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Article: Batter Up! the XMRV/MLV Debate Continues

Discussion in 'Phoenix Rising Articles' started by Phoenix Rising Team, Oct 2, 2010.

  1. Phoenix Rising Team

    Phoenix Rising Team

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  2. CBS

    CBS Senior Member

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    I suspect that Lo/Alter feel to some degree that trying to find fault with another lab's procedures would be a thankless task without the full cooperation of the other lab. If the other labs are sincere (and for no other reason that it's easier and less draining than crafting conspiracy theories, I'm willing to assume that they are - if they aren't, I suspect that in time they will be), they will come to Lo and Alter. Who knows, someday McClure might even be willing to go to the WPI - ehhh, never mind. That's probably not going to happen.
  3. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    :cool::cool::cool::cool:
  4. Berthe

    Berthe Senior Member

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    For heaven sake.
    Englishmen do not play basebal but cricket.
    Did you ever try to find out the rules of this game :eek:
  5. Cloud

    Cloud Guest

    Seems such simple a truth that they are playing different games
  6. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    Cricket? Cricket? Is that not a little bug that squeaks?? :tear:

    (I feel I am dangerously close to the stereotype of the unknowledgeable American...)

    No, pitiful attempts at humor aside, I know little of cricket - the other big bat and ball game.......Maybe that's why the Brits lost so badly this time..maybe they were 'out of their league' or as Cloud so cleverly puts 'playing a different game'. :D:D

    Don't they pitch underhand in cricket?
  7. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

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    No question this was a sticky wicket.
  8. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

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    Overall, I have to applaud Cort's approach in presenting this, I wouldn't have known how to make this coherent, since we have people talking at cross purposes.

    I also have to confess my own health has made me cranky in the past few weeks, making objectivity and concentration more difficult. If people on the forum have noticed, I hope they will grant me some leeway.

    More and more, it seems I am hearing "if this were a virus causing a disease, it would behave in the particular manner I expect." Past success in discovering infectious agents are presented as classic models. Unfortunately, the low-hanging fruit of infectious disease has been harvested. What remains, of necessity, will be more difficult to grasp.

    The 'different virus' pitch is another example of failure to understand research claims actually made. Two virus isolates from the study published in Science were completely sequenced. The Lo/Alter study completely sequenced their amplicons, but never completely sequenced the viral genome. We don't yet know if the blind men have found two separate animals, or the trunk and tail of one.

    Arguments that the virus should not show substantial sequence variation are downright baffling. What is the basis for this assumption? The WPI group were able to find two essentially identical genomes. This says nothing firm about what else was present.

    Those arguments about copy numbers seem completely at odds. This is a problem I had trouble addressing in reading any of the present publications. Without more work, I am unwilling to take any stated numbers as more than an author's opinion. We definitely find opinions at odds on this subject.

    We have had many pronouncements about how science ought to be done in the course of the debate over XMRV. My view may be a minority position.

    The textbook cardboard of scientific discovery is a kind of Horatio Alger fable, "He knew he was right, and he stuck to his guns despite the forces arrayed against him." Unfortunately, you can find many more people who always knew they were right in mental institutions than on the stage in Stockholm.

    For me the interesting stories are about people who started out dead wrong and learned from nature despite false preconceptions. Science doesn't advance by avoiding all mistakes, but by learning from those people have made. Lessons of the "don't advocate retroviral theories" variety have not led to great advances.

    Good research branches out in many directions, even if based on false assumptions. Bad research goes nowhere. I have my own opinions about what we are seeing played out in front of us.

    If one guess about mistaken assumptions is correct, we even have a dramatic personal tragedy here. Dr. Weiss, to mention only a single name, may have allowed a Nobel prize to slip through his fingers more than once.
  9. pictureofhealth

    pictureofhealth XMRV - L'Agent du Jour

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    What amazes me is why Dr McClure in particular is spending so much time calling 'Contamination!' from the sidelines, instead of getting back into the lab and doing more research. She could actually be collecting more up to date samples right now from a new batch of ME/CFS patients (and from different physicians' practices) and conducting all kinds of probing research - but no, its easier to boo and shout 'out' from the sidelines. What an 'armchair' scientist she is turning out to be. She has shown herself to be a poor player IMV.
  10. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    Well after the Workshop she said she would trying culturing (using a phelbotomist (?) gather blood from WPI patients) and who knows if that went through. I sure would feel funny giving samples to her, though.
  11. usedtobeperkytina

    usedtobeperkytina Senior Member

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    Good for you, Cort.

    I love the style. Only because it is also the style I use.

    Using an analogy or metaphor is popular down here in the Deep South.

    And I have been looking for two days trying to get access to the information in the responding letters without having to pay PNAS. But, now I don't have to read it because you gave a summary in a very easy-to-read article.

    Tina
  12. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member

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    The letters are now in the research library.
  13. ixchelkali

    ixchelkali Senior Member

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    Unfair to use a baseball analogy in a discussion of the Brits. It's just not cricket, old man.
    :Retro smile:
  14. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    X Not Out

    In order to play the game, you will need to know the difference between being in and being out.

    It will only be England's turn to bat either when they have bowled the other team out, or when the other team declare (when they've scored lots of runs and no-one can get them out). If the bowling's useless, at some point you have to declare and go for the win, otherwise the test will be drawn when time runs out).

    Watch out for unsavoury tactics: you will need to know what is cricket and what is not cricket. Also be warned that the Scots play different games.

    Until then it'd be just super if you can carry on batting like this, and don't get caught out...:D
  15. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Enjoyed the analogy Cort - this seems to be the way cutting edge Science proceeds until that "eureka" moment. And do we mind the "who" - no - just find the answer please for illness and blighted lives of millions.
  16. caledonia

    caledonia

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    Alter/Lo telling McClure to RTFM - don't ya just love it!- lol
  17. pictureofhealth

    pictureofhealth XMRV - L'Agent du Jour

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    QUOTE (from Cort): "Well after the Workshop she said she would trying culturing (using a phelbotomist (?) gather blood from WPI patients) and who knows if that went through. I sure would feel funny giving samples to her, though." END QUOTE.

    Yes, I think that is exactly the WPI's reservation in a nutshell. Who would trust Dr McC with their samples after all this?
  18. LaurieM

    LaurieM

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    Could it be that the Brits (ie McClure) are hoping that rain will stop play, a draw will be called and the whole game will be forgotten about?

    As an Englishman I hope this doesn't (can't) happen - especially since the Yanks have won the toss and are batting first against a weaker team ;)
  19. twopenneth

    twopenneth

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    Author of the negative XMRV paper - Professor Myra McClure following the Q&A session of the 1st International XMRV Workshop She said “We have done the Serology” It has come to my attention that no serology test for XMRV anti body test was developed at the Imperial College London. Indeed, was there any serology at all?

    Following a Freedom of Information request the following response was received on 27th September 2010.

    "Further to your Freedom of Information request, Imperial College has not developed a serology (anti-body) test for XMRV.

    http://listserv.nodak.edu/cgi-bin/wa.exe?A2=ind1009d&L=co-cure&T=0&F&S&P=4248
  20. Kelly

    Kelly

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    Patience

    While some ME/CFS patients are most comfortable with conspiracy theories, this back and forth "prove it game" is standard in science regardless of the disease. The only people on earth who like to bicker more than scientists are politicians. :rolleyes:

    So long as all the players are above board, and openly acknowledge all sides, it is simply a spirited debate that is drawing attention to how the scientific process works. Science takes time and good science takes even longer. The more questions that are raised the more likely other teams are to address those variables and to be very very thorough. The result - more answers. This is all to the good. Negatives give as much information as positives.

    For those on the sidelines it can feel both too slow and too contentious, but the jury is still out and may remain out for some time.

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