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Disparaging Mikovits Is Also Disparaging the Ruscettis, Lo, Alter, and Others

Discussion in 'XMRV Research and Replication Studies' started by vdt33, Oct 6, 2011.

  1. vdt33

    vdt33

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    Judy Mikovits did not work alone to discover human gamma retroviruses (HGRV), and the reputations of those who collaborated with her and supported her lend credence and integrity to her research, which was careful and meticulous.

    A mistake with a presentation slide and the hasty publication of rebuttals by researchers who have their own theories and agendas to defend are not justification for discounting the knowledge and experience of all those who collaborated in or supported the discovery of HGRV in patients with ME.

    Space limitations allow me to describe only a few of Mikovits collaborators and supporters.

    Dr. Frank A. Ruscetti is known as the father of retroviruses. (Wikipedia) He was one of the team who first isolated HTLV in Robert Gallos lab. He also discovered the interleukin 2 cytokine.

    Dr. Sandra Ruscetti began her work on the pathogenesis of mouse retroviruses at NIH in 1975. She studied retroviruses that cause leukemia or neurological disease in rodents to obtain basic information on how molecular changes in normal cells can result in pathological consequences.

    Shyh-Ching Lo and Harvey J. Alter in their 2010 paper entitled Detection of MLV-related Virus Gene Sequences in Blood of Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Healthy Blood Donors stated:


    "Although we find evidence of a broader group of MLV-related viruses, rather than just XMRV, in patients with CFS and healthy blood donors, our results clearly support the central argument by Lombardi et al. that MLV-related viruses are associated with CFS and are present in some blood donors."​


    Harvey J. Alter is a virologist who is best best known for his work that led to the discovery of the hepatitis C virus.
    He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal and the 2000 Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research

    Shyh-Ching Lo is the Director of the Tissue Safety Laboratory Program Division of Cellular and Gene Therapy Research at the FDA.

    Dr. Judy Mikovits worked for Frank Ruscetti at the National Cancer Institute in Maryland during the 1980s, completed a joint PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and specialized in virus-caused cancers. For over 22 years at the National Cancer Institute, she investigated how viruses dysregulate the immune response to cause cancer.

    She became interested in the Whittemore-Peterson research institute when she attended the HHV-6 Virus Conference in 2006.
    At that conference, Dr. Dan Peterson reported that nine of his CFS patients had Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma (NHL).

    Dr. Mikovits went to the Whittemore-Peterson Institute to look more closely at these patients. She was joined by some of the most prominent researchers from the National Cancer Institute.

    This led to the research paper:

    Identification of Differentially Expressed Viruses in American CFS Patients Probed with a Custom Mammalian Virus Microarray. Judy Mikovits, V. Lombardi, Y. Huang, D. Peterson and F. Ruscetti.


    Mikovits and collaborators used the latest technology for identifying viruses microarrays -- which search for bits of RNA and DNA unique to a pathogen. This particular microarray looked for evidence of all known mammalian viruses, and it held multiple aspects of every known mammalian virus.

    What they found was:

    The average chronic fatigue syndrome patient on the day they were tested had between 30-50 viruses; the average healthy control patient had 3 or 4 -- Dr. Daniel Peterson, 2008 Swedish Conference.

    The healthy controls had 3 or 4 common cold viruses (rhinoviruses/adenoviruses).

    Mikovitz and collaborators next looked for evidence that these patients immune systems had viral induced immune dysfunction.

    This led to the research paper:

    Serum Cytokine and Chemokine Profiles of Individuals with ME/CFS Distinguish Unique Subgroups Among Patient Populations. Vincent Lombardi, D. Redelman, D. White, M. Fremont, K. DeMeirleir, D. Peterson, J. Mikovits

    Further research into viruses in patients with ME/CFS led to the discovery of the (originally misnamed XMRV) human gamma retroviruses (HGRV) in ME patients. This led to the publication in Science of the paper :

    Detection of an Infectious Retrovirus, XMRV, in Blood Cells of Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

    Vincent C. Lombardi, Francis W. Ruscetti, Jaydip Das Gupta, Max A. Pfost, Kathryn S. Hagen, Daniel L. Peterson, Sandra K. Ruscetti, Rachel K. Bagni, Cari Petrow-Sadowski, Bert Gold, Michael Dean, Robert H. Silverman and Judy A. Mikovits


    [All bolding is mine.]
    Wildcat, Lou, Enid and 1 other person like this.
  2. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    You've just made my day vdt - balance at last rather than "rights" or "wrongs" of Dr Mikovits currently filling the airwaves.
  3. vdt33

    vdt33

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    Thank you, Enid. Things have really gotten crazy. It is time for a reality check! :D
  4. FancyMyBlood

    FancyMyBlood Senior Member

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    Sorry, but this whole thread sounds like a big appeal to authority to me. I could make a same list about the negative XMRV papers and it would contain even more prestigious scientists. This is not a strong argument at all. Instead of looking at the reputation of these scientists before the whole XMRV thing we should be looking at the available evidence and to be frankly, that's not really in favor of the XMRV/HGRV proponents.
    Firestormm likes this.
  5. vdt33

    vdt33

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    FancyMyBlood, would you please make such a list of the highest accomplishments of the opposition group. I would be really interested. Seriously
  6. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Speculation not also part of the processes of discovery then. (4Docs - specialists/researchers in my family who say "we think" at each point in order to proceed to scientific proof or otherwise).
  7. Marco

    Marco Old blackguard

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    That quote made no such claim. Neither did Lombardi et al.
    Roy S and Wildcat like this.
  8. vdt33

    vdt33

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    Eco,

    No where in my post do I state that HGRV causes ME/CFS. That has not been proven yet. What I state is that HGRV has been found in patients with ME/CFS. Frank Ruscetti, Sandra Ruscetti, Lo, Alter, and others would agree with my statement.

    vdt33
    Wildcat likes this.
  9. FancyMyBlood

    FancyMyBlood Senior Member

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    Like I said, I don't believe it's relevant concerning the evidence for or against XMRV/HGRVs. Just for examples sake; Linus Pauling js the only person to date with 2 unshared Nobel Prizes, but he was still dead wrong about his vitamin C hypothesis.

    So demonstrating someone's (supposed) authority to prove he's right/wrong is a very fallacious argument.

    But I guess it's pretty easy to find the credentials of those (XMRV negative) researchers if you're really that interested :)
    kurt likes this.
  10. vdt33

    vdt33

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    FancyMyBlood,

    A person's history, experiences, accomplishments, biases, or conflicts of interest are usually what determine their integrity and credibility.

    When several people whose peers recognize their expertise and credibility make a judgement, that judgement is given serious consideration.

    I would like to know the accomplishments of the opposition, but I don't have the energy to search for it now.

    vdt33
  11. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    This is the second straw-man argument against vdt33's point in this thread. Marco highlighted the first, by ecoclimber. Vdt33 did not reference authority "to prove he's right/wrong". So the fallacious argument here is clearly that of FancyMyBlood and Ecoclimber who are putting words into other people's mouths that completely misrepresent their point - and it's a very frustrating debating style. Here's what vdt33 actually said, and at no point is there a claim that the authority of the scientists concerned "proves them right or wrong".

    Judy Mikovits did not work alone to discover human gamma retroviruses (HGRV), and the reputations of those who collaborated with her and supported her lend credence and integrity to her research, which was careful and meticulous.

    A mistake with a presentation slide and the hasty publication of rebuttals by researchers who have their own theories and agendas to defend are not justification for discounting the knowledge and experience of all those who collaborated in or supported the discovery of HGRV in patients with ME.
    OverTheHills likes this.
  12. FancyMyBlood

    FancyMyBlood Senior Member

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    It's nothing more than an indication of someone's credibility. But in science, someone's word or reputation isn't the decisive factor in establishing the 'truth'. The (weight of the) scientific evidence is.
  13. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Hi eco,

    First, the quote mentioned does not infer that HGRVs cause ME/CFS. Very few people are saying that. Many of us are entertaining it as a possible hypothesis.

    Second, there is an implied presumption in the statement that HGRVs exist. It would be better to talk of MLLVs in my view. That however is semantics. The labels used are being defined differently in different contexts, at different times, and so are potentially misleading. That is just a semantic problem however, not something to get stressed over.

    Third, antibody defense? Really? Could you substantiate that? So far as I am aware its intrinsic chemical defenses like APOBEC3 that resist XMRV - and the research has not been extended to MLLVs properly at least in recent research I have read. What do such defenses do? They inactivate free virus, although I think some methylate integrated virus. If ONE virus gets into an immune cell without adequate chemical defense, then there is an infection. What this implies is that infection rate is very very low, not that it is non-existent. Given the low transmission rate of ME that we seem to be seeing this is entirely consistent with known data.

    I can't speak to everyone but I can say that I do not believe in HGRVs. What I believe in is the hypothesis is important enough to investigate properly. Much of that has been done, much of it remains to be done.

    Some of the claims so far (particularly those quoted by media) are of the form "HGRVs/XMRV might not exist, therefore they don't". This is unscientific, invalid, and irrational. The Lipkin study will have the advantage of being able to assign a number to the probability that HGRVs are not involved in ME or CFS. That number should, hopefully, give us a good assessment of the probability. At that point, if the anti-HGRV proponents are right, they might be able to assign a ratio like the chance of HGRV being involved is one in a million. At that point we will have a much better basis to decide if pursuing this research is valid at this time.

    However, it only takes one new discovery to change things, and we can't predict what that will be. It could work for or against the HGRV hypothesis.

    There is no doubt in my mind that Dr Judy Mikovits would be considered a maverick researcher. She is not walking on the beaten path. Incremental discoveries can be made by any researcher, but more than their fair share of mavericks have made major discoveries and won Nobel prizes. My model for such who I have been looking at for well over a decade is Dr Barry Marshall who won a Nobel prize for his part in the discovery of Helicobacter pylori inducing stomach ulcers. IIRC he was weeks away from being struck off the medical register because of his crazy theory before he turned it around. Mavericks can not only advance science, they can change the paradigm. Lets not forget that stomach ulcers were once thought to be caused by stress.

    Bye
    Alex
  14. FancyMyBlood

    FancyMyBlood Senior Member

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    Mark, I disagree with you ENTIRELY. Refering to someone's reputation IS an appeal to authority, no matter how you slice it. While I agree that one mistake is not enough to discount all of the 'evidence', he/she clearly posted this in a way which tried to put these researchers in a way of auhority, with bolded words like 'father of retroviruses' and 'discovery of hepatitis C virus'. But these words have NOTHING to do with the evidence for or against XMRV/HGRVs.

    Also, vdt33 doesn't deny this because he/she keeps using this as justification as posted in two posts above:

    ''A person's history, experiences, accomplishments, biases, or conflicts of interest are usually what determine their integrity and credibility.''

    It's not that I disagree entirely with the validity of the above quote, but it's NOT useful in a debate about the evidence for or against XMRV/HGRV.
  15. paddygirl

    paddygirl Senior Member

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    Thank you very much VDT, I needed this. I have been reading very nasty things about Dr M. today. Seems like a lot of people are gleeful about recent events, and give no credence to Dr M and her close colleagues.

    I don't want to put words into your mouth but what I get from your first post is that you are saying these are serious scientists and should be treated as such. ERV and her ilk do not and have never accepted this. Repulsive. :(

    Thank you, your post made my day among the gloom.

    Paddy

    Fancy.. iS this a debate about XMRV or about the credibility and integrity of Dr M. and her colleagues?
  16. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member

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    erm....thats not whats being "debated" here - look at the thread title.
  17. FancyMyBlood

    FancyMyBlood Senior Member

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    Yes it is....

    Refering to something 'misnamed' as XMRV instead of HRGV directly implies you support the HGRV hypothesis. But there is NO (published) evidence there is anything like XMRV or HGRV in ME/CFS patients.
  18. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member

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    Interesting interpretation...it may explain a lot about your arguement to date. It seems you may not see the words that are actually on the screen. Either that or one us has severe cognitive issues, and it cant be me because there's absolutely nothing wrong with me that a nice chat and a stroll in the countryside wont fix (and I have paperwork to prove it).
    OverTheHills likes this.
  19. currer

    currer Senior Member

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    But surely the fact that we are now arguing about reputations (however defined) suggests that the fundamental issue is being lost.

    A careful and fair evaluation of all the scientific evidence should be what decides the point.

    I have a feeling that we have reached a point in the deconstruction of Judy Mikovits work where the evidence and the expertise of those who collaborated with her and whose work corroborated hers, will no longer be attended to.

    This would be a great loss because the wider implications of murine retroviruses in the human population are fascinating.

    (Remember that the REPUTATION of a scientist DEPENDS UPON the excellence and accuracy of his work.
    There is no dichotomy here. Lets not get diverted into pursuing false alternatives.)
  20. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member

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    agreed, but discussions of the various viewpoints on XMRV, HGRV, MLV's and the various studies are being held on other threads, as far as I understand it the point of this thread was to point out that the WPI's work was backed up by others and did not stand on it's own, and hence that the allegations made against JM and the WPI must also include these others (either as a conspiracy to...... what? where is the gain?) or of simple incompitence.

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