Phoenix Rising tells QMUL: release the PACE trial data
Mark Berry, Acting CEO of Phoenix Rising, presents the Board of Directors’ open letter to Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) urging them to release the PACE trial data, and hopes that other non-UK organisations will join British charities in the same request...
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Rumor Viruses author weighs in on XMRV debate

Discussion in 'XMRV Research and Replication Studies' started by natasa778, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. *GG*

    *GG* senior member

    Concord, NH
    I tend to agree with this, but I guess he is a UK guy, so many have their reservations, since things are very slow to change in that country and research is abysmal?!

  2. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

  3. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

    I agree with Kurt that too little has been made of confounding possibilities and looking back it's true that in general the WPI did present the virus in a very positive light. Most researchers fall over backwards in their attempts to not to be too positive. As I remember there are two types of general errors; overstating your findings and understating them. The first -overstating your findings - is by far considered the more serious boo-boo - which is why so many researchers are so painfully (to patients!) careful not to to be too positive about their study results.

    With regards to this article while I found that it raised some good points I found it to be surprisingly lightweight. While it did point out some areas of concern it hardly present a rigorous examination of them. From the XMRV Buzz page

  4. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

    Check with xrayspex.
  5. Cloud

    Cloud Guest

    Bravo Mark!

    Indeed, why is the vaccine link theory condemned as though it's a crackpot idea when it makes so much logical sense. Thanks for conveying my own thoughts so well.
  6. xrayspex

    xrayspex Senior Member

    I see many elephants and they are dancing on the heads of Wessley, Reeves, McClure and Weiss..........
  7. eric_s

    eric_s Senior Member

    Switzerland/Spain (Valencia)
    I totally agree...
  8. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member

    The other side.
    I see no evidence of invisible elephants and think it's irresponsible to alarm the public by suggesting they may exist - regardless of the potential damage that could be caused if they did - any evidence you may have that suggests otherwise (inc footprints in butter, wrecked fridges, great steaming piles of elephant dung etc) was probably caused by contamination and as such would strongly suggest the non existence of your hypothesised invivble elphants - as an invisible animal specialist I would know if they existed and I dont - ergo they dont and cant exist

  9. Dr. Yes

    Dr. Yes Shame on You

    Hi Cort,

    This statement from your Buzz Page is incorrect:

    Weiss does NOT say that HotStart Taq Polymerase contains XMRV. He speculates that it might sometimes contain traces of X-MLVs, the mouse ERVs to which XMRV appears to be (in part) related.

    I hope it's possible for you to edit that post on the XMRV Buzz page? :worried:

    Not in their paper, which is what matters to other researchers. It did not "oversell" their positive findings, and the study was in fact designed to provide multiple corroborations of their PCR results and to reduce any potential contamination concerns.

    I definitely agree with you about the Weiss article being lightweight. When a scientist raises concerns about flaws and potential artifact in another scientist's results, s/he is supposed to suggest an alternative experiment to rule out said artifact - which Weiss really does not, as even a multi-lab study wouldn't be immune to some of the vague concerns he raises - and to provide a critique of their own statement, e.g. point out the potential flaws in the contamination argument. No one who has raised contamination as an issue has done this so far.

    Erlwein et al brought up the Taq polymerase issue already in their comment to PNAS, and as you mentioned Lo et al provided a very strong response.

    Too worn out to critique Weiss's spiel thoroughly, but a few points on this paragraph of his:

    (1) Blood bank donor screening does not have to wait on the results of his proposed studies; that is a public health precaution which needs to be instituted more swiftly than the slow wheels of science can turn (his own government's blood supply agency, by the way, will likely disagree with him on this matter).

    (2) Carefully controlled antiretroviral trials technically do not have to wait until his proposed requirements are met, either.

    (3) The Lombardi study was "truly blinded"; for him to to imply otherwise, as I believe he was (he clearly wasn't just referring to the Alter/Lo study) is deceptive.

    (4) He does not mention the ongoing Blood Working Group on XMRV, which is a multi-laboratory coordinated study "with blinded tests on cases and proper controls". [By the way, what the heck is a "proper control"? Spiked water, like his colleague McClure used?]

    (5) The fact that there is a history of false "retroviral associations with human disease" should have no bearing on a scientist's attitude towards current research in this area, unless specific mistakes from those failed efforts are being repeated. To say otherwise would be to bring unacceptable researcher bias into the equation (which, frankly, Weiss seems to be doing).
  10. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

    Yes, technically you are correct and I will although since he was referring to XMRLV's which includes XMRV and since XMRV (and I grant MLV's) is the topic of note at this point - I imagine he brought the point up because he believes the Taq polymerase is contaminating the samples with XMRV - and it is why XMRV (and pMLV's) to show up in the WPI's and Alter/Lo findings. Ie - that's what he was saying without directly say so :)

    No problems with the paper!

    I agree - not very rigorous! It's not like Mikovits and Ruscetti and Alter/Lo don't know all about the Taq problem etc. That should be easy to take care of because its so obvious. Nobody on that side has really done a point by point examination of the pro's and con's of the problem. Like I said when Coffin starts to turn - that's when I'll get worried. :)

    Too worn out to critique Weiss's spiel thoroughly, but a few points on this paragraph of his:

  11. Dr. Yes

    Dr. Yes Shame on You

    Hey Cort,

    The point is that no one has found XMRV in a mouse yet, or in any species other than humans. Same goes for the gag sequences found by Lo et al (whatever they belong to). Weiss merely speculates that mouse cell lines might be expressing as yet unidentifed murine ERVs that might include what we are currently calling XMRV or something with the Lo/Alter gag sequences, but it's conjecture on his part, based on the observation that his lab had found mouse tumor cells expressing certain X-MLVs (not XMRV, of course).

    Personally, I'd really worry if Frank Ruscetti suddenly goes back into retirement! :worried: ;)
  12. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] Just when he thought he was out he was dragged back in - so much for retirement. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Right - good points - there's so much we don't know about what those sequences are referring to. Hopefully we'll get some interesting info from LO and Alter in the not too distant future. I'm sure they're really digging into those samples. Its a fascinating pest or pest group or swarm or whatever it is, that's for sure.
  13. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

    What a field day these people are having - denouncing seems their pleasure of any of the genuine researchers who seek only to understand and bring relief to millions. Recall visiting Darwins home in Kent and found the antagonisms to him in some circles much like that in ME. Despite all we are getting there.Thanks mostly to US researches we are well on the way.
  14. jenbooks

    jenbooks Guest

    Speaking of Darwin, did you know he was so sick he felt he was going to die, and was treated with water therapy and homeopathy and went on to write his great works?

    "In early 1849, Charles Darwin was so ill that he was unable to work one of every three days, and after having various serious symptoms for two to twelve years, he wrote to a friend that he was dying."

    Read the whole story there.

    Personally I liked the Rumor Viruses article a lot and thought it has merit, at least for considering. I don't think anybody's trying to shoot down good science. Good science proceeds through rigorous debate and weeding out incorrect hypotheses and eventually arriving at consensus. That's just how it works and it takes a bit of time.

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