Schneider Shorts

Schneider Shorts 23.09.2022 – Elsevier apologises

Schneider Shorts 23.09.2022 - the triumphant return of irisin, Elsevier apologises for a misunderstanding, great men of science celebrated, Italian dermatologists learning a lesson, with a Persian plant papermill, russian homeopathy, tea and vitamins, and why Israeli Scientists are smarter than the rest.

Schneider Shorts of 23 September 2022 – the triumphant return of irisin, Elsevier apologises for a misunderstanding, great men of science celebrated, Italian dermatologists learning a lesson, with a Persian plant papermill, russian homeopathy, tea and vitamins, and why Israeli Scientists are smarter than the rest.


Table of Discontent

Science Elites

Scholarly Publishing

Science Breakthroughs

News in Tweets


Science Elites

An Alt Award

US cancer researcher, HHMI investigator and Harvard professor Frederick Alt has been honoured in Germany, or rather he will be, in 2023 with the prestigious Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize, as it has been announced in a press release:

“Immunologists Frederick W. Alt (73) of Harvard Medical School and David G. Schatz (64) of Yale School of Medicine are to receive the 2023 Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize, as the Scientific Council of the Paul Ehrlich Foundation announced today. The two researchers are being acknowledged for their discovery of molecules and mechanisms that enable our immune system to perform the astounding feat of recognizing billions of different antigens on first contact. [..]

The prizes will be awarded by the Chairman of the Scientific Council of the Paul Ehrlich Foundation on 14 March 2023 at 5 p.m. in Frankfurt’s Paulskirche.”

I think this is a nice occasion for Alt to deal with some of his old immunology papers. Like this:

Yijie Gao , Jayanta Chaudhuri , Chengming Zhu , Laurie Davidson , David T Weaver , Frederick W Alt A targeted DNA-PKcs-null mutation reveals DNA-PK-independent functions for KU in V(D)J recombination Immunity (1998) doi: 10.1016/s1074-7613(00)80619-6 

Also: in both panels, the last lanes (-/-) have been digitally spliced on.

There are more Alt papers questioned on PubPeer, mostly collaborative works, with toxic cheaters science geniuses like Gad Asher, David Sinclair and C Ronald Kahn.

Disclaimer: as postdoc, I wasted an immense amount of time and effort working with a published knock-out ATM-/- cell line from Alt’s lab which despite correct PCR genotyping proved to have a perfectly present and functioning ATM protein. Alt seemed unperturbed when I informed him.


The Times of Sir Martin

A Times article which reads like a copy of a press release written by Ajan Reginald. Which is most likely is, in reality.

“Roquefort Therapeutics, a specialist in cancer treatments, has appointed a Nobel prizewinner as its chief scientific officer.

Sir Martin Evans has joined Roquefort after it acquired Oncogeni, a company he co-founded and that has developed two cell and cancer medicines. Evans, 81, was the first scientist to identify embryonic stem cells, which are adapted for a variety of medical purposes.

He was one of three scientists awarded the Nobel prize for medicine in 2007. Roquefort’s two existing drug candidates seek to block a protein called Midkine, which is more heavily produced in adults suffering with cancer and has been shown to cause cancer treatments to become less effective, particularly in those in later stages of the illness.

Research has shown that blocking Midkine can stop cancerous tumours multiplying. Oncogeni has developed two treatments, one engineered to kill cancer directly and by enhancing the activity of natural killer cells and another designed to kill solid tumours.

Also joining Roquefort from Oncogeni are its co-founder Ajan Reginald, 50, a former global head of emerging technologies for Roche Group and chief operating officer and chief technology officer of Novacyt, who will become chief executive, and Darrin Disley, 55, who will be a non-executive director.”

Now, I previously wrote in Friday Shorts about Evans, Ajan, Disley and their new biomed business Oncogeni, and how they sold it to Roquefort and remained on board in top executive positions. The information about Evans and Ajan’s past scam with Celixir was all out there for everyone to read, except obviously for that gormless journo and her editors at The Times. An unexpectedly surprising feat of abysmally bad journalism. The joke is as usual on patients, this time on cancer sufferers.

Requiem for Celixir

How the Nobel Prize winner Sir Martin Evans and the lying crook Ajan Reginald almost succeeded, were it not for Patricia Murray.

Sir Martin and Ajan, the stem cell gold-diggers

Sir Martin Evans, winner of Nobel prize 2007, founded in 2009 the stem cell start-up Celixir, together with a struck-off dentist Ajan Reginald. With the help of the British heart surgeon Stephen Westaby, they ran a very profitable clinical trial in Greece, which now moved into UK.


Scholarly Publishing

Elsevier apologises

On 18 September, an email from China reached me. It had to do with the Office of the Academic Committee at Jiangsu Normal University (ACJNU).

ACJNU initiated an investigation in July 2020 based on the concerns raised by the Pubpeer reviewers and your report as well (https://forbetterscience.com/2020/08/12/we-are-extremely-guilty-and-distressed/). According to the investigation findings, ACJNU requested the related journals to retract the questionable articles. However, some journals do not respond to our request. For example, three questionable articles were published in Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy. We have sent the retraction request to the Editor-in-Chief, Ethics Editor, and the publisher Elsevier in two ways (email, and the contact on the webpage just like this one ).

“We are extremely guilty and distressed”

“Now no-one wants ForBetterScience to become an all-Papermill channel. And we cannot really expect to shame or inspire scriveners in the academic-ghostwriter industry to seek out more constructive applications for their talents, so the point of exposing them is not immediately obvious.” -Smut Clyde

The offending papers, as I learned were by these two ACJNU authors:

” Jun Lu and Dongmei Wu published dozens of questionable articles, which heavily damaged the University’s reputation.”

The Editor-in-Chief of Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy is Danyelle Townsend, the Ethics Editor is Kenneth Tew, both are professors at the University of South Carolina in USA. None of them replied to my emails, and they also never replied to ACJNU as I was informed:

“Prof. Yiming Yang, Chairman of the Academic Committee at Jiangsu Normal University (ACJNU), sent an email with an attached formal letter to Dr. Danyelle Townsend, the Editor-in-Chief of Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy (townsed@musc.edu) and CCed Dr. Kenneth D. Tew, the Ethics Editor  (tewk@musc.edu) on July 29, 2022, requesting to retract three papers published in Biomedicine &  Pharmacotherapy. Prof. Yang has not received any response yet. Afterward, I was assigned to follow up on the retraction process. I sent a message to the Editor-in-Chief through the webpage of https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/biomedicine-and-pharmacotherapy/about/editorial-board on August 17, 2022. No response from the journal has been received. And I sent a message to ScienceDirect Support Center through the webpage of https://service.elsevier.com/app/contact/supporthub/sciencedirect/ on August 29, 2022, and received an automatic reply with a Ticket Number 220828-006381. It said I would get a response in 24 hours. However, I have not got any response till now.”

Min Shen , Shan Wang , Xin Wen , Xin-Rui Han , Yong-Jian Wang , Xiu-Min Zhou , Man-He Zhang , Dong-Mei Wu author has email , Jun Lu author has email , Yuan-Lin Zheng Dexmedetomidine exerts neuroprotective effect via the activation of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway in rats with traumatic brain injury Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy (2017) doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2017.08.125

The fraud findings and retraction requests for Wu and Lu were made public even, in May 2022:

“….revocation of Wu Dongmei’s National Natural Science Foundation of Molecular mechanism of TRPV4-mediated domoic acid treatment-induced cognitive deficits in mice” (Grant No. 81400902), recovering the allocated funds, permanently disqualifying Wu Dongmei from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (since January 18, 2022), Give Wu Dongmei a circular of criticism; decide to follow Article 35, item 4 of the “National Natural Science Foundation of China Regulations”, and refer to “The National Natural Science Foundation of China Supervision Committee’s Handling of Misconduct in Science Fund Work (Trial)” Tenth Items 3 and 4 of seven articles,…”

It is very likely Wu and Lu bought these fake papers from a papermill. The only other explanation is that they themselves run that papermill.

Qi-Hang Cai , Yao Tang , Shao-Hua Fan , Zi-Feng Zhang , Hong Li , Shao-Qiang Huang , Dong-Mei Wu author has email , Jun Lu author has email , Yuan-Lin Zheng In vivo effects of dexmedetomidine on immune function and tumor growth in rats with ovarian cancer through inhibiting the p38MAPK/NF-κB signaling pathway Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy (2017) doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2017.09.086 

Fig. 7C.
Fig 11A from Zhang et al (2018). I am at a loss to understand how independent research teams, working with cardiomyocytes and lymphocytes, ended up with flow-cytometry plots that are identical, or the same in 3 of 4 quadrants.”
The raw-data histogram for the 1 DEX group has been left out in the sun to sag and is overhanging.”

Maybe Elsevier and its editors ignore all emails from China?

Because when I wrote to Elsevier and the editors, they wrote back (not to me of course, but to the scientist at ACJNU):

“Dear Dr. […],

Please allow me to introduce myself as Mihail Grecea, Expert in Publishing Ethics at Elsevier. My daily role is to provide publishing ethics support and advice to the Editors of the journals published by Elsevier.

Please send again to this email address the messages that have been previously sent to request the retraction of the three below mentioned papers from the ‘Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy’ journal.

I would appreciate if you would also send the findings and conclusions regarding papers published by Elsevier journals as resulted from the investigation initiated by ACJNU in July 2020.”

Pei-Ying Jin , Hong-Jie Lu , Yao Tang , Shao-Hua Fan , Zi-Feng Zhang , Yan Wang , Xu-Ning Li , Dong-Mei Wu author has email , Jun Lu author has email , Yuan-Lin Zhen The effect of DNA-PKcs gene silencing on proliferation, migration, invasion and apoptosis, and in vivo tumorigenicity of human osteosarcoma MG-63 cells Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy (2017) doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2017.11.079

A third sighting, though now identified as beta-Actin: Fig 3A from Gong et al (2018). […] No authors in common
Fig 8A
Many points in common with the Blank panel of Fig 3C from Wang et al (2019).

Grecea also wrote to the ACJNU scientist:

“Please allow me to apologise for the misunderstanding which has occurred within our team. “

Suddenly, they are very sorry and all ears at Elsevier. Gosh, what happened to change that?



Persian Plant Papermill

Elisabeth Bik recently blogged about a plant sciences papermill operating in Iran, which was uncovered by one of her Twitter followers and investigated by Smut Clyde and other PubPeer users:

“The “Iranian Plant Paper Mill” [Google Sheets57 70 papers as per September 2022] contains plant sampling locations that are shared between papers. Although the coordinates are the same across papers, the names of the locations (cities, provinces, regions) as well as the researchers or plant species vary. If one does a Google Scholar search on ‘altitude 165 159 1133 1139 2383 Iran’, there are 40 results, many of which might be from the same paper mill. The locations given in the table usually do not match those given on the map that is included in many of the papers, although both are showing Iran.

In addition, the locations often including impossible latitudes and longitudes, such as 38 ̊52’93” latitude and 47 ̊25’92” longitude. In these examples, the last number is seconds, so it cannot be higher than 59.”

The papermill was, as it often happens, also a citation scam:

“Many of these papers seem to have in common citing the same papers by S.M. Esfandani-Bozchaloyi and M. Khayatnezhad, perhaps as part of a citation ring.

Hoya noting the magisterial work of Esfandani-Bozchaloyi et al, who receive 13 citations in DOI: 10.2298/GENSR2102837M. Source: https://pubpeer.com/publications/5F1B8F7B15E55225C5BA91239742BA

The topics of these citations do not always belong in the papers citing them, suggesting that the paper mill might have been set up not only to sell papers, but also to increase the citation index of these authors.”

I shall leave you guessing who Hoya camphorifolia might be.


Say no papermills!

Four Italian scientists are probably very sad now. They somehow ended up as significant co-authors authors on a papermill fabrication which has just been retracted. We don’t know if Professor Pietro Rubegni and his dermatology colleagues at the University of Siena paid for these authorships (from public coffers?) or received them gratis as their fair reward for being white Europeans. We can be fairly sure the Siena folks contributed no science because the science was fabricated by a Chinese papermill.

Lu Yan, Suihai Wang , Yue Li , Linda Tognetti, Rui Tan, Kang Zeng , Elisa Pianigiani , Xiangbin Mi, Hui Li , Michele Fimiani , Pietro Rubegni SNHG5 promotes proliferation and induces apoptosis in melanoma by sponging miR-155 RSC Advances (2018) doi: 10.1039/c7ra12520h

[upper left] Fig 6B from “Long non-coding RNA PVT1 facilitates cell proliferation by epigenetically regulating FOXF1 in breast cancer” (Guo et al 2018).
[upper right] Fig 5B.
[lower left] Fig 7B from “Long non-coding RNA CASC15 promotes melanoma progression by epigenetically regulating PDCD4” (Yin et al 2018).
[lower right] Fig 7B from “Linc00472 suppresses breast cancer progression and enhances doxorubicin sensitivity through regulation of miR-141 and programmed cell death 4” (Lu et al 2018).”
“[left] Fig 2F from Lu et al (2018).
[middle] Fig 2D from Guo et al (2018).
[right] Fig 2E.”

The retraction notice from 7 September 2022 mentioned:

“The authors were asked to provide the raw data for this article, but did not respond. Given the significance of the concerns about the validity of the data, and the lack of raw data, the findings presented in this article are not reliable.

The authors were informed but have not responded to any correspondence regarding the retraction.”

Rubegni is listed as one of the corresponding authors (the other is Lu Yan in China, his email for papermill reasons is michelley8051@126.com). Guess cat got Rubegni’s tongue. My suggestion: if he is that much into authorships on trash papers, he must team up with a fellow Italian dermatologist, Torello Lotti.

Torello Lotti’s Arousal Disorder

“Low Dose Medicine (LDM) arises from molecular biology, psychoneuroendocrine immunology and quantum physics. As for the use of low doses of the active ingredients of its drugs, it originates from the historical tradition of homeopathy.” – Professor Torello Lotti.


Russian homeopathy

Let’s have some russophobia. Remember how we debated whether or not to ban russians scientists from publishing in western journals? Is publishing access a kind of inalienable humanitarian human right, regardless if their rascist state attacked Ukraine and daily commits crimes against humanity and genocide? Or should these russian scholars take their research papers (which are often fraudulent or from papermills anyway) and stuff them up the arses of their warmongering university authorities?

Look what scientific gem russian scholars placed in a Nature-family journal in December 2021 (and retracted on 14 September 2022):

Vladimir Anatolevich Parfenov , Pavel Rudolfovich Kamchatnov , Dina Rustemovna Khasanova , Enver Ibragimovich Bogdanov , Tatiana Markovna Lokshtanova , Aleksandr Vitalevich Amelin , Natalya Nikolaevna Maslova , Nataliia Vyacheslavovna Pizova , Galina Nikolaevna Belskaya , Evgeny Robertovich Barantsevich , Gulsum Abdurahmanovna Duchshanova , Saltanat Ualihanovna Kamenova , Oleg Vladimirovich Kolokolov , Alexey Borisovich Glazunov The randomized clinical trial results of the anxiety treatment in patients with somatoform dysfunction and neurotic disorders Scientific Reports (2021) doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-03727-5 

It is a barely disguised homeopathy study, a phase 4 clinical trial with almost 400 participants which tested the homeopathic drug Tenoten, sponsored by the drug’s manufacturer. Unsurprisingly, the russians faked the outcome.

“Tenoten performed significantly more effective than placebo in the anxiety treatment of adults with SfD, RSS, AjD and oNDs (clinicaltrials.gov NCT03036293).”

Apparently, someone complained, and the paper has been just now retracted with the notice:

After publication of this Article concerns were raised regarding the design of the study and the robustness of its central conclusions. Post-publication peer review has confirmed that:

  • there is insufficient justification for the grouping of the patients who belong to clinically heterogeneous cohorts with multiple different psychiatric disease presentations;
  • the study lacks objective outcome measures; and
  • there are concerns about the validity of the therapeutic intervention tested—specifically that Tenoten contains antibodies diluted beyond the point at which any active molecules are expected to be present and there is no molecular analysis to support the presence of molecules at these dilutions

We do not know if the russian authors threatened nuclear retaliation or a referendum for the annexation of Springer Nature, but we are told they either objected to the retraction or didn’t reply at all.

But all is well. Just in June 2022, an Elsevier journal welcomed this homeopathy garbage from another set of crooked russians because the door will always will be open.

Alexandra G. Emelianova , Natalia V. Petrova , Christophe Fremez , Maxime Fontanié , Sergey А. Tarasov , Оleg I. Epstein Therapeutic potential of highly diluted antibodies in antibiotic-resistant infection European journal of pharmaceutical sciences (2022) doi: 10.1016/j.ejps.2022.106161

“One of the approaches to immunomodulation can be the use of antibodies (Abs) in a specific technological form of high dilutions (hd). […] hd-Abs increased the antibacterial activity of AMC against the strain resistant to it. The mechanism of action of hd-Abs remains to be elucidated in future studies.”

Antibodies having an effect where there can never be any antibodies after the homeopathic dilution, as the authors openly admit:

“the hd-Abs to MHC II and MHC I contained the mixture of the 12th, 30th, and 50th centesimal dilutions. The theoretical level of initial antibodies concentration reduction was 1024-fold, i.e. 2.5 × 10−24 mg/ml.”

The journal’s chief editor is Martin Brandl, professor of chemistry and pharmacy (the Hahnemann School, I presume) at the University of Southern Denmark. He didn’t reply to my email, maybe he only talks to fellow homeopaths?


Science Breakthroughs

Irisin is back!

Remember Irisin? The elusive magic “exercise hormone” to cure diabetes and obesity, discovered by the Harvard professor Bruce Spiegelman and his fraudster postdoc Pontus Boström? Which nobody could reproduce, irisin proven either as an artefact of a bad antibody, or as outright fraud?

Pontus Boström: cheater carousel in Sweden

Sweden is a tolerant country, which is a very good thing. Unfortunately, sometimes this Swedish tolerance seems ill-advised. Dishonest scientists caught faking data are happily given another chance and fat funding, like the case of the diabetes researcher Pontus Boström shows. This scientist was found to have fabricated data during his PhD studies with lateContinue Reading

That was until Spiegelman had enough and published a string of papers reproducing his own trash science, thus convincing the academic community that they all are incompetent idiots. The academic community and its appendages, the science journalists, agreed that this indeed further proves Spiegelman’s genius since he is the only one who can reproduce his own science breakthroughs.

Steffen Reinbothe: duplications planted on PNAS contributed track

This is a story of a plant scientist in France, Steffen Reinbothe. He and his sister Christiane used to hold academic positions in Germany, but now they both returned to France, to Grenoble. The move might have had to do with a dossier from 2009, made by a former lab member and circulated among peers.
Whatever concerns any peers might have had: Steffen and Christiane Reinbothe could rely on the “contributed” track at PNAS.

So here another turd Spiegelman just excreted, right onto the “contributed” track of PNAS:

Tae-In Kam , Hyejin Park , Shih-Ching Chou , Jonathan G. Van Vranken , Melanie J. Mittenbühler , Hyeonwoo Kim , Mu A , Yu Ree Choi , Devanik Biswas , Justin Wang , Yu Shin , Alexis Loder , Senthilkumar S. Karuppagounder , Christiane D. Wrann , Valina L. Dawson , Bruce M. Spiegelman , Ted M. Dawson Amelioration of pathologic α-synuclein-induced Parkinson’s disease by irisin Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2022) doi: 10.1073/pnas.2204835119  

A press release by Johns Hopkins University informs:

“Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Ted Dawson, M.D., Ph.D., and Dana Farber’s Bruce Spiegelman, Ph.D., worked together to look into the link between the exercise molecule irisin and Parkinson’s disease. 

For unknown reasons, endurance exercise has long been found to alleviate symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Dawson, whose research focuses on neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s disease, said one of the first clues to the link between exercise, Parkinson’s disease and irisin came from Spiegelman, whose first paper about irisin was published in 2012 in Nature and subsequently in other scientific journals, showing that a protein called an irisin peptide is released into the blood and increases with endurance exercise. 

In the past decade, other laboratories have found that exercise elevates levels of irisin, and there is interest in looking into the connection between irisin and Alzheimer’s disease as well as Parkinson’s disease. “

Translation: the endocrinology field has enough of Spiegelman’s fake irisin, so the Harvard cheater decided to conquer a totally unrelated field with lots of money in it: Parkinson’s.

Naturally, Parkinson’s mice were cured, irisin’s efficiency of up to 80%. Just like with diabetes and obesity mouse models before.

““Given that irisin is a naturally produced peptide hormone and seems to have evolved to cross the blood brain-barrier, we think it is worth continuing to evaluate irisin as a potential therapy for Parkinson’s and other forms of neurodegeneration” adds Spiegelman. 

Dawson and Spiegelman have filed for patents on the use of irisin in Parkinson’s disease. Spiegelman has created a biotechnology company, Aevum Therapeutics Inc., based in Boston, to develop irisin into treatments for neurodegenerative disease. “

“the ominous Aevum Therapeutics”?

PNAS mentions about the study:

“Contributed by Bruce M. Spiegelman; received March 23, 2022; accepted July 27, 2022; reviewed by Ana Maria Cuervo and Ann Graybiel”

Basically, Spiegelman published this “contributed” paper without an independent peer review, having inviting two friends to write something nice instead, a PNAS specialty bad scientists love to abuse. But Einstein Medicine professor Cuervo’s name rings a bell: she recently declared to me that Domenico Pratico is innocent and all the evidence of massive data fraud in his papers is itself fake. Read here:

This is how scientific gangs operate to defraud us.


Drink Tea!

We remain on the topic of garbage diabetes research. An article on CNN, which surely proves science has spoken.

“Drinking black, green or oolong tea might have more benefits than a little energy boost – a certain amount could reduce risk of developing type 2 diabetes, new research has found.

Drinking at least four cups of any of these teas per day has been linked with a 17% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes over an average period of 10 years, according to research published Saturday. The research, which hasn’t yet been published in a scientific journal, will be presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes Annual Meeting in Stockholm this week.”

Why yes, there is no paper or preprint, just a conference abstract. But who are you actually to argue with the CNN? Look, wise men of the Wuhan University of Science and Technology in China have figured it all out already:

“Our study showed that the association between tea consumption and (type 2 diabetes) depended on the amount of tea consumed. Only sufficient tea consumption can show clinical effects,” said Li via email. “Based on our findings, I would advise the public to consume more tea in their daily lives, if appropriate.” […]

“Particular components in tea, such as polyphenols, may reduce blood glucose concentration by inhibiting the activity of α-glucosidase and/or inhibiting the activity of other enzymes, but a sufficient amount of the bioactive substance is required to be effective,” Li said.

Who need comedy or satire when real life science is much more idiotic?

Such an impressive study:

“The abstract authors first studied 5,199 adults with no history of type 2 diabetes who had participated in the China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS). The CHNS is a prospective study examining the economics, sociological issues and health of residents from nine Chinese provinces. They were recruited in 1997 and followed until 2009. At the beginning of the study, participants provided information about lifestyle factors such as food and drink habits, exercise, smoking and alcohol consumption.

Initially, researchers found that tea drinkers and non-drinkers in their study had a similar risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

But when researchers decided to look into whether the amount consumed among tea drinkers made a difference by undertaking a systematic review of 19 cohort studies involving more than 1 million adults from eight countries, the results were different – the more cups of green, oolong or black tea participants drank daily, the lower their risk of developing type 2 diabetes was. The measures tracked across these studies were whether participants drank less than one cup of tea per day, one to three cups per day, or four or more.)”

This translates: the authors initially failed to find any difference. But tea is China’s national staple drink, and I am sure Chairman Xi drinks oodles of it. So our wise Chinese scholars had to find creative ways to find significance where there was none, with a “systematic review” of the works by fellow tea lobby data-fudgers as their last resort. Lo and behold, CNN fell for the stupid press release by the journal Diabetologia, which announced the conference abstract because they are stupid as well.


Take your vitamins!

We return to brain disorders. A press release by the Wake Forest University School of Medicine informs about the importance of multivitamin pills:

“A new study found that taking a daily supplement may improve cognition in older adults, but additional studies are needed to confirm these findings before any health recommendations are made. The study also showed that daily use of a cocoa extract supplement does not benefit cognition.

The findings by researchers from Wake Forest University School of Medicine, conducted in collaboration with Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston were published on September 14 in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.”

This was the paper:

Laura D. Baker, Joann E. Manson, Stephen R. Rapp, Howard D. Sesso, Sarah A. Gaussoin, Sally A. Shumaker and Mark A. Espeland, “Effects of cocoa extract and a multivitamin on cognitive function: A randomized clinical trial” Alzheimer s & Dementia. (2022) DOI: 10.1002/alz.12767

The clinical trial sought to prove that eating chocolate and taking multivitamin pills can prevent all diseases:

“The COcoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study for the Mind (COSMOS-Mind), was an ancillary study to the COSMOS trial led by Brigham and Women’s Hospital that randomized 21,442 men and women across the U.S. The study investigated whether taking a daily cocoa extract supplement or a daily multivitamin-mineral supplement reduces the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, cancer, and other health outcomes. It was funded by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health.”

Medical advice for those worried about getting Alzheimer’s is to take multivitamin pills:

““Our study showed that although cocoa extract did not affect cognition, daily multivitamin-mineral supplementation resulted in statistically significant cognitive improvement,” Baker said. “This is the first evidence of cognitive benefit in a large longer-term study of multivitamin supplementation in older adults.”

According to the researchers’ estimations, three years of multivitamin supplementation roughly translated to a 60% slowing of cognitive decline (about 1.8 years).”

The study was sponsored by a multivitamin manufacturer and the chocolate giant Mars:

“The COcoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study (COSMOS) is supported by an investigator-initiated grant from Mars Edge, a segment of Mars dedicated to nutrition research and products, which included infrastructure support and the donation of study pills and packaging. Haleon provided support through the partial provision of study pills and packaging.”

In place of Mars, I would demand my money back. At least Haleon is happy.

Chocolate is good for your funding

Chocolate is good for your health, scientists keep saying. This may sound counter-intuitive; given that chocolate is an extremely calorie-rich confectionery, which mostly contains industrially refined cocoa fat and huge quantities of added sugar, a substance finally about to be recognised as the prime cause for the obesity epidemics. A recent clinical study from theContinue Reading


Why Israeli Scientists are so smart

Speaking of cognitive performance. A question has been plaguing white scientists for decades, nay, centuries: why are we so overrepresented in academia and in white-collar jobs in general? Surely not because of racism and white privilege? Surely science says that’s because we, the white folks, are more intelligent than the darker-skinner others? But why? Genetics, or rather eugenics is still being considered by a number of academics, but not everyone is comfortable with it.

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.

Enter progressive Israeli Scientists in USA, Dr Tamar Sofer and her colleagues.

A press release by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard:

“Dietary choices and their consequences may certainly influence cognitive function. A new study led by investigators at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a founding member of the Mass General Brigham healthcare system, along with outside collaborators expands on previously published work (focused on Puerto Rican individuals in the U.S.) by including additional races and ethnicities.

The team found that certain plasma metabolites—substances created when the body breaks down food—were associated with global cognitive function scores across the diverse set of races and ethnicities.”

This is the paper:

Einat Granot‐Hershkovitz , Shan He , Jan Bressler , Bing Yu , Wassim Tarraf , Casey M. Rebholz , Jianwen Cai , Queenie Chan , Tanya P. Garcia , Thomas Mosley , Bruce S. Kristal , Charles DeCarli , Myriam Fornage , Guo‐Chong Chen , Qibin Qi , Robert Kaplan , Hector M. González , Tamar Sofer Plasma metabolites associated with cognitive function across race/ethnicities affirming the importance of healthy nutrition Alzheimer s & Dementia (2022)
doi: 10.1002/alz.12786 

The results:

“The team discovered that six metabolites were consistently associated with a lower global cognitive function across all of the studies. Four of them were sugars or derivatives of sugars. Another metabolite, beta-cryptoxanthin, was associated with a higher global cognitive function in the HCHS/SOL and is also strongly correlated with fruit consumption.  

“It is possible that these metabolites are biomarkers of a more direct relationship between diet and cognitive function,” said lead author Einat Granot‐Hershkovitz, PhD, who worked on this study as a postdoctoral fellow in Sofer’s lab at the Brigham.”

Now the hammer:

“Diet itself can be an important source of many metabolites, including some with positive or negative associations with cognitive function. In this study, the Mediterranean diet score was associated with higher levels of beta-cryptoxanthin, which was positively associate with cognitive function.

The Mediterranean diet was also negatively associated with the levels of other metabolites, which were associated with lower cognitive function. Previous research has also shown that adherence to the Mediterranean diet is associated with cognitive benefits.”

Who eats Mediterranean diet? Right, Israelis.

That’s why Israeli Scientists are much smarter than Black and LatinX people. I’m sure Dr Sofer will educate you that the academically under-represented Africans eat the wrong kind of hummus. Can’t argue with science.


News in Tweets

  • Jonathan Berkheim, of Weizmann Institute in Israel, decided to write about research integrity. It is actually a story about Elisabeth Bik. No, none of the many Weizmann fraudsters is mentioned, not even generally or indirectly. Dr Berkheim would rather want you to know it’s the Germans who have a fraud problem: “How to become the CSO of a German biopharmaceutical company? Multiple plagiarism incidents in an academic paper, which were exposed by Bik

How Irun Cohen and Weizmann Institute almost cured diabetes

This is a new episode of the data manipulation affair around Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel (and another guest post by “Smut Clyde“), with the hope that Israeli researchers and their state officials finally step in and investigate what goes on in this institute, supported by external experts from the academic community. There areContinue Reading

  • a team led by Jürgen Huber of the University of Innsbruck emailed some 3300 researchers, asking whether they would review an economics study prepared for a real journal. The study had two authors, both at Chapman University: Vernon Smith, a 2002 Nobel laureate in economics who last year had more than 54,000 citations listed on Google Scholar; and Sabiou Inoua, one of Smith’s former Ph.D. students, who last year had just 42 citations. The potential peer reviewers were sent one of three descriptions of the paper: One named only Smith, listing him as the corresponding author; another, only Inoua; and a third, no author.” (Science, original preprint here)
  • Charles Piller on his Cassava scoop: “I worked methodically to vet the whistleblower, the story’s lynchpin. Beyond verifying Schrag’s subject-matter expertise and reputation, I had to ensure that his findings, including 150 pages of image analysis, stood up to skeptical scrutiny. To do that, I reached out to numerous highly regarded Alzheimer’s experts — including supporters and doubters of the amyloid hypothesis — and to respected forensic image analysts. All found his findings well-supported and compelling.” I guess other (academic!) whistleblowers, like Patricia Murray, failed the expert vetting by Science journalists?
  • More trash Alzheimer’s: Lindsey Wang, Pamela B. Davis, Nora D. Volkow, Nathan A. Berger, David C. Kaelber, Rong Xu. Association of COVID-19 with New-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, (2022) DOI: 10.3233/JAD-220717

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2 comments on “Schneider Shorts 23.09.2022 – Elsevier apologises

  1. Pingback: Piantare alberi non ci salverà, cont. – ocasapiens

  2. Klaas van Dijk

    hi Leonid, the Isala hospital in Zwolle, The Netherlands, is a non-academic hospital which is very open about an ongoing investigation of its Committee of Research Integrity, see https://www.isala.nl/nieuws/isala-verlengt-maatregelen-bij-wetenschappelijk-onderzoek-cardiologie/ (in Dutch).

    As a result, almost all Dutch news agencies etc. have reported about this topic (there is also an ongoing criminal investigation against some cardiologists of this hospital).

    Liked by 1 person

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