oleg Bulgakov,1 Michael Adamian,1 Michael A. Sandberg,1 Shahrokh C. Khani,2 Mei-Hong Tan,3 Alexander J. Smith,3 Robin R. Ali,3 and Tiansen Li1

    Author information
    1Berman-Gund Laboratory for the Study of Retinal Degenerations, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston, MA
    2Schepens Eye Research Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
    3Institute of Ophthalmology, NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, University College London, United Kingdom
    Correspondence: Tiansen Li, Ph.D., Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, 243 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114.
    tli@meei.harvard.edu
    *These two authors contributed equally to this work.

    Pubpeer comments: https://pubpeer.com/publications/A1A6A15A4EE8576FFABDD215CE703D

    Figure 1. Much more similar than expected.

    Figure 5. Much more similar than expected.

    Like

    • Zebedee

      Continuation Gene Ther. 2010 Jan; 17(1): 117–131.

      Additional problematic data. Figure 5B. Rod PDE panel. Much more similar than expected.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Zebedee

        Yet more problematic data Gene Ther. 2010 Jan; 17(1): 117–131. Schepens Eye Research Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

        Problematic data figure 1B. Cone PDE panel seems highly composite,
        vertical and horizontal changes in background.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Klaas van Dijk

    Readers might be interested in the processing by VU Amsterdam (Free University of Amsterdam) of a formal complaint against their full professor Ronald Meester about a.o. an antivax VU Amsterdam preprint he had published at ResearchGate. Mathematician Ronald Meester is a (hardcore) creationist and he is (nowadays) an antivaxxer. He is, towards the best of my knowledge, a devote christian.

    The Committee of Scientific Integrity (CWI) which has processed this complaint consisted of 3 persons: Jan Struiksma and Jon Schilder, both full law professors at VU Amsterdam, and Mariette van den Hoven, a (medical) ethicist at Amsterdam UMC (the VUmc part) and a full professor at VU Amsterdam https://research.vumc.nl/en/persons/mari%C3%ABtte-van-den-hoven

    Details with urls are posted in a thread at https://twitter.com/KlaasvanDijk5/status/1521449198331338758 (in Dutch).

    The CWI refused to organize a hearing about this complaint. Such a hearing is mandatory for complaints which are founded. The complaint was founded because the CWI was unable to deny that Meester had not informed the readers of his VU Amsterdam preprint about items like funding, affiliations and other interests (co-authors Aukema and Schetters are antivaxxers and both have (had) commercial (side)activities).

    The CWI refused very persistently to read a lengthy and detailed rebuttal on a response. The CWI refused very persistently to read the contents of tweets with detailed comments and of threads of tweets with detailed comments.

    The CWI refused to accept that Meester refers in his preprint to a (very) bad source / no sources at all and the CWI refused to accept that it is mandatory for all scientists to judge their sources very carefully.

    In other words, it is no problem at for all 3 members of the CWI that students and scientists use all kind of horrible antivax sources to support their findings, and it is not necessary at all to judge the credibility of the sources. It was impossible to convince these 3 member of the CWI that this is a very unscientific approach.

    So these 3 people refused to accept that you cannot use in a scientific publication rubbish of covid cranks to support your findings.

    The CWI regarded co-authors Wouter Aukema, an author of a notorious and very soon retracted antivax study in the MDPI journal Vaccines, and Theo Schetters as “good scientists”.

    The CWI also refused to incorporate other comments in their processing of this complaint. They just refuse to read for example the comments at ResearchGate and at other sources.

    The CWI refused to sort out the source and the details of the “reports about adverse events following vaccination” which are listed in the preprint. It was no problem at all for all 3 members of this CWI that a formal VU Amsterdam preprint can refer to these data without any idea about its origin and without any idea if these data were collected with the proper permits.

    The CWI refused to accept the (huge) differences between posting a preprint at ResearchGate where there is no quality at all and posting a preprint at a server with a basic quality control.

    It was also no problem at all for this CWI that Ronald Meester, a (hardcore) creationist, states that mutation does not take place in the virus causing smallpox.

    VU Amsterdam has christian roots and therefore does not need to fullfill to all parts of the Dutch law which are mandatory for all public universities. I have therefore informed the Dutch Inspectorate of Education about this case.

    This acting by Mariette van den Hoven, one of the 3 members of the CWI, is towards my opinion highly remarkable for a project coordinator of https://h2020integrity.eu/

    Like

  5. NMH, the failed scientist and incel

    Interesting reporting about Bar-Sagi …explains a lot. Why don’t she and Sabatini set up a research institute in the place where his father is from…Argentina…..Oh, that’s right, life is too good in the US, even if you are corrupt at multiple levels and contexts….Brazil is another possibility…Bosonaro would love these two…..

    Like

    • Mario Saad (who almost became rector in his UNICAMP university) will give Sabatini a top job right away.

      Liked by 1 person

      • NMH, the failed scientist and incel

        Indeed. Sabatini’s best bet is to get out of the country. Isn’t that island that Jeffery Epstein used to own is now for sale? C’mon, Sabatini and Bar-Sagi….get creative! Duh! If a failed scientist can see these possibilities, certainly you can….

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Rumori per nulla – ocasapiens

  7. Another brick in the research wall of shame of bullying, porn, and misconduct was Michael Katze (Microbiologist)
    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/azeenghorayshi/michael-katze-investigation

    It is a shame I have to read blogs, Variety, or Buzzfeed to get science news. Nature, Science, and Cell (CNS) et. al are busy pandering to the contributions of bigwigs at elite universities for impact factors and authoritarian countries like China.

    Liked by 1 person

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