Another antivaccine paper bites the dust

I’ve written on quite a few occasions about a pair of scientists beloved by the antivaccine movement. I’m referring, of course, to Christopher Shaw and Lucija Tomljenovic. Whether it is their publishing dubious “evidence” that HPV vaccines cause premature ovarian failure or even death or demonizing aluminum as a vaccine adjuvant, Shaw and Tomljenovic publish nothing but antivaccine pseudoscience that antivaxers love to cite whenever they dump some turd of a study on the medical literature.

Just last month, they dumped their latest turd of a study, in which they basically tortured mice in the name of pseudoscience. Later, after I wrote my first analysis of the study in which I described how poorly designed and executed the experiments were, I discovered that there’s more than just bad science there. There’s possible fraud, as circulating on PubPeer are reports of image manipulation that are quite convincing. At the time this rather obvious image manipulation was being discussed, so, too, was the possibility of retraction. After all, if there’s one thing that merits pretty much an automatic retraction in science, it’s manipulation of images presented as data in a scientific paper.

Not surprisingly, then, yesterday I learned from Retraction Watch that Shaw and Tomljenovic’s latest paper will be retracted as well. The editor of the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry announced that the journal will be retracted:

The journal’s editor, John Dawson of the University of South Carolina, told Retraction Watch:

The paper by Shaw and co-workers is being retracted jointly by the authors and the editor.

He noted there will be a “statement accompanying the retraction of the paper.”

Shaw told us that his lab began investigating the issues raised on PubPeer “within a day” and reported its findings to both UBC and the journal soon after. He said:

Our own analysis showed some figures had been altered. We requested a retraction because we could not understand how that had happened. We felt the data had been compromised.

Shaw said that the problems mostly lie with data showing no change in gene or protein expression levels after aluminum injections — but also with some data showing changes in expression, which the paper attributed to the injections.

Next up, Shaw tries to pass the buck:

Shaw said that first author Dan Li, a former postdoc who performed the molecular biology and gene expression analysis for the study, has agreed to the retraction but not yet offered an official explanation about the data. Shaw told us:

She denied that anything had been manipulated, or that anything was amiss.

He added that when Li left the lab in 2015, she took the original data with her:

UBC policy is that original data never leave the lab. We’ve asked for them to be returned to us.

Shaw said he thinks the core data are “probably correct,” but said he plans to have the experiments re-done:

It is what it is. We’ve done everything we can on our end. We’re still having conversations with Li on where the data are and how we get them back. That’s as much as we can do at this point.

I suppose that it’s possible that Shaw was duped by a postdoctoral fellow in his laboratory. When you’re the head of a lab and the principal investigator of a study, you tend to come to trust those working for you. You don’t want to think that one of them might be committing scientific fraud by manipulating images. On the other hand, as PI, one has to be on guard for this very thing. The PI is basically the captain of the ship, and the buck stops at his desk, and whatever other cliche you want to invoke to say that he is in charge and responsible for the integrity of the data produced by his lab.

The kindest possible interpretation is that Christopher Shaw runs a loose ship, so loose that he didn’t notice that many of the bands on the images of his DNA gels and the autoradiographs of his Western blots were duplicated, flipped, and otherwise manipulated. Certainly, letting the raw data and raw images out of the lab is not good lab practice, particularly in this day and age, when pretty much all images of gels and Western blots are recorded digitally. In my lab, for instance, there is a lab shared drive, and every single image generated is stored there, so that original images used to make figures can always be recovered. PRanoid PI that I am, I even periodically copy the whole shared drive to my own computer, which in turn is regularly backed up. Key figures are preserved on cloud drives.

The worst possible interpretation is that Shaw either knew about the image manipulation (or even ordered it) or that he put so much pressure on his postdoc to produce results that she felt that she had to falsify figures to produce what he wanted. Of course, I wonder about Shaw’s practices. For instance, in my discussion of the image manipulation, I noted that Shaw and Tomljenovic have at minimum engaged in self-plagiarism, recycling figures from a 2014 review article into which they dumped a little original data in their soon-to-be retracted paper. So, in terms of commonly accepted practices, we already know Shaw’s rather…unconcerned.

Then, of course, there’s Shaw and Tomljenovic’s history. Back in 2015, they published a paper purporting to show that aluminum adjuvants in Gardasil caused behavioral abnormalities in young female mice that was retracted for this reason:

This article has been withdrawn at the request of the Editor-in-Chief due to serious concerns regarding the scientific soundness of the article. Review by the Editor-in-Chief and evaluation by outside experts, confirmed that the methodology is seriously flawed, and the claims that the article makes are unjustified. As an international peer-reviewed journal we believe it is our duty to withdraw the article from further circulation, and to notify the community of this issue.

Why is it that the University of British Columbia and its Department of Ophthalmology (which is the department where Shaw and Tomljenovic are based) put up with crap like this? Shaw must have tenure or pictures of the Dean having an affair. I can’t think of any other reasons why he isn’t long gone.

Ultimately the article was republished in a form that was nearly word-for-word identical version in an inferior journal. Such is the fate of antivaccine pseudoscience. It always comes back. That’s why I liken it to zombies, Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, Chucky, or any other monsters that “die” at the end of one movie, only to inevitably reappear in a new sequel over and over and over again.

I have little doubt that Shaw and Tomljenovic’s soon-to-be retracted paper will reappear somewhere else within a few months. It’s what antivaccine scientists publishing dubious or even fraudulent research to promote the long discredited idea that vaccines cause autism do. Their pseudoscience never dies. It just keeps being recycled like the sequel to a 1980s slasher flick.

Comments

  1. #1 Rebecca Fisher
    October 10, 2017

    He added that when Li left the lab in 2015, she took the original data with her:

    How can you publish a paper if you don’t have the data?

  2. #2 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    October 10, 2017

    How can you publish a paper if you don’t have the data?

    Fire up the Recto-Source 2000™.

  3. #3 Richard
    The Netherlands
    October 10, 2017

    What is it with these people who feel the need to pop up one faux antivaccine paper after another? Don’t they understand that they’re wasting everyone’s precious time (including their own) with this stupid antivaccine version of Whack-a-Mole?
    I almost envision a sort of “three-strike” system where researchers who want to prove a particular point (e.g. that vaccines are harmful) that is contrary to widely established scientific consensus get three shots at it. After three failures, any further papers by this author on the same subject should be automatically rejected.

  4. #4 Chris Hickie
    October 10, 2017

    @ Richard–I wish what you say was so. However:

    1. The faculty that put up these phony papers (Shaw, here) never seem to get sanctioned by their schools. Mawson with his phony internet survey paper that Orac has covered never was sanctioned. Brian Martin, the phd advisor for the laughable anti-vaccine defecation–er, I mean dissertation–of Judith Wilyman never was disciplined either. Orac has covered the Mawson paper and Wilyman dissertation. Heck, Wakefield’s retracted Lancet paper was never truly retracted in the eyes of anti-vaxxers as clearly Wakefield was the victim of a vast conspiracy.

    2. Once the article is published (even if just for a day before being retracted), it will forever exist as a published article in the eyes of anti-vaxxers. They will add it to their list of “papers” showing the ebil of vaccines and that list will forever circulate on social media where a direct refutation of each bogus citation takes longer than a lot of people who have been scared into not vaccinating are willing to read (sadly).

    So even though this may seem a waste, it serves their purposes well enough.

  5. #5 herr doktor bimler
    October 10, 2017

    How can you publish a paper if you don’t have the data?

    Back in 2015, Li, Y. Li and Shaw presented “Gene-toxin synergy in the brain of autistic mouse model” to the 11th Keele Meeting on Aluminium. From the Abstract, the presentation sounds like the PPT version of this paper. That, of course, was before Li went off the reservation.
    https://www.keele.ac.uk/aluminium/keelemeetings/2015/scientificprogramme/

    Perhaps Shaw can be persuaded to make the PPT of the 2015 presentation available. Then we could help him determine whether the Figures were shonky at that stage, or whether the shonkyness crept in at a later stage of preparation.

  6. #6 Richard
    The Netherlands
    October 10, 2017

    @ Chris Hickie
    Yeah, I know, rejection by the scientific community never stopped any one of these antivaccine clowns, quite the contrary. If anything, they almost seem to consider it a badge of honor of a kind, a sort of painful-but-ultimately-rewarding acceptance ritual into the whackjob crowd — after which they merrily keep on excreting their oddly distorted type of ‘science’, proudly showing off their potty’s paper’s contents after every single one of those efforts…

  7. #7 Rich Woods
    October 10, 2017

    @The Rev #2:

    Fire up the Recto-Source 2000™.

    That statement can be read several ways, none of them good!

  8. #8 Dagian
    October 10, 2017

    What I also don’t understand is why anyone wants to work for these clowns when you know in advance that their studies are fundamentally flawed (garbage) and your reputation is going to be tarnished by association. No matter how desperate you are to earn your doctorate, or land that first post-doc position you have to think about for whom you are working.

  9. #9 Dorit Reiss
    October 10, 2017

    A. I wonder if they’ll fix the images in the new version. And if he says the data is missing, how they’ll fix any of the issues, if at all.

    B. Shaw is in the department of ophthalmology. Does he have any recent publications in that area, I wonder?

    C. It was already mentioned here that this is not the first paper off that set of experiments. Is this grounds to reexamine those?

  10. #10 Eric Lund
    October 10, 2017

    He added that when Li left the lab in 2015, she took the original data with her

    The cynic in me is wondering whether the “original data” include e-mails between Shaw and Li about how to prepare the data. Of course Li is going to deny that the images were manipulated–to admit this would be a career-ending move. But if she was ordered to prepare the figures a certain way, she may have thought that keeping proof of those orders was a good thing.

    In general, the postdoc-mentor relationship is one that has a serious power imbalance, and far too often it becomes an abusive relationship. For several years now, NSF has required proposals that request funding for post-docs to include a mentoring plan, and one of the reasons for this requirement is to reduce the likelihood that the relationship will become abusive. I do not know what requirements (if any) NIH or the counterpart Canadian funding agencies have.

  11. #11 Eric Lund
    October 10, 2017

    Daglan@7: I can see at least a couple of possibilities. One is that Dr. Li (who is presumably a Chinese national, or at least born in China) wanted to remain in Canada and therefore needed a Canadian job. She may also have had a two-body problem which constrained her to the Vancouver metro area–it is quite common for women with Ph.D.s to be married to men with Ph.D.s (especially in physics, whence the term “two-body problem”).

    That’s another reason postdoc-mentor relationships can become abusive: often it’s difficult for the postdoc to leave on good terms with her advisor, because there may not be that many other options out there.

  12. #12 Daniel Corcos
    October 10, 2017

    @ Eric
    “In general, the postdoc-mentor relationship is one that has a serious power imbalance, and far too often it becomes an abusive relationship.”
    Some years ago, i was in a lab where the mentor put pressure on the post-doc when the results were not those that were expected: “You need to have your paper published, don’t you?” The mentor was not antivaccine, on the contrary.

  13. #13 Epsilon
    All of the boat metaphors are a-sailin' away
    October 10, 2017

    Maybe if he runs a loose ship it’ll sink and never come back.

  14. #14 Dangerous Bacon
    October 10, 2017

    It’s not a good day for antivaxers.

    They were crowing recently over a dubious decision by the Yemen government to suspend a cholera vaccine campaign (among other things, the government claimed that administering the vaccine might distract health care workers from treating patients).

    Now a massive cholera vaccination program has been launched by the U.N. in Bangladesh:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/starts-cholera-vaccinations-bangladesh-rohingya-50385787

  15. #15 doug
    October 10, 2017

    Based on when he received his first degree, I estimate that Shaw is between 65 and 70, likely closer to the latter. While some academics are still going strong at that age, others are beginning to weary of the whole endeavor. I can’t say that I’m surprised at the notion he is running a loose ship. I am a bit surprised that his operation seems to have some sort of an automaton that generates papers, under the names of humans, and that apparently the humans don’t bother to look at the papers before they go out the door.

    Again, given his interests, I’m suspicious he is in the ophthalmology department as a result of lateral transfer from a department that no longer wanted him. It is an established way of “disposing” of a tenured faculty member.

  16. #16 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    October 10, 2017

    Orac writes,

    The kindest possible interpretation is that Christopher Shaw runs a loose ship…

    MJD says,

    After being poked to evaluate the significance of this work, Orac provides a left-handed compliment.

    Let’s get serious, running a “loose ship” is exactly what pharmaceuticals maintained over the last century with respect to vaccine packaging.

    If an industry continues to use warnings labels, directed at packaging hazards, the ship is in dire need of repair.

    @Orac,

    In retrospect, it’s past due for ScienceBlogs and/or Orac to retract the following RI posts:

    1) http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/05/10/anti-vaccine-contortions-they-never-end/ ; and

    2) http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/12/02/mr-michael-dochniak-meet-prometheus/

    One of Orac’s minion’s named Prometheus admitted altering comments in his blog and, thereafter, Orac continues an association with the posts described above.

    Indeed, it can be said that Orac also runs a “loose ship”.

  17. #17 Dangerous Bacon
    October 10, 2017

    Does RetractionWatch keep track of which disciplines are most susceptible to papers being retracted?

    Based on what I’ve seen, antivax articles are running neck and neck with anti-GMO publications.

  18. #18 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    October 10, 2017

    Why is it that the University of British Columbia and its Department of Ophthalmology (which is the department where Shaw and Tomljenovic are based) put up with crap like this? Shaw must have tenure or pictures of the Dean having an affair. I can’t think of any other reasons why he isn’t long gone.

    $

    Shaw is bringing in a reliable revenue stream from Dwoskin and her anti-vaxx pals. It’s going to go to another uni so why not keep it there? I don’t foresee them sacking Shaw unless his activities interfere with other funding.

    Of course, I wonder about Shaw’s practices.

    One only needs to look at his seminal paper on the subject: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17114826 to see where his practices were going. The methodology of that study was so obviously manipulated as to render it useless. All his subsequent papers follow the same cast.

  19. #19 Dagian
    October 10, 2017

    I worked in a lab where the PI was known to treat his post-docs HORRIBLY the second he was aware they were looking for a new position (which they needed to do anyway) and once they had secured one – he was intolerable. Nice guy in some ways, absolute nightmare to work for in others. I had dreams of throwing him off of the building to the wild applause of other PI’s. I found a new job soon after before I made my dreams come true.

    Oh yes, of course – the two-person conundrum. Well, I hope she found a better boss the next time around.

  20. #20 dean
    October 10, 2017

    MJD, you seem to be butthurt that the complete crap you push gets called out for the baseless stuff that it is.

  21. #21 Epsilon
    Maybe there should be idiot blockers for blogs
    October 10, 2017

    @MJD

    Jesus man is that all you know how to do? I’ve seen toddlers that connect the dots better than you.

    Forget ad blockers, Orac needs ad hominem blockers.

  22. #22 MikeMa
    United States
    October 10, 2017

    When this study first surfaced not too long ago, there were a flurry of angry anti-vaxxers touting this as the “final” proof they were right about, well, everything. They are wrong as usual but it leaves a bad taste not to be able to go back and say. “see, I told you so”. And this was retracted rather quickly.

    So glad Orac has an archive.

  23. #23 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    October 10, 2017

    Epsilon (#21) writes,

    Jesus man is that all you know how to do? I’ve seen toddlers that connect the dots better than you.

    MJD says,

    Good heavens no, I’ve written extensively about aluminum-based adjuvants binding to contaminants from vaccine packaging.

    I’m in favor of keeping aluminum-based adjuvants on the vaccine playground but medical science better make sure that said adjuvant maintains the right partner before injection.

    On second thought, how about improving vaccine packaging?

    Google the words “Dochniak” and “vaccine” for the specifics.

  24. #24 Eric Lund
    October 10, 2017

    Again, given his interests, I’m suspicious he is in the ophthalmology department as a result of lateral transfer from a department that no longer wanted him. It is an established way of “disposing” of a tenured faculty member.

    I suppose that’s possible, but it is at least as likely [he says without looking at a publication list] that Shaw was at one time a respectable ophthalmologist, and became a vaccine crank later in life. It does happen: Linus Pauling and vitamin C, and Brian Josephson on race, are two examples I can name offhand. Even Stanislaw Burzynski, one of Orac’s favorite target, was once a mainstream medical researcher before he realized he could make more money selling his particular brand of snake oil, though he was relatively young when he became a full-time Mammon worshipper.

  25. #25 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    October 10, 2017

    I note that the paper’s web page gives no indication that the paper is, or will be, retracted. How long does it take to add a big red ‘RETRACTED’ to the top of the page, with the additional text ‘This paper is bad, and the authors should feel bad’? It seems like a bit of foot dragging to me.

    On another topic –

    As I previously noted, I found MJD’s book in the used book store. It’s a quick read if you can stomach it (less than 100 pages, and plenty of white space). But it will probably take more than one sitting. It’s that bad.

    I’ve sucked all the entertainment value I can out of it. I’ve compared the book, Prometheus review, and other web sources and have determined that Prometheus was a mighty fair fellow. I’ve savored the poetry, both sober and drunk, and can tell you it hurts to read it, no matter the state if inebriation.

    So I’m ready to pass it on. Our host has the right of first refusal. Orac – if you want the book, I’ll ZAG it up to you. You have my e-mail, just let me know. Otherwise, in a day or so, I’ll come up with a way that some other minion can communicate with me and claim the book.

    Just so there’s no doubt, no charge for the shipping. I paid 50 cents to get it, and I’d pay a coupla bucks to get rid of it.

  26. #26 Epsilon
    Yeah that just proves my point dude
    October 10, 2017

    While I appreciate your concern that I have not been adequately exposed to your unique blend of antivaxx involving the horrors of latex and the minuscule amounts of a non-heavy metal in a small amount of liquid, I would rather keep my brain cells as they are. They’re already strained enough with my health issues and I’d like to live to a ripe old age.

    And besides, you get what you give, right?

  27. #27 Eric Lund
    October 10, 2017

    I paid 50 cents to get [MJD’s book], and I’d pay a coupla bucks to get rid of it.

    You’re a better man than I am, Johnny–I’d send it straight to the recycling bin. From your description, it sounds like I would be overpaying if I got it for free.

  28. #28 Denice Walter
    October 10, 2017

    @ Johnny:

    I’ll decline the book offer in advance –
    I doubt Orac will accept unless if he wants to pad his woo shelf –
    although I listen to and read loads of nonsense every day courtesy of prn.fm, natural news, AoA, mercola.com, green med info, TMR, Jake and various twits in twitter-

    I have to draw a line somewhere and MJD is it.

  29. #29 shay simmons
    October 10, 2017

    Good heavens no, I’ve written extensively about aluminum-based adjuvants binding to contaminants from vaccine packaging.

    Copious amounts of bullsh*t are still bullsh*t.

  30. #30 herr doktor bimler
    October 10, 2017

    I suppose that’s possible, but it is at least as likely [he says without looking at a publication list] that Shaw was at one time a respectable ophthalmologist

    Shaw is a neuroscientist by training; his doctorate thesis was about invertebrate photoreceptors. Shouldn’t misrepresent him as a “mere eye-doctor with ideas above his station”.

    He became interested in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and got headlines in 2000 with a theory that the main cause of ALS was a particular neurotoxin (methionine sulfoximine). That work went nowhere but I guess he got a taste for headlines. His work morphed into Gulf War Syndrome, and aluminium, and that lured him into Exley’s circle of Aluminati. Now he has a Theory of Everything that is falsification-proof — there is no experimental result that it cannot accommodate as further evidence — and it is not easy to see what will shift him.

  31. #31 Epsilon
    Couldn't have put it better
    October 10, 2017

    @shay

    Yeah, if something is wrong, just because you write about it a lot doesn’t make it right.

    I could write as much as I want about how the world is flat, but that wouldn’t make it true.

  32. #32 herr doktor bimler
    October 10, 2017

    One issue is the acceptance of log-rolling and mutual-reviewing within Aluminati circles. And the mutual-citation backscratching.
    For instance — “Slow CCL2-dependent translocation of biopersistent particles from muscle to brain“, from Gherardi’s group (with Exley as a middle co-author): peer-reviewed by Shaw and Perricone.*

    Biopersistence and brain translocation of aluminum adjuvants of vaccines“, from Gherardi and Cadusseau — edited and peer-reviewed by Tomljenovic.

    Why industry propaganda and political interference cannot disguise the inevitable role played by human exposure to aluminum in neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease“, by Exley — edited by Shaw, peer-reviewed by Tomljenovic.

    Clinical features in patients with long-lasting macrophagic myofasciitis“, Gherardi’s group again — edited by Shaw, peer-reviewed by Tomljenovic.

    The mobilization of aluminum into the biosphere”, Pgue & Lukiw — edited by Shaw, peer-reviewed by Tomljenovic.

    For a while Frontiers had a Research Topic on “Aluminum Toxicity and Human Disease” —
    https://web.archive.org/web/20161002055704/http://journal.frontiersin.org:80/researchtopic/2270/aluminum-toxicity-and-human-disease
    — allowing Shaw and Tomljenovic to invite papers from their colleagues and send them out to complaisant reviewers, or wield the rubber-stamp themselves. At some point this year the separate papers bcame independent because Frontiers scrubbed all record of the Research Topic.

    * An associate of Shoenfeld and regular co-author with Tomljenovic.

  33. #33 Panacea
    October 10, 2017

    @Johnny,

    I’m half tempted if only to run it through a plagiarism checker.

  34. #34 herr doktor bimler
    October 10, 2017
  35. #35 Alain
    October 10, 2017

    Dear MJD,

    Usually, I never notice any sign of illness on myself unless I’m at the brinks of death door. Let me explain, in simple terms what exactly that entail:

    Back 4 years ago (and ~2 months maybe), my appendix started to go south…at some random date of the month of august 2013.

    Time passes on and somewhere around 8 days later, it happen to rupture (well, explode would be the proper word at that point). I was in my brother’s car at that point and coming back from a visit to my mother. Brother asks if I want to go to the hospital, I said no….no patience to wait.

    24 hours later, paramedics bring me to the hospital and still, I end up waiting 3 hours in a wheelchair in the waiting area, relatively asymptomatic (pain…).

    Around noon, doc examine me. Test with some kind of hand + digit move, I feel a serious jolt of pain and then, the medical machine get in 6th gear with surgery 12 hours later which they would have done sooner if they could.

    Now, if, by some random circumstance I halucinate about these posts:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/05/10/anti-vaccine-contortions-they-never-end/

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/12/02/mr-michael-dochniak-meet-prometheus/

    Then, I will steal a race car if needed to get checked out at the nearest ER because something a metric ton more dangerous than a ruptured appendix is happening to me.

    That said, good luck 🙂

    Al

  36. #36 Alain
    October 10, 2017

    halucinate about these post being retracted…that is 🙂

  37. #37 Panacea
    October 10, 2017

    Hmm. Sounds like rebound tenderness at McBurney’s Point.

    Yeah, that’s the scary thing about appendicitis. Once it ruptures, a lot of times, the patient feels better. For awhile.

    Wow. You had a close shave. I’m glad you’re OK. 😮

    And it really says something about MJD’s “work” that you’d consider a hallucination involving it a sign of a major medical emergency worse than what happened to you with appendicitis.

  38. #38 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    October 10, 2017

    Alain (#34) writes,

    halucinate about these post being retracted…that is.

    MJD says,

    Dearest Orac,

    Through the years, I’ve come to appreciate the respectful insolence reserved for others but continue to languish in the realization that I’ve somehow stumbled and lost your respect.

    It is with the deepest humility and sincerity that I ask you to retract the questionable postings reference by our mutual friend Alain (comment #33).

    In satisfaction, a double retraction is the humane reaction

    Kindest Regards,

    Michael J. Dochniak
    (7-year blogger @ RI)

  39. #39 Narad
    October 10, 2017

    In retrospect, it’s past due for ScienceBlogs and/or Orac to retract the following RI posts

    Do fuck off, Doucheniak.

  40. #40 Politicalguineapig
    October 10, 2017

    I refuse to read MJD’s “writing” on principle. Judging by his comments on this blog, he might actually be worse than Ayn Rand. And Rand’s stuff is worse than used toilet paper.

  41. #41 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    October 10, 2017

    From your description, it sounds like I would be overpaying if I got it for free.

    Yeah, I I agree, but between my desire to do a public service (get the silly thing away from the gullible public) and my curiosity to see if it was as bad as I thought it would be, it was well worth the 4 bits.

    I recommend it be approached like an MST3K episode.

    MJD – you are not a blogger. You are a commenter.

    By the way, how’s your Go Fund Me?
    https://www.gofundme.com/Michael-J-Dochniak

    PGP – nothing like that in the book. Just bad science and (believe it or not) even worse poetry.

  42. #42 Jane Ostentatious
    October 10, 2017

    MJD – when you admit that latex doesn’t cause autism, but that it’s painfully, painfully obvious that it’s genetic – no, even then it’s too late.

    You lost the right to demand concessions from ORAC years ago -forever.

  43. #43 Epsilon
    Oh god he thinks the has credibility here that's cute
    October 10, 2017

    @MJD

    Dear heavens that whole post was so sickeningly, simperingly fake-polite I want to gag myself with a rolled-up paper torn out of your book.

    Do yourself a favor and just stop pretending you have any standing or dignity here.

  44. #44 Science Mom
    October 10, 2017

    MJD, why do you appreciate our host’s insolence when directed at others but don’t appreciate when your own work comes under fire?

  45. #45 Science Mom
    October 10, 2017

    Thank you HDB for that interesting list.

  46. #46 Alain
    October 10, 2017

    MJD,

    I may address you with respect and you may consider me as a friend but, I never specified that we are or were friends. Please act accordingly.

    Many thanks,

    Alain

  47. #47 herr doktor bimler
    October 10, 2017

    Thank you HDB for that interesting list.

    It is somehow ironic that Frontiers have also published a paper on deteching Citation Cartels, and claim that they will not allow that form of mutual backscratching in their own journals.
    https://blog.frontiersin.org/2017/01/03/citations-cartels-an-emerging-problem-in-scientific-publishing/

  48. #48 doug
    October 10, 2017

    Dear heavens that whole post was so.

    emetic?

  49. #49 Narad
    October 10, 2017

    “Why industry propaganda and political interference cannot disguise the inevitable role played by human exposure to aluminum in neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease“, by Exley

    Cool title, bro.

  50. #50 Politicalguineapig
    October 10, 2017

    Johnny: I believe it. Any chance there’s a free pdf floating around the net?

    MJD: Dude, this isn’t a scientific conference. No retractions are necessary. Besides, haven’t you heard ‘the internet is forever’?

  51. #51 Narad
    October 11, 2017

    ^ Jeezums, that Exley item falls apart by the second sentence:

    In 1979, the so-called allosteric activity of citrate (and other activators) was found to be the consequence of the contamination of laboratory supplies of ATP by aluminum (2).

    Allow me.

    Because type I mammalian hexokinase, the predominant form in the brain, has been shown to be stimulated by catecholamines (9) and by citrate (10), it appeared likely that it would share with the yeast hexokinases a sensitivity to Al 3+. In initial experiments with homogenates of mouse brain, 1 μM added Al 3+ caused about 50% inhibition under conditions similar to those in Fig. 2A (Thomas Rand, personal communication). When a partially purified type I rat brain enzyme was used, about 2 μM added Al 3+ caused 50% inhibition (Fig. 6A). As with the yeast enzymes, the Al 3+ must be premixed with the ATP to get the degree of inhibition shown here. The brain enzyme showed the same strong pH dependence as yeast hexokinase for inhibition by Al 3+ (Fig. 6B).

    Cool lever arm, bro.

  52. #52 herr doktor bimler
    October 11, 2017

    Cool title, bro.
    It did strike me as more appropriate for photocopied pages stapled to power-poles than for a scholarly journal, but hey, this was Frontiers.

  53. #53 herr doktor bimler
    October 11, 2017

    Keep your eye on Gherardi, by the way, he’s going to go far. Word has it that the Italian antivaxxers are building him up to be the new spokesman for the movement — a Romance-language Wakefield.

  54. #54 MarkN
    October 11, 2017

    I vaccinated eight kids for influenza today. They all had anaphylactic reactions to the latex stopper in the syringe. I then dosed each with epi and benadryl, which of course had latex stoppers inducing even more reactions. Ultimately, they all walked out with a new autism diagnoses. and popsicles, cherry flavored.
    Tomorrow I will shoot for a even dozen.
    Muster the Rohirrim.
    Peace out.

  55. #55 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    October 11, 2017

    Science Mom (#44) asks,

    MJD, why do you appreciate our host’s insolence when directed at others but don’t appreciate when your own work comes under fire?

    MJD says,

    Understand that Orac’s punishment towards me has been the worst kind of insolence.

    I’ve been ceremoniously placed in permanent auto-moderation wherein all comments on a particularly pertinent vaccine-safety issue are stymied.

    In essence, Orac has subjected me to a public flogging and any attempt to provide a rebuttal is impossible.

    It often gives me great pain to read some of the insidious comments from some of Orac’s minions (e.g., MarkN, #54).

    • #56 Orac
      October 11, 2017

      You brought it on yourself over several years. Every time I let you out, you revert to form. So stop whining.

    • #57 Dorit Reiss
      October 11, 2017

      Of course you can provide a rebuttal. You can easily start your own blog, respond to anything said here, and do what you can to alert Orac and minions.

      Orac doesn’t have to allow you to monopolize comments to do that, and not giving you a platform here isn’t silencing you.

  56. #58 Copyleft
    October 11, 2017

    Given the history of newspaper headlines vs. retractions, I suspect it’s more than enough of a victory for antivaxxers to get anything published anywhere, no matter what becomes of the article later.

  57. #59 Science Mom
    October 11, 2017

    MJD, the last time I checked you weren’t forced to read this blog nor comment here. You were given ample opportunity to rebut the critique of your “work”, you continued to hijack every post you commented on with it.

  58. […] è appagato dalla ritrattazione del paper sull'alluminio dei vaccini che causa l'autismo murino, da parte di […]

  59. #61 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    October 11, 2017

    Dorit Reiss (#57) writes,

    You can easily start your own blog, respond to anything said here, and do what you can to alert Orac and minions.

    MJD says,

    Well said Dorit with one exception, I can’t respond to anything said here.

    Therein lies the problem…

    Orac often allows me to answer a direct question (e.g., Science Mom #44) but the minions often present condescending statements (e.g., MarkN #54) that, in combination with Orac’s auto-moderation, silence my response.

    Q. What is the offspring of respectful insolence.

    A. Irreconcilable difference

  60. #62 Dangerous Bacon
    October 11, 2017

    MJD sort of semi has a point in one limited respect.

    It’s probably not fair to have commenters mock his latex obsession when he is not permitted to respond on the subject.

    There is so much more in his comments deserving of mockery, for instance his habit of referring to himself in the third person.

  61. #63 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    October 11, 2017

    … I can’t respond to anything said here.

    No, you could respond to everything said here if you had your own blog. You are only restricted from responding on this blog.

    Just because our host limits you on his forum does not mean you are limited across the entire internet.

    In fact, I think your comments would be quite welcome at AoA, AI, the Drinking Moms, and a handful of others, as well as Twitter, and you could have complete control over your own content and all comments at your own freakin’ blog.

  62. #64 Narad
    October 11, 2017

    I’ve been unceremoniously placed in permanent auto-moderation

    FTFY.

  63. #65 shay simmons
    October 11, 2017

    In essence, Orac has subjected me to a public flogging and any attempt to provide a rebuttal is impossible.

    S. I. W.

  64. #66 JP
    October 11, 2017

    Self inflicted wedgie?

  65. #67 herr doktor bimler
    October 11, 2017

    Meanwhile, back on topic, Sylvie Coyaud has linked to this post, so I feel I should do the citation-cartel thing and link back to her own discussion of Gherardi’s Aluminati contributions.

  66. #68 herr doktor bimler
    October 11, 2017

    Gherardi (you will recall) first came to fame by describing MMF, a rare aftermath of vaccination… so rare, in fact, that no-one else has ever oberved it, outside of Gherardi’s group. There is a friendly internecine between Gherardi and Shoenfeld, inventor of the ASIA syndrome, with the former claiming that ASIA comes under the rubric of MMF, and the latter making the opposite claim.

    Anyway, Gherardi’s more recent publications have all been about studying AlOH persistence and brainward migration in animals, not by injecting them with AlOH adjuvants, but by injecting them with hybrid particles, AlOH-marked nanodiamonds, which have the advantages of (1) being completely biopersistant (because the body can’t dispose of them in any way), and (2) sufficiently expensive to minimise the danger of anyone else replicating his work.

    Anyway, it turns out (thanks, Sylvie) that Gherardi has managed to wrangle funding from the French ANSM — l’Agence Nationale de Sécurité du Médicament et des produits de santé — which is how he can afford the supply of nanodiamond tracers.That’s how you do it, people.

    Gherardi is now whining to the French media about the ANSM not paying enough attention to his claims, and not giving him more money.

  67. #69 herr doktor bimler
    October 11, 2017

    Coming out on October 26 from Elsevier:

    Controversies in Vaccine Safety : A Critical Review
    Edited by Christopher A. Shaw , Edited by Claire Dwoskin , Edited by Lluis Lujan , Edited by Lucija Tomljenovic

    With contributions from Shoenfeld (on ASIA), Gherardi (on MMF), Exley, disgraced fraudster Mikovits, and Vinu Arumugham.
    Brian Hooker recycles the “MMR causes autism” story — evidently Wakefield wasn’t available.
    Thimerosal is still relevant, with a chapter by Dorea.
    Shaw and Tomljenovic get to recycle their current retracted work yet again as “Neurodevelopmental toxicity associated with the use of aluminum vaccine adjuvants”.

    CAN HAVE REVIEW PLZ?

  68. #70 Epsilon
    Seriously?!
    October 11, 2017

    Does that egotistical loser really think he’s being “persecuted” here? Doesnt getting auto-modded require repeated douchiness?

  69. #71 herr doktor bimler
    October 11, 2017

    Doesnt getting auto-modded require repeated douchiness?

    That’s unpossible, for I am on auto-moderation and…
    let me think about that.

  70. #72 Rich Bly
    Ocean Shores
    October 11, 2017

    While the following statement doesn’t have anything to do with this so called paper that was retracted, it does deal with issues of not vaccinating. It concerns a large hep A outbreak in MI and is by Bill Marler a food attorney.

    In developed countries, children often escape infection in early childhood and reach adulthood without immunity. Ironically, these improved economic and sanitary conditions may lead to an accumulation of adults who have never been infected and who have no immunity. This higher susceptibility in older age groups may lead to higher disease rates and large outbreaks can occur in these communities.

  71. #73 dingo199
    October 11, 2017

    I am afraid I regard all this crap Aluminutti pseudoscience as the equivalent of this:

  72. #74 dean
    October 11, 2017

    “Google the words “Dochniak” and “vaccine” for the specifics.”

    Throw in quack and nonsense. You’ll have better luck finding his stuff.

  73. #75 Epsilon
    Oops!
    October 11, 2017

    @hdb

    Ah, terribly sorry if I inadvertently insulted you. :0

  74. #76 herr doktor bimler
    October 11, 2017

    Ars Technica:

    Ars made several efforts to get in touch with Li but has received no response. Shaw said she left the lab in 2015 and took the data with her. But she was still listed as being at UBC on the study, which was submitted in January 2017. Shaw said this was an “error in proofreading.”

    Dan Li, who also goes by Alice Li, has retained a lawyer, according to Shaw. The lawyer Shaw named did not immediately respond to Ars’ request for comment.

    As for Shaw, he says the altered images “were not significant anyway.”

  75. #77 herr doktor bimler
    October 11, 2017

    Ah, terribly sorry if I inadvertently insulted you. :0

    I should think so. I expect to be advertantly insulted.

  76. #78 JustaTech
    October 11, 2017

    As someone who spent half an hour this afternoon explaining to an in-house auditor why her figure was every so very slightly different from mine (turned out to be a very small difference in the scale of the y-axis) for a paper that will never be publicly published and if it’s read by more than 5 people I will be shocked – I have to say that this blatant image manipulation in a *published* paper really pissed me off.

    I’m busting my butt (as is my auditor) for something that very few people will ever see while these academics are *publishing* bullshit? Bah, and a pox on all their houses.

  77. #79 Epsilon
    October 11, 2017

    @hdb

    Yeah true, but I’d still be miffed if someone seemed to call me a douche, so I just wanted to clarify. And you’re a polite dude as far as I know so it would’ve been rude to just let it hang.

    Sometimes my filter doesn’t catch all of the dumb stuff that’s not right. :/

  78. #80 Chris Preston
    October 11, 2017

    I would be a little more inclined to feel sorry for MJD if he didn’t whine about his treatment in every single post .

    And if he had anything useful to say. …or even amusingto say.

    But no. There are no redeeming features in any MJD post.

    As to Shaw, his contortions are getting more and more incredible. I wonder in Alice Li will sue. That will be a circus in need of some monkeys.

  79. #81 LW
    October 11, 2017

    In essence, Orac has subjected me to a public flogging and any attempt to provide a rebuttal is impossible.

    We wouldn’t know about it if you didn’t keep pointing it out. It’s only public because you make it so.

  80. #82 Jane Ostentatious
    October 11, 2017

    LW is correct.

    One issue – ORAC didn’t subject you to a public flogging. He subjected your theories to a public flogging. Big difference.

    Start your own blog to rebut. You know though, no one will seek it out except the occasional anti vax loon.

    Guess what? I’ve dropped lots of beliefs over the years.Yes, sometimes it hurts a little, but it’s healthy.

  81. #83 TBruce
    October 11, 2017

    It was Thanksgiving in Canada last weekend, so I thought the timing of this news was very appropriate.

    Shaw must have tenure or pictures of the Dean having an affair. I can’t think of any other reasons why he isn’t long gone.

    Shaw is a full professor so doubtless he has tenure. I don’t think academic fraud is protected, however. We shall see…

    Dan Li, who also goes by Alice Li, has retained a lawyer, according to Shaw…As for Shaw, he says the altered images “were not significant anyway.”

    I can smell the flop sweat from here.

  82. #84 Science Mom
    October 12, 2017

    But she was still listed as being at UBC on the study, which was submitted in January 2017. Shaw said this was an “error in proofreading.”

    Making an “error in proofreading” for the first author on a short list? My children have come up with far better.

  83. #85 MarkN
    October 12, 2017

    I flogged, therefore. I am.

    ZDogg is saying Orac is going to do a sit down with him. Sick! I hope you guys get to put a CME on it

  84. #86 Panacea
    October 12, 2017

    Mark: I am SO down for that!

    ZDogg isn’t as hard core a skeptic as Orac is, but he’s no woomeister either. And he’s funny as shit.

  85. #87 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    October 12, 2017

    Jane Ostentatious (#82) writes,

    ORAC didn’t subject you to a public flogging. He subjected your theories to a public flogging. Big difference.

    MJD says,

    That’s absurd, here’s a quote from Orac:

    “According to anti-vaccine zealots, now it’s the packaging and delivery systems used for vaccines that cause autism. It never ends. It never will end. Because, to the anti-vaccine, first and foremost, it’s always about the vaccines. Always. No matter what the evidence shows. Never forget that.”

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/05/10/anti-vaccine-contortions-they-never-end/

    A public apology from Orac and retraction of the post referenced above would clear the muddy waters.

  86. #88 shay simmons
    October 12, 2017

    A public apology from Orac and retraction of the post referenced above would clear the muddy waters.

    Why should anyone apologize for telling the truth? On the other hand, it’s a good sign that you’re finally admitting that you are anti-vaccine.

  87. #89 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    October 12, 2017

    Chris Preston (#80) writes,

    There are no redeeming features in any MJD post.

    MJD says,

    Orac consistently deletes the posts that would encourage the minions (e.g., Chris Preston) to think independently.

    For example, here’s a list of allergens that everyone needs to consider before receiving a vaccine.

    http://www.vaccinesafety.edu/components-Allergens.htm

    Q. Is there a science-based explanation for the continued use of latex in vaccine packaging.

  88. #90 Narad
    October 12, 2017

    Making an “error in proofreading” for the first author on a short list?

    That’s not even an error. One’s affiliation should be listed as where the work was done. If there’s some need to indicate that an author has moved on, then one adds a “current address” footnote.

  89. #91 Science Mom
    October 12, 2017

    That’s not even an error. One’s affiliation should be listed as where the work was done. If there’s some need to indicate that an author has moved on, then one adds a “current address” footnote.

    Indeed, thanks for pointing that out. I still don’t have confidence UBC will launch an adequate investigation and/or action against Shaw et al. given the money they bring in.

  90. #92 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    October 12, 2017

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0162013417300417#
    shows no sign that the paper has been retracted, or that it will be .Do I have unreasonable expectations as to the timeline, or is it just a slow process?

    As far as other business – – –

    Free to a good home, Vaccine Delivery and Autism (The Latex Connection) by our very own loon, Michael J. Dochniak.

    Send an e-mail to iwantthatbook@mail.com and post a note here to let others know it’s been claimed.

  91. #93 Narad
    October 12, 2017

    Writing those “highlights” bullet points for Elsevier journals is a complete pain in the ass, BTW. Li et al. did not do a good job, either.

  92. #94 Narad
    October 12, 2017

    ^ Then again, glass houses and so forth.

  93. #95 Jane Ostentatious
    October 12, 2017

    MJD – your name was not mentioned.

    Stop acting like a fool. You will never get an apology or retraction. You do not merit one.

  94. #96 herr doktor bimler
    October 12, 2017

    As for Shaw, he says the altered images “were not significant anyway.”

    I can smell the flop sweat from here.

    I have a strong suspicion that Shaw and Tomljenovic have included the forged figures in their chapter in the new book, and it’s too late to remove them.

  95. #97 JustaTech
    October 12, 2017

    MJD: I have a gift for you: an Up sized bunch of balloons!

    “an error in proofreading” is when the auditor says “you missed a trailing zero in table 87, column 9 row 53”. This is not that.

  96. #98 Epsilon
    Dear Lord he's doing it again
    October 12, 2017

    @MJD

    Geez man! Do you know how to post in a thread without talking about your baseless latex conspiracy theories?

    That’s probably why you’re in auto-mod in the first place.

  97. #99 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    October 12, 2017

    And there’s been a taker for the book. I should get it in the mail tomorrow or Saturday.

    Keep an eye out, AC. I hope you find some entertainment. But don’t say I didn’t warn you about the poems.

  98. #100 Alain
    October 12, 2017

    HDB@76,

    I just happen to love that tidbit at the end of the Ars article:

    In follow-up questions, Shaw said that if future data does not support a link between autism and aluminum, he would reconsider his hypothesis and research. But there’s reason to be skeptical. When the WHO criticized his work in 2012 and pointed out a large body of research showing vaccine safety, Shaw responded that the WHO is “entitled to its opinion.”

    I didn’t know the WHO was in the business of providing opinions 😉

    Source: https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/10/study-claims-vaccines-autism-link-scientists-find-fake-data-have-rage-stroke/

    Al

  99. #101 Internal Medicine Resident
    October 13, 2017

    After the discovery of improperly performed science, it was only a matter of time before this would be retracted. Now if only propagators of misinformation such as anti-vax websites would get the memo and stop promoting this.

  100. #102 Jane Ostentatious
    October 13, 2017

    MJD #87
    I still don’t see your name specifically mentioned in that quote you provided.

    You will never get an apology and retraction because you don’t deserve it. Have the self respect to stop asking for it.

    The waters are not “muddied” – they are crystal clear to the rest of us.

  101. #103 Narad
    October 14, 2017

    Did somebody mention papers about vaccines?

  102. #104 Dangerous Bacon
    October 14, 2017

    Another disease/problem caused by vaccines to add to the list previously provided by a poster (NWOdiot?): Projectile Spitting.

    Just saw that one cited by a “Vaxxed” reviewer on Amazon.

    Curiously, Ask Dr. Sears does not cite vaccination as a cause of spitting up, projectile or otherwise (is he being paid by Big Pharma to cover up the connection?). In an online baby forum, one parent claims her infant starting projectile spitting _before_ its shots. Obviously the anticipation of shots caused the problem so it’s still vaccine-related. 🙁

  103. #105 Alain
    October 14, 2017

    DB,

    Did they take cue from this movie: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2140479/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_7 (it does include lot of projectile spitting…)

    Al

  104. #106 herr doktor bimler
    October 15, 2017

    In an online baby forum, one parent claims her infant starting projectile spitting _before_ its shots.

    Bitten by a radioactive llama. Worst superpower EVAH.

  105. #107 Paul de Boer
    Canada
    October 16, 2017
  106. #108 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    October 16, 2017

    Jane Ostentatious (#95) writes,

    You will never get an apology or retraction.

    MJD says,

    If Orac’s respectful-insolence powers are absolute, there can be no justice.

    The honorable Dorit Reiss would be the first to admit that Orac’s moderation powers are unlimited and therefore could be considered “abusive” based on the absence of any check-and-balance.

    With my experience, when Orac is wrong his behaviors approach bipolar in that his demeanor becomes meaner, madder, and moderation happy (MMM).

  107. #109 doug
    October 16, 2017

    I note ol’ blinken box gets the first citation in the CBC article:

    However, subsequent scrutiny has raised questions about the validity of the data, with one doctor calling the paper “anti-vaccine pseudoscience.”

    Now that a second paper has been pulled I wonder if Shaw is beginning to have nightmares of being pursued by The Grand Cremaster (Imperial Retractor of All Bollocks).

  108. #110 TBruce
    October 16, 2017

    From the CBC item:

    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.”

    Dabble? An unfortunate word choice, Dr Shaw.
    Did Dwoskin et al turn off the money tap after this latest fiasco? Inquiring minds (me) want to know.
    I wonder where this leaves Tomljenovic?

  109. #111 Panacea
    October 16, 2017

    Babies spit up. The cardiac sphincter is immature in the newborn. Sometimes the spit up is pretty profound. Or they could have an atresia. There are so many other well recognized causes of spit up in babies and anticipatory vaccination ain’t one of them. Even Bob Sears knows if he tries to claim something like that, he’d have the whole pediatric community coming down on him for it.

    MJD: It’s Orac’s blog. He can keep you in auto moderation because you keep breaking his rules. Grow a pair and stop whining about it.

  110. #112 WolfgangM
    October 16, 2017

    For the anti-vaxer it is quite normal to declare not to have a conflict of interest.. In the line below they then state: The authors thank the Dwoskin Family Foundation for support.

    This happens here:
    Example: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23902317

    It is also possible, that they give no declaration of conflict of interest here:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23932735

    But they thank the Dwoskin Family Foundation for support

    Also in ths paper https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23902317 the authors LT,SC, and CP declare not to have any conflict of interest.

    However- again- they thank the Dwoskin Family Foundation for support.

    Also this paper is seriously flawd: They claim: ” Given the persistently infected women seem not to develop cancer if they are regulary screened”
    There is enough evidence of the contrary
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2819810/

    When a paper should be published the authors are asked many questions (if one has stocks of a pharmaceutical company, if one has received honoraria from vaccine manufacturers etc pp) Obviously this is different for antivaxers- but is a violation of good scientific practise

  111. #113 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    October 16, 2017

    Panacea (#108) writes,

    He can keep you in auto moderation because you keep breaking his rules.

    MJD says,

    Does that rule apply to everyone (i.e., Latex teachings)?

    If Orac is really interested in an open discussion about vaccine safety, he’d allow me to occasionally speak about some of the proactive exclusionary-measures being taken to remove natural rubber latex from vaccine packaging.

    @Orac,

    If you bend the MJD “rule” once in awhile my sincere thanks!

  112. #114 Lawrence
    October 16, 2017

    The last paragraph is very interesting – looks like we might have seen the last of Shaw…..

    When it comes to this latest UBC study, Gardam said the university is going to need the original data if it determines an investigation is required.

    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.”

  113. #115 JP
    October 16, 2017

    With my experience, when Orac is wrong his behaviors approach bipolar in that his demeanor becomes meaner, madder, and moderation happy (MMM).

    Oh FFS, the word “bipolar” means something, and it is not that.

  114. #116 Politicalguineapig
    October 16, 2017

    hdb: “Bitten by a radioactive llama. Worst superpower EVAH.”

    I dunno. Assuming proportionate speed/agility and balance came with the bite, someone could actually do a lot with that power set. Not to mention, they’d never fall and could keep their balance in the trickiest of terrain.

    MJD: Man, you don’t understand the ‘net at all, do you? If you don’t like the rules, set up your own darn blog where you can whine all you like. Frankly Orac is in the right on this, and you just can’t see that boring everyone with your latex fetish gets old.

  115. #117 Politicalguineapig
    October 16, 2017

    MJD: Also, you do realize Orac’s away right now? He has to set the filters a little higher when he’s away, or we’d end up with Trumpanzees everywhere. (Of course, you are one, but that’s beside the point.)

  116. #118 Science Mom
    October 16, 2017

    “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.”

    These outta be a hoot to read in light of Shaw/Tomljenovic’s latest and most egregious example of anti-vaxx pseudoscience. I’ll wager they’ll be negative findings if published at all. This is not to say that this was Shaw’s plan all along and Tomljenovic will carry the anti-vaxx torch on.

    Aside from that, I find his excuses for the manipulated images appalling bollox. Question is will the UBC accept this and let him stay on or sack him and Tomljenovic.

  117. #119 Rich Bly
    Ocean Shores
    October 16, 2017

    I find it interesting that Shaw used the word dabble. The definition I found of dabble doesn’t lead one to believe Shaw was a very serious researcher: take part in an activity in a casual or superficial way. “he dabbled in writing as a young man” synonyms: toy with, dip into, flirt with, tinker with, trifle with, play with, dally with “he dabbled in politics”

  118. #120 Rich Bly
    Ocean Shores
    October 16, 2017

    MJB, you know there are sites that cater to your latex fetish.

  119. #121 Reality
    October 16, 2017

    #105 hdb – “Bitten by a radioactive llama. Worst superpower EVAH.”

    Ah yes. I remember Saturday mornings and the sound wafting in from the kids watching TV in the family room:
    ♪♪♫ Llama-Man, Llama-Man. Does whatever a Llama can… ♪♫

    It’s funny that Hollywood never got round to making a blockbuster ripoff of that particular cartoon for some reason.

  120. #122 Denice Walter
    October 16, 2017

    @ Richard Bly:

    Although I know you may have said it in jest but perhaps you may have unwittingly stumbled upon why MJD so perseverates on latex.

    And, no, I am not entirely joking.

  121. #123 shay simmons
    October 16, 2017

    The honorable Dorit Reiss would be the first to admit that Orac’s moderation powers are unlimited and therefore could be considered “abusive” based on the absence of any check-and-balance.

    No, because unlike you, Reiss understands the law.

    • #124 Dorit Reiss
      October 16, 2017

      Orac is a government?

      Respectful Insolence is a government?

      Orac has every right to not allow strangers in his home for any reason (barring police officers with a warrant, or other similar official visits).

      Orac has a right to allow or disallow comments on his blog however he wants. Nothing abusive in him choosing how to moderate. It’s part of his freedom of action. He has rights.

      He’s the most right-endowed blinky box around.

  122. #125 Narad
    October 16, 2017

    If Orac’s respectful-insolence powers are absolute, there can be no justice.

    His blog, his rules. If you don’t like them, go someplace else where you can find “justice.”

  123. #126 Julian Frost
    October 16, 2017

    Michael, since you don’t understand, here is a little cartoon to help you along.
    https://xkcd.com/1357/

  124. #127 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    October 16, 2017

    Orac sucker punched me with this:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/05/10/anti-vaccine-contortions-they-never-end/

    Then, tried to bully me with this:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/12/02/mr-michael-dochniak-meet-prometheus/

    Now, he auto-moderates me to tears.

    @Orac,

    You’re the only dealer I know who plays with a deck full of jokers and wins EVERYTIME.

  125. #128 Panacea
    October 16, 2017

    Here, Michael. Here’s some cheese to go with that whine.

  126. #129 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    October 16, 2017

    I would note that the first link MJD cites has over 1000 comments, where he completely failed to defend his silly fetish. He was under no moderation at the time, and that he was probably the single largest contributor to that number.

    Spoiler: most of his post were ‘buy my book’.

    The second link has many fewer comments, but was at a time MJD had flounced out of the discussion, but only for a while.

    In short, Mikey, you had a chance, and blew it bigley.

    The link to the review by friend Prometheus is no more, but is on the Wayback Machine. I’ve posted it in the past, and will dig it up if anyone asks.

  127. #131 Science Mom
    October 16, 2017

    Here are two more articles on the Shaw/Tomljenovic poo show:
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/ubc-vaccine-autism-paper-pulled-1.4357568

    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.”

    Then what in Hades is her name doing on the list of authors?

    https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/ubc-vows-investigation-after-furor-over-vaccine-study/article36611348/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&

    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.

    They went to an awful lot of trouble to get it re-published for work they were only “peripherally involved in” and distancing themselves from. This pair of so-called scientists are a disgusting embarrassment to the scientific community. They won’t even own their work and conveniently saddle their latest cock-up on someone in China.

  128. #132 Science Mom
    October 16, 2017

    Yet here http://www.metronews.ca/news/vancouver/2016/02/16/ubc-prof-defends-study-linking-vaccine-and-behaviour-changes.html

    He defends the study and admits Tomljenovic had contributed to the study. The fact they all run in the same Aluminati circle jerk is supposed to escape our attention I suppose.

  129. #133 Politicalguineapig
    October 16, 2017

    MJD: You put silly ideas out there, in the public sphere, in the first place. No one put a gun to your head and made you write your silly books. Orac and Prometheus were equally free to read them and critique them.

    If they’d gone to your house, opened your files or gotten into your manuscripts, that would obviously be wrong, and you’d be right to be incensed. But, again, you released those books into the public sphere.

    If an author gets published, and gets bad reviews, do they demand that the paper of person who reviewed those books retract the review? Nope, they don’t. Because that would be stupid. They released their work into a public sphere, and the reviewer is free to say whatever they like about the work.

    (Mostly; no newspaper or entertainment blog would accept a review that was just a series of swear words, even if the movie or book was just that bad.)

    Some spaces do have limits, such as this blog, because the administrator has to consider how to maintain the best possible environment. Having you bang on endlessly about your fetish is not conducive to having the best possible environment.

  130. #134 Science Mom
    October 17, 2017

    Sorry for the serial posts but Shaw’s pollyanna routine really chaps my bum. From the second article I posted:

    He said they concluded: “It appears as if some of the images, in mostly what were non-significant results, had been flipped.”

    Bollox. Several bands for PCR and Western Blots were manipulated in both controls and treatments. As for the controls they either a.) didn’t run the experiment correctly and had to fudge the controls which invalidates the treatments or b.) there were no differences between the controls and treatments. As for the treatments, they manipulated the images to show differences between males and females. Then there are the statistics. So eff off Shaw and Tomljenovic; UBC should sack the two of you.

  131. #135 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    October 17, 2017

    Then what in Hades is her name doing on the list of authors?

    Collecting a paycheck? It’s nice work, if you can get it.

  132. #136 herr doktor bimler
    October 17, 2017

    Dr. Shaw said the lead author on the 2017 retracted paper, Dr. Dan Li, “took her notebooks and original images from the lab when she left in 2015.”

    If you don’t have electronic records of the data, only “notebooks and original images”, then you’re not doing science, it’s some kind of dress-up game.

  133. #137 Chris Preston
    October 17, 2017

    I would note that the first link MJD cites has over 1000 comments, where he completely failed to defend his silly fetish. He was under no moderation at the time, and that he was probably the single largest contributor to that number.

    Spoiler: most of his post were ‘buy my book’.

    Yes. That was epic.

    In all the wrong ways for MJD.

    I remember the Prometheus posts about the book fondly.

  134. #138 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    October 17, 2017

    I remember the Prometheus posts about the book fondly.

    Indeed. As previously noted, I’ve had a chance to compare the book to the review. Friend Prometheus was very kind to MJD. ‘Tis a darn shame MJD doesn’t understand that, and slink quietly away.

  135. #139 herr doktor bimler
    October 17, 2017

    Since Shaw evidently pays attention to Pubpeer threads, it is a pity that he hasn’t responded to questions about Shaw & Petrik (2009). Questions like “How many mice did you study?”
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/C958FC46D73CF8CA59CE59A3414506

  136. #140 Science Mom
    October 17, 2017

    That “study” was a hot mess too as you probably already know HDB. That has a laundry list of problematic methods and results.

  137. #141 shay simmons
    October 17, 2017

    Then what in Hades is her name doing on the list of authors?

    Click bait.

  138. #142 Narad
    October 17, 2017

    Dr. Shaw said he and Dr. Tomljenovic, who once worked in his lab, were only “peripherally involved.”

    So she’s gone again? Sorry, I’m still recovering from “doing my taxes,” which I suspect are badly screwed up.

  139. #143 Vanessa
    October 18, 2017

    I’m just curious how come that Shaw and Tomljenovic’s papers are usually retraced after being already published? If the papers have been accepted for publishing, doesn’t that mean that they had already been peer-reviewed and gotten the green light? How is it possible that “serious concerns regarding the scientific soundness of the article” are only discovered after some paper had been published in “an international peer-reviewed journal”? I would appreciate the answer very much, thank you.

  140. #144 WolfgangM
    October 18, 2017

    @Herr Dr Bimler #138

    In the paper Shaw & Petric I calculated the volume of the injections they injected in the neck of the mice. And the the mice made their “swimming tests” to detect behavioral abnormalities.

    I calculated which volume should be injected in a humans neck with a body weight of 70 kg within this series.

    It is between 400 ml and 2400 ml. If this volume will be theoretically injected in my neck,I will be a very bad swimmer.

  141. #145 MI Dawn
    October 18, 2017

    @Vanessa: the types of journals that they are publishing in are pretty much “pay to publish” journals. And don’t always know what they are taking in. After all, why would a journal of inorganic chemistry know anything about aluminium as an adjuvent? It’s not their field of expertise.

    • #146 Vanessa
      October 18, 2017

      Thanks for the reply, I understand what you mean. On the other hand, isn’t the editor supposed to find reviewers with similar field of expertise as authors’? That’s only how peer-reviewing makes sense to me… I mean, why was the disputed paper evaluated by outside experts after it had been published and not before?

  142. #147 Narad
    October 18, 2017

    Vanessa, this is what has come to be known as postpublication peer review. The initial reviewers assigned by a journal’s editor-in-chief (or scientific editor, depending on the size of the publication) generally assume good faith on the part of the authors and, given that they’re volunteers, only have so much time. Detecting image manipulation (as but one example in this case) isn’t really part of the gig.

    • #148 Vanessa
      October 18, 2017

      Thank you, Narad, for making it clear. In my field (social anthropology) there is no post-publication peer review, hence my confusion 🙂

  143. #149 Narad
    October 18, 2017

    In my field (social anthropology) there is no post-publication peer review, hence my confusion

    I imagine that there is, except that it takes place within the pages of journals.

  144. #150 herr doktor bimler
    October 18, 2017

    I calculated which volume should be injected in a humans neck with a body weight of 70 kg within this series.

    It is between 400 ml and 2400 ml. If this volume will be theoretically injected in my neck,I will be a very bad swimmer.

    One of the many things missing in the Shaw-Petrik study is the *interval* between injections and testing. They don’t say whether the injections happened immediately before behavioural testing (in which case the purported spinal-neuron damage was instant), or whether it was right after birth, as in their later studies. The axis on their graphs is just identified as ‘weeks after testing began’.
    Nor do they state the N of the experiment. Without that, it’s only an anecdote.

  145. #151 herr doktor bimler
    October 18, 2017

    If the papers have been accepted for publishing, doesn’t that mean that they had already been peer-reviewed and gotten the green light? How is it possible that “serious concerns regarding the scientific soundness of the article” are only discovered after some paper had been published in “an international peer-reviewed journal”?

    Publication was in a Special Issue of the J. Inorg. Biochem., guest-edited by Chris Exley. These are biennial events… Exley organises the Keele Meeting on Aluminium, and presentations from that meeting become papers for J.Inorg.Biochem.
    He is a leading light in the anti-aluminium movement, an Aluminary as it were, and he selects his own peer-reviewers.

  146. #152 brian
    Outside Crosby's labyrinth
    October 19, 2017

    This article from the Globe and Mail includes some information on Dr. Shaw’s funding through the anti-vaxx Dwoskin Foundation:

    https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/ubc-vaccine-study-fuels-debate-over-funding/article36660109/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&

  147. #153 Reality
    October 19, 2017

    #151 brian,
    Thanks. Interesting last paragraph in that article:
    “In an e-mail to The Globe, Neil MacLean – a lawyer representing Dr. Li – on Wednesday said, “we are currently in discussions with Dr. Shaw to address any issues he may have.””
    .
    I certainly hope UBC vice-president of research Gail Murphy and any ethics committee are in on this email discussion with Li’s lawyer and they aren’t leaving the fox (Shaw) in charge of the henhouse. If this is intentional fraud there is a definite possibility that Li & Shaw are coconspirators/fraudsters.
    .
    On top of that all that we’ve gotten from Shaw are excuses reminiscent of a 3 year old caught by mommy with his hand in the cookie jar and chocolate smeared around his mouth:
    “I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.”
    “The dog ate my homework.”
    “Somebody else did it.”
    “It doesn’t matter because even if it is academic fraud the fraudulent parts were few and inconsequential… trust me on that.”
    .
    It would also seem prudent to go back over the earlier papers from which parts of this current disaster were plagiarized and see if they should be retracted as well. (The image manipulation present? The claimed number of mice consistent? etc.)

  148. #154 Rich Bly
    Ocean Shores
    October 19, 2017

    It appears that making up sh!t as you go for papers is becoming more common. Here is just a small mistake made by a researcher in a paper about food choice by children: Now Stephanie M. Lee, writing for BuzzFeed News, has revealed that a study published in 2012 in JAMA Pediatrics – already corrected once by Wansink – grossly misrepresented the study’s findings: Although the study claimed that children “ranging from 8-11” years old were more likely to choose apples over cookies if the apples bore an Elmo sticker, BuzzFeed News found that the study was actually conducted on children aged 3 to 5. It’s a shocking “error,” and one that BuzzFeed claims is also true of another 2012 Smarter Lunchrooms study, this one about carrots and published in Preventive Medicine.

    How do you confuse 8 to 11 year olds with 3 to 5 year old children when writing a paper?

  149. #155 rs
    October 19, 2017

    Oh, I don’t know. Based on some of the commenters who pop in from time to time I’ve mistaken adults for 3 to 5 year old children.

  150. #156 TBruce
    October 19, 2017

    Oh, I don’t know. Based on some of the commenters who pop in from time to time I’ve mistaken adults for 3 to 5 year old children.

    – and the reverse is true for a minority of voters in the 2016 US Presidential Election.

  151. #157 herr doktor bimler
    October 20, 2017

    How do you confuse 8 to 11 year olds with 3 to 5 year old children when writing a paper?

    Wansink now blames the error on the fact that data-collection was out-sourced to someone else, unacknowledged. There remains the problem that Wansick described the study as involving day-care children, in other articles and in his books. And the original (uncorrected) paper concludes that “Just as attractive names have been shown to increase the selection of healthier foods in school lunchrooms, brands and cartoon characters can do the same with preliterate children”.

    The general impression is that the paper was originally written as a report on a pre-school intervention, but was crudely repurposed as describing a school lunchroom when Wansink needed to cement his place as America’s Healthy Living Advisor.

  152. #158 Julian Frost
    Gauteng South Africa
    October 21, 2017

    Wansink now blames the error on the fact that data-collection was out-sourced to someone else, unacknowledged.

    Really? And Wansink didn’t perform any checking of his own to verify that the data collected was accurate?
    Even by woo standards, that’s an utterly pathetic excuse.

  153. #159 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    October 21, 2017

    In other antivaccine news, Jake is shocked that Orange Thinskin seems likely to appoint a pharma exec to be HHS Secretary. It might be starting to sink into whatever Jake uses for a brain that Trump will say anything to anybody, but doesn’t necessarily mean a word of it.

    His post has already drawn a comment, and not from Hans Litten, as you might think. The first and only comment (so far) under Jake’s post is from Jake himself.

  154. #160 TBruce
    October 21, 2017

    More from CBC News: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/ubc-paper-retracted-autism-vaccines-1.4365455

    Asked if he was concerned about the spread of allegedly falsified data, Shaw said readers need to remember “this paper was done on mice” and take it with a grain of salt.
    “A lot of people that have questions about vaccine safety were making more of this paper than was warranted,” he told CBC News. “We try to caution people … don’t make more of it than it is, because this is a model system where this data may or may not apply to humans.”

    The word “disingenuous” comes to mind.

  155. #161 herr doktor bimler
    October 21, 2017

    “We try to caution people … don’t make more of it than it is”

    An example of Shaw cautioning people would be good. 80% of his research output since 2009 has consisted of extrapolating mouse studies to humans.

  156. #162 herr doktor bimler
    October 21, 2017

    In other antivax news, Doctors Gatti and Montanari have taken up the “vaccines are made from freshly-harvested fetuses” blood libel.
    http://ocasapiens-dweb.blogautore.repubblica.it/2017/10/21/heroes/

  157. #163 Chemmomo
    No longer on Sesame Street
    October 21, 2017

    How do you confuse 8 to 11 year olds with 3 to 5 year old children when writing a
    paper?

    The bigger question is how do you confuse 8 to 11 year olds with younger children while Elmo is involved?

    Doesn’t anyone in that fiasco know any children? Elmo’s target audience is not grade schoolers. I suspect most 8-year olds would turn down the cookie that had Elmo on it, and take the fruit.

  158. #164 Ziggy Stardust
    October 21, 2017

    Bimler:An example of Shaw cautioning people would be good. 80% of his research output since 2009 has consisted of extrapolating mouse studies to humans.

    Totally absurd. Nobody does that but him. Everyone knows the real point of mouse studies is rodenticide—and the shadenfreude which comes from this. After all, the population of small-furries must be kept in-check, and the more taxdollars which can result from this / the better.

  159. #165 Ziggy Stardust
    October 21, 2017

    Chemmomo: Elmo’s target audience is not grade schoolers.

    It used to be . ..but not since the movies Elmo and Louise, Nightmare on Elm(o) Street, Tickle Me Harder, and the NBC racy sitcom Elmo’s Place.

    Marionette puppets age too—now they look like they don’t, but they do. Telemerase activity has been confirmed; and this is actually scientific consensus now. I’ve seen the Lineweaver–Burk charts and Southern blots confirming all of this.

  160. #166 herr doktor bimler
    October 21, 2017

    Doesn’t anyone in that fiasco know any children?

    Somehow the reviewers missed that. Just as they missed the concluding sentence about the study addressing “preliterate children”.
    OK, Wansink had written a paper using observations of preschool kids, which he revised at the last minute to make it about older kids. And the peer-reviewers didn’t notice.

    Was it peer-reviewed at all?

  161. #167 brian
    Outside Crosbly's labyrinth
    October 21, 2017

    In other antivaccine news, Jake is shocked that Orange Thinskin seems likely to appoint a pharma exec to be HHS Secretary.

    According to the folks at industry rag FiercePharma, “With Azar in the HHS role [and Scott Gottlieb at FDA], pharma could have two powerful allies at the top of the U.S. regulatory apparatus.”

    http://www.fiercepharma.com/regulatory/ex-lilly-boss-alex-azar-leads-field-for-hhs-job-

    Azar championed Gardasil while Deputy Secretary at HHS (he said: ” HHS is committed to advancing critical health measures such as the development of new and promising vaccines to protect and advance the health of all Americans”), while Gottlieb, like CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, unequivocally supports vaccines.

    Of course Jake should clearly understand that people lie: in the post that Johnny mentioned, Jacob Crosby, MPH, wrote that thimerosal “has also been proven to cause autism.”