(Sorry if this thread is a bit repetitive on my part - I think most people missed the last time I posted this, due to my bad thread title. Seems pretty important & worth repeating.) They're looking into whether XMRV might trigger endogenous retroviruses (old retroviruses thought to be defunct, which make up 8% or so of the human genome); Dr Luckett explains here how this might cause an autoimmune response, where the body attacks its own cells: "This is significant, in that XMRV could induce the translation of endogenous retroelements - of which there are over 7,000 on the human genome -which human cells do not have the machinery to transform them into proteins (no human promoter can activate them), leading to the expression of foreign proteins on the surface of human cells, which makes the immune system recognize these cells as foreign." (Full post here: http://cfidsresearch.blogspot.com/2009/11/raltegravir-is-likely-effective-against.html) This fits with the previous discussion about endogenous retroviruses: "We think that the problem is that CFS is a collection of many, many different diseases even though it has similar symptoms," says Brigitte Huber, a professor of pathology at Tufts University's Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences in Boston. She and others suspect that the retrovirus may be unleashing other underlying conditions and viruses in the body. "This new retrovirus may be able, through infecting human cells, [to] induce a transcription of an endogenous virus," says Huber, who has been studying the presence of an ancient retrovirus (HERV-K18) dormant in most people but active in patients with CFS and multiple sclerosis. "We've already shown that Epstein-Barr virus can do exactly this." Even in their testing for the XMRV retrovirus, Mikovits says, "We could see a human endogenous virus at the same time" as XMRV. "There are a number of old diseases that seem to be rising at an infectious rate," she says. Although this background noise of various viruses may be difficult to sort though, it brings clues to help researchers find the root cause of CFS. "It's possible, downstream, that this will all feed into the same mechanism," Huber says. (The full article is here http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=chronic-fatigue-syndrome-retrovirus) If this proves to be true, it really does open up a whole new branch of medicine. As someone else said on these boards, it's either Nobel Prize or laughingstock within a year. The suspense is killing me.