Schneider Shorts of 10 March 2023 – two science bigwigs caught with unaffected conclusions, return of superconductive fraud in Nature, other examples of who’s trustworthy and who isn’t, what Stanford president knew, some retractions, MDPI fighting papermills, a German journal can’t stop papermilling, and finally, who blew up Nord Stream pipelines?
Table of Discontent
Russia’s War on Ukraine
- Nord Stream OSINT – maybe, just maybe it was the russians after all?
- The exemplificative panel – Luca Scorrano and Bart De Strooper in search of unaffected conclusions
- The known unknowns – Marc Tessier-Lavigne claws to his post
- Full Circle – qualifications you need to work at IBMP Strasbourg
- The Vickers Curse – RWTH Aaachen professor appointed government minister in Egypt
- Superconductive fraud rehabilitated! – look what Nature just published
- Unnecessary side effects – should cancer sufferers trust ICR London?
- Blame distributed – Whistleblower Matthew Schrag accused in retraction notice
- Unintended mistake – Wiley corrects a paper in elite nanotech journal
- Natural target – Naunyn-Schmiedeberg’s Archives of Pharmacology can’t stop papermilling
- Learn from MDPI – papermill webinar which didn’t happen
News in Tweets
Russia’s War on Ukraine
Nord Stream OSINT
In September 2022, the russian underwater gas pipeline to Germany called Nord Stream mysteriously blew up. Both strands of the older Nord Stream 2 (NS2) pipeline, and one of the two strands of the newly built (but never activated) Nord Steam 2 (NS2) suddenly exploded. There have been investigations shrouded in secrecy, russia was swift to accuse USA of blowing the pipelines and western media were not entirely opposed to this theory. After all, USA had a motive: to prevent Germany from starting up NS2!
But then, Germany (thanks to the Green minister for economy) rapidly divested from russian gas, despite an existing and functioning land pipeline. The US culprit theory quietly fizzled out, then a senile old man in USA revived it, only to be debunked again.
Now the media, especially New York Times and the German Tagesschau (public TV) and Zeit (newspaper) run with an even better story: the Ukrainians did it! This is based on unnamed sources as well as extremely shaky circumstantial evidence which might just as well has been planted by russians, as the journalists admit somewhere in their text. But then again, why would russians send western journalists on false trails to discredit Ukraine, right? Perish the thought. NYT writes gleefully:
“Any suggestion of Ukrainian involvement, whether direct or indirect, could upset the delicate relationship between Ukraine and Germany, souring support among a German public that has swallowed high energy prices in the name of solidarity. […] Any findings that put blame on Kyiv or Ukrainian proxies could prompt a backlash in Europe and make it harder for the West to maintain a united front in support of Ukraine.”
These pathologically russophobic Ukrainians, as we keep learning from western media, are obsessed with committing heinous crimes to frame russians! I recall Tagesschau articles which toyed with the version of Ukrainians blowing up the birth clinic and the drama theatre in Mariupol, bombing the Kramatorsk train station and the POW barrack in Olenivka, basically mass-murdering own people for no other reason but to blame russia, and the sole evidence for these versions was: russian TV says so. I also recall NYT editorials demanding that Ukraine unconditionally surrenders, and failing that, to stop giving arms to Ukraine.
So why not trying to undermine the support for Ukraine by claiming without any actual proof that Ukrainians blew up the Nord Stream pipeline in order to leave the totally dependent Germany without russian gas in winter? Biting the hand that feeds them, see what rotten criminal Nazi bunch these Ukrainians are?
Smut Clyde pointed me to an alternative investigation of Nord Stream explosions, by Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) analyst Oliver Alexander. Key quote:
“It was in no party’s interests to destroy 3 of the 4 Nord Stream lines. It can be argued that the US/NATO had motivation to destroy all 4 lines. At the same time it can be argued that Russia had motivation to blow NS1, but not NS2. The destruction of 3 was always a mystery.
I believe explosives were planted on the two lines of Nord Stream 1, possibly by the Minerva Julie or while the ship was providing cover for the operation. This ship had a very strange track directly above the location of the NS1 explosions from the 5th September to 13th September while on route to Saint Petersburg. […]
I theorize that the initial Nord Stream 2 rupture was an accident, potentially the result poor workmanship by the Akademik Cherskiy [russian ship which laid NS2, -LS] due to an inadequate vessel and inexperienced crew.
Once this pipe had ruptured, the remaining pipes would probably be inspected to ensure that there was no risk of further leaks. This process would have revealed the explosives planted on the Nord Stream 1 pipes. Due to this the plan to potentially destroy Nord Stream 1 in the future was accelerated and the explosives were detonated 17 hours after the initial rupture at 19:03 local time.
Destroying Nord Stream 1 would allow Russia to increase pressure on Germany, while at the same time not being a massive loss, as they stated that it was “out of commission”. Russia had stated that the decreased flow and eventual shutdown of Nord Stream 1 was caused by European Union sanctions against Russia, which had resulted in technical problems they could not remedy.
This would leave the operational, but never opened Nord Stream 2 available to supply Germany with natural gas immediately after the shock of the destruction of Nord Stream 1. This is something Putin still offered Germany through the one remaining Nord Stream 2 line. Germany turned down the offer.
I believe that the charges were in place on Nord Stream 1, hoping for Germany and Europe to be in a more dire situation during the winter. They would then be blown in an attempt to pressure Europe to give up on Ukraine.”
Of course it’s a theory, one among many, even if russian propensity both for shoddy work and for terrorism are facts of life. Alexander’s version is possibly just as circumstantial as shaky as the “Ukrainians did it!” one pushed by NYT and the German media. But at least it isn’t designed to do damage to the efforts to end human suffering in Ukraine. The blog post ends with:
“This scenario also can help to explain why both sides of the conflict are relatively quite regarding the release of information on the investigation to the public. It is in Russia’s best interest to not mention that the NS2 leak may have been the result of poor workmanship, as this helps not leave Nord Stream AG and the operator of the Akademik Cherskiy open to liability. At the same time the West and NATO are happy continuing to state that all of the Nord Stream leaks are the result of direct sabotage.”
If our investigators admit russia blew up NS1, Germany and the NATO must retaliate. If we blame Ukrainians, we must do nothing, just sit back and watch them die. Until putin’s murderous ruscism comes for us.
Khuilo’s first anniversary – Thoughts of russia’s war on Ukraine
One year of russia’s genocidal war: Things we learned, are slowly learning and haven’t understood yet.
The exemplificative panel
Meet an Italian star of biomedical research: Luca Scorrano, professor of the University of Padua and the former Scientific Director of the Veneto Institute of Molecular Medicine (VIMM) in Italy.
Before we look at what his lab published on the topic of mitochondria biology, a brief reminder. In 2020, the research cheater Pier Paolo Pandolfi, freshly sacked in Harvard of sexual harassment (as revealed by Michael Balter), was about to be appointed as the new scientific director of VIMM, to succeed Scorrano. But because of my reporting (read below), the affair was picked up by Italian media, Italian women scientists protested, the international advisory board of VIMM put its foot down (also because of Pandolfi’s fake science), so this dirty old man did not come to VIMM at all, despite his loud protests and the unwavering support of the foundation which sponsors VIMM.
Pier Paolo Pandolfi out of Harvard, spotted in Italy and Nevada
Star cancer researcher Pier Paolo Pandolfi left Harvard. The allegations are very serious, but do his new employers in Nevada and Italy mind?
Pandolfi threatened to sue me and Balter, but didn’t, and is now hiding in some trash institute in Nevada. It is unclear from the VIMM website if the institute has a scientific director at all.
And now, a paper by Scorrano’s lab. It was cited over 1000 times, which probably means it is THAT reproducible. Stop sniggering, you all.
Christian Frezza , Sara Cipolat , Olga Martins De Brito , Massimo Micaroni , Galina V. Beznoussenko , Tomasz Rudka , Davide Bartoli , Roman S. Polishuck , Nika N. Danial, Bart De Strooper, Luca Scorrano OPA1 controls apoptotic cristae remodeling independently from mitochondrial fusion Cell (2006) doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2006.06.025
These microscopy images are very, very fake. But the significant coauthor is the Alzheimer’s researcher Bart De Strooper, professor at KU Leuven in Belgium and director of the UK Dementia Research Institute at UCL, disagrees. He wrote to me in an email that he solicited an expert opinion by his institute’s (UCL? KU Leuven?) research integrity manager:
“Here is his first analysis which minimally indicate that your accusations are less obvious than you seem to think.
“Frezza et al 2006: I see the similarities that have been highlighted at PubPeer too, but when I blow up the pictures I do not immediately see sharp edges or other clear signs of copy-paste of cells into those pictures. I am not an expert on the contents of this paper, but when I look at these pictures the things that are highlighted with arrows in the original picture, then these are not the structures that are now highlighted in pubpeer as possibly duplicated. I have difficulties to see what one would gain in these pictures by adding in some duplications. Would it be because some intact structures should be visible too? And in terms of the biology of what one is looking at in these pictures; does one expect that the structures are very similar to each other? Or is there normally a much higher variability in these structures?”“
De Strooper refused to tell me which of his two institutions issued such verdict. But KU Leuven assured me it wasn’t them. Which leaves UCL, well-experienced in such things. UCL didn’t reply to me.
Martin Birchall innocent, UCL decides once again
In yet another investigation, UCL whitewashed Martin Birchall of all responsibilities. I publish here the confidential report and excerpts from a secret PhD thesis, which the UCL committee carefully avoided to read.
The first author, Christian Frezza, is now the DFG-funded Alexander von Humboldt Professor at the University of Cologne in Germany. He told me he and Scorrano are “locating the files“, and announced on PubPeer:
The problem is even bigger. This collaborative study was published in the same Cell issue back-to-back with another collaborative study by the same set of key authors. And that one also has a fake figure!
Sara Cipolat , Tomasz Rudka , Dieter Hartmann , Veronica Costa , Lutgarde Serneels , Katleen Craessaerts , Kristine Metzger , Christian Frezza , Wim Annaert , Luciano D’Adamio , Carmen Derks , Tim Dejaegere , Luca Pellegrini , Rudi D’Hooge , Luca Scorrano , Bart De Strooper Mitochondrial Rhomboid PARL Regulates Cytochrome c Release during Apoptosis via OPA1-Dependent Cristae Remodeling Cell (2006) doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2006.06.021
If you think this image reuse (after rotation and massive signal adjustment!) may have happened by an inadvertent honest mistake, then you probably also believe in Babbo Natale.
De Strooper however was convinced that also this duplication doesn’t affect any of the conclusions at all, which he explained on PubPeer:
The problem is even bigger. Scorrano’s papers in top journals have problems even without Frezza. This Nature paper was corrected in 2014:
Olga Martins De Brito , Luca Scorrano Mitofusin 2 tethers endoplasmic reticulum to mitochondria Nature (2008) doi: 10.1038/nature07534
However, Nature decided to correct only Figure 1a, because otherwise they would have to retract this paper for fraud, not a good look for everyone involved. So this is what we were told in the 2014 Corrigendum:
“In Fig. 1a of this Article, the representative image of a volume-rendered three-dimensional reconstruction of a z-stack of confocal images of endoplasmic-reticulum-targeted yellow fluorescent protein (ER-YFP) in a Mfn2−/− cell expressing MFN2IYFFT and that of a Mfn1−/− cell appear to be duplicated. Because the original raw data could not be located, we were unable to verify definitively whether the data in the original figure were indeed inadvertently duplicated. We therefore obtained new images under the same experimental conditions. […] This does not affect any of our results.”
This 2008 Nature paper was only 6 years old in 2014 and raw data was already unavailable. Trust them to find anything for the two 2006 Cell papers now. Luckily for the authors, this journal is a huge fraud factory which just doesn’t care.
How Emilie Marcus and Cell covered up misconduct at Weizmann
I previously reported about numerous cases of suspected (or even blatantly obvious) data manipulation at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel (here, here and here). Initially I wrongly assumed that the institute does not investigate misconduct evidence on principle. It turned out they do, but these investigations “are not public” as Michal Neeman, Vice…
I exchanged several emails with Scorrano, and suggested he shares the original high-resolution figures he sent to Nature and Cell. These are surely still easy to find on his office computer and institute’s servers, the files stored in neat digital folders or attached to emails. This was Scorrano’s reply:
Nice try. In the 1980ies people used to mail their figures as hard copies in envelopes to editorial offices in USA, but by the turn of the century everyone, all over the world, was uploading figures digitally. Scorrano apologised and announced to keep looking for the files. While at it, he can fix this Science paper as well:
Atsuko Kasahara , Sara Cipolat , Yun Chen , Gerald W. Dorn , Luca Scorrano Mitochondrial fusion directs cardiomyocyte differentiation via calcineurin and Notch signaling Science (2013) doi: 10.1126/science.1241359
It was just a few months old when flagged on PubPeer in 2014. The first author, now assistant professor at Kanazawa University in Japan, immediately admitted a duplication which according to her “inadvertently” got flipped and rotated. However, no correction was issued almost a decade later. Also in the case of a duplicated image in Pernas et al Cell Metabolism 2018, a correction was announced on PubPeer (in 2020) but never materialised. I know, I know: Scorrano must have mailed the printouts of the corrected figures to the editors in USA in an envelope, and those unfortunately got lost on their way!
The problem is even bigger. De Strooper told me:
You should see his own PubPeer record and who he published with.
- His KU Leuven colleague Catherine Verfaille, when she was long since known to be a cheating zombie scientist. García-León et al 2018 was fixed with a correction: “The modifications performed or the previous insertion of two consecutive pictures with partial overlap does not change the outcome or any of the conclusions of the study.“
Catherine Verfaillie, the Zombie Scientist of KU Leuven
Catherine Verfaillie is a zombie scientist: her past stem cell research long discredited, but she still is an influential and very well funded star of Belgian science. Now Elisabeth Bik had a fresh new look at Verfaillie’s papers
- German nightmare ophthalmologist Antonia Joussen (Cai et al 2012)
- Claudia Bagni of the University of Lausanne in Switzerland (PubPeer record here).
- French fraud-peddler Frédéric Checler (huge PubPeer record), example:
Bruno Vincent , Erwan Paitel , Paul Saftig , Yveline Frobert , Dieter Hartmann , Bart De Strooper, Jacques Grassi , Elvira Lopez-Perez , Frédéric Checler The disintegrins ADAM10 and TACE contribute to the constitutive and phorbol ester-regulated normal cleavage of the cellular prion protein Journal of Biological Chemistry (2001) doi: 10.1074/jbc.m105677200
But this badly fake Figure 5B is from De Strooper’s own lab, flagged in 2019:
Leen Bammens , Lucía Chávez-Gutiérrez , Alexandra Tolia , An Zwijsen , Bart De Strooper Functional and Topological Analysis of Pen-2, the Fourth Subunit of the γ-Secretase Complex Journal of Biological Chemistry (2011) doi: 10.1074/jbc.m110.216978
You probably can imagine that De Strooper, who only replied on PubPeer 3 years later, in December 2022, saw no conclusions affected by that fraud:
Same arrogant reply here:
Sébastien S Hébert , Lutgarde Serneels , Alexandra Tolia , Katleen Craessaerts , Carmen Derks , Mikhail A Filippov , Ulrike Müller , Bart De Strooper Regulated intramembrane proteolysis of amyloid precursor protein and regulation of expression of putative target genes EMBO reports (2006) doi: 10.1038/sj.embor.7400704
Are you surprised that De Strooper’s raw data also disappeared, leaving behind only unaffected conclusions?
This De Stropper paper is about very stealthily spliced gels (meaning at best that there is no proper loading control), his PubPeer reaction is brilliant.
Lucía Chávez-Gutiérrez , Alexandra Tolia , Elke Maes , Tong Li , Philip C. Wong , Bart De Strooper Glu(332) in the Nicastrin ectodomain is essential for gamma-secretase complex maturation but not for its activity Journal of Biological Chemistry (2008) doi: 10.1074/jbc.m803040200
Ready for De Strooper?
On Western blot loading controls: lessons from Richard Moriggl lab
Western blot, a method to separate proteins by size and analyse their relative expression levels, is a much maligned technique of molecular cell biology. The website PubPeer is flooded with evidence of manipulated Western blots, where gel lanes were inappropriately spliced, or where bands digitally duplicated or erased. Some even question the technology as such,…
Returning to the two Cell papers from 2006 one can safely say it doesn’t matter anymore who faked which figure. Elites like Scorrano, De Strooper and the rest are the reason why fraud flourishes and science is full of irreproducible trash. At least Scorrano seems afraid, but De Strooper appears sure that he can bully his way out. He told me:
Mistakes, like getting caught?
The known unknowns
New developments in the case of Stanford’s cheater president Marc Tessier-Lavigne.
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.
The student newspaper Stanford Daily and its young journalist Theo Baker brought on 6 March 2023 new revelations:
“The Daily has obtained an email from a Stanford professor to Jerry Yang, the chair of the Board of Trustees, corroborating and expanding upon a Feb. 17 Daily article in which four high-level Genentech scientists alleged that an internal review of Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne’s groundbreaking Alzheimer’s research uncovered fabrication and that Tessier-Lavigne, when confronted with the findings of the review, declined to retract his paper. […] The email expanded on what The Daily reported. “Apparently, they then asked Anatoly [Nikolaev, the first author on the paper,] to repeat a key experiment from the paper himself, but when he did his data seemed too perfect to be true. They then switched the reagents they were giving him to use in the experiment but didn’t tell him — when he came back with the same result again, they knew he was falsifying the data.””
Clare Francis pointed out another paper by Nikolaev:
Jianyuan Luo , Anatoly Y. Nikolaev , Shin-ichiro Imai , Delin Chen , Fei Su , Ariel Shiloh , Leonard Guarente , Wei Gu Negative control of p53 by Sir2alpha promotes cell survival under stress Cell (2001) doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(01)00524-4
Nikolaev’s coauthors are Columbia University professor Wei Gu and MIT professor Leonard Guarente, the latter got obscenely rich with anti-aging supplements. Both are research cheaters, read here:
Never have heroes like Robert Roeder
The Schneider Rule says that if you follow one bad scientist, you will meet many other research cheaters among their mentees and collaborators.
Never-ageing Anti-aging to cure COVID-19
Scientists David Sinclair and Michael Lisanti have an ingenious solution to COVID-19: anti-aging drugs. If a disease kills old people, stop being old!
The Stanford Daily mentions the support Tessier-Lavigne continues to enjoy:
“Richard Scheller, a former top Genentech executive whom colleagues describe as a close friend of Tessier-Lavigne, emailed the next day that he did “not recall any discussion at the RRC, or anywhere else at Genentech, that Dr. Nikolaev, Dr. Tessier-Lavigne, or anyone associated with the APP/DR6 study falsified data that were reported in the 2009 Nature paper, or that they behaved improperly in any way.” Scheller sat on the research review committee, and two Genentech scientists told The Daily that they’d had conversations with Scheller about the 2011 review and its alleged finding of data falsification.
Scheller has denied multiple requests for interviews over the past several months, both over email and in person. Scheller’s wife, Susan McConnell, a biology professor who has co-taught a course with Tessier-Lavigne and helped recruit him to Stanford, declined a request to comment.”
The investigation seems to be stuck:
“None of The Daily’s sources for its Feb. 17 article has been interviewed by the committee. And, while the committee said that it was consulting “an expert in image forensics,” some of the world’s foremost experts — including Elisabeth Bik, Mike Rossner, Jana Christopher, Matthew Schrag and [David] Vaux — have not been contacted or heard of anyone who has. Aidan Ryan, a senior vice president for crisis communications at Edelman and spokesperson for the committee, would not name the expert the committee was consulting. […]
Several senators and other faculty members with ties to the board, who requested anonymity to speak about their superior, independently told The Daily that they had expected the committee to issue a partly exculpatory report soon so that Tessier-Lavigne could claim vindication and then step down while maintaining his innocence. […]
Tessier-Lavigne’s defenders include some members of the special committee investigating his work, especially Yang, according to several faculty senators.”
Another supporter of Tessier-Lavigne, (“Seven scientists wrote a January Letter to the Editor urging “caution in rushing to judgment on MTL case.”) is the Stanford professor Aaron Gitler. He also published papers with problematic data, read here:
The potential problems of Eliezer Masliah
“the confusion occurred while utilizing prior panels as example ” – emeritus professor Eliezer Masliah
Remember Olivier Voinnet? The biggest fraud scandal in plant sciences in the last years which I’m afraid was caused by my reporting? Starting in 2014-2015, Voinnet was exposed as research fraudster who forged papers throughout his academic career, slapped with misconduct findings in France and in Switzerland, had to retract 9 papers, stripped of EMBO Gold Medal, shunned by his peer community, disinvited from conferences, and, importantly, barred from his (later on completely dissolved) lab at the Institute of Molecular Biology of Plants (IBMP) in Strasbourg. Which is a fraudulent swamp even without Voinnet.
Olivier Voinnet, the new Dreyfus?
Much of French media and academia, and certainly also the international plant science community now debates a hot conspiracy theory: what if Olivier Voinnet is actually innocent, a visionary genius who fell prey to a conspiracy of fraudulent colleagues and scheming bureaucrats? I discuss here the widespread dishonesty and data manipulation among Voinnet’s co-authors and…
The travelling circus of research integrity in Strasbourg
On March 8, an international scientific review board will be evaluating the research at the French CNRS Institut de Biologie Moléculaire des Plantes (IBMP) in Strasbourg. This is the place where the former star (and now misconduct-tainted pariah) of plant sciences Olivier Voinnet shot to fame, where his main lab operated since 2002 until he was…
Voinnet remains professor at ETH Zürich in Switzerland because…. because well, he still publishes papers. Here are some:
- Jullien PE, Schröder JA, Bonnet DMV, Pumplin N, Voinnet O. Asymmetric expression of Argonautes in reproductive tissues. Plant Physiol. 2022 doi: 10.1093/plphys/kiab474.
- Devers, Emanuel A.; Brosnan, Christopher A.; Sarazin, Alexis; Albertini, Daniele; Amsler, Andrea C.; Brioudes, Florian; Jullien, Pauline E.; Lim, Peiqi; Schott, Gregory; Voinnet, Olivier Movement and differential consumption of short interfering RNA duplexes underlie mobile RNA interference. Nature plants, (2020). 10.1038/s41477-020-0687-2
- Jullien, P.E., Grob, S., Marchais, A., Pumplin, N., Chevalier, C., Bonnet, D.M., Otto, C., Schott, G. and Voinnet, O. Functional characterization of Arabidopsis ARGONAUTE 3 in reproductive tissues. Plant J. (2020), doi:10.1111/tpj.14868
- Pumplin, N; Sarazin, A; Jullien, PE; Bologna, NG; Oberlin, S; Voinnet, O. DNA Methylation Influences the Expression of DICER-LIKE4 Isoforms, Which Encode Proteins of Alternative Localization and Function. The Plant Cell (2016). 10.1105/tpc.16.00554
Of course there are no photoshopped figures in those post-scandal publications, Voinnet is by far not as stupid as other cheaters. You won’t catch him ever again.
I picked those four papers because of a certain scientist on them. Pauline Jullien is since 2017 assistant professor at the University of Bern, meaning the grant for her self-funded position must have run out. Note that she started to work with Voinnet long after he was exposed and shunned as research fraudster. Jullien’s partner Stefan Grob, the second author on Jullien et al 2020, is listed as group leader in the department of Ueli Grossniklaus at the University of Zürich.
So…. Guess who is coming to set up a lab, in fact two labs, at IBMP Starsbourg?
Jullien and Grob of course, Voinnet is still banned.
As I learned, Jullien will receive a junior chair with Labex Mitocross programme, funded for 4 years, here is the opening call from 2022. The person in charge of this recruitment is the IBMP director Laurence Drouard, who was recently promoted and whitewashed of all suspicions of research misconduct by CNRS, read here:
The Strasbourg Swamp
You know Voinnet, but now meet other great life scientists of Strasbourg: Drouard, Loeffler, Boutillier, Mr and Mrs Egly, and many others.
It is a double-appointment negotiated by Jullien’s partner Grob, who received from CNRS an ATIP-Avenir research grant for young group leaders in June 2022, funded for 3 years (extendable to 5). Both positions are temporary, but Jullien and Grob are scheduled to receive tenure at University of Strasbourg and CNRS, respectively.
And why not. We need Voinnet skills back at IBMP!
The Vickers Curse
In August 2022, the German university RWTH Aachen proudly informed:
“RWTH Water Expert Hani Sewilam Appointed as Minister in Egypt
Professor Hani Sewilam, deputy head of the Department of Engineering Hydrology at RWTH and Rector’s Delegate for African Countries, has been appointed Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation in Egypt as part of a recent cabinet reshuffle.
In addition to his work at RWTH, Sewilam is a professor at the Institute of Global Health and Human Ecology and director of the Center for Applied Research on the Environment and Sustainability (CARES) at the American University in Cairo (AUC). He is also the director of the UNESCO Chair in Hydrological Change and Water Resources Management.”
But Alexander Magazinov found a paper by RWTH and AUC Professor Sewilam which may stem from a papermill.
Muziri Mugwanya , Mahmoud A. O. Dawood, Fahad Kimera , Hani Sewilam Updating the Role of Probiotics, Prebiotics, and Synbiotics for Tilapia Aquaculture as Leading Candidates for Food Sustainability: a Review Probiotics and Antimicrobial Proteins (2022) doi: 10.1007/s12602-021-09852-x
How do we know about the papermill origin?
The Vickers Curse! A certain inappropriate citation to an editorial on moths’ pheromones which in almost all cases happens when papermillers add references sloppily.
When I’m citing you, will you answer too?
What do moth pheromones on one side have to do with cancer research, petrochemistry, materials science, e-commerce, psychology, forestry and gynaecology on the other? They are separated by just one citation!
As Magazinov commented on PubPeer:
Reference  is a misrepresentation. It is not about probiotics adhesion, and certainly not in the context of aquaculture. Rather, it is about moths and their pheromones.
 Vickers NJ (2017) Animal communication: when I’m calling you, will you answer too? Curr Biol 27(14):R713-R715. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2017.05.064
Superconductive fraud rehabilitated!
Maarten van Kampen wrote a great article a few months ago ago, about a high-profile Nature retraction by the US-based businessmen Ranga Dias and Ashkan Salamat.
Anatomy of a Retraction 2 – Superconductive Fraud
Maarten van Kampen dispels the superconductive illusions of Ranga Dias and Ashkan Salamat. Will we also receive a cease-and-desist letter now?
In short, sleuths exposed elaborate data forgery in these much celebrated groundbreaking discovery of a room temperature superconductor, Snider et al 2020 (and in other studies by the duo). The Nature paper was retracted in September 2022, but the notice pretended it was due to authors concerned about reproducibility.
Guess how this affair was now resolved. No, nobody was sacked. Nobody was found guilty of fraud. Salamat is still assistant professor at the University of Nevada, Dias is still assistant professor at the University of Rochester sitting on huge grants.
And nobody was blacklisted. In fact, what do you do if you lose a Nature paper for fraud? You publish another one, again about room-temperature superconductor! Freshly out on 8 March 2023:
Nathan Dasenbrock-Gammon , Elliot Snider , Raymond McBride , Hiranya Pasan , Dylan Durkee , Nugzari Khalvashi-Sutter , Sasanka Munasinghe , Sachith E. Dissanayake , Keith V. Lawler , Ashkan Salamat , Ranga P. Dias Evidence of near-ambient superconductivity in a N-doped lutetium hydride Nature (2023) doi: 10.1038/s41586-023-05742-0
News and science Twitter were of course excited about a game-changing groundbreaking discovery by science geniuses. Good thing not all journalists fell for this new fairy tale. Here good reporting in Quanta magazine:
“To demonstrate superconductivity, the team hit three textbook benchmarks. At the critical temperature, they showed a drop in resistance and a peak in a property related to how readily a material warms up. The team also managed to directly measure the expulsion of a magnetic field from the samples — an unambiguous signature for superconductivity called the Meissner effect that has never before been convincingly demonstrated in a superhydride. Curiously, the sample also shifted in color from blue to pink to red in sync with its phase changes.”
The article quotes peers:
Hamlin was one of the sleuths who helped expose fabrications in Dias’ and Salamat’s previous and now retracted Nature paper. The lead sleuths were however Jorge Hirsch and Dirk van der Marel, and they are quoted:
Hirsch, who was threatened by Dias’ and Salamat’s lawyers, told me: “The story is far from over.”
Thing is, Dias and Salamat refuse to share their samples or their raw data. Predictably.
“However, outside access may fall short of the community’s hopes. Dias and Salamat have founded a startup, Unearthly Materials, which, Dias said, has already raised over $20 million in funding from investors including the CEOs of Spotify and OpenAI.* They’ve also recently applied for a patent on the lutetium hydride material, which would deter them from mailing out samples. “We have clear, detailed instructions on how to make our samples,” Dias said. “We are not going to distribute this material, considering the proprietary nature of our processes and the intellectual property rights that exist.” He suggested that “certain methodologies and processes” are also off the table.”
Now, you might wonder: why did Nature accept another fake garbage from the same crooked duo, after a retraction no less?
Simple. Up there, they don’t believe in research fraud as a character trait. It’s the “each paper on its own merit” attitude which basically means they scrutinise all new submissions from exposed fraudsters for same types of forgeries they were originally caught on. If they find nothing, the new submission is deemed trustworthy.
Voinnet’s sidekick Dunoyer welcomed at Nature Plants, despite retractions and admitted misconduct
The Olivier Voinnet scandal of almost two decades-long research misconduct and data manipulations has reached its logical conclusion. The French plant pathogen researcher, and everyone who helped him manipulating and publishing dishonest (and occasionally retracted) papers was either forgiven or declared as fully reformed. The siRNA-co-discoverer Voinnet who, cynically put, was too big to fail,…
Sure there will be many of those refusing to give thumbs-up to a serial fraudster. But: as a peer reviewer you can’t reject a manuscript just because you mistrust the author, such are the rules. So Nature has been probably going through several potential reviewers until they found someone who will agree. In fact, it seems even those who agreed were not sure, their reports aren’t published, and this editorial by ChangQing Jin and David Ceperley sceptically suggests: “Hopes raised for room-temperature superconductivity, but doubts remain“. Usually such accompanying editorials are written by the peer reviewers of the original paper.
In any case, I fully agree with this statement in Quanta:
““For me, it is difficult to imagine a second retraction,” said Mikhail Eremets, a physicist at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Germany who led the discovery of hydride superconductors. “We should consider it seriously in spite of the prehistory.”
Nature never retracted a paper just because it was irreproducible. And even when new kinds of fraud were to be found: the elite journal won’t retract to save face.
Unnecessary side effects
A press release from Imperial College London:
“A genetic test already used routinely in the NHS can guide the use of chemotherapy in people with bowel cancer, new research has shown.
Researchers from Imperial College London, the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and the Netherlands Cancer Institute, found that the test can predict whether a bowel cancer patient will benefit from chemotherapy. It is thought that this could spare patients who will not benefit from treatment from unnecessary toxicity and debilitating side effects. […]
The researchers found that a specific mutation in the KRAS gene called KRASG12 was linked to poor survival in treated patients. Conversely another mutation was linked to a three-fold increase in survival.
Professor Nicola Valeri, Honorary Professor of Gastrointestinal Oncology at Imperial College London and the ICR, said: […]
“It will be difficult for some patients to find out that this last-line drug will not benefit them, but this test will mean they are able to avoid unnecessary side effects and have a better quality of life with advanced cancer. Fortunately, our findings also reveal a group of patients who see substantial benefits from taking this type of chemotherapy.””
This is the paper, in Nature Medicine:
Joris Van De Haar , Xuhui Ma , Salo N. Ooft , Pim W. Van Der Helm , Louisa R. Hoes , Sara Mainardi , David J. Pinato , Kristi Sun , Lisa Salvatore , Giampaolo Tortora , Ina Valeria Zurlo , Silvana Leo , Riccardo Giampieri , Rossana Berardi , Fabio Gelsomino , Valeria Merz , Federica Mazzuca , Lorenzo Antonuzzo , Gerardo Rosati , Chara Stavraka , Paul Ross, Maria Grazia Rodriquenz, Michele Pavarana, Carlo Messina, Timothy Iveson, Federica Zoratto, Anne Thomas, Elisabetta Fenocchio, Margherita Ratti, Ilaria Depetris, Massimiliano Cergnul, Cristina Morelli, Michela Libertini, Alessandro Parisi, Michele De Tursi, Nicoletta Zanaletti, Ornella Garrone, Janet Graham, Raffaella Longarini, Stefania Maria Gobba, Angelica Petrillo, Emiliano Tamburini, Nicla La Verde, Fausto Petrelli, Vincenzo Ricci, Lodewyk F. A. Wessels, Michele Ghidini, Alessio Cortellini, Emile E. Voest, Nicola Valeri Codon-specific KRAS mutations predict survival benefit of trifluridine/tipiracil in metastatic colorectal cancer Nature Medicine (2023)
Now imagine a theoretical possibility that this test, like everything made by the fraud factory ICR London, isn’t working. False hope to one group of patients, while another group won’t even try the last resort medicine which might have helped them after all.
Fake data, untouchable men and guilty women at ICR London
With nobody above him, ICR director Paul Workman was seemingly investigating himself, and found two female colleagues guilty of placing fake data into his papers, primarily the ICR emeritus Ann Jackman. One paper was retracted, another received an outrageous correction. The previous ICR CEO, Alan Ashworth, together with his right-hand man Chris Lord, have their…
Coincidence or not, the ICR London researcher Nicola Valeri used to be a collaborator of such massive fraudsters like Carlo Croce, George Calin and Giorgio Zauli, here:
In fact, Valeri’s CV states that he spent 5 years “in Professor Croce’s Lab investigating the role of non-coding RNAs in gastrointestinal cancers.” Now, anyone staying 5 years with that mega-fraudster Croce and coming out as professor is suspect already by affiliation.
The press release also quotes the new ICR London president, Kristian Helin:
How many lives do you think Helin’s own fake cancer research has saved so far?
Kristian Helin gets the perfect job
ICR London has a new director. The Great Dane Kristian Helin is the perfect successor to continue the ideological line of fictional cancer research.
You may remember the whistleblower Matthew Schrag, researcher at Vanderbilt University, who exposed massive fraud in the Alzheimer’s research field, especially the cases of Sylvain Lesne and Cassava Sciences.
Sylvain Lesné is a failed scientist
From Lesné’s public shame to successful role models of neuroscience like Aguzzi and Tessier-Lavigne.
I previously wrote how Schrag investigated his own old paper, found it to be even more fraudulent then flagged by PubPeer sleuths, and asked for retraction of this and another publication. First author on both and likely personally responsible for the problematic data is Othman Ghribi, former associate professor at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine who retired in 2020 for obscure reasons, but definitely not due to age or health.
Now the paper was retracted.
Othman Ghribi , Mikhail Y. Golovko , Brian Larsen , Matthew Schrag , Eric J. Murphy Deposition of iron and beta-amyloid plaques is associated with cortical cellular damage in rabbits fed with long-term cholesterol-enriched diets Journal of Neurochemistry (2006) doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2006.04079.x
The retraction notice from 8 March 2023 stated:
“The above article, published online on 28th July 2006 in Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com), is retracted by agreement between the authors (with the exception of Brian T. Larsen who could not be reached), the journal’s Editor in Chief, Andrew Lawrence, and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. The retraction has been agreed due to concerns raised regarding possible image manipulation of Figure 1c and e, Figure 3c, Figure 4c (i), Figure 4c (iii), Figure 5a-b and 5c. The authors were unable to provide the original datasets upon request. Therefore, the data and the conclusions of the manuscript can no longer be considered reliable. The authors acknowledge and regret these mistakes.”
Basically the notice says that all authors are guilty. Schrag just as much as Ghribi. And much more than the last author and “Handling Editor” of Journal of Neurochemistry, the University of North Dakota emeritus professor Eric Murphy, who recently won the North Dakota House of Representatives elections for the Republican Party.
Now Schrag will face consequences for fake figures and lost raw data in that paper. Ghirbi and Murphy won’t. Welcome to academia.
An elite nanotechnology journal, Small, published by Wiley, impact factor 15, corrected a paper in December 2021.
Ruoling Dai , Weiwei Sun , Li-Ping Lv , Minghong Wu , Hao Liu , Guoxiu Wang , Yong Wang Bimetal-Organic-Framework Derivation of Ball-Cactus-Like Ni-Sn-P@C-CNT as Long-Cycle Anode for Lithium Ion Battery Small (2017) doi: 10.1002/smll.201700521
The Correction stated:
“In this manuscript, several SEM/EDS measurements were performed. A silicon wafer substrate was used to support samples for EDS measurements which results in a high-density peak for Si centered at ≈1.8 keV. The authors removed this peak in all EDS-spectra to ensure clear presentation of the results but failed to inform readers about this image processing step. Figures 2, 5, and S1 containing unaltered EDS-spectra are found below. […] The conclusions of this article remain unchanged by this processing step. The authors apologize for this unintended mistake.”
These were the figures before replacement.
However, the highly professional experts at Wiley couldn’t be arsed to correct other fake figures, namely the Figure 1.
Wiley: Committed to integrity? Get out!
“We have initiated post-acceptance peer review with independent reviewers… ” – Wiley.
Of course the fake paper should have been retracted right away. But the Chairman of the Editorial Advisory Board is Chad Mirkin. A fox guarding a hen house:
Do nanoparticles deliver? Merck’s Smart Flares and other controversies
Two somewhat controversial approaches to nanoparticle delivery: the striped nanoparticles by Francesco Stellacci, and the spherical nucleic acids by Chad Mirkin.
The German journal Naunyn-Schmiedeberg’s Archives of Pharmacology (NSAP) and its editor, the Hannover Medical School professor Roland Seifert, really wanted to crack down on papermills. When in early 2020 Smut Clyde and Tiger BB8 found masses of Chinese papermill fraud in NSAP, Chinese submissions were banned in that journal. There were thundering editorials, with rules and guidelines, experts referenced and credited (but not Smut Clyde and Tiger BB8). Everyone stood in awe.
Dark Satanic Papermills
Smut Clyde investigates two more Chinese paper mills. One teamed up with an obscure Italian publisher, the other offers access to respectable society journals. How much of published and allegedly peer reviewed science is real?
But with the Chinese papermill fraud gone, NSAP still had to publish something. And they did, mostly Egyptian papermill fraud, interspersed with Iranian and Pakistani papermill fraud. When the PubPeer user Dysdera arabisenen warned Seifert about this, the chief editor announced to investigate. Read here:
An attractive and “natural” target for fraudsters
“In the various excellent texts on paper mills the question is discussed why Naunyn-Schmiedebergs Archives of Pharmacology has become a target for fake papers. I oppose the assumption that we simply want to fill pages with pseudo-scientific content. We actually look for quality and good science.” – Prof Dr Roland Seifert, Editor-in-Chief
Maybe NSAP editors were so busy investigating the Egyptian papermill fraud which they already published they had no time to review the Egyptian papermill fraud in their editorial pipeline?
Accepted 23 February 2023, published on 3 March:
Mohamed M Elseweidy, Mohamed Mahrous , Sousou I Ali , Mohamed A Shaheen , Nahla N Younis Vitamin D alleviates cognitive dysfunction and brain damage induced by copper sulfate intake in experimental rats: focus on its combination with donepezil Naunyn-Schmiedeberg s Archives of Pharmacology (2023) doi: 10.1007/s00210-023-02449-x
One could say: oh well, this kind of image duplication is difficult to spot. True that.
The paper should have been rejected because it is idiotic. Vitamin D as a cure against Alzheimer! The abstract alone is stupid enough:
“This study aimed to demonstrate the potential benefits of donepezil (DPZ) and vitamin D (Vit D) in combination to counteract the neurodegenerative disorders induced by CuSO4 intake in experimental rats. Neurodegeneration (Alzheimer-like) was induced in twenty-four male Wistar albino rats by CuSO4 supplement to drinking water […] The effects attained by Vit D treatment were better than those attained by DPZ. Furthermore, Vit D boosted the therapeutic potential of DPZ in almost all AD associated behavioral and pathological changes. Vit D is suggested as a potential therapy to retard neurodegeneration.”
Hopefully this is indeed a made-up papermill study and they didn’t really torture rats for fake science. But that idiocy passed peer review by (mostly German) professors of medicine and pharmacology.
Just like this silly review by an all-Indian team (except an odd Pole!) of the “antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, and anti-microbial” qualities of Aloe vera, indictaing that also Indian papermills have discovered NSAP:
Shreya Sikdar Mitra , Mimosa Ghorai , Samapika Nandy , Nobendu Mukherjee , Manoj Kumar , Radha , Arabinda Ghosh , Niraj Kumar Jha , Jarosław Proćków, Abhijit Dey Barbaloin: an amazing chemical from the ‘wonder plant’ with multidimensional pharmacological attributes Naunyn-Schmiedeberg s Archives of Pharmacology (2022) doi: 10.1007/s00210-022-02294-4
Alexander Magazinov commented:
“Dimensions recognizes 77 items on the reference list of this paper. Of those, 18 are co-authored by a certain U Anand (Uttpal Anand, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel).
Citations to U Anand either follow generic statements that are not specific to the core topic of this paper, or are plainly out-of-context […]. This aggravates the concern about the apparent citation bias.”
Learn from MDPI
From the department of foxes in charge of henhouses and goats in charge of gardening. MDPI, probably the biggest papermill outlet on the planet, is now in charge of papermill solutions.
There was an announcement for an online workshop, to take place on 14 December 2022:
The speakers scheduled were Adam Day, data scientist at SAGE Publishing and inventor of the Clear Skies Papermill Alarm software, accompanied by Savvas Chamezopoulos, data scientist at Elsevier, and Davide Fiocco, data scientist at Frontiers. Both Elsevier and Frontiers are badly infested with masses of papermill forgeries and just like MDPI they need to convince you that they have things under control having retracted a couple of papermill papers.
However, the workshop was postponed to 6 March 2023, see this announcement.
The Frontiers dropped out in between, and was replaced by a guy from Wiley (unhappy owners of Hindawi): Hong Zhou. But now also this March 2023 webinar was cancelled, as I learned, without plans to reschedule.
Meanwhile, at MDPI:
News in Tweets
- Another retraction for the disgraced Spiderman Jonathan Pruitt, this time in Nature: “The Editors have retracted this article. Concerns were raised regarding potential anomalies in the census and experimental data on the aggressiveness and docility of the spiders and the experimental data on prey availability. Post-publication review concluded that the data are not reliable. The Editors therefore no longer have confidence in the results and conclusions of this article. Jonathan N. Pruitt disagrees with this retraction. Charles J. Goodnight is deceased.”
Spiderman’s lawyer is having you for dinner tonight
Spider researcher Jonathan Pruitt is accused by his coauthors of data manipulations, after 3 retractions they demand more. A lawyer’s letter was supposed to stop that, but Pruitt tells me: “I’m happy for folks to engage in public discourse about my data integrity””
- Sheshanath Bhosale, once professor in Australia whose papers officially faked themselves, had to swallow these retractions of Yeluri et al 2015 and Bhosale et al 2011: “When approached for an explanation, the corresponding author did not provide the requested supporting information. RMIT University, where research had been conducted, confirm they are investigating issues related to the integrity of the published work. As verifying the validity of published work is core to the integrity of the scholarly record, we are therefore retracting the article. The institution and the corresponding author have been informed.“
The papers which faked themselves
“These papers breached the Australian Code and RMIT Research Policy by not ensuring that conclusions are justified by the results and not responsibly disseminating research findings.” RMIT investigative report
- Zero tolerance for non-white fraud at Oncogene! EiC Justin Stebbing want you to think good things of him. Retraction notice for Yang et al 2018: “The authors have provided the full raw Transwell assay data to address these concerns. However, these data contained further cases of image overlap. Additionally, the SMMC-7721 cell line used by the authors has been reported to be contaminated with HeLa cells, making it an unsuitable model for liver cancer. The editors-in-chief therefore no longer have confidence in the presented data.”
Oncogene EiC Justin Stebbing, a hypocrite of research integrity?
‘The results have been replicated by ourselves or others, so the image manipulation is irrelevant.’ – Justin Stebbing, double bluffing
- Withdrawn Ludwig et al 2020: “The above article, published online on 11 March 2020 in Wiley Online Library as an Accepted Article, has been withdrawn by agreement between the authors, journal Editor-in-Chief Louis Bernatchez and John Wiley and Sons Ltd. The withdrawal has been agreed because the authors are unable to finalize the APC payment for their article for publication in the journal as the Version of Record.”
- Frontiers in Climate Change Denialism, Patrik Frank 2019: “The unavoidable conclusion is that an anthropogenic air temperature signal cannot have been, nor presently can be, evidenced in climate observables.“
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Re this? I’m not on board. “Basically the notice says that all authors are guilty. Schrag just as much as Ghribi. And much more than the last author and “Handling Editor” of Journal of Neurochemistry, the University of North Dakota emeritus professor Eric Murphy, who recently won the North Dakota House of Representatives elections for the Republican Party.”
Got this reply from Matthew Schrag: “At least it is retracted. I have had to push the editors/publishers aggressively to make this happen. “
The retraction notice should have credited him as the one who found fraud and requested the retraction. But it paints the whistleblower just as guilty as the rest.
Remember how Karolinska found Macchiarini whistleblowers guilty of misconduct by being coauthors?
Bart de Strooper.
Animation here, comment #7
Didn’t he tell you this doesn’t affect any of the conclusions?
Is it a cultural thing, Belgians with too many publications and a fair number of them problematic?
We have Bart de Strooper and
Peter, Baron (that is a Baron in the aristocratic sense), Carmeliet.
In the 1920s and 1930s the Belgian royal family got scientific advice from Albert Einstein, the present King of Belgium gets scientific advice from Peter, Baron, Carmeliet!
Another Belgian, Mathieu Bollen, publishing at the drop of a hat, but with quite a lot of problematic data. It may really be a cultural thing.
Ha, the superconductor frauds cite their own 2 retracted articles (both in Nature) in the abstract of the new one from 2 days under Refs. [14, 15]. This is way beyond ridiculous now…
Correction, Ref.  is the retraction note.
A good take on new superconductive fraud here:
“In September, the Nature paper reporting that result was retracted, as documented in Science and For Better Science. Further misconduct allegations against Dias have recently emerged, with researchers alleging that Dias plagiarized substantial portions of someone else’s doctoral thesis when writing his own and that he misrepresented his thesis data in a 2021 paper in Physical Review Letters (PRL) . […]
To understand those allegations, Physics Magazine independently examined Dias’ thesis and spoke with more than a dozen experts in high-temperature superconductivity, including Dias. Although opinions differ, an overwhelming majority agree that some form of misconduct has likely occurred. Dias denies the accusations.[…]
While Hamlin was digging into the CSH data, he came across familiar-looking sentences in the paper that presented the raw CSH data—lines that he recollected writing in his 2007 PhD thesis. On a hunch, he pulled up Dias’ 2013 thesis and fed both his thesis and Dias’ into a plagiarism checker. His computer screen lit up; the two documents contained numerous identical passages. Physics Magazine independently compared the two theses and found dozens of paragraphs that match word for word and two figures that have striking similarities.”
“Paragraphs from pages 64 and 66 of Hamlin’s thesis about magnetic susceptibility measurements (left) contain identical text to page 6 of Dias and Salamat’s 2021 arXiv paper in which the duo shared the raw CSH data (right).”
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“Clare Francis pointed out another paper by Nikolaev:
Jianyuan Luo , Anatoly Y. Nikolaev , Shin-ichiro Imai , Delin Chen , Fei Su , Ariel Shiloh , Leonard Guarente , Wei Gu Negative control of p53 by Sir2alpha promotes cell survival under stress Cell (2001) doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(01)00524-4 ”
Figure S3. Much more similar and different than expected.
Cell . 2004 Feb 20;116(4):551-63. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(04)00126-6.
Mammalian SIRT1 represses forkhead transcription factors
Maria Carla Motta 1, Nullin Divecha, Madeleine Lemieux, Christopher Kamel, Delin Chen, Wei Gu, Yvette Bultsma, Michael McBurney, Leonard Guarente
Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
PMID: 14980222 DOI: 10.1016/s0092-8674(04)00126-6
Problematic data figure 4A. Much more similar than expected (same pattern of specks in 2 different lanes).
Pubpeer comments to date about this paper:
Cell. 2008 Jul 25;134(2):329-40. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2008.07.002.
The NAD+-dependent deacetylase SIRT1 modulates CLOCK-mediated chromatin remodeling and circadian control
Yasukazu Nakahata 1, Milota Kaluzova, Benedetto Grimaldi, Saurabh Sahar, Jun Hirayama, Danica Chen, Leonard P Guarente, Paolo Sassone-Corsi
1Department of Pharmacology, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA.
PMID: 18662547 PMCID: PMC3526943 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2008.07.002
Vertical splice in the WT AcBMAL1 panel, but not in the WT BMAL1, SIRT1, CLOCK or actin panels.
Enlargement (higher resolution).
If it’s in Cell you’re doing well.
Guaranteed to be there forever.
Money in the bank, career cemented nice and firm.
Start at comment #8
Paper cited 2604 times, then scroll up.
I think Leonard Guarente (MIT) and Wei Gu (Columbia) are taking the piss.
Wei Gu (Columbia) taking the piss again.
See comment #2.
How good is MIT if it can’t spot faking within its own walls? A bit like the Karolinska Institute, very famous, but not so good when you take a look at the data.
Surely the 2014 Leonard Guarente 2 retractions see March 12 comment should have triggered a review of his papers?
Perhaps MIT did not look (quite easy to spot by human eye) for fear of what it would find, or played twister by drawing arbitrary time limits beyond which it would not delve.
Wei Gu (Columbia) will tend to get lost on Pubpeer in the sea of people having Wei, or Gu, as part of their names.
“Wei Gu Delin Chen” does help to keep track of the problematic data.
Of note a 2010 Nature paper.
“more than 70% of the Chinese population uses the same 45 surnames. The other 30% are less frequently used surnames like Mao, Jiang, Bai, Wen, Guan, Liao, and Chi etc.”
Wei Gu (Columiba) taking the piss yet again.
J Biol Chem . 2008 Mar 21;283(12):7590-8. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M709707200. Epub 2008 Jan 17.
Kai Li ‡ 1, Alex Casta § 1, Rui Wang ‡ 1, Enerlyn Lozada ¶, Wei Fan ‡, Susan Kane ∥, Qingyuan Ge ∥, Wei Gu §, David Orren ¶, Jianyuan Luo (Supported by an AFAR research grant while this work was conducted) ‡
Department of Cancer Biology and the Cancer Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts 01605
Institute for Cancer Genetics, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032
Graduate Center for Toxicology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky 40536-0305
Cell Signaling Technology, Danvers, Massachusetts 01923
PMID: 18203716 DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M709707200
Figure 2C. Much more similar than expected.
Wei Gu (Columbia) taking the piss yet again!
J Biol Chem. 2016 Jan 8;291(2):959-67. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M114.624478. Epub 2015 Oct 27.
USP11 Is a Negative Regulator to γH2AX Ubiquitylation by RNF8/RNF168*
Author links open overlay panelMiao Yu ‡, Kun Liu ‡, Zebin Mao ‡, Jianyuan Luo §, Wei Gu ¶, Wenhui Zhao ‡
From the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Beijing Key Laboratory of Protein Posttranslational Modifications and Cell Function and
the Department of Genetics, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, 100191, China and
the Institute for Cancer Genetics, and Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032
Received 11 December 2014, Revised 25 October 2015, Available online 27 October 2015, Version of Record 4 January 2021.
PMID: 26507658 PMCID: PMC4705413 DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M114.624478
Figure 4E. Much more similar than expected.
Figure 1E. Much more similar after horizontal flip than expected.
Wei Gu (Columbia) taking the piss.
Two overlapping, but not identical lists help keep track of Wei Gu (Columbia University).
Given Leonard Guarente’s substantial Pubpeer record above of problematic data on the Sirtuins (Sirt) how seriously should we take take his claim that they have anything to do with aging in mammalian cells (were the money is)?
Cell will deploy the “Moumen defence” for not retracting the Leonard Guarente (MIT)/Wei Gu (Columbia) Cell paper.
See the ” Moumen defence” here:
Cell doesn’t need any defences. They just ignore everything.
Mol Cell . 2007 Oct 12;28(1):91-106. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2007.07.032.
SIRT1 deacetylates and positively regulates the nuclear receptor LXR
Xiaoling Li 1, Songwen Zhang, Gil Blander, Jeanette G Tse, Monty Krieger, Leonard Guarente
Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
PMID: 17936707 DOI: 10.1016/j.molcel.2007.07.032
Problematic data figure 2A. Much more similar than expected.
Leonard Guarente’s second retraction.
Nat Med. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2012 Nov 29.Published in final edited form as:Nat Med. 2012 Jan; 18(1): 159–165.
Published online 2011 Dec doi: 10.1038/nm.2559PMCID: PMC3509213NIHMSID: NIHMS420368PMID: 22179316
Sirt1 mediates neuroprotection from mutant huntingtin by activation of TORC1 and CREB transcriptional pathwayDena E. Cohen,2,* Libin Cui,1 Andrea Supinski,2 Jeffrey N. Savas,3 Joseph R. Mazzulli,1 John R. Yates,3 Laura Bordone,4 Leonard P. Guarente,2,+ and Dimitri Krainc, +1
1Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Mass General Institute for Neurodegeneration, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, Massachusetts, 021292Paul F. Glenn Laboratory, Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 021393Department of Chemical Physiology, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, SR11, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA4Cardiovascular and Metabolism Disease Area, Novartis Institutes for Bio Medical Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02139+
To whom correspondence should be addressed:
Dr. Dimitri Krainc, Mass General Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease, 114 16th Street, Room 2008, Charlestown, MA 02129, Fax: 617-724-1480, email@example.com
Dr. Leonard Guarente, Paul F. Glenn Laboratory, Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, Fax: (617) 253-8699, firstname.lastname@example.org *These authors contributed equally to this work.
Problematic data figure 3b.Vertical splice in CREB panel, but not in the TORC1, TAF4 or Sirt1 panels.
Nature. 2004 Jun 17;429(6993):771-6. doi: 10.1038/nature02583. Epub 2004 Jun 2.
Sirt1 promotes fat mobilization in white adipocytes by repressing PPAR-gamma
Frédéric Picard 1, Martin Kurtev, Namjin Chung, Acharawan Topark-Ngarm, Thanaset Senawong, Rita Machado De Oliveira, Mark Leid, Michael W McBurney, Leonard Guarente
1Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.
PMID: 15175761 PMCID: PMC2820247 DOI: 10.1038/nature02583
Free PMC article
Nature. 2004 Aug 19;430(7002):921
Nature 429, 771–776 (2004).
“It has been drawn to our attention by Vincent Keng that the image in the bottom-left frame of Fig. 1c of this Letter presents identical data to the one above it on the right. A mistake made by the authors during compilation of Fig.1 caused the wrong bottom-left image to be used instead of the correct image, which is shown below. The results presented in this replacement micrograph do not alter the conclusions of our study.”
“It has been drawn to our attention by Vincent Keng that the image in the bottom-left frame of Fig. 1c of this Letter presents identical data to the one above it on the right.” is not quite true and accurate.
More accurate would be rotated and differently cropped.
Yeah, Nature is trumpeting the latest Dias triumph, with a bit of perfunctory warning. Did I miss it, or are they owned by Murdoch now?
I demand Nature digs out Obokata and Vacanti from wherever they are and publishes the sequel to STAP.
I read this, and noted the reporting of fraud in someone’s lab:
Click to access nature_feature.pdf
Overall, I read this, and I’m wondering why stuff like this should be funded? What value does this have to society? Who, in the end, gives a shit except people running the labs wanting to be famous? Is boosting egos on valueless research worth tax-payer money?
BTW, did you follow these interesting exchanges re. L. Scorrano’s work in PNAS?
Of note: both parties in the same department of the same university.
Luca Scorrano, Nika N. Danial, Claudio Hetz, Atan Gross – is there some link I’m missing?
Maybe Kroemer links them?
All worked in Stan Korsmeyer’s lab
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Interesting. Wiki says Korsmeyer died in 2005 of lung cancer. How aware was he of what these young geniuses did in his lab?