1. Patients launch $1.27 million crowdfunding campaign for ME/CFS gut microbiome study.
    Check out the website, Facebook and Twitter. Join in donate and spread the word!
Never Ask Us if We're Hungry -- The Answer's Always No
There are three of us here and for many years, none of us ever got hungry. When our brains would turn to mush, when our faces would go numb, and we would start the invisible vibration which is the signature dance of ME/CFS, we knew we needed to eat.
Discuss the article on the Forums.

Science asks authors to retract XMRV/CFS paper

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

  1. Jemal

    Jemal Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,031
    Likes:
    60
    Science editorial:

    More:
    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2011/05/31/science.1208542.full.pdf
  2. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

    Messages:
    7,025
    Likes:
    432
    Raleigh, NC
    We'll see how this all turns out..Science took a big step - publically calling for the authors to retract the paper - but as you noted they did not go the full route and retract it themselves. After the WPI declined to retract the paper the editors certainly had the opportunity to say - we asked and they refused - so we'll retract it. They haven't done that - so they are keeping the door open...

    In their Expression of Concern they basically say we have serious doubts about the paper - but that they too are awaiting the results of the Lipkin and BWG studies....the door is still open at Science.

    I think by attaching the Expression of Concern to the original paper they are basically stating that there are enough doubts about XMRV that they, as the original publishers of the article new research, feel that they have an obligation to inform other researchers about this (as if they didn't know), and that they believe that no new research should start on XMRV until the NIH studies resolve the issue. They are not saying XMRV is dead....

    They're in a kind of strange position....they've asked the authors to retract the article but they won't do it! ..I'm not sure of the logic of that. :)
  3. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,146
    Likes:
    5,033
    It's not over, but I don't think we can look at all the publicly available data and act like it's likely the WPI's finding is going to hold up.

    It would be interesting to hear Ruscetti's thoughts on all this.

    I wish we had some more thorough blinded testing of the WPI too - that would seem to be the easiest way to sort this out for sure (although we'd need larger numbers than those used for the BWG testing released last Oct). (This has been going on for so long!!)
  4. Jemal

    Jemal Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,031
    Likes:
    60
  5. Jemal

    Jemal Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,031
    Likes:
    60
    It's becoming less likely, but a lot of the greatest advances in science have been met with lots of controversy. At the moment I am seeing a shift: first it was contamination, but I see more and more articles and papers popping up that are claiming XMRV is a real, replicating virus (not saying anything about association with disease).
  6. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

    Messages:
    7,025
    Likes:
    432
    Raleigh, NC
    Looking at the authors of the Levy study - Peterson was not part of it. According to the article he asked Levy to do the study but Kogelnik -a physician associated with Dr. Montoya at Stanford - supplied the patients.
  7. Andrew

    Andrew Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,951
    Likes:
    1,206
    Los Angeles, USA
    The Science editorial staff doesn't live in a vacuum, and could easily be aware that Lipkin is slated to be a de facto referee of all this. So it seems odd that with this pending they would make a move like this.
  8. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,146
    Likes:
    5,033
    Yeah, it does.

    It could be that the PR approach of the WPI and Mikovits has meant that Science are keener to distance themselves from the initial paper than they would have been otherwise. It could have left them feeling that they wanted to take some public action prior to the Lipkin results, so that they don't get criticised if Lipkin comes back showing that the WPI were wrong.
  9. Bob

    Bob

    Messages:
    7,804
    Likes:
    9,410
    England, UK
    Maybe the Science editors are firmly sitting themselves on the fence, in preparation for the results of the Lipkin study, so that they don't look too stupid whatever the results. If Lipkin's study confirms the WPI's work, then Science gets the glory for publishing the original study, but if Lipkin's study does not bring a result, then the Science editors can say that they had already raised a large question about the paper.
  10. Jemal

    Jemal Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,031
    Likes:
    60
    Yes, I think this is it. They win both ways... it would be pretty smart to do. And I am sure a journal like Science is worried about their reputation.
  11. dipic

    dipic Senior Member

    Messages:
    215
    Likes:
    10
    Hardly. Show me some studies that have been actual replications of the original Science paper that are negative and we'll talk. How many so far to date? Ah, that's right. Zero.
  12. Jemal

    Jemal Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,031
    Likes:
    60
    And this is the second study to be published in Science:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2011/05/31/science.1205292.abstract
    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-05/nci-oox053111.php

    Now we can be sure Silverman will get involved.
  13. Bob

    Bob

    Messages:
    7,804
    Likes:
    9,410
    England, UK
    Am I right in thinking that we knew all of this information already?

    If so, then this study has been superceeded now, but further detections of more varied XMRV sequences.
  14. Angela Kennedy

    Angela Kennedy *****

    Messages:
    1,026
    Likes:
    152
    Essex, UK
    The cohort issue is still part of the problem- no matter how much people try and keep it a wallflower in the dance, and the fact the great and eminent scientists/retrovirologists who know all about AIDS and so forth can't get their heads around this does not instill confidence in their ability to solve the problem.
  15. Angela Kennedy

    Angela Kennedy *****

    Messages:
    1,026
    Likes:
    152
    Essex, UK
    Got to agree. At least THREE of them have serious problems on the cohort issue alone. Most of the others haven't been too forthcoming on their cohort selection. I suspect problems...

    Again - only part of the problems - but there are so many problems with the 'WPI are wrong' position...
  16. Navid

    Navid Senior Member

    Messages:
    409
    Likes:
    58
    what if peterson brought levy the reagents used in wpi's original testing...and levy found them to be contaminated?

    why else would peterson have done this study w/levy unless he was po'd abt the way he was treated by wpi or he really believed there was malfeasance in the original study (contamination of reagents?)

    whatever ppl may think of peterson today, he has given his life-career to helping ppl with me/cfs....his motivation would be very different then a mcClure, wessley, coffin, switzer in this research. (unless driven by sour grapes)

    hope things pan out for WPI but it's getting more and more difficult to keep the faith.
  17. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,183
    Likes:
    1,253
    Ashland, Oregon
    Perhaps they win with critics of Judy M and WPI, but IMHO, they don't win when it comes to acting in a professional manner. They clearly state:

    Why would they be asking for a retraction if they are clearly saying the jury is still out? I don't get it. Just seems really bizarre. The best answer I can come up with is they're calling for this retraction because they're feeling some heat. But if that's the case, then they need to get a little backbone and let the science play out so everybody can be in agreement with the final outcome.

    Wayne
  18. eric_s

    eric_s Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,925
    Likes:
    73
    Switzerland/Spain (Valencia)
    Cort, i think we also have to see that more or less nothing has seemed to make sense in the entire XMRV/MRV story so far. You could even say nothing in ME/CFS has ever made much sense.

    I agree it would not make sense and please be careful as well to realize i did not try to come up with an explanation for why Peterson did what he did. I think it's better not to speculate too much and leave blanks where there are blanks.

    But i still think if Peterson, at the point where he could see they are not finding the virus, did not try to establish this exchange, this was a mistake that can hardly be explained. And it could have extreme consequences for this research and all the patients, so it's serious. Can you give me a good reason why it would have been ok to not do this? Especially if ones sees that everybody who so far reported positive results did so after contacting the WPI. This only leaves two likely conclusions, in my mind.

    a) The WPI has some knowledge that is needed to find the virus and is not easy to find out for yourself
    b) The WPI's methodology will produce false positives, through contamination or another way

    So i think you need to contact them and let them share their knowledge with you so that you can either find the virus or show that b) is correct.

    Many people have been well liked. I don't say i can explain what's going on, i've said many times it seems strange, but i can see danger and possible actions that are not right.

    They have sequenced their findings in different labs around the world. So what they found was XMRV and not some mouse DNA or not (i really don't know, it's not a rhetorical question)? Also they have taken many other steps to check for contamination. Given this, does it really make more sense to you that there is contamination and they just can't find it after so long than that the negative papers are wrong?

    I don't say all the negative papers are part of a conspiracy. But are the authors of the positive ones incompetent or liars? I don't think it's enough to come up with 0/0 and say "case closed", even if you are an experienced researcher, given all the other facts. Why not contact the WPI and ask for their help? Is that asked too much? And it would seem like an intelligent thing to do.
  19. eric_s

    eric_s Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,925
    Likes:
    73
    Switzerland/Spain (Valencia)
    But can't the same be said about the NCI, the Cleveland Clinic, the FDA, IrsiCaixa?

    It depends how far after the paper it was. He officially left in spring 2010, if i remember correctly.
  20. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,837
    Likes:
    10,415
    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    Hi, I don't want to go back over old issues, which have been discussed at length, but I don't think anything will be resolved until some time after the BWG and Lipkin studies. If they both confirm or refute the association, we have our answer. Either result is a good result for research.

    The worst result comes in two forms. If BWG gets one result and Lipkin another, there is a problem. Alternatively, if either or both have ambiguous results, there is again a problem. Let us hope they can answer the issue definitively.

    Please note that even if XMRV association is disproved, the cytokine signature found by WPI may still be important. Of additional interest is the improvement we see in some patients on antiretrovirals. If it is not XMRV, what are they are responding to? Is it another virus, or some other drug-biochemistry interaction? Or is it just isolated cases of improvement?

    Of course, if Lipkin and BWG support the Lombardi findings, then we still have a long road to go to prove causation.

    In my opinion the WPI should not even consider changing course until after the Lombardi study. They might finally be validated, and this is too important an issue to drop without solid evidence they are wrong.

    My nightmare is that they will lose funding if they pull back and drop XMRV, and when I am finally relegated to a nursing home in a decade or two I will read in the paper (enews?) that XMRV was right all along. We need to know, not just have maybes to think about. Its up to the science, one way or the other, not journalistic or populist opinion.

    Bye
    Alex

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page