Schneider Shorts of 24 March 2023 – a Chinese double-bluff with raccoon dogs, an Italian professor defends his Iranian papers, other Italian professors honored with Swedish medals, with green energy retractions In USA, a Spanish papermiller in russia, a Persian fallen star in Germany, and finally, yet another pervert German professor unnamed.
Table of Discontent
- Sex for grades – philosophy professor can be sacked, appeal court says
- Independent Researcher – the rise and fall of Goshtasp Cheraghian
- Spanish bomb – papermiller Rafael Luque practices Peoples Friendship
- Do not permit to write again – Graphene bigwig Francesco Bonaccorso threatens lawsuits
- Scientist Medal Lecture – proud Italians receive IAAM medals
- Made-up rubbish – Scott Geyer’s lab at forefront of green energy innovation
- Magic pill – Eat what you want while losing weight!
- Raccoon Dogs vs Lab Leak Theory – Science has spoken: it’s all a huge Chinese double bluff!
News in Tweets
Sex for grades
A German court decided that a philosophy professor at the University of Erfurt in Germany can be finally sacked for sexual harassment. MDR reported on 21 March 2023, translated:
“The Thuringian Higher Administrative Court has decided that a suspended Erfurt philosophy professor must be dismissed from his employment after having sexual contact with female students. He had been accused of forcing female students to have sex with the promise of good grades. Among other things, the man is said to have forced a student to perform oral sex and harassed another in a similar way. Another student had rejected his sexually motivated contact attempts. The incidents happened in 2015.
In its 2020 judgment, the administrative court in Meiningen found that the university teacher had “seriously” violated his official duties. Nevertheless, the initiation of sex in the university between teachers and students does not justify the Meiningen court to remove the person concerned from the civil service. […]
The Thuringian Ministry of Science and the philosophy professor both appealed the verdict . According to a spokeswoman, the ministry was aiming for final dismissal from university service. The Higher Administrative Court granted this application. An appeal to the Federal Administrative Court was not admitted.”
As usual in Germany, we are not told who this nasty character might be. Because he will sue to protect his privacy. Funny how professors once nationally celebrated in media deploy lawyers to keep their names secret when they are exposed as sexual harassers. Like these cases in Cologne or in Göttingen earlier, where I was able to find their real names.
Sometimes one really has to be grateful to the yellow press for clues, here Bild:
Carsten H then, philosophy professor at University of Erfurt. This is what a Google search delivers – a Prof Dr Carsten Held, specialising in philosophy of science, currently listed as “suspended”. According to internet archive, the suspension was imposed between July and September 2020.
When I wrote to Held’s institutional email address, my email bounced with “Reason: Over quota”.
And if you think his institutional profile picture looks different from the court photo in Bild, well, here on the right is Held giving a talk at the University of Pittsburgh in 2012. Only the beard is gone and the hair greyed since.
What a loss for the philosophy of science! Held wrote book chapters on the topic of “Truth in Science and Ethics” (a 2008 Festschrift to honour his mentor Winfried Franzen, and on “Quantum Mechanics – The Kochen-Specker Theorem” (in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2006). Oh yes, Held is an expert not just on philosophy of science and sexual harassment, but also on Quantum Mechanics! See Held 2008, Held 2012a, Held 2012b, or this book chapter from 2006: “The Bohr-Einstein Debate and the Fundamental Problem of Quantum Mechanics“.
Meet the Iranian nanotechnologist Goshtasp Cheraghian, who used to make great discoveries in materials science at the Technische Universität (TU) Braunschweig in Germany.
In June 2022, the university celebrated a discovery in a press release:
“The results of this research, recently published in Nanotechnology Reviews, focus on the impact of nanocomposites on the aging resistance of road asphalt binders. “The used nanoparticles act like a shield against moisture and aging, thus making the asphalt mixture less prone to brittleness and cracking,” explains Professor Michael P. Wistuba, head of ISBS [Braunschweig Pavement Engineering Center]. For the development of the next generation of road asphalt materials, the modification of asphalt binders by nanoparticles could be of great benefit, he adds. “Clay/fumed silica nanocomposite with a large surface area is an ideal candidate as a cost-effective and non-toxic material that can meaningfully impact on shielding asphalt in WMA [warm mix asphalt] technology,” says Dr Cheraghian. “In addition, our findings on the concept of the molecular interaction between nanoparticles and asphalt binders can open new avenues for the application of nanotechnology in asphalt engineering.”
This was the groundbreaking study:
Goshtasp Cheraghian, Michael P. Wistuba, Sajad Kiani, Ali Behnood, Masoud Afrand, Andrew R. Barron: Engineered nanocomposites in asphalt binders. In: Nanotechnology Reviews, (2022) doi: 10.1515/ntrev-2022-0062.
Did you notice the known papermiller and a Highly Cited Researcher Masoud Afrand among the authors? Read about him here:
The Highly Cited Researchers of Clarivate
“here is my advice to Clarivate: better get lost. ” – Alexander Magazinov
Already in 2018, Dr Cheraghian was celebrated by TU Braunschweig for another scientific breakthrough with Afrand. Translated:
“Scientists from the Institute for Road Science at the TU Braunschweig, the Islamic Azad University in Tehran (Iran), the Louisiana State University in the USA, the Curtin University in Australia and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras in India have synthesized a nanocomposite from clay and silicon dioxide , developed for drilling fluids. The researchers led by Goshtasp Cheraghian from the TU Braunschweig and Professor Jitendra S. Sangwai from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras reported their results in the Elsevier magazine “Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects”. […]
“The nanoparticles are of particular value to industry as they are easily synthesized and can also improve the rheological stability of drilling muds at higher temperatures,” says Cheraghian.”
It was this paper:
Goshtasp Cheraghian, Qinglin Wu, Masood Mostofi Mei-Chun Li, Masoud Afrand, Jitendra S.Sangwai; “Effect of a novel clay/silica nanocomposite on water-based drilling fluids: Improvements in rheological and filtration properties“; Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects; (2018) doi: 10.1016/j.colsurfa.2018.06.072
Cheragian didn’t end up on Afrand’s papermill trash by accident. They are a team, the former was a proud recipient of whooping 128 citations from a “special issue” scam which Afrand used to run at the Journal of Energy Storage. See for example Li et al 2022, and read the backstory here:
Maybe stop accepting submissions, Herr Prof Dr Sauer?
Who needs science if you can have a 75 paper strong special edition by Afrand and Karimi? A guest post by Alexander Magazinov.
Cheraghian has his own record on PubPeer. Examples include his collaboration with another papermilling fraudster from Iran, Mohsen Sharifpur. The works were flagged for inappropriate citations to irrelevant papers by other papermillers primarily Changhe Li, but also Nader Karimi, Davood Torghaie, and of course also Afrand, Sharifpour and Cheraghian themselves.
Here a nice example:
Saeed Alqaed , Jawed Mustafa, Mohsen Sharifpur, Goshtasp Cheraghian Using nanoparticles in solar collector to enhance solar-assisted hot process stream usefulness Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments (2022) doi: 10.1016/j.seta.2022.101992
More recently, after acting as project leader at TU Braunschweig, Cheraghian came to be affiliated with the Humboldt University in Berlin, specifically as a member of the group of Michael J. Bojdys, as press releases from 2022 mentioned (here and here). Bojdys has a second affiliation at King’s College London, and Cheraghian started to wear it, too.
Cheraghian also acted as guest editor for MDPI. The Special Issue, titled “Advance in Nanocomposites and Nanofluids” and edited all by himself, contains 9 papers. 8 of which are authored (and likely also peer reviewed) by the editor Cheraghian. His co-authors are of course Sharifpour and other Iranian crooks. Curiously, while the 2022 paper provides a Humboldt University affiliation for Cheraghian, and the oldest 2021 paper credits TU Braunschweig, the in-between 2021 papers from this Special Issue list the following:
Both TU Braunschweig and Humboldt University opened research misconduct investigations after Alexander Magazinov contacted them.
And these investigations already had an effect. A recent paper in MDPI, co-authored with Sharifpur and Alqaed, lists this sole affiliation for Cheraghian:
Remember Rafael Luque? The Highly Cited Researcher from Spain, the King of Papermillers, with a huge PubPeer record? His papermill collaborations spanning all of Asia: China, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, russia, you name it? Well, there are some news in Luque’s professional development.
The Highly Cited Researchers of Clarivate
“here is my advice to Clarivate: better get lost. ” – Alexander Magazinov
News Nr 1: Luque is not employed as professor at the University of Cordoba (UCO) anymore. As he himself wrote to me:
So where is he employed then? News Nr 2: in Sweden!
An announcement by the Mid Sweden University from December 2021:
“Mid Sweden University is granted just over SEK 5.6 million by the Knowledge Foundation for four new recruitments at the FSCN research centre.
The funding goes to the recruitment of a new professor of mechanical engineering, an international visiting professor of chemical engineering, an assistant professor of chemical engineering and an international visiting professor of green chemistry.
Armando Cordova, professor of chemical engineering, is behind one of the applications.
– We are pleased to be able to recruit Rafael Luque, professor at the University of Cordoba, as a visiting professor at Mid Sweden University. He is a world-leading researcher in green chemistry research and biomass processing. The recruitment will contribute new skills and new insights to Mid Sweden University’s existing expertise and innovation projects in catalysis, organic chemistry and nanocellulose. In this way, a strong synergistic effect is created in our research on the cellulose-based materials and sustainable chemicals of the future, says Armando Cordova.”
The announcement links to the press release by the Knowledge Foundation, which however has been deleted (here archived copy). It mentions that Luque’s visiting professor position was funded with SEK 432k, which is less than € 40k. One can’t live long on that in Sweden. But €40k goes a longer way where Luque’s new main affiliation is, which brings us to News Nr. 3.
Luque went to bed with ruscists (or rascists), his new main affiliation now is:
It should be mentioned that “Peoples Friendship” is a cynical Soviet word creation, a Stalinist euphemism which in practice meant subjugation of entire nations as well as deportations, terror and mass-murder targetted at ethnic groups. Coincidence or not, Luque seems to have started to flaunt this affiliation when russia attacked Ukraine with a full-scale genocidal war.
Russkiy Mir at Elsevier and MDPI
Alexander Magazinov presents you two russian professors whom Elsevier and MDPI consider respectable: a Lt Colonel of putin’s mass-murdering army, and a machine-gun totting rascist. Both buy from papermills.
Luque got to “Peoples Friendship” University in Moscow via his buddy there, the faculty dean Leonid Voskressensky (awarded by putin in 2020 with the Order of Merit for the Fatherland, 2nd Class), they authored a number of joint papermill products together. Yet to his fellow Europeans, Luque pretends to #StandWithUkraine:
Here are two very recent papers with his new russian affiliation, in the Elsevier journal Fuel: a Pakistani papermill fabrication with Luque’s mentee Awais Ahmad as first author, and a papermill fabrication of unclear origin, featuring authors from China, Korea, Iran and… Czechia.
The “Czech” author is Rajender Varma, freshly kicked out by the University of Olomouc, but now sporting an affiliation at the University of Liberec. This university remained silent despite my email reminders.
I, Rajender Varma, Highly Cited Researcher
“I could not comprehend the situation where a university picks up on individuals with an extraordinary and sterling performance and basically destroy one of the top European institutions. ” – Raj Varma
Luque told me he is an avid reader of For Better Science, and added:
The Rector of the Mid Sweden University, Anders Fällström, announced to investigate. He remained silent when asked whether Luque still works there.
Do not permit to write again
Iranian papermill fraud sometimes affects the biggest bigwigs.
Meet our hapless and innocent victim, the graphene researcher Francesco Bonaccorso, Deputy Head of Innovation at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) in Genua. He is also Fellow of the Royal Society and faculty member at the University of Cambridge, which informs us:
Basically, the man in charge a Billion of Euro invested in the EU’s ten year-long Graphene Flagship project, running till 2024.
Graphene Flagship deploys Stripy Stellacci to fight the Coronavirus
How can EU Flagships help with coronavirus pandemic? Human Brain Project offers IT power and cigarettes, while Graphene Flagship established a COVID-19 Task Force. With Francesco “Stripy” Stellacci as virology expert!
Bonaccorso, together with his IIT colleague Vittorio Pellegrini, founded in 2018 the spin-off company BeDimensional, which markets graphene technology.
The IIT professor Bonaccorso has an Iranian PhD student, Ahmad Bagheri. Who introduced Bonaccorso and Pellegrini to some Iranian friends with a special approach to science.
Hossein Beydaghi , Ahmad Bagheri , Parisa Salarizadeh , Sepideh Kashefi , Khadijeh Hooshyari , Ali Amoozadeh , Taiebeh Shamsi , Francesco Bonaccorso , Vittorio Pellegrini Enhancing the Performance of Poly(phthalazinone ether ketone)-Based Membranes Using a New Type of Functionalized TiO2 with Superior Proton Conductivity Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research (2020) doi: 10.1021/acs.iecr.9b06813
Same picture re-used accross TEN papers. This is not all, there are also fake spectra:
Then there are these two papers:
Ahmad Bagheri , Sebastiano Bellani , Hossein Beydaghi , Matilde Eredia , Leyla Najafi , Gabriele Bianca , Marilena Isabella Zappia , Milad Safarpour , Maedeh Najafi , Elisa Mantero , Zdenek Sofer , Guorong Hou , Vittorio Pellegrini , Xinliang Feng , Francesco Bonaccorso Functionalized Metallic 2D Transition Metal Dichalcogenide-Based Solid-State Electrolyte for Flexible All-Solid-State Supercapacitors ACS Nano (2022) doi: 10.1021/acsnano.2c05640
Hossein Beydaghi , Sebastiano Bellani , Leyla Najafi , Reinier Oropesa-Nuñez , Gabriele Bianca , Ahmad Bagheri , Irene Conticello , Beatriz Martín-García , Sepideh Kashefi , Michele Serri , Liping Liao , Zdeněk Sofer , Vittorio Pellegrini , Francesco Bonaccorso Sulfonated NbS2-based proton-exchange membranes for vanadium redox flow batteries Nanoscale (2022) doi: 10.1039/d1nr07872k
I wrote to Bonaccorso and Pellegrini. They remained silent. After a reminder, Bonaccorso sent me this reply, its style and its quality of English very unbefitting a Cambridge don:
“Do not permit to write again.
Your accusation of falsified data is unacceptable.
If you write another email, we will act legally against you.
Wow, tough guy, imagine how he talks to his subordinates and lab members.
By the way, there is a tragic figure in this: Zdeněk Sofer, co-author of the two papers above, and professor of chemistry in Prague. Number one, Sofer is a coauthor of Radek Zboril‘s on the paper Tucek et al Nature Comms 2016, which was retracted due to fraud by Zboril’s and his Olomouc colleagues.
Whitewashed by ACS and Elsevier, Zboril sues Olomouc Dean for “bullying”
“I should remind you that the editorial offices that investigated your allegations did not found any evidence of scientific misconduct or data fabrication. In my opinion, your allegation may bear the elements of defamation and false accusation” – Prof Radek Zboril
But Sofer was also the author of this masterpiece of satire and sarcasm, where the authors proved that graphene can just as well be successfully doped with actual chicken shit:
Lu Wang , Zdenek Sofer , Martin Pumera Will Any Crap We Put into Graphene Increase Its Electrocatalytic Effect? ACS Nano (2020) doi: 10.1021/acsnano.9b00184
But forget chicken shit. As Bonaccorso and his lawyers will soon prove that graphene can even be doped with legal threats and Iranian papermills!
Another thing. A co-author of the problematic papers above, including those by Amoozadeh, is Hossein Beydaghi. He is another IIT emplyoee working for Bonaccorso. Here is Beydaghi’s and Bagheri’s earlier paper and its fake spectra:
Hossein Beydaghi , Mehran Javanbakht, Ahmad Bagheri , Parisa Salarizadeh , Hossein Ghafarian- Zahmatkesh , Sepideh Kashefi , Elaheh Kowsari Novel nanocomposite membranes based on blended sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone)/poly(vinyl alcohol) containing sulfonated graphene oxide/Fe3O4 nanosheets for DMFC applications RSC Advances (2015) doi: 10.1039/c5ra12941a
Beydaghi seems to be an even bigger problem than Bagheri. But they bring Bonaccorso papers!
Oh, and by the way: in all of the above papers the BedImentional businessmen Bonaccorso and Pellegrini insist to have no competing financial interests whatsoever.
Scientist Medal Lecture
A reader recently forwarded me an email from Ashutosh Tiwari‘s International Association of Advanced Materials (IAAM), inviting him to “IAAM Fellow Summit 2023”:
“The award and recognition committee of the International Association of Advanced Materials has selected you this year for the ‘IAAM Scientist Medal’ (www.iaamonline.org/iaam-scientist-medal) for your distinctive contribution to the interfacing the materials with multi-inter-trans disciplinary fields of science, engineering, and technology. As per our obligation, we are delighted to invite you to deliver your Scientist Medal Lecture at the IAAM Fellow Summit (www.advancedmaterialscongress.org/fellow-summit).
· Baltic Fellow Summit, 28-31 August 2023, Stockholm, Sweden
· European Fellow Summit, 23-26 September 2023, Southampton, UK
· American Fellow Summit, 09-12 November 2023, Orlando, USA
Please submit your abstract to any of above scheduled ‘Fellow Summits 2023’ portal by 31 March 2023. The citation for the ‘IAAM Scientist Medal’ will be handed out after delivering your medal lecture at the fellow summit. All arrangements for registration fee, travel, including visas, accommodation, and transportation, are the responsibility of the participants.”
My reader and I both had a laugh.
The Indefatigable Ashutosh Tiwari
Four years after Ashutosh Tiwari’s scamferences and research fraud were exposed, his impressive-sounding yet fictional “International Association of Advanced Materials”, or IAAM, still opens doors, hearts and wallets.
But then, I found piping hot news from Italy about a proud professor who must have received a similar email, and then agreed to give this same “Scientist Medal Lecture”.
Meet Lorenzo Malavasi, vice-director of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Pavia. His university issued on 21 March 2023 a press release (translated):
Prof. Lorenzo Malavasi , full professor of Physical Chemistry at the Chemistry Department of the University of Pavia , was awarded the “IAAM Science Medal” by the International Association of Advanced Materials in consideration of the important contributions provided in the development of materials in the multidisciplinary fields of science, engineering and technology.
On the occasion of the next Fellow Summit , prof. Malavasi will deliver the Scientist Medal Lecture .
This award confirms the relevance of prof. Malavasi who coordinates the research group “Energy and Materials Chemistry” at the Department of Chemistry which focuses on the development and engineering of new materials for the energy transition with applications such as the generation of green hydrogen and optoelectronics.”
I wrote to Malavasi and his university, silence. Yet whoop-dee-doo, the press release was swiftly deleted. You can find an archived copy here. When I sent it to Pavia, Malavasi replied:
Here is another proud Italian professor, Luca Scotti. As a local newspaper reported in January 2023 (translated):
“Sweden crowns the researcher of the university “G. d’Annunzio” Luca Scotti, author of the discovery of the cluster Argiriumsun-c.
Professor and researcher in the Department of Medical, Oral and Biotechnological Sciences, Scotti obtained the prestigious Award Scientific from the Iaam (International Association of Advanced Materials) medical research association for having discovered and synthesized this new atomic aggregate with unique characteristics.
Argiriumsun-c is the acronym with which the new and promising cluster was registered which will soon find concrete applications both in the medical field, but also in the veterinary and botanical fields….”
Basically, some Italian looney pretending to be professor at a rather minor Italian university ran to the local village newspaper to inform them that he got a kind of Nobel Prize for his magic cure for everything. Scotti is such a sad loon that he boldly announces already at the beginning of his CV to be editorial board member with the predatory publisher Baishideng.
A year ago, another scholar was very proud, Jingwei Hou, ARC Future Fellow at the University of Queensland in Australia. See this tweet:
He didn’t reply. But when I wrote to his head of department, the tweet got deleted.
A Google search suggests that these days our beloved Indo-Swedish scamferencer Tiwari has to get by with customers in Asia. For example, India (Naresh Kasoju), Hong Kong (Jiao Zengbao and Wong Ka-hing), Macao (Sun Guoxing), Saudi Arabia (Gyorgy Szekely at KAUST).
Trouble afoot in the lab of Scott Geyer, associate teaching professor at the chemistry department of the Wake Forest University in USA. The data falsifications were exposed by Orchestes quercus, I will let you guess who this sleuth is.
Let’s start with this paper, retracted a few months ago.
Hui Li , Peng Wen , Dominique S. Itanze , Zachary D. Hood , Xiao Ma , Michael Kim , Shiba Adhikari , Chang Lu , Chaochao Dun , Miaofang Chi , Yejun Qiu , Scott M. Geyer Colloidal silver diphosphide (AgP2) nanocrystals as low overpotential catalysts for CO2 reduction to tunable syngas Nature Communications (2019) doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-13388-8
There were some rather technical concerns and suspicions of duplications undermining this study’s reliability, which the first author tried to dissuade on PubPeer. Then Christophe Didier arrived, proclaiming:
There was more:
Orchestes quercus: “The CoP2 EXAFS data in https://doi.org/10.1002/adma.201900813 (Fig. S11a) shares a surprising number of points with the AgP2 EXAFS data in https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-13388-8 (Fig. 7a). The data were taken at different edges (Co K-edge versus Ag K-edge) and have an ‘arbitrary unit’ vertical scale.“
The retraction note from 27 October 2022 stated:
“The authors are retracting the Article due to several issues with figure assembly and data integrity. Nanoparticles appear to be duplicated within the same image in Figure 1a. In addition, there are unexplained anomalies in Supplementary Figures 1, 2, 24, and 36. These issues undermine confidence in the integrity of the study and its conclusions. All authors agree with this retraction.”
Gosh, such a pity it got retracted, because Geyer previously announced this breakthrough in clean fuel technology from CO2 on TV!
Here a more recent retraction, seems to be something about low-energy-input generation of green hydrogen:
Hui Li , Peng Wen , Qi Li , Chaochao Dun , Junheng Xing , Chang Lu , Shiba Adhikari , Lin Jiang , David L. Carroll , Scott M. Geyer Earth‐Abundant Iron Diboride (FeB 2 ) Nanoparticles as Highly Active Bifunctional Electrocatalysts for Overall Water Splitting Advanced Energy Materials (2017)
The retraction note from 16 March 2023 stated:
“The retraction has been agreed on following concerns raised by a third party and a subsequent investigation at Wake Forest University. Data integrity issues were found in figures 6e and 7d. As a result, the editors consider the conclusions of this article invalid.”
Not much information there.
In June 2022, the paper Lu et al Nanoscale 2020 was corrected for a duplicated image, Maarten van Kampen was told by the Wake Forest University that they exempted that one from the investigation. On 3 January 2023, Maarten was told this:
Ah. So the Wake Forest University is treating it as a Hui Li case. Not as a Scott Geyer case. Problem is, there are more common papers on PubPeer. These might also get retracted soon. Like this green energy study, which data was recycled in the retracted paper above:
Hui Li , Peng Wen , Dominique S. Itanze, Michael W. Kim , Shiba Adhikari , Chang Lu , Lin Jiang , Yejun Qiu , Scott M. Geyer Phosphorus-Rich Colloidal Cobalt Diphosphide (CoP ) Nanocrystals for Electrochemical and Photoelectrochemical Hydrogen Evolution Advanced Materials (2019) doi: 10.1002/adma.201900813
That paper recycled data from yet another green energy study from Geyer’s lab:
Hui Li , Qi Li , Peng Wen , Trey B. Williams , Shiba Adhikari , Chaochao Dun , Chang Lu , Dominique Itanze , Lin Jiang , David L. Carroll , George L. Donati , Pamela M. Lundin , Yejun Qiu , Scott M. Geyer Colloidal Cobalt Phosphide Nanocrystals as Trifunctional Electrocatalysts for Overall Water Splitting Powered by a Zinc-Air Battery Advanced Materials (2018) doi: 10.1002/adma.201705796
The Deputy Editor of the Wiley journal Advanced Materials, Babak Mostaghaci, informed Maarten in January 2022 that they will investigate. Other journals and publishers remained silent. A year later, in January 2023, Wiley’s research integrity manager Elizabeth Moylan informed Maarten:
They are still determining. Here another fake green energy paper, in ACS:
Hui Li , Peng Wen , Adam Hoxie , Chaochao Dun , Shiba Adhikari , Qi Li , Chang Lu , Dominique S. Itanze , Lin Jiang , David Carroll , Abdou Lachgar , Yejun Qiu , Scott M. Geyer Interface Engineering of Colloidal CdSe Quantum Dot Thin Films as Acid-Stable Photocathodes for Solar-Driven Hydrogen Evolution ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces (2018) doi: 10.1021/acsami.7b19229
Imagine what invaluable service this green energy fraud does to the fossil fuels industry. Almost as bad as fake vaccine studies or fake cigarette research. Li is still listed as a graduate student at Geyer’s lab, not for long probably. I am sure Shell or BP will thank him with a cushy job for his talent and his services.
I obviously understand why Wake Forest University treats it as an exclusively Hui Li case. A Chinese student in a white US American’s lab commits fraud behind his naive PI’s back, gets caught, duly punished and sent back home. A beautiful Retraction Watch-worthy moral tale. Meanwhile, the Biden administration announced to invest billions into green energies, and who is a better fit than Dr Geyer?
A press release from Texas:
“Researchers from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio) have developed a small-molecule drug that prevents weight gain and adverse liver changes in mice fed a high-sugar, high-fat Western diet throughout life.
“When we give this drug to the mice for a short time, they start losing weight. They all become slim,” said Madesh Muniswamy, Ph.D., professor of medicine in the health science center’s Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine.
Findings by the collaborators, also from the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University, were published Feb. 27 in Cell Reports. Muniswamy, director of the Center for Mitochondrial Medicine at UT Health San Antonio, is the senior author.”
This is the paper, reporting a new magic pill which allows you to get slim while doing no sports and eating everything you want:
Travis R. Madaris , Manigandan Venkatesan , Soumya Maity , Miriam C. Stein , Neelanjan Vishnu , Mridula K. Venkateswaran , James G. Davis , Karthik Ramachandran , Sukanthathulse Uthayabalan , Cristel Allen , Ayodeji Osidele , Kristen Stanley , Nicholas P. Bigham , Terry M. Bakewell , Melanie Narkunan , Amy Le , Varsha Karanam , Kang Li , Aum Mhapankar , Luke Norton , Jean Ross, M. Imran Aslam, W. Brian Reeves, Brij B. Singh, Jeffrey Caplan, Justin J. Wilson, Peter B. Stathopulos, Joseph A. Baur, Muniswamy Madesh, Limiting Mrs2-dependent mitochondrial Mg2+ uptake induces metabolic programming in prolonged dietary stress, Cell Reports (2023). DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2023.112155
The drug is called CPACC, already patented by Muniswarmy and is reported to restricts the amount of magnesium transfer into the mitochondria which in turn results “in more efficient metabolism of sugar and fat“. Basically, it’s just as fanatastic as irisin by Bostöm and Spiegelman!
Pontus Boström: cheater carousel in Sweden
Sweden is a tolerant country, which is a very good thing. Unfortunately, sometimes this Swedish tolerance seems ill-advised. Dishonest scientists caught faking data are happily given another chance and fat funding, like the case of the diabetes researcher Pontus Boström shows. This scientist was found to have fabricated data during his PhD studies with late…
It is can be marketed not just for weight loss! The press release informs:
“”These findings are the result of several years of work,” Muniswamy said. “A drug that can reduce the risk of cardiometabolic diseases such as heart attack and stroke, and also reduce the incidence of liver cancer, which can follow fatty liver disease, will make a huge impact. We will continue its development.””
According to PubPeer records, Muniswamy Madesh used to be a collaborator of Steven Houser, the dean of Temple University medical school, who published fake science.
Steven Houser and the Temple of Fraud
“We all hype our work. We want to tell people our work is important. These patients, many of them coming to enroll in these trials, they have no other hope.” -Steven Houser, Hero of Research Ethics, Temple University
Raccoon Dogs vs Lab Leak Theory
Science, once again, has spoken. COVID-19 came from
pangolins civet cats frozen fish raccoon dogs sold in Wuhan wet market! Science magazine again makes sure that the scientific community accepts the natural origin theory of COVID-19 as the only allowed theory, or else:
“A scientific sleuth in France has identified previously undisclosed genetic data from a food market in Wuhan, China, that she and colleagues say support the theory that coronavirus-infected animals there triggered the COVID-19 pandemic.[…]
Florence Débarre, a theoretician who specializes in evolutionary biology and works at CNRS, the French national research agency, unearthed the data, which consist of genetic sequences posted in GISAID, a virology database, by Chinese researchers. The Chinese team had collected environmental samples from the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which was connected to a cluster of early COVID-19 cases and despite its name also sold a variety of mammals for food. Since Débarre spotted the sequences, GISAID has removed them, noting that this was at the request of the submitter.”
In fact, even the Chinese CDC whose data the experts obtained under unclear circumstances (which resulted in their ban from further access) claims that it doesn’t prove a zoonotic origin of SARS-CoV2. So yes, there is a huge conspiracy out there by the Chinese authorities to hide the evidence for the natural origin of COVID-19 from all investigators for several years of the pandemic in order to fool the world into believing an insane, racist and unscientific lab leak theory, so at some point Xi Jinping can jump out and shout: Gotcha!
This is the relevant preprint, it appeared only after its authors “leaked” their “scoop” to media. The study will likely soon pass a rapid peer review in Science, if only to scoop Nature where the Chinese CDC preprint by the team of George Gao is stuck for over a year. It turned out, the Debarre et al preprint actually used Gao’s unpublished datawithout permission:
Alex Crits-Christoph , Karthik Gangavarapu , Jonathan E. Pekar , Niema Moshiri , Reema Singh , Joshua I. Levy , Stephen A. Goldstein , Marc A. Suchard , Saskia Popescu , David L. Robertson , Philippe Lemey , Joel O. Wertheim , Robert F. Garry , Angela L. Rasmussen , Kristian G. Andersen , Edward C. Holmes , Andrew Rambaut , Michael Worobey , Florence Débarre Genetic evidence of susceptible wildlife in SARS-CoV-2 positive samples at the Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market, Wuhan: Analysis and interpretation of data released by the Chinese Center for Disease Control Zenodo (2023) doi: 10.5281/zenodo.7754299
There is a good take by Michael Balter on this “scoop” by Debarre et al:
“The Gao team had recently deposited so-called “metagenomic” data in the GISAID database, a repository for coronavirus sequences, as a condition of its paper being published. The international team, either tipped off or through sharp-eyed diligence, had spotted the data and run with it.
Why would they do this, rather than wait for Gao et al. to publish?
Gao’s team had concluded that the pandemic did not begin in the Huanan market, but that the market was the site of a human to human “super-spreader” event, similar to what might happen at a rock concert. Other researchers have suggested the virus might have been transmitted in toilets and mahjong rooms at the market.”
Basically, Debarre et al found SARS-CoV2 traces in the database of December 2019-January 2020 samples from the Wuhan market and attributed it to raccoon dogs whose DNA was also found in the same samples. That the first COVID-19 cases were registered in Wuhan the latest in November 2019, which lets Debarre’s data proving nothing else but that some already COVID-19-infected market vendors may have been also selling raccoon dogs, well, I am sure Science peer reveiwers raising this inconventient point will get excluded and blacklisted.
Science article continues:
“Débarre quickly reached out to Andersen and other co-authors of two preprints posted in February 2022 that supported the marketplace origin theory, papers she says helped shift her away from the lab-leak origin to thinking the virus likely came from animals at the Huanan seafood market. Michael Worobey, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Arizona who was a lead author of one of the papers, says he and his collaborators are still analyzing the new genetic information, but it has so far solidified his own view that SARS-CoV-2 had a zoonotic origin. (The two preprints on which he is a co-author were later published by Science.)”
The Lab Leak Theory
A lab leak theory of the COVID-19 origins has enough circumstantial evidence and historical basis to support the urgent need for an independent and unbiased investigation. But until recently, scientists dismissed lab leak as a conspiracy theory. In public at least.
Viral by Alina Chan & Matt Ridley – Book review
Alina Chan’s book with Matt Ridley on the Origins of COVID-19 is finally out. It is a very informative read!
From the pandemic’s early days on, the virologist Kristian Andersen and his colleague Angela Rasmussen spend their every waking moment attacking peers who discuss lab leak as racists, conspiracy theorists and research fraudsters. Both are authors on the Debarre prperint. And so is Michael Worobey, who used to advocate together with Alina Chan for investigations into a lab leak possibility, but then swiftly figured out which way his bread is buttered and joined the Andersen team. Result: Worobey’s and Andersen’s unconvincing paper about Wuhan market stalls passed peer review in Science and is now a SCIENCE TRUTH. Chan’s 2020 preprint debunking nonsense claims about pangolins as SARS-CoV2 origin remains unpublishable.
It is not just Science who look bad celebrating that just-so preprint by Debarre et al. Also The Atlantic, with an exclusive scoop even before the preprint appeared:
Here Schadenfreude by The Telegraph:
“One of the pre-print’s authors, Prof David Robertson of the University of Glasgow’s Centre for Virus Research, said the new data provided “strong evidence” that SARS-CoV-2 jumped to humans at the market.
Before publication, the story was leaked to The Atlantic, who claimed it was “the strongest evidence yet that an animal started the pandemic”.
Yet after the study was published last night, several experts said the claims were misleading, arguing that the sale of raccoon dogs at the market was already widely known, and that discovering their DNA proved little about the origins of the outbreak. […]
A letter from Biosafety Now, a group of experts calling for tighter control on lab experiments which could create deadly pathogens, said: “The data provide no substantive new information about the origins of Covid-19, even if taken at face value.
“There is no evidence that this raccoon dog was even infected with SARS-CoV-2, as there was also human DNA in the sample, and the viral material could just as easily have come from an infected human.”
A statement from the Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens, the World Health Organisation group looking into how the pandemic started, also stated that the paper “does not provide conclusive evidence as to the intermediate host or origins of the virus”.”
What the gang of Daszak, Andersen, Rasmussen, Worobey et al often succeeds to make science journalisst ignore: the people investigating lab leak theory are also expert scientists. Much better scientists than this gang in fact. It is not science vs anti-science, as we are taught. It’s a small but very vocal and organised bunch of academic crooks concerned about losing their money and power who took science hostage vs the evidence and the scientific principles. And they know they can’t back down without losing everything.
Meanwhile, President Biden is in serious danger to get blacklisted by Science:
News in Tweets
- Meanwhile, AAAS-published Science with an update on a fraud case outside of US, because according to Science abroad is where all the research fraud happens: “Steven Newmaster, a prominent University of Guelph (UG) botanist and entrepreneur who has faced allegations of scientific misconduct, has had another paper retracted without his consent. Last week the Canadian Journal of Forest Research pulled a study in which Newmaster and colleagues said they used a genetic identification system known as DNA barcoding to help determine the diet of woodland caribou. The retraction follows a misconduct complaint by one of the paper’s co-authors and others that cast doubt on the reliability of the data supplied by Newmaster, the lead author.“
- After MD Anderson’s mega-cheater Anil Sood got elected to US Academy of Medicine, another MD Anderson cheater, Cullen Taniguchi, got elected to the American Association for the Adavancement of Science (AAAS). Taniguchi’s qualifications for joining AAAS: being trained in the art of research fraud by the toxic cheaters C Ronald Kahn and Amato Giaccia and having a bunch of fake papers on PubPeer, two of them retracted for data forgery. Huge congrats indeed.
C Ronald Kahn and The Problem of Irreproducible Bioscience Research
“not everyone in the research community accepts that the problem requires such attention; some believe it is overblown.” -Jeffrey Flier, emeritus dean of Harvard Medical School
Amato Giaccia: too big to fall
A 2006 Nature paper from Stanford is retracted. We all know the first author Janine Erler, but why is nobody talking of its last author, Amato Giaccia? I celebrate here another Oxford star scientist.
- Look who was invited to give evidence about the state’s handling of pandemic in front of Texas Senate – Robert Malone, bad enough, but next to… Richard Fleming! Who then blamed Ukrainian “bioweapon labs” for COVID-19.
Cheshire vs Dr who?
If you follow Cheshire on Twitter, you surely heard him referencing a certain “Dr who?”. The following guest post exposes a very toxic fraudster and covidiot.
How Dr Robert Malone invented Antivaxxery
“People who feel deprived of the credit that they think they deserve will gravitate to new friends who do at least pretend to respect them sufficiently.” -Smut Clyde
- Nick Brown‘s work exposing trash science is paying off, slowly. At least some expressions of concern for the French psychologist Nicholas Guéguen
- Congratulations to MDPI!
- The German journal Naunyn-Schmiedeberg’s Archives of Pharmacology faced a dilemma: continue publishign papermill fraud, or cease publishign altogether. A decision was made, evident by the fact that Owrang et al 2023 was accepted on 27 February 2023, long after Mu Yang and myself pleaded with the EiC Roland Seifert to stop the Asian papermill fraud.
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
- Mu Yang, US-based research intgerity sleuth specialising on mouse behavioural data and microscopy image duplications, and a member of our sleuthing team, has set up a consulting company! You read about her work on For Better Science, where she wasn’t named though, to prevent legal retaliations from fraudsters.
I thank all my donors for supporting my journalism. You can be one of them!
Make a one-time donation:
I thank all my donors for supporting my journalism. You can be one of them!
Make a monthly donation:
Choose an amount
Or enter a custom amount
Your contribution is appreciated.
Your contribution is appreciated.DonateDonate monthly
LikeLiked by 1 person
Meh, Bonaccorso went silent. Also Graphene Flagship and IIT are silent, probably pitching together for a lawyer to sue me?
Message from the EU Commission:
“Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We have taken note of the information you have provided and have forwarded it to the services in charge of the projects which will analyse the matter. “
More fun with his protege Hossein Beydaghi, his postdoc at IIT and his employee at BedImentional:
Beydaghi et al 2016
Beydaghi et al 2015:
Finally, Beydaghi et al 2014 and Beydaghi et al 2011.
This fake crap was even hand-drawn:
I suspect something is – or has been – afoot re. Scott Geyer at Wake Forest. He was a tenure track assistant professor until June 2022. Since then he has been an associate teaching professor: https://www.linkedin.com/in/scott-geyer-5482162a
A description of the teaching professor position at Wake Forest can be found here: https://careers.insidehighered.com/job/2601499/assistant-teaching-professor-for-ecology-or-evolutionary-biology/
“Teaching professors are faculty members of the Wake Forest academic community and are essential to fulfilling the core teaching and service missions of the College. This is a permanent but non-tenurable, full-time position with an initial two-year contract. Promotion to ranks with longer-term appointments is possible.” At least in the Biology Dept the position amounts to “80% of their time to teaching and 20% to service”. Apparently 0% research?