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News and Views

Nov 2023 "anesthesia-analgesia"

After 25 years of a scientific carrer publishing across multiple disciplines, I must admit that this is the first time that I got such anectodic comments outside the scope of our paper, in a non-constructive format. I understand that I have sent our ms to the wrong journal or to editors with a serious intellectual disability to comprehend science and technology. We have made these comments publicly open in social media to alert our commnunity to bad practices, non productive review process, a certain form of discrinimation and large incompetency to evaluate scientific articles. This behavior has no room in scientific editorial processes.
D. Holcman

Here is the letter :
"RE : MS# : AA-D-23-01588 "Predicting the sensitivity to general anesthesia Checkpoint Decomposition Algorithm versus Bispectral index"

Dear Dr Holcman :

Thank you for submitting your manuscript "Predicting the sensitivity to general anesthesia Checkpoint Decomposition Algorithm versus Bispectral index" to Anesthesia & Analgesia for consideration. Your manuscript has been reviewed by our editorial board. Based on their reviews and my own reading of your manuscript, I regret to inform you that we will not be able to publish your manuscript in Anesthesia & Analgesia. I summarise below the comments made.

There is support for dataset analysis and even older data can efficiently be used for new findings and scientific insight. However, the description of the origin of your datasets was unclear. Concerning IRB approval and datasets, you make reference to the following publication :

A. Rigouzzo, L. Khoy-Ear, D. Laude, N. Louvet, M.-L. Moutard, N. Sabourdin, and I.Constant, “EEG profiles during general anesthesia in children : A comparative study between sevoflurane and propofol,” Pediatric Anesthesia, vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 250–257,2019.

There is not much detail given in this publication from 2019 in terms of IRB approval other than the following statement : ’This prospective randomized study was approved by our local Ethics Committee (CPP Saint‐Antoine, Paris, France), and written and informed consent was obtained from children and their parents.’

There were no issues with the IRB approval description in the 2019 publication. Only children were included : it states as follows : ’Seventy‐three children ranging from 5 to 18 years of age, ASA 1 or 2, scheduled for middle ear surgery, were prospectively included.’ The RCT separated the children in groups of sevoflurance and TCI propofol (N=37 !). In the 2019 publication, there is no description of any patient excluded from the study, a study which analyzed the following : ’to study the raw EEG using spectral analysis and epileptoid sign screening, in order to describe the EEG features corresponding to the BIS changes. Finally, we compared our BIS and EEG findings, between propofol and sevoflurane at an equipotent level of cortical inhibition, corresponding to multiples of EC50BIS calculated for each agent.’

Thus, the 2019 publication presents 37 children undergoing TCI propofol anesthesia with BIS monitoring as part of a RCT. There is no mentioning of when the study was done.

In contrast, the description of your dataset in the current manuscript :

’This study was based on EEG tracings recorded in the context of a previous randomized study conducted in children and in adults who were anesthetized with propofol [2= which is the reference listed above !]. The aim of this previous study was to investigate the BIS and propofol concentration relationship. Among the patients cohort, 50 had complete data (BIS curve, concentrations data, readable spectrogram) and we discarded the remaining ones from the study. Data were collected between 2005 and 2006. In these patients aged from 6 to 32 years and scheduled for middle ear surgery, anesthesia was performed by target-controlled infusion of propofol using the kataria model in children and the schnider model in adults. Steady-state periods were performed at a fixed randomized concentration between 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 μ−1 of propofol and in addition a steady state period during which the BIS was maintained at 50 +/- 5 was obtained. Written and informed consent was obtained from children and their parents. Data were collected between 2005 and 2006 and the study was published in 2008.’

The words in bold are those descriptions which are inexplicable as they are not in accordance to the description of the 2019 publication.

Thus to summarize the main critique as to disparate findings : different year of publication ; different number of subjects ; different type of study ; you describe only consent for children, what about the adults you describe in this manuscript ; no description of the number of patients/datasets excluded ?

These discrepancies make publication not possible.

Reviewers had potentially many comments about the details of the study itself, and these can be summarised.

On was that if your data indeed is from 2005 and 2006, is the algorithm used in the latest BIS monitors still the same ? The company has been claiming that significant changes were made, mostly in artifact recognition etc..

Second, the authors talk about ’sensitivity’ but it was not apparent that this has anything to do with dose-response to anaesthetics - which is how sensitiviity is normally understood - rather they are looking only at BIS data (retrospectively) and then pushing that same old data into a new algorithm.

Notwithstanding the concerns as to subject recruitment/sampling made above, this was in fact predominantly a study in children - yet the age range is odd as it also includes a few adults. Yet, from NAP5 data we now awareness is rare in children - so why choose this group ?

Generally, reviewers could not discern the purpose of this study or its aims. It was commented that the authors are taking some old BIS data, pushing it into a new algorithm and finding different numbers/values - so what ? And how does all this compare with the work of Schuller’s group who have examined BIS/EEG in awake volunteers with neuromuscular blockade ? - ie, how many of these patients were paralysed ?

Thank you again for submitting your manuscript to Anesthesia & Analgesia for consideration. I am sorry that we are unable to accept your submission for publication. Nevertheless, I appreciate the privilege of reviewing your manuscript. I am looking forward to future submissions from you and your colleagues at École Normale Supérieure : Ecole Normale Superieure.

With all good wishes,

Thomas M Hemmerling, MD
Executive Section Editor
Anesthesia & Analgesia
— -
Jaideep J Pandit, DPhil, DM, FRCA, MBA
Anesthesia & Analgesia"

April 2020 : Two articles—in french—about time scales in biology and modeling cell biological processes :

D. Holcman, "Qu’est-ce qui définit les temps courts et longs en biologie : une histoire de forme, de mouvement et de petits trous", Pre-print, 2020.

J. Cartailler, J. Reingruber and D. Holcman*, Théorie du petit trou et ses applications en biologie, Pre-print, 2020.

Is it true that funding more fairly research would lead to decreasing taxes ?
Article published in Mediapart.

Novel indicators to measure researcher’s productivity, leadership, efficiency, ability to supervise students,etc ...

-How to design optimal transport in Paris—> Article published in Mediapart

2020 : Alerting the scientist community of the misconduct of Lev S. Tsimring, Professor at UCSD, acting under the umbrella of a divisional editor at the PRL :

Pr Lev S. Tsimring wrote an inappropriate review, full of scientific mistakes and non-sense and wrong remarks, claiming that most of our "statements [in our manuscript] are likely to be wrong" to justify that it should not be sent for review, probably to delay publication due to a conflict of interest that he did not mentioned.

We explain in the text below why each argument is obviously wrong and we provide the link to anonymous reviewers of the Proceeding of the Royal Soc. B, where our article was publihsed, whom explains why our paper is novel and robust

see comments and our point-by-point answers here--->

 Link to

and the anonymous reviews

Reviewer 1 :

"This a very nice contribution representing a relatively detailed theoretical investigation of a model of transport in endoplasmic reticulum on a level of spatial network which takes into account the directionality of transport on edges. The work is in general accurately and carefully written (but still needs for careful proofreading), and I would recommend its publication. I only have minor notes, mostly editorial suggestions."

Reviewer 2 :

"One appealing virtue of the main result (packets) is that, prior to the modeling, it is not obvious that transport in the ER should be in packets, but following the statement of the model, it feels intuitively obvious. This is a virtue of some of the most valuable mathematical modeling in biology."

Conclusion : Pr Lev S. Tsimrings should probably resign from PRL, as he is cleary incapable to fullfill his mission honestly or he is just incompetent, as shown by our experience.

-Answer 2 to a fictional review-blog about electro-diffusion

-Answer 1 to a fictional review-blog about electro-diffusion

 Comment la nouvelle économie de haute technologie peut-elle émerger sans refondre le système universitaire et scolaire ? Dec 2017 :

 Interdsciplinary program : PhD 2014 : The new interdisciplinary science between Mathematics, Physics and Engineering for Biology requies a new organization.

 Research in progress (2008) : What Europena Research council (ERC) represents for us (researchers) ?

 Experimentalists meet theoreticians at the Weizmann Institute of Science (2007) : the need for a common language.

 What an ERC-SG represents for us (2008) : speech given at the occasion of ERC meeting at the College de France, Paris

 Need for a center in Computational Biology in Paris (2010) : description of a new direction of research and how it should be promoted.

 Manifesta for Computational biology (2005)

Older Stricking news of the lab :

  • Matteo Dora defended successfully his PhD in May 2022.
  • Lou Zonca defended successfully her PhD in July 2021.
  • Kaniska Basnayake defended successfully his PhD in Dec 2020.
  • Assaf Amitai, former PhD of the lab has been appointed senior research in 2020 at Genetech, in San Francisco, USA.
  • D. Holcman has received the "pre-maturation" CNRS award for his work on predicting anesthesia using modeling-machine-learning.
  • D. Holcman has been laureate of the ERC-Advanced grant 2020.
  • Trends in Neuroscience (TINS March 2020) has dedicated the cover to the potential well theory to described high-density regions of channels and receptor in neuronal cells (see cover pages).
  • Khanh Dao duc became (2019) an Assistant Professor at UBC, Vancouver in the department of Applied Mathematics. We congratulate him again for his fantastic trajectory.
  • Claire Guerrier has just been appointed assistant Professor (CNRS) at the U. of Nice 2018.
  • Thibault Lagache, former PhD is now associate researcher at Columbia University, NY 2017. He has now been appointed in 2018 research at the Pasteur Institute
  • We congratulate Juergen Reingruber for his HDR Dec 5 2016.
  • Marzhieh and Jing got married last year : we wish them a lot of happiness. 2016.
  • A. Biess (postdoc in 2007) became an Assistant Professor at Ben Gourion University in 2016.