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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. kurt

    kurt Senior Member

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    IL-8 is consistently elevated in other viral infections, a quick google search shows RSV, Dengue, Rhinovirus (the common cold), VZV, others do this.

    The study was an induced infection in a cell line, a culture study. This study says nothing about the probability of human infection. The study only showed that IF a human prostate were infected, it would be recognized as an invader and there would likely be an immune response and inflammation, as there are with most pathogenic viruses. So they showed XMRV is recognized as a pathogen.

    I'm not a virologist, but don't see how this contributes much to the debate about whether or not XMRV is present or pathogenic in CFS. This does show Silverman was still studying XMRV a few months ago though, whenever the study was run.
     
  2. FunkOdyssey

    FunkOdyssey Senior Member

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    It demonstrates XMRV doing nasty pathogenic things and Silverman continuing to work on XMRV. And both of those points are some damn great news.
     
  3. JPV

    JPV Senior Member

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    I've been skeptical of Mikovits from the start, when WPI claimed finding 67% of CFS patients had XMRV and then quickly changed that number to 95% or 98%.

    Her behavior over the last year, with lashing out at critics, has proven to be very unprofessional. Really, her lab isn't doing anything magical in order to get the results they got. Other labs should be able to replicate it with little problem.

    Now, her treatment of Peterson, mentioned in the article, is yet more proof of her unprofessional and unethical behavior and really comes as no surprise to me.

    As far as I'm concerned, something very fishy is going on...
     
  4. Angela Kennedy

    Angela Kennedy *****

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    I'm sorry, but this akin to really bitchy celebrity gossip.

    And I'm speaking as someone who actually is not waiting on XMRV to be 'the one'.

    I have no particular personal opinion of Mikovits. Too many people in this community, either liken her to Xena Warrior Princess, or some loud-mouthed idiot. It is too easy to become fixated on the personalities of scientists, treating them like characters from a Hollywood movie.

    If you JPV, had to personally castigate every scientist involved in ME/CFS alone for being 'unprofessional', you'd be doing nothing else, because all of 'em have feet of clay one way or another, and talk - excuse the vernacular- bollox on a regular basis.

    I don't know if you've focused on Mikovits because you're being provocative against the community, or you are frustrated because XMRV is not panning out as yet (though it might do), or you have a problem with women who don't fit an impossible prescription of 'gender appropriate' behaviour, or whatever, but your writing is emotive and unsubstantiated, as is most of the remarks against Mikovits.

    Your comment about lashing out at critics is hilarious. Simon Wessely does this on a regular basis (well, he does critique his critics regularly), but then so do most 'scientists', or anyone engaged in academic activity!

    And your wholly unsubstantiated 'unethical' comment is also untenable. What on earth do you understand as 'ethical' defining?

    And you already know that bunch of scientists who just can't get the replication right - most of them can't even get the right cohorts! If they are that ignorant (getting the right cohorts isn't some impossible Herculean task for goodness sake), then how can we be confident any of 'em can get the rest of the replication process right? You should be more consistent in your 'scepticism' JPV, frankly.
     
  5. JPV

    JPV Senior Member

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    What does her being a woman have anything to do with it other than you getting a chance to imply that I'm a misogynist? I find your comment extremely insulting. Has nothing to do with gender. I'd think the same exact thing if it was a man.

    Why are people so obsessed with Wessely? He's obviously got a corporate/governmental biased agenda and I tend to ignore these type of people. However, I would expect a different approach from Mikovits.

    Unless I misunderstood the article, using Peterson's name and reputation to generate interest in her project and then hiding information from him and excluding his name from the paper... well, that just seems "unethical" to me.

    From reading on science blogs, where other researcher detail how theses processes work, I get the impression that Mikovits is overly mystifying what is considered general practice in order to justify her results. Somehow, I find their assessment more credible than all the laymen that like to throw around technical jargon as if they really know what they're talking about.
     
  6. free at last

    free at last Senior Member

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    While this study, isnt showing if paitients are infected, what it does do is a give a model that suggests, it is haveing a affect on the immune system, that affect is inflamatory in nature. while as you suggest other viruses cause these immune responses. im not sure about the other viruses you mention, but i dont think the common cold is the cause of my continued inflamation over the years, especially as PTSD OCD has set in to a point, where even Howard Huges wouldnt do a better job of avoiding colds and viruses than i do, no interaction on public transport, no visits to shops or supermarkets. complete avoidence of family members that show any signs of colds. not breathing in coughs and sneezes, as i always go in another room if someone does. Of course even then doesnt mean i will avoid infection. and even showing no symptoms of a cold ( which i havent BTW this year ) doesnt mean i havent been infected. But i have a hard time beliving catching cold type illnesses, are the cause of my continued inflamation over the years. A retro virus however would make perfect sense as a cause over the years. Especially if that retro virus is shown to cause inflamation ( like this now has ) the only question left now. is if researchers can prove that people outside labs ( like me and others ) are actually infected with this virus. so far its not looking good agreed. but maybe its not over yet. i dont know.

    I do belive the WPI if they belive in there results enough, could prove there point, by screening themselves for xmrv, all the reagents and equipment for xmrv. collecting new fresh samples of blood from know positive patients. ( i would be willing to give blood again ) doing the testing at a lab outside of RENO one agreed upon by everyone is a clean lab. the testing could be monitored by other groups or scientists ( also screened for xmrv ) results then looked at after decoding. patient controls handeld exactly as many times as patient samples are ( just to be fair )

    would be interesting if this was done. hey maybe at some point the WPI might consider something like this. Suppose it all depends how strongly they belive they are still right on this ? Me on the other hand, im shaken by all the negative evidence. cant deny that. but like others i dont think its over yet. like others do here. in time we will know. your probably right Kurt. but if your not. i guess you will be as shocked, as i am to see the science being disproven. roll on BWG and lipkin. at some point ill give up this idea in my mind. and i kind of belive its not going to work out. so if it does that will be a cause for celebration. if it doesnt then yeah getting prepared for that already.
     
  7. jace

    jace Off the fence

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    Angela is right, IMHO.

     
  8. currer

    currer Senior Member

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    Hi freeatlast, nice to see your post, I hadn't seen anything by you recently, I was wondering if you were OK, glad your'e still here! (Incidentally, I have a streaming cold today)

    I dont know what to think any more. I assumed that if there was serious doubt about Silverman's findings he would have managed to prevent publication somehow. I go to bed thinking one thing, I wake up to find everything completely changed...

    Just one thing. Whatever happens can we leave off the personal criticism. Individuals are not responsible for our disappointment, (if that is what it is going to be) It is just the way events worked out and happens all the time with new findings in science.
     
  9. free at last

    free at last Senior Member

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    Hi Currer, thank you for that consideration, yes im ok, just been watching from afar, very dispondent of course the way things are working, havent had much to say recently ( some might argue i never have lol ) but yeah. completely agree no personal gripes with members should happen here. but emotions are so high, and arguments either for or against, means i see a lot of in fighting going on, with points being made by both sides to, bolster there personal beliefs, i do it, Kurt does it. i think most infact do. depending on which side of the fence one is on.

    I guess its hard to be completly disspasionate about this, when our lives have been so affected. but i also guess we should try to be neutral. and respect each others veiws. even if both sides like to HIGHLIGHT THE POINTS THAT BOLSTER THER ARGUMENTS THE MOST i see that happening a lot. im guilty. i think most on here to some degree are too. not all. but a lot are. hope your doing ok Currer. thank you again for the those words to me. It makes interacting with those who understand somewhat special. and i really mean that. its something i didnt have. when i was in that hell hole, that just seemed to last forever. My body has recovered so much. my mind cant seem to forget. but hey. suffering can do that. hence the ptsd, ocd behaviour. still causing problems for me, in life and family. but others here are still in that hell hole. so my heart goes out to them. i truely understand some of there suffering, and it breaks my heart. every reason why this has to run its course. we must find the truth whatever that is. not parts of the truth, to back up our beliefs. i see a lot of that. and yes from me to.
     
  10. currer

    currer Senior Member

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    Hi freeatlast,
    I always thought your posts were good amd I enjoyed them the most because you looked at things emotionally but could really put your finger on what was going on.
    If XMRV does not work out Dr. Mikovits will suffer more than us because she has been the public face of all this.
    There is nasty feral instinct in people to attack people when they are down or outsiders - we know this because its OK to criticise a CFS sufferer, and God knows the attacks we have had to put up with, but not, say an MS sufferer, whose illness is accepted by society - so we have suffered as victims a lot.
    I would not want to see our disappointment turning into criticism of Dr. Mikovits. Of all people we should be the ones to know not to victimise. I see a some people readily turning to criticism on this thread. Don't we know better than this?

    PS what does lol mean - I have never been able to work it out!
     
  11. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    I now read Trine's articles more sceptically than I used to - she used one of my quotes in a misleading way! I also think there's something a bit unpleasent about pulling patient quotes from forums to use in an article. There's such a range of views presented that the reporter will just end up reflecting their own biases.

    Maybe because I've been doubtful about XMRV for a while, but I don't see the more recent negative stuff as being that big a shift. The quotes from Silverman just reflect what we already know - that he's taking the concerns about contamination seriously, and going back to check his data. That's a sensible position to take, but doesn't mean he thinks his work is all based on contamination.
     
  12. In Vitro Infidelium

    In Vitro Infidelium Guest

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    I think you have sort of answered the issue of why Mikovits is getting personal attention, and why that is unavoidable. Mikovits isn't simply a researcher plugging away in the laboratory, she has a job (for which she is paid well above market rate) that involves promoting the Institute she works for, and consequently that Institute's particular interpretation of scientific assessment of illness, which includes CFS. That personality and politics will come into play is inevitable, it is disingenuous to make public pronouncements, then run back to the lab and pretend there are not going to be consequences.

    As far as criticism is concerned, yes I'm sure that if there is not some assurance that the CFS connection with XMRV has substance, then that will become increasingly bitter, not least because WPI has encouraged people to spend substantial sums on testing that was never justified by the available scientific data. If Mikovits and WPI had just stuck to their Nature (correction should be "Science") publication and concentrated on talking only to other researchers while the science was under evaluation, then both Mikovits and WPI would be in a stronger position now and would be attracting almost no criticism. Mikovits has to take responsibility for the current situation, she's been in research long enough to know how these things pan out, jump the gun and even the most eminent scientists end up looking stupid.

    PS - LOL = Laughing Out Loud - see Netlingo for more Interweb nonsense


    IVI
     
  13. insearchof

    insearchof Senior Member

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    Could not agree more.

    I hope you lodged a complaint Esther, otherwise you can simply expect more of the same and its the poor quality journalism thatwe have been witnessing over the last months, that has been doing a lot of damage, and of course will continue to do so, unless we redirect our energy away from analyzing it ad nauseam here and direct it back to where it should be levelled: at the journalists/news print publications.
     
  14. Angela Kennedy

    Angela Kennedy *****

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    Well - there does appear to be a gender issue here, where women do seem to be criticised for their behaviour in a way men don't. In vitro showed this. I'm trying to work out your agenda here- because that level of attack of someone has to come from an agenda (we all have agendas, by the way, there's no special pleading), but the agenda looks at odds with the reasonable agenda of wanting this science to pan out without vested interests shafting the patients (let's speak plainly for a bit).


    I'm not obsessed with Wessely, I was merely using him as an example because of his stake in the issue of ME/CFS. You 'expecting a different approach' from Mikovits makes no sense. She's not allowed to rebut her critics? That's absurd.

    Well it might 'seem unethical'- but the problem is that the article has been shown to be unreliable. Your willingness to believe in the worse case scenario appears to come from your personal agenda against Mikovits (whatever that is) rather than a careful tentative analysis of the facts available.

    Right, so you're appealing to the authority of people who write their little 'science' opinion diaries online? Who are the so-called ignorant 'technical jargon' throwing laymen in this scenario? Why are you bringing this mythical bunch up? Do you mean patients or advocates? Because someone claims scientific authority on a blog, you'll take what they say as gospel? Because that's what you appear to be advocating.

    You've actually resorted to an irrational appeal to authority here to back up your personal attack on a scientist? Wow.
     
  15. insearchof

    insearchof Senior Member

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    Hello IVI

    ''Substantial sums on testing'' Really, you think so? You obviously have not been through the testing and costs I have incurred. And on a $ investment per labour/care/skill and attention basis that goes into culturing a slow replicating new and highly controversial virus - with huge ramifications for a positive test result - over a few months - I personally dont think so.

    ''that was never justified on the available scientific data'' - No I suppose the FDA/Blood Working Gp and the USA Fed government agencies, like to blow off milllions investigating something that was never justifiable, not to mention all those other scientists from across the globe, that pushed aside and manipulated existing budgets and scientific research to carry out their own XMRV studies.

    'Nature" - dont you mean Science?

    ''both Mikovits and WPI would be in a stronger position now and would be attracting almost no criticism''

    Sorry, but can't be serious, right?...they only found the second biggest discovery after HIV. Almost no criticism? :eek:

    ''jump the gun and even the most eminent scientists end up looking stupid''

    Not really, but perhaps only to people who think too highly of themselves.
     
  16. FunkOdyssey

    FunkOdyssey Senior Member

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    I'd like to see more of the participants in this thread get tested for XMRV.

    Learning that you are positive has a funny way of shifting your perspective.
     
  17. In Vitro Infidelium

    In Vitro Infidelium Guest

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    Clearly a matter of personal perception of 'value' but $200+ is a 'substantial sum' to pay for a test that has no scientific validity. If you are happy with what you got then the transaction was a fair one, but beyond that it's meaningless because there is no standard to set it against, it's simply a matter of belief whether one accepts that the WPI test is 'of something' or not. Clearly there are people who do believe, and no doubt whatever direction science takes, they will continue to believe.

    You are confusing the WPI test with broad scale investigations that followed the proposition presented by Mikovits et al that XMRV was a blood borne pathogen. If the original work overstated the case, one can not justify that orginal work on the basis of the subsequent work. Only after the subsequent work has achieved consistent reproducibility would a diagnostic test be approriate for non research purposes.

    Yes

    If you are refering to XMRV it was discovered by DeRisi, Silverman and Klein, before the WPI was even in existence. To date it's not clear that WPI has achieved any scientific 'discovery', and until some other research group finds some way in which to confirm the WPI work, that's the way it will remain.

    You don't think that Pons and Fleischman were left looking somewhat ridiculous in the wake of their half baked claims, something that has never left them given that no one has ever reproduced the P&F results no matter how diligently they've tried ?

    IVI
     
  18. In Vitro Infidelium

    In Vitro Infidelium Guest

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    Precisely ! It is exactly that psychology which is exploited by those who practise prestidigitation, "look here, don't look there". I'm sure WPI are not deliberately using the test to get people to 'believe' but that is the effect. The 'dont look there' in this case is asking the question, "what does 'positive' mean ? In scientific terms it means absolutely nothing, there is no external validation of the testing procedure, there is no scientific validation of the existence of the entity that is supposed to be being tested for and there is no evidence even if the test were to be valid that a 'positive' response has any association with any kind of disease process, other than a possible liking for certain tumour tissues by the imputed agency. So just 'what does positive mean ?'

    IVI
     
  19. FunkOdyssey

    FunkOdyssey Senior Member

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    If the testing procedure was good enough for the peer reviewers at Science, it's good enough for me. The evidence for pathogenesis of XMRV will take time to build, but the latest effort by Silverman and co. is an encouraging step in the right direction.
     
  20. In Vitro Infidelium

    In Vitro Infidelium Guest

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    You are of course free to accept whatever you want, but Peer Review is not a 'recommendation', it's simply a process of sorting out some of the 'chaff' from the 'wheat'. Peer Review most certainly is not a validation process, and the nature of testing that is acceptable for a research project may fall very far from what is aceptable for a validated diagnostic test. For a useful overview of the limits of Peer Review: http://resources.bmj.com/bmj/pdfs/moher.pdf
     

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