1. Photoshopped image manipulation of results has no place in scientific publication, other than to embellish photographs of cats with agrammatical observations with droll misspellings.
2. Never promise curative benefits from fermented dairy products, for this will only inspire skeptical bloggers to respond with post titles like "Yogurt to be Kidding".
Worst protective gear EVAH
Then there is that talk of "Not to go on all-fours" and "Not to suck up Drink", but those are more like loose guidelines, whatever some may say about "The Law".
So it was a disappointment to find Dr Marco Ruggiero (of Florence) transgressing not one, not three, but two of these rules. First there was his pro-biotic yogurt from Guernsey, promoted as
One of the papers reporting cancer cures from GcMAF has just been depublished, for making everything up (it turns out that the secret of making cancer go away is to be the person who determines whether cancer was present in the first place, by looking for nagalase in a client's blood). This has not deterred Dr Ruggiero and his chain of Swiss clinics from advertising for the terminal-cancer medical-tourism trade. He knows that his own triumphant publications will not disappear from the literature, for they were squeezed out through a mockademic vanity press which only retracts papers if the cheques don't clear.
The 'curing AIDS' aspect is ferrous, or ferric, or some other form of ironic... for Ruggiero first came to the attention of the mad-science world by denying that AIDS is viral in nature. He and Stefania Pacini attained the rare accolade of having an AIDS-denialist paper yanked for excessive flakiness from that wretched hive of scum and villainy, Medical Hypotheses. Subsequent repercussions included the even more difficult feat of having his tenure reviewed by an Italian university.
Moving right along... here is Offense #2, published in a Frontiers journal:
Bradstreet, Pacini and Ruggiero are all about using transcranial ultrasound scans to diagnose autism.
Photoshop processing is a crucial part of the process, to control lightness and contrast in scans of the subjects' cortices (i.e. the level of mottling), and to add circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each 8×10 B&W glossy picture.
[for definitions of the criteria for locating an image along this scale, see "Underpants Gnomes, Phase 2"]
Now the first author here, Jeff Bradstreet, has been a serial recipient of skepticism from Respectful Insolence. His day job consists of curing autism. To that effect he has variously sold secretin, chelation therapy, "magnetoresonant therapy", intravenous immunogoblin, and several forms of shonky stem-cell treatment. Some would find it ironic for him to be ascribing the condition he cures to a hard-wired hardware feature of neural architecture (there are no "after cure" sonograms in the paper), but this seems to be Irony Day.
Sadly, the website for Emcell -- Bradstreet's Ukraine-based supplier of embryonic stem-cell injections -- is currently in abeyance. But no matter, he has moved on to a new infallible therapy for autism. If you are all agog to learn the details, then bate your breath no longer, for it is Ruggiero's GcMAF yogurt smoothies. And thus the circle closes!!
"What do you call a heterocyclic porphyrin ring containing a Fe2+ ion in the centre?" asked Another Kiwi.
"A heme group?" I said.
"A ferrous wheel," AK vouchsafed.
Breaking ground: Linked toIn bonus circle-closing developments, Frontiers recently published a Commentary paper to bring the Transcranial Ultrascan article to the attention of anyone who missed it in January, and lauding the ground-breaking pioneering quality of Bradstreet and Ruggiero. The author, Dario Siniscalco, declared in a Conflict-of-Interest statement that
increased risk of pterodactyls
increased risk of pterodactyls
The research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.Of the Commentary's four reviewers,
Dr Sapone declares that, despite having collaborated with the authors, the review process was handled objectively.I don’t know what we can infer from the absence of such a declaration from the two other reviewers (Antonucci and Cirillo) who also co-author regularly with Siniscalco (and Bradstreet).
Sadly, Siniscalco neglected to state that he was one of the reviewers of the paper he is now praising; nor that he has collaborated with Bradstreet on numerous studies* with commercial applications (i.e. they relate to Bradstreet’s income stream). Last year he spoke at a GcMAF conference sponsored by one of Ruggiero's companies. Perhaps his construing skills need practice.
* “Mesenchymal stem cells in treating autism”; “Therapeutic role of hematopoietic stem cells in autism spectrum disorder-related inflammation”; “Perspectives on the Use of Stem Cells for Autism Treatment”; “The in vitro GcMAF effects on endocannabinoid system transcriptionomics, receptor formation, and cell activity of autism-derived macrophages”