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Science asks authors to retract XMRV/CFS paper

Discussion in 'Media, Interviews, Blogs, Talks, Events about XMRV' started by Nielk, May 30, 2011.

  1. Nielk

    Nielk

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    XMRV paper questioned by Science Journal

    Chronic-Fatigue Paper Is Questioned
    online.wsj.com

  2. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    Wow. Does anyone know what the "two additional papers" are -- who the study's authors are, etc., -- that she mentions?
  3. Jimk

    Jimk

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  4. shannah

    shannah Senior Member

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    Levy/Peterson paper according to another group.
  5. Levi

    Levi Senior Member

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  6. Hope123

    Hope123 Senior Member

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    I am not sure what to make of this and would like to know WHY the other 740 or so papers were retracted.

    There have been lots and lots of scientific papers whose ideas have been wrong and have had their ideas modified and contradicted by prior papers but those authors have not been asked to retract their papers by the journals they published in. The times I have remembered this happening are when the authors were believed to INTENTIONALLY change the data to fit conclusions, not if the authors did their work in good faith and the results were subsequently proven to be wrong.

    This makes me concerned that ME/CFS and its researchers are once again being judged on grounds that other medical conditions and their researchers are not subjected to. It would be another kettle of fish if the researchers dismissing XMRV were actually interested in getting down to the bottom of what causes ME/CFS and were continuing to research why people were ill but we all know they are not. So, ultimately, what are they doing to help people with this illness? NOTHING.

    I'm going to send my comment to Ms. Marcus.
  7. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    I'm not sure what to make of it either Hope, but if one of the papers is authored by Daniel Peterson, I don't think it would be fair to say he's one of those who is doing "nothing" to help people with this illness.

    I'm sure you didn't mean that however I just thought the point should be made.

    Thanks Levi for the link. It's certainly stunning news...
  8. Hope123

    Hope123 Senior Member

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    Danny, that's not what I meant.

    It's the folks asking for retraction of the Science paper I am talking about and the others insinuating contamination. Peterson is one of a few folks with a potentially negative paper that will continue to research ME/CFS but my opinion applies to the majority of researchers dismissing XMRV.

    I have several points that I brought up with Ms. Marcus I did not put in my post.
  9. WillowJ

    WillowJ Senior Member

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    thanks for the link.
  10. WillowJ

    WillowJ Senior Member

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    amen to that
  11. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    Science may be upset at the WPI over how they've acted and that may be or may not be a reason for going to this extreme length - but I think that's really a secondary issue...the most striking thing about this to me is that it means that the editors of the Science Journal - one of the most influential journals in the world (as we well know) since we crowed about that all over the place a year and a half ago, are confident that the paper and its conclusions are wrong.

    They didn't do the ultimate correction - simply retract the paper themselves - instead lgthey preferred to publish an 'editorial expression of concern' - which basically told the world to 'watch out' about XMRV but did not close the door completely.

    With two more negative studies on the way this makes, outside of prostate cancer, I think 28 studies that have looked for XMRV in everything from CFS to HIV/AIDS to lupus to autism - and not one of them has found even the background levels of it that the WPI said are present in the healthy population. That's alot of research effort and alot of talent that has to be wrong for XMRV to work out.

    I think on those grounds alone - the request for a retraction - which appears to be essentially a call for the research community to stop spend spending its money on this - is understandable even if its not very palatable. Whether they should have done it is one thing....whether they had reason to do it is another - they can certainly cite reasons to do this and I'm sure they will.

    I think this suggests that those papers in Science are going to be whoppers, basically..
  12. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    We'll have to see how many negative papers it took to spark other retractions. Its not like they don't happen... the article cited over 700 of them...Is over 25 negative studies enough? We'll have to see.

    I think you're right in a way but I don't think we can blame retrovirologists for not studying CFS - they are just following the retroviruses.

    As to the rest of the research community - funding levels have not changed....it could be that the research community will just move on as they have in the past. The retrovirologists certainly will....

    Its the bureacrats who decide funding at the NIH and CDC that are the key....Are they going to walk away again or do they recognize the need and will start providing some real funding...Its very possible they will not -= there's no indication right now that they will. We do have Mangan there, which is a plus.....we'll know over the next year....we may know by the end of this year.
  13. liquid sky

    liquid sky Senior Member

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    Does no one not see politics in play here? I know this will make a lot of naysayers happy, but it will set back the study of ME considerably. I hope some one has a trump card.
  14. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member

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    This is a big WTF, because if this paper is retracted, then all the other prostate cancer papers should be retracted for the same reason.
  15. ixchelkali

    ixchelkali Senior Member

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    This is a serious blow. I hope to God they don't pull the plug on the Ian Lipkin study. We need that study. If XMRV is not associated with ME/CFS, we need to find it out through good science, not because funding was canceled. If XMRV is not the answer, I will be disappointed, but I will deal with it, but I want to know. I don't want to live out my life wondering if there was an answer that we were close to finding, but the funding was cut; wondering if I might be inadvertantly infecting someone; wondering if thousands of other people are becoming horribly ill because someone decided it wasn't worth the money to find out.

    The scientists have been telling us not to be impatient, that good science takes time, that we need to let science run its course to arrive at the truth. Fine. I've gone along with that. I hope the good scientists will stand by that now.

    I agree that it's premature to retract the original WPI paper. Certainly the most recent paper from Bob Silverman isn't backing down from the association of XMRV with prostate cancer, and gives a strong answer to the contamination theories. I'd like to see the WPI publish something saying that they have checked for contamination in the reagents they use, or even invite someone else to check their reagents.

    But the Lipkin study is key: a blinded study with the samples all handled the same way, and a well-defined patient cohort. If the WPI can't replicate its own results that way, THEN we can put this rest. Not before.
  16. Freewindblowin

    Freewindblowin

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    Levy/Peterson?

    But no one minds Dr. Singh's out there, or all the Silverman work for decades.

    Dan Peterson?

    Levy-who has been talking about him lately?

    The science is there. It is everywhere else-This is outrageous politics. Dr. Singh can say it is in cancer but not anywhere else, ooooohhhhh.

    Shame on trying to shame someone(s) out from doing good research. Who are the leakers of the letter? Someone is inordinately enjoying this.

    I have read about XMRV in many journals and it is a done deal-it is there, it is in cancer, it moves slower than the HIV retrovirus. The diseases are still here and we have evidence there are treatments. Otherwise, someone let a rogue virus out.

    Lois,

    Not buying out, yet
  17. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    I would be really really surprised if either the BWG or Lipkin study was cancelled - REALLY surprised. I don't think that's going to happen.
  18. Andrew

    Andrew Senior Member

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    Very odd considering that research is ongoing. And odd even research has died.
  19. acer2000

    acer2000 Senior Member

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    If the Levy/Peterson study replicates the original study exactly and with the exact same patients/controls then I'll believe it. But if it doesn't then its not going to do anything but delay good research on CFS for another 20 years.

    I hate to sound like a broken record, but actual step by step methodology matters in Science. Had the other authors of XMRV papers following the original study in 2009 followed the exact methods - we wouldn't have had this controversy. We would know by now about XMRV, and people would be comfortable with the conclusions. But they didn't, their papers introduced more variables and methods, caused more confusion and here we are. We have maybe 2 or 3 well done papers on XMRV, 20 or so bad ones and a lot of BS and politics, no further along with any more real knowledge than a year ago.

    Calling for a retraction at this point is just foolhardy and short circuits the scientific process. Even if Levy thinks he has elegantly explained the discrepancies in the previous studies, his work too needs to be replicated before it is taken as fact. The same standards need to be applied across the board.
  20. Jemal

    Jemal Senior Member

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    There's only one word for this: shitstorm.

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