Schneider Shorts of 12 August 2022 – marine ecology whistleblowers topple another cheater, a French plagiarist’s newest prank, with greedy gits of UCL lying and taunting, a doctor in California selling long covid cure, a doctor in Spain selling ozone quackery for everything, Israeli Scientists selling anti-Alzheimer’s supplement, Ukrainians debunk American young blood pseudoscience, and Smut Clyde officially out of the closet.
Table of Discontent
- Incell Sequelae – Dr Patterson in California sells the cure for long covid
- Spanish Quack – how courts forced hospital to treat patients with ozone quackery
- University Crooks of London – UCL lies and taunts Wilmshurst to continue trachea transplant business
- Little sausage – Etienne Klein’s newest prank
- Sloppy ecologist – marine ecology whistleblowers expose another cheater, Danielle Dixson
- Look, A Thomas! – a retraction in Cell which may or may not have been an honest error
- Life Extension in Israel – magic molecule to prevent Alzheimer’s and all other diseases of old age!
- Young blood fail – Ukrainian scientists convince US peer to abandon trash science
There is a company in California which treats Long Covid with a miracle drug therapy. The genius doctor behind this business is called Bruce Patterson and his diagnostics company behind the Long Covid clinic is called Incell Dx. Don’t giggle.
To make it sounds more sciency, Dr Patterson renamed Long Covid to “Post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC)” which is Latin and proves how intelligent and educated this Incell is.
Dr Patterson was once a Stanford professor where he was recruited because he discovered “a human placental protein” as a cure for AIDS.
The therapy involves two things: the HIV drug Maraviroc (because of an in vitro study published as preprint in 2020, and because a virus is a virus, right?), plus some cytokine mumbo-jumbo based on Dr Patterson’s Frontiers rambling:
Patterson BK, Guevara-Coto J, Yogendra R, Francisco EB, Long E, Pise A, Rodrigues H, Parikh P, Mora J and Mora-Rodriguez RA Immune-Based Prediction of COVID-19 Severity and Chronicity Decoded Using Machine Learning. Front. Immunol. (2021) doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.700782
It was a clinical trial which was not only never preregistered, or registered even: it never received an ethics approval, but Frontiers were OK with that in exchange of a wad of money.
“Following informed consent, whole blood was collected in a 10 mL EDTA tube and a 10 mL plasma preparation tube (PPT). A total of 224 individuals were enrolled in the study consisting of 29 healthy control individuals (negative for both SARS-CoV-2 RNA and SARS-CoV-2 IgM/IgG serology), 26 Mild-Moderate COVID-19 patients, 48 Severe COVID-19 patients and 121 chronic COVID (PASC) individuals (enrolled through the Chronic COVID Treatment Center following informed consent, Protocol CCTC 20-001).”
For those unconvinced, there is another Frontiers paper:
Patterson BK, Francisco EB, Yogendra R, Long E, Pise A, Rodrigues H, Hall E, Herrera M, Parikh P, Guevara-Coto J, Triche TJ, Scott P, Hekmati S, Maglinte D, Chang X, Mora-Rodriguez RA and Mora J Persistence of SARS CoV-2 S1 Protein in CD16+Monocytes in Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC) up to 15 Months Post-Infection. Front. Immunol. (2022) doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.746021
Also here, Frontiers agreed not to ask for trial registration or ethics approval for another wad of money.
“A total of 144 individuals were enrolled in the study consisting of 29 normal individuals, 26 mild-moderate COVID-19 patients, 25 severe COVID-19 patients and 64 chronic COVID (long hauler-LH) individuals.”
It is not exactly clear what the cytokine therapy is, here some clues from a July 2021 promo article:
“In June of 2020, Patterson reported that he’d identified the cause of the so-called “cytokine storm” in COVID-19.
“When we were developing a cytokine quantification assay for possible COVID trials in China, we discovered that infected patients had consistently high levels of CCL5/RANTES in plasma which in some cases was 100 times normal depending on the severity of the disease.”
Patterson and incellDx filed a patent in June 2020 for its CCL5/RANTES diagnostic test for COVID-19, Patterson reported. In October, incellDx reported that it was collaborating on a COVID-19 clinical trial using Pfizer’s CCR5 antagonist Maraviroc – a key part of Patterson’s long-COVID protocol.
That open label single arm clinical trial NCT04435522, sponsored by Rhode Island Hospital with Brown University’s Philip Chan as PI, was even preregistered! It had exactly NINE participants and was listed as “completed” in December 2020.
This was the described intervention:
“Maraviroc will be administered for seven days. Biomarkers of disease will be checked at time of enrollment, during and at the conclusion of therapy. The cytokine panel will consist of CCL5, IL-6, and Chitinase 3-like 1(Chi3l1).”
In February 2022, it appeared as preprint which unsurprisingly doesn’t mention any ethics approvals:
Bruce Patterson, Ram Yogendra, Jose Guevara-Coto, Rodrigo Mora-Rodriguez, Eric Osgood, John Bream, Purvi Parikh, Mark Kreimer, Gary Kaplan, Michael Zgoda Targeting the Monocytic-Endothelial-Platelet Axis with Maraviroc and Pravastatin as a Therapeutic Option to Treat Long COVID/ Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID (PASC) ResearchSquare (2021) doi: 10.21203/rs.3.rs-1344323/v1
The actual intervention was not only the HIV medicine, but “a combination of maraviroc 300mg PO BID and pravastatin 10 mg PO daily“, the latter being a statin drug used for cardiovascular diseases.
Look what they did with the 9 participants afterwards:
“In total there were 18 unique individuals, with each individual being represented in duplicate for before and after treatment. The presence of a pre and post treatment for each individual categorized as PASC allowed us the possibility to separate the data set into a before and after data sets for the required statistical comparisons.”
Each of these was measured twice creating “36 instances” out of 9 preregistered trial participants. It seems, the improvements those Long Covid patients experienced were subjective even by author’s opinion. This is why you are invited to visit Dr Patterson’s collaborating clinics!
Finally, this is how to do journalism properly:
This story is already a year old, but as a reader informed me, the ozonotherapy scam of Spanish quack behind it is going strong.
El Pais reported in September 2021 (translated):
“…ozone therapy, the application of ozone punctures without scientific endorsement or authorization as a medicine, received in recent weeks the precautionary endorsement of two judges, first one from Castellón and then another from Barcelona. Both were later revoked by the same courts, the first because the patient improved and at the end of the second that there is no “scientific evidence” to apply it. […]
With the first judicial decisions, the professional judgment of doctors was undermined by putting the choice of the patient before scientific principles and health protocols, causing an avalanche of protests from local and national medical societies. The Collegiate Medical Organization of Spain (WTO) has been very forceful when it comes to censoring ozone, a gas that the European Union does not consider a health product, while the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS) does not authorize “therapeutic known as ozone therapy.”
This is the inventor of ozonotherapy for COVID-19 (and everything else):
“Juan Carlos Pérez Olmedo, the health worker who has managed to get ozone therapy into the La Plana hospital with the medical community against it, has been practicing in Galicia as a family doctor since 1981. For having combined a managerial position in the Galician Health Service with that of representative in the company Plan B Inversiones, Olmedo was sanctioned in 2011 with a one-month suspension of his functions (employment and salary), for carrying out a private activity without having been granted compatibility. Very active on social media and on the Discovery Salud , Olmedo questions the usefulness of masks and promotes ozone therapy for both cancer and autism patients.
Health sources assure that the doctor responsible for administering the ozone in the Castellón hospital at the request of the family refused to write down the evolutionary process of the patient.”
Perez-Olmedo runs a private clinic where he offers his ozonotherapy to cure not just COVID-19, but all diseases, from literally all fields of medicine, including of course cancer. He apparently never in his life published an actual research paper and look at this thing the quack published on clinic’s website, which he calls “a case report“.
University Crooks of London
The cardiologist and whistleblower Peter Wilmshurst still tries to achieve a retraction the fraudulent trachea transplant paper by Paolo Macchiarini. Which is even less likely to happen than before, because the London university UCL dig its heels in. Not so much to protect the reputation of their professor and Macchiarini’s former close associate Martin Birchall (his reputation is in the toilet now anyway), but because UCL still plans to make money killing people with Macchiarini’s technology of airway transplants.
A “defamation Complaint” was lodged with Google, against 6 of my articles and one cartoon. Each of them affects to some degree the British laryngologist Martin Birchall, professor at UCL and former close associate of scandal surgeon Paolo Macchiarini. I also show that Birchall and UCL even now continue researching plastic tracheas on pigs, for future use in humans patients. This grant is presently funded by UK government.
Wilmshurst joined Patricia Murray and Raphael Levy trying to get that entirely fake paper retracted, and failed because the London based Elsevier journal The Lancet ignored the evidence from Macchiarini’s former Spanish employer (Hospital Clinic Barcelona where the trachea transplant operation took place in 2008) for them being non-English and foreign, and chose to rely on their cosy relationship with their white English friends at UCL.
The 2008 Lancet paper of Paolo Macchiarini and Martin Birchall about the world first trachea transplant might end up retracted. Until recently, the journal’s editor Richard Horton used to ignore and suppress “non peer-reviewed” evidence, but due to combined pressure of activism, media and politics, things started to move.
Paolo Macchiarini affair: I reproduce the letter Patricia Murray, Raphael Levy, Peter Wilmshurst and myself published in The BMJ on 2 March 2022. I also publish Wilmshurst’s appeal to the UCL leadership.
UCL is so powerful, they even managed to prevent for year the publication of this short letter in The BMJ (green OA option linked above):
Leonid Schneider, Patricia Murray, Raphaël Lévy, Peter Wilmshurst, Time to retract Lancet paper on tissue engineered trachea transplants BMJ (2022) doi: 10.1136/bmj.o498
In his recent blog post, Wilmshurst reveals the lies UCL subjected him to, just to drive home the point how much they despise academic whistleblowers like Murray and himself:
“In response to my letter of 18 May 2021 and subsequent correspondence, UCL informed me on 7 July 2021 that Professor Pillay had been appointed to investigate my complaint. Please note, I did not ask UCL to rule on whether the paper is fraudulent. That is indisputable.”
This is how UCL Pro-Vice-Provost and virology professor Deenay Pillay replied to Wilmshurst:
““The allegation is to be dismissed on the grounds of the substance of the concerns having been considered previously for the following reasons:
As you know UCL has conducted a Special Inquiry into Regenerative Medicine at UCL and the Inquiry report was published in September 2017 which made a number of recommendations. The paper in question has been scrutinised by the Inquiry as well as two internal reviews at UCL, a House of Commons Select Committee as well as reviews by the Lancet itself. After careful consideration, I do not consider that you have submitted any new substantial evidence that alters the substance of the allegations that have already been addressed by all these various reviews.
In terms of the article in question, a correction has been published by the Lancet identifying a minor inaccuracy in a caption. As you may be aware, it is ultimately journal editors that determine whether or not an article should be retracted. However, none of the various reviews above have found that the article should be retracted and you have not provided any new evidence that would cause me to challenge that expert decision.
Any concerns about Professor Birchall’s employment status at UCL are outwith the scope of this Procedure.”
Pillay and his UCL are full of crap. First of all, it may be that journal editors have the ultimate decision to retract a paper or not, but they generally follow the request from universities. And UCL’s request, nay, order to The Lancet was: under no circumstances retract it. And also: Pillay and UCL are plain lying that “none of the various reviews above have found that the article should be retracted “, because UCL never did such reviews, and even openly admitted it in another letter to Wilmshurst:
“We have had the opportunity to consider your letter and obtain the input of colleagues, particularly Professor Deenan Pillay who was the named person in UCL’s recent research misconduct procedure which followed your complaint. […]
Whilst Patient A was considered as part of UCL’s Special Inquiry into Regenerative Medicine Research at UCL, section 7.11 expressly concluded that “The Inquiry makes no further commentary on Patient A since UCL was not involved”. As your complaint focuses on an article which was published in respect of research not carried out at UCL, it would not be appropriate for UCL to comment any further on your concerns.”“
You can read about those many biased pseudo-investigations UCL whitewashed Birchall here:
This is an open letter to the academic community by Pierre Delaere, professor for respiratory surgery at KU Leuven, Belgium, and one of the earliest and fiercest critics of Paolo Macchiarini. Delaere recently published a paper explaining that “the engineered trachea is an example of blatant scientific deception” (Delaere and Van Raemdonck, J Thorac Dis. 2016). For the background of Macchiarini’s misconduct and patient deaths after his trachea transplants, as well as Delaere’s attempts to prevent those, please refer to my articles here, here and here. An earlier open letter by Bo Risberg, emeritus professor of surgery at the University of Gothenburg, is also available exclusively on my site.
UCL has completed the investigation into the affair around their past honorary professor Paolo Macchiarini and the trachea transplants. The report avoids implicating Macchiarini’s partner Martin Birchall. The only guilty party is the nuclear physicist Alexander Seifalian.
In yet another investigation, UCL whitewashed Martin Birchall of all responsibilities. I publish here the confidential report and excerpts from a secret PhD thesis, which the UCL committee carefully avoided to read.
The Science and Technology Committee of the British House of Commons is now dealing with the trachea transplants performed by the scandal surgeon Paolo Macchiarini and his former parter at UCL, Martin Birchall as part of its inquiry into Research Integrity. Two UK scientists from Liverpool initiated this with their written submission from November 21st 2017 which I previously re-published: Patricia Murray, professor in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine, previously a nurse on a Head and Neck unit, and Raphael Lévy, senior lecturer in nanotechnology. Their concerns were not just the past trachea transplants, but also the present clinical trials with bioengineeredContinue Reading
Wilmshurst ends his article with:
“We do not know for certain when Birchall first discovered that the paper was fraudulent, but we know that during the last four years, Birchall has known for certain that the paper is fraudulent and he has had the opportunity to retract it. He still refuses to do so.
The failure of UCL to either get Birchall to retract the fraudulent paper or to sack him must raise doubts about the ethos of the whole institution.
I hope that UCL will see sense.”
UCL won’t see sense. They only see money. But despite their fancy titles, huge salaries, priveleges and posh pedigrees, these entitled UCL elites are just a bunch of stupid ignorant gits. By now there is no money to be made in this decell-recell regmed scam, never mind how many patients they conspire to kill and mutilate and how many lawyers UCL and their business partners set upon Murray.
Videregen, the Liverpool-based company which bought the trachea regeneration patent from UCL, deployed lawyers against the academics Patricia Murray and Raphael Levy, precisely via their employer University of Liverpool. Main issue is the parliamentary submission by Levy and Murray, subject to absolute privilege. Yet Videregen also cites from the confidential notice of suspected research misconduct Murray and Levy submitted in good faith to UCL.
International media is all excited about a silly sausage prank by the French physicist Etienne Klein. Here CNN:
“A French scientist has apologized after tweeting a photo of a slice of chorizo, claiming it was an image of a distant star taken by the James Webb Space Telescope.
Étienne Klein, a celebrated physicist and director at France’s Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, shared the image of the spicy Spanish sausage on Twitter last week, praising the “level of detail” it provided.”
This was the tweet:
CNN informs that the genius was merely joking:
“Klein admitted later in a series of follow-up tweets that the image was, in fact, a close-up of a slice of chorizo taken against a black background.
“Well, when it’s cocktail hour, cognitive bias seem to find plenty to enjoy… Beware of it. According to contemporary cosmology, no object related to Spanish charcuterie exists anywhere else other than on Earth”
After facing a backlash from members of the online community for the prank, he wrote: “In view of certain comments, I feel obliged to specify that this tweet showing an alleged picture of Proxima Centauri was a joke. Let’s learn to be wary of the arguments from positions of authority as much as the spontaneous eloquence of certain images.”
On Wednesday, Klein apologized for the hoax, saying his intention was “to urge caution regarding images that seem to speak for themselves.”
Now, no media outlet bothered to recall other pranks by France’s greatest physicist, even if they made big news at that time. Klein’s scientific plagiarism for example, which came out soon after he was appointed President of the national Institute of High Studies for Science and Technology (IHEST) in 2016.
“But many passages from Klein’s recent Einstein biography Le pays qu’habitait Albert Einstein appear to have been lifted almost verbatim, without attribution or quotation marks, from other sources, L’Express reported. “Strangely, it’s the most personal, most literary passages, those where Étienne Klein puts himself on the scene, the ones that bring the reader happiness, that often don’t come from his own pen,” L’Express wrote.
The journal cited other examples as well. A column about the “art of the free kick,” published during last summer’s European soccer championship in the newspaper La Croix, seems to have borrowed heavily from a 1986 book by physicists Gilles Cohen-Tannoudji and Michel Spiro. (The monthly magazine Sciences et Avenir put the two passages side by side to show the resemblance.)
Klein […] defended himself in a response posted on his own website and at Le Monde newspaper on Monday. He didn’t deny the similarities but said physicists don’t always cite each other when they discuss well-established science…”
The prank was much bigger than the one with sausage:
“The response only made L’Express dig deeper. In a story published today, the magazine produced seven more instances of alleged plagiarism. Perhaps the most ironic example comes from Klein’s 2013 book about Italian theoretical physicist Ettore Majorana. In the very first lines, Klein reflected on the art of writing itself, which he compared to “an illness” or even “madness.”The passage comes almost verbatim from a 1995 book by philosopher Clément Rosset, according to L’Express. […]
In a story published earlier by Sciences et Avenir, Klein said that he has no plans to resign from his prestigious post at the institute.”
Soon after, in summer 2016, IHEST received a new director. And Klein is not Director of the Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA), as CNN insisted. He is a research director there, meaning he is tenured and has a lab. CEA has no concept at all what research fraud is (see the Anne Peyroche affair), but then again, so doesn’t the rest of French academia.
Former CNRS president Anne Peyroche has been symbolically sanctioned for research misconduct. Despite previous fraud findings, conclusions are not affected, and so is her employment by the Atomic Energy Commission. I present two more falsified figures.
In ecology, fraud gets sanctioned and fraudulent ecology papers get retracted. We saw this with the affairs of Jonathan Pruitt and Oona Lönnstedt & Peter Eklöv. I like to explain this with the possibility that due to there being less money and more idealism in ecology research it attracts overwhelmingly decent and honest people, giving crooks little chance to succeed long term. Compare to biomedicine or nanotechnology.
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””
Sweden and the international research community recently faced yet another research misconduct scandal. It was about a Science paper by Oona Lönnstedt and Peter Eklöv, which in 2016 made worldwide headlines with its findings that young fish larvae (or fry), namely Eurasian perch, would eat up plastic pollution like teenagers eat fast food. It soonContinue Reading
Now, another once bigwig of ecology tripped over her research fraud and may have to explore alternative career options. Once again, it’s about a paper in Science which has already been retracted.
“A major controversy in marine biology took a new twist last week when the University of Delaware (UD) found one of its star scientists guilty of research misconduct. The university has confirmed to Science that it has accepted an investigative panel’s conclusion that marine ecologist Danielle Dixson committed fabrication and falsification in work on fish behavior and coral reefs. The university is seeking the retraction of three of Dixson’s papers and “has notified the appropriate federal agencies,” a spokesperson says.
Among the papers is a study about coral reef recovery that Dixson published in Science in 2014, and for which the journal issued an Editorial Expression of Concern in February. Science—whose News and Editorial teams operate independently of each other—retracted that paper today.
The investigative panel’s draft report, which Science’s News team has seen in heavily redacted form, paints a damning picture of Dixson’s scientific work, which included many studies that appeared to show Earth’s rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels can have dramatic effects on fish behavior and ecology. “The Committee was repeatedly struck by a serial pattern of sloppiness, poor recordkeeping, copying and pasting within spreadsheets, errors within many papers under investigation, and deviation from established animal ethics protocols,” wrote the panel, made up of three UD researchers.”
As it happens, two of the whistleblowers in Dixson case were the same Swedish ecologists Josefin Sundin and Frederik Jutfelt who originally exposed the Lönnstedt & Eklöv fraud in Uppsala. They were attacked by angry peers defending their fraudster colleagues back then, and they have been attacked now:
The UD report remains secret, whistleblowers criticise it only addressed 7 out of 20 Dixson’s paper suspected of fraud. But it was damning. Dixson’s research on the negative effects of ocean acidification on fish and coral reef ecology was fake. Which doesn’t mean ocean acidification isn’t a grave danger for the ecosystems, it absolutely still is, just as Lönnstedt’s microplastics. After all, just because there’s lots of fake tobacco research out there, this doesn’t mean smoking is safe, it’s just means that some bad scientists have no scruples and can poisoning everything. Only that in biomedicine, whistleblowers generally lose. But not in ecology:
“The whistleblowers, an international team of academic researchers in marine biology, had long questioned the very big effect sizes and unusually small variances in data reported by the pair. In a 2020 Nature paper, the whistleblowers reported they could not reproduce several of the claims in their own studies. Later that year, four of them decided to ask for a misconduct investigation into the work, as Science reported. They directed the request at three funding agencies that had backed studies by Munday and Dixson, including the U.S. National Institutes of Health and NSF, but those agencies apparently asked UD and Georgia Tech to investigate.
In its undated draft report, UD’s 3-person investigative committee concludes Dixson simply did not have enough time to collect the vast amount of data described in the 2014 Science paper […]
The draft report also confirms claims by the whistleblowers and independent statistical experts consulted by Science’s News team that a large Excel file containing the study’s raw data was riddled with inexplicably duplicated columns. “Numerous errors are also present within the data files such that the results presented in the publication could not be generated from these files,” it says.”
The whistleblowers even got praised by the investigative report:
“Several former members of Dixson’s lab supported the whistleblowers’ request for an investigation. One of them, former postdoc Zara Cowan, was the first to identify the many duplications in the data file for the now-retracted Science paper. Another, former Ph.D. student Paul Leingang, first brought accusations against Dixson to university officials in January 2020. He left the lab soon after and joined the broader group of whistleblowers.
Leingang, who had been at Dixson’s lab since 2016, says he had become increasingly suspicious of her findings, in part because she usually collected her fluming data alone. In November 2019 he decided to secretly track some of Dixson’s activities. He supplied the investigation with detailed notes, chat conversations, and tweets by Dixson to show that she did not spend enough time on her fluming studies to collect the data she was jotting down in her lab notebooks.
The investigative panel found Leingang’s account convincing and singled him out for praise. “It is very difficult for a young scholar seeking a Ph.D. to challenge their advisor on ethical grounds,” the draft report says. “The Committee believes it took great bravery for him to come forward so explicitly. The same is true of the other members of the laboratory who backed the Complainant’s action.””
Look, A Thomas!
But look, here biomedical US scientists retracted a paper in Cell.
Ken Morita, Shuning He , Radosław P. Nowak , Jinhua Wang , Mark W. Zimmerman , Cong Fu , Adam D. Durbin, Megan W. Martel , Nicole Prutsch , Nathanael S. Gray , Eric S. Fischer, A. Thomas Look Allosteric Activators of Protein Phosphatase 2A Display Broad Antitumor Activity Mediated by Dephosphorylation of MYBL2 Cell (2020) doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2020.03.051
The retraction notice from 4 August 2022 informed:
“This article has been retracted at the request of the authors. Their study showed that different PP2A holoenzymes, composed of distinct subunits and acting on unique substrates, can be specifically targeted by different small-molecule allosteric activators, including perphenazine. An important part of the study was the identification of a compound the authors called iHAP1 (improved heterocyclic activator of PP2A) that was suitable for in vivo studies in zebrafish and murine models because it did not interfere with dopamine signaling, which caused dose limiting off-target toxicity in the case of perphenazine. The authors also assessed iHAP1 for a second type of off-target activity involving inhibition of tubulin polymerization, and they reported that iHAP1 did not affect tubulin polymerization into microtubules (Figures S6D and S6E).
Recently, Vit and coworkers published an article in The EMBO Journal showing that iHAP1 does in fact significantly inhibit tubulin polymerization (Vit et al., 2022, EMBO J. 41, e110611, https://doi.org/10.15252/embj.2022110611). The authors have subsequently used the same tubulin polymerization kit that they originally used for determining the effects of small molecules on the rate of tubulin polymerization and carefully optimized the conditions with the control compounds provided with the kit. After recalibration of the plate reader based on these controls, the authors determined that their original results are not reproducible and that iHAP1 does in fact potently inhibit tubulin polymerization. They are uncertain why their original analysis yielded inaccurate results.
Unfortunately, the fact that iHAP1 inhibits tubulin polymerization renders uninterpretable their in vivo studies showing anti-cancer cell activity in zebrafish and murine models, because they cannot tell how much of the activity is due to activation of PP2A and how much is contributed by the anti-tubulin activities of this molecule. Because these in vivo studies and other in vitro studies in the paper prominently include iHAP1, all of the authors have agreed that the most appropriate course of action is to retract the paper. Many in vitro experiments in the paper that address different aspects of PP2A activation were performed with both iHAP1 and perphenazine, which does not possess detectable anti-tubulin activity.
In view of the error involving iHAP1 and anti-tubulin polymerization, the authors are currently repeating each of these experiments in the original article in Cell; however, this will take a much longer time. They have decided the most responsible thing is to retract the paper now, so that others are not led to perform uninterpretable experiments with the iHAP1 compound. The authors regret and apologize for this mistake.”
Looks like one of these case of honest mistake, where honest scientists have been doing honest research and honestly overlooked some minor issues which honestly affected some honest reproducibility, so now they honestly retract their paper.
David Sabatini is an absolute star scientist, and now he is being harassed. On PubPeer and Twitter. It is all very unfair.
Well, the Stanford professor Nathanael Gray is a regular collaborator of David Sabatini, with a corresponding PubPeer record and exactly zero honest drive to retract what looks fraudulent, in fact this is another Cell paper:
Timothy R. Peterson, Mathieu Laplante, Carson C. Thoreen, Yasemin Sancak , Seong A. Kang , W. Michael Kuehl , Nathanael S. Gray , David M. Sabatini DEPTOR is an mTOR inhibitor frequently overexpressed in multiple myeloma cells and required for their survival Cell (2009) doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2009.03.046
No need to blame Sabatini even, this happened in Gray’s lab:
Wenjun Zhou , Wooyoung Hur , Ultan McDermott , Amit Dutt , Wa Xian , Scott B. Ficarro , Jianming Zhang , Sreenath V. Sharma , Joan Brugge , Matthew Meyerson , Jeffrey Settleman , Nathanael S. Gray A structure-guided approach to creating covalent FGFR inhibitors Chemistry & Biology (2010) doi: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2010.02.007
Maybe the papers by the last author of the honestly retracted Cell paper, the Harvard professor A Thomas Look, deserve a closer look also:
Ryoko Kuribara , Taisei Kinoshita , Atsushi Miyajima , Tetsuharu Shinjyo , Takao Yoshihara , Takeshi Inukai , Keiya Ozawa , A. Thomas Look , Toshiya Inaba Two Distinct Interleukin-3-Mediated Signal Pathways, Ras-NFIL3 (E4BP4) and Bcl-x L , Regulate the Survival of Murine Pro-B Lymphocytes Molecular and Cellular Biology (1999) doi: 10.1128/mcb.19.4.2754
Here a bad forgery by Look with other heavyweight bigwigs, like Stanley Korsmeyer (in whose lab Claudio Hetz trained) and Klaus Rajewsky:
Malay Mandal , Christine Borowski , Teresa Palomero , Adolfo A. Ferrando , Philipp Oberdoerffer , Fanyong Meng , Antonio Ruiz-Vela , Maria Ciofani , Juan-Carlos Zuniga-Pflucker , Isabella Screpanti , A. Thomas Look, Stanley J. Korsmeyer , Klaus Rajewsky , Harald Von Boehmer , Iannis Aifantis The BCL2A1 gene as a pre–T cell receptor–induced regulator of thymocyte survival The Journal of experimental medicine (2005) doi: 10.1084/jem.20041924
Here a paper by Look, Gray and Sabatini:
Qingsong Liu , Sivapriya Kirubakaran , Wooyoung Hur , Mario Niepel , Kenneth Westover, Carson C. Thoreen , Jinhua Wang , Jing Ni , Matthew P. Patricelli , Kurt Vogel , Steve Riddle , David L. Waller , Ryan Traynor , Takaomi Sanda , Zheng Zhao , Seong A. Kang , Jean Zhao , A. Thomas Look, Peter K. Sorger, David M. Sabatini , Nathanael S. Gray Kinome-wide selectivity profiling of ATP-competitive mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors and characterization of their binding kinetics The Journal of biological chemistry (2012) doi: 10.1074/jbc.m111.304485
I personally am not sure there are any retractions due to an actual honest error. Unless you call wilful avoidance of proper control experiments an honest mistake.
Life Extension in Israel
These days everyone has a cure for Alzheimer’s, and so do these Israeli Scientists. Jerusalem Post has exciting news:
“A new Hebrew University (HU) of Jerusalem study has identified in lab models a group of molecules that make it possible for cells to repair damaged components, so the tissues that contain them can retain proper function.
The promising new molecule, which has the ability to constantly renew cell vitality in diseased tissues, could eventually prevent age-related disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and increase life expectancy and wellness, said the Faculty of Medicine researchers.”
This was the revolutionary paper involving nematodes:
Vijigisha Srivastava , Veronica Zelmanovich , Virendra Shukla , Rachel Abergel , Irit Cohen , Shmuel A. Ben-Sasson , Einav Gross Distinct designer diamines promote mitophagy, and thereby enhance healthspan in C. elegans and protect human cells against oxidative damage Autophagy (2022) doi: 10.1080/15548627.2022.2078069
Jerusalem Post informs that the magic substance are being marketed:
““In the future, we hope we will be able to significantly delay the development of many age-related diseases and improve people’s quality of life,” Ben-Sasson said. “These compounds are user-friendly and can be taken orally.”
To advance their research and translate it into medical treatments for a variety of patients, the research team – together with Yissum, HU’s research and development company, established Vitalunga – a startup that is currently developing such a drug. “
From the paper, we learn that the magic molecule is spermidine, which is present in many protein-rich foods and is sold as supplement, taken in this form it does exactly nothing. Unsurprisingly, Vitalunga already started to market their oral supplement against all diseases of old age (without ever mentioning it’s the boring old spermidine).
Young blood fail
Ukrainian scientists prove US bigwigs wrong: young blood rejuvenation doesn’t work. Read about the background of such research here:
The new study shows (hardly surprisingly) that classic young-blood experiment of suturing two mice together failed. A press release quotes the Ukrainian researchers:
“Iryna Pishel, from Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University and Bienta Ltd, in Kyiv, Ukraine, and coauthors used heterochronic parabiosis between young and old mice and the isochronic controls for three months. Then they disconnected the animals and studied the effects of being joined on the blood plasma and animal lifespan.
“The most robust and interesting result of this study is the fact of a significant decrease in the lifespan of young mice from heterochronic parabiotic pairs,” state the investigators. “These data support our assumption that old blood contains factors capable of inducing aging in young animals. Finding and selective suppression of aging factor production in the organism could be the key research field for life extension,” they conclude.”
This is the paper:
Tatiana Yankova, Tatiana Dubiley, Dmytro Shytikov and Iryna Pishel, “Three Month Heterochronic Parabiosis Has a Deleterious Effect on the Lifespan of Young Animals, Without a Positive Effect for Old Animals” Rejuvenation Research. (2022) DOI: 10.1089/rej.2022.0029
Now, the surprising finding is not the failure of young blood therapy. The surprise is that a high-standing US scientist distances herself from the work of her bigwig US colleagues and even from her own previous findings in Nature:
“Editor-in-Chief Irina Conboy, PhD, Professor, College of Engineering, University of California, Berkeley says “This work clarifies the question of whether the young blood or old blood control longevity, which has been debated (Nature 2005, Conboy, et. al). Are there lasting effects of heterochronic parabiosis and if so, is it a rejuvenation or aging? The work by the Pishel group established that the lifespan of the old mice does not increase after being parabiosed to young mice. In contrast, the young animals that were joined with the old mice suffer a shortened lifespan, even after being disconnected.
“This discovery is important in establishing the accurate direction for clinical anti-aging approaches and in providing key scientific evidence against the potency of the young blood factors in an aged organism. This work neatly follows the report previously published by this group that infusions of young blood plasma into mice do not increase their lifespan.”
Ukrainian solidarity? Conboy used to be one of the biggest proponents of young blood approach:
“First, a group led by Amy Wagers and Irv Weissman used parabiotic mice to track the fate and movement of blood stem cells. That research wasn’t focused on aging, but their method captured the imagination of two other Stanford scientists who studied longevity, Irina and Michael Conboy — a wife-and-husband duo working in the lab of Thomas Rando at the time. They learned the method from Wagers and went on to show that young blood could rejuvenate tissue-specific stem cells that had grown sluggish with age. By uniting the circulatory systems of young and old mice, the Conboys restored youthful molecular signatures in the aged animals and reactivated the regenerative capacity of various organs, including muscle and liver.”
It would have been as easy as a snap of fingers to suppress the Ukrainian data. But instead Conboy published and promotes it. I wonder if finally the scientific consensus has been reached that Amy Wagers has always been a fraud. And so are other greedy American young-blood scammers like Tony Wyss-Coray. Read again here:
This time, Ukraine saves science.
News in Tweets
- Nooo, you got it all wrong, Rich! The legendary Smut Clyde is not some obscure and irrelevant David Bimmler, but the great papermill hero Professor Jennifer Byrne! Trust me! “Why ‘Smut Clyde’? It comes from a ‘porn name’ generator, which uses the name of the first pet you had and the street you live on to generate a fake name. The other anonymous sleuths have been ridiculing me. They are refusing to believe that I’m really called David Bimler.“
- Bullying is a privilege of being a science star. Time to ask: are bullies really such great scientists, or did they bully everyone into believing this?
- “Based on the evidence and findings of an investigation conducted by the University of Kentucky (UK), the Office of Research Integrity’s (ORI’s) oversight review of UK’s investigation, and additional evidence obtained and analysis conducted by ORI during its oversight review, ORI found that Stuart G. Jarrett, Ph.D. (Respondent), former research-track assistant professor, Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology and Markey Cancer Center, University of Kentucky (UK) College of Medicine, engaged in research misconduct […] Respondent intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly falsified and/or fabricated Western blot and histological image data related to mechanisms of melanoma protection by reusing, relabeling, and manipulating images or using blank panels to falsely report data in twenty-eight (28) figures included in four (4) PHS-supported published papers, one (1) funded PHS grant application, and two (2) unfunded PHS grant applications.” Stuart Jarrett is banned from receiving any public funding for 4 years, apparently he was dismissed. The university’s investigative report from 2018 is here.
- Four years is nothing! At least this fake Ayurvedic pseudoscience paper was retracted, unlike many others. Retraction notice: “The authors have not been able to provide any justification for this image manipulation“.
- “With this notice, Pathogens and Disease states its awareness of concerns regarding irregularities in Figures 2 and 3 of the above paper. These concerns are under investigation. Readers will be updated at the conclusion of the investigation.”, says the dishonest notice for the 20 year old fake paper by Joyoti Basu. Wait 8 more years maybe. Or do as JBC: nothing.
- Meanwhile, Wiley issued yet another Corrigendum to convince you that Chinese papermills fabrications are scientifically fully reliable.
- You are invited to submit cases of research fraud by US scientists to the House Committee. Let’s just hope that the Watchdog-in-Chief and PubPeer Board of Directors member Ivan Oransky won’t vet your submissions first…
- In Austria, antivaxxers and covidiots threatened a GP with violence and drove her into suicide.
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