The Experts Have Spoken

As I noted a couple of years ago, I lost my mother to Alzheimers.

There was no treatment that seemed to do anything useful. She went from first really noticeable symptoms to gone in about six years.

Research on the disease has been heavily focused on exploring brain-protein anomalies noted in a paper led by a U of M researcher 18 years ago.

The paper has been retracted – perhaps the most-cited research paper ever to have been completely retracted:

Authors of a landmark Alzheimer’s disease research paper published in Nature in 2006 have agreed to retract the study in response to allegations of image manipulation. University of Minnesota (UMN) Twin Cities neuroscientist Karen Ashe, the paper’s senior author, acknowledged in a post on the journal discussion site PubPeer that the paper contains doctored images. The study has been cited nearly 2500 times, and would be the most cited paper ever to be retracted, according to Retraction Watch data.

“Although I had no knowledge of any image manipulations in the published paper until it was brought to my attention two years ago,” Ashe wrote on PubPeer, “it is clear that several of the figures in Lesné et al. (2006) have been manipulated … for which I as the senior and corresponding author take ultimate responsibility.”

David Strom at HotAir is covering this:

What makes this retraction so significant is that it has driven research into Alzheimer’s treatments for nearly two decades, and treatment approaches based on its conclusions have failed to yield results. 

If the hypothesis that amyloid protein buildups cause Alzheimer’s symptoms is wrong, Lesné is responsible for perhaps billions of wasted research dollars and two decades of scientists following a false lead. 

Scientific research makes mistakes; lobotomies and phrenology were “settled science” once upon a time, before they weren’t. The application of science goes down rabbit holes, sometimes with perfectly good intentions.

But fraud?

That’s what Science magazine is asking about:

Lesné, who did not reply to requests for comment, remains a UMN professor and receives National Institutes of Health funding. The university has been investigating his work since June 2022. A spokesperson says UMN recently told Nature it had reviewed two images in question, and “has closed this review with no findings of research misconduct pertaining to these figures.” The statement did not reference several other questioned figures in the same paper. UMN did not comment on whether it had reached conclusions about other Lesné papers with apparently doctored images.

It’ll be interesting to see if the Strib or MPRNews cover this, and how. Both outlets seem to feel a vested interest in helping the U uphold the Ski-U-Mah Curtain.

6 thoughts on “The Experts Have Spoken

  1. I find it interesting that science, and especially ScienceTM, are coming under scrutiny at the same time. Look at what happened to the west where Ninth Circuit (Ninth Circuit!) ruled that Jab is not a Vaccine by definition because it does not prevent Whuan flu. This will open up the floodgates to lawsuits against mandates. Or it should… And, I hope, but it won’t happen, that scientific malfeasance such as Lesne is punished by law, and not just Lesne but his/her Big Pharma enablers and UMN. Everyone who ever lost a family member to Alzheimer’s should sue for wasted time.

  2. has closed this review with no findings of research misconduct pertaining to these figures

    This means nothing. I strongly recommend reading that Science magazine article. Conquest’s Third Law of Politics would seem to apply, The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies

  3. I went to high school with Karen Ashe at St. Paul Academy. She was brilliant even then. I really hope the image manipulation was done without her knowledge but…….I’m thinking that researchers review their work before publication.

  4. The articles linked seem to indicate that it was a colleague, Syvain Lesne, who may have actually produced and manipulated the images. Hopefully, if he’s been doing this, he’ll be removed.

    A very sobering thing along these lines is that the pathologists take the images, do a bunch of post-processing, and then publish. Given how cheap computer storage is these days, a good workaround would be “you need to include the original images.”

    Good on the homeschool grad from Nordakota who figured this out.

  5. jpa;
    Having lost my mom to Alzheimer’s, I’m on board with a class action lawsuit against these lying scum balls. At least 30 of her friends and family members donated more than $4000 to the Alzheimer’s Association in her name. I’ve got a friend that works there, so I put a call into her to get input, because I think that they should launch one, too.

  6. Pingback: In The Mailbox: 06.10.24 : The Other McCain

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