Schneider Shorts of 30 September 2022 – with an undesired fourth patient in NEJM, superconductive fraud in Nature, killer Lancet, heroic Wiley, dead rabbits of London, Aduhelm 2.0, micronanorobots, coffee vs death, and a toxic antivaxxer awarded by toxic elites.
Table of Discontent
- None of these things are true – Tiwari’s ex-associate sends lawyers
- The undesired patient – prosthesis maker Rickard Branemark accused of misconduct and patient abuse
- Superconductive Fraud – cheating materials scientists lose Nature paper to peer investigations
- Toxic Antivaxxer – Aristidis Tsatsakis honoured by toxicology elites of EUROTOX
- Killer Lancet – Peter Wilmshurst and Patricia Murray on Lancet’s coverup for Macchiarini fraud
- Dead rabbits – Paolo De Coppi admits his regmed oesophagus transplants are deadly, still planning to treat babies
- Aduhelm 2.0 – Biogen has new Alzheimer’s antibody drug, and Guardian forgets everything in excitement
- Micronanorobots – UCSD scientists cured pneumonia with nanoparticles!
- Drink Coffee! – European Society of Cardiology says it prevents death
None of these things are true
You sure know the Sweden-based scamference fraudster Ashutosh Tiwari, and you may have read my recent article on his activities and his fictional “International Association of Advanced Materials”, or IAAM.
Four years after Ashutosh Tiwari’s scamferences and research fraud were exposed, his impressive-sounding yet fictional “International Association of Advanced Materials”, or IAAM, still opens doors, hearts and wallets.
One Tiwari associate, the Ireland-based Romanian Dana Cristina Toncu, who joined his predatory conference and predatory publishing scam at later stage and who is now estranged from Ashu, made up on her promise to deploy lawyers against me.
Well, she deployed lawyers against WordPress, the publishing platform For Better Science operates on. LinkedIn received a similar latter and swiftly caved in. But unlike with social media, with WordPress I am a paying customer and not a product to be sold. So of course my article stays up, and WordPress kindly shared with me the letter.
Here is the letter from Cumiskey Solicitors in Dublin, a law firm which consists of just one sole Cumiskey Solicitor named Donal:
“Please be advised that we are satisfied that the said blog published false allegations. Those allegations were grossly defamatory of our client’s character and caused her reputation to be injured in the eyes of reasonable members of society.
The blog post states that “Toncu therefore helped Tiwari with organising scamferencing and running his predatory publishing side-business, as managing editor of the pseudo-journal Advanced Materials Letters” and accuses her of lying about attending a conference in Sweden in May 2022.
This post referred to and were understood to refer to our client, who is a respected academic currently working as a Research Work-Flow Coordinator in University College Dublin.
The words published in these articles meant or were understood to mean that our client is involved in a scam; is a liar; and is predatory and exploitative of young students.
None of these things are true.
Our client has established a good reputation in academia in Ireland, by reason of her hard work over several years. Her reputation is of vital importance to her in her profession and in the community. As a result of the gravely defamatory content of the post, which has been shared on your platform, our client has suffered a loss of reputation, and has recently had an offer of employment withdrawn on foot of the defamatory content being published and shared.”
If none of what I wrote is true, she must sue Tiwari, not me. And also sue herself, since Toncu openly admitted to me in writing about having worked at IAAM and Tiwari’s pseudo-journal. Then her Cumiskey solicitor complains about the use of Toncu’s photo. Apparently, screenshots of Tiwari-owned public website are Toncu’s private property? Huh? How does that even work, legally?
None of that makes sense. But what does make sense, is that Toncu is not listed anymore as Research Work-Flow Coordinator at the Kenneth Dawson’s group (she is still listed here though). The University College Dublin professor promised to me to take the case seriously, and now Toncu had “an offer of employment withdrawn“.
She can still go back working for Tiwari, “leading the R&D programmes at the Institute of Advanced Materials, IAAM“!
Here is the full letter from Cumiskey Solicitors:
The undesired patient
Sweden currently has another big research misconduct scandal.
Forskning & Framsteg (FoF) magazine reports a story of a patient Mattias Hallberg who lost his arm in a work accident, and of the prosthesis which almost killed him. Translated:
“The accident was the direct reason why Mattias ended up many years later in a research project with something as technologically advanced as a thought-controlled prosthetic arm with built-in sensation. Behind the technology are researchers at, among others, Chalmers University of Technology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg University and the company Integrum.
On April 30, 2020, the researchers published results from four people who tested their prosthetic arm in the world’s top-ranked medical journal, the New England Journal of Medicine ( NEJM ). Mattias was one of them, patient 4. […] The researchers write that the trial participants drove snowmobiles and rally cars – and that no one suffered any serious complications.”
This was the NEJM paper:
Max Ortiz-Catalan, Enzo Mastinu, Paolo Sassu, Oskar Aszmann, and Rickard Brånemark, Self-Contained Neuromusculoskeletal Arm Prostheses N Engl J Med (2020) DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1917537
The last author, the businessman Rickard Brånemark is the son of the famous Swedish physician Per-Ingvar Brånemark, who invented the titanium bone prosthesis technology in the 1950ies. It is his late father’s technology which the junior uses with his private company Integrum. But unlike his father, Branemark junior doesn’t seem to have the patients’ welfare in mind:
“Mattias Hallberg thinks the report is dishonest because important information is missing.
– I got sepsis and they don’t write anything about that, he says. […]
He later developed an additional infection that required a surgeon to remove all of the implanted electrodes in his arm stump. Neither his sepsis nor the other infection is mentioned in the scientific report. […]
Against that background, there is something strange about the report in NEJM . It describes how it is going for all participants – except for patient 4. The researchers write that he disappeared from the follow-up and did not participate in evaluations.”
That was a lie.
Four years after the implantation of electrodes, in December 2018, Hallberg’s experienced problems with the prosthesis and its implants. He was then operated at the Mölndal hospital by two orthopedic surgeons: chief physician Shadi Jahani and Rickard Brånemark, the latter presented as “the only surgeon who had fully mastered the technique and would therefore perform the operation“.
“Rickard Brånemark began to thread out the spacer to replace it with a new one. When it was out, both doctors peered into the opening – and immediately disagreed about what was inside. Shadi Jahani saw signs of an infection. Mattias Hallberg understood the disagreement.
– She says there are bacteria there. He ignores it and runs her over. And then he injects some antibiotics right into the bone and puts the screw in there.
Mattias remembers that after the operation, Shadi Jahani told him that everything had gone too fast, that he should have been given antibiotics for ten days before the new piece of metal was threaded into his titanium screw. In this way, the suspected infection could have been cured. […]
During the operation, Shadi Jahani insisted on inserting culture sticks to take samples from the wound. The samples were sent to the lab for cultivation of any bacteria. Three days later, the results came back – showing that the wound was indeed infected. Unfortunately, no one reacted to the announcement.”
Hallberg was hit by sepsis and almost died. He ended up in emergency room and recovered only months later. One year on, in December 2019, the infection returned. Another surgeon at Sahlgrenska University Hospital removed all sensory electrodes, having noted “the infection is so diffuse that we think we cannot keep any electrode in place as there is too great a risk that the infection will not heal“.
The NEJM authors don’t see a problem of cover-up, they see it as an opportunity to publish yet another big paper:
“- Of course. Complications occur. They must be published. We plan to publish a report on his case from start to finish, including the sepsis and the removal of the electrodes and so on, says Max Ortiz Catalan, who has consulted for Integrum and owns shares in the company . […]
In a follow-up email, he writes that the study is really only about three patients. Patient 4 ended up in the report after someone at NEJM asked them to account for additional people treated with similar methods, according to Max Ortiz Catalan. To meet that request, the researchers brought in patient 4. […]
Today, Rickard Brånemark believes that his research group should have been firmer against the request from NEJM to bring in more patients.”
The elite journal’s editor-in-chief Eric Rubin let the journalists know that “NEJM has asked one of the authors questions and needs to wait for his response before making any comments.”
Integrum now issued a press release admitting that the paper is “being reviewed by the research ethics committee at Chalmers University of Technology” and that “A dialogue is now underway with NEJM about a supplement to the article“.
A Nature paper has just been retracted, despite protests of all of its US-based authors at University of Rochester and University of Nevada Las Vegas.
Elliot Snider , Nathan Dasenbrock-Gammon , Raymond McBride , Mathew Debessai , Hiranya Vindana , Kevin Vencatasamy , Keith V. Lawler , Ashkan Salamat, Ranga P. Dias Room-temperature superconductivity in a carbonaceous sulfur hydride Nature (2020) doi: 10.1038/s41586-020-2801-z
The retraction notice from 26 September 2022 mentions:”
“The editors of Nature wish to retract this paper. Following publication, questions were raised regarding the manner in which the data in this paper have been processed and analysed, which the authors and Nature have been working to resolve.
We have now established that some key data processing steps—namely, the background subtractions applied to the raw data used to generate the magnetic susceptibility plots in Fig. 2a and Extended Data Fig. 7d—used a non-standard, user-defined procedure. The details of the procedure were not specified in the paper and the validity of the background subtraction has subsequently been called into question.
The authors maintain that the raw data provide strong support for the main claims of the original paper.”
Science magazine covers the affair:
“In 2020, Ranga Dias, a physicist at the University of Rochester, and his colleagues published a sensational result in Nature, featured on its cover. They claimed to have discovered a room-temperature superconductor: a material in which electric current flows frictionlessly without any need for special cooling systems. […]
[…] “There have been a lot of questions about this result for a while,” says James Hamlin, an experimental condensed matter physicist at the University of Florida. But Jorge Hirsch, a theoretical physicist at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and longtime critic of the study, says the retraction does not go far enough. He believes it glosses over what he says is evidence of scientific misconduct. “
Superconductivity is a field prone to fraud and bullshit claims, and Science discusses this at length.
“In response to some of the criticisms, Dias and Salamat in 2021 posted a paper to the arXiv physics preprint server. It contained raw susceptibility data and purported to explain how the background was subtracted. “It raised more questions than it answered,” says Brad Ramshaw, a quantum materials physicist at Cornell University. “The process of going from the raw data to the published data was incredibly opaque.”
Hirsch, a firebrand who has criticized other hydride superconductivity claims, has made stronger accusations. He says some of the published data presented by Dias and Salamat could be represented by a smooth polynomial curve—impossible for noisy laboratory measurements. “I think they were fabricated,” Hirsch says. He also noted suspicious similarities to data in a 2009 Physical Review Letters paper on superconductivity in europium under high pressures. That study, which shared one author with the Nature paper, was retracted last year because of inaccurate magnetic susceptibility data.
In preprints, Hirsch kept hammering on the Dias study—so forcefully that in February, he was temporarily banned from posting to arXiv. He also complained to the University of Rochester, which in two inquiries found no evidence of scientific misconduct. This month, Hirsch and another critic, Dirk van der Marel, a condensed matter physicist at the University of Geneva, published their conclusion that the susceptibility data in the Dias study are “pathological.””
The aforementioned paper by Mathew Debessai was retracted in December 2021 by Physical Review Letters with a hint:
The new Nature retraction is Hirsch’s second scoop. Or maybe third? Also Ashkan Salamat, once a hero of his Las Vegas university, had another retraction, in 2016 already:
Mario Santoro , Federico A. Gorelli , Roberto Bini , Ashkan Salamat , Gaston Garbarino , Claire Levelut , Olivier Cambon , Julien Haines Carbon enters silica forming a cristobalite-type CO2–SiO2 solid solution Nature Communications (2014) doi: 10.1038/ncomms4761
That retraction was presented as an honest mistake by honest scientists which Salamat is definitely not. Regarding the current Nature retraction, the PubPeer user Orchestes quercus noticed this:
“van der Marel et al. published a critique 2022-01 on arXiv: https://arxiv.org/abs/2201.07686. The authors published a reply the same month: https://arxiv.org/abs/2201.11883. This reply has been withdrawn by arXiv: “This submission has been withdrawn by arXiv administrators due to inflammatory content and unprofessional language.”.
Quote from van der Marel: “From a thorough data analysis we show that the data are incompatible with the notion that the susceptibility data are obtained from the “measured voltage” using a background correction. On the other hand the data are compatible with the reverse procedure, namely the “measured voltage” is obtained by adding a “background signal” containing noise to what was reported as the background-corrected susceptibility.”
Quote from the abstract of the authors’ reply: “We point out that their non-peer reviewed critique (3) stems from either a lack of scientific understanding or a failure to appropriately analyze raw data.”
Science magazine, which once celebrated this same discovery as “Breakthrough of the Year”, now mentions:
“Dias and Salamat are not slowing down. The duo has co-founded a company, Unearthly Materials, to pursue commercial room-temperature superconductors. At conferences this summer, Dias has presented claims of superconductivity in new hydride compounds. Although he declined to comment on those claims until they are published, he says, “We’ve moved on from the 2020 work.” Salamat adds, “We’re on the precipice of a new era of high-temperature superconductivity.””
Good luck, because it’s all fake. PubPeer user Thallarcha lechrioleuca found this, by Salamat:
So much for honest mistakes.
Look who got honoured. the antivaxxer, covid-denialist, conspiracy theorist, tobacco lobbyist, quack and russian stooge Aristidis Tsatsakis. That dangerous clown became too toxic even for Elsevier which retracted his antivax paper on COVID-19 vaccines and removed him as Editor-in-Chief of Toxicology Reports.
Aristidis Tsatsakis, Konstantinos Poulas, Ronald Kostoff, Michael Aschner, Demetrios Spandidos, Konstantinos Farsalinos: you will need a disinfecting shower once you read their papers.
So you would think nobody would want to touch Tsatsakis with a barge pole. Wrong!
He just received an award:
The EUROTOX statutes are pretty clear:
“All EUROTOX members should conduct the work with high objectivity and integrity, communicate the information concerning health, safety and toxicity in a timely and responsible manner with regards to the significance and credibility of the available data, abstain from professional judgments influenced by conflict of interest, economic as well as “academic”, i.e. connection with special interest groups, observe the spirit as well as the letter of law, regulations, and ethical standards with regard to the welfare of humans and animals involved in experimental procedures and practice high standards of occupational health and safety.”
Tsatsakis is really, without exaggeration, the exact opposite of all of that. Guess the EUROTOX statutes were meant ironically.
I contacted all EUROTOX chief executives: University of Aberdeen emeritus professor Heather Wallace (Past President, she nominated Tsatsakis as head of committee), University of Porto professor Felix Carvalho (President), Roche’s Global Head Toxicology & Pathology Thomas Weiser (President-Elect), University of Basel professor Martin Wilks (Secretary-General), Maastricht University professor Theo de Kok (Treasurer), Charles River Laboratories’ toxicology section head Manon Beekhuijzen, Portugal National Institute of Health researcher João Paulo Teixeira, Vrije Universiteit Brussel professor Mathieu Vinken, Karolinska Institutet professor Mattias Oberg, as well as other EUROTOX members involved in awarding Tsatsakis.
Nobody replied. Why should they, Tsatsakis is their dear friend of many years. How reassuring to know that these elites of European toxicology must be sharing Tsatsakis’ toxic ideas.
Here a selection Tsatsakis’ papers:
- RETRACTED: Why are we vaccinating children against COVID-19?
- Vaccine- and natural infection-induced mechanisms that could modulate vaccine safety
- COVID‑19 vaccine safety
- Safety of COVID-19 vaccines administered in the EU: Should we be concerned?
- Adverse health effects of 5G mobile networking technology under real-life conditions
- Editorial: Nicotine and SARS-CoV-2: COVID-19 may be a disease of the nicotinic cholinergic system
- Nicotinic cholinergic system and COVID-19: In silico evaluation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists as potential therapeutic interventions
It seems those big toxicology professors and Big Pharma executives of EUROTOX have no qualms about having us killed with antivaxxery, tobacco lobbyism and other paranoid anti-science activities of fellow quacks like Tsatsakis.
How does this makes you feel about the state of science today?
The editors of the journal The Lancet, led for many years by Richard Horton, is considered to be the elite of medical research. Their word is basically the law.
And their word is that Paolo Macchiarini is innocent, they refuse to retract Macchiarini’s dangerous and fraudulent papers on trachea transplants, especially if this would damage the careers of fellow white English men.
This article lists all known (including those not officially declared) patients of the scandal surgeon Paolo Macchiarini, who received from him a cadaveric or plastic trachea. It will be updated whenever I receive any new evidence.
“The editor of a medical journal that charges readers for access to articles whilst knowingly keeping fraudulent articles on its website is as guilty of financial fraud as an art dealer who knowingly sells forged artworks, but there is no moral equivalence. The complicity in fraud by the editor of the medical journal may also cause death and harm to patients.
In 2008, the Lancet published “Clinical transplantation of a tissue-engineered airway” in a patient with post tuberculous stenosis of her left main bronchus (Macchiarini P, Jungebluth P, Go T et al.)1. The Lancet also published the five year follow up results of the same patient (Gonfiotti A, Jaus MO, Barale D et al. The first tissue-engineered airway transplantation: 5-year follow-up results.)2.
We have no reason to believe that when the Lancet published the first paper on-line on 19 November 2008 the editors knew that the paper had been falsified, but there was probably excessive enthusiasm and inadequate scrutiny of the data, which the authors had finished collecting only one month earlier. However, we are concerned that senior editors of the Lancet have known for several years that both the 2008 and 2014 articles were falsified, but they have not retracted either paper.”
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.
Despite fraud findings for Macchiarini and his acolyte Philipp Jungebluth (now retrained as orthopaedist with private praxis in Hannover), despite criminal convictions for Macchiarini in Italy and in Sweden, The Lancet still stands behind the Italian killer surgeon. They issued a correction, authored by a third party, and that closed the matter. Wilmshurst and Murray criticise:
“Journals publish letters of correction from authors when inadvertent errors in publications are discovered. That is not the case here. The letter is not from an author and differences between the claims in the paper and the truth are too great to believe they were the result of error. The Lancet’s solicitation of the letter suggests to us that the editors of the Lancet wished to avoid denouncing the fraud to protect the journal’s reputation.”
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.
Thing is, The Lancet and various research institutions, primarily UCL in London (where Macchiarini used to be a honorary professor) still believe in Macchiarini’s “science”, which the dead patients somehow failed.
“It is worth noting that at the Karolinska, Macchiarini stopped transplanting decellularised cadaveric tracheas that had been seeded with so-called “stem-cells”. Macchiarini switched to inserting plastic tubes that were squirted with a suspension of “stem cells”. This change in techniques meant that the original premise, that “stem-cells” could detect from their location what type of cell they should become and differentiate accordingly, was totally discarded: even if stem-cells had the ability to recognise their surroundings, they would not recognise that a plastic tube was meant to be an airway. Macchiarini’s change of technique was probably because of the recurrent fatal tracheal collapses that occurred with the original airway transplants. It is a sad reflection on the Karolinska Institute that they swallowed the original lies of this scientific fraudster and then allowed him to switch to equally lethal experimental human surgery predicated on a more bizarre hypothesis that was not supported by animal experiments.”
The Lancet is actively covering up the affair, even in cases of outright image reuse fraud, as Wilmshurst and Murray note:
“In a telephone conversation, a Lancet editorial assistant stated that the paper by Badylak et al was submitted on 12 August 2011 – the date stated by Macchiarini. Subsequently, when the Lancet was asked to confirm the date by email, the Lancet refused. We believe that the refusal to provide written confirmation of the date of submission is because the Lancet editors are aware that by confirming the date of submission of the article by Badylak et al they will be confirming that images in the 2014 paper by Gonfiotti et al are false.”
With his three trachea transplant clinical trials suspended, the British laryngologist and UCL professor Martin Birchall now tries to pull at least the clinical trial RegenVox, which is about the “regenerated” voice-box (larynx) and upper trachea, out of the bog. In order to get an approval to transplant human patients, UCL’s chief trachea transplanter tries to proveContinue Reading
Wilmshurst and Murray also address the role of UCL, which is historically very connected to The Lancet, and how their together protect the trachea transplanter Martin Birchall, formerly closest associate of Macchiarini’s.
“Repeated email requests to Sabine Kleinert, a Senior Executive Editor of the Lancet, asking what the Lancet will do to correct the false lung function data in the 2008 paper have gone unanswered.
Birchall is now a professor at University College London and he has received more than £10 million in public funded grants to continue follow up research on “tissue-engineered airways”. Macchiarini had an honorary appointment at University College London for 5 years. Hospitals associated with University College London have been the sites of tracheal transplantation using the techniques described in the false 2008 Lancet paper and young patients have died as a result, despite which the hospitals have claimed that the operations were successful. Some members of the team who performed lethal tracheal transplant surgery, including Birchall, were members of the Lancet commission on stem cells and regenerative medicine. The editor-in-chief of the Lancet, Richard Horton is an honorary professor at University College Hospital.”
In 2019, The Lancet announced:
Wilmshurst and Murray wonder why only English co-authors were asked for input, which led to Lancet‘s decision not to retract anything. I personally think that’s because of English chauvinism, a form of racism. Horton and others only respect and care for their fellow English men. Men like Andrew Wakefield.
“We believe that with the 2008 and 2014 papers by Macchiarini and colleagues we are seeing a rerun of Richard Horton’s failure to retract the falsified Lancet paper linking autism with MMR vaccine that was produced by his old chum Andrew Wakefield.”
My review of the new book by Brian Deer about what became the biggest medical scandal in recent history: Andrew Wakefield’s fraudulent research on MMR vaccines and his antivax campaigning which continues even today.
We remain on the topic of trachea transplanters in London. UCL professor, Great Ormond Street Hospital’s paediatric surgeon and former Macchiarini-associate Paolo De Coppi (and his mates) finally published the results of their oesophagus transplant experiments. Which were originally meant to be performed on human babies, but then Patricia Murray’s, Elizabeth Woeckner’s and yours truly’s activism happened. So De Coppi was made to try it on rabbits first (the plans of which were grandly celebrated by The Guardian back then). Now we are told that the rabbits miserably died.
Paediatric surgeon Paolo De Coppi claims to grow all possible internal organs in his lab at UCL. Though his career started with his association with Macchiarini, and their regenerative medicine ideas sound strangely similar, De Coppi is celebrated as a modest genius poised to save lives of uncounted children, and the funding money flows.
So here is De Coppi’s admission of failure, in a trash OA journal by Cell Press:
Edward Hannon, Marco Pellegrini, Federico Scottoni, Natalie Durkin, Soichi Shibuya, Roberto Lutman, Toby J. Proctor, J. Ciaran Hutchinson, Owen J. Arthurs, Demetra-Ellie Phylactopoulos, Elizabeth F. Maughan, Colin R. Butler, Simon Eaton, Mark W. Lowdell, Paola Bonfanti, Luca Urbani, Paolo De Coppi Lessons learned from pre-clinical testing of xenogeneic decellularised oesophagi in a rabbit model. iScience (2022) DOI: 10.1016/j.isci.2022.105174
“The purpose of this study was to assess feasibility and applicability of oesophageal replacement using decellularised porcine oesophageal scaffolds in a new pre-clinical model. Following surgical replacement in rabbits with a vascularising muscle flap, we observed successful anastomoses of decellularised scaffolds, cues of early neovascularisation and prevention of luminal collapse by the use of biodegradable stents. However, despite the success of the surgical procedure, the long-term survival was limited by the fragility of the animal model.”
The rabbits died after receiving oesophagus transplants due to “obstruction of the scaffold and respiratory complications despite the use of intraluminal stents.” De Coppi and his gang now demand to be allowed to repeat this on mini-pigs before they can finally start
killing curing babies as originally intended:
The study acknowledges De Coppi’s grant by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR-RP-2014-04-046) which he originally received in 2014 for a clinical trial with oesophagus transplants on babies. Who were lucky to have been spared the rabbits’ fate.
The paper mentions:
“The authors would like to thank Martin Birchall, Carlotta Camilli and Claire Crowley for the discussion, technical help and support.”
Read about Macchiarini’s past associates Birchall and Crawley here:
In 2017, UCL invited an external expert commission to investigate the deadly trachea transplants performed by the former UCL honorary professor Paolo Macchiarini. An already sacked UCL nanotechnology professor, Alexander Seifalian, whose lab made the two UCL plastic POSS-PCU tracheas in 2011, was announced as the main culprit on UCL side. All this despite Seifalian’s having had no clinical role, training or ambitions, as he professed in his interview to the investigative committee, which I now obtained.
The Guardian, in their trademark conceited incompetence of science-groupie-ism, celebrates another “historic” breakthrough:
“An experimental drug has slowed the rate of decline in memory and thinking in people with early Alzheimer’s disease in what is being described as a “historic moment” for dementia treatment.
The cognition of Alzheimer’s patients given the drug, developed by Eisai and Biogen, declined by 27% less than those on a placebo treatment after 18 months. This is a modest change in clinical outcome but it is the first time any drug has been clearly shown to alter the disease’s trajectory.”
Wrong, you stupid Guardian journos. They never mention that the same US company Biogen previously had another Alzheimer’s drug approved, with same claims of historic success – an amyloid beta-directed monoclonal antibody (Aduhelm or Aducanumab) – despite it having performed in clinical trials highly unconvincingly. So bad, that in April 2022 Biogen withdrew its application with the European Medicines Authority.
But now Biogen is again after amyloid plaques, again with amyloid beta-directed monoclonal antibody, basically same crap as their failed Aduhelm. FDA is about to approve that one, too. The difference seems to be that the new drug Lecanemab is more toxic than Aduhelm/Aducanumab, nice. But The Guardian celebrates:
“In the study, which enrolled roughly 1,800 patients with early stage Alzheimer’s, patients were given twice-weekly infusions of the drug, called lecanemab. It was also shown to reduce toxic plaques in the brain and slow patients’ memory decline and ability to perform day-to-day tasks.
About a fifth of patients experienced side-effects, including brain swelling or brain bleeding visible on PET scans, with about 3% of those patients experiencing symptomatic side-effects.
The results offer a boost to the “amyloid hypothesis”, which assumes that sticky plaques seen in the brains of dementia patients play a role in damaging brain cells and causing cognitive decline.
A series of previous drug candidates had been shown to successfully reduce levels of amyloid in the brain, but without any improvement in clinical outcomes, leading some to question whether the research field had been on the wrong track.”
How is this kind of “journalism” even possible. Anyway, the amyloid plaque theory of Alzheimer’s is not even resting, it has passed on, has ceased to be, expired, bereft of life and rests in peace, pushing up the daisies. It is an ex-theory. Also because of all the academic and biotech fraud in the field.
From Lesné’s public shame to successful role models of neuroscience like Aguzzi and Tessier-Lavigne.
I thought the silly stories of tiny nanotechnology robots curing all diseases from inside your bloodstream were finally put the rest, being too silly. No such luck.
A press release by University of California San Diego:
“Nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego have developed microscopic robots, called microrobots, that can swim around in the lungs, deliver medication and be used to clear up life-threatening cases of bacterial pneumonia.
In mice, the microrobots safely eliminated pneumonia-causing bacteria in the lungs and resulted in 100% survival. By contrast, untreated mice all died within three days after infection.[…]
The microrobots are made of algae cells whose surfaces are speckled with antibiotic-filled nanoparticles. The algae provide movement, which allows the microrobots to swim around and deliver antibiotics directly to more bacteria in the lungs. The nanoparticles containing the antibiotics are made of tiny biodegradable polymer spheres that are coated with the cell membranes of neutrophils, which are a type of white blood cell.”
This is the paper, published in an engineering journal where no editor or reviewer has the slightest clue of actual biology, medicine or biochemistry.
Fangyu Zhang, Jia Zhuang, Zhengxing Li, Hua Gong, Berta Esteban-Fernández De Ávila, Yaou Duan, Qiangzhe Zhang, Jiarong Zhou, Lu Yin, Emil Karshalev, Weiwei Gao, Victor Nizet, Ronnie H. Fang, Liangfang Zhang, Joseph Wang, Nanoparticle-modified microrobots for in vivo antibiotic delivery to treat acute bacterial pneumonia, Nature Materials (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41563-022-01360-9.
“Treatment with the microrobots was also more effective than an IV injection of antibiotics into the bloodstream. The latter required a dose of antibiotics that was 3000 times higher than that used in the microrobots to achieve the same effect. For comparison, a dose of microrobots provided 500 nanograms of antibiotics per mouse, while an IV injection provided 1.644 milligrams of antibiotics per mouse.
The team’s approach is so effective because it puts the medication right where it needs to go rather than diffusing it through the rest of the body. […]
“We’re pushing the boundary further in the field of targeted drug delivery,” said Zhang.”
They talk about human trials already!
Let’s ratchet up the stupidity. Coffee prevents death.
Christmas season is the time to eat lots of chocolate. And as science teaches us, your confectionery is actually the superfood which will make you healthy, slim and clever. Good for you, good for the chocolate industry which often generously sponsors such scientists. In May 2016, I brought a story about chocolate health research andContinue Reading
So now they are shilling not for Nestlé’s chocolate but for Nescafé:
“Drinking two to three cups of coffee a day is linked with a longer lifespan and lower risk of cardiovascular disease compared with avoiding coffee, according to research published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a journal of the ESC.1 The findings applied to ground, instant and decaffeinated varieties.
“In this large, observational study, ground, instant and decaffeinated coffee were associated with equivalent reductions in the incidence of cardiovascular disease and death from cardiovascular disease or any cause,” said study author Professor Peter Kistler of the Baker Heart and Diabetes Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia. “The results suggest that mild to moderate intake of ground, instant and decaffeinated coffee should be considered part of a healthy lifestyle.””
This is the paper, it used, as every other pointless trash study of thsi kind, the data of UK Biobank:
David Chieng, Rodrigo Canovas, Louise Segan, Hariharan Sugumar, Aleksandr Voskoboinik, Sandeep Prabhu, Liang Han Ling, Geoffrey Lee, Joseph B Morton, David M Kaye, Jonathan M Kalman, Peter M Kistler The impact of coffee subtypes on incident cardiovascular disease, arrhythmias, and mortality: long-term outcomes from the UK Biobank. Eur J Prev Cardiol. (2022). doi: 10.1093/eurjpc/zwac189.
“A total of 27,809 (6.2%) participants died during follow up. All types of coffee were linked with a reduction in death from any cause. The greatest risk reduction seen with two to three cups per day, which compared to no coffee drinking was associated with a 14%, 27% and 11% lower likelihood of death for decaffeinated, ground, and instant preparations, respectively. […]
Professor Kistler said: “Caffeine is the most well-known constituent in coffee, but the beverage contains more than 100 biologically active components. It is likely that the non-caffeinated compounds were responsible for the positive relationships observed between coffee drinking, cardiovascular disease and survival. Our findings indicate that drinking modest amounts of coffee of all types should not be discouraged but can be enjoyed as a heart healthy behaviour.””
I think people who don’t drink coffee are worse than smokers and alcoholics and must be stripped of health insurance for damaging themselves and society by their sabotage acts of NOT drinking coffee. Should apply to children also, including toddlers and babies. Science has spoken!
News in Tweets
- Another scoop for the intrepid Watchdogs of Retraction Watch: “After months of investigation that identified networks of reviewers and editors manipulating the peer review process, Hindawi plans to retract 511 papers across 16 journals, Retraction Watch has learned. The retractions, which the publisher and its parent company, Wiley, will announce tomorrow in a blog post, will be issued in the next month, and more may come as its investigation continues. They are not yet making the list available. ” The list is actually publicly available, it was originally made by Smut Clyde, who wrote an article on For Better Science about it, and it has not 500 but over 1300 papermill entries for Hindawi. I sent it to Wiley and Hindawi execs, received no reply, so I then sent it to the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (STM) to shame Wiley. Obviously it worked, Wiley execs ran to treat their faithful Retractable Watchdogs with an “exclusive” story on how Wiley all by themselves uncovered that massive papermill fraud and don’t you ever mention that evil Smut Clyde. The Watchdogs wagged their tails and did as told.
“sadly, no-one could find any other evidence of existence for these festively-named individuals, who may well be Knock-Knock jokes that somehow gained sentience.” – Smut Clyde
- More coverage about the lawsuit of Steven Houser against Temple University and his former friend Arthur Feldman, this time by The Philadelphia Inquirer: “In 2019, Temple officials then told Houser they were launching their own inquiry into the work, which still has not been resolved, according to court records. And the following year, the school notified Houser it was investigating potential misconduct on an additional series of papers on which he was an author, this time at the request of federal officials. […] Houser says he did nothing wrong. […] The real reason for the Temple inquiries, Houser contends, is that school officials sought to “malign” and intimidate him into dropping his complaints about the pig samples and related data, which his grad student had given to Feldman’s lab in late 2014.“
“This is a fight between two distinguished academics and the University at which they have tenure over a Pig Model….”
- A blog post by the Cassava Sciences sleuth Alexander Trevelyan: “a few emails turned up in a FOIL document between research integrity officers at Springer Nature, the publisher of Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy, and Wang. In these emails, it appears that Wang provided data which he claimed was original, only for the editors to apply a series of straightforward forensic techniques and uncover a handful signs of data tampering, including, for example, regions of highly correlated background noise.” Note that other journals, in particular Journal of Neuroscience, swallowed Wang’s fraud, even issued a joint press release with Cassava. Trevelyan promises to write about that later.
- Another Cassava sleuth, Jesse Brodkin, follows up on Elisabeth Bik‘s findings of data irregularities in a Science paper Erwin et al 2017. The last author, St Jude’s professor Aseem Ansari, denies the allegations, other PubPeer users uphold the concerns. I suggested to the Science EiC Holden Thorp to issue another stealth correction, I guess he is considering this?
As one Nobelist retracted her Science paper, another Nobelist has stealthily corrected his. The correction opens new dimensions of probabilities and is indeed best kept hidden.
- Nature reports about a new software detecting papermill products: “The tool, called the Papermill Alarm, was developed by Adam Day, who is director of scholarly data-services company Clear Skies in London. […] The tool uses a deep-learning algorithm to compare the language used in the titles and abstracts of manuscripts with that used in articles known to have come from paper mills. The comparison is based on lists of paper-mill articles compiled by research-integrity sleuths including Elisabeth Bik and David Bimler (also known by the pseudonym Smut Clyde)” Basically, this new software is trained with the Google Sheets files Smut Clyde publishes on For Better Science. Smut Clyde of course gets from Day exactly zero money and little (if any) credit for it.
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