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Why did Alter not detect xmrv

Discussion in 'XMRV Research and Replication Studies' started by free at last, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. Riley

    Riley Senior Member


    Is sequencing what they found something that they can definitely do, and it's only a matter of time until it is done, or are there reasons that they may not be able to sequence it out?
  2. illsince1977

    illsince1977 A shadow of my former self

    How do they prove the virus has integrated into human DNA? I apologize if this has been covered exhaustively elsewhere on the forum, but I am really ignorant about all this and struggling to understand even basic questions like what makes a retrovirus so insidious? I used to feel a whole lot smarter, but I just don't get it! Would someone please indulge me with "A Dummy's Guide to Retroviruses?" and its sequelae of how we can all be sick for so long and not able to defeat this thing?
  3. bullybeef

    bullybeef Senior Member

    North West, England, UK
    I don’t mean to state the obvious, but didn’t Alter announce hid DID find XMRV at the Zagreb conference, and then he seemed to have be forced to change his findings in light of the CDC Switzer paper??

  4. biophile

    biophile Places I'd rather be.

    Looking again at the leaked slides from the Zagreb Blood Conference, Alter didn't explicitly claim to have found XMRV, only to have "confirmed" the findings of Lombardi et al. Here is a modified excerpt from an earlier post about what I think happened:

    And in hindsight, I remember seeing the leaked slide for the first time and wondering WTF they meant by "related MLV's", because up until that point in June 2010 all the buzz was about XMRV. Both the general confusion and the DHHS intervention were probably prompted by Lo/Alter's claim that they had "confirmed" the findings of Lombardi et al, which apparently contradicted the CDC, even if it was revealed they didn't find XMRV as such. As far as I know, the additional review of the PNAS paper was all about testing those frozen samples, which actually resulted in a stronger paper (edit: according to a CFS Central post the extra testing was about further ruling out contamination). We have good reason to be suspicious by default, and the intervention did seem dodgy, but I doubt that Lo/Alter were forced to lie about or omit crucial findings. Also, I don't know for certain if the CDC's XMRV study would have been able to detect other MLV's as well, but if so, that would have been an even more obvious contradiction.

    From the CDC's Q&A on XMRV:

  5. Sean

    Sean Senior Member

    I think we currently have a classic case of the three blind men each holding a different part of an elephant. This is pretty standard confusion in the early days of figuring something out.
  6. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Hibernating

    South Australia
    No, he simply stated that his group has 'independently confirmed' the Lombardi findings. But I do think the whole MLV vs XMRV thing is due to hairsplitting by the paper authors or referees.

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