Comments on Lombardi, et al in Science

citybug

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Science has had an article online about the difficulties discovers face between publication and acceptance of new ideas. I think they were saying Go WPI.
 

Dolphin

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Junk

I decided to send in a brief e-letter in reply to the Lloyd et al letter. Just heard back to say:

Dear Dr. X*

Thank you for submitting an E-letter to Science commenting on the Technical Response to the Report, titled "Detection of an Infectious Retrovirus, XMRV, in Blood Cells of Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome." We have read over your contribution, but will not be able to publish it. We are currently only posting those letters most likely to promote positive and stimulating discussion online. We are letting you know as a courtesy in case you wanted to seek another outlet for your letter.

Please do not reply to this email, as it will not be read by Science. Unfortunately the volume of submissions precludes specific discussions about individual submitted E-letters.
* I'm not an MD nor do I have a Ph.D. - they like to play it safe I think

My guess is they may have decided not to post responses. Most journals in my experience would post fairly innocuous comments like this.

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"MLVs have now been found in another CFS cohort"
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The authors of this letter claimed there needed to be "independent replication before findings such as this can be accepted"[1].

It is interesting to note that an eminent group of researchers from the FDA and NIH, including Lasker Award winner, Dr Harry Alter (chief of the infectious disease division of the Department of Transfusion Medicine at the NIH) have recently published one such study.

They examined 41 PBMC-derived DNA samples from 37 patients meeting accepted diagnostic criteria for CFS and found MLV-like virus gag gene sequences in 32 of 37 (86.5%) compared with only 3 of 44 (6.8%) healthy volunteer blood donors. No evidence of mouse DNA contamination was detected in the PCR assay system or the clinical samples. Seven of 8 gag- positive patients tested again positive in a sample obtained nearly 15 y later.

References:

1. Lloyd A, White P, Wessely S, Sharpe M, Buchwald D. Comment on "Detection of an infectious retrovirus, XMRV, in blood cells of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome".
Science. 2010 May 14;328(5980):825;

2. Lo SC, Pripuzova N, Li B, Komaroff AL, Hung GC, Wang R, Alter HJ.
Detection of MLV-related virus gene sequences in blood of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and healthy blood donors. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Aug 23.