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Lipkin comments on XMRV study

Discussion in 'Media, Interviews, Blogs, Talks, Events about XMRV' started by Kina, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    Sorry Tony, but none of this is correct - there is not one big study but two - they are not looking at finding different things eg HGRV or NK function. I cant explain it to you as my brain isnt working, im not sure how you have presumed this from reading these threads. Its quite clear that there are two studies and what they are doing in each.
    RL_sparky, anne_likes_red and Wildcat like this.
  2. eric_s

    eric_s Senior Member

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    I also think the "other" Lipkin study will be interesting. But in my opinion (as a non-scientist too...) nothing in science is every 100% settled for ever. There should always be the chance to come back, look at it again and find out it was wrong.
    jace, Lou and Wildcat like this.
  3. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    Absolutely. But hopefully the scientists concerned will publish a paper instead of claiming that they can reproduce it on their own. It is important, vital even that claims made are substantiated and the results replicated by others, no? I mean that is the process whereby discoveries might lead to greater understanding of our condition and maybe even effective treatments.
  4. eric_s

    eric_s Senior Member

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    I totally agree with you. After the Blood Working Group anything XMRV/MRV that's not the result of an independently blinded study is more or less worthless, as far as i'm concerned. I think they now need to prove they are right, if they want people to believe them.
    Firestormm likes this.
  5. currer

    currer Senior Member

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    This is very superficial reasoning.

    New science is difficult because it is about discovering the unknown.

    Negative results are something we use to learn from on the winding road to the final answer. Science does not consist of short cuts or straight roads. In science there are very few easy answers. It only seems easy afterwards It is not some kind of contest. We need humility to understand new and incompletely understood evidence.
    jace likes this.
  6. eric_s

    eric_s Senior Member

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    I don't know if you are referring to what i said, but i don't think that was superficial. Doesn't it make sense that you need to prove you can tell cases from controls in an independently blinded set of samples? I think it's absolutely necessary. As far as humility goes, where was that when the pro-XMRV camp said they have found it, they are certain about it, everybody else doesn't know how to test correctly, etc.? I was always on the pro-XMRV side, because i think it's something so important that i want it to be pursued, nevermind the doubts, but we have to demand high standards from our side as well, if we want to ever get better. And after such a long time and a number of failures, i think it's time to deliver robust results.
    Tony Mach likes this.
  7. Purple

    Purple Bundle of purpliness

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    From Wikipedia entry on Ian Lipkin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_lipkin):

    In April 2003, he sequenced a portion of the SARS virus directly from lung tissue, established a sensitive assay for infection, and hand carried 10,000 test kits to Beijing at the height of the outbreak. As the first foreign consultant to gain the confidence of the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Chinese Academy of Science he was named Special Advisor to China for Research and International Cooperation in the Fight Against SARS and was instrumental in promoting disclosure and outside collaborations in infectious disease research and public health management. His position recognizes this extraordinary service, wherein Lipkin and his colleague Thomas Briese, traveling to Beijing at the height of the SARS outbreak at the request of the Chinese government, hand-carried 10,000 test kits to be used for identification and containment of infected individuals, and coordinated the national research efforts with Chen Zhou, the current Minister of Health of China. Lipkin also serves on the boards of the Guangzhou Institute for Biomedicine and Health, the Institut Pasteur de Shanghai, and is Honorary Director of the Beijing Infectious Disease Center. He became ill shortly after returning to the US and was quarantined.
  8. eric_s

    eric_s Senior Member

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    Wow, he got SARS himself? Quite a story, with the 10'000 kits and everything...
  9. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member

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    are test kits really small or does he just have big hands?
  10. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    Looks like Hanson is also betting on Lipkin:

    'The retraction takes away the only paper still left suggesting a role for murine viruses in CFS. Support for Lo and Alter's study has also come from Cornell University's Maureen Hanson, who at meetings has also reported finding MLV-like sequences in CFS patients. In an e-mail to ScienceInsider, Hanson writes that she has not submitted those results for publication, "because we cannot determine whether or not these findings were due to contamination." Hanson believes a second large multilab study, led by Ian Lipkin of Columbia University, will provide the final answer. "I am reserving judgment until it is completed," she says.'

    28 December: http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2011/12/authors-pull-the-plug-on-second.html?ref=hp

    I believe Cort had more about the Hanson presentation at Ottawa was it? In one of his reports at the end of November.
  11. floydguy

    floydguy Senior Member

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    I've never had an issue with Lipkin. He clearly has a good bio. The issue I have is that he was appointed to the job by Fauci who I don't trust. IMO, Fauci is an extreme political animal with unknown objectives - aside from grabbing as much power in DC as he possibly can.
    jace and Jarod like this.
  12. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    'The Chronic Fatigue Initiative, launched Sept. 15, 2011, will provide $10 million from the Hutchins Family Foundation to support research and clinical experts at the worlds leading research institutions. The multi-faceted program will begin by funding projects at Columbia University on pathogen discovery and an epidemiology project at the Harvard School of Public Health. The CFIs mission is closely aligned with the CFIDS Associations and the two organizations approaches are highly complementary. In 2012: Samples collected for the XMRV/MLV Lipkin study will be evaluated by Lipkins team at Columbias Center for Infection and Immunity will be tested for known and novel pathogens using high-throughput molecular techniques.'

    Aha! Things are becoming clearer. This must be the NGS phase then. All answers come to he who waits :)
  13. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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  14. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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    If I remember correctly, because this study was tacked on to the other study, it didn't go through as much scrutiny. Is this correct?

    Barb C. :>)
  15. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    It was certainly the point being raised on TWiV. Not so much 'scrutiny' as 'due process' I believe as in the grant funding process i.e. Fauci bypassed the application/review process and said 'Oi! Lipkin! Here's some dosh - sort this out!' ;)
  16. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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    Facepalm!! Geese, and I had just heard the podcast a day before. Now I remember the comment about this being like tacking something not related to a bill being passed by congress. I'm so froggy right now, I can't even think of the word. This too shall pass. :>)
    Firestormm likes this.
  17. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    Several threads now on Lipkin, hard to know where this ought to go... Anyway, I had a reply from NIAID though not much I am afraid but that's to be expected. I was asking for more detail about the study if any were available:

    'This is in response to your email dated December 26, 2011, to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), regarding a study on XMRV and its possible relation to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

    Dr. Ian Lipkin, a NIAID-supported investigator at Columbia University, is leading a multi-center study to assess whether XMRV (or related viruses) is significantly associated with CFS.

    As you may know, CFS is a multisystemic illness that requires an interdisciplinary approach encompassing the scientific missions of many of the NIH Institutes and centers (ICs). The Office of Research on Womens Health (ORWH), in the NIH Office of the Director, with particular expertise in building interdisciplinary research partnerships, has responsibility for coordinating CFS research across all ICs.

    You may wish to view the Q&A on the ORWH Web site at http://orwh.od.nih.gov/csf 2011/faq.htm, which includes information about the Lipkin study and other context around this issue. Additional information will be posted to the ORWH CFS Web site as soon as it becomes available. Further, Dr. Lipkin recently posted an item about the state of his research, which you may find online at: http://cii.columbia.edu/blog.htm?cid=CalAzy.

    We hope this information will be helpful to you.

    Sincerely,

    Correspondence Specialist
    Legislative Affairs and Correspondence Management Branch
    Office of Communications and Government Relations
    National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases'
  18. Jemal

    Jemal Senior Member

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    Thanks for trying Firestormm. Unfortunately they use a lot of words to say very little :D
  19. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    They do I guess, yes. Wouldn't expect them to say much else to be honest. It ain't how it works - same in the UK. Not that it is 'right' or 'wrong' but those who then go on to critique studies who have declared their parameters shouldn't really be surprised or indeed critical.

    Scientists are not beholden (well only loosely). They are free to try any and all methods they chose or think appropriate to prove/disprove/investigate the hypothesis or in this case try and answer the question posed by Lombardi and come up with the same damn conclusion :eek:
  20. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    Was drawn to this blog yesterday by one of my 'alerts' and noticed she claims to have been in touch with Lipkin by email 28 February 2012.

    While the full content of her email is not disclosed (nor his full reply) what she has posted would seem to indicate they are not ready to published any results. She seems to think this means they have yet to unblind the samples but it could also mean they are working on the results I suppose.

    Anyway, we haven't heard anything for a while and he we are approaching the second week of March (March was quoted as a publication month if you recall).

    http://www.occupycfs.com/2012/03/01/the-holy-grail/#comments

    Not a bad blog either as it goes I thought, but specifically she reports:

    'But does it take more than a year to collect 300 samples? I asked Dr. Lipkin by email on February 28th when study results could be expected and he said This depends on when the labs complete their work.

    This seems to indicate that the labs are not finished. Even when the three labs have completed their testing, the results have to be unblinded by Dr. Lipkin and then analyzed.

    My conjecture is that we will be waiting at least several more months for the results of this study.'

    'In his email to me, Dr. Lipkin said we are doing our best under difficult circumstances to bring the best science to CFS. Of that I have no doubt.

    Throughout his entire involvement in the study, Dr. Lipkin has been consistent in his statements. He expanded the size of the study, recruited the best CFS clinicians to identify patients, and secured consensus on how CFS would be defined in the study.

    He has a tremendous track record in controversial pathogen investigations. I am not questioning the caliber of his science.'
    Jemal likes this.

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