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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. Daffodil

    Daffodil Senior Member

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    maybe they are talking about the jolicoeur and houghton studies, both of which are rumored to be negative.

    not sure, but i think peterson thinks its another virus and not xmrv.
  2. Jemal

    Jemal Senior Member

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    I am seeing some pretty strong rumors it's the Peterson/Levy study, but we'll know for sure later this week.
    If the P from the WPI publishes a negative paper in Science, that's a pretty hard blow to the people who believe in XMRV...
  3. insearchof

    insearchof Senior Member

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    Wow so pull a scientific paper, because no one replicated your method, because they were too busy preparing their own methods in a race for glory and lets not forget the lodgement of their commercial patents on their unique processes, .....and in doing so all they could find was contamination! Nice.....

    what happened to letting science unfold?

    What concern is it to a science journal what scientists choose to study?

    And why is an editorial red flag needed? is it because scientists that can't find XMRV lack sufficient intelligence after 25 studies to question whether this is an area they want to be dedicating further time and resources too? Seriously.....what is with that? There is no need!

    Given that Sciences little red flag has the potential to put the WPI out of business, I hope the WPI lawyers are sharpening their pencils!

    Here's an idea....unless there are ethical or other grave issues that warrant a retraction....how about Science sticks to the business they are in ....print media....and leave science to the scientists.
  4. Jemal

    Jemal Senior Member

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    What did the WPI do to irritate the journal Science?
  5. Bob

    Bob

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    I would imagine that the Science editors are under very heavy political pressure to get the paper retracted. This seems fairly obvious.
    But I think there must be a big difference between a voluntary retraction by the authors, and a forced retraction by the editors.
    There must be rules and conditions that apply before a forced retraction can be made, and I doubt that the paper meets the tests for that sort of retraction.
    This 'invitation' clearly doesn't help XMRV research, but it is only an invitation to retract, and not yet a retraction. I hope it stays that way.
    I'm sure that the WPI will back their work, and wouldn't retract it unless they knew that their work was invalid.
    As far as I'm aware, they are more certain than ever that their work is valid.
    It's not good news, but I don't think it really makes a lot of difference, as long as the Lipkin study and BWG work continue.
    There's clearly more negative news to come, but we knew that we had to sit it out until the Lipkin study is completed anyway.
  6. Jemal

    Jemal Senior Member

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    Maybe the WPI's defense of the article will be published as well? And I sure hope Science will not retract the article itself, but like you I think they can't easily do that... if the paper was a such a fraudulent mess, I am sure Science would have retracted it already and they wouldn't ask nicely.
  7. eric_s

    eric_s Senior Member

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    Ok, listen... I have had very little sleep the last 2 nights and yesterday i travelled here to Munich to see Dr. Bieger. I just came back to the hotel from the visit. My blood is on the way to the university where the XMRV test will be done. I have given him my word i will not share any details, with no one. So please, please, please don't ask me about it. My inbox is almost full already anyway.

    BUT... there is absolutely no reason to retract this paper. People are sick and researchers are finding XMRV and related MRV in those sick people.

    I do not know what's going on here, but something is wrong and somebody is going to fall hard. I don't want to go back to repeating stuff that has been said 1000 times, but i still believe we and the authors of the positive studies have the power to make sure it will be the "bad" side that falls hard, if XMRV is for real. And as long as all those highly qualified people are finding the virus, it is to be considered for real. Yes, the situation is crazy and i can't explain why a journal like Science could be so wrong. But nevertheless, what i said above is true. Look at all the names who have found it. Ruscetti, Alter, Lo, IrsiCaixa etc. They are no beginners. Neither is Judy Mikovits, of course, but since she made the discovery, i'm leaving her out of the list here. A negative paper, even if it was of high quality, which is not certain at all here, can't be justification to retract Lombardi et al. Only the demonstration of a vital error in Lombardi et al. could be. And this has not happened. Yes, we need clarification of the situation, but this is not how it will be achieved. As long as people are finding it and their work is not shown to have been flawed, this finding is to be treated as existing. And has to be followed up on.

    Sorry to bother you with this, but it's true. Time to take a position and make a stand. Time to defeat the bad side. There is a slim possibility the positive studies up to date were wrong, i agree with this. But we have to defend this research now and make sure science will get to the bottom of things. Suffocation of the science and the groups helping us can not be allowed to happen and we need to fight.
  8. In Vitro Infidelium

    In Vitro Infidelium Guest

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    There are two considerations - the first is a question of etiquette, the editors of Science, if they have been made aware of data in forthcoming articles that puts the work of Lombardi et al in a poor light, could simply be offering the authors a chance to retire gracefully from the controversy they started; the second is that the editors of Science are positioning themselves to avoid future fall out. The defining contention of the Lombardi study was not that XMRV was associated with CFS, but that a) WPI had a protocol to detect XMRV in blood, and b) that XMRV was present in notable percentages both in CFS and non CFS affected people. Publishing an article that says there's a blood borne retrovirus, which is highly associated with a debilitating and unexplained illness, and may be present in millions of people caused inevitable concern far beyond the simple facts of the research. If it turns out that the WPI does not have an effective test for XMRV in blood, and that Lombardi et al were incautious in going ahead and publishing their (inevitably alarming) conclusions, then there will be a degree of criticism, whch the editors of Science would no doubt wish to avoid.

    IVI
  9. Nielk

    Nielk

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    It seems that we are fighting a very strong current here with this illness.
    For every step forward, we are pushed ten steps back.
    Coincidence? I think not!

    What about KDM who is finding XMRV in tissue samples of patient's guts?
  10. eric_s

    eric_s Senior Member

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    I have said it before and i don't want to get on people's nerves, but the situation is serious and real and so we can't close our eyes.

    We are sick and our lives are on the line. It is time to get real now.

    We have to build a giant machinery for massive funding, PR, lobbying and political pressure and put it to work. All of the western world. Europe, North America and Australia/NZ probably can't be connected because of the different cultures, geographic distance etc. But they can work side by side and in coordination. It is us or this illness and now it's time we start to do something serious. Just like other groups do or have done. AIDS, cancer or other groups, like the Jewish community (just as an example for successful lobbying, influence, fundraising etc.).
  11. insearchof

    insearchof Senior Member

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    Hi IVI

    I would put my money on the second hypothesis, given the confidence displayed/statements made by Judy M / WPI in their results in recent times ie Invest ME conference UK etc. Hardly the behaviour of a group looking for an opportunity to save face.

    If your second hypothesis is correct, Science needs to consider the consequences of this sort of approach ie get associated with a reputation for ultra conservatism and miss out on future scientific publications that lead to revolutionary developments, changes and kudos for their competitors, who take reasonable calculated risks at the time of publication.
  12. In Vitro Infidelium

    In Vitro Infidelium Guest

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    The problem lies with the Lombardi paper because it claimed to find XMRV in blood, it is that which is in question, and which leads to doubts about the whole of the WPI strategy. XMRV appears to be a real (i.e not a protocol artefact) organism, and is as originally described, a retrovirus; for whatever reasons XMRV seems to have a preference for prostate tissue, it is not suprising therefore that XMRV was serendipitously found while prostate tumour tissue was undergoing examination. All of the subsequent prostate studies have followed the same course of looking for presence of viral material in tissue, without any testing of causation or illness hypotheses; in contrast Lombardi et al were seeking an organism previously unknown to have an association with a specific disease (M.E/CFS) It is one thing to go looking for XMRV where it has already been found, it is quite another to go looking for it a) in an organ (the blood), where there was no pre-existing tested protocol, and b) in research cohorts (M.E/CFS patients and healthy controls) where there was no previous evidence that the organism was present.

    Studies accord to different levels of specualtion, the prostate studies have been speculatively conservative and the Lombardi study speculatively adventurous, being speculatively adventurous is not itself a bad thing but the potential for a negative result increases with the degree of speculation; when other studies fail to reproduce the result of a speculatively adventurous study it is inevitable that great question of the result will follow than the results of speculatively conservative studies.

    IVI
  13. Bob

    Bob

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    Thinking about it further... The only action that it appears the Science editorial team are going to take is that they are going to publish an 'editorial expression of concern'... This suggests that they do not have a reason to retract the paper... I think to retract it, they would need proof of contamination or proof that XMRV is not a human virus. (Or evidence of scientific misconduct, but that's not part of the picture.)

    Even with the two big new negative studies about to be published, it appears that there still is not enough evidence to prove that the WPI study was invalid.
  14. eric_s

    eric_s Senior Member

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    And i would like to know if there was a request from Peterson/Levy to the WPI for cooperation. If not, especially if they come up with 0/0, i don't see how this could be justified. If you can't find it, you have to ask the people who say they can how they do it. Then you can check their methods and material and would get a chance to see if there's contamination or other flaws.
    If somebody like Peterson, who has worked for the WPI, were to act in such a way, trying to torpedo the XMRV research without trying to make sure they have a working methodology, i don't see how that could be seen as something other than bad intention.
    It would be hard to understand and sad for somebody like Peterson to do something like that, but it would have been his decision.
  15. Bob

    Bob

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    I believe that Levy is a huge name in retrovirology and MLV research (didn't he find the original Xenotropic-MLV's and give them their name?), so maybe Peterson thought that if anyone could find XMRV, then he could.

    It's not going to be easy for us to watch the Levy study being published, especially with all of the associated editorial and press releases. (Actually, it's going to be very difficult for us.)

    But I think we've just got sit tight and wait for what we are waiting for.
  16. Francelle

    Francelle Senior Member

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    But whose reagents is KDM using? Would they be from the WPI? If they were contaminated then his will be too!
  17. Jemal

    Jemal Senior Member

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  18. Daffodil

    Daffodil Senior Member

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    not good. Wisconsin Viral Research is top notch, and they were involved in this study.

    the article said dr. peterson, of the wpi, called levy after the science paper came out. was peterson affiliated with the wpi back then?
  19. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    I think you really have to be careful with this slant Eric. Suggesting that Dr. Peterson who has focused on CFS patients for over 30 years - would torpedo a study that could benefit them simply to get back at the WPI just doesn't make sense to me .....Dr. Peterson is very well liked by his patients and his peers and has been for a long time. It's far easier for me to believe, given negative study after negative study, that the WPI is simply wrong rather than that Dr. Peterson has lost his integrity..

    Dr. Levy is in the picture as well. By implicating Dr. Peterson in that manner you're also suggesting that one of the top HIV specialists in the world - a man who co-discovered HIV - somehow doesn't know how to follow the WPI's published culture procedures or do a culture test - and he is also trying to get back at them - even though he has no connection to the WPI.

    The best explanation for me is that they did their best and they didn't find it. Everybody has a stake in getting this right- they all know that the Lipkin and BWG and other studies are coming up and that this issue will definitively solved at some point. Somebody is going to be proved very, very wrong in the end - because of that they all have a big stake in doing their studies correctly and determining the best they can if XMRV is or is not there.

    It just doesn't make sense that anyone would try and sabotage XMRV because the truth will come out in the long run.
  20. Jemal

    Jemal Senior Member

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    I agree that we should be careful. However, scientists like Ruscetti and Alter have good reputations as well. For me this isn't over yet.

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