Gregg Semenza, a pediatrician and a professor of Genetic Science, is a prominent researcher. Prof. Semenza works at Johns Hopkins University, a premier scientific institution so important that it received $1,050,368,895 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. (JHU played the most prominent role in the Covid pandemic response.)
Prof. Semenza made major discoveries regarding how cells adapt to oxygen availability. Those findings could potentially lead to curing cancer! So important was his work that he was awarded a Nobel Prize in medicine in 2019.
There was a small problem, however.
Seven of his studies were fake and were eventually retracted. Retraction Watch has the details. Even the pictures of mice used in the studies were photoshopped:
The authors have retracted this article as multiple image irregularities have been noted within this article, specifically: Figure 1A, upper panel (HIF-1a blot), lanes five and seven appear to be duplicates. Figure 6B, lower panel (b-actin blot), the first six lanes appear to be identical to Fig. 6G, lower panel (b-actin blot). Figure 3G, the image of the third mouse in the D10 Saline group is identical to the image of the third mouse in the D21 Digoxin group.
Here’s one retracted article and the retraction notice. I downloaded the image from that study and highlighted the mouse in question, which appears in two pictures but with different scan results.
The authors copied/pasted the mouse picture and overlaid different scan results on the two copies. So, they did not have the scientific measurements they claimed to have!
Other retractions expose similarly ridiculous scientific fraud, including fake Western blots and more.
This fraud was not perpetrated by an obscure researcher languishing at a third-rate institution. Quite to the contrary, Prof. Semenza is a world-renowned scientist, occupying a position at a premier facility favored by the major funder of science, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Prof. Semenza shares the honor of receiving a Nobel prize with other famed recipients, such as Barack Obama, recipient of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, and António Egas Moniz, inventor of lobotomy and the winner of the 1949 Nobel Prize in medicine.
So, the world of Nobel prizes is very special!
In consolation, we at least know about this fraud, and Semenza’s articles in question were properly retracted. So the self-correcting scientific process worked as intended, at last.
Sadly, as we know, retractions do not always work in an evidence-based, scientific way. For example, many honest articles questioning Covid vaccines or masks were retracted under pressure from science funders.
I feel that my trust in scientists has been violated by “COVID science” and certain other new scientific developments, but I still like the science of the good kind. I have much less faith in Nobel Prizes, however.
What about you? Was your trust in science challenged by the developments of the last three years?