Discussion in 'XMRV Research and Replication Studies' started by Jemal, May 9, 2011.
Now someone please explain it to me
I've never really like the WPI's approach to PR, and it seems even more out of place now. Oh well... it doesn't really matter. If they don't identify blinded samples with the BWG and Lipkin, they were over anyway, so I guess there's no need to be cautious now.
Your quote chopped some of it off. Here are the last two paragraphs in full:
Basically, the first paragraph shows that there are many lines of evidence to suggest that one of the WPI samples was truly positive for XMRV. Electron micrograph (done by Singh herself, I believe), actual sequencing of it's isolate (and it's distinct from VP62, which Singh calibrated to), serological evidence from a different lab, and infectivity. This paragraph casts doubt on the ability of Singh's assays to detect clinical XMRV since they couldn't detect it in this sample. The fact that there are many lines of evidence supporting positivity of this sample makes it much harder to argue "but how do we know it's actually positive?" Because there is a picture of it that you took yourself Dr. Singh!
The second and third paragraphs touch upon further serological evidence and sequence diversity (likely missed in the Singh study which optimized assays to detect VP62).
Lastly, they note that there are multiple new isolated sequences pending publication in GenBank. The diversity of these sequences, once published, could go a long way toward explaining many of the negative studies. We'll have to wait and see, though.
Spin away spin-meisters!
Would you care to expand on this? You don't like that they don't use their inner voice? Is that it?
Yeah - and surely Singh realises this! The WPI keep talking like they have overwhelming evidence on their side, but it seems like increasingly few scientists agree with them.
Combined with innuendo like "it is vitally important that investigators interested in furthering the understanding of blood borne XMRV", it makes the WPI seem increasingly out of touch with the mainstream. That's fine for a short time... if you've got killer evidence about to be published... but it's been 18 months now. If they really had such a water-tight case, should they not be able to get it through peer review in that time?
The uncertainty around CFS leaves a lot of room for people to form their own beliefs, and then become committed to them. I'm sure we've all seen this happen, to patients and doctors. I still think it's possible that the WPI is right about XMRV and CFS, but the way they're engaging with their critics reminds me of the faith based approach CFS has had far too much of. Hopefully their faith will be well placed, but I would prefer a more cautious and careful approach.
I think they've been pariahs for a long time now. I kind of like the winner take all approach. The WPI will either be spectacular heroes or spectacular goats. I find that refreshing in this era where there is more spin than substance.
Wow. Singh found a false negative in at least one of the samples. That we can be sure of. Singh took a picture with an electron microscope of the budding virus. So her assays used to detect XMRV did not work, in this case.
I thought the response from WPI was thoughtful and professional. They didn't disparage Singh or her study. They brought out the information that they believe will help researchers find XMRV and other variants. They need to use a positive clinical isolate to calibrate their assays, if they are really wanting to find the retrovirus. Seems like common sense.
Thanks asleep, for the explanation. I corrected my quote, it's all there now I think.
And I agree, I like the brute force way of the WPI. If they fail, they will at least go down fighting But it is not that time yet, luckily.
From what I've read, the budding virus could have been something other than XMRV, and virologists don't really see it as a key bit of evidence. I don't think we can assume Singh failed to take account of evidence from Singh.
re Winner takes all: Yeah - it doesn't really make much difference now. If they'd played it differently, then even if XMRV hadn't worked out htey could have still been in a good position to continue with CFS research. Now, it's difficult to imagine that happening.
I like this part too.
Could you provide a link to what you read that discounts this important piece of evidence, please?
Yes, I noticed that bit as well... That's what I've been waiting for... I wondered what they were doing with the info about their sequences...
And here's another interesting bit that I noticed:
So they've got XMRV (multiple strains or varieties), PMRV (XMRV - p variant), and "other related human gamma retroviruses"...
That's very interesting... What are the other related human gamma retroviruses?!?!?
(Currer, if you are reading this, then I think this answers one of the questions that I asked you, doesn't it?) (i.e. I think you said that they had found other HGRV's?) (Sorry, memory failure again!)
yes, that part is fantastic. That should really help get to the bottom of all this. I've been waiting to hear this.
I have to tentatively agree with critics that you can't use a positive clinical sample to determine whether, in fact, the clinical patients are indeed positive. I admit that I don't know how these things have been done in the past, but it doesn't make any sense to me, to use the thing you want to be testing, as a positive control. It doesn't make a lot of sense to use XMRV from prostate cancer, either, though, so there don't seem to be any good options.
However I also agree that Singh's results do not say anything definite about the Lombardi and Lo papers. It would again be anecdotal to apply her results to other papers (even though she's a far better virologist than the others who reported finding contamination).
The plain fact is, we don't know anything one way or the other at this point. We need more high-quality research, hopefully more in addition to the BWG study, and I hope we get it.
The way I understand the situation is that no journals will publish Judy Mikovits' work, just because her name is associated with it. (i.e. it's too hot to publish - too controversial.)
That's partly why Lombardi has taken over Mikovits' previous role at the WPI - so they can get their research work published.
Multiple sequences from these three thousand samples have been submitted to GenBank and are awaiting publication.......
That's the best news this year!!
Real scientific. Sounds like a high school clique in charge of what goes in the Senior Class Yearbook. But I guess "that's how science works". End of sarcasm.
Yes, my guess is that there has been a cliquey smear campaign against Judy within the scientific establishment.
They probably see her as a problematic trouble maker who dares to test and challenge established scientific ways of thinking.
I imagine it's a bit of an old boys network within the scientific journals as well.
Yes it's great news, but don't forget that Switzer of the CDC has recently published a paper that establishes that XMRV is a human virus, with no possibility of it being either a mouse contaminant or a contaminant from a cell line, and he has sequenced 3 entirely new strains... I thought that was actually better news than this news... The CDC confirming that XMRV is a human virus, and that it has barely detectable, extremely low copy numbers in prostate tissue and is extremely hard to detect in the blood... I never thought I'd see the CDC confirm that XMRV is a human virus, and then single-handedly blow all of the negative studies out of the water:
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