New Atmosphere, New Vision: Gibson and Whittemore Kick Off Invest in ME Conference 2016
Mark Berry reports on Dr. Gibson's introduction and Dr. Whittemore's keynote speech, at the 11th Invest in ME International ME Conference in London.
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From WSJ World Class Virus Hunter

Discussion in 'Media, Interviews, Blogs, Talks, Events about XMRV' started by George, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. George

    George waitin' fer rabbits

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    World Class Virus Hunter To Head Up the Latest XMRV Study

    From the WSJ, please click to go there and provide Amy with Hits.
    By Amy Dockser Marcus


    At the 1st International Workshop on XMRV, which kicked off yesterday at the NIH, one of the most confounding questions was: Why dont the scientists agree?

    Conflicting results from different labs looking for XMRV and other related viruses have been at the heart of a debate that started last year, when researchers reported in Science that they found XMRV in a higher proportion of chronic fatigue syndrome patients than healthy people.

    The highest-profile dispute has been between scientists many of whom are attending the workshop at different federal agencies. A group of CDC researchers couldnt find XMRV or related viruses in CFS patients or healthy controls; an FDA/NIH team, meantime, didnt find XMRV but did find related retroviruses in CFS patients and in some healthy controls. Public health officials were confused by the conflicting findings and initially held up their publication to try to find an explanation.

    There will be another attempt to figure out whats going on, NIH director Francis Collins announced in his opening remarks to workshop participants. He said that in recent weeks he asked Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to direct a multi-center study of CFS patients to try to get to the bottom of the dispute. Collins said all the scientists need to work together to get answers.

    Fauci tells the Health Blog that one apparent factor in what he called this curious situation with the discrepancy of results is that the different groups were not looking at the same patients. He says he asked W. Ian Lipkin, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia Universitys Mailman School of Public Health whom Fauci calls a world class virus hunter, to head up the study.

    Lipkin, on his way to Vietnam for a conference on emerging infections, tells the Health Blog that in addition to different definitions of CFS, possible explanations for the conflicting findings include the way labs process the blood samples or the tests they use.

    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 doesnt, 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 hes 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.
     
  2. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Thanks George - and we should definitely all visit Amy's page to give her the hits to prove to her editors that this stuff is worth covering - and leave an appreciative message (you don't have to register, so it takes zero time).
     
  3. Hope123

    Hope123 Senior Member

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    Good and fast pick-up, George! This was slightly mentioned in CFS Central and in that patient visit to NIH report but it's good to hear details from the WSJ.
     
  4. pictureofhealth

    pictureofhealth XMRV - L'Agent du Jour

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    Excellent find George!

    Here's the kicker: "Lipkin, on his way to Vietnam for a conference on emerging infections, tells the Health Blog that in addition to different definitions of CFS, possible explanations for the conflicting findings include the way labs process the blood samples or the tests they use."

    We keep hearing this, so hopefully there will be some standardisation of sample storage (types of tubes and conditions) as well as testing methods & hopefully they will take the lead from the WPI on this.
     
  5. jenbooks

    jenbooks Guest

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    Lipkin is the best in the field, no doubt about it. He also has been working on tbd's so maybe he can see if this is transmissible in ticks.
     

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