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The real story about XMRV coming out today?

Discussion in 'XMRV Research and Replication Studies' started by VillageLife, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    The image of the original slide only mentions 5AZA on the positive samples. If 5AZA was only added to those samples (as the labelling on the IACFS/ME slide would also seem to indicate) then that's a very important thing, that needed to be mentioned (as would any other difference between how different samples were treated/prepared).

    Also, the IACFS/ME slide claims that two of the negative samples were from the same patients as the positive results, but without 5AZA. While the science paper shows them as all coming from different people.

    I'm not claiming that I know what all this means, or what led to these different labels being used, I'm not sure that anyone does yet, but these differences are potentially problematic.
     
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  2. Bob

    Bob

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    I totally disagree Esther. The new western blot image tells us nothing.

    The western blot has very limited labelling because there isn't space to include all the details on the yellow strip.

    Like I said earlier, the full details would have to be attached to the slide elsewhere. I don't know how they store these western blot results, but I assume they would be placed inside a labelled envelope, with the full data attached. Or if digitised, then in a file with the full data attached.
     
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  3. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    I've no idea. It could be an elaborate fake. As the WPI/Mikovits is very likely to have the original themselves though, if it is a fake it will be easily debunked (somewhat reducing the incentive for putting in all the work needed to fake it in the first place).
     
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  4. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    That could well be the case.

    But we also have the IACFS/ME slide, which again only labels the two positives with 5-AZA, this time in a power point presentation with plenty of room for full labels.

    It could just be that these errors coincided coincidentally... or it could be that those labels are right, and the ones in Science failed to mention this difference.

    When it was just the IACFS/ME slide that differed from the Science paper, I was confident it was just an error. Now we've got the original slide with some of the same differences, I'm less confident.
     
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  5. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    You haven't explained why it would be important to include all the data on one slide Esther.

    If someone cropped a jpg for a powerpoint presentation and saved the file, then used it for another presentation what is the problem?

    It seems like you are only seeing one side of the story.
     
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  6. Bob

    Bob

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    Esther,

    In the IACFS/ME slide, it does not say that the normal controls are activated. So that correlates with the (previously) hidden text on the new image (i.e. the labelling on the yellow strip).

    But that's irrelevant anyway, because the IACFS/ME slide has accidentally (it seems to me) attached the wrong western blot image, and so the labelling is meaningless.
     
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  7. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    Any difference in how the samples which ended up positive and the samples which ended up negative would be important. In addition, the Mikovits slide from the IACFS/ME would seem to indicate that 5-AZA is needed to get positive results from positive patients - if only CFS samples used 5-AZA, that would totally invalidate any association. (The ERV blog post also mentioned 5-AZA being used to aid increase the detections of viruses, but I don't know much about the specifics of this).

    I think that one of us has misunderstood something here, or is looking at different images.

    The IACFS/ME slide I'm looking at only mentions 5-AZA on lanes 3 and 6.

    The slide which is meant to be the original only mentions 5-AZA on lanes 3 and 6.

    The one from Science does not mention 5-AZA.

    It could be that the Science one is accurate, and that the other two coincidentally only mention 5-AZA on the same lanes, despite all samples being treated the same. As you say, there's not much room for full labelling on the yellow strip - but it is quite a coincidence. Especially on top of the same slide being used to claim two different things.
     
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  8. Bob

    Bob

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    We are looking at the same thing, but my point is that if the IACFS/ME slide mistakenly includes the wrong western blot result image, which I believe it does, then nothing can be read into that slide at all.

    So all we have is an image of a western blot result, with limited labelling on it.

    Now, if you suspect the WPI of fraud, then that's up to you. But nothing in any of these images gives us any evidence that any fraud has taken place.
     
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  9. Bob

    Bob

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    Esther, the labelling in the presentation slide is not related to the labelling of the image in the Science paper. They are two entirely separate pieces of data. If the western blot images have been mixed up, then that needs be no more than a simple admin error made while producing the slide. So there is no point in comparing the slide with the Science paper. They are not related.

    The presentation slide does not not say that 5aza was used in the normal controls. But that doesn't have any baring on the Science paper at all. In the Science paper, using a different test, the normal controls were activiated. So what? They are different tests. Different data.
     
  10. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    We don't know what led to the IACFS/ME slide yet.

    If you split up these two problems with the labelling, then I would agree that either would just look like a minor matter. But as they both occurred with the exact same image of the slide, I think that it's more problematic.

    If there was just one little thing which led to the results from PACE meaning it looked like CBT/GET was slightly more effective than it really was, that could just be an over-sight. That there are lots of things combining, and coinciding with one another makes it much more problematic and suspicious.

    Equally, with the Science paper, I'd be much less concerned about this if it weren't for the other negative studies, and the results from the BWG. There is no conclusive evidence that any fraud took place, but the labelling problems that surround that slide do seem problematic.
     
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  11. Bob

    Bob

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    At the moment, all we have is one image (apparently, possibly, or allegedly) placed in the wrong place in a slide presentation, and one western blot result, allegedly from the Science paper, which has very limited labelling on it, which tells us nothing.

    This whole scenario is meaningless, and need be no more than getting a jpeg image mixed up with another while making a slide presentation.

    The labelling on the yellow strip on the new western blot image tells us nothing at all.
     
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  12. Wildcat

    Wildcat Senior Member

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    Esther12 wrote: "If there was just one little thing which led to the results from PACE meaning it looked like CBT/GET was slightly more effective than it really was, that could just be an over-sight. That there are lots of things combining, and coinciding with one another makes it much more problematic and suspicious."
    .

    Please Esther, there are many thousand of words of sophisticated deconstruction of the PACE Trial on this Form (and elsewhere).
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    Trying to use the documented failings of the PACE Trial as a comparison with this complex issue about ME Retrovirus research just won't wash.
    .
     
  13. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    Wildcat: I don't think that anyone has a solid understanding of what is happening here, or what the evidence we've so far seen really means. I've just been posting what I think - which is that there are some serious questions raised here that need answering, and that this could be evidence of manipulation of results for the Science paper.

    The only patients who seem to think that they are well informed enough to speak categorically about these things are V99 and Gerwyn - seeing as they've spent the last few days arguing that identical images are not the same.

    While none of us knows exactly what is going on, we can still test out and learn from one another's ideas by discussing them here.
     
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  14. Bob

    Bob

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    But that 'evidence' is just the incomplete labelling of an image of a western blot, that is circulating on the internet, that is allegedly from the original Science paper.

    So it's not really 'evidence'. It's just rumour.
     
  15. Daffodil

    Daffodil Senior Member

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    even lo/alter found HGRV's..they will be sequenced...maybe there isnt much to worry about here. it will just take a lot more time, which sucks. i am worried about the lipkin paper though. its the perfect opportunity for them to squash us now.
     
  16. markmc20001

    markmc20001 Guest

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    I don't think you or anyone will resolve this particular issue on the internet Esther. Judy is not here, and all the parties involved are not here to discuss.

    I'm sure you can understand these are serious allegations made by Abbie Smith (who I never realized was involved in XMRV research). Too much speculation by those not involved, is unproductive and disrespectful to the researchers working very hard to resolve these complex issues.

    I suggest giving Judy and others a couple weeks to work on this issue. I'm sure we will get an explanation soon enough.

    I have no doubt they are working very hard to help patients like you and me.
     
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  17. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    I don't want to fight with anyone, but I do think we should try to make it clear when transparently false claims are being spread by others.

    Noise, artefacts and blotches are all good terms for the random gubbins which are visible on those images. I don't think that you need any training or expertise to recognise that those images were the same, and that it was massively unlikely that they were the result of different tests. I've got a very vague understanding of how those tests work, and the results are displayed, as a result of reading about XMRV over the last couple of years - but even that is not necessary. In order to think that those images were the results of different tests, one would need to believe that the tests were designed in such a way as to leave those little flacks and marks in seemingly random places in exactly the same way each time. It seems that the only person claiming any expertise who believes this to be the case is a CFS patient on the other forum.

    I can't be certain it's not true - but if being truly sceptical one cannot be certain that Tony Blair was ever Prime Minister. I'm pretty confident about this one though.


    Well - the IACFS/ME seems pretty solid, and then we now have this additional image which purports to be the original slide. I think that counts as evidence, even if we are waiting for some official comment upon it.

    I also just want to make clear to everyone that I'm not accusing the WPI or Mikovits of any fraud. I think that there is some evidence of results for the Science paper being manipulated, but there are still way that this could just have been a couple of error which coincidentally combined. It could also be that this new image is a fake. But there are serious questions that need answering, and I think that, if genuine, this new image is quite seriously problematic - much more so than when we had just the IACFS/ME slide in isolation.
     
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  18. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    I pretty much agree.

    But if others are posting to explain why they don't think that the recent controversy over the slides is significant, or why they still think it is likely that the WPI's Science paper will stand up, then I want to dissent from that. I've had others tell me that they are no longer following/posting about XMRV because they lost interest in it, but that they appreciate that I still do, so I suppose I'm trying to continue that.
     
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  19. markmc20001

    markmc20001 Guest

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    You missed the part about too much speculation and discussion without the parties involved.

    Out of respect for the researchers involved, I suggest dropping it.
     
  20. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    We commonly discuss research findings without the researchers themselves been involved, and I don't know enough about ERV/Abbie Smith to comment either way.

    Again though, I've been posting as part of a conversation with others, rather than writing articles about it in which I expound my own theories. I expect that we will find out more about this soon, and from more official sources, so agree that any speculation here is of limited value.
     
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