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A Man From Whom Viruses Cant Hide

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by CBS, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. CBS

    CBS Senior Member

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    NY Times on Ian Lipkin:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/science/23prof.html?ref=health

    It ends with the statement (my bolds):

    Dr. Fauci needs to be very careful about what he means by the word "it" in this context (eg. XMRV, MLV, etc.).
  2. urbantravels

    urbantravels disjecta membra

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    Gee, thanks Dr. Fauci.

    An interesting article - but could they possibly have buried the stuff about the XMRV study a little deeper? The tone and context of the way it's discussed sends a clear signal: "There's probably nothing there, so it's good that this superstar is going to set this controversy to rest and end the discussion." Bleargh.
  3. floydguy

    floydguy Senior Member

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    And XMRV comes just after Lipkin saying how important de-discovery is - disproving links between viruses and disease. Would like to think this is coming from the journalist and not Fauci and Lipkin.
  4. George

    George waitin' fer rabbits

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    Well that was very well set up for the follow up article, stay tuned for part II folks. Like these guys don't already know the answer to the damn question in the first place. And based on the way this was written it looks likely that they are poised to come out that XMRV is not "it". But hey at least we get a bone and get renamed to ME/CFS. (snort) Talk about mixed messages.

    I swear these guys are trying to depress us and they are using the media to do it.

    So If XMRV exits then Lipkin is the hero that solved the puzzle and if it doesn't well his is the final authority, the voice that says "a-that's, a-that's, a-that's all folks!". Lovely.
  5. CBS

    CBS Senior Member

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    While the current set up in Lipkin's lab sounds quite impressive, I do hope that he is more humble and has a greater historic perspective than either Fauci or the author, Carl Zimmer.

    The article itself describes an instance where a virus was undetectable using what had been state of the art instruments. No matter how impressive his lab looks today, I can guarantee that in one hundred years it will look like a Model T sitting next to a Saturn V Rocket (which had less computational power - but a hell of a lot more thrust :eek: - than the computer you are using to read this post).
  6. floydguy

    floydguy Senior Member

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    Yeah, this is a puff piece that seems like it's coming out of Fauci's PR Department rather than a serious piece of journalism. I have that feeling of being manipulated...!!
  7. George

    George waitin' fer rabbits

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    (grins) Good point CBS. Heck with the rate of change in technology maybe in 25 years.

    I so get the "caution" of dealing with a major pathogen. I mean the NIH would not be doing it's job if it didn't trying to "handle" the information to some degree. That's why we pay them the big bucks. (oh, wait they voted those salaries in themselves. . . ) I mean there is no point talking about a pathogen if you don't have a mass produced test to offer the public and at least some type of treatment program, even if better stuff is down the road somewhere.

    What I don't understand is that Lipkin (who so far has not earned my respect despite his wonderkid status with the rest of the world) has been playing with this virus since April of this year and he's THAT good, then he must already know what's what. So on one hand we have a planned XMRV conference coming in April of next year for what a contaminate???

    I don't know maybe Facui and company are just trying to pull the spotlight onto themselves, (glory hounds?) and away from independent researchers. The whole thing makes me kinda crazy. (chasing tail, chasing tail, chasing tail, pant, pant, pant, pant, pant)
  8. Otis

    Otis Señor Mumbler

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    On the optimistic side, Lipkin and the NIH seem to be doing what one would think the CDC should be doing in terms of virus hunting. So maybe the fact the CDC has fumbled the ball will help us if the NIH wants to outdo the CDC. Of course a 6-year old could do that.

    I too have the feeling we're being manipulated here.
  9. jenbooks

    jenbooks Guest

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    Hey Georgie, I *so* disagree! Carl Zimmer is a superb science writer, and Lipkin a genius for sure. This is a profile, not a story about XMRV. Since the latest thing he was asked to do is find XMRV (or not) then of course it should come towards the end of the story. And Zimmer correctly outlines the controversy in that limited space, including x versus polytropic. Lipkin says you have to keep an open mind. That means no bias.

    And it's true. If he can't find it, then you have to assume something else is going on. Re-read the rest of the story, and look what he's done, that nobody else has been able to do.

    The second he entered the picture, I thought it was fantastic!!!
  10. CBS

    CBS Senior Member

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    Jennie,

    I'm thrilled that Lipkin is involved but I have to disagree with your conclusion. If Lipkin can't find it all you can assume is that he can't find it (just like a lot of other researchers who have published zero/zero studies). I think the odds of his finding it are much greater than the rushed negative studies to date but Lipkin is not infallible nor is there any such thing as a perfect technique. As Dr. Singh has said on several occasions, "we've picked all of the low hanging fruit, XMRV/MLV's are very hard to find."

    My primary problem with the article was Fauci. To borrow from a post I just made regarding an article in today's WSJ (not just the health blog), statements like “If he can’t find it, it probably doesn’t exist.” do not seem very bright at this point in the game (remember the early quote in the NYT's by what's his name who used to run the CDC's CFS effort (Bill somebody?) until he got canned last February - something about the Science study would turn out to be a dead end in CFS). I was hoping Fauci was brighter than that, but perhaps not.
  11. jenbooks

    jenbooks Guest

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    Okay, I do agree, you don't have to assume, it's true anybody is fallible. You just have to figure he's likelier right than not, and start looking more seriously at 1) contamination or 2) that it shares sequences with something else--or 3???

    It's a nice quote that's all, from a journalist's prospective--pithy and dramatic. (Fauci)
  12. Marco

    Marco Old blackguard

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    Very bad feeling about this.

    What struck me is the role played by Lipkin in debunking the Wakefield autism/MMR link.

    If you recall the UK Science Media Centre (a private organisation that claims to advise the UK media on 'good science') put out a statement on XMRV that said something along the lines of - lets hope it doesn't turn out to be another autism/MMR story. A strange spontaneous linkage given that no-one at the time had mentioned XMRV in the context of autism.

    On the subject of the blood working group and the lack of info on Phase I, many of us have speculated that the delays may be due to them having a fair idea that XMRV is IT and are getting all their ducks in a row re the blood supply, testing, media etc. But there's a moral if not legal dilemma in delaying if more people are at risk of becoming infected. On the other hand there is no dilemma in delaying if you are convinced that there is no danger and you just need to get alll your ducks in a row in order to tell the patient population to 'move on, nothing to see here, go home'.

    I didn't sleep too well last night. Maybe come daybreak I'll read it differently.
  13. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Marvellous news thanks for advising. Good to see at least one UK scientist happy to learn too from US advances in viral understanding.
  14. parvofighter

    parvofighter Senior Member

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  15. pictureofhealth

    pictureofhealth XMRV - L'Agent du Jour

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    1. QUOTE: "If he can't find it, it probably doesn't exist."

    ... except that Dr Singh is finding it, Dr Mikovits and Dr Lombardi and the Ruscettis are finding IT etc etc.

    We have to hope that perhaps Fauci was using the word 'it' as a general inclusive 'cover all' for any covert pathogen that might be lurking undetected in any disorder that Lipkin might be investigating. The reporter may not have reported Dr Fauci's comments in a linear sequence.

    Lipkin might be the USA's best world expert, but he's not the only USA world expert.

    2. And what's with this 'comparing findings of measles in gut samples of Autistic children', with 'finding measles in gut samples in normal children with other digestive disorders' - and then saying that this 'rules out measles as a cause of gut disorders'?!!!???? Eh????? How does he know that the measles virus didn't cause the gut disorders in the 'normal' children. Complete non sequitur.

    If they found no measles in guts of healthy children (who had also had MMR vaccinations), that would have been a tad more convincing (tho' presumably scientists can't just wade in a take gut samples from healthy children), but not remotely conclusive.
  16. Berthe

    Berthe Senior Member

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    I keep on thinking that if they would have found - by now - that XMRV is not 'it', they would be screaming their lungs out. The silence is not only killing me softly, but making me wonder (or paranoide) that they know a hell lot more then they are telling us. They want to be on top of the crisis when they announce another human retrovirus. Immediately being able to tell the world, that there are methods to test not only the bloodsupply and clean it, but test patints everywhere in the world.

    Just think about what would happen if they just admit they have found something quit disturbing, the third human retrovirus.:oops:

    Love,
    Berthe

    http://www.onwilliglichaam.blogspot.com
  17. jenbooks

    jenbooks Guest

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    First of all, you guys are too adept at seeing negatives where they do not exist, imo.

    Ian Lipkin is partners with Mady Hornig (mentioned in the article), she has done good work herself on autism, using mice as a role model, as her son is autistic (had before she joined with Likpin but from what I had briefly seen he takes his role as father very seriously and does everything he can). If you wish, do a pubmed search on her, and a google search, and you'll see that they are not your enemies, and he is not enlisted to doubt the findings you so wish to be true, and to simply debunk them. Really, it was a great profile and I'm saddened to see everybody distort in such a way as to already be upset and losing sleep over imagined wrong deeds.

    Secondly, I emailed this to myself the other day, and bcc'd a few people. Personally, I think we'll find more and more virii, variations on them, and retroviruses, implicated in human disease and it will stretch back a long time.

    ----

    Infectious mouse GLNs that look like MLVs:

    http://jvi.asm.org/cgi/content/full/82/9/4413

    Infectious retroviral particles? Have some common sequences with HIV. Found in Graves Disease

    http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(89)92382-9/abstract

    and other viruses associated with various thyroid problems:

    http://www.virologyj.com/content/6/1/5

    "However, direct evidence of the presence of viruses or their components in the organ are available for retroviruses (HFV) and mumps in subacute thyroiditis, for retroviruses (HTLV-1, HFV, HIV and SV40) in Graves's disease and for HTLV-1, enterovirus, rubella, mumps virus, HSV, EBV and parvovirus in Hashimoto's thyroiditis. However, it remains to determine whether they are responsible for thyroid diseases or whether they are just innocent bystanders. Further studies are needed to clarify the relationship between viruses and thyroid diseases, in order to develop new strategies for prevention and/or treatment."

    They haven't even begun to look for sequences for avian and sheep and other viruses that might have jumped species.

    I'm not convinced that polytropic MLVs aren't just the tip of the iceberg, and that we harbor many unknown viruses, or infectious HERVs as well. I'm not convinced that the actual findings currently are as important as thinking along those lines, but I still believe that these stowaways have been around for a long time and that something else is driving serious illness, either borrelia, herpes viruses, or toxic exposures or SOMEthing. Unlike HIV which was clearcut, these other class of RVs may be broader, more commonly infectious, and part of a disease picture but not the cause, genetics, environment, and other nasty infections must collaborate.

    There is some reason why results are so mixed so far in the initial phase of ARV treatment, especially since "pilot" studies usually produce better results than subsequent larger "N" studies. I still think borrelia is a big nasty.
  18. eric_s

    eric_s Senior Member

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    And no matter what Lipkin finds, the other players in there will not stop, as long as they believe in it. And they can think for themselves, they don't need Lipkin to tell them what's there and what's not. Plus the WPI is one of the labs in his study, right? So if they can find a statistically significant difference between cases and controls, they have proven that there is something.

    I agree, if they had serious suspicions (or should have them) that XMRV might be dangerous and they don't do what's necessary that might have legal consequences. But who knows what going on behind the scenes. The Cerus product seems to be able to "neutralize" XMRV. Does anyone know what's going on at the blood banks? And they have banned or discouraged PWCs from donating. So it's not like they're not doing anything. Only more thing they could be doing is advising people with possibly XMRV-related diseases to abstain from other activities that might transmit the virus, but those are things that happen in the private sphere of those people and are thus further away from the government's responsability, harder to prove and also there's probably not very, very strong evidence for transmission and causation yet. I'm sure they carefully looked at where the line is. There should be enough lawyers in the government.
  19. urbantravels

    urbantravels disjecta membra

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    I think this reporter, though otherwise an excellent reporter (I've enjoyed his articles in the past) has slanted the mention of the XMRV study in a particular way that is making it seem soft-pedaled, and I would bet folding money that it was soft-pedaled because both Dr. Lipkin and Dr. Fauci were very tight-lipped about it and did not provide lots of detail or encourage him to highlight the topic. (And it's also quite possible that the Fauci comment at the very end was taken out of context.) I have also detected a certain editorial approach to the XMRV stories in the New York Times that is soft-pedaling and extremely cautious.

    By contrast, the Wall Street Journal hasn't been shy at all about letting Amy Dockser Marcus' reporting appear with lots of detail - none of it has been inaccurate or exaggerated - but she apparently has close access to a lot of the big players and also good contacts in the pharma industry. The NYT is interested in being the "paper of record" and is thus fairly conservative in what they will report, whereas the WSJ is interested in giving early and accurate information to investors and those with a business interest in the subject. I think this accounts for a lot of the difference - but it's mostly to the credit of Amy for having a personal interest in rare and neglected diseases, a good understanding of the science involved, and a great ability to explain things in terms that are comprehensible to the educated layman. She seems to have some extraordinary access to good sources, too, which she has no doubt earned by her great coverage.

    I don't think the choice of words in the NYT article is any reason to panic. Remember that everything you are seeing there has passed through a particular journalistic and editorial filter, and also consider the overall state of play with everything else we are hearing. If anything, the NYT article is a very positive addition to the discussion, but that positivity will only really pay off later on, when Lipkin has results to announce.
  20. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    Are you actually suggesting that the New York Times wants to sweep XMRV under the rug? The same newspaper that published Hilary Johnson's editorial, that has Dr. Klimas answering questions and has generally been quite positive about XMRV - is going to do that?

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