All posts by Editor earlightswindle.com

Valkee jakaa tohtoriarvoja, osa 2/3: Antti Flyktman

Poikkeuksellisesti kirjoitan text-only, koska minulta kysyttiin kommentti. Tiedätte, että faktat täällä pitävät paikkansa, toisin kuin kielenkäyttö. Linkit myöhemmin, googlekaa itse tarvittaessa. Olen Tanskassa, tämä tulee puhelimesta.

La 30.6.2018 on seuraava Valkee-väitös tulossa. Tällä kertaa luonnontieteellinen, ei lääketieteen tiedekunnasta kuin viimeksi. Päivä mielestäni ei ole sattuma, viikonloppuna just kun kesäloman ydinaika alkaa. Erittäin likainen temppu yritetään, ja vaikka olen nähnyt paljon Oulun Yliopistolta, en uskonut että sellaista on mahdollista. Toisin kävi. Olin siis väärällä jalalla.

Mikä väitös:

3-artikkelin väitöskirja, josta vain yksi julkaistu tiedejournalissa. J Exp Biol, impact factor ok. Kyseenalainen asetelma valon intensiteetin ja kontrolliryhmän kannalta, mutta olkoon. Tavallista kamaa siis. Jos OY:lta saa tohtoriarvon yhdestä hiirikokeesta, ei ole minun ongelma.

Toinen artikkeli on huijauslehdessä julkaistu, J Neurol Res. OYn sännöt kieltävät predatory publication väitöskirjassa. Kansainvälisesti tällaista ei pidetä edes akateemisena toimintana. Toisaalta tällaista nähtiin jo muissa korvavalo-väitöksissä.

Kolmas juttu on manuscript-tilassa.

Väitösfarssin osapuolet:

Ohjaajana/kustoksena toimii “korvavalon isoisä” Seppo Saarela, joka vuosia auttanut Valkeeta markkinoinnissa. Muistetaan vielä tempustaan Hesarissa, jossa hän firman henkilöstöön kuuluvan Jari Karhun kanssa puolustanut korvavaloa vastauksena tiedetoimittajan kolumnille. Oulun yliopisto joutui tutkimaan, onko Saarela rikkonut intressiristiriita-sääntöjä (mikä oli hölmö, koska HS on siviililehti, eikä OY pystynyt tekemään mitään Karhun tapauksessa).

Karhu on väitöstilaisuuden vastaväittäjä. Kuulostaa uskomattomalta, mutta OY oikeasti ottaa Valkeen miehen valkeeväitöksen “vasta”(!)väittäjänä. Karhu pääsi firman palkkalistalle 2013, kun suursijoitus mahdollisti rekrytöintiä. LinkedIn-profiilinsa mukaan hän on yhä firman neuvonantajana nyt. Kun Valkee ahdingossaan myöhemmin antoi kenkää “tiede”väelle, Karhu jäi “tiedetiimin johtajana”, entisellä nettisivuilla luki.

Tiedotteessa henkilö kutsutaan “Professori Jari Karhu, Suomen Terveystalo Oy”. Tämä tuskin on akateeminen laitos. Karhu on siellä ylempi johtaja. Mies oli joskus neurofysiologian professori Kuopiossa, kunnes virka loppui. Mistä tämä titteli siis?

Karhu ei ole asian tuntija. Hän ei ole julkaistanut yhtä samansuuntaista juttua, ei vuorokausirytmistä, valosta, hiirten aivoproteiineista. Ainoa “pätevyyden näyttö” on, että on Valkeen asialla. Eli mikä pitäisi olla poissulkusyy, on Oulussa hyväksynnän peruste.

Väittelijä itse kirjoittaa “kiitokset”-osuudessa suhteestaan Valkeeseen. Lyhyesti mikä täällä tapahtuu: Valkeen tutkija saa tohtoriarvon korvavaloprofessorilta, ja vastaväittäjäkin on Valkeelta. Ei mitään voi siis mennä pieleen. Jopa selkeä tieteellinen väärinkäyttö, joka mualla johtuisi hylkämiseen, ei se mitään, hyväksytään. Varma nakki, kiitos Oulun Yliopistolle tästä!

Tämä väitös oli ym. mielessäni, kun kirjoitin Valkeen Heidi Jurvelinin väitöstilaisuuden yhteydessä, että Oulussa on pahempiakin. Tähän verrattuna Maaliskuun kohuväitös on huippulaatua.

Ettei tule väärinkäsityksiä, en ole katkera tai vihainen, päinvastoin. Viimeinen Valkee-väitös oli laajasti esillä netissä ja mediassa. Yleisö saattaa vihdoin ymmärtää, mikä skandaalin tutkijat jo pitkään tiedämme – että kyseessä on tietoinen ja tahallinen toiminta yliopiston puolelta. Ei ole akateeminen vapaus joka joskus synnyttää outoja tuloksia. Ei ollut vahinko. Akateemisen järjestelmän systemaatinen hyväksi- ja väärinkäyttö.

Only in Oulu?

 

Ps. Lukekaa readers’ comments alla.

Acetylcysteine does not prevent hangover, study shows (update)

N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC)-containing supplements are widely propagated for hangover prevention, although there’s been no scientific evidence backing this claims. First-ever results from a placebo-controlled hangover trial now became available.

The popular supplements are useless. NAC does not prevent hangover.

This blog has written extensively in finnish about a scam product by Rohtos Labs from Oulu. Called SUOJA – formerly Detoxformula -, it contains NAC as main ingredience, and was sold internationally.

 

What trial?

The world’s first-ever placebo-controlled trial of NAC in hangover prevention was conducted already in August – December 2015 in Pennsylvania, US. Run by the St. Luke’s Hospital and Health Network, it enrolled 62 people and used a crossover design.

49 participants had analysable data. They were randomized in groups of 23 and 26. 2/3 were male, race was not recorded. Alcoholism was an exclusion criterium. Outcome measure was the Hangover Symptoms Scale (HSS), which has 13 items á 4 pts max. The worst (but unimaginable) hangover thus would score 52 pts.

Participants drank beer until reaching a blood alcohol concentration of 0.1. The number of drinks was recorded, and NAC 600mg capsules were given, 1 caps for 3 drinks. The next morning, participants filled out the HSS questionnaire.

The results should make NAC sellers and users feel uncomfortable: NAC and placebo had exactly the same effect. The HSS scores were 0-35 and 0-38, respectively. That means, that hangover really occured and the alcohol dose was sufficient – as should have been the NAC dose.

Still worse, NAC had significantly more side effects than placebo. In the Acetylcysteine group, 22% of users experienced adverse effects, while in the placebo group adverse reactions were registered in only 8%.

These results became available a few days ago through the Study results-tab of the trial’s registry entry at clinicaltrials.gov. Ahead or in place of a peer-reviewed publication, they went completely unnoticed by the supplements community.

This demonstrates again, how dietary supplements are used without justification, based only on lab studies. Rarely such useless and potentially hazardous “biohacks” get so cleanly refuted as in this case.

***UPDATE 9.7.2018***

The second, bigger NAC study with 200 participants was now terminated early. Obviously it was deemed futile to try to demonstrate a non-existent effect.

NCT03104959

Vihdoin tieteellisesti todettu: Ac-Kysteiini ei auta krapulaan

NAC (N-Asetyyli-L-Kysteiini) sisältäviä “krapulapillereitä” on hyvin suosittuja, vaikka niiden todellisesta tehosta ei ollut tieteellistä näyttöä. Mutta nyt tulivat maailman ensimmäiset lumekontrolloidut tutkimustulokset julki.

Ne koskevat Rohtos Oy:n kohuttuja SUOJA-kapselia ja toissijaisesti myös L-kysteiinivalmisteita: BioHitin Acetium sekä Catapult Cat. Nämä ovat Suomen myydyimmät “krapulalääkkeet”. Niitä myydän myös ulkomaille.

NAC eli Asetyylikysteiini ei auta krapulaan.

 

Mikä tutkimus?

Lumekontrolloitu krapulapilleri-tutkimus tehtiin jo Elo-Joulukuussa 2015 Yhdysvalloissa. Järjestäjänä toimi St. Luke’s Hospital and Health Network Pennsylvaniassa.

Siihen osallistui 62 henkilöä. 2/3 olivat miehiä. 49:n tuloksia pystyttiin käyttämään analyysissa. Heidät satunnaistettiin kahteen ryhmään (23:26), jossa jokainen toimi sekä toisen että oman kontrollihenkilönä (nk. crossover-tutkimus).

Osallistujille juotettiin olutta, kunnes puhalluskokeella saatiin 1,0 promille-lukemaa. Bierdeckel-menetelmällä* lasketun olutannoksen perusteella annettiin 600mg asetyylikysteiiniä sisältäviä kapseleita, 1 kps 3 annosta kohti. Toinen ryhmä sai lumekapseleita. Seuraavana aamuna tutkittavat täyttivät Hangover Symptom Score eli HSS-kyselylomakkeen.

Tulokset saattavat järkyttää NAC-kauppiaita ja heidän asiakkaita: Plasebolla oli identtinen vaikutus kuin NAC:lla. HSS-pisteitä oli 0-35 ja 0-38. Tämä myös tarkoittaa, että krapulaa oikeasti saatiin aikaan. HSS voi maksimissaan olla 52.

Vielä pahemmin, NAC aiheutti huomattavasti enemmän sivuvaikutuksia. Asetyylikysteiini-ryhmästä aine toi haittoja 11/49:lle (22%). Lumeryhmän luku oli 4/49 (8%).

Tulokset saatiin julki ennen vertaisarvioitua julkaisua clinicaltrials.gov-rekisterin Study results-toiminnolla, jonka käyttö lakimuutosten takia yleistyy. Siihen voi ilmoittaa tuloksia perusmuodossa. Rekisteri tarkastelee niitä jkv. ja laittaa näkyviin yhteydessä tutkimuksen alkuperäiseen rekisterimerkintään.

Tärkeät tiedot vielä puuttuvat, esim. todellinen NAC- ja alkoholiannos. Kannattaa siis odottaa vertaisarvioitua julkaisua. Nämä tulokset silti “virallistettiin” jo. Se on eri asia kuin konferenssiposteri, jolla usein etukäteen tiedotetaan tuloksista, jotka ei välttämättä pääsekään journaliin. Toinen, vielä isompi tutkimus on samassa paikassa meneillään.

***

Tätä tulosta odotettiin maailmalla vuosikausia. Tarinoiden ja NAC-kauppiaiden lupausten perusteella käytetään NAC ja kysteiinivalmisteita laajasti “krapulan torjumiseen”. Tämä on todistettavasti humpuukia.

 

p.s.: Sanoma Media käytti taas luvatta blogini sisältöä. TS:n Krapulalääke-juttu toistaa kirjoituksiani [1] [2]. Second-hand-toimittaja toki ei tiennyt, että keskeiset faktat ja arvioinnit ovat vanhentuneet. Earlightswindle.com/gloom-blogi on uutisoinut asiasta ensimmäisenä maailmassa. Muistutan vielä, että lehdistökin ei saa käyttää muiden tuottama sisältöä ilman lupaa. Ollaan tarkkana.

/-Ed. | earlightswindle@gmail.com

*Bierdeckel-Methode: lasinaluselle tehdään merkintä aina kun anniskellaan. Näin tehdään kapakoissa Saksassa juoppojen laskuja. Tässä tutkimuksessa osallistujat saivat pahvisen kaularinkin, johon tehtiin reikä per annos.

A BEMER representative answers

A BEMER rep from the US has answered to my investigative piece about the mysterious “Institute for Microcirculation”. Leaving a VIP.bemergroup link, she used 3 popular deception techniques: The straw man attack, a conspiracy theory, and fogging (aka Chewbacca defense).

If not self-evident, read my comments below. Markers added. There’s also some historic background related to East Germany which may be totally unknown to american readers, at least.

According to this bio I found online–Dr Klopp is currently 75 years old, which may be why he is difficult to track currently. I don’t believe there was ever a BEMER institute of Microcirculation-it is not recorded in the history of BEMER international AG, Liechtenstein-but rather Dr Klopp pioneered research in microcirulation and BEMER contacted them for evaluation of their product(s). Dr Klopp was a physician and professor at Humbolt University in Berlin (Charite) holding director and teaching positions of both undergraduates in physics and biophysics, and as a senior physician of the Institute of Cardiovascular Diagnostics and researcher in the medical school. He founded a research institute of microcirculation while at Charite in 1991 and was awarded research monies from the German government as well as other sources.

Dr. Klopp is well published in Europe.

Average of retirement in Germany is 62 to 65 years old. In 1991, the year his separate institute for microcirculation studies was formed on the campus of Charite, Dr Klopp was 48 yeas old–he is now 75 years old. Dr Klopp worked with the founder of BEMER Intl AG Peter Gleim to study and understand the original BEMER wave signal and provided validation of their product’s impact on the capillary and micro capillary system in the human body . BEMER did not own his Institute of Microcirculation which he founded at Charite University medical center. In the review of published research on pubmed.gov where he is listed as an author over the past 11 years there is no mention of the research being conducted at the Institute of Microcirculation–indicating that it is probably not an active research facility, hence you would not find it on the campus. This is not really a validating factor that it did not exist, and even here in the USA physicians, professors and clinical researchers are often referred to by the last position they held before retirement. They are often consultants that can still be involved in ongoing research.

While I appreciate your investigation of the campus attempting to locate the Institute of Microcirculation, a further investigation of an actual interview with Dr Klopp himself, review of current research on BEMER wave signal–such as the USA Dept of Defense research on wound healing presented at the IMIN conference in Florida in Sept 2016, research of the history of the formation of the institution of its original charter, financial contracts, employees, etc which are records of the state university – Humbolt University(Charite) and the government records of Germany would be much more informative of the actual work of Dr Klopp and his founding of the Institute of Microcirculation–rather than chasing addresses and drawing conclusions from that.

In the USA many foundations, non-profits etc are formed specifically to financially support the research of work of physicians, clinical researchers etc These entities have university addresses that are fluid and are often decided upon committees of the university and have no real bearing on exactly where research is conducted. As a quick perusal I just did an internet research for a well respected deceased physician researcher–former Assoc Dean of Medicine for Stanford Univ School of Medicine and Head of multiple departments at Stanford, who was recruited to Harvard University with a significantly higher research dollar budget–neither of his research centers laboratories are even named in his bio–yet they took in 100’s of millions of dollars in funding. There is no current record of their addresses that you would find if you tried to locate them in the manner of which you did your research on an institute of microcirculation associated with Dr Klopp, and a never in existence “BEMER” institute of microcirculation.

I would also recommend a search of who owns the English website of Institute of Microcirculation should be investigated(where you obtained a current address from)–the style of English content does not appear to be written by Dr Klopp himself as it does not match his other writings I have read–English translations originally written in German.

I am a skeptic, open skeptic, with a history of university and hospital administration, USA Natl Institute of Health clinical studies site coordinator, and have supported clinical research at Univ of Calif San Francisco and Stanford Univ. I also have experience as a research analyst for high tech and biotech startups and expansions being evaluated for venture capital and other sources of funding. I recently traveled to Liechtenstein to BEMER Intl AG headquarters and met much of their staff as well as members of the founding Gleim family. I also before going to visit their headquarters, I read ( having had translated for me by a native German speaker and research scientist) 10 peer reviewed studies on the BEMER wave signal, as well as video conference attended the most recent IMIN conference 2016 in Florida, and have read some of the transcripts on current research and case histories presented by physicians at a conference of approximately 400 medical doctors at a medical research conference on BEMER wave signal in Europe fall 2017.

After thorough research, and personal testing of the BEMER Pro device, I decided to become a BEMER independent distributor. I do not speak on behalf of the company, but from my own personal point of view.

I never looked for a non-existing “BEMER institute”. My text stated clearly that I searched for the “Institute for Microcirculation”, which BEMER Group links with high visibility directly from its homepage (falsely listed as “University”):

“BEMER” is the name of the method. It’s the same as calling an institute known for yoga yoga institute or an institute that developed SEMTEX the Semtex institute. Note the quotation marks. This is an classic example of a straw man fallacy: Constructing a fault which isn’t there to “disprove” it.

I found it always fascinating, how proponents of “Alternative medicine” are refusing to acknowledge obvious facts, and rather create or maintain conspiracy theories. An impressive example can be seen above: The flimsy website of the fake institute is too shameful for the glorious BEMER group propaganda, so it must be owned by some sinister force.

The WHOIS service is now heavily redacted – thanks to GDPR-, but the rest of the entry for Klopp’s “institute” still shows his name.

Searching for the “institute” on Google meanwhile brings up Klopp’s apartment as its location – just as I found out on the spot.

 

The rest of the comment contains mainly irrelevant listing of great but unrelated things, names, money, institutions and titles, meant to distract from the bizarre reality.

***

The whole comment is of a quality that demands a reframing. The following may not be easy to understand for westeners or the younger generation. However, things were as they were.

In the 1990s, I studied medicine at the Charité/Humboldt University in Berlin. I’m from East Germany, just like Dr. Klopp. We lived in the so-called German Democratic Republic (GDR) for longer than we did in unified Germany (in my case, because I’m in self-imposed exile since the 2000s). In 1992/93 I worked less than 200 metres away from were the “Institute for Microcirculation” claims to have been. My father is from the very same area in the North-East of Berlin, and I know places, people and conditions since my childhood. Hence my motivation to check this out – I found it interesting and knew it’s feasible.

In the GDR, high positions in university departments were not for the outstanding scientists. Professors’ posts were for the politically extremely reliable, hardened communist party members. Even a staff physicist as Angela Merkel had to deliver in marxist-leninist theory to gain a postdoc position. Often department leaders had close ties to the Ministry for State Security (>>Stasi) and typically were party members.

When it all fell apart in 1989-1991, as the communist regimes collapsed, professors and deans found themselves on catapult seats. Plenty got fired for “Staatsnähe” or Stasi contacts. The most prominent case in Berlin was the rector of the Humboldt University, Heinrich Fink, for being a long-time Stasi agent. Leading MDs had boosted their career with misconduct, even with criminal activities. (Suggested reading: >>”Es geht um unsere Ehre”, Der Spiegel 35/1991.)

The Institute for Cardiovascular Diagnostics at the Charité, where Klopp claims to have had a senior position (Oberarzt) as well at the then-Institute for Microcirculation were interlinked with the Zentralinstitut fuer Herz-Kreislauf-Forschung (ZIHK) in Berlin-Buch. The latter was known for strong party- and Stasi-connections. The ZIHK was famous, amongst other things, for employing the son of Stasi minister Erich Mielke, Major Frank Mielke, as a “scientist”. Klopp’s “Publications” page has numerous ZIHK monographs, indicating intense cooperation. The ZIHK was located, as it happens, at the Campus Berlin-Buch, Robert-Rössle-Str.10 – just the adress were Klopp’s “institute” now evaporated.

In 1991/1992 those leading doctors who were fired – or expected to be fired soon – often founded own companies or “institutes”. This is the background of the “Institute for Microcirculation”, which had no future at the Humboldt university. Nothing could differ more from the US picture with Stanford, millions of dollars, and scientific merits.

The scientific community in Germany, as well as now in Finland, merely has a humoristic approach to Klopp’s “research”, if any. BEMER International attempts to change this by spending big money for congresses and marketing stunts. It’s natural that some fall for it.

Landmark study from Finland: BEMER useless in Fibromyalgia (and otherwise)

A well-conducted placebo-controlled trial in Finland has demonstrated, that the controversial BEMER therapy is useless in Fibromyalgia, finnish media has just reported.[>>1] The trial results have just been published in the respected Bioelectromagnetics journal ahead of print.[>>2]

bemer-fibromyalgia-study-finland

In the study, 108 patients with fibromyalgia diagnosis according to American College of Rheumatology’s (ACR) criteria were randomized to active (N=57) and sham treatment (N=51). They used the BEMER devices as advised in manufacturer instructions for 12 weeks. Then the groups crossed over, meaning that every participant had active and sham treatment at some time.

There was exactly no difference between sham and real BEMER treatment at the end of these periods. The study was adequately powered to find even small differences between sham and active application. Thus, it strongly refutes earlier results from the much smaller trials, which seemed to hint at an effect.

Furthermore, the authors comprehensively explain why there is no effect: The magnetic field is far too weak to affect human physiology or microcirculation. Therefore, it’s unlikely that this kind of “therapy” will have anything else than a placebo effect also in other uses.

Because it is an important study, and it was financed by public funds from finnish tax payers like me, I make the full text article available here. Objections be directed at earlightswindle@gmail.com.

Full text: BEMER Magnetic Field Therapy in Fibromyalgia (PDF)

See also:
My fruitless search for the “Institute for Microcirculation”, where the BEMER method was developed.

Space Nation’s “office in space”

slush-spacenation

Finnish start-up Space Nation made headlines with their “office in space” on the ISS. For £17.000 the company has bought a box which should be used to fly “payloads” to the space station – an offer to research institutions, universities, etc.

Space Nation’s CEO Vähä-Jaakkola has shared information about that “office” in a presentation.

space-ad

The box looks like that (for comparison, a mid-size paper shopping bag at the right):

spacebox-photo

The bananas would unfortunately not fit into one of the subunits which Space Nation plans to rent out for more than $52.000. One would have to rent the next size (3U).

spacebox-costs

To be fair, Space Nation has made clear, that this will not be their core business.

However, their core business looks no more promising. The app has had somewhere 100 to 500 downloads in the first week and is losing traction. Space Nation had planned with 100.000 users daily.

Will a finnish startup “democratize space travel”?

After failing all previous deadlines, finnish cross-media startup Space Nation Oy (formerly Cohu Experience Oy) is set to launch its long-awaited app tomorrow, 7th April 2018. The best users are to take part in a reality-TV “astronaut boot camp” and, finally, one of them will go to space. At least, that’s the plan.

R3MP

The company promised high profits from the beginning and predicted a landslide success for their app, comparing it to Supercell’s Hay Day and Clash of Clans. But there are striking problems, which remained largely unclear to the crowdfunding investors that made the story possible.

 

The User Base

Gaming apps have different target groups and user base than Space Nation’s “astronaut training” app. Not everybody wants to go to space, and certainly it’s not even worth a try for most. Why should I take part in a contest I can’t win?

Me going to space?

Me going to space?

Space Nation promised several prizes and rewards to fix this. But is there a need for a “NASA-approved game app”?

 

No spaceflight, no TV rights

As I wrote before, there is no space flight in sight that would be available for Space Nation’s wannabe astronaut. Virgin Galactic has been “months away” from its first space tourist flight for more than a decade. SpaceX does not attempt manned flight in the near future, and BlueOrigin seems to be late still.

And what if there’d be really the possibility to send a reality-TV winner to space? That would mean, that space tourism is nothing special or interesting anymore. At a time when hundreds of fare-paying hobby astronauts did already go to space, a Space Nation candidate is just another civilian on a suborbital seat. The only difference is that he didn’t pay for the trip by himself.

 

Nothing won, nothing lost?

The probable course of events will be, that the app will generate some moderate income through in-app purchases. Micropayments will keep Space Nation Oy afloat for some time. The crowdfunders will not get their exorbitant returns, but if they are lucky, their losses may not be 100% of the investment.

The idea of financing a space trip through media rights is nothing new. The blueprint came from MarsOne, which is still existing (but failed). In the beginning, they managed to start a gigantic media hype – but they planned for something extreme, a mars mission. A several minutes suborbital flight, as promised by Space Nation, is not close to that in any way.

One thing seems clear already: Space Nation will hardly “democratize space flight“. That’s as if I’d promise to democratize wealth by means of a lottery. An illusion to keep users interested, as any lottery does by promising life-change through a jackpot win.

Crowdsucking

Privanet Securities Oy myy kyseenalaisten yritysten arvottomat osakkeet sijoittajille joukkurahoituslain avulla. Oululainen laturifirma Asmo Solutions Oy on jo konkursissa, mutta tämä oli vain jäävuoren huippu. “Megaluokan vedätykseksi” kutsuttu Space Nation (ent. Cohu Experience, ent. Cohu Entertainment) on johtanut sijottajia harhaan annin yhteydessä. Luvattu tuote ei vieläkään tullut, ja firma jäi jo yli 80 miljoona Euroa tavoitteestaan.

In February 2017, Privanet Securities announced a new record on its AROUND crowdfunding platform: Finnish startup Cohu Experience Oy had successfully raised more than €3,2 million from investors, the first million of which in only 43 minutes. The business idea was to organize a competition via a smartphone app, where the winner would be going to space. The app was announced for fall 2017, and the contest should begin in early 2018, with the first space flight in 2018 or 2019 at the latest.

Cohu Experience was founded as Cohu Entertainment. It renamed itself to Space Nation in Fall 2017. Its achievements have got a lot of media attention so far. It would have been better to check the facts every single time, instead of reprinting press releases.

 

The Forbes Fake

Cohu/Space Nation claimed in many press releases in 2017, as well as during its public offering, that “Forbes” had ranked it as Europe’s most promising company for 2017. It’s reassuring for a wannabe investor, when such a respected body analyses the offering company and confirms its great potential.

Privanet faking facts

Privanet faking facts

This was a complete fake.

In reality, there has never been such a ranking. A staff writter at a Forbes.com blog had composed an opinion piece, where he listed some interesting european start-ups, and accidentally Cohu was described first. The text says clearly, that it’s only a personal opinion – not a “Forbes list”, whatever that means.

forbes-fake

 

The NASA Agreement

The company told in September 2017, that it had entered a sensational (“giant leap”) agreement with NASA for broad-scale commercial cooperation “never heard of before“. In fact, this was a simple sign-up for a Space Act Agreement. NASA said that clearly in its own press release: The collaboration is limited to content provision, there is no further cooperation, and the agency has had similar agreements with other apps and educational programs before.

 

UNWTO Member

Cohu/Space Nation made the historic achievement to be the first UNWTO (affiliate) member from the space travel sector. This looks more profane with a glimpse at the other UNWTO affiliates on the same list: Space Nation meets Freixenet and the Santa Claus Foundation.

CU!

CU!

 

Office Space at the ISS

The space travel pioneer then announced it had bought “office space” at the ISS for rent to researchers or other interested customers. In fact, they paid £17.000 for a  50x50x30cm box. Space Nation gave conflicting accounts what to do with that box. Anyone could be sending a 10x10x10cm experiment to space – or SpaceNation could conduct “own exciting experiments”. Because it’s not a scientific organization, and has no competence whatsoever in the field, it’s obviously a £17.000 PR gag.

 

Where’s the money?

The bigger problem than the questionable PR stunts, however, is the failure to accomplish the milestones of Cohu/SpaceNation’s business plan. According to the documents published for the public offering, the company should reach a profit of nearly €84 million by May 2018.

Bold.

Bold.

That’s two months left to make 84 million.

The obvious reason is the still incomplete app. It was first announced for September 2017, then for early 2018, then February 2018, and it’s still not published. Even if it hits the market this year, and some kind of contest starts, there will be no spaceflight as promised.

Virgin Galactic, the only possible carrier for SpaceNation’s suborbital flight, was booked out in May 2017 until 2021. 650 More than 700 persons were are already on the waiting list. Even if SpaceNation has booked in advance (which should be impossible, VG only accepts individual applications): regular flights have to start yet with the VG spacecraft still undergoing tests. There is no TV content or licensing rights to sell yet.

Stupid money is out there

While I would certainly love to see a civilian going to space, organized by a finnish space travel start-up, it doesn’t look good. Space Nation promises that the app would produce income and user retention as did Supercell with HayDay or Clash of Clans. But space travel and everything related to astronaut training is still more complicated – and actually more boring –  than building virtual farms with your thumb on a smartphone. The sky does not look as good on a 5 inch screen as it does from the Hubble Telescope.

SpaceNation will need more money soon. And if the whole project does not work out, you can still blame it on the many unforeseeable problems and players. SpaceNation then could rename itself and start something totally different, with fresh funds from new investors. Cohu Experience did so, after their CarbonToSoil project failed.

But that’s a different story.

UPDATE 27.3.2018: SPACENATION CEO Kalle Vähä-Jaakkola told that “the app will launch in March, and the rest is history”. That’s 2 days on, if it’s not to happen on Christianity’s holiest weekend (which would be idiotic, to say the least.)

Look’s like an Olkiluoto app.

HumanCharger’s “global breakthrough” fake

Last autumn I came across a deceptive piece praising Valkee and its HumanCharger at goodnewsfinland.com (part of Finpro, a state-run agency). I complained to the editors about the fake news they spread, prompting them to delete most of the misinformation from the text. It took several weeks, and there is no mention of the changes in the article.

The diff is documented here, as a perfect example of how Valkee deceives others, which in turn deceive people about the HumanCharger.

fakenews1

The Interbrand report of 2017’s “breakthrough brands” was a marketing stunt for the HumanCharger. In the small print, the report admits that companies could submit themselves and their stories were not challenged (p. 61 in the PDF). An embarrassing glitch for Interbrand: They faithfully listed what Valkee said, although the company should not be even in there. The limit for inclusion was 10 years in business and the HumanCharger company was already older than 10 years – it was founded in February 2007, and the product is even older.

Then it gets absurd: Interbrand has never “valued HumanCharger’s brand at 64,67 million”. Impossible – it’s a known scam, and as such, a toxic brand in Finland and most of Europe. The 65 million was, back in 2013, the valuation, i.e. investors paid ~10 million for a 16% stake, which put the whole company in theory at 65 million.

This is fairly outdated. Valkee lost its share capital and is now worth Zero.

65 million x 0/share = 0

That the earlight does not work by “stimulating the brain” is clear, at least to everybody who had ever to do with neuroscience. Silently deleted.

fakenews2

The name of the notified body or its claimed image doesn’t tell anything about the earlight. It just looks better, when it’s in Germany. Changed.

Valkee’s CEO Aki Backman then claimed that the FDA somehow testified that HumanCharger is harmless. That’s a breathtaking misrepresentation. In reality, they could not provide evidence for the device’s health claims. Therefore it got no approval as a medical device, but fell in the underclass “General wellness” category. As such, the device cannot give any kind of (light) therapy despite misleading advertisements. Deleted.

 

“Breakthrough brand” is a struggling micro-business

The aging scam company meets the tight finnish criteria for a micro-business and is therefore exempt from certain standards in financial reporting. The firm uses this in its balances and managed to survive to this day – being technically bancrupt – as detailed in its 2/2017 balance. A mysterious person has recently pumped millions of private funds into Valkee, to keep it alive.

Earlightswindle.com makes the balances traditionally available to the public. Here it is.

Valkee-balance 2017 (PDF)

[Update] MTV3:lle langettava päätös Acetium-valelääkejutusta

28.2.2018 klo 11:
BioHit kertoo 1,5t sitten tilipäätöstiedotteessaan, että kyseisen migreeni-tutkimuksen protokollaan tehdään suuria muutoksia, joka koskevat koko projektin. Käytännössä keskeytetään vanha tutkimus. Osallistuneille, sijoittajille ja medialle valehdeltiin myös tutkimuksen alkuvaiheesta. TJ Semi Korpela vastasi siihen, että tutkimus jatkuu.

UPDATE:
MTV3 ei ole muuttanutkaan valheellista juttuaan JSN:n päätöksestä huolimatta.
Muistutus on tulossa.
_______________________________________________________________

Viime Syyskuussa MTV Uutiset julkaisi kaksi migreenijuttua. Ensimmäisestä kävi jo ilmi, että kirjoittaja on vailla asiantuntemusta. Siinä väitettiin ym., että eräs lääke ”iskee tarkasti kivun välittäjäaineisiin, joten sillä ei juuri ole sivuvaikutuksia”. Todellisuudessa selektiivinen migreeni-välittäjäaine ei ole juuri olemassa. Kaikilla transmittereilla on useita tehtäviä elimistössä, siksi sivuvaikutuksista on suuria huolia. [1] [2] [3]

Toinen migreenijuttu toi MTV3:lle huomautuksen Julkisen sanan neuvostolta. MTV Uutiset kertoi, että BioHit Oyj:n kehittämä ”lääke” vaikuttaisi migreeniin. Kyseessä ei ollutkaan lääke, vain Acetium-kapseli. Tämä on ravintolisä, joka BioHit on rekisteröinyt lääkinnälliseksi laitteeksi. Kyseessä ei ole migreeni-, vain valelääke. [4]

Toimitus ei reagoinut oikaisupyyntöihin. Tämä ei ollut iso yllätys: Molemmat jutut olivat MTV:n uutispäällikön kirjoittamia. Moni muukin huomasi, että asia haisee. BioHitin toimitusjohtaja joutui myöntämään, että se ei pitänytkään paikkansa.

korpela-laite

Blogin pitkäaikaisen tukijan avulla valmisteltiin kantelu JSN:lle. Kantelua voi lukea tästä (uusi tiedosto tekijän nimensuojan takia):

Kantelu-Acetium-MTV3.pdf

BioHit on kritisoinut Turun Sanomien juttua, jossa sanottiin, että Acetium olisi “luontaistuote” – vaikka tämä itse asiassa kuvailee hyvin, mistä on kyse. [5] On odotettavissa, että reaktio tulee myös tähän. Voiko puhua huijauksesta?

Mikä on Acetium?

Acetium-kapseli sisältää tavallista aminohappoa, L-kysteiiniä. Sitä patentoitiin sillä perusteella, että kysteiini vapautuu tuotteesta hitaasti (slow-release). Food grade L-cysteine maksaa maailmanmarkkinoilla n. 20€ per kilo (2 cent/gramma). Acetium myydään 60 kpl 100mg-kapseleina hinnalla 22-30€ (4 Euro/gramma). Perusaineen ”hidastettu vapautuminen” tuo firmalle siis 200-kertaista voittoa. [6] [7]

huijausapteekki-acetium

Ei ole tutkimuksia olemassa, joiden mukaan ”hidas kysteiini” olisi tavallista parempaa. Todennäköisesti voi kaiken, mikä Acetiumista väitetään, saavuttaa myös penneillä. L-kysteiini vain ei voi patentoida. Jos joku julkaisee vertailevan tutkimuksen, koko tuotteen imago voi romahtaa hetkessä.

Acetium myydään apteekeissa kuin ravintolisä. Duodecim-lääketietokanta puhuu myös Acetiumista ravintolisänä. BioHit on itse kutsunut tuotetta aiemmin ravintolisäksi.[8] Ravintolisien valvontaviranomainen on EVIRA, ja sellaisia tuotteita ei saa mainosta lääketieteellisiin käyttöihin, kuten blogissa jo ollut esillä.

duodacetium
BioHit on siksi käyttänyt porsaanreikää. Acetium on ilmoitettu Valviralle lääkinnälliseksi laitteeksi. Tällaisena rekisteröity tuote voi sanoa lääkinnällisiin käyttöihin sopivaksi, mikä oli jo Valkeen korvavalon markkinointitemppu. Kysyin Valviralta, onko Acetium saanut jonkinlaista markkinointilupaa. Vastauksesta:

”terveydenhuollon laitteet ja tarvikkeet eivät tarvitse markkinoille tuloon markkinointilupaa, joten Valvira ei niitä myöskään myönnä (eikä mikään muukaan viranomainen)”

Tuodakseen tällaisen tuotteen laitteeksi kauppoihin valmistajan täytyy vain täyttää ilmoituksen Valviralle. [9] – That’s it.

Tämä on siis täysin eri asia kuin lääkkeillä. Lääkkeet tarvitsevat myyntiluvan, ja ne saavat sitä vain, jos on viranomaisstandardien mukaisia tutkimuksia tehty. BioHit imitoi sitä julkaisemalla omat tulokset samalla tavalla kuin oikeat lääkevalmistajat tekevät. Vaikka tutkimustuloksia ei tarvita – paitsi mainostamiseen.

Lopuksi

On arveluttava suositella kyseenalaista hoitoa yleisten sairauksien hoitoon. Vielä pahempi on suositella kyseenalaista hoitoa sanomalla sen lääkkeeksi. On täysin epäeettistä suositella yleisölle kyseenalaista hoitoa valelääkkeenä ja jättää asia korjaamatta, vaikka on tietoinen, että se ei pidä paikkansa.

Kiitos Julkisen sanan neuvostolle. En kuitenkaan usko, että MTV3:lla muutu mikään. Ylimielinen asenne ja asiantuntemuksen puute on yleinen ilmiö terveysuutisoinnissa siellä niin kuin muuallakin Suomen mediassa.