Schneider Shorts

Schneider Shorts 16.12.2022 – Viagra and Olive Oil

Schneider Shorts 15.12.2022: with retractions for a Slovak papermill customer, a homeopath in Germany, a cheater couple in Sweden and a family-linked fraudster gang in Italy, editorial gatekeeping in action, editorial inaction at gatekeeping, boozy misconduct in elite lab, and finally, with the best Alzheimer's cures money can buy.

Schneider Shorts of 15 December 2022: with retractions for a Slovak papermill customer, a homeopath in Germany, a cheater couple in Sweden and a family-linked fraudster gang in Italy, editorial gatekeeping in action, editorial inaction at gatekeeping, boozy misconduct in elite lab, and finally, with the best Alzheimer’s cures money can buy.


Table of Discontent

Science Elites

Scholarly Publishing

Retraction Watchdogging

Science Breakthroughs

News in Tweets


Science Elites

You don’t need an investigation now

A PhD student fell victim to a sexual predator at the elite lab of Jonathan Kipnis, immunology professor at the Washington University in St. Louis in USA.

The university’s student newspaper Student Life reports:

“As Lila began to settle into her new position at the lab, she was eager to make friends. There was a weekly journal club on Friday evenings that always ended up as a social function. Lila said people would drink beers during the meeting and then go out to a bar or someone’s house to continue drinking afterwards. […]

After Lila’s second time at journal club, her postdoc mentor offered her a ride to his apartment, where he said the post-meeting festivities were to take place. When he came to pick her up, he told her that everyone else had canceled, and it was just going to be the two of them. The postdoc kept offering Lila drinks. At the end of the night, he made advances, trying to kiss her. […]

She rebuffed him and said she needed to leave. The postdoc offered to drive her, though Lila said that at the time, he was clearly intoxicated. Lila Ubered home. […]

At the next journal club, Lila hung out with everyone afterwards and got drinks. Her mentor offered to drop people at home, but he saved Lila’s apartment for last. Once they got there, he said they should go back to his place. There, she said he gave her more drinks and pressured Lila to have sex with him. This time, extremely intoxicated, Lila said she complied. […]

It became a vicious cycle, Lila said. Her mentor would text her to come over. Often, she would. Then in the lab, he would either act normal, give her the silent treatment or become angry. “

Lila’s postdoc mentor is described as someone who “had authored papers and was well-respected in the lab.” So this is how Kipnis eventually dealt with the case when the student brought the case to him:

“On August 31, in screenshotted text messages, Kipnis tells Lila “You don’t need an investigation now, even though you will probably win the case.” He then goes on to say that it would be “mentally unhealthy for you, and I think we need to avoid it.” 

Dr. Kipnis then asks her if she was fine with him ‘filing a complaint’ about her mentor, which Lila agrees to, though to her knowledge, no action was taken. […]

In an email to Lila on August 24, Dr. Kipnis assured her that the postdoc, “will leave the lab as of immediately,” and that “I told him that I would not be providing a letter of recommendation […]

n text messages between Lila and Dr. Kipnis later that summer, he tells Lila that the postdoc would stay on until December 31 in order to finish his experiment, coming in after-hours, but that his resignation letter would be in within the week. 

In an email sent in January 2022, Dr. Kipnis told Lila that though the post-doc was not employed by his lab but planned to stay in St. Louis with his girlfriend, who was employed by a different WashU lab. 

In January, Lila finally went to launch a Title IX investigation herself. Upon attempting, however, Lila was told that the postdoc had left the lab and was no longer a WashU employee, meaning that no investigation through WashU could take place. “


The reality of our science

Meet Professor Marián Brestič of the Slovak University of Agriculture, Faculty of Agrobiology and Food Resources. In 2021, he became member of the board of the national Agency for Research and Development Support, advising the Government of the Slovak Republic on basic and applied research. In the announcement, Brestic was quoted (translated):

There is that wide space for everyday scientific work, analysis and strategic decision-making, solving projects and writing high-quality publications, for comparison with the world. There is the reality of our science, as well as many open questions.

The reality of Brestic’s science is: his world-spanning “high-quality publications” were purchased from papermills (9 of them already flagged on PubPeer) and several were already retracted.

Like this one, the authors paying customers hail next to Brestic and other Slovak colleagues from Pakistan, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia:

Madiha Butt , Abdul Sattar , Tahira Abbas , Rashid Hussain , Muhammad Ijaz , Ahmad Sher , Umbreen Shahzad , Sami Ullah , Marian Brestic , Marek Zivcak , Kristina Gasparovic , Bandar S. Aljuaid , Ahmed M. El-Shehawi , Ali Tan Kee Zuan Morpho-physiological and biochemical attributes of Chili (Capsicum annum L.) genotypes grown under varying salinity levels PLOS One (2021) doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0257893

The retraction notice from August 2022 stated:

“The PLOS ONE Editors retract this article [1] because it was identified as one of a series of submissions for which we have concerns about authorship, competing interests, and peer review. We regret that the issues were not addressed prior to the article’s publication.”

It also mentioned that Brestic “did not agree with the retraction“.

Here are the other Brestic papers PLOS One retracted, with authors from India, Pakistan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and China:

On the plus side for Brestic, other “high-quality publications” of his were not published with PLOS One, so they are probably safe from retractions despite being most obviously papermill fraud. Like this in Hindawi:

Akbar Hossain , Milan Skalicky , Marian Brestic , Subhasis Mahari , Rout George Kerry , Sagar Maitra , Sukamal Sarkar , Saikat Saha , Preetha Bhadra , Marek Popov , Mst. Tanjina Islam , Vaclav Hejnak , Pavla Vachova , Ahmed Gaber , Tofazzal Islam Application of Nanomaterials to Ensure Quality and Nutritional Safety of Food Journal of Nanomaterials (2021) doi: 10.1155/2021/9336082

It contains “tortured phrases”, which arise when plagiarised text is obscured by back-and-forth translation. As reported by the PubPeer user Scleria hilsenbergii in this case:

  • food handling, bundlingfood processing, packaging
  • supplement conveyancedrug delivery (?)
  • innovations – (here:) technologies
  • rack capacity lifeshelf life

Or here, in MDPI and flagged by Guillaume Cabanac:

Sagar Maitra , Marian Brestic , Preetha Bhadra , Tanmoy Shankar , Subhashisa Praharaj , Jnana Bharati Palai , M. Mostafizur Rahman Shah , Viliam Barek , Peter Ondrisik , Milan Skalický , Akbar Hossain Bioinoculants-Natural Biological Resources for Sustainable Plant Production Microorganisms (2021) doi: 10.3390/microorganisms10010051 

hereditarily adjusted instead of the established ‘genetically modified’
hereditarily changed instead of the established ‘genetically modified

Brestic did not reply to my email. I reported him for suspected research misconduct to his university leadership and asked for confirmation of receipt. Also there, nobody replied.


No bearing on the core argument

Maybe you recall the superconductor-cheater Ashkan Salamat, still employed as assistant professor of physics at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, despite a high-profile retraction in Nature. Read this article by Maarten van Kampen:

In September 2022, a paper from Salamat’s PhD period at UCL in London was flagged on PubPeer:

Ashkan Salamat , Malek Deifallah , Raul Quesada Cabrera , Furio Corà , Paul F. McMillan Identification of new pillared-layered carbon nitride materials at high pressure Scientific Reports (2013) doi: 10.1038/srep02122 

Thallarcha lechrioleuca: “Figure 2. XRD patterns 50 GPa, 60 GPa and 70 GPa show unexpected similarity of background noise.”

In November 2022, UCL professor Andrea Sella posted this “official response from the UCL Dept of Chemistryon PubPeer:

“The above report has been reviewed by Drs Andrea Sella and Furio Corà (who is also a co-author on the paper). We agree that there is a problem with the figure where the high pressure spectra have identical noise. Unfortunately the PI associated with this work (Paul F McMillan) died in February 2022 and we have not been able to locate the original spectra. In their absence, we have reviewed the spectra presented in the PhD thesis of the first author of the paper (Dr Ashkan Salamat). Here the data are presented differently and we believe that the high pressure spectra were correctly recorded. We suggest that a mistake was made in the drafting of the figure that was missed by the several coauthors and by the referees. The Figure, from p111 of the thesis, is reproduced below. We also note that in spite of the problem with the published figure, the matter has no bearing on the core argument of the paper which refers to a phase transition that takes place at significantly lower pressure. The spectra we present here confirm that no further structural changes take place at higher pressure. “

I personally fully trust UCL to find nothing else but unaffected conclusions when asked to investigate suspected research fraud. But not everyone follows UCL’s expert decision to do absolutely nothing about that paper (and Salamat’s PhD).

Orchestes quercus commented:

With the addition of the thesis we got a puzzle with a nice number of pieces. So let’s try to solve it…”With the addition of the thesis we got a puzzle with a nice number of pieces. So let’s try to solve it…

The 50 and 70 GPa data in Fig. 2a are identical. Comparing them to either Fig. 53 of the thesis or the identical Fig. 8 of the paper one finds a near-perfect match. This then gives the following relations:

Note that the match is not perfect; it seems that a small peak at 13.8 degrees is edited out from the curves in Fig. 2a. Or, alternatively, the authors added the little peak to Fig. 8 / Fig. 53.

There was even more mismatching:

The 40 -> 50 GPa mixup in Figs. 2a and 3 seems important. In the paper the authors compare their 40 GPa XRD measurement to a 40 GPa DFT simulation, whilst that same curve is labeled 50 GPa in Fig. 45 of the thesis . And according #2 that figure now appears to be a more reliable representation of the work.

[…]

Similarly the 22/20 GPa curves are actually 25 GPa according the thesis. And the 10/10 GPa curves then correspond to 15 GPa? Both these curves were compared to DFT calculations done with a 10 GPa step size.

But UCL already closed the case.


Scary Dave

Remember David Argyle, head of the veterinary faculty at the University of Edinburgh (the Royal Dick Vet School), psychopathic bully who likes to scream and threaten people, and a research cheater? His research is about proving that heart stem cells do exist, never mind the Piero Anversa fraud scandal.

David Argyle: can bullying lead to bad science?

David Argyle was about to become President of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. But then bullying allegations emerged, which the University of Edinburgh swiftly dismissed and suppressed. Now they can do same with the data integrity concerns in Argyle’s research.

Well, the University of Edinburgh thinks Dave is great and it’s everyone else who is the troublemaker.

The Times has the current status:

“It is one of the most prestigious roles in academia. Yet efforts to appoint a director of the world famous Roslin Institute are continuing almost two years after the post was vacated amid allegations of bullying and harassment.

The research facility, located on the campus of the University of Edinburgh, has been on the hunt for a “world-class” scientist to take the helm since Professor Eleanor Riley stepped down suddenly as the director in February last year.

Her departure came amid a swirl of allegations that she had been marginalised by a senior academic. “

Riley was bullied by Argyle, who seems to particularly target women (except maybe for his wife Sally Argyle, whom he appointed as faculty member in charge of undergraduate students). So two years after employees reported Argyle for bullying, he was in fact promoted to head the entire medical and veterinary faculty.

“The institute, which gained global recognition in 1996 for creating Dolly, the world’s first cloned sheep, has been led by an interim director, Professor Bruce Whitelaw. while the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council which funds the Roslin, seeks to appoint “an outstanding scientist and visionary leader”.

There is speculation, however, that “toxic” allegations of bullying may have hampered efforts.

Staff were told in the summer that four candidates were lined up to replace Riley after applications closed in June. They were interviewed in September and the post was offered to Paul Flicek, a senior scientist at the Cambridge-based European Bioinformatics Institute. Flicek later turned down the role for “personal reasons”.”

David Argyle – brave, resilient and progressive

“I have worked at several universities in my career, and never have I encountered the degree of bullying, harassment, intimidation, and discrimination that I have here. The atmosphere is utterly toxic, and everyone is scared to say anything in case it is heard and reported to [David Argyle] or [Richard Mellanby]. It is like working…

It seems, Edinburgh’s PR campaign to convicne everyone that there is absolutely no bullying going on at Royal Dick Vet School and that Dave Argyle is the nicest, most charming, babyface cutie-cheeks possible, failed.


Scholarly Publishing

Gatekeeping in action!

For over a decade, the pseudonymous image integrity sleuth Clare Francis has been finding fake gels and sending their evidence to the journal editors. The usual reaction is silence, in some cases an acknowledgement, occasionally with thanks.

And sometimes Clare Francis runs into some clever-clogs like David Newcombe, managing editor at the journal Surgery.

It was about this paper, flagged on PubPeer already 8 years ago, and authored by the Harvard professor Edward Whang and his mentee Mark Duxbury, now surgeon at the Ross Hall Hospital in Edinburgh, UK.

M.S Duxbury , H Ito , M.J Zinner , S.W Ashley , E.E Whang Focal adhesion kinase gene silencing promotes anoikis and suppresses metastasis of human pancreatic adenocarcinoma cells Surgery (2004) doi: 10.1016/j.surg.2003.10.017

there are remarkable similarities between untreated and control siRNA lanes for both left and right sides (i.e., both Mia AR and MiaPaCa2), as though they differ only in exposure.”

It should be noted that Whang has 22 papers on PubPeer and Duxbury has 18 papers flagged for fake data, all co-authored with Wang. A huge red flag, which presumably explains why Duxbury left academia after a decade at Harvard, Cambridge and University of Edinburgh, and why Whang is still not fully tenured but associate professor at Harvard Medical School and assistant professor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

The journal’s Managing Editor David Newcombe (per his LinkedIn “Owner and President” of “Stellar Medical Publications”, whatever that is) replied to Clare Francis:

Since your email is not signed, I am not sure to whom this email should be addressed. I do appreciate your interest in Surgery, but if you would like us to consider the issue that you raised in your correspondence, please submit a formal letter that includes your name, position, and institution. The editors will review the information only if you formally submit.”

Clare Francis protested and kept reminding Newcombe of COPE guidelines, which I believe was wasted on Newcombe who probably never heard of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) which Surgery‘s publisher Elsevier is member of.

I tried to talk to Newcombe, he insisted Clare Francis and I were the same person, but still refused to admit any evidence. The sleuth then sent Newcome another Surgery paper by Whang and Duxbury:

Mark S. Duxbury , Hiromichi Ito , Eric Benoit, Michael J. Zinner , Stanley W. Ashley , Edward E. Whang Retrovirally mediated RNA interference targeting the M2 subunit of ribonucleotide reductase: A novel therapeutic strategy in pancreatic cancer Surgery (2004) doi: 10.1016/j.surg.2004.04.029

Newcombe reacted with:

As previously mentioned, I will no longer respond to unsigned emails.

I tried to get the journal’s academic Editor-in-Chief involved, the University of Florida professor Kevin Behrns. Who did not reply at all.

As the Hippocratic Hypocritic Oath in medicine goes: First, do no harm to your peers’ careers.


Copyright for papermills!

Some Chinese fraudsters abused the Californian DMCA Takedown laws to harass the owners of PubPeer. It was about this paper, flagged on PubPeer in July 2022:

Xiao-Fei Sun, Yu Wang , Li-Li Yin , Gui-Yu Song , Qing Yang Long noncoding RNA ASH1L-AS1 promotes glycolysis and cisplatin resistance in ovarian cancer cells via its regulation on EZH2-mediated CNRIP1 methylation Research Square Platform LLC (2022) doi: 10.21203/rs.3.rs-1749954/v1 

Hoya camphorifolia:
“[above] Fig 7B from “Breast cancer cell-derived extracellular vesicles transfer miR-182-5p and promote breast carcinogenesis via the CMTM7/EGFR/AKT axis” (Lu et al 2021).
[below] Fig 6A.

On PubPeer, the author, or rather the papermill customer Xiao-Fei Sun replied in December 2022:

we have made a strict inventory of the problems existing in the picture management of the research group and re-conducted the experiment and data collation for this unpublished study. Since this is an immature manuscript, we will continue to improve the experiment and re-organize our manuscript. The previous preprint posted on the research square platform has not been authorized by all authors and has been removed.” Future new manuscripts will be submitted again with the consent of all authors.

In parallel, Sun made this DMCA Takedown claim against PubPeer, which he reiterated in an email to PubPeer, also from December 2022:

PubPeer owners replied with a lengthy statement of their lawyer, who rejected Sun’s DMCA claim and explained that the use of figures from research publications for scientific debate can never be copyright infringement, but “fair use”. The lawyer also mentioned:

At any rate, you have admitted in your email of December 2 that, due to your own negligence, you do not own any copyright in the images of transfected ovarian cancer cells in your article. At any rate, as a matter of law, you could not own any copyright in the images. If anyone owns the copyright in the cancer cells, it would be the individual patients whose ovarian cells you obtained from third party suppliers. […] The fact that you sent The Foundation a DMCA takedown notice, when you do not own the copyright in the cells reproduced in your article, also subjects you to a claim by PubPeer for damages.”

Obviously Sun is in China and it woudl be difficult to sue him in California. But PubPeer legally is based in USA, just like WordPress (which I use) or most of the social media platforms, which is why, with social media for sure, DMCA Takedown notices can be effective in having content removed even where the claimant holds no copyright whatsoever. Apparently it’s very cheap to lodge such nonsense DMCA Takedown claims and legally perfectly safe if you do it while residing abroad.

Here is one of my own experiences with DMCA Takedown orders based on bullshit copyright claims:


Inaction at gatekeeping

Rememberer when Alexander Magazinov pleaded with Prof Dr Dirk Uwe Sauer of RWTH Aachen, the Editor-in-Chief of Elsevier’s Journal of Energy Storage (Impact Factor 8.907), to urgently stop a certain “special issue”? It was titled “Recent Advances in Battery Thermal Management,” and edited by papermill fraudsters Nader Karimi, Mohammad Arjmand, Cong Qi, and Masoud Afrand.

Professor Sauer promised Magazinov to stop the special issue and investigate. On 10 November 2022, Elsevier’s responsible publishing ethics expert Mihail Grecea wrote to Magazinov:

Dear Dr. Magazinov,”Dear Dr. Magazinov,
Please be aware that the special issue is on hold and that the actions of the Guest Editors are being investigated. However, the investigation is expected to not be completed for some weeks because of the number of papers involved in the issue (85).

But they did not stop.

Received 10 April 2022, Revised 29 September 2022, Accepted 19 November 2022, Available online 30 November 2022, Version of Record 30 November 2022.”, and part of that allegedly “on hold” special issue:

M. Khoshvaght-Aliabadi, A. Abbaszadeh , A. Salimi , N. Salehi Structural modifications of sinusoidal wavy minichannels cold plates applied in liquid cooling of lithium-ion batteries Journal of Energy Storage (2023) doi: 10.1016/j.est.2022.106208

The “study” is a papermill product and a citation plantation.

Magazinov: “The experimental setup is the same as in an earlier work in the same journal. Although that paper is cited as [54], it does not acknowledge the commonality / duplicate reporting of the experiment.”
Magazinov: “A creative idea is used to squeeze in a bunch of desirable citations, as nearly anything can qualify as “other systems.””

The journal is making good money and its impact factor continues to grow, thanks to papermills. Why should Herr Prof Dr Sauer stop?

Apparently Prof Sauer is Germany’s top expert not just for batteries and green energy transition, but also for science communication.


Retraction Watchdogging

Homeopathy in Munich

This paper in Scientific Reports has been retracted:

Kristina N. Woods New insights into the microscopic interactions associated with the physical mechanism of action of highly diluted biologics Scientific Reports (2021) doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-93326-1 

It was badly disguised homeopathy decorated with “THz spectroscopy and molecular dynamics simulations” which somehow passed peer review. The retraction note from 29 November 2022 stated:

“After publication, concerns were raised about the nature of the samples used in this study, in particular that the cytokine and antibodies are diluted beyond the point at which any active molecules are expected to be present. Post-publication peer review confirmed that some of the methods used in this study are not sensitive enough to provide interpretable results at these concentrations. This means that without further corroborative evidence, the data presented in the paper are not sufficient to attribute the differences in the signal to the sample preparation method. The Editors therefore no longer have confidence in the results reported in this Article.

Kristina N. Woods disagrees with this retraction.”

Kristina Woods is a guest professor at the Faculty of Physics of the prestigious German university, the LMU Munich. On the faculty website, she writes:

“In my research I use THz (TeraHertz) spectroscopy to explore picosecond time-scale global and local intermolecular associations in proteins and other biologically-relevant macromolecules. I combine experimental measurements with computational analyses to detect and characterize these thermally-induced, collective fluctuations that have been hypothesized to play a central role in driving biochemical reactions such as enzymatic activity, ligand binding, and protein-protein recognition interactions.

In reality, it’s homeopathy. Her personal website has been deleted now, but here is a backup. Woods still has active faculty profiles at University of Carnegie Mellon and University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.


None of the authors agree

Remember the Fraud Squad in Sicily? A huge gang of family-related Italian medical fraudsters at the University of Messina led by Francesco Squadrito? Their entire scientific output based on cruel animal experimenting, spanning decades, while being ridiculously fraudulent?

Well, another one of their many fake papers has been retracted, and that after a Correction in 2014 declaring “After publication of our recent article [1], we noticed that Figure 2A was incorrect as a result of mislabeling of the image files.”:

Gianluca Bagnato, Alessandra Bitto, Natasha Irrera, Gabriele Pizzino, Donatella Sangari , Maurizio Cinquegrani , William Neal Roberts , Marco Atteritano, Domenica Altavilla , Francesco Squadrito, Gianfilippo Bagnato, Antonino Saitta Propylthiouracil prevents cutaneous and pulmonary fibrosis in the reactive oxygen species murine model of systemic sclerosis Arthritis Research & Therapy (2013) doi: 10.1186/ar4300  

Figure 3 appears to have an image which overlaps.”

The retraction note from 14 December 2022 stated:

“The Editors in Chief have retracted this article. After publication, Fig 2 was corrected because images in it had been mislabelled [1]. However, new concerns emerged regarding the following:

  • Partial image overlap in Fig 3A and C;
  • Concerns about band similarity within Western blots in Figs 5A,B and 6A,B;
  • The actin bands in 5B appear very similar to the ones published earlier in Fig. 5B in [2] by the same author group.

The authors were unable to produce raw data on request. The Editors have lost confidence in the integrity of the data in this article. None of the authors agree to this retraction.”

To be fair, Squadrito’s wife Domenica Altavilla couldn’t have agreed anyway. She died soon after my article was published in May 2022, while her husband was busy threatening me with lawsuits.


An investigation by the publisher

Also Leonard Girnita has earned a retraction. A Sweden/based Romanian researcher at the Karolinska Institutet, who together with his wife Ada Girnita learned the skills of bad science from the Karolinska professor and failed biotech entrepreneur Olle Larsson. Now they all under research misconduct investigation following my reporting.

So here is the newly retracted paper:

A Girnita , H Zheng , A Grönberg , L Girnita , M Ståhle Identification of the cathelicidin peptide LL-37 as agonist for the type I insulin-like growth factor receptor Oncogene (2012) doi: 10.1038/onc.2011.239

This was the retraction notice from 9 December 2022:

“The Editor-in-Chief and the publisher have retracted this article. The article was submitted to be part of a guest-edited issue. An investigation by the publisher found a number of articles, including this one, with a number of concerns, including but not limited to compromised editorial handling and peer review process, inappropriate or irrelevant references or not being in scope of the journal or guest-edited issue. Based on the investigation’s findings the Editor-in-Chief therefore no longer has confidence in the results and conclusions of this article.

A Girnita and M Ståhle have not explicitly stated whether they agree or disagree with this retraction.

H Zheng and L Girnita have not responded to correspondence regarding this retraction.

The Publisher has not been able to obtain a current email address for author A Grönberg.”

It sounds like Ada and Leonard Girnita published a papermill product, but I don’t think it’s true, this decade-old forgery is self-made. It is not at all clear which “guest-edited issue” the notice refers to. Most likely none, just motivated by the desire to blame some imaginary third party from Asia. Also, there was no investigation by Oncogene‘s Editor-in-Chief Justin Stebbing, this former Imperial College professor is a manipulative crook and pathological liar.

In reality, Karolinska Institutet likely requested this retraction. Leonard Girnita is meanwhile trying to find a new job, he recently applied to the University of Oslo in Norway.


Science Breakthroughs

Olive Oil for Alzheimer’s!

Where else but Frontiers to find a silly prophylactic against Alzheimer’s.

Daniel Lee , Virginia M-Y. Lee , Seong Kwon Hur Manipulation of the diet–microbiota–brain axis in Alzheimer’s disease Frontiers in Neuroscience (2022) doi: 10.3389/fnins.2022.1042865

“However, preliminary findings of longitudinal studies conducted over the past decades have highlighted dietary interventions, especially Mediterranean diets, as preventative measures for Alzheimer’s disease by reversing neuroinflammation, modifying the intestinal and blood–brain barrier (BBB), and addressing gut dysbiosis. Conversely, the consumption of Western diets intensifies the progression of Alzheimer’s disease through genetic alterations, impaired barrier function, and chronic inflammation. This review aims to support the growing body of experimental and clinical data highlighting specific probiotic strains and particular dietary components in preventing Alzheimer’s disease via the gut–brain axis.”

Yes, it is a silly review article. Mediterranean diet prevents Alzheimer’s? Because nobody in Italy and Greece gets it? But there is an additional aspect of silliness. The academic affiliation for the first author Daniel Lee is given as “Middleton High School, Middleton, WI, United States“. Huh?

Well, Lee is a fairly common Chinese or Korean name, but still: one can suspect that the 77 year old middle author Virginia Man-Yee Lee, Director of the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, is young Daniel’s grandmother (or some other relative). Seong Kwon Hur seems to be Virginia Lee’s former postdoc.

In any case, we knew thanks to the Temple University professor Domenico Pratico that olive oil is the cure for Alzheimer’s.

And if you think the massive fraud Pratico published somehow made him and his olive oil bullshit unpopular – wrong! Here a piping hot new clinical paper, where Pratico teamed up with fellow bullshitters from Auburn University (whatever that is) :

Amal Kaddoumi , Thomas S. Denney , Gopikrishna Deshpande , Jennifer L. Robinson , Ronald J. Beyers , David T. Redden , Domenico Praticò , Tassos C. Kyriakides , Bonian Lu , Anna N. Kirby , Darren T. Beck , Nancy D. Merner Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Enhances the Blood–Brain Barrier Function in Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Randomized Controlled Trial Nutrients (2022) doi: 10.3390/nu14235102

From the abstract:

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and early Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are characterized by blood–brain barrier (BBB) breakdown leading to abnormal BBB permeability ahead of brain atrophy or dementia. Previous findings in AD mouse models have reported the beneficial effect of extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) against AD, which improved BBB and memory functions and reduced brain amyloid-β (Aβ) and related pathology. […] Twenty-six participants with MCI were randomized with 25 participants completed the study. EVOO significantly improved clinical dementia rating (CDR) and behavioral scores. […] This proof-of-concept study justifies further clinical trials to assess olive oil’s protective effects against AD and its potential role in preventing MCI conversion to AD and related dementias.”

The Conflicts of interest section declares:

“The authors declare no conflict of interest. The corresponding author, Amal Kaddoumi, is a co-founder and equity shareholder in Oleolive, LLC.”

Kaddoumi is professor of pharmacy at that Auburn College in Alabama. Her company Oleolive specialises on developing from olive oil therapies for Alzheimer’s, plus cancer and old age. An olive oil extract named Oligen is already available for you to buy. According to the company’s presentation, it is scientifically proven that Oligen rejuvenates and cures cancer and all brain- and cardiovascular diseases.


Brain Stiffness

Enough of olive oil. Of course the real cure for Alzheimer’s brain limpness is Viagra.

BBC reported on 6 December 2022:

“The impotence pill Viagra may be a useful treatment against Alzheimer’s disease, say US researchers who have been studying its effects in the brain.

Tests in cells suggest the drug targets some of the proteins that accumulate in this type of dementia.

The Cleveland team also analysed a database of 7m patients and found men who were on the drug had a lower risk of Alzheimer’s.

More studies on it are worthwhile, they say in the journal Nature Aging.”

This is the paper:

Jiansong Fang , Pengyue Zhang , Yadi Zhou , Chien-Wei Chiang , Juan Tan , Yuan Hou , Shaun Stauffer , Lang Li , Andrew A. Pieper , Jeffrey Cummings , Feixiong Cheng Endophenotype-based in silico network medicine discovery combined with insurance record data mining identifies sildenafil as a candidate drug for Alzheimer’s disease Nature Aging (2021) doi: 10.1038/s43587-021-00138-z

BBC has the promising details:

“The Cleveland team found:

  • – High doses of the drug (larger than a person would normally take) increased brain cell growth and reduced protein accumulation in lab studies of human tissue
    • – People on sildenafil were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those not taking this medication, based on personal medical data spanning six years and involving more than 7.23m individuals

Lead investigator Dr Feixiong Cheng said the findings were encouraging, but needed more exploring: “Because our findings only establish an association between sildenafil use and reduced incidence of Alzheimer’s disease, we are now planning a mechanistic trial and a phase II randomized clinical trial to test causality and confirm sildenafil’s clinical benefits for Alzheimer’s patients.””

There is this interesting conflicts of interests statement for Jeffrey Cummings, professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas:

“J.C. has provided consultation to Acadia, Actinogen, Alkahest, Alzheon, Annovis, Avanir, Axsome, Biogen, BioXcel, Cassava, Cerecin, Cerevel, Cortexyme, Cytox, EIP Pharma, Eisai, Foresight, GemVax, Genentech, Green Valley, Grifols, Karuna, Merck, Novo Nordisk, Otsuka, Resverlogix, Roche, Samumed, Samus, Signant Health, Suven, Third Rock and United Neuroscience pharmaceutical and assessment companies. J.C. has stock options in ADAMAS, AnnovisBio, MedAvante and BiOasis.”

This Cummings fella seems trustworthy, right?


News in Tweets

  • Chloroquine quack Didier Raoult harassed by PLOS One! Retraction Watch quotes the publisher’s spokesman David Knudson: “PLOS is issuing interim Expressions of Concerns for 49 articles that are linked to researchers affiliated with IHU-Méditerranée Infection (Marseille, France) and/or the Aix-Marseille University, as part of an ongoing case that involves more than 100 articles in total. Many of the papers in this case include controversial scientist Didier Raoult as a co-author. Several whistleblowers raised concerns about articles from this institute, including that several ethics approval reference numbers have been reused in many articles. Our investigation, which has been ongoing for more than a year, confirmed ethics approval reuse and also uncovered other issues including: – highly prolific authorship (a rate that would equate to nearly 1 article every 3 days for one or more individuals), which calls into question whether PLOS’ authorship criteria have been met  -undeclared COIs with pharmaceutical companies “
  • Somehow that Wakefield-in Drag antivaxxer Sabine Hazan, who before cashing in with ivermectin and chloroquine on COVID-19 pandemic literally dealt in shit (stool transplants for autism), discovered PubPeer and Elisabeth Bik.
  • For some reason the (usually far-right) outlet Quillette is now exposing horrific medical abuse of Black prison inmates by Dr. Albert M. Kligman on behalf of cosmetics industry, in an article by Allen Hornblum (author of the relevant book “Acres of Skin”): “the Philadelphia Prison System had been hijacked by Kligman, who saw the hundreds of inmates languishing on stifling cellblocks as ideal subjects for medical research. From his first visit to the jail in 1951, he realized he had found a large disposable cohort for experimentation. Best of all, this “anthropoid colony … under perfect control conditions” was sequestered behind a 35-foot fieldstone wall. […] Protocols testing soap, toothpaste, hair dye, deodorant, detergent, shampoo, and other assorted oils, lotions, and creams, began to overtake Kligman’s academic agenda. Money, he soon discovered, could be made from what he called the Philly prison system’s unlimited “acres of skin.” The entire enterprise, as Dr. A. Bernard Ackerman would argue years later, became dedicated to commerce. A one-time protege of Kligman’s, Ackerman would go on to become one of the world’s leading dermatopathologists.” Kligman even poisoned his victims with dioxin to make $10k for himself.
  • Papermill company Medjaden publicly offers to bribe journal editors to accept their produce. Frontiers‘ EiC Francesco Giovinazzo replies: “happy to help“. @FrontiersIn later reples: “Thank you for flagging this. We are aware and an internal investigation has already been completed with the conclusion that it was a misunderstanding. For any further questions, please send us a DM with your email & we will contact you directly. Thank you, Rosie.” I guess the misunderstanding was that Giovinazzo was supposed to private-message Medjaden with his offer to help, and not tweet it?
  • Shi et al Mol Neurobiol 2019: “Chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment, also known as “chemobrain,” is a common side effect. The purpose of this study was to examine whether ginsenoside Rg1, a ginseng-derived compound….
  • HHS-ORI case summary: “Based on the report of an investigation conducted by Purdue University (PU) and additional analysis conducted by the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) in its oversight review, ORI found that Alice C. Chang, Ph.D. (formerly named Chun-Ju Chang) (Respondent), who was an Associate Professor of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, PU, engaged in research misconduct in research supported by U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) funds” Chang, who faked data in grant applications and research papers, is banned from PHS funding and reviewer activities for 10 years. According to her LinkedIn profile, Chang left Purdue in 2018 and works since at Genentech.
  • Raphael Levy gave a talk about Jolanda Spadavecchia fake nanotechnology which he blew the whistle on.
  • But who is that nasty-looking Ukrainian nationalist in the picture?

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9 comments on “Schneider Shorts 16.12.2022 – Viagra and Olive Oil

  1. Smut Clyde

    It is not at all clear which “guest-edited issue” the notice refers to.

    Nature / Springer have been grinding out so many retractions lately, the boilerplate bumf blaming everything on Guest Editors is probably filed away as the default explanation.

    Like

  2. Hola!! Si las revistas pagaran a los que hacen su trabajo sucio, es decir a los reviewers, estas cosas no pasarian, pero como encima tenes que laburar gratis para ellos y además publicar, bueno aquí tenes la bosta que sucede. No justifico el correr geles con photoshop ni comprar papers, ni falsificar informacion, pero hay que vivir de la ciencia… Tambien entiendo que hay una gran diferencia entre quien lo hace para sobrevivir y quien lo hace para promocionarse y enriquecerse.

    Like

  3. Olive oil to prevent AD?
    What about curing it with a bit of flickering light and a beep every now and then?

    Non-invasive Gamma ENtrainment Using Sensory stimulation (GENUS) at 40Hz reduces Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathology such as amyloid and tau levels, prevents cerebral atrophy, and improves behavioral testing performance…

    https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0278412

    Solid work, based on previous peer reviewed work:
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/9CF91F106B93B5C6B991FE56D6CD9C

    There must be too much money (wasted) in AD research.

    Like

  4. Hey Leonid

    You were in Liverpool?
    Great!

    Cheers Oliver

    Liked by 1 person

  5. magazinovalex

    Why should Herr Prof Dr Sauer stop?

    Whether he should or not, he will not stop.


    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.est.2022.106184

    Computational fluid dynamics simulation of a designed envelop contenting
    phase change material and imposed solar heat flux and ambient air

    Gongxing Yan (a), Bin Teng* (a), Azher M. Abed* (b), Ahmed Deifalla (c),
    Hossein Mehdizadeh Youshanlouei* (d), Zuhair R. Abdulghani (e), Hazim Moria (e)

    (a) Chongqing Creation Vocational College, Yongchuan, 402160, Chongqing, China

    (b) Air conditioning and Refrigeration Technologies Engineering Department, Al-Mustaqbal University College, Babylon 51001, Iraq

    (c) Full professor Future University in Egypt, South teseen, New Cairo 11835, Egypt

    (d) Sustainable Management of Natural Resources and Environment Research Group, Faculty of Environment and Labour Safety, Ton Duc Thang University, Ho Chi Minh
    City, Viet Nam

    (e) Department of Mechanical Engineering Technology, Yanbu Industrial College, Yanbu Al-Sinaiyah City 41912, Saudi Arabia

    Received 28 August 2022; Received in revised form 5 November 2022; Accepted 19 November 2022, Available online 13 December 2022

    “Humans are always struggling for having proper well-being
    including providing the food, fresh water, and home, which one of the
    most important issues for them in buildings is its temperature [1].”

    [1] N. Shirani, D. Toghraie, S. Rostami, Comparative study of mixed convection heat
    transfer of water–Cu nanofluid in an enclosure having multiple rotating circular
    cylinders with different configurations and considering harmonic cylinders
    rotation, J. Therm. Anal. Calorim. 144 (4) (2021) 1557–1570.


    China – Iraq – Egypt – Vietnam – Saudi Arabia. Harmonic cylinders. Davood Toghraie. Buck yeah!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Did they forget to credit Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3 and Stable Diffusion?

      Like

      • Klaas van Dijk

        hi Leonid,

        The young-earth creationist Pieter Borger, currently affiliated to Wort und Wissen https://www.wort-und-wissen.org/wort-und-wissen/die-studiengemeinschaft/ , has recently admitted at Twitter that he has used a loophole at MDPI to publish a paper which is based on his creationists’ views. This paper is part of a special issue of the journal Biology, see https://www.mdpi.com/journal/biology/special_issues/biology_evolution Until now, only 3 papers have been published. Pieter Borger only uses “The Independent Research Initiative on Information & Origins, 79540 Loerrach, Germany” as affiliation in this paper (“Borger, P. Natural Knockouts: Natural Selection Knocked Out. Biology 2017, 6, 43.”). I have no idea about the meaning or the backgrounds of this ‘affiliation’. Maybe this ‘affiliation’ only exists in the mind of Pieter Borger?

        This paper was published in the end of 2017 (“Received: 13 September 2017 / Revised: 17 October 2017 / Accepted: 25 October 2017 / Published: 12 December 2017”). I am unsure if Pieter Borger was at that time still employed by the University Hospital of Zürich.

        Like

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