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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. floydguy

    floydguy Senior Member

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    Speaking of Klimas what is your take that Klimas' patients (even those testing positive for XMRV) appear to have much different cytokine results than what WPI are reporting on their patients. I'd appreciate it if you might consider looking into that.
  2. Bob

    Bob

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    From BBC news article:

    What I don't quite understand is, if, as we know, contamination has "not been definitively proven", then why should it "be made as definitive as possible that XMRV is not linked to chronic fatigue syndrome"? What evidence is he basing his statements on? Have I missed something?
  3. Jemal

    Jemal Senior Member

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    And why is he mentioning CFS specifically? The NCI have officially buried XMRV, also the cancer link.
  4. kurt

    kurt Senior Member

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    There are various levels of proof in science. What Stoye probably means by 'no definitive proof' is that a verifiable source of contamination in the original WPI study has not been found. Other study authors have suggested contamination studies that apparently WPI has not run, and unless WPI runs them and finds contamination there can be no definitive proof (I refer to tests such as IAP and using dUTP-UNG for nested PCR).

    The type of proof that Stoye is inferring by saying that XMRV in CFS is a myth is the proof of a scientific consensus process, which might be considered a preponderance of evidence that a hypothesis is true (or false in this case).

    But you don't have to prove exactly how a study is wrong to prove it is wrong. If multiple follow-on studies calibrated to similar or superior standards of accuracy to the original, fail to find the target organism, the preponderence of evidence proves that the original study was flawed. This is the development of a scientific consensus, which Stoye believes has proven XMRV in CFS to be a myth.

    WPI does not have to agree, and this is a free country, they can continue studying XMRV as long as they like. But they may not make scientific claims about XMRV or their testing without violating accepted scientific ethics when a consensus view is accepted by the retroviral community. All researchers must accept the process of science, to have any credibility. You can't just accept scientific processes when they decide in your favor.
  5. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    Can't disagree with that Justin...
  6. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    My guess is that since the WPI restricted the study to XMRV positive patients and Klimas I think had an open study that could explain it. It could also be a matter of different techniques, I guess, since cytokine studies seem to be really trickly...I know Peterson is now having his patients get their cytokine results from Klimas - he's really high on her protocols.
  7. WillowJ

    WillowJ Senior Member

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    McClure and Stoye, no, I agree, won't be pursuing a non-psychogenic (i.e. any actual) cause.

    Singh probably, yes. She's the one that said Canadian definition was the proper way to identify ME/CFS patients, after all. If she thinks the answer is not XMRV, that's her decision based on her experience with her lab's contamination (that experience was real, even though it doesn't explain WPI's results). I don't think it effects her belief that ME/CFS is a real, biomedical disease. Not sure it still lies within her area of expertise in her view, but maybe she'll go with the "could be some other retrovirus" line, especially depending on what Lipkin finds in his own (not only the BWG) study.
  8. Angela Kennedy

    Angela Kennedy *****

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    Hi Willow - any chance you could cite the source of Singh's comments on the CCC at all? That would be useful info if you're able to.

    Also- Is Singh in any position to carry on with CFS research in the first place, now she's part of the shutting down push re XMRV in ME/CFS? Or is she making comforting clucking noises with no substance from a position of no further involvement? Genuine question.

    There seems to be a lot of "CFS patients have got to realise the search goes on" type comments but this community knows only too well that the only explanations given support, money and time are the one that are the most implausible of all - the psychogenic explanations.
  9. Nielk

    Nielk

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    I believe that this has nothing to do with the WPI. this was tested at Redlabs in Belgium! A little distance from the Reno Nevada lab. Others know probably more about it since they are KDM's patients.
  10. Jemal

    Jemal Senior Member

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    I think VIPDX was a spinoff from Redlabs, being called Redlabs USA once? What I do know: Redlabs sends samples regularly to VIPDX (I think the serology tests). They are also using the same tests.

    They are too related to see separately if you are talking about contamination I think. In theory, they could both be contaminated or using contaminated reagants. Every laboratory that works closely with the WPI is immediately suspect, at least to the contaminists.

    Something new KDM is doing: stomach biopsies and finding XMRV in them (but Redlabs is probably doing the testing as he sends all the XMRV stuff there).
  11. Nielk

    Nielk

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    Yes, but it's Redlab in Belgium not in the US. Redlab in the US was bought out by WPI and renamed VIP labs. I don't believe that Redlabs in Belgium has any connection with VIP of the WPI. Maybe someone can correct me if I'm wrong.
    The fact that they are finding it in tissue samples in Belgium, means that it does exist, just hard to find in the blood.
    Does this make any sense?
  12. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    Staff from Redlabs in Belgium went to VIP dx in the USA for XMRV testing training and then the proceedure / protocol was licensed to Redlabs. They were only licensed for part of the testing process and XMRV antibody blood tests still go to VIP dx in the USA.

    If any materials were sent to Redlabs in Belgium from VIP dx or the staff took any reagents back with them from the training this could be a souce of any contamination.

    I've been asking these contamination and sharing questions of Redlabs/VIP dx and the WPI since XMRV testing started. No signs of any contamination have ever been found in their materials.
  13. Nielk

    Nielk

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    So, why is everyone accusing them of contamination? Can't they let independent examiners come into their lab and see if they can find a contaminant? (maybe I've been watching too many C.S.I. episodes)
  14. Jemal

    Jemal Senior Member

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    Yes, this could be a possibility. The cancer studies that found XMRV were looking in tissue as well and we know from the monkey study that XMRV leaves the blood quickly and goes into tissue.

    Thanks for the background information!

    I am also active on the Dutch forum, where many Dutch and Belgian patients are sharing their experiences with KDM and Redlabs. Several have said that Redlabs told them their samples were shipped to VIPDX in the US.
  15. Jemal

    Jemal Senior Member

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    That's a good question. We don't know for sure that the WPI didn't have their lab, reagants, etc checked by independent examiners. I have the feeling though labs don't generally accept outsiders...
    Also the independent examiners should have immense authority, or this issue would never go away.
  16. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    There would have to be an agreement on what "contamination" actually is and how best to test for it.

    Dr Coffin said IAP for contamination testing which Dr Lo said that he did run in his lab but no contamination was found.

    The contamination theory seems to be argued largely on virus (in)diversity. The events that could have resulted in the creation of the virus to go on to be a contamination are theories. Similar parts are found in mice but no whole in any mouse. The WPI doesn't use the material suggested as the souce of any contamination.

    There is non-agreement amoung scientists on where the contamination came from and if it is contamination.

    Silverman still says that the virus is integrated. Mikovits still says there is an antibody response.

    I don't understand why the contamination theories are being so highly regarded but welcome evidence that will end this debate.
  17. WillowJ

    WillowJ Senior Member

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    ADM quoted it in the WJS some time ago... this was before Singh suspected any contamination in her lab, right when Lipkin was announced as The One Who Would Solve It; she published a note telling him what constituted a well-qualified ME/CFS patient, which included CCC (might have been both Fukuda and CCC, but that renders Fukuda moot except as an anchor to recent recearch such as that of Klimas/Fletcher, PFL, the Lights...). There was a link either here at PR or at WSJ, and I read her exact words.

    I have not heard Singh making any recent noise about the search going on. I'm just saying she doesn't belong with McClure (and I know it wasn't you, Angela, who said this), who would think CCC was preposterous (since it destroys any notion of CFS being on a continuum with normal fatigue and burnout, or being somehow closely related to primary depressive conditions--please note these are important, deserving, devastating, and largely biomedical conditions, but they just aren't ME/CFS and should be diagnosed and studied separately in the best interest of everyone). Singh endorsing CCC clearly shows she is not in the psychogenic camp regardless of what she thinks of XMRV as eitiology.

    There are too many people who tend to treat researchers as if XMRV=biomedical and no XMRV=no biomedical. No XMRV does not necessarily = not biomedical. No XMRV does not necessarily = not infectious. There are lots of other biomedical avenues and lots of other infectious agents (including more retroviral possibilities!).

    Particularly, Singh signing off on XMRV does not make her in the McClure camp, and that was the point I was making. Singh did write some conclusions that overreached her data (just because it's not, in her opinion, XMRV, does not mean it's not some other retrovirus--there is some reason for the positive results and contamination introduced during processing just does not explain everything tidily... besides which there really is hardly anyone using ARVs and it's not necessary to warn people away from this because most of us are waiting for the science and wouldn't consider trying them prior to official clinical trials no matter how much we believed in any theory of retrovirus, unless that individual person had tried everything else and was dying anyway, which some of us are!) but that doesn't mean she's stopped believing that ME/CFS is real. I see no indication that she has, and I think it's grossly unfair to class her with McClure.

    However, as I said in my other post, I have no idea whether she personally will actually do anything further for us. I tend to think not any direct involvement since she's a retrovirologist and has concluded (rightly or wrongly) that no retrovirus is involved, but perhaps she might write an occasional note or say something in public to support the truth that ME/CFS is a true disease and needs to be defined particularly.
  18. Daffodil

    Daffodil Senior Member

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    did that journal retract wakefield's paper about autism? i think they did.....and we all know there is some connection with vaccines and autism. they will not necessarily act in favor of the truth.
  19. justinreilly

    justinreilly Stop the IoM & P2P! Adopt CCC!

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    The scientific community considers preponderance of the evidence to be proof?? All you need is 51% of the current evidence in your favor to say something is proven? That sounds unscientific to me. In the law, if something is shown by preponderance of evidence, we would not say it's proven. And science generally has higher standards of proof than the law, to my understanding.

    Is it really unethical to state something contrary to the herd even if you know the herd is wrong? And the herd, even a scientific herd, is sometimes wrong.

    How would science EVER advance if you could not challenge the current paradigms? Einstein, Galileo, Newton, everyone who states a truth which is contemporaneously unaccepted by science is unethical? I know you're not saying that, so pls clarify.
  20. kurt

    kurt Senior Member

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    The consensus process is an informal method, not really part of the 'scientific method' per se, but still very important. And yes, a scientific consensus is considered a form of scientific proof, even if a few researchers disagree with the consensus. And that is what is happening here, WPI is disagreeing with the emerging consensus. It is indeed unethical to state something contrary to the consensus, unless you qualify that statement by noting that the majority of researchers disagree with your view.

    Anyway, I certainly agree that CFS paradigms need to be challenged. But I fail to see how challenging the RT-PCR paradigm by an older nested PCR paradigm (without modern contamination controls even) is progressive. The WPI is using older technology with fewer contamination controls, and stating that they are right and all the other labs using more advanced tests with superior contamination controls are wrong. That is not what I would call challenging current paradigms.

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