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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. Cloud

    Cloud Guest

    SickOfCfs, I wasn't sure about the journal either. I just knew something was awry but didn't know enough to speak up.

    I want to agree with a post some ways back about not wanting to come off as criticizing Ann (it was a critique of the article, not Ann). She has my full appreciation and utmost respect.

    Esther, thanks for the humor and your post..."LOL @ testing the scientfic validity of mission statements". That helped me make sense of that topic.

    On a serious note IVI, I think there is more than "common characteristics" to some of these neuroimmune diseases. I believe there is plenty of evidence showing certain common pathophysiological abnormalities, suggesting strong association, and supporting a hypothesis of common, or at least related, etiology. I believe the WPI is currently doing the work to further support that hypothesis.

    This is the first thread where I have gotten the impression that some believe the WPI has a single focus on xmrv....that has not been my understanding. Primary yes, but not exclusive.
     
  2. Sing

    Sing Senior Member

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    Great points, Angela! "the social construction of scientists", and how "demeanor", or style, ought to be irrelevant---but isn't, as you say Esther, as science is also a social process.

    I like Dr. Mikovits's "wild hair"--that is, wild woman style, as it is iconoclastic, attention-getting, paradigm-changing, just as Einstein's was too. Einstein with his wild hair, apparently enjoyed the limelight and public presentations. I think his style helped convey the discoveries and whole new view of scientific reality he was onto. I see Dr. Mikovits as willing and able to be a strong innovator too, and that is what her style conveys to me. Of course, I know and accept that it is in the details of the science that progress can come about.

    And further, about women trying to work in what's been a man's field. The "nice girl" approach, which we see in some of our other figures, makes some headway at times, and at others, just falls to the wayside--elbowed aside or ignored.

    It is interesting to watch this level playing out, though the real "ball in play" is the science itself.
     
  3. 3CFIDS@ourhouse

    3CFIDS@ourhouse still me

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    I posted this on the other thread, but will post here, too. Am I the only one who didn't know Lipkin's study had the three different labs using their own method of choice for testing? How will that clear up any of the questions? Or am I confused? I thought Lipkin was looking for a retrovirus, but the article sounds like he's just compiling data from the NIH, CDC, and WPI.
     
  4. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    I'm a bit confused by this too. Sounds like what the BWG are doing.

    It should work though. If they take blood samples from those CFS patients the WPI said are positive, blind them with samples from healthy controls and then send them to the three labs for testing, the results should let us know what's going on. If the labs get similar rates of 'positives' for healthy and CFS samples, then it was probably all just contamination. If any of the labs find significantly more 'positives' from CFS patients than healthy controls, then that indicates there is a correlation between XMRV and CFS.

    I wish they'd done this at the time of the initial negative studies, when this was starting to look controversial.
     
  5. asleep

    asleep Senior Member

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    This is deeply flawed reasoning. In fact, it is fundamentally unscientific. Science, if anything, is about details. It is about understanding and controlling for variables, and every little detail is a variable. To suggest that these variables can be casually disregarded is absurd.

    Your unsupported, generic appeal the "the research community" does nothing to support your claims. It is merely an attempt to cover your dangerously flawed logic with a non-specific appeal to authority.

    I suggest you read this thread that I started to address precisely these common misconceptions that you unfortunately seem to suffer from with alarming regularity.
     
  6. In Vitro Infidelium

    In Vitro Infidelium Guest

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    How can that 'work' be seen as objective when the Institute is defining its whole function on the grounds that the hypothesis is 'true' ? Could anyone seriously believe that the WPI Board will accept research that says that the hypotheses is 'fatally flawed' ? Of course 'mission statements' are frequently hype, but in the case of WPI its controlling authority (the Board) has no Scientific competance - what basis is there to assumed a commitment to objectivity when the 'hype' is constructed to embrace an off the wall concept of illness.

    We can all come up with favoured ideas about how our illness fits in the grand scheme of the dysfunctions of human health, but for research institutions to retain credibility with funders and peers, objectivity (like justice) not only needs to be 'done' it needs to be 'seen to be done'. A new (dare one say 'upstart' ?) Institution that wants to be involved in breaking research boundaries needs friends amongst existing researchers, so far WPI seems culturally incapable of forging the necessary alliances. This is a potentially very unhealthy position for CFS affected people because Mikovits and WPI are now so closely identified with 'cause of CFS' that at the very point where CFS research needs defending, there may be no one there to do it.

    IVI
     
  7. asleep

    asleep Senior Member

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    Actually, the point I was making was not about omitted details (i.e. who is being referenced), but the use of unsupported innuendo that serves to exclusively undermine confidence in the WPI. By hemming and hawing and speculating on specific implications of this innuendo, you are actually adding fuel to its effect by condoning its central thrust.

    Also, I'm surprised you didn't notice these techniques on first pass. ;)

    Not true. Nor will any amount of repetition make this statement true.

    The absurdity of this has already been addressed by others, but I want to remind people of specifics:

    Towers is the one whose December paper was accompanied by a press release that stated, without qualification, that XMRV does not cause ME/CFS.

    Coffin is the one who stated recently "It's all contamination" (source, it's in the full article which might require subscription).

    Quite "objective" and "colorless," these two.
     
  8. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
    In Vitro,
    *nods* :)

    Esther
    the danger with folk like Wessley is: they understand how people tick, what cues to pull to sound resonable etc
    but that has bugger ALL to do with actual factual science and curing the sick.

    Complete loonies have run rampant in science for last 200 years, because they were chamring or even true psychopths, pseudo-scientists beguiled idiots like Stalin and Hitler wasting vast sums on their crap.
    Others have languished because their work is not popular or current morales of society disapproved (see Dr Erlich, iirc? guy who created first effective syphilis treatment, or HIV work ealry on)

    I dearly wish all research became utterly divorced form money and politics, so it could be done ethically and honestly, fraud and crap is endemic to medical research especially, FACT, go check up on it, because of pharma corps greed. This has got to stop!
    Sigh.
     
  9. In Vitro Infidelium

    In Vitro Infidelium Guest

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    The 'image of Einstein' as the 'nutty professor' certainly made science 'popular' and allowed Albert to become a celeb - but it had nothing to do with Special Relativity being taken seriously, something which happened while Einstein was an ernest clerk in a patent office. Einstein probably never had to write or present a grant bid in his life and by the time he became famous his achievements as a theorist were largely behind him - he never accepted Quantum Mechanics (the main driver of theory in the 20thC) and Einstein's contributions to theoretical physics after 1930 were very limited.

    The one thing that marked Einstein out from most of his peers was his ability to get along with those he disagreed with and to play in public the 'everybody's favourite uncle' role - there's not much sign of Mikovits being able to do either - or at least a gender appropriate version in the latter case. Mikovits may have many talents, but PR where it matters doesn't seem to be one of them, nor is she apparently a 'great brain' and at her age unlikely to become one (most 'geniuses' only shine before they are 30), her previous achievements seem largely marked by adeptness at administration, a valuable skill, but there's not much hope of any E=MCxMC moments.

    IVI
     
  10. urbantravels

    urbantravels disjecta membra

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    Time will tell whether Judy Mikovits is remembered as a Bob Gallo or as a....Peter Duesberg. (I was going to say Andrew Wakefield, but I knew I'd get burned at the stake by much of this community for drawing that comparison.)
     
  11. Angela Kennedy

    Angela Kennedy *****

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    You wouldn't really get burned at the stake now, would you? People might object because of the discrepancies of the so-called case against Wakefield and the uncomfortable similarities to a witch-hunt pursued against him, perhaps.

    But then some people might agree with you. The old generalisation of 'the community' not so apt here.

    Comparing Mikovits to some constructed hero or villain status is irrelevant anyway. I think people should move away from that way of thinking. It obfuscates the real issues and adds confusion to the debate, which is pretty complex and difficult to fully understand at the best of times.
     
  12. Angela Kennedy

    Angela Kennedy *****

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    Oh good grief- 'gender appropriate'. Is that your 'objective' findings? That Mikovits isn't 'gender appropriate'? So - sociology not one of your talents then? Or are you just trying to wind up the women here? What is in vitro infidelium's prescription for gender appropriate behaviour? :rolleyes:


    Sigh. So - what are your scientific sources for THESE findings? All the research on 'great brains' and geniuses? What is in vitro infidelium's validated case definition of a great brain/genius? Have you personally been testing Mikovit's IQ? Perhaps remotely?

    Or is this just that Judy Mikovits rejected you when you asked her to a prom or something?
     
  13. garcia

    garcia Aristocrat Extraordinaire

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    LMAO!!! :tear:
     
  14. currer

    currer Senior Member

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    IVI -This is all getting a bit personal about Dr. Mikovits for my taste.
    Remember the CROI conference? And the discomfiture of the researchers when they realised they had got a completely new, replication-competent retrovirus on their hands? Something they had never expected to find in this class of MRV? Something they thought could not happen, so they took no safety precautions? A retrovirus which could infect human cells?
    If Dr. Mikovits found this previously unknown infectious retrovirus in her patients I think it understandable to be excited as a researcher and to feel the need to put all her resources into this work.
    I think we are forgetting just how unusual and unexpected a retrovirus XMRV is.

    Retrospective criticism is easy.
     
  15. paddygirl

    paddygirl Senior Member

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    Dr Silverman

    I've read most of this thread, and seen references to Dr Silverman haveing a change of heart.

    A post about a new paper from him has just appeared on XMRV.ORG facebook page. I'm dopey :confused: today but it doesn't read as if he had abandoned his beliefs.
     
  16. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    No it doesn't. We don't know when it was written though - it can take months for these things to be published.

    I don't think we've got any good indication that Silverman has had a change of heart, just that he's going back to check things. I'm really keen to hear his response though.
     
  17. FunkOdyssey

    FunkOdyssey Senior Member

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    Looks like Silverman is too busy figuring out how XMRV actually causes disease to have any change of heart.

    Recall that IL-8 is one of the cytokines most consistently elevated in ME/CFS patients:

    Yeah Silverman's having second thoughts... nice try!
     
  18. Jemal

    Jemal Senior Member

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    Didn't forum member Ecoclimber claim that Silverman was getting pretty nervous because of the recent findings? Ecoclimber received some flak for that from the forum as he couldn't prove anything... but this doesn't entirely sound like a coincidence anymore.

    FunkOdyssey's post above me could also indicate that Silverman is still very much in the game of course (though it could be older research and Silverman might have become nervous only recently).

    Personally I hope he's still researching XMRV and not losing interest!
     
  19. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    I don't think we need to worry about him losing interest! He'll be in this until it's worked out for sure.
     
  20. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    Bad news about Silverman from the Tribune article on XRMV

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/ct-met-chronic-fatigue-xmrv-20110317,0,6116823.story?page=2

    That can't have been easy to say - he was the one that discovered the darn virus...
     

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