Schneider Shorts

Schneider Shorts 24.02.2023 – Peer-reviewed Ruscism

Schneider Shorts 24.02.2023 - Macchiarini trial reopens in Sweden, Stanford's president's dark past, UCLA dentists continue terrorizing whistleblower, with an open letter to CNRS, Quora revelations, journals dealing with papermill fraud, genius discoveries, and finally, a China-owned T&F journal spewing genocide propaganda.

Schneider Shorts of 24 February 2023 – Macchiarini trial reopens in Sweden, Stanford’s president’s dark past, UCLA dentists continue terrorizing whistleblower, with an open letter to CNRS, Quora revelations, journals dealing with papermill fraud, genius discoveries, and finally, a China-owned T&F journal spewing genocide propaganda.

Table of Discontent

Russia’s War on Ukraine

Science Elites

Scholarly Publishing

Science Breakthroughs

News in Tweets

Russia’s War on Ukraine

Today is the one year anniversary since russia started its full-scale attack. I wrote a blog post here:

Peer-reviewed Rascism

Elsewhere, Rushism (or Rashism, original: Рашизм, a Ukrainian word creation meaning “russian fascism”) has been passing peer review. For years. And now they celebrate the anniversary of genocide, in their own way.

Look at these papers, all published in the same Taylor & Francis journal, International Critical Thought. Number one:

Michael Dunford Causes of the Crisis in Ukraine International Critical Thought (2023) doi: 10.1080/21598282.2022.2163417

Its abstract:

“The military conflict between Russia and Ukraine that is also a conflict between Russia and the United States and its NATO allies is fundamentally a result of two interconnected factors. The first is the threat to the security of Russia posed by the enlargement of NATO in violation of commitments made at the time of the reunification of Germany and of the principle of indivisible security. The second is deeply rooted internal divisions in Ukraine that were exacerbated by ethnic nationalism and the imposition of divisive national identity that led to demands for a degree of regional autonomy and a civil war that successive governments and external parties did not or did not want to resolve. In these years Ukraine served as an instrument in a US strategy to weaken a strategic rival, prevent Eurasian integration and preserve the unipolar order that had emerged with the collapse of the Soviet Union. On present trends the losers will be Ukraine as it existed until February 2022, Europe and Germany although, depending on the outcome, it may also accelerate the transition to a new multipolar world order.”

Meaning: Ukrainians are russophobic Nazis, sponsored by the evil CIA and NATO, their non-country Ukraine is nothing but a tool of US imperialists to attack and destroy the great russia.

The author, Michael Dunford, is an emeritus professor of geography at the University of Sussex, UK, and now affiliated with a geography institute at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing.

Number 2:

Roger Van Zwanenberg Ukraine, World Power and Imperialism International Critical Thought (2023) doi: 10.1080/21598282.2023.2163364 


“At the heart of this conflict of Ukraine war is the American threat to break Russia into multiple states; alongside the Russian threat to create a new global trading currency with China as equal partners. These two contrary themes find themselves in mortal conflict in the land of Ukraine. The argument is that this bigger picture of this war explains why both sides are likely to fight to the end. Neither think that they can concede.”

Meaning: Ukrainians are russophobic Nazis, sponsored by the evil CIA and NATO, their non-country Ukraine is nothing but a tool of US imperialists to attack and destroy the great russia.

The author, Roger van Zwanenberg, is another old white git, a Boer (Afrikaner) living in London who runs a communist publishing house, Pluto Educational Trust.

The third paper is paywalled, but its abstract is telling enough:

Jeff Noonan Ukraine Conflict as a Case of the Political Contradictions of Contemporary Imperialism International Critical Thought (2023) doi: 10.1080/21598282.2022.2163416 

“The article examines the role of politics and ideology in post-Cold War imperialism, focusing on the current conflict between Russia, Ukraine, the United States, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the European Union. The article argues that primary causes are not economic but primarily political and ideological. While there are clear raisons d’etat that explain all sides’ decisions, the article claims that there is a contradiction between the raisons d’etat and an objectively rational assessment of the stated goals and the actors’ ability to attain them. The article concludes that while the Marxist understanding of imperialism includes a focus on both its political and economic dynamics, they can sometimes over-emphasize the economic and objective rationality of political decisions. The current conflict in Ukraine, the article will argue, is a paradigm example of raisons d’etat becoming unhinged from objectively rational strategies and economically rational capitalist motives.”

Meaning: Ukrainians are russophobic Nazis, sponsored by the evil CIA and NATO, their non-country Ukraine is nothing but a tool of US imperialists to attack and destroy the great russia.

The author, Jeff Noonan, slightly younger than the other two, is professor of philosophy at the University of Windsor in Canada.

These three papers look as if written by Kremlin propagandists, the rest of the journal’s content suggests it is a kind of peer-reviewed bulletin of the Chinese Communist Party. Indeed, the journal’s editorial board is full of Chinese names, hence no surprise they support the totalitarian regimes of russia and China as the bulwark against the evils of democracies. All 5 academic editors, the Editorial Director and his deputy, one of the three Editors-in-Chief- all Chinese, affiliated with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). Oh look, the CASS is actually the official owner of the journal:

“Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and our publisher Taylor & Francis make every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (the “Content”) contained in our publications.”

To make it not too obviously a Chinese Communist Party bulletin, two other chief editors are western caviar communists: David Schweickart, professor of philosophy at Loyola University Chicago, USA, and Tony Andreani, emeritus professor of political science at Paris 8 University in France. They didn’t reply to my emails.

Basically, all these are white middle-class western males. Maybe these Stalinists already as kids liked to dress up in an NKVD uniform and drown kittens they accused of being enemies of the people. In any case, they fully enjoy the safety, prosperity and freedom of democratic societies which they seek to deny to all these little and irrelevant nations whom their beloved putin seeks to oppress and destroy.

The journal has a long history of spewing Kremlin propaganda against Ukraine:

  • Alexander Buzgalin (Lomonosov Moscow State University) Ukraine: Anatomy of a Civil War (2015) doi: g/10.1080/21598282.2015.1065193
  • Anna Ochkina (Penza State University, russia) Theses on Ukraine: Dialogue with an Emerging Leadership (2016) doi: 10.1080/21598282.2016.1242346
  • Radhika Desai, Alan Freeman (University of Manitoba, Canada) & Boris Kagarlitsky (Moscow) The Conflict in Ukraine and Contemporary Imperialism (2017) doi: 10.1080/21598282.2016.1242338
  • Peng Chengyi (CASS) Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault: A Historical and Philosophical Perspective (2017) doi: 10.1080/21598282.2017.1316436
  • Renfrey Clarke (Australia) The Donbass in 2014: Ultra-Right Threats, Working-Class Revolt, and Russian Policy Responses (2016) doi: 10.1080/21598282.2016.1242340
  • David Lane (University of Cambridge) The International Context: Russia, Ukraine and the Drift to East-West Confrontation (2017) 10.1080/21598282.2016.1242084
  • Ruslan Dzarasov (Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow) Semi-Peripheral Russia and the Ukraine Crisis (2017) doi: 10.1080/21598282.2016.1242088

And so on.

This, by a retired faculty member of Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, was published in August 2022, long after the full scale war started:

Tim Beal, Imperialism’s Handmaidens: Cultural Hegemony and Information Warfare (2022) doi: 10.1080/21598282.2022.2098510

“The war in Ukraine manifests a major crisis both for US imperialism in its struggle to maintain and expand its hegemony against challenge, here primarily but not exclusively, Russia and for international capitalism itself. How this crisis will play out is unknown but at this stage three characteristics are evident. Firstly, the use of proxies; Ukraine for the military struggle and Europe to a large extent for the economic one.”

As you see, by far not all authors are russian or Chinese. Now, there is an old and time-honed tradition of western Stalinism and caviar communism. The famous French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre was the king of it: he knew all about Stalin’s mass murders, but did not really mind them. In fact, he hated the “Bourgeois” who held those mass murders against Stalin and USSR.

I informed Taylor & Francis about these 3 papers. The publisher announced to investigate. Meanwhile, rest assured it’s all passed peer review:

“All submitted manuscripts are subject to initial appraisal by the Editor, and, if found suitable for further consideration, to peer review by independent, anonymous expert referees. All peer review is double-blind”

Science Elites

How Tessier-Lavigne cured Alzheimer’s

Now on to the fun stuff, the good old research fraud. You sure all know of the case of Stanford’s President Marc Tessier-Lavigne. Read a summary here:

Toppling Giants in Stanford

Everyone is talking about Stanford’s President Marc Tessier-Lavigne now. OK, let’s talk about him, and how Stanford deals with research fraud. And then let’s talk about Thomas Rando.

And here are the news, once again exclusively reported by the journalist Theo Baker and the student newspaper Stanford Daily on 17 February 2023:

“In 2009, Marc Tessier-Lavigne, then a top executive at the biotechnology company Genentech, was the primary author of a scientific paper published in the prestigious journal Nature that claimed to have found the potential cause for brain degeneration in Alzheimer’s patients. “Because of this research,” read Genentech’s annual letter to shareholders, “we are working to develop both antibodies and small molecules that may attack Alzheimer’s from a novel entry point and help the millions of people who currently suffer from this devastating disease.”

But after several unsuccessful attempts to reproduce the research, the paper became the subject of an internal review by Genentech’s Research Review Committee (RRC), according to four high-level Genentech employees at the time; two were senior scientists and two were scientists who also served as executives. Three spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the allegations and non-disclosure agreements. The scientists, one of whom was an executive who sat on the review committee and all of whom were informed of the review’s findings at the time due to their stature at the company, said that the inquiry discovered falsification of data in the research, and that Tessier-Lavigne kept the finding from becoming public. […]

After the review, which began in 2011, Genentech canceled research based on the paper’s findings. Till Maurer, a senior scientist at the company from 2009-2018 who said he was assigned to develop drugs based on the 2009 paper, told The Daily that his superior informed him that, in Maurer’s words, “the project is being canceled and it’s because they found falsified data.””

This is the paper, illustrated by Matthew Schrag:

Anatoly Nikolaev , Todd McLaughlin , Dennis D. M. O’Leary , Marc Tessier-Lavigne APP binds DR6 to trigger axon pruning and neuron death via distinct caspases Nature (2009) doi: 10.1038/nature07767

Stanford daily continues:

“The study was co-authored with a Genentech postdoctoral student, Anatoly Nikolaev, as well as two Salk Institute scientists who provided expertise on certain experiments and were supported by a government grant. After publication of the paper, Nikolaev was hired by Genentech as a scientist and Tessier-Lavigne, who was then executive vice president of research drug discovery, was promoted to chief scientific officer, in charge of more than 1,400 scientists.

The paper received 1,245 citations in a field where most scarcely get 10. Soon after it was released, Tessier-Lavigne and Nikolaev submitted a 187-page patent to the World Intellectual Property Organization with the title “method for inhibiting neurodegeneration.” On the same day they also filed applications for patents in the United States, Brazil, Taiwan, Israel, Canada and Australia, in the hopes of leveraging their research to develop life-saving drugs.

But the research has not turned into an Alzheimer’s treatment. And several of the patent applications, including the US patent application, were abandoned after the internal review.”

So the breakthrough cure for Alzheimer’s was fabricated. Another utterly fake Nature paper to make Tessier-Lavigne’s career (Nikolaev left Genentech in 2011 and went to study medicine), while poisoning research for decades. Because of this:

“Faced with such a finding, leadership at Genentech urged Tessier-Lavigne to retract the paper and its apparently unsound conclusions, according to the senior executive who participated in the review committee and whom other scientists named as a key decision maker in the aftermath of the review. “Our interest is really in Genentech’s credibility,” said the executive, “and if that meant that we had to go retract papers publicly, so be it. Marc’s interest was — is — to try to keep it quiet.”

Neither a correction nor a retraction was issued, and the paper stands to this day. The scientists said the journal had not been informed of any potential issues. [….] No retraction was issued, but Tessier-Lavigne walked back the research in several subsequent publications, according to the scientists.”

Tessier-Lavigne issued his own public statement on the same day, where he seems to announce a lawsuit against Stanford Daily:

“Let’s turn to the other false allegations. The Daily claims that the 2009 paper was the subject of an internal review at Genentech that showed falsification of data and that I worked to suppress its findings. This is a breathtakingly outrageous set of claims that are completely and utterly false.  

In fact, I was not aware of any allegations of fraud until the Daily raised them and to this day I remain unaware of any evidence whatsoever of fabrication. […]

In closing, I reject in the strongest terms the accusation that I behaved improperly. I am confident that a full airing of the facts will vindicate my position.”

UCLA psychopaths

In 2019, I wrote about a case of research fraud at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), specifically about the fake regenerative medicine papers of their dentistry professor Cun-Yu Wang, and a case of sexual harassment in the same UCLA School of Dentistry. Both cases were related, both had the same whistleblower: Eric Kang Ting.

Wang was viciously defended by UCLA, simply because he brings enormous money, especially from China. Still, Wang had to retract two papers he coauthored with Russell Taichman, dentistry dean in Alabama (see this Retraction Watch coverage). Wang remains safe in his chair, the UCLA dentistry school’s aggression went entirely towards Ting, who was falsely accused of sexual harassment of a foreign PhD student. The attack was in reality (according to the victim’s own testimony!) committed by the school’s Senior Associate Dean, Sotirios Tetradis, who coerced the student into raising false Title IX charges against Ting during which he trapped the young woman of colour in his office and sexually harassed her himself. Like Wang, Tetradis remains in his chair and suffered exactly zero consequences.

The UCLA dentistry dean Paul Krebsbach instead focussed on informing all of school’s residents that Ting “had done bad things and was under investigation”. In August 2022, Ting was publicly accused, in an LA Times article no less, of embezzlement of student tuition fees, a charge which may have applied to UCLA School of Dentistry as institution, but much less so to Ting personally (see below). An anonymous email account signing with LEONID SCHNEIDER then wrote emails to UCLA faculty smearing Ting (read here).

Ting was first demoted, then fired, sued back, achieved a settlement, but his trouble with his vengeful ex-colleagues at UCLA did not end there. He now commented on For Better Science:

“My name is Eric Kang Ting, and I am the whistleblower named in Mr. Schneider’s article from May 3, 2019. Unlike the “Lady Lay” comment above, I will not be hiding behind a fictitious account name to tell my truths.

I served honorably as a professor and department chair at UCLA for over 16 years, and I have obtained multiple major NIH grants and organized the first research team on the NASA-ISS research project, and I discovered a protein called NELL-1 that will be instrumental in regenerating bone growth for everyone from wounded warriors to future astronauts. One of my proudest achievements during my tenure at UCLA was increasing diversity and equity for the residents chosen to participate in what was at the time a prestigious department.

In 2018, I reported scientific malfeasance at the UCLA School of Dentistry because I believed it was the right thing to do. As a result, I have been harassed by many people. That harassment continues to this day.

While I don’t regret what I did to try to maintain the integrity of my department, I feel it’s important to update this story to show whistleblowers what can happen when you try to speak the truth.

Mr. Schneider’s piece in For Better Science is a thorough and accurate representation of what I found in dentistry research papers. Once I realized what was happening, I never hesitated to report the malfeasance. From that day forward, I experienced a smear campaign designed to damage my reputation [].

First, one of my residents was encouraged to file a false sexual harassment claim against me, when the reality is that she filed a lawsuit against UCLA for sexual harassment []. When this attempt to discredit me failed, an “investigation” was launched to re-investigate an issue that had been resolved years earlier. You can find more details about that story here [].

The only reason I agreed to sign off on a settlement was to prevent the false findings of that investigation from further damaging my reputation when I realized my future is not at UCLA. Despite signing the settlement in good faith, I have continued to be harassed for more than three years after my departure by the leaking of the details of the false findings to the media in an attempt to force the public release of the report. Until now, I have fought the release of that report, but I am no longer afraid of the lies, because I know I have the truth on my side.

Besides working to aid with the Los Angeles Times on a hit piece to further tarnish my reputation, someone with knowledge of the department and my friends’ and family’s personal emails has also been sending threatening emails to me as recently as February 10th

If they are allowed to get away with this kind of intimidation, there is nothing to stop this kind of behavior from repeating itself in the future. That will be a detriment not only to the school’s reputation but also to the educational opportunities for residents from all backgrounds.

When I started as department chair, less than 10% of the residents were from diverse backgrounds. By the time I left, more than 60% of those positions were filled by diverse candidates. That has all changed since my departure.

If UCLA and the Board of Regents are serious about diversity, equity and inclusion, they would examine the events of the last four years and evaluate whether this is really the direction that they want the School of Dentistry to take in the 21st Century.

I am calling for an investigation by the State of California into the UCLA School of Dentistry for its treatment of me and other faculty members and residents in the wake of my actions as a whistleblower. In 2021, I accepted the position as the Founding Executive Board Director of the International Orthodontics Foundation [] – one of the largest non-profit orthodontic foundations globally. Our goal is to provide the highest education and research opportunities to health professionals in orthodontics globally without any ethnic or nationality restriction, particularly in regions where doctors can’t have access due to financial or discrimination. While I have moved on from UCLA, I hope the integrity of the department that I worked so hard to build can still be preserved.

This is the Founder’s Courier article from November 2022 which details UCLA’s retaliation against Tang. It also quotes Ting on this incident:

““When I went to discuss the issues about my visa with two members of the interim chair committee, who were appointed by the chancellor’s office,  and asked why it was taking so long, one of them told me, ‘you know there is a problem with Chinese professors stealing technology’, and when I told them I was not from China and that I was Taiwanese, the other one said, ‘we’re a little shy on geography and history.’” 

Dr. Ting documented the incident in an email to university officials, and a longtime staff member at UCLA, who asked not to be named in this story for fear of retaliation, confirmed that she was at that meeting and heard the same statements documented by Dr. Ting.”

And for those embezzlement charges LA Times reported about:

“Dr. Ting and the other professors deny receiving or soliciting unauthorized fees from international residents, and Dr. Ting provided a series of emails that shows the university’s involvement in and approval of the gift fund which was referenced in the report.

Dr. Ting also stressed that every financial transaction into and out of profit-sharing programs at the university is tracked, proving that he received no illegal or improper funds.”

Shortcomings and errors

The case of the French nanofabricator Jolanda Spadavecchia (PubPeer record here, background here) has been closed by her employer CNRS because research fraud is officially the only correct way to do science in France, and because whistleblowers are the real fraudsters and thus enemies of the Republic. Perfectly normal situation at CNRS if you ask me (but nobody did).

Pravda of Jessus report, CNRS Politburo scared of own people

Following my recent article about attempts to fix data irregularities in the papers by CNRS’ chief biologist and director of l’Institut des sciences biologiques (INSB) Catherine Jessus, this state-owned French research institution, the biggest in Europe, now went full Pravda. Just as the notorious propaganda newspaper of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Pravda means…

Jessus critics defiant, reactionary cock-up and Chicken of Dishonour Legion

As Le Monde brought into public light the Catherine Jessus affair with its whitewashed data manipulation and the growing academic protest, a counter-revolution put its foot in. A signature list in the worst Stalinist tradition was published, organised by the very elite of French academia (mostly members of Academie de Sciences), and signed by hundreds,…

But Dorothy Bishop, emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Oxford, disagrees, and she published this Open Letter to CNRS:

“This Open Letter is prompted by an article in Le Monde describing an investigation into alleged malpractice at a chemistry lab in CNRS-Université Sorbonne Paris Nord and the subsequent report into the case by CNRS.[…]

The facts in this case are clear. More than 20 scientific articles from the lab of one principal investigator  have been shown to contain recycled and doctored graphs and electron microscopy images. That is, results from different experiments that should have distinctive results are illustrated by identical figures, with changes made to the axis legends by copying and pasting numbers on top of previous numbers.

Everyone is fallible, and no scientist should be accused of malpractice when honest errors are committed. We need also to be aware of the possibility of accusations made in bad faith by those with an axe to grind. However, there comes a point when there is a repeated pattern of errors for a prolonged period for which there is no innocent explanation. This point is surely reached here: the problematic data are well-documented in a number of PubPeer comments on the articles (see links in Appendix 1 of this document).

The response by CNRS to this case, as explained in their report (see Appendix 2 of this document), was to request correction rather than retraction of what were described as “shortcomings and errors”, to accept the scientist’s account that there was no intentionality, despite clear evidence of a remarkable amount of manipulation and reuse of figures; a disciplinary sanction of exclusion from duties was imposed for just one month. 

So what should happen when fraud is suspected?  We propose that there should be a prompt investigation, with all results transparently reported. Where there are serious errors in the scientific record, then the research articles should immediately be retracted, any research funding used for fraudulent research should be returned to the funder, and the person responsible for the fraud should not be allowed to run a research lab or supervise students. The whistleblower should be protected from repercussions.”

The letter continues, and ends with:

“We write to CNRS to express our frustration at their inadequate response to this case, and to ask that they review their disciplinary processes and consider adopting a more robust, timely and transparent process that treats data manipulation with the seriousness it deserves, and serves the needs not just of their researchers, but also of other scientists, and of the public who ultimately provide the research funding.”

A number of academic whistleblowers were invited to sign this Open Letter, but for some reason also Lex Bouter, former rector of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, pusher of alternative medicine, who nowadays fights against… “mala fide” whistleblowers. Basically, whistleblowers like Raphael Levy whose former faculty colleague Spadavecchia openly accuses of having maliciously conspired against her.

Biris’ secret

Somebody once used Quora to blow the whistle. Look at this post from 2 years ago:

How can Alexandru Biris be so successful at University of Arkansas at Little Rock? In just 5 years Mr. Biris published in more than 240 journals, presented at numerous international conferences, and been granted more than 33 U.S. patents

I had a friend who studied in Biris’ group for several months. He told me the followings:

– You cannot get any academic help from Mr. Biris because he doesn’t have any clue about the research topic either. For example, Biris was awarded a grant for solar cell research, but he even doesn’t know how a p-n junction works. His solution is to hire someone who has good knowledge in solar cells.

– Biris is the director of the nanotechnology center, he got some professionals work for him and train his students, although Biris doesn’t have knowledge to instruct his students.

– Biris is a good businessman rather than a scientist. Most of his publications were totally produced by others simply because these “collaborators” utilized the facilities in the center which he takes charge of.

– Most of manuscripts from his group were reviewed by Biris’ friends. So his poor quality papers can still be published, even with lots of fabricated data.

– Biris claims that he has more 200 publications, but less than 10 of these are published as his name as the 1st author. All his 1st authored articles are problematic.

– Alexandru Biris shares the same first name as his dad, many papers were prepared by his dad.

– Biris is good at taking advantages of others by making enticing promises to his collaborators, so they would like to work for him. When Biris got what he wanted, then he abandons them like a trash.

– In 2010 fall, one of Biris’ students disclosed that more than 20 publications with Biris as the lead/corresponding author have serious ethical problems. Biris kicked off the student from his group.

– Biris also has strong connection with many journal editors (he is an editor of Journal of Nanomedicine & Nanotechnology and the Managing Editor of Particulate Science and Technology

too), so even there are terrible ethical problems with his articles, these editors will cover for him and never retract Biris’s articles.

– Biris graduated from university of Arkansas at Little Rock (very corrupt one). He has very strong connections with the administrators such as the chancellor Dr. Joel Anderson, Bill Walker, Mary Good, etc. These heads support him unconditionally. To cover for him, the university try its all efforts to remove the negative comments on Biris from the media.

– Biris didn’t have any quality publications when you landed the faculty position, but he won the position through his people skills. He was selected with the lowest credential among a huge candidate pool for the faculty position.

– There is a hidden political secret behind the fact that Biris wasn’t fired but got awarded for his cheating. Corruption! You shouldn’t be surprised at these after you look at the rank of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in this country.”

Now, another strange thing is that the native Romanian Alexandru Sorin Biris, associate professor at UA Little Rock, did not reply to my emails when asked to comment on this Quora post. His father is Alexandru Radu Biris, professor at the National Institute for Research and Development of Isotopic and Molecular Technologies in Romania, also didn’t reply.

Macchiarini on trial, again

Regarding the murderous trachea transplant surgeon Paolo Macchiarini, there are some news. The Swedish medical newspaper Dagens Medicin reports (translated):

“It was in mid-June 2022 that Paolo Macchiarini was acquitted in two cases where patients had synthetic trachea operated on at Karolinska University Hospital in the years 2011 and 2012.

The Solna district court considered that the interventions in the first two throat operations were justified – with reference to an emergency clause in the criminal code.

But in the third case, which involved a young woman from Turkey, the surgeon was convicted of causing bodily harm, a felony. The penalty was a suspended sentence.

In this case, the Solna District Court held that the surgery with an artificial trachea was, on the contrary, unjustifiable, taking into account the severe consequences for the first two patients.

The benefit that the treatment method could be expected to bring, stated the legal judges, was not in proportion to the risks that the intervention had been associated with.

However, none of the parties in the case were satisfied with the outcome in the district court, and this spring the case will be taken up in the Svea Court of Appeal.

The new trial is scheduled to start on April 17 and last until May 24 – although with some breaks.

Hearing days – that is, the days when the parties in the case are present – will be April 17, 18, 20 and 21 and May 22, 23 and 24, according to the court of appeals administrator.”

You can read about Macchiarini’s deadly trachea transplants here:

And about two of the three contested cases here:

How trachea transplanters tricked Andemariam Beyene to sacrifice himself for a Lancet paper

This article reports the results of an investigation performed in Iceland by the Landspítali University Hospital, concerning the scandal surgeon Paolo Macchiarini and his past host, the Karolinska Institutet (KI) and their University Hospital. The Iceland resident Andemariam Teklesenbet Beyene was the first ever person, or in fact a living being, to receive a plastic…

Macchiarini victim’s family sues trachea makers for wrongful death

Yesim Cetir was a young woman from Turkey, whose vulnerability the scandal surgeon used to test his plastic trachea (twice), a third such operation he performed at the hospital of the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, and his fifth plastic trachea recipient. Like almost all the at least 17 patients whom Paolo Macchiarini experimented upon with…

Scholarly Publishing

Rigorous vetting

On 3 October 2022, an Editorial has been issued in the Springer Nature journal Applied Nanoscience, by the the Editor-in-Chief Muhammad Mustafa Hussain, then affiliated with the Purdue University in USA, and now professor at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia.

Hussain, M.M. Ensuring honest intellectualism: introducing a new form of editorial process for special issues. Appl Nanosci (2022). doi: 10.1007/s13204-022-02637-w

“Despite our hard work as editors, the editorial processes of special issues in our journal have been dishonestly, duplicitously and maliciously manipulated by external parties. This is a new form of intellectual crime, and one that we are determined to foil in the future.

Following an investigation by the editors and publisher, it was established that the peer review process for papers in some of the special issues was not in line with our editorial policies and the editorial process had been manipulated. As a result, the publisher had to make a difficult decision to reject all papers that were previously accepted for the issue and not yet published and to retract some of the papers that were already published online. […]

Based on that in-depth self-evaluation, as Editor-in-Chief, I have volunteered to personally oversee a rigorous vetting process of the special issues and the proposers: clearly articulating our editorial and publication policies to the guest editors, holding more frequent discussions with the ever-expanding editorial board, and securing additional dedicated support from the relevant subject matter expert editorial board member for each of the special editions.”

It is great to know there is a superhero out there fighting the villains, personally, as a volunteer. But Alexander Magazinov wrote to Professor Hussain asking about this Collection (aka Special Issue), which opened on 15 October 2022, days after the EiC’s bold announcement, and is still inviting papers: “Nanoscience in Thermal Analysis of Polymers and Nanocomposites“.

Magazinov commented:

The first guest editor, Ayyar Manikandan, until recently, had two articles flagged on PubPeer due to possible data manipulation and/or misrepresentation, whereas a further cursory check of his recent output yielded three more. Below is the list of relevant PubPeer entries.

Dhayalan et al 2018
Muthukrishnaraj et al 2021The SEM equipment is misreported. Micrographs of Fig. 6 come from a Hitachi instrument, according to the layout of the auto-generated legend” which says “Tescan Vega3“.
Almessiere et al 2021There’s an issue with the EDS detection of Dysprosium. The peak shape looks unnatural and its at the wrong energy – L-alpha should be at 6.49 keV
Alagha et al 2021: “In addition, could the authors please explain the point of using Zeiss scale bars, whereas the SEM equipment is allegedly JEOL JSM-6490?
Al-Zahrani et al 2021The concerned panels are supposed to show different samples.”

Hussain replied to Magazinov:

Thank you for kindly reaching out and your continued public service for intellectual honesty. We will be looking at the information you have put forward. I am also thinking why you don’t join the editorial board so in future we can have a hardcore vetting process?  Also, have you considered turning PubPeer into a commercial tool like iThenitcate or such that all the scientific journals can be benefitted with? Finally, I am curious to know your perspective on the “framed” review process where Editors choose favorable reviewers to smoothen out the acceptance process.

Wha…. I can’t even….

Unexpectedly similar

A paper has been retracted.

Yan Cao , Xiaotong Han , Hongwei Pan , Yu Jiang , Xiang Peng , Weiwei Xiao , Jingjing Rong , Fang Chen , Jin He , Lianhong Zou , Yi Tang , Yanfang Pei , Jiao Zheng , Jia Wang , Jie Zhong , Xiuqing Hong , Zhengyu Liu, Zhaofen Zheng Emerging protective roles of shengmai injection in septic cardiomyopathy in mice by inducing myocardial mitochondrial autophagy via caspase-3/Beclin-1 axis Inflammation Research (2020) doi: 10.1007/s00011-019-01292-2 

In August 2021, Hoya camphorifolia commented on PubPeer about these strange western blots:

Is it possible for the authors to upload scans of the original blots for these Western Blots? WBs with a similarly stylised appearance (and absence of background) have featured in a number of problematical papers. I prepared a montage:

In October 2021, the author Zhengyu Liu replied with raw data:

Sorry for reply so late and thank you for your kindness reminder, I presented the original WB blot film below, We will pay more attention to similar issues in future articles.”

A false alarm? On 16 February 2023 the paper was retracted, the retraction notice stated (highlight mine):

“The Editor-in-Chief has retracted this article. After publication, concerns were raised regarding the authenticity of the western blot images presented in the figures due to high similarity with those in a number of articles from different groups [1,2,3]. The authors have provided partial raw data to address these concerns; however, the original western blot films appear unexpectedly similar to those provided by other author groups.

The Editor-in-Chief therefore no longer has confidence in the presented data.

None of the authors have responded to any correspondence from the publisher about this retraction notice.”

The papermill has been apparently sending those same photos of raw data for different papers with different sets of “authors”, but possibly at the same journal.

Frontiers AI at work

At Frontiers, a fake paper has been creatively corrected.

Da Liu , Zixuan Song , Xiaoying Wang , Ling Ouyang Ubiquitin C-Terminal Hydrolase L5 (UCHL5) Accelerates the Growth of Endometrial Cancer via Activating the Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling Pathway Frontiers in Oncology (2020) doi: 10.3389/fonc.2020.00865 

Plus one figure from this paper, submitted in January 2020, was shared with a different paper by a different set of authors, submitted 15 May 2020:

Hoya camphorifolia: “[left] Fig 3E from “TRIM52 positively mediates NF-κB to promote the growth of human benign prostatic hyperplasia cells through affecting TRAF2 ubiquitination” (Sun et al 2020).
[right] Fig 5C.”

In August 2022, Frontiers issued a Corrigendum:

“In the published article, there was an operator error in the western blot images of Figure 5. The original images provided by the authors were not spliced. […] The authors apologize for this error and state that this does not change the scientific conclusions of the article in any way. The original article has been updated.”

So it must have been the famous Frontiers AI named AIRA which falsified the western blots? Also these, calling for another “conclusions not affected” correction:

Hoya camphorifolia:

  • [left] Fig 4A from “Clostridium difficile toxin B induces colonic inflammation through the TRIM46/DUSP1/MAPKs and NF-κB signalling pathway” (Li et al 2020).
  • [upper right] Fig 3A.
  • [lower right] Fig 2B from “Inhibition of Proliferation, Migration, and Invasion by Knockdown of Pyruvate Kinase-M2 (PKM2) in Ovarian Cancer SKOV3 and OVCAR3 Cells” (Miao et al 2016).

Obviously that Frontiers paper, just like the ones it shares data with, was generated by a Chinese papermill. But I am the last person to argue with Frontiers, their mighty AIRA, and their chief editor, Weill Cornell professor Giuseppe Giaccone, that “this does not change the scientific conclusions of the article in any way“.

Science Breakthroughs

Kombucha circuit

Maarten van Kampen noticed a recent article in Ars Technica:

“Cheap, light, flexible, yet robust circuit boards are critical for wearable electronics, among other applications. In the future, those electronics might be printed on flexible circuits made out of bacterial cultures used to make the popular fermented black tea drink called kombucha, according to a recent paper posted to the arXiv preprint server. […]

“Nowadays kombucha is emerging as a promising candidate to produce sustainable textiles to be used as eco-friendly bio wearables,” co-author Andrew Adamatzky, of the University of the West of England in Bristol, told New Scientist. “We will see that dried—and hopefully living—kombucha mats will be incorporated in smart wearables that extend the functionality of clothes and gadgets. We propose to develop smart eco-wearables which are a convergence of dead and alive biological matter. […]

Adamatzky previously co-authored a 2021 paper demonstrating that living kombucha mats showed dynamic electrical activity and stimulating responses, as well as a paper last year describing the development of a bacterial reactive glove to serve as a living electronic sensing device. Inspired by the potential of kombucha mats for wearable electronics, he and his latest co-authors have now demonstrated that it’s possible to print electronic circuits onto dried SCOBY mats.”

Obviously there is a serious problem of a massive Kombucha mat waste in Adamatzky’s kitchen which urgently needs solving. This is the preprint:

Andrew Adamatzky , Giuseppe Tarabella , Neil Phillips , Alessandro Chiolerio , Passquale D’Angelo , Anna Nicolaidou , Georgios Ch. Sirakoulis Kombucha electronics arXiv (2023) doi: 10.48550/arxiv.2302.03984 

Adamatzky and his Greek friends are true geniuses who solve all kinds of civilisation’s troubles with unorthodox solutions, preferably microbian fuel cells, whatever that is supposed to be.

How about saving people from burning houses using….leeches?

Andrew Adamatzky , Georgios Ch. Sirakoulis Building exploration with leeches Hirudo verbana Biosystems (2015) doi: 10.1016/j.biosystems.2015.06.004

From the abstract:

“Safe evacuation of people from building and outdoor environments, and search and rescue operations, always will remain actual in course of all socio-technological developments. Modern facilities offer a range of automated systems to guide residents towards emergency exists. The systems are assumed to be infallible. But what if they fail? […] In this particular paper we have chosen leeches to analyse patterns of exploration. Reasons are two-fold. First, when deprived from other stimuli leeches change their behavioural modes in an automated regime in response to mechanical stimulation. Therefore leeches can give us invaluable information on how human beings might behave under stress and limited visibility. Second, leeches are ideal blueprints of future soft-bodied rescue robots. Leeches have modular nervous circuitry with a rich behavioral spectrum. Leeches are multi-functional, fault-tolerant with autonomous inter-segment coordination and adaptive decision-making.”

Life extension with cancer drug

A press release by the University of Auckland:

“An Aotearoa New Zealand study, recently published in the renowned journal Nature Aging, has advanced the timeless pursuit of immortality.

The University of Auckland’s Waipapa Taumata Rau trial shows that administering a cancer treatment drug to healthy middle-aged mice (one year) for a prolonged period increases their lifespan by an average of ten percent, bringing it to around three years.

In this study, mice were fed a control diet or the same diet with the addition of a drug called alpelisib. Not only did the mice fed the drug-containing diet live longer, but they also showed some signs of being healthier in old age such as improved coordination and strength. However, the researchers are cautious about application to humans since the mice treated with the drug also had some negative markers of aging like lower bone mass.

“Aging is not only about lifespan but also about quality of life,” says research fellow Dr. Chris Hedges. “Therefore, we were pleased to see this drug treatment not only increased the longevity of the mice but they also showed many signs of healthier aging. We are working now to understand how this happens.””

This is the paper:

C. P. Hedges, B. Shetty, S. C. Broome, C. MacRae, P. Koutsifeli, E. J. Buckels, C. MacIndoe, J. Boix, T. Tsiloulis, B. G. Matthews, S. Sinha, M. Arendse, J. K. Jaiswal, K. M. Mellor, A. J. R. Hickey, P. R. Shepherd and T. L. Merry, “Dietary supplementation of clinically utilized PI3K p110α inhibitor extends the lifespan of male and female miceNature Aging (2023) DOI: 10.1038/s43587-022-00349-y

The press release describes alpelisib as an PI 3-kinase inhibitor. An internet search reveals it is sold by Novartis under the brand name Piqray, and was revoked in Germany in 2021 because it was proven to be inefficient against breast cancer. The team around Troy Merry declares no conflicts of interests, which is unusual for biomedical researchers working in nutrition. Here is their earlier paper pushing alpelisib as anti-aging drug, in MDPI:

Christopher P. Hedges , Jordi Boix , Jagdish K. Jaiswal , Bhoopika Shetty , Peter R. Shepherd , Troy L. Merry Efficacy of Providing the PI3K p110α Inhibitor BYL719 (Alpelisib) to Middle-Aged Mice in Their Diet Biomolecules (2021) doi: 10.3390/biom11020150 

Green tea against Alzheimer’s

NIH’s National Institute of Aging (NIA) issued this press release:

“Researchers have discovered how a molecule found in green tea breaks apart tangles of the protein tau, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. Based on this finding, the team identified other molecules that can also untangle tau and may be better drug candidates than the green tea molecule. Results from the NIA-funded study, published in Nature Communications, suggest that this approach may one day provide an effective strategy for treating Alzheimer’s.”

The magic green tea molecule is the polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which NIA insists “is known to untangle these tau fibers” which cause Alzheimer’s. I am not sure if this key part is scientifically solid, but then again, green tea polyphenols have been proven to cure every disease known to man, so why not Alzheimer’s. Facts established, the NIA scholars proceeded:

“Using computer simulations, the researchers identified other molecules likely to work in a similar way as EGCG but that may be able to enter the brain more easily. They tested these other molecules in a cell model for tau tangle formation and additionally on tau tangles isolated from brain samples donated by Alzheimer’s patients after death. In both setups, several of the molecules untangled tau fibers. Although researchers caution that more work is needed, the experiments indicated that certain molecules also prevented the untangled tau from spreading and forming new tangles.”

This is the paper:

Paul M. Seidler , Kevin A. Murray , David R. Boyer , Peng Ge , Michael R. Sawaya , Carolyn J. Hu , Xinyi Cheng , Romany Abskharon , Hope Pan , Michael A. DeTure , Christopher K. Williams , Dennis W. Dickson , Harry V. Vinters , David S. Eisenberg Structure-based discovery of small molecules that disaggregate Alzheimer’s disease tissue derived tau fibrils in vitro Nature Communications (2022) doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-32951-4

We are informed that “D.S.E. is SAB chair and equity holder of ADRx, Inc”, a pharma start-up which advertises its business as

“Transforming atomic structures into small molecule therapies to treat Alzheimer’s, ALS, Parkinson’s Disease, and more”


Someone created the biggest clickbait study imaginable. Of course it made all the news globally, how could it not. Especially since it’s from Stanford. Here the elite US university’s press release:

“According to trends in male reproductive health data, sperm quality and testosterone levels have declined over the last few decades, sounding alarm bells for Michael Eisenberg, MD, a professor of urology at Stanford Medicine. It’s made him wonder: Should we be concerned about other differences in men’s reproductive health? Surmising that there may be more to uncover, Eisenberg set out to determine if physical anatomy has changed.

In a study published Feb. 14 in The World Journal of Men’s Health, Eisenberg and his colleagues compiled data from 75 studies, conducted between 1942 and 2021, that reported on the penile length of 55,761 men. The team found that the average erect penis length increased by 24% over 29 years, a trend they saw around the world.

Eisenberg said that the increase may be another indicator that environmental exposures — such as environmental pollutants or increasing sedentary lifestyles — are causing reproductive-related changes.”

This is the ground-breaking, earth-shattering paper about the global pandemic of penis extension which was so important it appeared not in NEJM, Lancet, BMJ or JAMA, but in a journal by the Korean Society for Sexual Medicine and Andrology:

Federico Belladelli , Francesco Del Giudice , Frank Glover , Evan Mulloy , Wade Muncey , Satvir Basran , Giuseppe Fallara , Edoardo Pozzi , Francesco Montorsi , Andrea Salonia , Michael L. Eisenberg Worldwide Temporal Trends in Penile Length: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis The World Journal of Men s Health (2023) doi: 10.5534/wjmh.220203

The study’s conclusion may sound huge, but the actual underlying data is rather flaccid and unconvincing:

The other authors (all male) are mostly Italian, from Milan and Rome. The Stanford release contains an interview with Eisenberg, excerpts:

“We looked at flaccid, stretched and erect length and created one large database of measurements. What we found was quite different from trends in other areas of male fertility and health. Erect penile length is getting longer, from an average of 4.8 inches to 6 inches, over the past 29 years. […]

If we’re seeing this fast of a change, it means that something powerful is happening to our bodies. We should try to confirm these findings and if confirmed, we must determine the cause of these changes.

There could be a number of factors at play, such as chemical exposure, like pesticides or hygiene products, interacting with our hormonal systems. These endocrine-disrupting chemicals — there are many — exist in our environment and our diet.”

I wrote to Eisenberg proposing as a mechanism an epigenetic effect of global consumption of the traditionally large-penis pornography on the consumers’ own penises, but he didn’t reply. Maybe he considers an alternative explanation of all these tons of penis enlargement supplements people buy off internet which end up in the drinking water?

News in Tweets

  • Frontiers rigorous peer review in action.
  • German professor of anti-aging Björn Schumacher being funny on twitter, on the topic of “Fixing the academic publishing system“. Same Schumacher recently told me it was not his job as a journal editor to act on the massive fraud published there by Maurizio Sabbatini, and then hinted at a lawsuit should I quote him.

The Name of the Foes

“I am Jorge de Burgos. I believe research should pause in searching for the progress of knowledge. Right now, we don’t need more papers, we rather need more knowledge by going through a continuous and sublime recapitulation to figure out what is true and what is fake” – Aneurus Inconstans

  • Hindawi is doing great.


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4 comments on “Schneider Shorts 24.02.2023 – Peer-reviewed Ruscism

  1. The growing penis study deserves the Ig Nobel Prize!


    • Klaas van Dijk

      Young-earth creationist Pieter / Peter Borger aka ‘Peer Terborg’, a devote christian who is currently affiliated to Wort und Wissen, has posted this week on Twitter a fabricated e-mail from Heiner Wohlfart, the Integrity Ombudsperson of the University of Basel to him, see for details. The devote christian Pieter Borger has as well falsified a report which was prepared by Heiner Wohlfart, see above for the source.

      The case refers to a complaint which I had filed on 27 December 2022 to the University of Basel about an article by Pieter Borger in a journal of a predatory publisher, see for details. My complaint contains 2 items: (1): the publication of an article in a journal of a predatory publisher is a clear violation of the Swiss Code of conduct for scientific integrity (“5.2.11 Other forms of scientific misconduct. Other forms of scientific misconduct include: (…) establishing or supporting journals or platforms lacking proper quality standards”, page 25 of this Code); (2): an assumption that I don’t exclude, based on the backgrounds and the activities of Pieter Borger, that this article contains creationist’s views and/or creationist’s argumentations etc.

      Heiner Wohlfart wrote to me on 21 February 2023: “Sehr geehrter Herr van Dijk, Ich komme zurück auf Ihr Mailschreiben vom 27. Dezember 2022 betr. Anzeige wegen Verdachts auf Verstoss gegen die wissenschaftliche Integrität und mein an Sie gerichtetes Mailschreiben vom 29. Dezember 2022. Ich kann Ihnen mitteilen, dass das Integritätsverfahren nach fachkundigen Abklärungen hat eingestellt werden können. Freundliche Grüsse Heiner Wohlfart”.

      Pieter Borger had posted on Twitter parts of a report of 4 pages which about this case (prepared by Heiner Wohlfart and dated 14 February 2023, see above for a link). I was not in the possession of this report. I have thus asked Heiner Wohlfart for a copy. Heiner Wohlfart wrote to me on 24 February 2023: “Sehr geehrter Herr von Dijk, Auf Ihre beiden (identischen) Mailschreiben vom 23. Februar 2023 teile ich Ihnen mit, dass Personen, welche der Universität Basel Anzeige betr. des Verdachts auf Verstoss gegen die wissenschaftliche Integrität erstatten, informiert werden, wenn das Verfahren abgeschlossen worden ist. Hingegen werden den Anzeige stellenden Personen keine weiteren Informationen erteilt und es wird ihnen insbesondere kein Bericht über die Untersuchung eröffnet. Dementsprechend kann ich Ihre Fragen nicht beantworten.”

      This implies that I have no right to get any insight in the motives / arguments etc. why my complaint was unfounded / dismissed.


  2. One worried year from the U. war’s start — Leonid, I am grateful to you reading your messages. You, and molecular biologist (I am a trained ecologist).


  3. Klaas van Dijk

    Hi Leonid, a commercial company is currently conducting a research / review about activities of LOWI. I was not informed about this. I became aware of this research because Bart Droog, a journalist who had filed a few years ago a complaint at RUG, posted on Facebook a message that he got interviewed by people who are working at this commercial company. Any idea what’s going on? Some of the details are even public, i.m.h.o. very unusual. See (only in Dutch).


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