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Article: XMRV In the Balance- A Tale of Two Conferences

Discussion in 'Phoenix Rising Articles' started by Phoenix Rising Team, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. Phoenix Rising Team

    Phoenix Rising Team

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  2. Sean

    Sean Senior Member

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    Excellent summary, thanks for that.

    As I said before, until these findings can be explained by the contamination theorists, then their theory remains nonsense. Not only does this evidence not fit into a contamination model, it is pretty hard evidence against it.

    Awful lot of scientific reputations and careers riding the outcome of this issue. Either way there are going to be some serious losers.
     
  3. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    There are going be some serious losers for sure. It would be great if one of the contamination theorists would sit down and attempt to explain away all the other evidence. It seems really hard - like a fantastic series of events would have to occur in tandem.

    It'll be very interesting to see if the BWG can actually explain the disparate results. The scary possibility is that they still can't leaving everyone up in the air but support for XMRV dwindling as the negative studies come in. (Hopefully Singh and the others rescue us from that.)
     
  4. mojoey

    mojoey Senior Member

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    great summary cort! I hope the NIH's rejection of 6 WPI grant proposals since last Oct has more to do with legitimate uncertainty on how to regard the negative studies rather than an agenda to distance themselves from the institute, scandalous history with the CDC notwithstanding.

    I'm gonna be on pins and needles until the BWG results come out! It seems like that's really gonna be the tipping point, like you said, for better or worse. It's never good to have our future riding on one bet, but it's seems like things are either really gonna get rolling after that or there will be some major headwinds for researching funding going forward. Yikes.
     
  5. Forbin

    Forbin Forbin

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    It's going to be pretty difficult to chalk up the positive results to mouse contamination if they can't find XMRV in mice (which no one has, so far).
     
  6. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    Have they really rejected 6 WPI grant proposals? I had no idea it was that many and I assume that many of them got in there before the Weiss paper came out....that's really something. .... I don't think it has to do with the negative studies....it's something else. Dr. Singh, Dr. Hansen and Dr. Lipkin have all gotten grants.

    The good news to all this is that the Dr. Mikovits is part of the BWG and she seems OK with what's going there so far. Indeed, she seems quite confident - as always ;). What a year its been! :D
     
  7. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

    Now isn't that a good point! If its not in mice - how could it be mouse contamination?.... I never thought of that! Sometimes you can't see the forest for the trees!

    That is funny! :D:D:D:D
     
  8. Sean

    Sean Senior Member

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    Yes, excellent point.
     
  9. lancelot

    lancelot Senior Member

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    Weasel, McClure, White, Reeves, Monroe = Biggest LOSERS

    Thankfully, we have a much longer list of heroes than losers with ME/CFS.
     
  10. LJS

    LJS Insert Witty Comment Here

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    As always great wright up, I am so anxious to see the results of the blood working group. I truly feel it will be either the final nail in the coffin for XMRV or the revival of research. Is it out yet... what about now? ... or now?
     
  11. Klmrav

    Klmrav

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    Hi Cort! Yeah, Dr. Judy said that she "had a drawer full of unpublished papers", but that she was used to it because the same thing happened in the early days of aids. You probably already know this, but the wpi website has the papers from the XMRV workshop...the UK and Cheney studies and a lot more (pos and neg) are posted there. PS it was good to see you in DC!
     
  12. illsince1977

    illsince1977 A shadow of my former self

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    Cort-
    Thanks so much for putting this information together. I've been on pins and needles waiting for more coverage on these conferences. The contamination arguments just don't seem to make sense to my addled, unscientific brain. I find your summary very encouraging, personally.

    By the way, isn't it Mr. Switzer, not Dr. Switzer, or has he gotten a PHD very recently? He is still listed as William M. Switzer, MPH on the CDC website, anyway.
     
  13. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Thanks too Cort informative reading. :thumbsup:
     
  14. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Great article, thanks Cort! I had been wondering if you were going to write a big "state of play" summary for the Science paper's birthday today!
     
  15. fred

    fred The game is afoot

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    Weiss is a loose cannon, imo. Here is his response to the Lo/Alter paper, issued by the UK Science Media Centre (SMC), an indepedent organisation that appears to have no controlling body.

    http://www.sciencemediacentre.org/pages/press_releases/10-08-23_cfs_virus_pnas.htm

    We all could drive a London bus through every one of these sentences but, sadly, the UK media (which the SMC briefs) can not.

    And one particular sentence (below) could be read as a (not so) veiled warning to the UK media not to 'touch this one with a barge pole, lads'. What relevance at all does this have to a press release about XMRV unless it is simply to make such a point?

    I would also ask why Judy has 500 isolates and no funds to sequence them. Was this not to be completed using the $1.6m grant from the NIH? Did this get pulled because the co-recipient, Dr Jonathon Kerr, was co-author of the second failed UK study and subsequently decided to withdraw from ME research?

    If so, the UK scientists (yet again) have got a lot to answer for.
     
  16. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

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    Great job Cort!

    In response to the questions raised it is pretty clear who is getting more specific and who continues to make things as vague as possible. In ordinary disputes, this is a good indication of where you find facts and where opinions.

    (Question for fred: when Dr. Kerr "decided to withdraw" did he jump or was he pushed?)

    Beyond the immediate questions I think we are seeing a paradigm shift in medical research. Most infectious diseases have had characteristics which make it easy to identify them: distinctive pathogens, rapid replication, cell death. We are now seeing a pathogen which is 95% homologous to endogenous sequences in humans and 94% homologous to a foreign endogenous sequence. The disease where this was discovered, prostate cancer, has a very long course, with a great deal of evidence showing years of inflammation prior to onset. If this pathogen is responsible, it must have a very low rate of replication. There is remarkably little evidence of any cell death attributable to XMRV. This has real relevance for detection and immune activation.

    All these attributes violate common assumptions about pathogens, but these are not axioms carved in stone. We are getting an education regarding which researchers are actually thinking, and which are operating by conditioned response.
     
  17. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Well said - my decades with ME/CFS have been an education on who is and isn't actually thinking. Amazing how many people aren't.
     
  18. Parismountain

    Parismountain Senior Member

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    Cort, great article, here's a missing word,

    "Dr. Mikovits reported that they are having getting their papers published" having trouble getting I'm guessing is what it needs
     
  19. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    I agree about Weiss - his was a cautionary tale but not a very rigorous appraisal of the facts surrounding XMRV. It was more like an essay than anything and I'm surprised it's been mentioned so much.

    My understanding is that 1.6 m grant from the NIH was produced before XMRV and was devoted to other things. Has Dr. Kerr actually decided to withdraw from ME research? I hope not - he did some pretty compelling research.

    Thanks for the missed word - it was easy to fill in :)
     
  20. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    I thought I read on this board some time back that he'd decided to withdraw from XMRV research, not ME research - can't remember who said it or what made them think so, though.
     

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