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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.
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TWiV 151 (CFIDS, CFI)

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Waverunner, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. currer

    currer Senior Member

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    QUOTE: If humans would be infected by mouse viruses, then I would think that scientists work all the time with mice. Maybe we must try to imagine what would happen when this proves to be true ? Would mice be abandoned from labs ? That would have a huge impact on the scientific world, no ?

    OS.[/QUOTE]

    Hi overstressed.

    As I understand it the retroviruses (HGRVs) only crossed into human cells after xenotransplantation of human tissue onto mice as tissue grafts in the course of cancer research.

    There was no casual transmission (from handling mice etc.)
  2. justinreilly

    justinreilly Stop the IoM & P2P! Adopt CCC!

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    I think the burning cross characterization was silly. I think he's basically an ok guy, so i don't think he was trying to taunt people, just using the graphic that was there in the article. he should have realized he shouldn't send out that image, but i don't think it's that big a deal. He's a scientist so you know they generally are a little tone-deaf to relating to humans.

    But, when he got a few emails telling him to 'retract' it and take it off of twiv, he should have done so, regardless of whether the people were rude. i didn't like his attitude of i'm not going to listen to you unless you say it nicely; trying to train us. that approach has it's place, but not when the stuff he's doing is offensive to many people.
  3. justinreilly

    justinreilly Stop the IoM & P2P! Adopt CCC!

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    It seems clear that this would be to the advantage of the survival of the virus species, but I don't see how it would be to the advantage of the human species. During most of humans' evolutionary history, groups/tribes of us have been relatively isolated, so a 'host response' of quickly becoming visibly sick to people other than the patient (having signs like lesions) and dying quickly would be to the advantage of the human species since the patient would be isolated and then die, sparing other people from being infected. This is the opposite of the ME situation, where patients don't have many outward signs (apparent without using technology) and do not usually die until many years later. This allows the virus to time and proximity to other humans to spread to them (in the virus' evolutionary advantage, but not humans').

    I see it that 'invisible illnesses' with these two attributes- few readily apparent signs and chronicity without usually killing immediately- fill a very fertile and protected niche that allows them to propogate. It would be surprising if no organic illnesses evolved to fill this niche. So, from an evolutionary perspective, not knowing anything about ME and other dismissed diseases, i think it would be almost a certainty that some diseases that medicine treats as psychogenic would actually be real, organic diseases.

    Something i wonder about- the explanation for a lot of emerging diseases is that the pathogens are able to spread to occupy niches that are emptied by our eliminating other pathogens. For example, we eliminate bad bacteria and good gut bacteria with antibiotics. Anti-biotic immune or resistant organisms then expand to take over the vacated niche. Now, this may betray my lack of knowledge about this, but would our medical response against diseases that were previously thought to be fake/psychogenic, such as MS, open up that niche to emerging 'invisible illnesses' like ME??
  4. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Hi justinreilly, it is not to the virus' advantage. A well adapted virus will not make people sick at all, or do so only later in life after they have had childen.

    It is to the human species advantage because our immune systems see us as sick, see the infection, and force us into illness mode by release cytokines etc. Please note this is only a speculative explanation, I am not saying this is happening. Once a human has the sick role, permanently, most societies shuns us - look at how mystery disease patients are treated even now. Most are not aware that there used to be leper colonies all over the world. Sick people were stoned, and some places in history (anyone suspected of carrying the bubonic plague) they were imprisoned in their own homes and then the houses were burned, irrc.

    Ostracizing the sick is a time honoured human activity. It is not to our benefit if we are ostracized, but the risk of others becoming infected is thus reduced, and nobody sick like that will get married and raise a family in a subsistence only society. That is a product of modern times.

    I am thinking about another model now anyway, only put this one out there for debate, involving why NK cells are suppressed. We could have it backwards.

    Bye,
    Alex
  5. joshualevy

    joshualevy

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    You are staring at trees and not seeing the forest. This is another classic mistake of people who learned science in high school or college, but did not practice it. In high school or college they taught you do do good experiments, and what was a good experiment and bad experiment, so that is what you know. You naturally try to use it here, but it is the wrong tool to use. What you should do is look at the whole research area, not one experiment at a time.

    Since my previous "quick analogy" seem to go over well, here is another:
    The XMRV guys say you standing in a desert, all the other retrovirologists say you are standing in a forest. Which is it?
    You look around a see a tree, but you think "well it's just one tree, doesn't prove I'm in a forest". You see another tree, but you think "maybe it is a low-water tree. It doesn't prove I'm in a forest". You see another tree and think "well that type of tree is sometimes planted by people, so maybe this is an old homestead in a desert. That tree doesn't prove this is a forest." And then you see a forth tree, and you think... Eventually you have 20 trees and 20 excuses to ignore that you are in a forest, and not a desert. Look at the whole research area.

    Now let me discuss two of your quotes right next to each other:

    These quotes are both from you and in the same message. Taken together they show that you think that no scientific research can ever be replicated by another lab. So you are just selectively applying this rule to research that you don't like. That's a consistency problem for you.

    It does bring up another interesting point. To the best of my knowledge the WPI never even confirmed their own discovery. I don't think they have ever published new/updated data showing that their original research was correct. They've had about 2 years, and great need, and they should know how to do it, but they have not. Indeed, they were part of the BWG which failed to do this! They should be the absolute best possible "replication" site, yet they have not done it. The Lo/Alter lab has the exact same problem.

    The key thing to remember is this:
    The goal of the research is to show that XMRV is related to ME, or that it is not.
    Replication of the initial (now partly retracted) experiment is now a side-show. (It was important early on, when there were very few studies, but now that there are lots, it becomes less important. Scientific progress has passed by that first study. It's just you don't like where that progress is going.)

    Put it this way:
    If there are 20 experiments showing that XMRV is not related to ME, and 1 showing that it is (and that one has a known contamination problem), then who cares what is being replicated? Also, if there have been 3 larger, better designed studies that have completed, and all three show no relationship, then again: replication of this study or that study just doesn't matter. It's a red herring to distract from the central problem, which is that studies aren't finding a XMRV ME link.

    Joshua (not Jay) Levy
    Firestormm likes this.
  6. RustyJ

    RustyJ Contaminated Cell Line 'RustyJ'

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    Joshua, I appreciate the hours you are putting in on this forum without much thanks, even though you are not a patient. Others would have walked away by now. Loved how you've managed to distill your argument down to a 'key thing to remember' and have made full use of simple analogy for us more neurologically challenged folk. However the above statement, in particular, drew my attention as it was a new 'factoid' in your efforts to ensure we get your view of things. That you've managed to explain that the inability of Mikovits to get published really should be interpreted as 'they haven't been able to replicate their own work' is really outstanding and original work.

    One small correction though. I note that you continue to use the outdated term XMRV, probably so we don't get confused (I know, some of us are very neurologically challenged). However XMRV/VP62 is a contaminant/lab artifact, noone is really denying that. So the statement 'If there are 20 experiments showing that XMRV is not related to ME...' is sorta correct, but you probably should add that most of those studies can be interpreted as showing XMRV/VP62 is not related to ME, however the HGRVs found by Lo and Lombardi could be.
    justinreilly likes this.
  7. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Hi joshualevy, in post 45 you made an analogy that is invalid. The problem with your analogy is its a logical fallacy that has been known since ancient times, and is lesson one in basic logic, and I do mean day one lesson one. If scientists are using this, they are using fallacious reasoning, and I am very worried about these particular scientists. Scientists with classical training know about these fallacies and don't make these mistakes very often.

    It is the inductive fallacy. See a white swan. See another white swan. See more white swans, no other colour. Therefore all swans are white. Ever been to Perth, Australia? Many swans are black. It does not appreciably matter that you are shifting from tree to forest in your argument as the analogy then switches back to XMRV politics in which you seem to be asserting that science is a voting competition, most votes wins. I don't agree with that even in principle, although there are times and places where it is the pragmatic solution.

    It a presumption ... you assert a trend is the final answer, the absolute truth. You do not seem to recognize its only a tentative hypothesis, and the finding of a single "black swan" can invalidate it.

    Could you be right about XMRV? Of course! Could be right, and are right, are two different claims.

    It is essential to have the Lipkin study results before we draw more than tentative conclusions. With a large sample set and the best available testing we should be able to put a number on the probability of XMRV (HGRVs) being associated or not. In other words, a mathematical probabilistic result rather than fallacious reasoning or personal opinion.

    Of course you were only giving an analogy, but its very apt. The ones saying it could be a desert are not necessarily wrong ... ever heard of an oasis? The same goes for XMRV research. We need good hard data on the probability of it being wrong, not spurious fallacious assertions. There has been too much of this by scientists in the media, which means of course they can be quoted out of context, but this kind of fallacious reasoning falls into the realm of politics and rhetoric, not science, and is why anyone who makes such claims cannot complain they are being targeted because they are scientists. Its not the science that is at fault, its the spin, and spin is politics. Once you engage in politics, you are then subject to political criticism, not just scientific criticism.

    Bye
    Alex
  8. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member

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    Corrected for you. ;)
  9. markmc20001

    markmc20001 Guest

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    Joshua, At this point it's obvious both sides are entrenched. 70% on this forum still believe that HGRV's are a likely candidate for causing the problem.

    I'm with the majority mainly because I can see this whole process has not been balanced. Too much attacking Mikovitz and the Lombardi study(from every imaginable direction) and seemingly ZERO support from the sources which should be doing the most to help out.(government and CAA for financing breakthrough research)

    Obviously everybody here doesn't have the same goals, which is to prevent people from getting sick, and help sick people get better. Not trying to ruin careers based on minor technicalities.

    The truth is none of the 20 studies admit to ever running the Lombardi assays. It is that simple.

    It's really pretty sad when real lives are at stake. Why not just run the Lombardi assays if it will resolve all the conflict? Of course there is nothing to be afraid of, it might give you some more information. I'm sure a considerable amount of resources and money have been spent, seems like a small investment if it would allow everybody feel like ALL avenues have been explored properly? Seems fair after all we have been through!

    I'm blown away at watching this whole process go down, I would have expected more teamwork. All I have seen is character attacks and media smear campaigns. It's politics at it's worst when lives are at stake.
    justinreilly and Angela Kennedy like this.
  10. markmc20001

    markmc20001 Guest

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    For your information I have worked with high speed automation for assembling locks at a rate of anywhere from 3-5 seconds each. So You want to talk about repeatability and troubleshooting? I have been there, done that! With high precision and repeatablity to boot! Try dropping a .06 dia pin into a .062 diameter hole every 3 seconds all day long. That requires repeatablity and troubleshooting ability. Not retrovirology, but same principle. You better measure from the right datum and know how to measure, or else your never going to get it in the hole! Or in our case here, find a virus that the Lombardi papers claims to exist!

    So it sounds like the main issue at hand is the clone. It was something outside of Mikovitz's hands, and doesn't affect the rest of the assay. So essentially replication removes the extra clone variable. Which is what all the 20 other essays apparently referenced right?

    I think it solves alot of problems. You could get science to retract the paper if nothing shows up!

    However, this clone has introduced an extra variable and reference point the way I see it. Same problem I've had over and over. When in question, make sure you are measuring directly as possible. Measure directly from the blood with the assay proved to have found something, and get the clone out of the loop! Use both and you should get enough information to find out if Mikovitz was just making this all up, or actually found something! Quick and easy.

    LIke I said, I've had other people go off and start calibrating to the wrong datum and then the whole machine is jamming pins everywhere eventually everything ends up out of whack. Sounds exactly like what has happened in this case. Sounds to me like all the 20 other labs came up with their own tests (which ads all kinds of confusion and variables) and measured from a clone that Mikovtiz admits was out of her control.

    So please consider replicating the rest of the existing study, we will know if a retraction is in order or if something (HGRV) really shows up. It's a pretty simple and equitable way of handling the situation where everybody can feel like Mikovitz got a fair shot.

    :D

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