Discussion in 'XMRV Research and Replication Studies' started by Countrygirl, May 31, 2011.
Frankly it just diabolic to me that this genuine researcher has to suffer the nastiness of the intrigue and jealousy of lesser mortals looking for personal glory (it goes on I hear in academic and science circles even worse than simple mortals could ever imagine). Much hope Dr Mikovits will never be downed by politics and carry on her marvellous researches.
It's getting a bit tiresome that Mikovits always has to be the one to rush to our defence. Where are the others, like Alter, Silverman, Ruscetti, Klein? It's like she stands alone.
Let's not forget we can do A LOT for her and their group. If we are behind them, this makes a difference. To them and also to their opponents. Support them and also make that support visible to the world.
I'd be interested to hear from them too. Particularly Ruscetti.
Has it occurred to you that Mikovits is wrong? That her study is fatally flawed and that Science is right to ask her to withdraw it?
I don't think there are many people here who don't think that's a real possibility. It's a slightly patronising question.
That's possible too, but it's also a possibility with the prostate cancer studies too. Before we've heard back from the BWG and Lipkin studies it does seem strange and premature to retract only the CFS study.
Wow, that's one of the most bizarre comments I've read. Surely if Mikovits is wrong ,as seems increasingly likely, you should be pleased that no more time and money is going to be wasted on research that won't go anywhere.
This is the way science works, for results to be accepted they have to be reproducible. Probably a large percentage of studies published in Science, Nature etc are wrong because they publish cutting edge research, their finding only really become accepted after they've been reproduced by other labs. This is how HIV came to be accepted as the cause of AIDS etc etc. It's no good bad mouthing and shooting the messenger if Mikovits is wrong. You talk as if all scientists except her are corrupt or part of some conspiracy.
Really, that's not the impression I get from a brief perusal of this part of the forum.
Not if Science are about to publish something in June that contradicts the Mikovits study, which seems likely. They're doing her a favour by asking her to retract rather than doing it for her.
We all make mistakes. Probably best not to start off posting on a forum with an attitude based only on a brief prior perusal though. It's not really fair, is it?
There's always a possibility that people's actions are being driven by data that's not yet public. Maybe Mikovits has some knock-out data showing she was right all along? Who knows?
We can only try to judge things based on the publicly available information, otherwise it's too easy to get sucked into unwarranted presumptions.
I am open minded but very curious about XMRV, and I am waiting for the science to give us answers.
At the moment there are far more questions than answers.
When you ask if Mikovits' study is fatally flawed, we would be far too premature to come to that conclusion.
There is no evidence that the WPI have only detected contamination, which is why the Science editors have not actually retracted the study.
There seems to be a scientific consensus that XMRV is a human virus, and as time goes by there seem to be more and more developments that gives us more indications that Mikovits' did not detect contamination.
Good science trumps false beliefs, even when we want the beliefs to be true. It is time to move on.
I just wonder if WPI and CFS research will survive Mikovits, who has chosen an entrenched position that is appearing more and more about her ego than facts. Science is all about false leads and sometimes making wrong conclusions. This is forgiveable, but you have to be willing to alter your hypothesis when it has been shown to be incorrect. For whatever reason Mikovits appears totally incapable of even contemplating that possibility.
Hi, Bob, thanks for the reply. I only have an academic interest - my sister thought she had CFS and asked me to look into the XMRV story for her as I'm a scientist. I have to say that I'm pretty taken aback by some of the comments here about scientists, it's pretty shocking really. I'm entirely agnostic about XMRV though I have to say from what I've read, it seems unlikely that it's the cause of CFS.
I can not agree with this more. Mikovits arguments seems like a broken record at this point. All the evidence she has presented to try and prove she is not finding a contaminate in no way proves that; some in fact reinforces the idea that she is finding a contaminate. The sequences she published are essentially VP62.
This paraghrah from the WPI letter really rubs me the wrong way because it is just simply wrong
Dr Singh did more of a replication study then Alter and Lo, just because Dr Singh did not find it they right it off as garbage. Also the paper published today in science by Levy used the exact same primers as the original science paper and found nothing. They even used the same phlebotomist on 19 patients and had blood drawn at the same time for this group and WPI/VIPDx. WPI/VIPDx reported that 10 of the samples 19 were positive. The Dr. Levy group found 0/19 were positive with the exact same primers as the WPI science paper. The constant excuses by the WPI are getting old.
Welcome to the forum RedRuth.
Yes, I really hope this doesn't damage future research into CFS. Unfortunately I think it might.
RedRuth, there is often an anti-science viewpoint on this forum. Much of this comes from a history of neglect with this disease and condesending attitudes by the medical profession. There really have been some "conspiracies" against CFS by the CDC, although they are more political than scientific. That background is important to understand. However, I do not see any reason to suspect that is happening with XMRV or the journal Science. The conspiracy would involve far too many people and reputable scientists, so I do not think it is a realistic position to take in this case.
I was also a scientist so I believe in the scientific method, which means continuously and carefully adapting your beliefs based on repeated observations. That is why I now think XMRV is not the culprit of CFS.
To someone who hasn't been following the XMRV research closely, then I agree that it would seem increasingly likely that Mikovits is wrong.
But 'likely wrong' or 'maybe wrong', or 'probably wrong' is not the same as 'wrong' and the Mikovits' original study has not been disproved.
But to many of us who have been following very closely, we can see that the Original Science study still stands strong, for many different reasons.
I see you are new to the forum RedRuth. Welcome.
From your posts, it does show that you are not aware of the history of ME/CFS and the way the disease and patients have been treated by governments and the scientific establishment and some scientists over many many years.
If you had been at the receiving end of this treatment, then maybe you would not have made the comments that you have made, and would understand that there is politics at play in the world of CFS/ME.
We have also seen politics at play in the scientific community with XMRV.
So you'll have to forgive us if we sometimes get cranky when we see the scientific establishment attempting to shut down the cutting-edge research of a decent and very competent scientist because her results happen to displease them.
Science have issued a statement (see below) saying, in effect, that the jury is still out with XMRV and ME/CFS, so in which case, why have they asked for a retraction? Is that good science?
Thanks RedRuth, for sharing your background, and welcome to the forum.
There is so much more to the story of ME and XMRV than is probably apparent from the posts that you have read.
We have very good reason to be suspicious of many in the medical profession, and of many scientists.
I won't go into details here, because I'd be writing for at least a week, if I tried to summarise the history now!
I think Redruth we are concerned here with all research that (maybe slowly - trial and errors) uncovers the biological processes (viral or otherwise) of ME/CFS - and welcome discovery not the current infighting apparent in the science community.
Anyway, I have been following XMRV from the very start and I think have read every study and article published. Something is there. Yes, it's possible the WPI study is fatally flawed, but I am also seeing a lot of shifting from other researchers. At first XMRV was just a contaminant, then some researchers started looking for it in their own lab assistants. I see patents being registered all over the place. We have the Singh study that says there is no link with XMRV and CFS, but she stands by her conclusions that there's a link between XMRV and prostate cancer. Also a lot of the XMRV negative papers jumped to conclusions, making broad statements, while it was evident there were other possibilities. I work as an analyst and some of their analyses were flawed. I was really shocked these scientists sometimes came to such weird conclusions... I used to put them on a pedestal, but certainly no longer.
Along comes the CDC's HIV department, which suddenly finds XMRV in a small amount of samples and rules out contamination! Lo/Alter and Silverman have also repeatedly ruled out contamination. Then we have a Dutch professor of virology working at a respected hospital that launches the hypothesis that XMRV may have been introduced through vaccines! Such a hypothesis certainly is a career killer if it's based on nothing...
We have Silverman still conducting research on XMRV and recently publishing two papers. We have the retrovirology conference in june with a lot of attention for XMRV.
We have a German doctor that couldn't find XMRV, but is now finding it (with help of the WPI, which could make his research flawed, yes). We have a Belgian doctor that is finding XMRV in stomach biopsies.
Also keep in mind we have only been studying retroviruses since the 1970's and so far we have only found two retroviruses in humans... the field is relatively new.
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