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This Requires A Very Good Explanation

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

  1. kaffiend

    kaffiend Senior Member

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    For some perspective, there's a 2005 paper in PLoS Medicine by John Ioannidis in which he predicted that 80 percent of non-randomized studies turn out to be wrong, for a variety of reasons.

    Being published in Science indicates novelty of the results, not accuracy. Science mag publications usually generate other research (enormous amounts) that gets closer to the real answer. The scrutiny applied to this XMRV paper is unusual however. I suspect if every publication had this much attention, you would see many more inaccuracies and retractions.
  2. Nielk

    Nielk

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    So where does that leave us? Lay people like me - my head is busting with trying to find the truth in all this confusion.
  3. markmc20001

    markmc20001 Guest

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    KFG, Eric S and all....Found the article in question. Yikes...

    Mikovitz and the WPI are being critized by this?????? From ERV's blog.....:eek:

    wholly guacamole!
  4. liquid sky

    liquid sky Senior Member

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    Wow, the vitriol and prejudice on this thread is depressing. We all make mistakes. Why on earth would Judy try to pull a slight of hand at a public demonstration? And who would can not see the the hatred espoused by ERV towards Judy and HGRVs?

    I do wish the hatred and politics could be separated from this disease. The daily grinding pain and suffering is way too much to handle without all the fighting.
    ahimsa, Bob and leela like this.
  5. Kina

    Kina Moderation Team Lead

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    liquidsky. ERV's hatred is not directed at Judy Mikovits. I have read her blog for a long time. Her problem has always been with the science. She has provided some really good arguments for her views. I guess you just have to ignore the potty mouthed statements. For what it's worth, ERV has made some good and valuable points. Her latest blog presents actual evidence, not just innunedo. I find all viewpoints valuable whether from Judy or ERV. Just because we don't like the message, doesn't mean we should discount the message. My only aim, is to follow the science. Whether the message is good or bad, it's still worthy of consideration. I don't discount anything.
    Firestormm likes this.
  6. RustyJ

    RustyJ Contaminated Cell Line 'RustyJ'

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    I have never seen vitriol like this even from cognitively challenged ME patients who have been through decades of abuse. ERV is supposed to be an educated researcher, yet she comes across as unbalanced or extremely immature. She has no illness, has not suffered abuse. What is her excuse? And why should I have to endure "potty mouth". It is a personal attack on a researcher, behavior which Mikovits has never lowered herself to reciprocate. So who carries themselves professionally? Certainly not ERV, certainly not any of the respondents on that post.

    Her latest blog has uncovered a typo, bravo! Which ERV didn't uncover herself. If I found a typo in ERV's blog is this an example of fraud, of pathological lying?
  7. sickness

    sickness

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    I agree, Dr Judy must be one of the most scrutinized scientists right now. She would have absolutely nothing to gain by doing this deliberately. She knows that everybody is watching her very closely. People make mistakes, simple as that. Hell, I've probably made over a dozen, just in this post :oops: It is a very unfotunate mistake, granted, but I really think that is all it is.

    Personally I am a little sick of people instantly jumping on every little thing. I don't really understand why the ME/CFS community is not a bit more forgiving. Given that many of us are so very impaired. We should understand very well that things do not always go as planned, and you don't always get everything right. I mean this as a general comment, not just relating to this case.

    To paraphrase liquid sky, I wish the hatred and politics would just bugger off!! How about a hug instead :hug:

    take care, ness
  8. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    I don't think that many people are avoiding the issue, and no-one seems to be claiming that there is not a problem here. But in the grand scheme of things, I'm not sure how important it is.

    We've just had the BWG results showing that there is not a reliable test for XMRV/HGRVs, and that niether the WPI, Ruscetti nor Lo/Alter were able to distinguish between samples from previous 'positives' and healthy controls. That is much more significant.

    Equally, if the WPI had aced the blinded testing of the BWG, or go on to do so with Lipkin, I don't think anyone will be that concerned about the repetition of that image in a conference presentation.

    The WPI's work looks very likely to have been wrong, but I don't know how important this error of theirs is (other than in helping debunk some of their most fervent supporters, who seemed unable to accept that the images were the same, which will hopefully mean that those who previously trusted their sciencey sounding claims will no longer do so). It could be taken to indicate fraud, but I just don't see any motivation for that. I've been saying for a while that we can be more trusting of the negative XMRV studies than we can of more psychosocial CFS research, because virology allows for clear and objective replication and validation - it's much harder to cheat and get away with it, so it's not really worth trying. I think that the same is true for the WPI, particularly as the Whittemores already had plenty of money and an association with quackery will damage their reputations and business.
  9. Firestormm

    Firestormm Senior Member

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    Morning,

    Were we not having this conversation on another thread yesterday? Am confused now.

    It isn't so much that the blots are identical, but that what they are being said to represent is different. Anyway, you are right Esther compared to the BWG and the Partial Retraction this isn't such a big deal - but I think it is still important and certainly something that should be answered.

    IF this had happened in a research paper and it wasn't spotted until after publication, then I guess the implications could be greater. Even so, people at conferences cannot be led to believe that science has supported a claim when perhaps it hasn't - at least not with the 'evidence' produced.

    Perhaps the posts on the other thread relating to this 'error' can be merged?
  10. Bob

    Bob

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    I've addressed the matter head-on KFG. I've posted the images and an analysis on the other thread. And I agree that they are identical images.
    But I don't see any reason to get excited about this, for reasons explained by so many other posters.
    There is a huge, vast, gaping difference between manipulating your data in a published study, and getting an image mixed up in a slide presentation.
    Anyone who has had to publish or present work in a hurry knows how easy it is for mistakes to creep into a project, at any time by anyone involved in the project.
    That's why journalists have editors to check their work. Anyone who publishes knows how important it is to have some one check over your work everytime the work is updated.
    But sometimes mistakes get through anyway, especially when working to tight deadlines.
  11. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    There are too many threads on this right now - I'm getting dizzy.

    I certainly think this would be a much bigger deal if the figures were in published papers. Maybe my standards are too low for a scientific presentation?
  12. Firestormm

    Firestormm Senior Member

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    I would like to hear from someone who was there. Maybe there is a transcript that went with what Dr Mikovits was saying that might help clarify things?

    'Fraud' is the wrong word isn't it? Misrepresention perhaps. But even so it was right to bring this to people's attention I think. Am not sure now who is (if anyone) being accused of what exactly. ERV or Dr Mikovits?

    An explanation would be nice but then an explanation of the implications following BWG and retraction and what it means for those who were told they were positive for XMRV is perhaps more important I think.
  13. eric_s

    eric_s Senior Member

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    In reply to some posts earlier in the thread, this here is not about ERV, that's the problem. All the material that matters, and that's the slides and the earlier publication where that picture appeared, are WPI material. That it was posted on ERV's blog is not relevant.

    This was not a peer-reviewed published article, that's true, but it was the most important conference in the ME/CFS world and the presentation was entitled "The case for XMRV". So i do think this was an important presentation, given the WPI had just had the rather disappointing BWG results.

    I still don't feel like this is something that would just happen by chance, because the data matches what you see on the picture (ony it's the wrong picture) and it's pretty sure that the two experiments that the picture has been used as documentation for have occured on different dates.

    If the comments on the slide would now not fit what you see on the picture then it would look like a simple mistake that happens all the time.

    Just my impression, i'm also waiting for an explanation now. In the end, this does not answer the XMRV question, but it's about the quality of the work done at the WPI and maybe even the honesty of some people involved there (not necessarily Judy Mikovits!!) and to me this is important too.
  14. Bob

    Bob

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    Both of the images are western blots looking at PBMCs, using goat antiserum, and possibly both looking at Gag.

    So if they are identical tests then I assume that they might have identical labelling (e.g. the molecular weight markers).

    And if the labelling is the same and results look similar in each image (i.e. a coincidence), then I don't find it entirely surprising that they got mixed up whilst creating the presentation.
  15. Firestormm

    Firestormm Senior Member

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  16. Firestormm

    Firestormm Senior Member

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    I believe I said her science and not her language. She was a guest recent on Prof Racaniello's show and scientists do visit and comment on her blogs. Personally, I try and read as many interpretations as I can as well as as much as I am able from the various Journals before even forming an opinion of anything to do with science.

    This latest blog of hers has less to do with science and more to do with something that a layman could see was true. A layman like moi. I have though read her previous blogs about the various papers connected with XMRV and I found them interesting.

    Her language doesn't put me off.
  17. omerbasket

    omerbasket Senior Member

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    What I'm saying is the following: One MUST not "contaminate" Dr. Mikovits' name until he is absolutely positive that he is right and that her name should be "contaminated". Ofcourse, that should be true regarding everyone, but when a ME/CFS patient is not doing everything in its power to see that he does not "contaminate" Dr. Mikovits' name in vain, that is not okay. Dr. Mikovits' had given her life for us in the last couple of years. Even if she was wrong, and even if she makes a mistake - she does not deserve any mud to be thrown at her face, ESPECIALLY from ME/CFS patients. Now, had she done that in purpose (and I'm sure that she did not - even if she made a mistake, and I'm really not sure that she made a mistake at all - you should look at the ME/CFS forums for more details about that: http://www.mecfsforums.com/index.php/topic,9733.0.html), ofcourse her name should be "contaminated". But especially because it is her, one must be absolutely certain that she had done that in purpose before he questions her credibility publicly. For a start, one can contact her by e-mail and see what she says. She answers very quickly usually. You can also send a private message to someone that understands the issue and that you trust, in order to be a little bit more confident in what you are saying (although, that's still not enough). But to question her credibility publicly so quickly, after all she had done for us? Personally, I'm disgusted by that.
    Bob likes this.
  18. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    I'm sympathetic to Mikovits too, but anyone who cannot recognise that those images are the same is in trouble. It should be a good sign to everyone else that the scientific sounding 'analysis' coming from certain patients is really just bumptious nonsense.
  19. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    Esther,

    Do you feel that you know enough about Retrovirology to say that these two images are the same and should be different?
  20. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    Yes.

    And I know almost nothing about retrovirology.

    I know enough about hawks to say that these pictures are the same:

    hawks.jpg hawks.jpg
    LJS, ixchelkali, Kina and 3 others like this.

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