Discussion in 'XMRV Research and Replication Studies' started by pollycbr125, Sep 17, 2012.
We don't let them forget those commitments either!!!
New study confirms erroneous link between XMRV virus, prostate cancer
For me this question and answer was most revealing:
Viruses acquitted in chronic fatigue case
The Slow, Slow Road to De-Discovery
I too really hope that Lipkin reads this diabolical piece. I know the article is part of a blog and will not be widely read but what i find worrying is the author describes himself as a leading science writer in the U.K. He needs to be better informed about the science.
Does he mention that 2/3-3/4 of the patient group they were studying had poly-clonal B cell activation in the press conference? I've listened to most of it but cant find him saying that. Does he say it near the beginning? Many thanks
there was a tremendous amount of immune reactivity in the late 1990's found why are we still in the situation we are in in 2012 . ME could have been solved years ago we could have had treatments by now . The way we have been treated over the past umpteen decades by the research community is unforgiveable . No wonder The treatment of pwme in the UK is so diabolocal when paths forward which could have been followed have been left to fall by the wayside
Anniekim - its definitely in the first half of the recording cause I only watched that far and heard that bit.
I think it was about half way through the first half?
A ‘prior plausibility’ test is about formally testing an hypothesis against what is known – or what is taken as ‘known’ within the context of an hypothesis or piece of research. The starting point would be the basic Laws of science – an hypothesis about M.E/CFS that requires (for some bizarre reason) the re-writing of Newtonian physics would not progress because it lacks plausibility. In the case of Lombardi et al 2009 the question is not an issue of an offence against scientific Laws but about consistency within the hypothesis being tested. While there is necessarily greater latitude in terms of plausibility – anything which suggests implausibility to should lead the researchers to express caution.
The gender differential characteristic of M.E/CFS is well established and to date no researcher has questioned the data that supports the existence of the differential, although the precise ratio involved is not established. As the authors of Lombardi et al did not expressly question the gender differential at the outset, it only reasonable to expect that they accepted it as an established characteristic of the illness they were studying.
While gender differentials in other diseases are recognised, none have been ascribed to preferential infection – that is: across broad populations pathogens are as able to exploit male bodies as they are female ones, always allowing that differences in societal roles allow for great exposure of one gender above the other. EBV is associated with MS, a condition which shows a significant gender differential – but EBV is present throughout the human population, virtually everyone gets infected at some point, from which we have to conclude that MS is a condition of response not of exposure (note the point re: response made by Lipkin). If M.E/CFS were an illness of single pathogen causation then to explain the characteristic gender differential, such a pathogen would need to be near ubiquitous across the human population –or a process of preferential infection would be required, something which tests plausibility because no such process is yet known. The key point here is not that question of plausibility defeats the results, but that it should raise caution on the part of any researcher. Exceptional results require exceptional explanations.
The 67% versus 4% positives in the Lombardi et al 2009, made ubiquity of infection highly implausible, and in the light of gender differential, the study required exceptional explanations for: processes of differential exposures, non symptomatic infection versus symptomatic infection and implied preferential infection by gender. All of this should have been a cause for exceptional caution on the part of the authors. That caution should have been discussed within the paper and, had it have been, would have stood as a substantial impediment to the marketing of any test for XMRV.
Just like any other pathogen, the case for XMRV in CFS could have been both the existence of the pathogen itself and an unusual host response, which could be influenced by gender.
I'm sorry, but it was very much in the realms of plausibility, hence why it was published in Science.
Scientists can make mistakes, it is time to move on.
A few of the news articles allude, as usual when controversial issues are covered, that there are "ME terrorists" who will automatically reject the results as flawed, scream conspiracy theories, and harass scientists, (because we as a stupid community of somatizers, need evidence for infection to match our ideology?).
However, I have noticed that the online ME/CFS community has overwhelmingly accepted the results of this paper. It is strong reiteration of "old news", as urbantravels put it. The proportion of people who actually expected the paper to confirm a role for XMRV/pMLV appears to have been very small, as does the number of people who are still skeptical about the results, and I'm certainly not conflating them with "ME terrorists" just for having doubts and combing through the details.
Lipkin to my delighted surprise kindly replied to my e mail and said the article is a perversion of their work. So he is aware of it, thankfully.
Thanks, will go and have another look, must have missed it somehow.
Thanks for bringing that to his attention, anniekim - I had been too bashful (or stupid!) to do it. I'm glad to hear him say that. Really, shame on Hanlon.
Comments are up now on Hanlon and he's getting a slamming - I'm glad they at least got through moderation. Looking for mine now...
...and found it. Unusually for me, I am one of the angrier posters! Quite surprised to find myself the biggest ranter.
I thought in a way its a strange article. It made me wonder why he would write it. He seems vaguely informed in that he knows there were articles in the BMJ and Lancet. He clearly hadn't understood Lipkins work, the XMRV debate, the critisism of the PACE trial etc - I would say to the extent that his ramblings made him look stupid. Makes me wonder if there is some behind the scenes briefing going on by Wessely et al
It's classic psych lobby stuff - all in the mind, no stigma in mental illness, patients should be grateful for psychiatrists, actually PWME are terrorists, pity us poor psychiatrists who are the ones to be sorry for, etc. etc.
It'd just attention seeking behaviour. Having heard that there are some ME patients who are vocal about the disease he is enjoying getting people riled. Every response is enjoyed by the writer because he knows that there will be no repercussions and no wider audience. It's for his personal pleasure.
We've seen so much of this over the decades in the UK.
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