Hollywood doctor treats COVID-19 patients with his brother’s miracle cocktail

A COVID-19 related preprint – that quickly disappeared and reappeared after being discussed on social media – was brought to my attention by Dr. Kevin C Klatt via Twitter.

This preprint, authored by Robert Huizenga, is called Dramatic clinical improvement in nine consecutive acutely ill elderly COVID-19 patients treated with a nicotinamide mononucleotide cocktail: A retrospective case series.

In the study, Dr. Huizenga describes nine COVID-19 patients whom he treated with a mixture containing nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN).

Unfortunately, Robert Huizenga failed to disclose that this mixture is sold by a company founded by his brother, Joel Huizenga. He also treated these patients without the approval of an institutional review board (IRB).

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Journal accepts fake story about scooters and hydroxychloroquine

The Asian Journal of Medicine and Health might be one of those journals that will accept anything sent their way, as long as the authors pay the publication fee.

Yesterday, it published an obviously fake study that claimed that hydroxychloroquine could prevent push-scooter accidents – but only in Marseille. The paper has a lot of references to French scientists and politicians, and one of the authors is a famous French dog.

The paper got retracted today, but not before many had a good laugh at it on Twitter.

Boy on a push-scooter. Source: George Hodan, publicdomainpictures.net
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Job Opening: Data Integrity Manager

If you enjoy reading about scientific integrity issues and are looking for a job, this might be an interesting job opening.

The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) together with the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) are looking to hire a new Data Integrity Manager.

From the job description: “This person will oversee all correspondence regarding potential misconduct in all ASBMB publications and oversee all decisions in accordance with ASBMB policies.” “This is a position requiring advanced studies in the biomedical sciences, excellent organizational and writing skills, the ability to conduct thorough investigations, regular coordination with various stakeholders and institutions, sound judgment, and some familiarity with and willingness to become an expert in libel and defamation.

I am not applying (loving my current independency!) but this might be a great career option for anyone interested in science integrity and a career in scientific publishing. You can read more here: [Data Integrity Manager]

The Spandidos Ménage à Trois

Two authors and a publisher found each other – and happily copy/pasted text from PhD theses written by others to pass it off as new review papers. Not once, not twice, but at least nine times.

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An update on …. the Space Dentist papers

Time for a new type of post here on Science Integrity Digest: Updates!

What happened to the papers discussed here, a year or more after reporting them to the journals and the institutes? Which journals care about scientific rigor, and which journals do not give a fork? What are the authors up to now?

In this post, let’s take a look at the Space Dentist papers.

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The Journal of Brouhaha

The Journal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents (JBRHA) is a puzzling scientific journal. It published the now-withdrawn bizarre paper on 5G and Coronavirus that caused a lot of commotion (“brouhaha“, meaning commotion or uproar). It is indexed in PubMed, giving it the appearance of a true, National Library of Medicine-approved scientific journal. But the editorial board consists mainly of dead people, the Editor in Chief’s affiliations are unclear, and the content of the journal is mainly empty. We might as well call it the JBRouHAha.

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Big trouble in a nanoparticles lab

After an anonymous tip about some papers by the Şen Research Group with possible duplicated graphs, I started digging around a bit more. And I found a couple more papers with duplications. And more. Quite a lot more. As of now, the SRG has 84 papers flagged on PubPeer. [Google Sheet link]

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A Dermatology journal issue that might make your skin crawl

A group of authors has found a way to crank up the number of papers on their resumes. The complete “Global Dermatology” September 30, 2019 issue of the Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences is filled with papers from the same group of authors, headed by Torello Lotti and Massimo Fioranelli, both from the University of G. Marconi in Rome, Italy.

Some of these papers contain photos of patients without consent, others contain duplicated images, and some papers are full of extraordinary claims without any evidence. Just a bunch of pretty diagrams.

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The “48” mini-mill

A short post highlighting a small set of papers (currently five) that all share some interesting features. As before, these might all have been produced by the same paper-writing entity, a so-called “paper mill”.

Similar to the Tadpole paper set, where all Western blot panels showed the same background noise, most wound healing assay photos in this mini-mill share the same microscope irregularities. And all of them describe a group of 48 patients.

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