Schneider Shorts of 22 July 2022 – Racist’s talk cancelled in Vienna, Polish plant scientist sees career cancelled, grand old cancer fraudster sacrifices two lambs, Spiderman to focus on fiction full-time, with aspiring Greek cheaters, sexy sockpuppets, Ayurveda for diabetes, proof that birds aren’t real and US Congress celebrating the real papermill heroes.
Table of Discontent
- Kirkegaard cancelled – far-right racist paedophilia-proponent not talking in Vienna
- Magda Migocka cancelled – papers gone, job gone, and now habilitation is gone, too
- Spiderman cancelled – Jonathan Pruitt to focus full time on fiction writing
- Penninger rules – who cares about dodgy data when Nobel awaits for curing COVID-19!
- Croce’s sacrificial lambs cancelled – the grand old fraudster whitewashed by Ohio State, but sues anyway
- Smut cancelled – US House of Representatives attributes Smut Clyde’s work to Byrne and Oransky
- Ayurveda for diabetes – Amazing meta-analysis from Nottingham, in Frontiers
- Clean up, stupid! – MDPI study with advice on how to make your kids smart
- Birds aren’t real – a huge study tries to explain turtle geriatrics
News in Tweets
A scientific conference is taking place on July 25–27, 2022 at the University of Vienna in Austria, the 22nd Annual ISIR Conference. One of its speakers was expected to be the Danish far-right eugenicist Emil Kirkegaard.
Kirkegaard is the current domain owner of Nazi-founded racist pseudoscience journal Mankind Quarterly and publisher of the racist pseudojournal OpenPsych. He is described by RationaWiki as
was also one of the organisers of racist eugenics conferences with “Neo-Nazi links” at UCL in London. Kirkegaard once suggested (in a comment section here)
and went even further in a now deleted post from 2012:
Kirkegaard’s invitation was no an accident, he is a regular fixture at ISIR conferences, Rational Wiki mentions:
Basically, this International Society for Intelligence Research keeps hosting Kirkegaard as a speaker not despite him being a racist eugenicist with Nazi links and paedophile leanings, but exactly because of those. ISIR, I am shocked to find out, is nothing but a club of racist and eugenicist psychologists seeking to prove that Black and poor people are biologically inferior.
ISIR’s flagship journal, Intelligence, used to be edited by the infamous racists Richard Lynn and Gerhard Meisenberg, whose main business is or was to run Mankind Quarterly. As Angela Saini, author of the book Superior, found out:
“Both Meisenberg and Lynn also serve on the editorial board of Intelligence, a psychology journal also published by Elsevier. Meisenberg has authored at least eight articles for it over the years, including one in 2010 on the average IQ of sub-Saharan Africans, and another in 2013 on the relationship between “national intelligence” and economic success.”
Basically, not Kirkegaard was the real problem here, but the psychology professors of ISIR who keep inviting him. But now he has been cancelled due to public protests. The University of Vienna told me:
The university press speakers kept repeating this each time I asked for a statement, refusing to form an opinion of Kirkegaard’s activities and referring me to ISIR instead. They also refused to form an opinion on ISIR, which keeps inviting Kirkegaard, and which is quite likely to let him roam the premises of the University of Vienna, but without giving a speech this time. The university doesn’t seem to have an issue with ISIR and its conferences, except maybe with Kirkegaard speaking.
That is because racism and eugenics is that deeply entrenched in academia. Here, Britain’s self-declared top anti-racist Professor Adam Rutherford finds Kirkegaard merely obnoxious and scientificality weak. Dang, Rutherford had much stronger views on my person.
I wrote about Kirkegaard, Lynn and even Rutherford in these articles:
MDPI and racism
In 2019, MDPI published a Special Issue “Beyond Thirty Years of Research on Race Differences in Cognitive Ability”, one year later its owner Shu-Kun Lin expressed admiration for Trump and said “Black Lives Matter. White Lives Matter. All Lives Matter.”
Satoshi Kanazawa and other racist “Galileos”
Outright racism and misogyny became rare in academia, eugenics and bigotry lurk these days not in Mankind Quarterly but in respected journals, wrapped in fancy genetics and neuroscience. Meet one of the last of the old school racist IQ psychologists, Satoshi Kanazawa.
I am not a racist but…
Some geneticists have very unorthodox ideas. These might sound like racism or eugenics to simple folks, but it is really high science. UK Biobank is apparently on board.
Magda Migocka cancelled
In 2019, I reported the affair of the Polish plant scientist Magdalena Migocka of the University of Wroclaw.
Magdalena Migocka blames students for impending retractions
Magdalena Migocka is a shooting star of plant sciences in Poland. Now she will have to retract at least two papers, for which she blames her incompetent students.
The Polish academic Marek Wronski writes now in an article on Forum Akademickie how it went from there:
“About Dr. Schneider, I was informed on June 12, 2019. It was read and discussed in several forums. Two days later, I wrote an email to the then rector of the University of Wrocław, prof. Adam Jezierski, asking him to initiate disciplinary explanatory proceedings ex officio due to allegations of falsifying illustrations in the works of Dr. M. Migocka. I added: “I am asking for formal treatment of my letter, as the matter has an international dimension and strikes the prestige of the University of Wrocław. Some of the works are already being examined by editorial offices, which for their part will take steps leading to a possible retraction if the allegations are confirmed, but the University cannot stand idly in such a case ”. After three days, on June 17, 2019, I received from the Rector of the University of Wrocław. the answer that he knows the case, and in order to investigate the allegations of Dr. Schneider, a departmental committee was established – it is about substantive explanations. After the allegations are confirmed, disciplinary proceedings will be initiated.
In turn, as I was informed in writing by the dean of the WNB, Dariusz Skarżyński, on June 6, 2019, he asked the rector Jezierski to initiate explanatory proceedings, but the latter recommended that a dean’s commission should be appointed. […]
The commission’s report was delivered to Rector Jezierski on July 4, 2019, and the latter found that “it could not be unequivocally decided whether a scientific dishonesty had been committed” and ordered an IT specialist to investigate what the commission did. As Dean Skarżyński wrote to me, the second report, supplemented with an analysis of computer graphics made by experts from the Institute of Informatics of the University of Wrocław, was presented to the rector on November 4, 2019. The allegations were allegedly confirmed here. Unfortunately, the dean’s authorities left the matter of retraction in the hands of Dr. Migocka, who tried to “save” as many of her works as possible.”
The consequences for Migocka were, it seems, that if she leaves quietly and on her own accord, there will be no misconduct findings and disciplinary measures against her:
“As a year later, I was informed by the new rector, prof. Przemysław Wiszewski, the disciplinary spokesman appointed by Rector Jezierski, after a long analysis of the documents, suggested that the author should be admonished (sic!). However, it was not done in time, because dr hab. Magdalena Migocka on March 30, 2020, resigned from work at the University of Wrocław by mutual consent. So far, editorial offices have managed to retract three of her articles.”
There were two investigations, actually, and neither of the two reports was released to public because both the dean and the rector suppressed them:
“A slightly different description of the early events (which in my opinion is reliable) was presented to me by the director of the Institute of Experimental Biology, Prof. Robert Wysocki. […] The Dean received a written request to appoint [an independent] committee to clarify whether scientific misconduct was committed in the works discussed at PubPeer.”
But Migocka left University of Wroclaw with a “habilitation”, a German-style academic degree traditionally entitling to apply for a position of professor. In this regard:
“…prof. Wysocki expressed the opinion that it is necessary to re-initiate the habilitation process of Dr. Migocka. […]
My August inquiries and phone calls made the new dean, dr hab. Marcin Kadej, Eng., on September 10, appointed a four-person ad hoc committee. On September 17, 2020, she asked the new rector, Przemysław Wiszewski, to ask the Central Commission to reconsider the application of Dr. M. Migocka for the award of the habilitation degree. The basis is the fact that out of 7 theses of the habilitation achievement, 5 publications have already been canceled, and the sixth one is at risk of retraction. A week later, the rector formally applied for the resumption of the habilitation process.”
And then Migocka lost not only her papers but also her academic degree:
“On June 15, 2021, a meeting of the habilitation commission was convened. All three reviews were negative and emphasized that the invalidation of 5 publications essentially deprived the habilitation of scientific value. […] The vote unanimously stated that the habilitation could not be maintained.
On June 24, 2021, the Scientific Discipline Council Biology of University of Wroclaw adopted a resolution to repeal the resolution of May 19, 2016 and refused to confer the degree of habilitated doctor in the resumed procedure. It is final because no appeal has been received.”
Now also Migocka’s research grant of PLN 500k is under investigation as well, because it was awarded based on papers now retracted for fraud. Wronski ends his long read with:
“I regret to mention that during the term of office of Rector Adam Jezierski (chemist), the matter at the University of Wrocław was not dealt with as needed, but it was close to being “buried”.
As far as I know, Dr. Migocka quit science.[…] Let this sad story serve as a warning to others that taking shortcuts can derail even a promising career.”
I personally want to thank Dr Wronski for not giving up and pushing for proper investigations.
The fraudulent animal ecologist Jonathan Pruitt, called “Spiderman” due to his specialisation, finally can focus full-time on his alternative career as fantasy and science fiction writer.
All these legal threats against his former collaborators and journal editors didn’t help.
Spiderman’s lawyer is having you for dinner tonight
Spider researcher Jonathan Pruitt is accused by his coauthors of data manipulations, after 3 retractions they demand more. A lawyer’s letter was supposed to stop that, but Pruitt tells me: “I’m happy for folks to engage in public discourse about my data integrity””
The McMaster University in Canada let him go after his prestigious funding as Canada 150 Research Chair was revoked, rendering Pruitt a liability. As Science reports:
“With a pivotal research misconduct hearing nearing, a behavioral ecologist under fire for more than 2 years for data irregularities or possible fabrication in dozens of publications has resigned from their prestigious position at McMaster University, Science has learned. The Canadian school confirmed yesterday in a statement it has reached a “confidential” settlement with Jonathan Pruitt […]
Although Pruitt is no longer employed by McMaster as of 10 July, according to the statement, the university has still not revealed any conclusions from a recently completed probe into the scientist’s research. That leaves some journal editors and researchers in the field confused about what work from Pruitt remains trustworthy and whether any research misconduct occurred.”
As PZ Myers helpfully suggested: “NONE OF IT.“
One of Pruitt’s former collaborators and whistleblowers, Nicholas DiRienzo, was quoted by CBS on this occasion:
“He also said McMaster’s probe doesn’t go far enough and the university should be more open about its findings.
“That’s really problematic, there’s a number of my colleagues who still have reputational harm,” he said, referring to a lack of transparency.
“I’m disappointed there’s not a clear, more defined report from an independent investigation.””
Elsewhere in Canada, another 150 Research Chair can only laugh at such failed scientists like Pruitt.
Where others fall arse over tit over their dodgy data, Josef Penninger only rose higher and higher. The man seems to be firmly convinced to eventually get his deserved Nobel Prize, presumably for his private company’s COVID-19 cure which helped establish his reputation as Austria’s national hero and Canada’s biggest asset. I wrote about Penninger (who just happens to be a friend of Guido Kroemer!) here:
Mr ACE2 Josef Penninger, Greatest Scientist of Our Time
As a young Wunderkind, Josef Penninger discovered the ACE2 receptor. Now he invented the cure for the coronavirus which will work in his hands where Big Pharma failed. He was never found guilty of research misconduct and never retracted a paper. Dr Penninger is a Genius making a COVID-19 vaccine.
And here is yet another recently flagged Penninger paper, featuring Kroemer and another questionable star of biomedicine, C Ronald Kahn:
J. Andrew Pospisilik , Claude Knauf , Nicholas Joza , Paule Benit , Michael Orthofer , Patrice D. Cani , Ingo Ebersberger , Tomoki Nakashima , Renu Sarao , Gregory Neely , Harald Esterbauer, Andrey Kozlov, C. Ronald Kahn, Guido Kroemer , Pierre Rustin , Remy Burcelin , Josef M. Penninger Targeted deletion of AIF decreases mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation and protects from obesity and diabetes Cell (2007) doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2007.08.047
The good news is that absolutely nobody cares. Certainly not Penninger, Kroemer or Kahn. Also Elsevier’s elite journal Cell doesn’t care, because bad science is their business model. And now I checked if the IMBA institute in Vienna cares, which Penninger founded. Or his University of British Columbia where he founded another institute. They never replied because they don’t give a flying f***. It seems they really expect their “Mr ACE2” to receive a Nobel Prize for his not really convincing COVID-19 cure.
Croce’s sacrificial lambs cancelled
Nature has an story about Carlo Croce, the indestructible and extremely litigious Italian cancer cheater and unsackable professor at Ohio State University (OSU):
“Five years ago, OSU, in Columbus, opened inquiries into papers from Croce’s lab. Although the university has not announced the results, Nature has learnt that these proceeded to formal investigations, two of which found multiple instances of research misconduct — including data falsification and plagiarism — by scientists Michela Garofalo and Flavia Pichiorri, in papers they’d authored while in Croce’s laboratory. The findings, made in 2020 and 2021, are the first determinations of research misconduct relating to work done in Croce’s lab. OSU released them to Nature under a public-records request.
A third formal investigation concluded last year that Croce himself was not guilty of research misconduct, Nature has also learnt from legal proceedings Croce launched after the findings. But investigators criticized how he managed his laboratory, and OSU told him to retract or correct more than a dozen papers with problems including plagiarized text or falsified images. Last September, OSU stripped Croce of an endowed chair, the John W. Wolfe Chair in Human Cancer Genetics. He remains employed at the university, on a salary of more than US$820,000, and holds an $843,904 grant from the US National Institutes of Health, looking at genetic alterations that might lead to cancers.
In statements to Nature, Garofalo and Pichiorri challenged their respective OSU investigations. Garofalo called hers “false and discriminatory”; Pichiorri said hers was “biased and discriminatory”. Both added that “legal action will be taken”.
Croce, meanwhile, is now suing the university’s board of trustees to try to regain the chair, and is claiming more than $1 million in damages over its actions”
Garofalo and Pichiorri were publicly sacrificed for Croce’s sins for two simple reasons: 1) they are both female and 2) they are both nobodies. Because fact is: Croce’s male mentees, especially the MD Anderson professor George Calin, are guilty of much worse things, but they are untouchable just like Croce is.
But Nature never mentions Calin or anyone else, just the two guilty women. That is because the OSU and other authorities want you to think that everything is under control, the fraudsters Garofalo and Pichiorri were apprehended, and that there was nobody else. The article mentions this recent retraction, a PLOS One paper from Naples, Italy.
Michela Garofalo , Cristina Quintavalle , Ciro Zanca , Assunta De Rienzo , Giulia Romano , Mario Acunzo , Loredana Puca , Mariarosaria Incoronato , Carlo M. Croce , Gerolama Condorelli Akt regulates drug-induced cell death through Bcl-w downregulation PLoS ONE (2008) doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0004070
It perspires from the Nature article that Croce is sending lawyers to threaten journal editors with lawsuits to avoid retractions, and is quite successful in that:
“In his response to Nature, Croce says that of the 11 so-far retracted papers that he co-authored, only one was a primary research paper stemming from his lab.
Very few of the papers in which OSU found plagiarism, data falsification or other errors have been retracted or corrected.”
I really don’t understand how any scientist can read all this about Croce’s untouchability, the support he enjoys from his peers in USA and Italy, the immense power he still has in cancer research, the fat NIH funding he keeps receiving and the money he keeps personally making (at a public university!), and then return to the lab and continue pipetting, instead of quitting the job or setting fire to everything. What’s the point of doing science if even Croce is allowed to continue unpunished, and to have it all?
To motivate you even further, Croce’s fraudster collaborators in Italy, Alfredo Fusco and Giorgio Zauli, are untouchable also. The former had 23 retractions but remains in his professorship position in Naples, and the latter relaxes after a successfully completed rectorship term in Ferrara and never even had to retract a single paper.
La Piovra Ferrarese di Giorgio Zauli
Giorgio Zauli’s rectorship term ends. Will research fraud, media harassment and whistleblower persecution be a thing of the past at the University of Ferrara? Ma dai, basta cazzate.
The game of “take Smut Clyde’s papermill credit and give it to Prof Byrne” has received a seal of approval from the highest authority: The United States Congress and its House of Representatives.
The Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight of the US Congress had on 20 July 2022 a hearing on “Paper Mills and Research Misconduct: Facing the Challenges of Scientific Publishing“, chaired by the parliamentarians Bill Foster (D-IL) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX).
Interviewed as witnesses were:
- Jennifer Byrne, Professor of Molecular Oncology at University of Sydney (whom everyone credits with Smut Clyde’s papermill work)
- Chris Graf, Research Integrity Director at Springer Nature (who contributed to spreading the myth that Byrne was Smut Clyde)
- Brandon Stell, Paris-based neuroscientist and PubPeer founder (who hates Schneider so much they would happily credit anyone, any random source, even russian TV, but never For Better Science).
There is also a public document associated with this hearing. It goes a long way to assign the credit for the work by Smut Clyde and others to Byrne and Retraction Watch (many references go to latter). Like this:
“Despite the efforts of publishers, many fraudulent papers are detected following publication by a primarily volunteer post-publication review community. Many members of this community started as academics and then altered or expanded their trajectory after a serendipitous encounter with research misconduct. For instance, Dr. Elisabeth Bik was an academic microbiologist by training who now makes a living through her expertise at detecting image manipulation and her services as a research integrity consultant.22 Others, such as Dr. Jennifer Byrne, are academics who have broadened their area of study while maintaining a traditional professorship at a research university. […]
Unfortunately, some volunteers who identify research misconduct report harassment and lawsuits from authors they have called out,25 and others stay anonymous in part to avoid receiving that kind of reaction.26“
The reference 25 is to an article about Didier Raoult threatening to sue Bik (at the end he sued other people though, including myself), and the reference 26 is the only one to For Better Science, to an old guest post by Cheshire.
This means, they all very well know For Better Science and regularly read Smut Clyde’s investigations on Chinese papermills there. But they decided to deny this information to everyone else, so that the approved research integrity folks like Byrne or Ivan Oransky of Retraction Watch can have the credit for themselves instead. Like here:
“To combat fraud as effectively as possible, these volunteers have coalesced around several websites for communication and coordination, including Twitter.27 The blog Retraction Watch is also a valuable resource for the community as a provider of the latest news on fraud detection, a place to post findings that might not fit in traditional journals, and as a database of all journal retractions.28”
A practice which is ridiculously too common:
Editors and other real papermill heroes
“Long story short, we investigated our published papers and then retracted those with data integrity issues. That is it.” – Dr Heather Smith, Editor-in-Chief
The House investigation even managed to advertise for Proofig, the business of Dror Kolodkin-Gal:
“The tadpole paper mill was found in part because hundreds of fraudulent papers all used similar images with an eponymous tadpole-like structure41. Multiple companies, such as Image Twin42 and Proofig,43 are developing tools that will automatically detect manipulation or duplication of images across papers.”
Two problems: 1) unlike the makers of Image Twin, Dror never lets any independent sleuths test his Proofig and 2) his wife Ilana Kolodkin-Gal is a research cheater who was caught over image forgery. It stands to reason that one shouldn’t blindly trust Proofig with spotting research fraud.
The PubPeer Stars of Weizmann Institute
Rony Seger, Jacob Hanna, Ilana Kolodkin-Gal, Atan Gross, Sima Lev, Tsvee Lapidot, Moshe Oren, Varda Rotter and others. Let’s celebrate the Weizmann Science!
Since Professor Byrne once confirmed to me in an email that she is not Smut Clyde, this can only mean that Ivan Oransky of Retraction Watch is Smut Clyde. Which would also explain while this House document, like all others only references Retraction Watch and not the evil, nasty, satanic Nazi website, For Better Science.
Seriously though, poor Smut Clyde had to suffer for my crimes against humanity so badly that even the copies of his For Better Science articles on his own blog Riddled are blacklisted.
The Chinese Paper Mill Industry: Interview with Smut Clyde and Tiger BB8
Unlike those fake paper mill products, this interview failed editorial review and journal quality control.
Oh, and Graf of Springer Nature said:
“Only 4 in 10,000 peer reviewed scientific articles are retracted after publication.
Sometimes this happens months later, sometimes years (Rethinking retractions, Science). We consider this to be an indicator of significant and successful investments in quality made by researchers and by publishers”
That is why bigwig fraudsters like Croce had so few retractions, or even never retracted a single paper, like Raoult, Zauli and Kroemer. Because “of significant and successful investments in quality made by researchers and by publishers“.
Come to think of it, even Stell’s bosses at CNRS, Catherine Jessus, Anne Peyroche and Charbel Massaad never retracted a single paper, and probably never will.
Charbel Massaad et la lutte contre la fraude
Charbel Massaad is head of biomedical sciences at University of Paris Descartes. He even put forward his candidacy as rector, advocating for science ethics. Unironically.
Ayurveda for diabetes
A press release by the University of Nottingham in UK just announced:
“Several traditional medicines commonly used in South Asia, are effective in maintaining blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a new study led by experts at the University of Nottingham. […]
It features a multi-pronged and individualized approach to managing health conditions that can include lifestyle modification (including diet), Ayurvedic detoxifying and purifying therapies (e.g. Panchakarma), and Ayurvedic medicines (containing plant, animal, or mineral-origin ingredients – single or in combination).
In this new study, published recently in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology, experts conducted an in-depth review to show that these medicines are effective in blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes. Other beneficial effects were also demonstrated in the research, including improvements in body weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, and other diabetes-related parameters.
According to the scientists, it is the first comprehensive systematic review of any traditional medicine (including Ayurveda), which included a wide range of Ayurvedic medicines. The research was led by Dr. Kaushik Chattopadhyay, Associate Professor in Evidence Based Healthcare in the School of Medicine and the Nottingham Center for Evidence Based Healthcare (A JBI Center of Excellence) at the University. The team members have expertise in Ayurveda, diabetes, and this type of research, and are based in top institutes in the UK, India, and Nepal.”
Isn’t it funny how a British university makes an utter arse of itself? Here is their stupid Frontiers paper, which we are informed was funded “by the UK’s FCDO, MRC, NIHR, and Wellcome Trust under the prestigious Joint Global Health Trials scheme“:
Kaushik Chattopadhyay, Haiquan Wang, Jaspreet Kaur, Gamze Nalbant, Abdullah Almaqhawi, Burak Kundakci, Jeemon Panniyammakal, Michael Heinrich, Sarah Anne Lewis, Sheila Margaret Greenfield, Nikhil Tandon, Tuhin Kanti Biswas, Sanjay Kinra and Jo Leonardi-Bee, “Effectiveness and Safety of Ayurvedic Medicines in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Management: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis” Frontiers in Pharmacology (2022) DOI: 10.3389/fphar.2022.821810
In case you are based in UK, and saw your grant proposal rejected – the national funder UKRI gave Chattopadhyay over £150k for this:
“As part of the funded project, we have developed a clinical guideline for managing type 2 diabetes by Ayurvedic practitioners based on this evidence and will be evaluating it.”
Sprinkle it with turmeric and shove it up your arse, professor.
Clean up, stupid!
From Frontiers to MDPI. US scientists have discovered that it is not the poverty which affects school success, no, it’s the tidiness in the house.
A press release by the University of Illinois:
“Poor nutrition coupled with living in a chaotic household environment may negatively affect young children’s executive functioning, the higher-order cognitive skills that govern memory, attention and emotional control, researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have found. […]
Published in the journal Nutrients, the study was based on extensive data collected from the children’s caregivers, including a dietary intake questionnaire that assessed how often each child consumed various fresh and processed foods.
Caregivers also completed a behavioral inventory that measured various dimensions of executive function such as whether the child became easily overwhelmed or had recurrent problems with playing or talking too loudly.
Additionally, each caregiver answered questions about household chaos, such as whether the child’s home environment was typically quiet and run with established routines or was prone to noise, overcrowding and disorganization.”
This is the MDPI paper:
Samantha Iwinski, Sharon M. Donovan, Barbara Fiese, and Kelly Bost “The Impact of Household Chaos and Dietary Intake on Executive Function in Young Children” Nutrients (2021) doi: 10.3390/nu13124442
The press release contains a caveat:
“However, because the sample lacked racial, ethnic and economic diversity, the findings may not be generalizable to other populations. More studies are needed with diverse populations and longitudinal and experimental project designs before causal claims can be made, the researchers said.”
Huh? Do the authors think bad school performance in poor Black neighbourhoods might have genetic reasons?
Birds aren’t real
Scientists refuse to admit defeat while attempting to explain why some animals live longer than other.
A press release by Penn State University solved turtle geriatrics:
“The largest study on aging and lifespan to date, conducted by an international team of 114 scientists and directed by Penn State and Northeastern Illinois University, has recently been published. It contains data gathered in the wild from 107 populations of 77 different species of reptiles and amphibians. […]
The researchers discovered several things, including for the first time, that salamanders, crocodilians, and turtles had extremely slow aging rates and prolonged lifespans for their sizes. They recently published their results in the journal Science. The research team also discovered that protective phenotypes, such as the hard shells of the majority of turtle species, lead to slower aging and, in certain circumstances, even to “negligible aging,” or the absence of biological aging.”
This was the Science paper with 114 authors:
Beth A. Reinke, Hugo Cayuela, Fredric J. Janzen […] Victor Ronget, Anne M. Bronikowski and David A. W. Miller, “Diverse aging rates in ectothermic tetrapods provide insights for the evolution of aging and longevity” Science (2022) DOI: 10.1126/science.abm0151
It determined this about turtles:
“The team’s findings, however, reveal that ectotherms’ aging rates and lifespans range both well above and below the known aging rates for similar-sized endotherms, suggesting that the way an animal regulates its temperature — cold-blooded versus warm-blooded — is not necessarily indicative of its aging rate or lifespan.”
Another cunning theory went out of the window.
““We didn’t find support for the idea that a lower metabolic rate means ectotherms are aging slower,” said Miller. “That relationship was only true for turtles, which suggests that turtles are unique among ectotherms.”
The protective phenotypes hypothesis suggests that animals with physical or chemical traits that confer protection — such as armor, spines, shells, or venom — have slower aging and greater longevity. The team documented that these protective traits do, indeed, enable animals to age more slowly and, in the case of physical protection, live much longer for their size than those without protective phenotypes.”
That is a weird causation.
But in any case, according to all these academic experts on longevity and their changing theories birds should not exist. The little feathery pocket-sized flying dinosaurs grow very old, in fact they don’t even seem to age, all while having an extremely high metabolism, much higher body temperature compared to mammals, and, worth reminding, while lacking “armor, spines, shells, or venom”. Here a useful blog post on American Bird Conservancy, and we learn that some albatrosses and parrots may very well live till 100, and even a bloody tiny hummingbird gets to live for 14 years.
Birds are just not real.
News in Tweets
- I really don’t understand why everyone admired David Sabatini as a genius. He is really that dumb as to believe that all women adore his sexy body and look, he can’t even run a Twitter sockpuppet convincingly. Not just @mTOR_Leaks, Sabatini also obviously runs @DarwinBabe, where he pretends to be a sexy young lady. In an email to me, the account owner denied to be the mTORman. Dave, you failed scientist, this is not even original: Ariel Fernandez has been inventing young female sockuppets to defend himself against fraud accusations long before you. And look at this cringy trash, by Sabatini.
- Cheshire will never be invited to a party by Konstantinos Konstantopoulos, professor of biomolecular engineering at Johns Hopkins University and his charming wife Aikaterini Kontrogianni-Konstantopoulos, biochemistry professor at the University of Maryland. Kati has currently 13 papers on PubPeer, and her husband has 16 on PubPeer (there is some overlap).
- Another one by our Greek friend Kati, this time not with her husband, but with her mentor, the now septuagenarian Maryland professor of physiology Robert Bloch, who explains on PubPeer: “Sarcomeres are highly repetitive structures, so very similar elements will appear over and over again….”. Aneurus inconstans protests: “Those areas are PIXEL-BY-PIXEL identical.”
- Cheshire just won’t leave poor Joe Shapiro alone. The man already had to resign as Dean at Marshall University.
- Wisdom from Thomas Samaras, who describes himself here as Thought Leader and one of “world’s leading experts”, and mentions “My height is average for a US male.”
- Elsevier had no choice but to follow Chinese ministry’s authority and retract some papermill forgeries.
- Can’t trust people down there with science: “Regardless of an idea’s source, prioritizing early and ongoing inclusion of community voices is the first imperative and challenge for the study (Davis 2020).3” (Herman et al 2022). Reference goes to a “Stakeholder Engagement case study in Appendix“. All authors of this study are affiliated to universities in USA, Belgium and Germany. At least not all are white.
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“Croce’s sacrificial lambs cancelled”.
Michela Garofalo out from University of Machester.
“Garofalo joined the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute at the University of Manchester in 2014, but the institute says she left in 2020; she declined to tell Nature her current whereabouts. ”
“In Garofalo’s case, a committee found 11 cases of research misconduct — 7 concerning plagiarism and 4 image falsification — in 8 papers published while she was in Croce’s laboratory (of which 7 were co-authored with Croce). The final report, dated October 2021, states that Garofalo told the committee she had not understood the meaning of plagiarism until allegations were raised in 2015 — at which time she had already joined the University of Manchester — and didn’t realize that sentences shouldn’t be copied without appropriate quotation marks and citations.”
That’s unfair of University of Manchester. Why did Garofalo have to go, but Bulfone-Paus stays?
“I am a fully tenured Principal Investigator, Associate Dean of Business Engagement, co-Director of Manchester Centre for Cellular Metabolism, I am Professor of Molecular Cell Biology, Division of Cancer Sciences, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, Manchester Academic Health Sciences Centre, University of Manchester. I act as one of the key university conduits for the CRUK Manchester Institute, Medicines Discovery Catapult and I am the Industry Lead for the Manchester BRC and Manchester academic lead for Singapore. I am also a PI in the Manchester Cancer Research Centre and hold adjunct professorships in Athens and Singapore.
After reading for my doctorate at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now CRUK) in London (1997), I undertook post-doctoral research at Imperial College London, Southampton and University College, London with associated research spells in Michigan and Frankfurt. ”
Pubpeer: more corrections, retractions to come
4 retractions with David Latchman University College London.
Michela Garofalo (woman)
2 retractions with Carll Croce.
A few junior people will always play the role of sacrificial lambs. U Manchester can pretend they care about maintaining science integrity😡. I don’t expect any head of a big wig to fall purely due to science fraud. If occasionally they fall it will be something else ( see Sabatini).
To people who say “the majority of successful people in science are clean”, I say this: “ Nope, it only seems this way since there is only a handful of Biks” ( by Biks I mean Elisabeth herself, Leonid, the mysterious cat, Smut Clyde, Zebedee and such)
Most patient organisations are sponsored by pharma industry. Which also sponsors this crappy research.
Professor Robert Bristow, Centre Director
Professor Robert Bristow joined University of Manchester as Director of the Manchester Cancer Research Centre (MCRC) in August 2017 with a remit to develop a new cancer strategy for Manchester with a cancer Team Science approach.
Robert Bristow MD PhD FRCPC is University Professor of Cancer Studies in the Division of Cancer Sciences (The University of Manchester) and Chief Academic Officer at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust.
He was previously a Clinician-Scientist and Professor within the Departments of Radiation Oncology and Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto and a Senior Scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.
To get professor Bristow’s initials correct from key publications.
They are RG.
Mitochondrial mutations drive prostate cancer aggression.
Hopkins JF, Sabelnykova VY, Weischenfeldt J, Simon R, Aguiar JA, Alkallas R, Heisler LE, Zhang J, Watson JD, Chua MLK, Fraser M, Favero F, Lawerenz C, Plass C, Sauter G, McPherson JD, van der Kwast T, Korbel J, Schlomm T, Bristow RG, Boutros PC.
Nat Commun. (2017) 8(1):656. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-00377-y.
TMPRSS2-ERG fusion co-opts master transcription factors and activates NOTCH signaling in primary prostate cancer.
Kron KJ, Murison A, Zhou S, Huang V, Yamaguchi TN, Shiah YJ, Fraser M, van der Kwast T, Boutros PC, Bristow RG, Lupien M.
Nat Genet. (2017) 49(9):1336-1345. doi: 10.1038/ng.3930.
Problematic data RG Bristow.
PRIMA-1(met) radiosensitizes prostate cancer cells independent of their MTp53-status.
Supiot S, Zhao H, Wiman K, Hill RP, Bristow RG. Radiother Oncol. 2008 Mar;86(3):407-11. doi: 10.1016/j.radonc.2008.01.001. Epub 2008 Jan 30. PMID: 18237796
Figure 1A. Much more similar than expected.
While expecting the NIH or Universities to take action is futile, maybe a more effective avenue would be to contact patient advocates for the various foundations that funded these fraudsters. The patient advocates are often patients themselves or have close relatives who are ill. They are the most likely to get outraged seeing how their trust is betrayed and money stolen.
Radiat Oncol. 2011 Oct 26;6:144.doi: 10.1186/1748-717X-6-144.
Resveratrol enhances prostate cancer cell response to ionizing radiation. Modulation of the AMPK, Akt and mTOR pathways
Ayesha Rashid 1 , Caiqiong Liu, Toran Sanli, Evangelia Tsiani, Gurmit Singh, Robert G Bristow, Ian Dayes, Himu Lukka, James Wright, Theodoros Tsakiridis
Problematic data. much more similar than expected.
Wait, they are really pretending to show for the first time that turtle live really long?
They discovered that turtles have shells and that is correlated it to their long age. What else could they do, the reviewers demanded mechanistic insights.
The spider fraud seems quite different from other frauds discussed here, in that a single man cheated even his co-authors, whereas I have the impression in many other cases, it’s a gang of fraudsters who publish together.
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The argument, I think, is that some animals have evolved into an ecological niche with high predation, and the evolutionary pressures are all for making new bodies as quickly as possible, so the physiological adaptions for longevity are lost in the trade-off… there is no point in regenerating worn body-parts or minimising the mitochondrial leakage of free radicals when the animal is never going to live long enough for these to be useful.
Conversely, longevity is useful for apex predators (crocodiles), or animals in a low-predation niche like turtles in their shells (especially Galapagos turtle species before humans arrived), or albatrosses, or cave salamanders.
So armor is often found in long-lived species, but correlation rather than causation. “Protective phenotypes, such as the hard shells of the majority of turtle species, lead to slower aging” is brain-dead churnalism.
Mammals are a special case, because (the argument goes) their ancestors all spent so long in high-predation high-turnover ecological niches, being eaten by dinosaurs, that even the potential for longevity was lost… even apex predators like tigers and orcas haven’t rediscovered those useful physiological adaptions so they wear out quickly.
Naked mole rats are a special special case..
Did anyone call for Andrei & Vera and their invincible Naked Mole Rats circus show?
“High-molecular-mass hyaluronan mediates the cancer resistance of the naked mole rat” Nature (2013)
Birds are armored by beaks! Clearly protective phenotype.
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Ayurvedic medicines (containing plant, animal, or mineral-origin ingredients – single or in combination).
“Mineral-origin” sounds so much better than “heavy metals”. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6060866/
“Lead was found in 65% of 252 Ayurvedic medicine samples with mercury and arsenic found in 38 and 32% of samples, respectively. Almost half of samples containing mercury, 36% of samples containing lead and 39% of samples containing arsenic had concentrations of those metals per pill that exceeded, up to several thousand times, the recommended daily intake values for pharmaceutical impurities.”
experts conducted an in-depth review to show that these medicines are effective in blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes
“We tracked down papers by other fraudsters, published in garbage journals, that supported our conclusion about the health benefits of our fraudulent products.”
Are you trying to get sued by Herbalife as well?
Click to access Full-Paper-Philips-et-al-2019.pdf
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hi Leonid, it since a few days public information that the Health and Youth Care Inspectorate of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport in The Netherlands (IGJ) has started to give heavy fines to registered health care providers (mainly homeopats etc.) who refuse to accept that it is not allowed in The Netherlands to prescribe Ivermectine and HCQ for a treatment against COVID-19.
See https://web.archive.org/web/20220724091827/https://zelfzorgcovid19.nl/igj-behandelt-covid-genezende-artsen-als-groep-criminelen-er-is-reeds-voor-meer-dan-30-000-euro-aan-boetes-en-voornemens-opgelegd/ for an archived version of a public statement about this topic. The text in this ‘press release’ of Zelfzorgcovid19 implies towards my opinion that these health care providers plan to continue with their activities. They have started crowd funding to pay the fines.
The current policy in The Netherlands about this topic is listed at https://www.igj.nl/onderwerpen/desinformatie-covid-19
I recall from a long time ago that Joao Pedro de Magalhaes refused to add to his list with longevity records in birds my publications with new longevity records of Black-headed Gulls. My articles were published in the journal Dutch Birding https://www.dutchbirding.nl/journal?locale=en I failed to convince Joao that such information is nowadays almost always published in local journals or in journals who do not bother to get an impact factor etc. I also failed to convince Joao that is is not very scientific to ignore this information. See https://www.researchgate.net/publication/253953131 and https://www.researchgate.net/publication/264733093 for both publications.