Schneider Shorts of 3 June 2022 – various peer-reviewed covidiocies, the real cause of depression and how to treat it, science proving that political views and psychopathy are eugenically encoded, with job openings at Weill Cornell, coffee and bananas, and the horrible danger German professors and doctors try to save the children from.
Table of Discontent
- Jobs open at Weill Cornell – Dannenberg and Subbaramaiah out after misconduct investigation and mass retractions
- Sendung mit LGBTQ Maus – German professors and doctors against children’s TV
- Eugenics of politics – New York Times has the science for you
- Peer-reviewed Covidiocy – Editor Russell Blaylock shares his wisdom
- Spot the psycho – modern phrenology meets eugenics
- The real cause of depression – Spanish scholars warn of proline
- Mice and bananas – who fears whom?
- Drink coffee or die – another UK Biobank gem
- Ritalin fail – study shows what we long suspected
Jobs open at Weill Cornell
The Weill Cornell professors of cancer research Andrew Dannenberg and Kotha Subbaramaiah are gone, their profile websites deleted and now lead to error message (backups here and here). Maybe the recent 9 retractions in Cancer Prevention Research which followed the previous 10 retractions (9 of those in Journal of Biological Chemistry) were too much. This makes the bulk of Dannenberg’s PubPeer record retracted.
Retraction Watch reported in March 2020 that the two professors were under misconduct investigation. I briefly wrote about Dannenberg and Subbaramaiah before here:
Dannenberg was retired already in March 2021, as Weill Cornell announced back then:
“As Dr. Andrew J. Dannenberg begins his retirement on March 30, 2021, the Weill Department of Medicine expresses its appreciation for his 33 years of service in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Dr. Dannenberg was recruited to the division in 1988 as an Assistant Professor of Medicine and swiftly moved up the ranks to Professor of Medicine. He was appointed as the Henry R. Erle, M.D. – Roberts Family Professor of Medicine in 2000. Dr. Dannenberg was the Founding Director of the former Weill Cornell Cancer Center and, in recent years, served as the Associate Director of Cancer Prevention at the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center. Dr. Dannenberg is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, and the American Association for Cancer Research. We wish Dr. Dannenberg well in his next chapter. “
There was no next chapter, Dannenberg left academia aged 65. And now also Subbaramaiah is “retired”, after over 27 years as Weill Cornell professor and without an announcement or best wishes. Here is why:
“This article (1) has been retracted at the request of the authors. Following a review by Weill Cornell Medicine (New York, NY), evidence of data falsification or fabrication was found in a figure prepared by K. Subbaramaiah.”
It was this paper:
Priya Bhardwaj , Baoheng Du , Xi Kathy Zhou , Erika Sue , Michael D. Harbus , Domenick J. Falcone , Dilip Giri , Clifford A. Hudis , Levy Kopelovich , Kotha Subbaramaiah , Andrew J. Dannenberg Caloric restriction reverses obesity-induced mammary gland inflammation in mice Cancer Prevention Research (2013) doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.capr-12-0467
In any case, you can apply for Subbaramaiah’s and Dannenberg’s well-paid faculty jobs at Weill Cornell now. I can write for you a recommendation letter to the dean, Prof Augustine MK Choi.
Sendung mit LGBT Maus
A number of German professors and doctors are very concerned about the welfare and mental state of children. It is not the unfurling World War 3 or the climate change which worries our academic and medical elites, not at all. The biggest danger for the little children right now are the LGBTQ people, and the main enemy is the popular children program on public TV, “Sendung mit der Maus” (“The Show with the Mouse”), where children recently met a (once homeless) trans person.
Imagine being such hateful bigots that instead of enjoying your wealth and privileges, you are constantly obsessed with other people’s genitalia. So here is their open letter, translated:
“We scientists and doctors call on public service broadcasters to truthfully present biological facts and scientific findings. We demand a departure from the ideological approach to transsexuality and a fact-based presentation of biological facts according to the state of research and science.
We, the undersigned, as academics, have long observed how public service broadcasters have appropriated depictions of “queer” transgender ideology while denying scientific facts.
The starting point is always the false claim that there is not only one male and one female gender, but a variety of genders or intermediate stages between man and woman. The clear-cut notion of sex, which enables anisogamous reproduction, is mixed up with psychological and, above all, sociological claims, with the result that conceptual ambiguity arises.”
Well, actually, since some of them are biology professors they should have known about fluidity of gender and sex in animals. Like homosexual breeding pairs of birds (both male and female), or male fish which with age or under other certain circumstances change sex because they watched depraved children TV no wait, not because of that. In any case, interesting to see that these learned men and women only have sex for the purpose of reproduction.
“The subject of “trans” is brought to children and young people through public broadcasting, with the result that the number of children and young people treated for gender dysphoria has increased twenty-five-fold in less than ten years.”
That’s because in the good old days you just beat your son with a belt black and blue when he tried on women’s clothes, that fixed him all right. But nowadays, kids get offered support and counselling instead of such paternal therapy!
“We as scientists strongly oppose the notion that women and men are merely social constructs or felt identities. We see the achievements of the women’s movement threatened because from now on every man can declare himself to be a woman and penetrate her protected zones.”
What a language. They are really obsessed with sex, the dirty buggers.
They even made a dossier with all the depravities on TV:
“We demand an immediate course change in public service broadcasting. The material gathered here speaks for itself and is just the tip of the iceberg. Our documentation shows misrepresentations and biased reporting, term shifts and term confusion. In public broadcasting, scientists and critics are not heard, but questionable “experts” (those who are politically active and their so-called allies) are given a lot of space. There is a lack of critical questions, a distorted picture of reality is created that is based on refutable false information – and thus children and young people are themselves indoctrinated in a previously harmless “Sendung mit der Maus”.”
I recognise one of the signatories, Axel Meyer, professor for evolution at the University of Constance. Meyer is known to openly dislike everyone different from him: women, LGBTQ people, immigrants, even students at his own university (read here). This professor expects students to slave for him 70-80 hours a week, was previously reported by his victims for bullying, and found guilty of research misconduct. And here is Meyer indoctrinating children against queer people:
For the whole list of signatory professors and university clinicians, go to the open letter. It is quite a useful list on whose labs to avoid.
Eugenics of politics
The venerated New York Times published something very stupid, again.
This time it is a guest essay by a certain Thomas B. Edsall, a white octogenarian journalist, who wants you to accept that a person’s sociopolitical views are coded genetically, and he bombards you with what he thinks is scientific authority:
“Nonetheless, the topic continues to interest researchers, and there is a fairly constant stream of papers by credible and often esteemed scholars who have increasingly weighed in to argue that political behavior demonstrates both biological underpinnings and environmental influences.
Five who do take the plunge into the biological dimension of human behavior are Kevin Smith, Douglas Oxley and John Hibbing of the University of Nebraska, Matthew Hibbing of the University of Illinois and John Alford of Rice University. In “Linking Genetics and Political Attitudes: Reconceptualizing Political Ideology,” they write that
the evidence is now clear that certain phobias, preferences, and behaviors are innate. Phobias, maybe, but could humans be born with political predispositions, particularly predispositions concerning the specific, context-dependent individual issues analyzed in the behavioral genetics work? Research in political science is beginning to take seriously that this is indeed the case. A small but growing literature in the discipline has found consistent evidence that political attitudes and behaviors are at least partially heritable, and other studies have reported correlations between specific genes and political phenotypes.
David Adam, in “The promise and peril of the new science of social genomics,” which was published in the Oct. 19, 2019, edition of Nature, points to
an emerging trend: using huge amounts of data and computing power to uncover genetic contributions to complex social traits. Studies published in the past decade have examined genetic variants linked to aggression, same-sex sexual behavior, well-being and antisocial behaviors, as well as the tendency to drink and smoke. In doing such science, geneticists are heading for controversial territory.
It certainly is the subject of dispute.
Estimates from the Minnesota Twin Study show that sociopolitical conservatism is extraordinarily heritable (74 percent) for the most informed fifth of the public — much more so than population-level results (57 percent) — but with much lower heritability (29 percent) for the public’s bottom half.
They go on to argue that the results show that “political knowledge facilitates the expression of genetic predispositions in mass politics.”
Kalmoe and Johnson conclude:
Low-knowledge citizens may inherit genetic ideological predispositions like their high-knowledge peers, but those orientations are weak without the knowledge necessary to determine concrete attitudes and broader structures. Political knowledge is a key binding element for that political development. Merging two important and related but isolated fields in this way adds insight into the origins of ideology and the conditions for genetic influence in politics.
Scholars in the field of politics and heritability are generally in agreement about the partial heritability of political ideology.”
And so on, with even more academic experts being quoted ad nauseam. Apparently there are a lot of these eugenicists, mostly white privileged men who like to think of their sperm as being of a superior genetic quality. I don’t find it reassuring that elite universities host such scientifically illiterate tossers as professors, do you?
Medpage Today reports:
“A peer-reviewed neurosurgery journal published an article peddling false statements about the pandemic — without any evidence to support its claims, an expert said.
The editorial by Russell Blaylock, MD, in Surgical Neurology International, stating that the COVID-19 pandemic was “one of the most manipulated infectious disease events in history.”
The piece, entitled “COVID UPDATE: What is the truth?” claims that the pandemic was characterized by lies from government officials and medical societies. It claims that the media is orchestrating cover-ups, under the control of pharmaceutical companies. And it claims that “hundreds of thousands” have been killed by mRNA vaccines, and many times more have been injured.”
It is not a predatory journal, at least not officially (its Open Access fees lie between $80 and $400). SNI is edited by Nancy Epstein, professor at SUNY Stony Brook, and the UCLA professor James Ausman. Other editors are mostly faculty members at respectable universities in USA and Europe. They all apparently thought that unhinged covidiocy by Blaylock was serious science. Ausman certainly didn’t mind this, as narrated by MedPage Today:
“Blaylock has a history of spreading misinformation in the nutrition world, claiming that certain food additives are “excitotoxic” to the brain in normal doses. Many have credited the former neurosurgeon for starting the health scare around monosodium glutamate (MSG), after he wrote in his 1994 book, Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills, that it could be linked to brain damage and neurodegenerative diseases.
The physician has also historically opposed vaccines, notably stating that the swine flu was a human-made virus, and promoting cold showers as a remedy to counter the “dangerous effects” of the H1N1 vaccine.
Blaylock currently sells supplements called “Brain Repair Formula” and writes for the conservative news outlet Newsmax. He also serves as associate editor of the neuroinflammation section of Surgical Neurology International.”
“Several other references in Blaylock’s article are to items by physicians infamous for spreading COVID misinformation, being active in political movements, and speaking at conservative rallies, such as Peter McCullough, MD, Pierre Kory, MD, Meryl Nass, MD, and Joseph Mercola, DO, to name a few.”
By their own pronouncement, SNI is “committed to meeting and upholding standards of ethical behaviour at all stages of the publication process“, and operates “an unbiased double-blinded peer-review process” where the “manuscript is sent to at least two external reviewers“. But Blaylock’s paper was submitted on 6 February and accepted 5 days later on 11th.
Blaylock RL. COVID UPDATE: What is the truth?. Surg Neurol Int (2022) DOI: 10.25259/SNI_150_2022
But sure, let’s keep cursing those damn un-peer-reviewed preprints.
Spot the psycho
Once again, scientists have discovered a phrenological method to determine a psychopath. Here the press release:
“Neuroscientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore), the University of Pennsylvania, and California State University have discovered a biological distinction between psychopaths and non-psychopaths. Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, scientists discovered that the striatum, an area of the forebrain, was 10% bigger in psychopathic people compared to a control group of individuals with low or no psychopathic traits. […]
To conduct their study, the neuroscientists scanned the brains of 120 participants in the United States and interviewed them using the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised, a psychological assessment tool to determine the presence of psychopathic traits in individuals.
Assistant Professor Olivia Choy, from NTU’s School of Social Sciences, a neurocriminologist who co-authored the study, said “Our study’s results help advance our knowledge about what underlies antisocial behavior such as psychopathy. We find that in addition to social environmental influences, it is important to consider that there can be differences in biology, in this case, the size of brain structures, between antisocial and non-antisocial individuals.”
Naturally, as it is custom in phrenology, eugenics is heavily involved:
“Professor Adrian Raine from the Departments of Criminology, Psychiatry, and Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, who co-authored the study, stated “Because biological traits, such as the size of one’s striatum, can be inherited to a child from a parent, these findings give added support to neurodevelopmental perspectives of psychopathy”
Raine is the author of the 2013 book “The anatomy of violence: The biological roots of crime” where he discussed the genetic origins of criminal behaviour.
In an interview about his book, Raine explained:
“…science shows that 50 percent of the variance in crime is under genetic control. […]
There’s no question whatsoever that genetic influences play a very significant role in shaping crime and violence. That can no longer be disputed. What can be debated is what specific genes are involved – and in what way. The gene that codes for the enzyme MAOA does seem to be involved at some level, but there’s still a long way to go in the hunt for genes that predispose to violence.”
Back in 2013 Raine insisted that the “low resting heart rate is probably the best-replicated biological correlate of antisocial and aggressive behavior in children and adolescents“, also the misshaped amygdala gave away the psychopaths:
“One prime suspect in shaping psychopathic behavior is the amygdala – the seat of emotion. Psychopaths have a core emotional deficit – they lack conscience, remorse, and guilt. They just don’t feel feelings the way we do. Several studies are documenting volume reductions in this brain structure in psychopaths.”
And now that those claims have been debunked, it is the striatum:
Olivia Choy, Adrian Raine and Robert Schug “Larger striatal volume is associated with increased adult psychopathy” Journal of Psychiatric Research. (2022) DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2022.03.006
The paper is paywalled so I can’t check if these scholars propose to sterilise the men and women they determined to be psychopaths.
The real cause of depression
Here a depressively awful study from Spain. A press release by Pompeu Fabra University:
“Researchers from Girona Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBGI) and Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) in Barcelona, Spain, have discovered the role of an amino acid in depression in humans, mice, and flies. It is proline, an amino acid found in a broad range of foods such as gelatin, grass-fed beef, and wild-caught fish. The findings, published in the scientific journal Cell Metabolism, also link a proline-rich diet to an increased risk of developing depression.”
This was the paper:
Jordi Mayneris-Perxachs, Anna Castells-Nobau, María Arnoriaga-Rodríguez, Miquel Martin, Lisset de la Vega-Correa, Cristina Zapata, Aurelijus Burokas, Gerard Blasco, Clàudia Coll, Anira Escrichs, Carles Biarnés, José María Moreno-Navarrete, Josep Puig, Josep Garre-Olmo, Rafel Ramos, Salvador Pedraza, Ramón Brugada, Joan Carles Vilanova, Joaquín Serena, Jordi Gich, Lluís Ramió-Torrentà, Vicente Pérez-Brocal, Andrés Moya, Reinald Pamplona, Joaquim Sol, Mariona Jové, Wifredo Ricart, Manuel Portero-Otin, Gustavo Deco, Rafael Maldonado and José Manuel Fernández-Real, “Microbiota alterations in proline metabolism impact depression” Cell Metabolism (2022) DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2022.04.001
This was the human trial, not preregistered because the participants were mostly people with obesity or cardiovascular issues (but without any clinical depression), treated in the Barcelona hospitals years before:
“To reach these conclusions, on the one hand, the type and amount of amino acids in the diet of the participants were analyzed. Participants also completed a questionnaire to measure their depressive mood. “We were surprised that what was most associated with depression, evaluated through this questionnaire, was the consumption of proline,” says Dr. Fernández-Real, of the IDIBGI” […]
But not everyone who had a high intake of proline was more depressed. When studying these people’s intestinal microbiota, a relationship was also observed between depression and bacteria, as well as between depression and bacterial genes associated with proline metabolism. Thus, it was observed that circulating proline levels depended on the microbiota.”
God what awfully stupid crap. But wait, the mouse study was even more stupid. Can you guess what they did? Yep, human-to-mouse stool transplants.
“To find out if the presence of proline was a cause or a consequence of depressive mood, participants’ microbiota was transplanted into mice. The rodents that became more depressed had received the microbiota of participants with high proline, or more depressed subjects. Different genes associated with the transport of proline were also found in the brains of these mice.”
And they also did fruit fly experiments! Having failed to transfer the stools of human participants into fly anuses, the Spanish geniuses tried it from the other end:
“Another confirmatory experiment was carried out using fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster), in which a more depressive mood can be induced. The researchers isolated two types of bacteria from the microbiota associated with proline consumption and added them to the flies’ sterilized feed. Flies that ingested food with Lactobacillus, which in mice was associated with less depression, showed they were more willing to overcome difficulties they faced afterward. In contrast, those that ingested Enterobacter, which is associated with depression in humans, were much more depressed.
Finally, the same experiment was performed on genetically modified flies to eliminate the channels that carry proline to the brain. In this case, the proline was unable to reach the brain, and the flies proved to be highly resilient to depression.”
Is this just ineptness and stupidity or was the good old Spanish research misconduct involved, to produce such utterly insane crap? But it was perfect financially rewarding clickbait for Cell Press (Open Access fee at Cell Metabolism is whooping €7,600!), and now everyone is excited because it appeared in a Cell-themed journal.
Mice and bananas
Did you know that male mice were afraid of the smell of bananas? I didn’t, but here is the science:
“Scientists have identified a form of chemical signaling in mice to defend their offspring. The researchers, from McGill University, found that proximity to pregnant and lactating female mice increased stress hormones in males and even reduced their sensitivity to pain.
“The findings have important implications for improving the reliability and reproducibility of experiments involving mice. This is yet another example of a previously unknown factor in the lab environment that can affect the results of scientific studies,” says Jeffrey Mogil, a Professor in the Department of Psychology at McGill University and E. P. Taylor Chair in Pain Studies. […]
The researchers started looking for the olfactory chemical responsible. Several odorants were identified, but one, n-pentyl acetate, which is released in the urine of pregnant and lactating female mice, was especially effective at producing stress in male mice.
“Curiously, n-pentyl acetate is also responsible for the unique smell of bananas. After a quick trip to the supermarket for some banana oil, we were able to confirm that the smell of banana extract stressed the male mice just as much as the pregnant females,” says co-author Lucas Lima.
I looked up pentyl acetate and Wikipedia says it smells like bananas and apples. Also the authors write in their paper that the chemical is “found in a variety of fruits“. Which either mean mice must be also afraid of all those, which is hardly credible. Or rather, mice of any sex aren’t really afraid of any fresh fruit (unless you attack them with it), and the story was just clickbait.
Here is the paper anyway:
Sarah F. Rosen, Lucas V. Lima, Civia Chen, Rachel Nejade, Mengyi Zhao, Wataru Nemoto, Ece Toprak, Aleksandrina Skvortsova, Shannon N. Tansley, Alicia Zumbusch, Susana G. Sotocinal, Charlotte Pittman and Jeffrey S. Mogil, “Olfactory exposure to late-pregnant and lactating mice causes stress-induced analgesia in male mice” Science Advances. (2022) DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abi9366
The only reference to actual bananas there is:
Drink coffee or die
Nothing is too silly in coffee-sponsored coffee research. We were told many times that if you don’t drink coffee you will get sick, stupid and die. Now another warning, from the American College of Physicians:
“A cohort study has found that compared to non-coffee drinkers, adults who drank moderate amounts (1.5 to 3.5 cups per day) of unsweetened coffee or coffee sweetened with sugar were less likely to die during a 7-year follow-up period.”
Now you must also add sugar to your coffee, or the Grim Reaper will get you for non-compliance.
Unsurprisingly, this caffeinated idiocy from the Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China, is derived from the UK Biobank, where participant data can be pressed to extract any random correlation flavour. Play with the numbers a bit and not drinking enough coffee will turn you gay.
“More than 171,000 participants from the U.K. without known heart disease or cancer were asked several dietary and health behavior questions to determine coffee consumption habits.
– The authors found that during the 7-year follow up period, participants who drank any amount of unsweetened coffee were 16 to 21% less likely to die than participants who did not drink coffee.
– They also found that participants who drank 1.5 to 3.5 daily cups of coffee sweetened with sugar were 29 to 31% less likely to die than participants who did not drink coffee.
– The authors noted that adults who drank sugar-sweetened coffee added only about 1 teaspoon of sugar per cup of coffee on average.
– Results were inconclusive for participants who used artificial sweeteners in their coffee.”
Here is the paper:
Dan Liu Zhi-Hao Li, Dong Shen,, Pei-Dong Zhang, Wei-Qi Song, Wen-Ting Zhang, Qing-Mei Huang, Pei-Liang Chen, Xi-Ru Zhang, and Chen Mao, Association of Sugar-Sweetened, Artificially Sweetened, and Unsweetened Coffee Consumption With All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality – A Large Prospective Cohort Study Ann Int Med (2022) doi: 10.7326/M21-2977
For a change, some bit of actually useful science I am not planning to make fun of.
A press release from Florida International University:
“For decades, most doctors, parents, and teachers have believed that stimulant medications help children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) learn. However, in the first study of its kind, scientists at the Center for Children and Families at Florida International University (FIU) found medication has no detectable impact on how much children with ADHD learn in the school classroom.
Approximately 10 percent of children in the U.S. are diagnosed with ADHD. Of those, more than 90 percent are prescribed stimulant medication as the main form of treatment in school settings because most doctors believe that medication will result in better academic achievement.”
Two or even three generations of Americans have been growing up on psychopharmaca like methylphenidate (Ritalin), after being arbitrarily diagnosed with ADHS. On top of the other opioid epidemic already happening in US.
This was the Florida study:
“Researchers evaluated 173 children between the ages of 7 and 12 with ADHD participating in the center’s Summer Treatment Program, a comprehensive eight-week summer camp program for children with ADHD and related behavioral, emotional, and learning challenges.
Children completed two consecutive phases of daily, 25-minute instruction in vocabulary and subject-area content in science and social studies. […] Each child was randomized to be medicated with a sustained-release stimulant medication during either the first or second of the instructional phases, receiving a placebo during the other.
Contrary to expectations, researchers found that children learned the same amount of science, social studies, and vocabulary content whether they were taking the medication or the placebo.”
This is the paper, the medication used was methylphenidate:
Pelham, W. E. III, Altszuler, A. R., Merrill, B. M., Raiker, J. S., Macphee, F. L., Ramos, M., Gnagy, E. M., Greiner, A. R., Coles, E. K., Connor, C. M., Lonigan, C. J., Burger, L., Morrow, A. S., Zhao, X., Swanson, J. M., Waxmonsky, J. G., & Pelham, W. E., Jr., “The effect of stimulant medication on the learning of academic curricula in children with ADHD: A randomized crossover study” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. (2022) DOI: 10.1037/ccp0000725
“In this controlled study, there was no detectable impact of extended-release methylphenidate on the learning of units of academic material taught via small-group, evidence-based instruction. Methylphenidate improved seatwork productivity and classroom behavior, as in many previous studies, but these benefits did not translate into improved learning of academic material.”
Yet Ritalin is being prescribed to everyone for exactly same reasons opioids are being prescribed in US: because the pharma industry (and the prescribing doctors) profit from it.
News in Tweets
- Sad news for the Cassava Sciences fraudsters. Another retraction, for Wang et al 2017: “Following publication, concerns have been raised regarding the western blot images presented in Figs. 1, 5 and 6. The authors have provided the raw data, which have been assessed by independent experts and deemed insufficient to address the concerns. The Editors-in-Chief therefore no longer have confidence in the integrity of the data in this article.“
- Didier Raoult and his criminal gang at IHU Marseille published in September 2021 another peer-reviewed paper on their fraudulent quackery: “Early combination therapy with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin reduces mortality in 10,429 COVID-19 outpatients“. But now Cheshire spotted who the editor was:
- Speaking of French covid-19 quacks. Out of nowhere, bunch of people from University of Angers arrived with a paper in PLOS Medicine, titled “High-dose versus standard-dose vitamin D supplementation in older adults with COVID-19 (COVIT-TRIAL): A multicenter, open-label, randomized controlled superiority trial“. 260 patients received Vitamin D3 in an open label trial, tThe study’s findings are that “the early administration of high-dose versus standard-dose vitamin D3 to at-risk older patients with COVID-19 improved overall mortality at day 14. The effect was no longer observed after 28 days.” The first and corresponding author Cédric Annweiler declared that he “occasionally serves as a consultant for Mylan company” which “supplied the vitamin D3 supplement used in the study.” Mylan was also the official collaborator of this clinical trial NCT04344041.
- Russophobia! Although, Richard Pestell, penultimate author of this russian-authored Gomzikova et al Oncotarget 2017 , has impressive 45 papers on PubPeer, lots of fraud in those. Maybe this is why Pestell stopped being Director of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center and Executive Vice President at Thomas Jefferson University, and now is “President” of the Pennsylvania Cancer and Regenerative Medicine Research Center of the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute. An impressive-sounding science hub which consists of, let me count… one single lab, that of Pestell, hosting also his two Chinese former postdocs (now “associate professors”) who followed Pestell from Kimmel (probably because their names are on several problematic papers).
- Groundbreaking science from Poland: “Pairwise comparisons of adjusted means with Sidak correction showed that Catholic bishops live significantly longer than Catholic priests. No difference was found between the length of life of male academic teachers and bishops or between priests and male academic teachers.” (Banasik-Jemielniak et al 2021)
- In China, academics often put their school-age children as co-authors on papers to assure later university admittance. Usually it works great, nobody notices or minds. For their peers in Korea, it didn’t work out. The Choi et al 2012 retraction notice says: “Based on the conclusions of investigation carried out by the Committee on Research Integrity of Seoul National University, the editorial board concluded that the article represents unjustified authorship. Specially, it was verified that the two high school students who did not contribute to the work had been included as coauthors in the article.“
- Congratulations to Anna Abalkina, but now her work is officially called “The Retraction Watch Hijacked Journal Checker.”
- “‘Helicopter research’ occurs when researchers from high-income settings, or who are otherwise privileged, conduct studies in lower-income settings or with groups who are historically marginalized, with little or no involvement from those communities or local researchers in the conceptualization, design, conduct or publication of the research. ‘Ethics dumping’ occurs when similarly privileged researchers export unethical or unpalatable experiments and studies to lower-income or less-privileged settings with different ethical standards or less oversight. […] In the new guidance, Nature will be encouraging its journals’ authors, editors and reviewers to consider the Global Code when developing, conducting, reviewing and communicating research.” (Nature)
- “After years of delays and excuses, Northwest Biotherapeutics finally disclosed on Tuesday the final results from a late-stage clinical trial of its personalized cancer vaccine administered to patients with brain tumors. The treatment’s data are as bad as expected — performing worse than a placebo.” (STAT News)
- Lisa Jones-Engel “worked at NYU’s Laboratory for Experimental Medicine and Surgery in Primates, and then at the University of Washington’s primate research center” until “in late 2019 she took a drastic and irrevocable step: she said yes to a job at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) as a senior science adviser, a move she never would have predicted when she started her career. She made herself a promise: she would shut down the country’s seven remaining primate centers within the next 10 years.” (The Guardian)
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