Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Why do all these academics keep forcing me to co-author their papers?

Publicity surrounding the recent retraction of a mouse / vaccination study has left authors Shaw and Tomljenovic with a rankling sense of injustice, and they are here to tell the Canadian media who the real victims are [hint: the answer is not "laboratory mice"]:
Lucija Tomljenovic, Shaw's co-author, said she agreed to the retraction but "had nothing to do with either collecting or analyzing any of the actual data."
Shaw said he and Tomljenovic drew their conclusions from data that was "compiled" and "analyzed" for the paper, rather than raw data.
Circumstances repeatedly prevail upon them to sign their names to and accept co-authorship of dodgy papers, despite their minimal involvement, to the detriment of their reputations:
Dr. Shaw also distanced himself and Dr. Tomljenovic from the paper that was withdrawn last year.
Dr. Shaw said he and Dr. Tomljenovic, who once worked in his lab, were only "peripherally involved."
"All of the work was conducted in the lab of the senior author, Dr. Yehuda Shoenfeld in Tel Aviv. Hence, to make the claim that this work is "ours" is not correct," Dr. Shaw said in the e-mail.*
Shaw was one of the eight co-authors on the study, but he distanced himself from the project on Thursday.
"I was not directly involved except for some editorial comments at the early stages of the manuscript," he said.*
Mystical properties of biowater
Now inquiring minds come to wonder how much more of their research output was of this coerced, unconsenting nature. Surely some form of duress was involved when they co-signed Seneff's papers from 2013 and 2014,** which are crammed with Entropic Quantumbabble and mystical Biowater and are as mad as six wolverines after a week-long methamphetamine bender:

Feel free to wander at leisure through the watery weirdness:
they order neighboring water molecules into a dynamically-structured arrangement that is far more viscous than the bulk water (variously referred to as the “exclusion zone” or the “coherence domain”), and that also exhibits other unusual properties with respect to responses to electromagnetic fields, exclusion of solutes and the mobility of protons and electrons
Biological water dynamics fits the criteria for such self-ordered/self-assembling systems in that it demonstrates the combination of dynamical minimal stability and spatial scaling predicted to lead to a power law for temporal fluctuations
Or just turn stright to Figure 4, a rare example of the "argumentum ad cross-section-through-an-M&M".
Seneff had never recovered her health and sanity after her attempts to reconstruct the Waterbox (“probably the most delicate and fragile instrument ever made by human hands”) — invented by de Selby as a way of diluting water to a point where it could be handled safely, but nowhere properly documented. “There is more to water than meets the eye,” wrote de Selby, by way of explaining why three heavy coal-hammers were destroyed during its construction.
Bonus Seneff waterbending!

Perhaps Shaw regrets signing his name to papers by Gherardi, an aluminary of the antivax movement. They reported discoveries of important phenomena such as the homeopathic inverse dose response (when nothing happens at the higher doses of AlOH where you expected to see something), and the anomalous systemic-translocation timescales, when nothing can be found upon dissecting the laboratory mice (proving that everything happened very quickly and was already over by the first 45-day round of dissections, or was happening very slowly and had barely started by the final 270-day round, or both).

That overlaps with Gherardi's hybrid nanodiamond sequence of papers, in which mice were injected with fluorescent nanodiamonds tagged with AlOH. These have the advantage of being 100% biopersistant, with no danger of dissolving in the murine bodies, making them more suitable for demonstating the permanence and bodily migration of colloidal AlOH (vaccine adjuvant) than actual particulate AlOH would be. Also there is the delightful prospect of indestructible crystalline supermice that shoot fluorescent monochromatic laser beams from their pineal glands when they escape from laboratory confinement.

The other frequent and possibly regrettable collaborator is Chris Exley, big-picture visionary and Jeremiah of the Age of Aluminium. For the last 30 years Exley has been warning the world about the titanic conflict for domination between the three forms of intelligent life that occupy Earth, with carbon, silicon and aluminium-based biochemistry (as prefigured by the 4:2:3 Riddle of the Sphinx), and the alliances that form between them:

...No, wait, that was Tim Powers. There was a lot of carbon / silicon / aluminium speculation back at the end of the 80s, it must have been something in the water, or else the Morphogenic Field. Anyway, Silicon is the natural ally of Carbon against Aluminium.

Visionary diagram of life & geologi-
cal history to tie everything together
We have previously encountered Chris Exley's review paper, the one with the title that seems more suitable for a photocopied Warning of Nighness stapled to a powerpole than for a scholarly review of the literature, published in Frontiers in Neurology:

Why industry propaganda and political interference cannot disguise the inevitable role played by human exposure to aluminum in neuro-degenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease
Edited by: Christopher Ariel Shaw
Reviewed by: Lucija Tomljenovic
Now the Frontiers publishing structure is modelled on pyramid marketing, so it features "Research Topics", whereby authors who have paid enough into the structure (by publishing often enough in Frontiers journals) are encouraged to progress to the status of Editor, and to nominate Research Topics, while recruiting their colleagues to contribute papers to each topic (starting a new tier at the bottom of the pyramid). So Exley's overwrought title was part of a Topic on "Aluminum Toxicity and Human Disease”.

Other contributions hint of epistemic closure in the peer-reviewing process, and a level of endogamy worthy of the Hapsburgs:

Biopersistence and brain translocation of aluminum adjuvants of vaccines”, Gherardi et al.
Edited by: Lucija Tomljenovic
Reviewed by: Lucija Tomljenovic
Clinical features in patients with long-lasting macrophagic myofasciitis”, Gherardi et al.
Edited by: Christopher Ariel Shaw
Reviewed by: Lucija Tomljenovic
The mobilization of aluminum into the biosphere”, Pogue & Lukiw
Edited by: Christopher Ariel Shaw
Reviewed by: Lucija Tomljenovic
For reasons unknown, these contributions are now disjuncted and dispersed across the Frontiers archives as if submitted and processed in unprompted independence, for earlier this year the publishers scrubbed all trace of that Topic from their database.

BMC journals used to follow the same useful habit of specifying the reviewers. The same sense of a daisy-chain of academic backrolling and logscratching comes through:

"Elevated brain aluminium and early onset Alzheimer’s disease in an individual occupationally exposed to aluminium: a case report”, Exley & Vickers
Reviewed by: Romain Gherardi
Reviewed by: Christopher Shaw
Slow CCL2-dependent translocation of biopersistent particles from muscle to brain”, Khan,... Exley,... Gherardi & Cadusseau
Reviewed by: Carlo Perricone [Shoenfeld / Tomljenovic collaborator]
Reviewed by: Christopher Shaw

From there, under the thrall of a sense of completion, we turn to a Press Conference in 2012, when the MMF Patient Support Group [I do not know the French for "Astro-Turf"] was lobbying the French vaccine-safety agency ANSM to fund Gherardi's research, putting the squeeze on politicians and calling in independent outside authorities to tesify to the value and quality of Gherardi's belief-system. Authorities named Exley, Shaw and Shoenfeld. The lobbying was eventually a success... €150,000 can buy a lot of nanodiamonds.

So what is this MMF -- E3M in French -- whose victims require support and mollifying medical investment? The defining characteristics of Macrophagal Myofasciitis vary according to situational requirements, ranging from "sore arm with a lingering lump", all the way to "all-encompassing unspecified malaise", a relabelling of ME/CFS that allows anyone with Chronic Fatigue symptoms to be recruited to the cause and coopted as a Martyr of Vaccination Damage (whether "sore arm" and "lump" are part of the picture or not). The condition was first observed by Gherardi et al., and is found only in France, with Gherardi and his colleagues uniquely skilled in its detection. Some would say that Macrophagal Myofasciitis exists primarily to provide a home for all the 'i's left over from converting 'aluminium' to the barbarous misspelling 'aluminum' but I could not possibly comment.
French press
Anyways, the money ran out, and the ANSM has not given Gherardi the extra €550,000 he needs to continue his vital inquiries so he went to the French press blubbing like Fotherington-Tomas. Also they have not followed his advice on banning vaccine adjuvants, which is equivalent to censoring his results, won't someone think of the children? Also sheep are closer to humans than rodents are.
un travail a été fait sur le mouton, encore plus proche de l'homme
Someone needs to take Gherardi aside and explain a few facts of mammalian phylogeny.

We started with Shaw's current attitude toward his collaborations with Professor Shoenfeld, but they are left as an exercise for the reader. Shoenfeld was last seen at RetractionWatch after the depublication of a different antivaccination paper,** complaining that the paper in question had been an important part of his activity as an Expert Witness who testifies in lawsuits for post-vaccination damages. Dude, you DON'T SAY THAT PART OUT LOUD.
Shoenfeld is the proud inventor of ASIA, "Autoimmune Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants", a syndrome so titled as to leave little doubt about his belief in its origins. ASIA subsumes MMF (or possibly vice versa from Gherardi's perspective); also Gulf War Syndrome, and "siliconosis", it is a pantechnicon or omnium-gatherum of speculative sickness.

Stealing from Oglaf is
a Riddled tradition
Shaw said he's likely finished working on papers concerning vaccines after this retraction.
"I'm honestly not sure at this point that I want to dabble in [vaccines] anymore," he said. "We have some projects that are ongoing that have been funded that we feel duty-bound to complete that are on this topic. Frankly, I doubt if I will do it again after that."
* Here is the RetractionWatch post in which Shaw claims credit for revising the zero-Shaw-involvement Shoenfeld paper so that it could be republished in Immunologic Research.**

** It is hard to understand why Shoenfeld has such bad luck with retractions. He has multiple editorial positions and you would expect him to know how to write papers that don't get depublished.
For instance he is Editor-in-Chief of Immunome Research, part of the OMICS scampire; founder and co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Autoimmunity (where sloppy papers go to collect corrigenda); and at Immunologic Research -- the eventual home of that retracted zero-Shaw-involvement paper -- he is Topic Editor for the area of "Immunoregulation and Autoimmunity".

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