From Amy Dockser Marcus : "The new study, Lipkin says, will involve fresh blood samples from 100 CFS patients and 100 similar, but healthy people — 25 of each group from four different sites around the country, to provide geographic diversity. The samples will be processed, blinded and sent to the FDA, the CDC and the Whittemore Peterson Institute, which led the team that published the original Science paper. If a lab finds a sample is positive for XMRV, further tests will be needed to confirm the result. If one lab finds a positive sample but another lab doesn’t, the same samples can be shipped again, with a new blinded code, to be tested again. “If you get the same result, it is valid,” Lipkin says. He adds that it may turn out that certain labs are simply more proficient than others at finding XMRV and related viruses. And he says he’s open to whatever the outcome is, which is one reason why NIAID asked his group to run the study. “We have no horse in this race,” he says." I'm all for impartiality and getting to the truth, but the fact is you just can't 'split the difference' between a disease paradigm that favours a psychological aetiology and one that posits a viral one. Which brings us back again to the cohorts and patient selection. To find/confirm the virus you need to start from the assumption that a (retro)virus is to blame and is causing the neuroimmune damage seen in ME/CFS patients - but not universally accepted. The symptomology (for which read case definitions) will determine which patients are chosen for the study. Lipkin has the background to appreciate how a retovirus could produce the symptoms seen in ME/CFS. But what patient description will he be given? Will be be allowed to use the CCD case definition which is presently for clinical use only or will he be required to use Fukada or Fukada-lite for reasons of comparability and research publication? I'm afraid I'm reserving judgement until the cohort criteria are clarified.