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new Virology podcast on XMRV

Discussion in 'Media, Interviews, Blogs, Talks, Events about XMRV' started by fresh_eyes, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. fresh_eyes

    fresh_eyes happy to be here

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    Dr Vincent Racaniello, the Columbia professor who does the Virology Blog, has done another piece about XMRV, as a guest on someone else's podcast. I was struck by his obvious enthusiasm for the research - he really thinks this is huge, and that a treatment is in the near future. :) (the XMRV section begins about 30 minutes in):

    http://www.virology.ws/2009/12/09/futures-in-biotech-50-more-biotech-stories/

    Highlights of the discussion:

    "Chronic Fatigue of course is a very serious debilitating disease characterized by immune activation, persistent fatigue, and possibly several percent of the world's population affected by it

    It could be that 3-4% of the world's population have this virus, and who knows what kind of disease it's going to cause

    Maybe relatively recently, maybe in the last 50 years, who knows, the virus went form a mouse to a human and it started replicating in the human and spreading from human to human

    We have never tested blood for this virus, because we didn't know about it, and it's possible that 4% of the blood supply of the world is contaminated with this

    That's like a home run. A scientific home run

    It's almost like overnight there's a potential cure [for CFS]"
     
  2. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    Thanks.

    I think there was an earlier one of these on XMRV/CFS that was interesting too. If it is the same people, they clearly thought the way CFS had been treated up til then was absurd and it left me really hopeful that CFS research was going to be fundamentally changed by the XMRV find. Please don't abandon us if XMRV doesn't work out Mr Scientists!
     
  3. fresh_eyes

    fresh_eyes happy to be here

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    I think it is some of the same people. I find it fascinating to hear straight-up science from people with no CFS agenda (pro- or anti-) - they don't seem at all inclined to doubt the research. :)
     
  4. starryeyes

    starryeyes Senior Member

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    Awesome fresh_eyes that is cool. Thanks. It was great listening to those scientists. What they brought up about mice and food and people working with mice was very interesting. They sound optimistic that we will find effective treatments and they were very sure that we will soon unravel the mystery of how XMRV spreads from mice to humans.
     
  5. fresh_eyes

    fresh_eyes happy to be here

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    Also it was interesting how one of their first thoughts was that it might have jumped species in the lab, from lab mice.
     
  6. guest

    guest Guest

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    thanks for the link!
     
  7. Martlet

    Martlet Senior Member

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    But the virologist said he thought it more likely that it jumped from wild mice, possibly about fifty years ago. That's interesting as it roughly ties in with the Royal Free outbreak of 1955, but then there are similarities with earlier disease clusters dating back to the 19th century so I guess it all remains an enigma. :confused:
     
  8. fresh_eyes

    fresh_eyes happy to be here

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    Martlet, yes - I've heard them say that it jumped species recently, but that's the first time I've heard a scientist hazard a guess about just how recent "recently" means - 50 years! That's pretty recent. I'd like to hear George comment on that idea. Hey George!! :)

    Of course it's possible that past outbreaks were transmitted from mice and then petered out in the human population. I was just re-reading The Hot Zone, about Ebola and similar viruses, and that's how it seems to work - one animal > human transmission, a mini outbreak among humans, and then - they have no idea why - but it just peters out. If it didn't, we'd all be in big trouble.

    On the question of wild mice v. lab, yeah - and I seem to remember Coffin saying something about that at the CFSAC...? Maybe something about the genetics of the virus that made wild more likely? Or that the lab mice are all genetically too similar? Anyone else remember that?
     
  9. Martlet

    Martlet Senior Member

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    Fresh-eyes - I have such a hard time following Dr. Coffin. He reminds me of a boff I knew many years ago - brilliantly rambling. Or is it my brain that's rambling? Anyway, I went through the transcript and the even vaguely relevant thing I could find is this:

    So it seems that Dr. Coffin thinks that it may have jumped at some time in the past and that it may be capable of still jumping. It seems that every answer begs another question, doesn't it?
     
  10. fresh_eyes

    fresh_eyes happy to be here

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    Good job, Martlet! I have to laugh because I can't really make sense of it either - I'll try again after my nap!

    ps What's a boff? :D
     
  11. Martlet

    Martlet Senior Member

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    :D I am soooo relieved to find I am not the only one who can make neither head nor tail of what Coffin said.

    Boff=boffin=scientist. I had a friend who was really brilliant, but how he rambled!

    Have a good nap.
     
  12. consuegra

    consuegra Senior Member

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    video

    I stumbled upon this virology website awhile ago and recently I listened to this conversation among what I take to be serious scientists. It was fascinating. The problem for me is the uncertainty - and being to close to this disease. But it is a very good listen for those who want to hear a good discussion of XMRV at this time.

    Chris

    http://cfspatientadvocate.blogspot.com
     
  13. spit

    spit Senior Member

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    I *think* that what he's getting at is that the sequence is so similar to the known endogenous mouse leukemia viruses that it must have been a relatively recent change, and that it's possible, given the types of outbreaks sometimes, that it's in some wild mice and still transmitting directly from mice to humans occasionally (in addition to human to human).

    I don't have an opinion, there's just too little information -- it is interesting that outbreaks have occurred that would be hard to explain as human to human transmission, but we have a long way to go before those questions can be answered. But I think that's what he's trying to say, anyway, is that these are things for future exploration.
     
  14. George

    George Guest

    I like Vincent he's a good a retro virologist from what I researched on him. Like a lot of people in the research field he knows nothing about CFS. ( gotta sigh) I was surprised that he got several of the details of the XMRV virus wrong in this podcast. He's done two others and got all the info right so, I'm not sure why he said things differently on this one.

    One was calling it Xenotropic Moloney (correct is Murine = mouse) Related virus. The Moloney set of viruses are ones created in the lab and used for a variety of experiments over the last four decades. The other was giving credence to the mouse feces way of transmitting the virus. Notice how the show members kinda freaked on that. But scientifically he must know that's not possible for several reasons.

    First mouse feces taints nearly every processed food and is found on most unprocessed ground grown food plus, mice are ubiquitous to every home. This would mean that the WPI study would be completely invalidated as Dr. Reeves said because the virus would be everywhere.

    Second would be transmission, so far the tiniest bit of formaldehyde will kill XMRV in sera (blood plasma and body fluid). The virus does not live outside of sera at all. This virus is not as tough as HIV or HTLV, XMRV is the weenie retrovirus. Now a tough shelled virus like Polio, yes that can be transmitted via tainted feces.

    Third the virus is the same genetically in a twenty five year old sample as well as recently acquired samples. Differences of less than 25 nucleotides out of 8100 would indicate that this came from a single source. How could a variety of mice from a variety of areas manage to infect, via blood ,enough individuals to start an epidemic that has turned into a pandemic. It's not possible. Knowing that sequence changes so little over decades is great because unlike HIV which undergoes thousands of changes in a day this virus changes very little. Much easier to treat.

    The other thing I was not happy with is that he let the inference hang that you "catch" XMRV and get CFS. However the XMRV virus is acquired via sexual transmission or from parent to child, XMRV needs two things in order to become CFS a set of genetic predispositions and a viral trigger.

    I don't know I wasn't happy with this one. I think Vince needs to do more homework.

    Sorry guys.
     
  15. Martlet

    Martlet Senior Member

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    That's still open to question, given the number of virgins or one-partner PWCs there are. I think there will turn out to be multiple methods of transmission.
     
  16. fresh_eyes

    fresh_eyes happy to be here

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    OK, George, thanks for your good input.

    (But he did say of course CFS is a disabling disease with immune dysfunction! He got that part right!:D)
     
  17. _Kim_

    _Kim_ Guest

    Eeeew! mouse poop in my food. Don't wanna know, don't wanna know.....

    And are there really mice in all houses? Even those where cats live? Wouldn't we here them scampering in the walls or find evidence here and there?
     
  18. Martlet

    Martlet Senior Member

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    Years ago, there was something on the BBC showing what critters are in our food before it gets to us. :eek: I had to console myself with the knowledge that mankind has been eating food that has been traipsed over and pooped on since we first walked on the earth.
     
  19. George

    George Guest

    True


    (laughing) Yeah he did alright, I'm just picky.:)
     
  20. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    Does anyone else find that scientific research for just about any subject other than CSF is massively interesting, inspiring and entertaining? Where as CFS stuff feels like a chore?

    Hopefully that's going to turn arround if XMRV leads to some really solid work being done. I understand why few high quality researchers seem to have been interested in CFS though. I wouldn't have been if choosing a specialism at 21 or so.
     

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