PZ Myers on Luc Montagnier

あやしいネタの収集を怠らないPZ Myers準教授が、ホメオパシーに効果があることの根拠として使われるMontagnier [2009]に、ツッコミを入れている


First, let's look at the gadget he uses to record these signals.

[Montagnier 2009 Fig.1]

Awesome, isn't it? He uses a laptop PC with a Soundblaster audio card for analog to digital signal conversion, plugged into a hifi amplifer, which is in turn hooked up to a coil of copper wire. A vial contain the solution to be tested is dropped into the coil. Un-freaking-believable.


It's not at all impossible to measure electrical signals with an apparatus like this. I've done it myself; when I was a graduate student, I built a fun little gadget which consisted of an electronic circuit board that I etched to create a fine meshwork of thin interdigitating copper lines, on which I would place a larval zebrafish, and with it I could record the action potentials from the Mauthner neuron, a large cell that mediates an escape reflex in the fish. It actually worked reasonably well, but was a bit finicky − the fish had to be oriented just right, there couldn't be too much water on the plate or it would float away from the contact, and the signals were highly variable in strength. But yes, when an extraordinarily large cell fired off a massive signal (many tens of millivolts!) within a millimeter of the plate, we could pick it up with our apparatus. Of course, it was also wildly sensitive to all kinds of external signals − we'd do our experiments with the apparatus in a Faraday cage, and you could have great fun wiggling your fingers near the plate and picking up all kinds of spurious signals.


So now I look at Montagnier's apparatus, which looks even more rinky-tink than my old gadget, and what I see is a sensitive noise detector. It's little more than a fancy small-scale version of a Scientology e-meter, a gadget that picks up on noise in the environment and makes a needle on a dial wiggle.

だから今、私がMontagnierの装置を見ると、私の古いガジェットよりもさらに陳腐であり、ただのノイズ検出器にしか見えない。 これは、環境ノイズを拾って、針を動かすサイエントロジーのEメータの小規模版程度のもの。

[PZ Myers: "It almost makes me disbelieve that HIV causes AIDS!" (2011/01/24) on Pharyngula]


Fig. 2 Detection of EMS from a suspension of Mycoplasma pirum: Left: background noise (from an un ̄ltered suspension ora negative low dilution). Right: positive signal (from a high dilution D-7 (10-7)). (a) actual recording (2 seconds from a 6 second recording) after WaveLab (Steinberg) treatment; (b) detailed analysis of the signal (scale in millisecondes); (c) Matlab 3D Fourier transform analyzis (abcissa: 0-20 kHz, ordinate: relative intensity, 3D dimension: recording at different times); Frequencies are visualized in different colors; (d) Sigview Fourier transform: note the new harmonics in the range of 1 000-3 000 Hz
Apparently, all a Nobel prize winner can do is raw screen dumps from his PC, and he can get away with publishing that. But look at the raw data on the top − background noise from a cell-free vial on the left, and a massive homeopathic dilution of a Mycoplasma suspension on the right. Woo hoo! How many of you would like to be able to get crap data like that and publish it?


[PZ Myers: "It almost makes me disbelieve that HIV causes AIDS!" (2011/01/24) on Pharyngula]
ついでだが論文には8つの図があるが、そのうちFigs.2, 3, 5, 7, 8は計測結果の画面コピーで、Fig,1は"実験装置"の図、そして残るFig.4とFig.6は...

編集委員長(Chairman of the Editorial board)はLuc Montagnier

そして、PZ Myers準教授は日付に注目:
And finally, another suspicious sign are the dates. This paper was submitted on 3 January 2009, revised on 5 January 2009, and accepted on 6 January 2009. That's an unbelievable turnaround, especially for a paper with such incredible results, and the revisions must have been trivial to be able to be whipped around in a day. Yet it's an awful paper that I would have shredded in a sea of red ink if it had come to me. Who reviewed this, the author's mother? Maybe someone even closer. Guess who the chairman of the editorial board is: Luc Montagnier.

そして、最後は怪しい日付。論文は2009年1月3日に投稿され、2009年1月5日に修正され、2009年1月6日にアクセプトされている。信じがたい結果を出している論文なのに、この信じられないターンアラウンドタイム。修正(revisions)は1日で通過。私のところにレビューが回ってきていたら、赤ペンの海でズタズタにしているところだ。誰がレビューしたのかな? 著者の母親か? おそらく著者に近い人物だろう。さあて、編集委員長は誰だと思う? 答えはLuc Montagnier本人だ。

[PZ Myers: "It almost makes me disbelieve that HIV causes AIDS!" (2011/01/24) on Pharyngula]
笑えることに「Received」ではなく「Recevied 3 January 2009」となっている。よほど急いで処理したのだろう。

でもって、編集委員会のページには"Editorial Board -- Chairman"として、Luc Montagnierが挙げられている。
[Interdisciplinary Sciences: Computational Life Sciences]

Editorial Board
Luc Montagnier, World Foundation AIDS Research and Prevention, France
そもそもこの論文の掲載がVol.1 No.2と学術誌の創刊直後でもあり、Luc Montagnierが自分のあやしい論文掲載用の立ち上げた学術誌の可能性もある。


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