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virology.ws - XMRV contamination now more likely

Discussion in 'Media, Interviews, Blogs, Talks, Events about XMRV' started by guest, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. toddm1960

    toddm1960 Senior Member

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    So WPI cultured for 40+ days, I've only seen once other study to culture and it was 7 days if I remember correctly. How can anyone say that the process has been followed exactly? We need another lab to reproduce this study EXACTLY, or like we're seeing now the negitive and zero/zero studies will bury this research. I'm sure this is close to what happened in '92 the last time a retrovirus was found.
  2. akrasia

    akrasia Senior Member

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    So, they aren't doing culture for reasons of economy and complexity, even if it could demonstrate that Lombardi's methods were valid?

    People are sentenced to prison and death sometimes on mistaken eyewitness testimony. And what of Ila Singh's contention that the perhaps PCR is suited more for the "low hanging fruit" of research?


    As far as I understand no one has demonstrated that the results the Science article described showed contamination. This has been the allegation but why don't they go back and demonstrate just how this happened rather than engage in speculation. It could have happened, it might have happened, but did it happen? Why weren't all the samples contaminated? And are we to believe that the 0/0 results reflect a superior capacity to protect against contamination, which these scientists allege is ubiquitous?

    The "research world" is very biased and conventional. Remember it took 17 years for the h pylori research to be accepted as fact and that was light years easier to show.

    I thought, according to Ecoclimber, Silverman was getting ready to admit he was mistaken.....
  3. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

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    From a comment I posted on the Virology blog:

    There seems to be an assumption that contamination and a wild-type virus are mutually exclusive hypotheses. A wild-type virus would be very likely to result in contamination prior to discovery. Contamination, by itself, does not distinguish competing hypotheses. Rather than plunge into the immediate debate I would like to offer a broader perspective.

    Perspective: There is a certain purity and clarity to research which avoids all contact with diseased people, and there is a need for fundamental research on biology. Unfortunately, we have great uncertainty about many basic questions in biology as shown by changes in the field in the last 20 years. Our present understanding is unlikely to remain unchanged for so long.

    We also have real public health problems to deal with. Many of these seem currently intractable. There is good reason to think our ignorance and that intractability are related.

    Biomedical research has progressed largely through attention to specific examples. Polio might have been overrated as an epidemic, but there is no question the problems it posed led to a revolution in virology.

    This brings me to questions about contamination. Assume, for the moment, there are undiscovered pathogenic viral infections, of whatever type, in the wild in humans. Assume we have no test assays to detect them at present. In this situation, researchers working with tissue samples from diseased people will have laboratory contamination. To avoid this they would have to avoid those patients. This is a good way to avoid criticism, but not good policy for investigating disease.

    Prior to about 2004 there was simply no assay to detect XMRV. Stipulate there may have been such virus in the wild and the above situation would obtain.

    One way to guarantee you have no contamination is to avoid finding any new pathogens. You will also likely avoid finding ways to treat pathogens.

    Alexander Fleming was once shown a gleaming new laboratory. His host said, Think of what you could have discovered with such facilities! Fleming replied laconically, Not penicillin.
  4. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

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    Here on PR I am more willing to debate specifics. The identical integration sites probably did result from laboratory contamination, but no one has traced that. If the virus is in the wild in humans, this contamination would be all but inevitable prior to reliable assays, which are still a subject of dispute.

    The argument over recombination misses the wild improbability of those precursor endogenous sequences. They would be natural and expected in a situation where a host was infected with XMRV or a very near relative. At present those sequences do not appear capable of infecting mice without human xenografts. Their similarity to each other, and the very narrow range of mice with those sequences, implies they were inserted very recently, in mouse generations. This, in turn, says the replication-competent virus which inserted them should still be around. These are not ancient fossils. Where is that virus?

    Assuming the test assay failed to detect latent virus, possibly because of hypermutation, leaves the human->mouse path open in xenografted mice. No hypothesis of a recombination event producing a new species from incompetent sequences being observed in the laboratory is required. Sequence divergence is far more likely than convergence.
  5. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    I know this will sound like a broken record, but I'll say it again: Why is no one, including the WPI, trying to replicate Defreitas' research that Todd mentions?

    Last I heard, over a year ago, it wasn't the same thing the WPI has found. But if Defreitas found it, and it was indeed a breakthrough discovery -- an actual retrovirus found in ME/CFS patients -- why isn't anyone going back to verify her important work?

    Why is it no longer important? Why hasn't even Hillary Johnson spoken up about this?
  6. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

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    If anyone has been sentenced because of negative PCR results, an appeal should be easy.
  7. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    As I remember the National CFIDS Association did look for a HTLV-like virus with Knox I think it was about 10 years ago and couldn't find it. That was the last effort I think, Unfortunately her retrovirus discovery in MS didn't pan out either. that fact might have inhibited them from searching more as well.
  8. valentinelynx

    valentinelynx Senior Member

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    Following the money...

    Well, actually, the gov't IS a giant insurance co. If a viral cause is proven, then Medicare & Medicaid will have to pay for diagnosis and treatment. And, if it is proven to be a retrovirus, that implies lifelong expensive therapy. Furthermore, it will become very difficult for ME/CFS patients to be rejected for SSDI. The potential cost to the government is astronomically large.

    Of course, you are right that the economic benefits from restoring the ability of the affected to work and the possibly decreased overall cost of medical care resulting from effective treatment may fully offset the economic "loss" of having to treat these people who can no longer be dismissed as malingerers or mentally ill (for which benefits are severely limited in the current systems).

    The fear of the cost of treatment and disability are the likely reasons why the British government is so attached to its Wessleyan theories of ME as a "syndrome" cured by talk therapy and graded exercise, both very inexpensive, to the point of disallowing physicians within in the NHS from any testing of ME patients that might demonstrate something requiring real medical care.
  9. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
    And it's not just ME he and others are responsible for abusing for short term profit for government/insurance ocmpanies!
    Camelford water poisoning
    Gulf War Syndrome
    Pesticide poisoning
    etc
    that's a pattern of inhumane behaviour, there, in a HUMANE profession
  10. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
    Currer
    iirc basiclaly if it goes into "AIDS" yer screwed...point is to treat HIV so it doesn't develope into full out AIDS...
    Fella I knew on other forum still worked while HIV+, so that is what you wish for :)

    Now, since folk HAVE "recovered" from ME/CFS (or rather gone into remission), it's likely we can be restored to some varying degree of health, which is a hell of a lot better than letting folk *SPREAD* a sodding disease and stick yer head in the sand!
    If there's anything dumber than a politician/bureacrat, it would probably form a black hole by being such a dense bastard ;)

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