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ME/CFS: A disease at war with itself
We can all agree that ME/CFS is a nasty disease, particularly in its severe form, but there are abundant nasty diseases in the world. What is unique and particularly confounding about our disease is that so much controversy surrounds it, and not only surrounds it, but invades it too.
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This Requires A Very Good Explanation

Discussion in 'XMRV Research and Replication Studies' started by KFG, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. KFG

    KFG

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  2. RustyJ

    RustyJ Contaminated Cell Line 'RustyJ'

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    madietodd likes this.
  3. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    Where did Shepherd say that? (too many threads to keep up with!)
  4. omerbasket

    omerbasket Senior Member

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    "ERV" has no limits. She is disgusting! I hope she'll be sued and lose every penny she has.
    Now, don't you think that the title+the first message on this thread shouild be changed, in order for not to ruin Dr. Mikovits' name with some of ERV's bullshit?
  5. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    You mean a good explanation like "my secretary put the slides together and added the wrong one"

    This is a storm in a tea-cup.
  6. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    The WPI are doing the research properly.

    Making a mistake (and we don't know that for sure) in one slide in a conference in a week where Dr Mikovits has been under more pressure than any of her detractors have been under (with the exception of Gallo) is a very small thing indeed.

    If these scientists have never made a simple error like that in their careers then they are not spoken at many conferences. I've dealt with scientists in the UK much worse than that.

    We don't know what happened yet but I'd rather the WPI was working on finding a cure for ME and CFS and no this nitpicking.

    If you want genuinely harmful and dangerous pseudo science looked at why not ask them to turn their attention to the PACE trial?
  7. eric_s

    eric_s Senior Member

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    I've had a pretty stressful day, so i don't feel like clicking that link. Because i know what effect this blog has on your nerves... Could you give a brief summary of what the story is about, KFG? Since you think it's important.
  8. leaves

    leaves Senior Member

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    Come on people, this is not just "a mistake". Don't you see that? I have been a big supporter of WPI, sending them a lot of money whilst having only little. But this is very serious. At best they are incredibly sloppy and disorganized. Let's pray for that.
    Sam Carter and adin like this.
  9. RustyJ

    RustyJ Contaminated Cell Line 'RustyJ'

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    I have to agree. You would think they had just thrown a baby under a bus. Seriously this has got nothing to do whatsoever with science. Next they will be asked to withdraw the Science study because WPI put a slide in upside down or because it was faded. If this is the extent of the scientific community' fault with WPI, then I pity them. It's okay to band together to cook a political outcome that affects millions world wide, but put a slide in by accident and the scientific community bridle with indignant outrage. Well I guess that sums up their ethics, humanity and sense of proportion. I think there was less outrage when Darwin announced his new theory to the scientific establishment.

    For god's sake, get a sense of proportion. I am dying here.
  10. eric_s

    eric_s Senior Member

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    Thanks. I wish it was not so but this really requires an answer from the WPI.

    But who would benefit from such a fraud? Not the Whittemore family, i guess. So why would they tolerate it? And why would Ruscetti still back XMRV? Does he want to end his career this way, participating in a fraud? I just don't get it.
  11. eric_s

    eric_s Senior Member

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    Christopher, we don't know what happened here, but I don't think it's objective to say anyone of the critics is manufacturing something here. Because clearly there's something wrong with this slide. The reason for this controversy is with the WPI. It would be naive not to consider every possibility and not wanting to know what happened.
  12. Bob

    Bob

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    I totally agree.

    It's very difficult putting together presentations based on a large set of data.

    It's also very difficult creating any project.

    Things have to be proof-read, and proof-read again, and proof-read again, etc etc etc.

    Show me someone who hasn't ever made a factual error, or a serious typo, in their lives!

    And who would spot an error like that, if two images that looked almost identical became accidentally mixed up whilst putting together a presentation? How would you spot that they had been mixed up?

    If making a mistake in a presentation, or a blog, is 'fraud', then I guess I've committed fraud in a few of my blogs. The ones where people have pointed out various mistakes to me.

    I do think that it's rather a childish response to start shouting 'fraud' at the WPI over this.
    meadowlark likes this.
  13. eric_s

    eric_s Senior Member

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    Just to clarify, i was not the one who put the fraud allegation in the room. I was considering what others have brought up. And fraud is a possibility, i think we can't deny that.
  14. Bob

    Bob

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    I absolutely disagree eric... It's a simple mistake made on a presentation...
    The presentation was not submitted for peer review, to be passed off as fact, and so therefore no fraud has taken place.
    It was a simple presentation error.

    Think of the millions of ways in which two images could have become confused whilst the presentation was being prepared.
  15. eric_s

    eric_s Senior Member

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    I can't agree. This does not look like a simple mistake. I'm tired and will shut down the computer soon and i will not be the one who finds out what happened here anyway, but just think about it for a moment.

    This is not a typo or something like that. The text exactly matches what you see on the picture. But it's the wrong picture. How can this happen. It would mean that they have performed an experiment (treating the samples with this substance, 5-xyx...) and the result of that experiment was exactly the same, as far as where you see a "stain" as what is on this other, wrong picture. How high is that probability? Also i would guess that the two experiments, the one where the picture is from and the one where they treated the samples with 5-xyx (i can't remember the name), if it ever happened, did happen at different dates, months or over a year apart, since the picture seems to be old and the presentation now was very recent. Now how probable does it seem that you will by mistake pick a wrong picture that perfectly matches your experiment and that (the picture) was taken at a date months or so apart from the date of the experiment? It seems suspicious, i'm really sorry for having to say that. I'm not saying it was done deliberately, we don't know, but i think it raises serious questions.
  16. Kina

    Kina Moderation Team Lead

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    I am quite sure that this needs some sort of explanation from Judy Mikovits.

    I have been able to reproduce what ERV did with the slide -- all she did was change the contrast. The Science and Ottawa slides are identical down to all the extraneous garbage in them, you can never get identical results like this from two different experiments. If people question my findings, I would be happy to post my pics here. ERV may not be the most pleasant person in the world but that really doesn't matter because she has shown and others have verified that the slides are identical. No amount of name-calling or putting down ERV is going to change this. She wasn't the one who discovered all of this, the person who did wishes to remain anonymous and I don't blame them judging by all the nasty things being posted about her, probably to take the focus off the findings. Abbie really doesn't hate people with CFS, what she doesn't like is shoddy science.

    V99 on the mecfs forums has been posting all over the internet that ERV has doctored the slides. This is absolutely not true.

    Obviously a mistake has been made -- two slides were used to denote two different things. You can't use the same slide to support different results and this is where the problem lies in part. Hopefully, Mikovits can address this as soon as possible.
    Firestormm likes this.
  17. Bob

    Bob

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    Simple explanation.
    You have two research images that look similar.
    You copy them both into a new PC folder in preparation for creating your presentation.
    Whilst inserting the images into the presentation, you accidentally select the wrong one because they both look so similar.
    No one spots the mistake because it's so technical.


    But no, that's too easy an explanation... Apparently there is some major fraud going on, obviously.
  18. eric_s

    eric_s Senior Member

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    The chance to get two almost identical pictures is rather small. I am tired and don't want to calculate, but even if you assume each stain is either "black" or "white", you can say the probability is p=0.5 for it to be white or black. Now you have 8 or so columns it the picture. The chance to get two identical ones would be 0.5^8 for 8 columns, that's around 0.004, so 4 in thousand. Correct me if i'm wrong, i'm tired and would better sleep now. Sure, in such a lab you probably do have thousands of pictures, i guess that's true. But still, it's not as if you get identical pictures all the time.

    Now usually you name pictures according to the date when they were taken or in some other way that will allow you to identify them.

    Why would they end up in the same folder?

    I'm not saying there was "fraud". That term might be wrong here anyway. Maybe better say "doctored" or something like that. But like i said, at least in my mind, this need an explanation.

    Edit: One argument against a "fraud" would be that it would be really stupid to use a picture you have already used in an article or something like that...

    Either way, that was only my assessment, and i did not say i know what happened here. Just that it raises questions for me. Sorry if that disturbed anyone. But i'm really tired of the BS no matter what side it comes from. I want answers for this disease and we will only get them once the BS stops, we stick together, get organised, make good plans and pursue those plans.
  19. kaffiend

    kaffiend Senior Member

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    It's callow and highly irresponsible, to the point of being libelous, to accuse someone of fraud on the basis of an error in a presentation slide.

    I don't have any particular view on the XMRV story - I never paid much attention to it. The writer of the blog appears to have an ax to grind.

    Non-scientists may not appreciate the amount of work that goes into making figures and slides - and the amount of room for error while doing so. Data and output from tests, experiments, etc are in a raw form, and there's TONS of it. I would estimate that 0.05% of my results make it to figure status. Such raw form results have to be labelled and put into larger figures with other complementary results. Essentially, one becomes a graphic designer in addition to being a scientist. I spend as much time with Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator as I do with primary research. A simple figure can easily have more than a dozen parts and the chance of screwing it up is probably larger than the chance of getting it right.

    This is what peer review is for. When one finds a mistake, one points it out to the author of the papers. You don't accuse them of fraud. In any case, I don't believe these conference results underwent the scrutiny of peer review and as such, any inaccuracies should charitably be treated as mistakes.

    The author of that blog may find it extremely difficult to publish papers with that sort of public behavior. Your colleagues are the gatekeepers.
    meadowlark likes this.
  20. Daffodil

    Daffodil Senior Member

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    that blogger has been at it for years, even calling dr. mikovits a C---. i am not sure how she gets away with that behaviour.

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