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Nature article about Judy Mikovits and XMRV

Discussion in 'Media, Interviews, Blogs, Talks, Events about XMRV' started by Jemal, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. Fatima

    Fatima

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    Thanks for this Cort.

    This is a very comprehensive and balanced article. I feel for Mikovits. I admire her steadfastness and am happy she’s holding her own. Whatever the outcome in all of this drama she’s an example of true courage.

    I agree w/ the previous comment- what's with "chronic fatigue" ?
  2. tiabuf

    tiabuf

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    Thought provoking article - lets not forget how truthful articles are lol there always has to be added spice, I will add a pinch of salt with my reading of it
  3. SOC

    SOC Back to work (easy, part-time work)

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    While I like the article overall, I have some serious questions.

    First, how much can the author know about ME/CFS is he can't distinguish between chronic fatigue (lower case), a symptom of many illnesses, and ME/CFS or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, an illness with many complex symptoms.

    Second, why is he playing down the confirmation of the Lombardi paper by the Alter/Lo paper:
    So even though Alter and Lo say their work confirms the Lombardi work, we take Towers' word that they found "a totally difference virus" rather than variants. Why am I not surprised the author of this article is based in London?

    Let's say Towers is correct that what Alter and Lo found were totally different viruses. Isn't it still disturbing that ~70% (the same proportion found in the Lombardi study) of the ME/CFS patients have some MLV? Or are we again taking Towers' unfounded claim of contamination at the Alter/Lo labs to be more correct than Alter's statement that they found no mouse contamination.

    I wonder if this article went through the UK Science News propaganda machine. The author certainly didn't interview Alter, Lo, or Silverman as far as I can tell, but apparently did talk to Towers.

    This article included some interesting gossip which casts an unpleasant gloom over the WPI, but it's science and basic knowledge of ME/CFS seemed somewhat lacking.

    While I don't know that XMRV is the root cause of ME/CFS, I find the unscientific reporting to and by the media rather annoying. Towers frequently overstates the conclusions and the media reports his opinions as if they are scientific fact.
  4. Doogle

    Doogle Senior Member

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    The article brings up important points that need to be addressed, but the article itself is a hack job and terribly slanted right out of the Wessely school. Ewen Callaway has done other articles touting McClure/Wessely XMRV studies. Note he uses the term "chronic fatigue" throughout the article.

    The way this sentence is constructed near the beginning, "A middle-aged woman who spent most of the talk in a motorized scooter stands up to snap pictures of her with a digital camera."gives the reader some pause about the disability of the patient.

    "She is discomfited by the attention from patients, which at times borders on adulation." Interesting choice of words.

    "Patients are already being tested for XMRV, and some are taking antiviral drugs on the assumption that the virus causes chronic fatigue by attacking their immune defences. Many say that such action is premature, but Mikovits is steadfast. "We're not changing our course," she says." "We are not changing our course" is about XMRV, not about antiviral drugs as the sentence implies.

    Read closely, the article is riddled with bias and note that Silverman is not quoted about not working with Mikovitz or about his being "rattled".
  5. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    "Mikovits says that she kept the XMRV work secret from Peterson over fears he would tell his patients, and left his name off the original Science manuscript until a reviewer questioned the omission. When asked whether that episode contributed to his departure, he says, I was surprised at the secrecy and lack of collaboration.

    And probably insulted as well.

    She was afraid he'd tell his patients? If she didn't trust her own colleague, couldn't she ask him to sign a confidentiality agreement?
  6. George

    George waitin' fer rabbits

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    Danny
    I do some serious fact checking on this who article. I call major bullish@@ on that statement but it's like the Wellcome statement or the PACE statements, once a writer puts them out there the damage is done and can't be taken back.

    So far I've found three of the quotes taken directly from video on the Internet and use out of context in this article. This allows the author to look as if he has actually interviewed Dr. Mikovits and I'm not sure he has. Some one needs to write Judy and ask her point blank about this article because it's quite a sly hatchet job.

    If a journalist will plagiarize his material and present it as his own then I see no reason to trust the rest of his asertations.
  7. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    I felt there was so much in this article. I liked that the concern Dr. Mikovits feels for the patients and her willingness to communicate with them, really like few other researchers, I imagine, comes across really well as does the affection of the patient community for her.

    It's a shame it didn't work out with Dr. Peterson - it would have been great to have such a powerful figure at the helm there but we are all us humans and even well intentioned good people can have significant differences that tear them asunder.

    I don't know that study is - could it be Danielson? I've never read this study.

    I liked hearing Stoye saying that once he heard Ruscetti was a part of the study that validated it for him....and one wonders what Ruscetti will have to say at some point. I would be surprised if they'd didn't try to talk to him. If they're going to talk to Stoye I assume they're going to talk to Ruscetti. Apparently they got some word from Silverman - that he's no longer working with Dr. Mikovits- which is a weird statement which is hard to decipher. Does that mean they simply aren't working on the same projects or did they have a disagreement over something?

    I think Dr. Mikovits come across in a very human way - caring and committed, at times a bit gruff (Christmas garbage :)) but understandable as a person.
  8. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    Thanks George, good points. Did you find the quotes above, in the videos, or are you talking about other quotes. And what about Peterson's replies?

    ????

    p.s. I wonder if the two threads on this article could be combined...or maybe it's too late. :(
  9. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    I asumed the author had spoken directly to Mikovits. If not, it's certainly been written in a misleading manner. Not sure how important that is though...
  10. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    I must say this does bring a smile to my lips given how forthcoming Dr. Mikovits has been with the patients and the media. In the end Dr. Peterson was the one who was able to stay low profile and keep out of sight (as he always has, really) and she was the one who, at times, had trouble keeping the lid on. It is kind of funny.
  11. George

    George waitin' fer rabbits

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    Hey Danny
    The three quotes I found so far where the first three in the article but they are taken and inserted into the article out of context. It will take me a while to work through the whole thing. When I read it I reposed that the author was taking quotes that I was familiar with over a years space in time. It would be very unusual for any author to follow a person that long. Plus it made some pretty outrageous claims I thought. So I'm looking into it.

    I think it makes a big difference in general since if a person will plagiarize and put information in to sentences where the don't belong then you are already on the edge of out right lying what's to keep the author from quoting rumor as fact. We've already seen press releases that have out right lied about scientific facts. (I refer to the Welcome Trust Press Release in particular)

    I think this is mostly a fabrication but it will take some time to work through it. I'm wondering about the frequency of ME/CFS in the news recently. Fore-shocks perhaps? I think it will be interesting to see what shakes out.
  12. Desdinova

    Desdinova Senior Member

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    :rolleyes: Oh Come On! What on earth would ever give her a crazy idea like that. Next she'll be saying she's worried that goverment health officials (world wide) have a bias against CFS/ME. ;)

    As for Ian Lipkin time will tell if my hunch is right.
  13. Hope123

    Hope123 Senior Member

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    Nature is a first-rate journal and if people's concerns about where and in what context the writer took his quotes from are true, I suggest they write to the editor of Nature. Of course, back up your claims with evidence, e.g. videos, transcripts, etc. and post them here also.

    This isn't a challenge for or against the article; just that the more concrete evidence we have, the better.
  14. Jemal

    Jemal Senior Member

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    What's your hunch Desdinova?
  15. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member

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    I'd like to come out in support of Peterson and state that I don't agree with the WPI's singular devotion to XMRV.
  16. Mya Symons

    Mya Symons Mya Symons

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    QUESTION:


    Cort, or someone who may know the answer to this: Was the brand and type of PCR or reagent the same that was known to be a contaminated brand or type? Is there any proof that the cell line WPI used was contaminated (it is different then the cell line from the prostate cancer research, correct or not)? Have they at least worked this out or is this too still to be determined?



    "Bumper stickers are just one of the supportive gifts given to the WPI"
    -----What is up with this random sentence??? It does not make sense.
  17. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    I believe you if you say some of the quotes were taken from earlier comments, but isn't that done regularly in most articles? I'm not sure that suggests everything else is 'mostly a fabrication'. This author, from a prestigious journal no less, would be in a lot of trouble and would have a great difficulty getting assignments in the future, if that were the case. I think... :)

    Also, what about Peterson's comments? I've never ever heard those before. Certainly Peterson must've given permission to be quoted, and it doesn't exactly paint a very good picture of their working relationship, if you can call it one, at least to me. But it does help explain why he left the WPI, which was perhaps the first "fore-shock"???
  18. WillowJ

    WillowJ Senior Member

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    I thought Lipkin was doing his own study? Is he also trying to isolate a pathogen (any pathogen) for ME/CFS in addition to coordinating the blinding of the blood work group? Should it bother us that he "debunked" a link between Borneo pathogen and "chronic fatigue"? (is he one of the CDC's go-to-guys for biomedical information debunking? and did that refer to CF or ME/CFS?)

    I also thought Peterson had always planned to leave WPI after one year's time? Although I agree that we need to pursue all avenues, not only XMRV. But I kind of thought their clinical side was doing that, because Dekoff-Jones said she was not choosing physicians based on adherence to a particular treatment method but that she expected a variety of treatment methods (with probably an emerging consensus).

    Anybody have a status update on Singh?
  19. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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  20. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    There is no concrete link to contamination anywhere in the WPI's XMRV work that I know of; not the reagents, not the cell lines, not the mice - there is no single thing that anyone can point to and say "That was it" ie; there is no smoking gun; if contamination got in there they don't know how.

    That phrase went with an image in the original article. I forgot to remove it.

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