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(LifeSiteNews) — The co-author of a study showing that the spike protein from both the COVID-19 virus and the COVID shots impairs DNA repair mechanisms, thereby contributing to cancer, claimed that the lead author was forced to retract the study.

Newly published emails now call into question the motives behind the retraction, showing vague reasons cited in the retraction request, as well as an uproar from one scientist over the “social relevance” of the study, complaining that it was “hacked by anti-vaccinationists.”

In October 2021, Dr. Hui Jiang of Stockholm University (the lead author) and Dr. Ya-Fang Mei of Umeå University published in the peer-reviewed journal MDPI Viruses a paper titled “SARS-CoV-2 Spike Impairs DNA Damage Repair and Inhibits V(D)J Recombination In Vitro.” Independent journalist Rebekah Barnett has pointed out that three days before an investigation into Jiang and Mei’s paper began on November 5, 2021, medical educator ‎Dr. Mobeen Syed, known as “Dr. Been,” posted to YouTube a video about the implications of Jiang and Mei’s paper for cancer development, which has since garnered over 1.4 million views.

“Any cell that has spike protein in it, if it needs its DNA repaired… then spike protein can reduce the DNA repair… Cancer cells are the cells where the DNA has escaped the repair,” Been explained.

In addition to showing backlash from one scientist over this video, email exchanges from Stockholm University released to Barnett under Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests show concerns from another scientist that there was no evidence to support a retraction but merely concerns over “publicity.”

Furthermore, co-author Mei told Barnett that she never consented to the retraction, and that Stockholm University essentially forced the lead author, Jiang, to retract the paper.

“Stockholm University initially decided to retract the paper without the authors’ consent, a clear violation of academic ethics,” Mei said. “Stockholm University asked the first author, Hui Jiang, to retract it, and they began to formalize the process. This is an illegal retraction. I have reported to the editorial office that the retraction process is incorrect, and I strongly disagree with it.”

FOIA-released emails show that Mei firmly protested the retraction to co-author Jiang on February 1, 2022, just days before he formally submitted the retraction request:

“I absolutely not (sic) accept this retraction,” she wrote.


A retraction notice dated May 2022 cited “an improper experimental design with the potential to significantly affect the integrity of the resultant experimental data.”

“Both the chosen construct of the spike plasmid that contained a C-terminal fused with 6xHis tag and use of a GFP reporter system under overexpression conditions in the protocol were identified as having the potential to introduce significant ambiguity regarding the nature of the reported observations,” the notice read. 

However, Mei objected to Barnett that these claims are “unfounded” and that “the retraction is unjustified.”

“I strongly disagree (with the retraction notice), because the experiments have a control sample: Nucleoprotein containing 6Histag and GFP report, which localizes in the cell plasmid rather than in the nucleus. Therefore, the notice contains incorrect information,” said Mei, adding, “I never signed the retraction notice.” 

‘Not clear if public pressure or scientific faults’ led to retraction

Email records show that MDPI (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute), which publishes open-access scientific journals, challenged the retraction days after a “generic” request letter was submitted to it on November 9, 2021.

“We have checked your retraction request… and feel the information provided is insufficient,” MDPI publishing manager Donna Virlan wrote on November 22.

MDPI assistant editor Gloria Gao seconded the objection that there was insufficient evidence to support a retraction request, noting that the apparent basis for it was “publicity.”

“At the moment, the Committee and editors have seen no evidence, and all we hear is that there is some publicity,” she wrote on November 24.

In the same email thread, academic editor Dr. Oliver Schildgen, who had first approved Jiang and Mei’s paper for publication, noted, “The retraction letter was rather generic, and for me it was not clear if the public pressure or scientific faults were the cause for the requests.” 

He went on to dismiss “Twitter s****storms as a reason for retracting the article: “If scientific misconduct took place, it is important for the readership to know explicitly what was wrong as also this has a learning effect in the self clearance process of science. However, I do not care about Twitter shitstorms as the guy who sent the e-mail below, we have to be neutral as scientists.”

Schildgen’s remarks came after German scientist Dr. Götz Schuck griped about the so-called “misinformation” spreading as a result of the paper.   

“I fully understand that after the publication has gone through a peer-review process with five reviewers, you think a detailed justification by the authors is required why the publication should be withdrawn. But it is also the case that unusual times call for unusual measures and that the source of scientific knowledge is instrumentalized as a source of misinformation.

The next day, Schuck treated the article’s consequences as an emergency matter, citing “anti-vaccine propaganda” and emphasizing public reaction to the paper rather than the paper itself. 

 “This is a real scientific scandal… the article is spread virally on the internet… You can’t just rely on a scientific investigation of the case. Every day they hesitate enables further dissemination of misinformation,” Schuck wrote to Stockholm University employees.

“I urge you to remove the article in question as soon as possible,” he added.

According to Barnett, Schildgen assured Schuck proper procedure was being followed and recommended that any further concerns be directed to the chief editor, NIH scientist Dr Eric Freed, “to whom he formally handed over the case.”

However, Schuck then protested relying on a “purely scientific argument” in favor of considering the “social relevance” of the article. 

“It can’t be that you’re just going back on a purely scientific argument here. What is the social relevance? I have seen questions on Twitter from a medical doctor who asks why his patients are asking him about this publication. Look at the reality. This publication was hacked by anti-vaccinationists. That’s what it looks like,” he wrote.

Retracting the paper ‘did not require evidence of scientific misconduct’

While Neus Visa, a professor at Stockholm University, wrote to the editors and Jiang to confirm that he carried out the study “without approval for lab’s resources and reagents,” Mei told Barnett that her lab “provided most chemicals, antibodies, plasmids, and the publication fee,” so Stockholm University resources used in the study would have been “minimal.” Barnett noted that even if that was not the case, it would not have sufficed for a study retraction. 

Schildgen pointed this out in an email, proposing that the paper be corrected while questioning whether it deserved a retraction.

“While I agree that the usage of ressources (sic) should have been properly acknowledged and should be subject to a correction, my main question to all of you is if there is substantial scientific misconduct, is there any proof that the data were falsified?” he replied.

Shortly after this email, Freed argued that a retraction “does not require evidence of scientific misconduct.”

Visa then maintained that despite lack of misconduct the authors showed “deviations from good research practice that should be sufficient to justify an immediate retraction of the article.”

Despite replying shortly after that he was surprised “about the entire history of this process,” Schildgen co-wrote with Freed on December 22, 2021, an expression of concern vaguely referring to the “methodology employed in the study, the conclusions drawn and the insufficient consideration of laboratory staff and resources.”

The paper was officially retracted on May 10, 2022, citing “improper experimental design with the potential to significantly affect the integrity of the resultant experimental data.”

Hui Jiang’s retraction request

Barnett obtained a copy of Jiang’s retraction request letter under FOIA, noting that Schildgen had described it as “rather generic.” In fact, it is quite vague in that it does not specify the reasons behind its core claim: that the paper’s data “haven’t been conducted to the highest scientific standard and the results are not properly interpreted.

Incredibly, while Mei is recorded as signing off on the decision, she told Barnett that she was “forced to do that,” adding, “Stockholm University issued an order. We were asked to submit the letter within 48 hours before checking the lab book and experiment protocols.” Mei shared that she never signed the formal retraction request.

Science blogger and whistleblower Dr. Ah Kahn Syed (known as “Arkmedic”) has rebutted each of the six reasons Jiang listed for requesting a retraction of his article, noting that several of them are not reasons for retraction, and arguing that “the interpretation of the results as described in the paper was correct.”

Barnett pointed out that the final retraction notice does not mention “most” of Jiang’s listed concerns, remarking that this “suggests that Jiang was unable to produce evidence to support most of his reasons for retraction.”

Implications for cancer and immune suppression

Dr. Syed summed up in a statement to Barnett the disturbing implications of Jiang and Mei’s findings for immune suppression and cancer:

The Jiang and Mei study showed that the spike protein has a suppressive effect on a protein called p53, which is commonly called ‘guardian of the genome’ for its role in repairing DNA, which in turn helps to prevent cancer formation.

“The very heavy (90%) suppression of p53 in the study shows that the main cancer repair mechanism in the body can be suppressed by the presence of spike protein which was found in the nucleus of cells consistent with the findings in the preclinical studies submitted to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (FOI 2389 document 6) following application of the mRNA product. 

“p53 suppression is a primary driver of a number of cancers but in particular pancreatic, breast, ovarian cancer and lymphoma. The biggest effect is seen in women’s cancer where BRCA mutation, which interferes with p53 production, is associated with a dramatic increase in the lifetime risk of breast cancer to around 70% (from 12%) and ovarian cancer to around 50% (from 1.5%). This was seen in Angelina Jolie, for example, whose hereditary BRCA mutation led to her having a double mastectomy to prevent her getting breast cancer.”

Syed pointed out that “the study implied that the presence of the COVID virus could have the same effect,” although viruses are not present in the body as long as the vaccine.

He estimates that, because of the paper’s retraction, “some 20%-30% of the population were deprived of access to information” that would have led to their refusing the COVID jab “even in the presence of vaccine mandates due to the potential carcinogenicity risk.”

“A further 20% of the population may have declined the product purely based on the existence of this risk. It could therefore be reasonably estimated that up to half of the excess cancers, as reported in the ABS provisional mortality reports… might have been prevented had appropriate due diligence and pharmacovigilance been applied,” Syed wrote.

Barnett remarked that Jiang and Mei’s paper has since been “vindicated,” since “multiple high-quality papers have now entered the scientific record confirming and building upon” their results, including a paper published last month by two cancer experts at Brown University, Professors Shengliang Zhang and Wafik El-Deiry, “showing that the spike protein has a suppressive effect on the tumor suppressor protein p53.”

When Barnett asked Stockholm University’s press office about Freed’s role in retracting the paper, a spokesperson responded:

Stockholm University does not have insight into the retraction process. According to Swedish legislation and academic practice, Swedish researchers are the only owners of their research results (”upphovsrättsliga lärarundantaget”). As a consequence, researchers decide themselves if (and when) results should be published or retracted.

Stockholm University did not take part in the retraction (and did not receive any pressure). The university’s research is truth-seeking, free and unbound. Stockholm University strives for an open scientific system, where everyone has free and open access to scholarly texts, research results and research data.

U.S. citizens: Demand Congress investigate soaring excess death rates