Daily Beast: Interview with Mikovits who tells her side of events...

Messages
94
Likes
104
Yes, but like I said, perhaps they don't know when the XMRV culture was misplaced. It's possible, based on the wording in his article that (for instance) the XMRV culture was immediately misplaced after they had received it from I presume Silverman, which would have happened in late 2007. When someone used it for an experiment in March of 2009, it was noted down from which ice chest it was taken, which turned out to be the chest containing patient samples.

I am not saying that this definitely happened - I am just saying that dismissing this information as irrelevant to the Lombardi study seems premature to me.
 

Esther12

Senior Member
Messages
13,774
Likes
28,349
To me, this reads like an attempt at a plausible narrative that would explain the Lipkin results being negative without Mikovits looking too bad. I don't think it's worth getting too hung up on the specifics of unconfirmed details - we've had other bits and pieces come out through the media which have not gone on to be confirmed.

The broad sweep of this seems to be: Others made errors which could explain false positives in the science paper. The whole fugitive from justice thing was just a hilarious collection of coincidences and mistakes, and Mikovit's trouble is that she's just too darn trusting.

I can't say that any of it's false but, to be honest about my own assumptions, I'd be surprised if it was ever all shown to be true.
 

Mark

Former CEO
Messages
5,238
Likes
6,198
Location
Sofa, UK
Since the civil case still needs to be adjudicated, why is Mikovits speaking out now? Some interesting questions still need to be answered as compared to past statements. Was her attorney present during the interview? Did the final draft of the article required her attorney's approval? Perhaps as an explanation for some of the confusing elements in this article?

Casey Schwartz is a staff writer at Newsweek and The Daily Beast. She is currently at work on her first book, a personal look at the culture of modern psychiatry. She has a Masters Degree in psychodynamic neuroscience from University College London. Wessely's stomping ground? Why did they pick this writer, this magazine, at this time?

Eco
Good questions, and nice spot on Casey Schwartz' education background in psychodynamic neuroscience, thanks for that. That will certainly raise some questions about the motivations behind this article in many minds. The apparent admission of the discovery of a potential contamination source by Dr Mikovits in this interview does seem odd, and I think we should be cautious about assuming too much based on this quote: it begs a lot of questions which only Dr Mikovits could answer, and we can't reason forward from this reliably without those answers.

Your inference of a connection with "Wessely's stomping ground" is incorrect though (a quite understandable mistake): Wessely's institutional connections include Kings College London, University College Oxford, and the University of London: as far as I know he has no (explicit) connection with University College London (UCL) which is a separate institution. Not to be confused...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King's_College_London_and_UCL_rivalry
 

ukxmrv

Senior Member
Messages
4,406
Likes
4,566
Location
London
Simon Wessely was at the National Hospital for Neurology though. I've been seen at that Hospital and can confirm that it is not a safe place for a PWME. It is part of the UCL. No idea if the attitudes I encountered there were due to any influence he had/has though.

Snip from his piece on fatigue in the JNNP

In 1987 I was a senior registrar on the Maudsley psychiatry training scheme when I was moved at short notice up to the National Hospital for Neurology, London, because the current SpR, Ray Dolan, had just been promoted to consultant. I soon expressed an interest in seeing one group of patients who were always getting referred to the liaison service, and frankly were not popular with many of the neurologists who ran the place. It wasn't the fault of the patients—they had symptoms that might have had a neurological explanation. But when the neurologists drew a blank, the patients soon got the message, whether rightly or wrongly, that the neurologists thought that they were at best suffering from depression, at worst making it all up, either of which appeared to be confirmed when the next port of call was myself. I still treasure the briefest but still most unintentionally revealing referral letter I have ever received—“Dear Simon, Please see this patient. There is nothing wrong with her”.
 

Firestormm

Senior Member
Messages
5,053
Likes
4,814
Location
Cornwall England
Err... methinks worrying about the interviewer is rather like losing the plot chaps. Who cares what/who she is? It's what's in the article that matters. Anyhoo I'm not going to repeat all that was said yesterday again this morrow for comments can be read here should anyone wish to peruse: http://www.mecfsforums.com/index.php/topic,12892.0.html

Or here: http://peoplewithme.com/thread-1377-page-3.html ;)

Or there's always the comments beneath the article.

I shall await the Newsweek article/interview/confirmation/whatever. Still think Cohen/that chap David (can't remember his surname sorry) should be doing any interviewing. Get some specific details.
 

Christopher

Senior Member
Messages
576
Likes
261
Location
Pennsylvania
To me, this reads like an attempt at a plausible narrative that would explain the Lipkin results being negative without Mikovits looking too bad. I don't think it's worth getting too hung up on the specifics of unconfirmed details - we've had other bits and pieces come out through the media which have not gone on to be confirmed.

The broad sweep of this seems to be: Others made errors which could explain false positives in the science paper. The whole fugitive from justice thing was just a hilarious collection of coincidences and mistakes, and Mikovit's trouble is that she's just too darn trusting.

I can't say that any of it's false but, to be honest about my own assumptions, I'd be surprised if it was ever all shown to be true.
Never let the facts get between you and your preconceived bias :)
 

Bob

Senior Member
Messages
16,455
Likes
34,041
Location
England (south coast)
Never let the facts get between you and your preconceived bias :)
If you knew Esther very well, then I think you'd know that Esther is not very partial to preconceived bias, but likes to explore all angles of an issue. (Well, at least, that's my perception of Esther.)
And as for 'facts', what 'facts'? There aren't any darn facts. That's the problem!
There's just questions, more questions, even more questions, speculation, corrections, late admissions of contamination, negative studies, and not much else apart from a lot of stray MLV sequences floating around all over the place.
And very soon, we'll have the results of the Lipkin study, which may very well provide us with some answers, but maybe not the ones we have been looking for.
 

Esther12

Senior Member
Messages
13,774
Likes
28,349
If you knew Esther very well, then I think you'd know that Esther is not very partial to preconceived bias, but likes to explore all angles of an issue. (Well, at least, that's my perception of Esther.)
Yeah... I'm awesome (I think that's what Bob was saying)! Ta Bob.
And as for 'facts', what 'facts'? There aren't any darn facts. That's the problem!
This is a problem. We're all rather in the dark here, but I expect all us us are still making assumptions and trying to work out what is most likely to be true.

I doubt that we're ever going to really know what happened.

re the reporter's biases - to me the article read like this was Mikovit's side of the story, presented as she wanted. Again, I don't know, but I would guess that it was an attempt by her to pre-empt negative results from Lipkin, and any negative coverage of her this could lead to.
 

barbc56

Senior Member
Messages
3,656
Likes
4,953
I find it shocking that XMRV could jump from a culture dish to vials of blood in a freezer!
That's what's so tricky about contamination. Remember Singh and how long it took her to finally track down what was causing the contamination in her study?
 

Rrrr

Senior Member
Messages
1,562
Likes
703
below i'm quoting from the article:

"In the summer of 2011, Mikovits and her young lab assistant, Max Pfost, began poring through their notebooks, trying to find where such a contaminant might have entered their process.

In July, she says, she found it—an entry from March 2009 indicating that a culture of the XMRV virus had been placed into the same ice chest with the rest of the lab’s blood samples. Mikovits says she was out of town the day this occurred.

In July 2011 she told Harvey Whittemore of the potential contamination, she says, and expected that the VIP Dx lab would cease testing patients for the XMRV virus. “I just kept saying, stop it, stop it, stop it. We have to sort this out,” Mikovits says. According to Mikovits, the testing did not stop. And after a tense summer, she was fired in September."
____

MY NOTE: so it was in JULY 2011 that she found any possible source of contamination. and once she found it, she immediately told WPI to stop the xmrv test.

- rrrr
 

Rrrr

Senior Member
Messages
1,562
Likes
703
I think there is another issue raised by the quote about discovering the source of contamination: if in July of 2011 Dr. Mikovits determined that there was contamination as of March 2009, why did she not immediately alert the editor of Science? Why did she continue to oppose retraction of the Lombardi paper? Given the Science May 2011 Letter of Concern (which Dr. Mikovits vehemently opposed), this seems like a highly relevant fact. Placing XMRV in a freezer of clinical samples- whether Dr. Mikovits was there the day it happened or not - seems like a significant lapse in procedure. She insisted for two years that it could not possibly be contamination, that other scientists didn't want to find XMRV, and then discovers how easily her own lab could have been contaminated. My personal opinion is that the Whittemores were not the only people who should have been informed of this, and I hope this info was shared with others including Dr. Silverman and Dr. Lipkin.
she did not determine that there was contamination. she determined that there was POSSIBLE contamination. and she immediately told her boss (the whittemores), which was the appropriate people to tell.
 

Firestormm

Senior Member
Messages
5,053
Likes
4,814
Location
Cornwall England
She told Harvey Whittemore - whether or not he was the most appropriate person to tell is yet another moot point - but I have to say I think mentioning his name in the context of the charges placed against him is a further attempt (along with Mikovits being out of town at the time of the entry in her diary) to cast her in a better light and blame it on him....
 

Nielk

Senior Member
Messages
6,964
Likes
10,681
I find it shocking that XMRV could jump from a culture dish to vials of blood in a freezer!
I agree with Forebearance. How exactly do closed, sealed vials of blood get contaminated in a freezer by a sealed culture dish containing XMRV?
 

Nielk

Senior Member
Messages
6,964
Likes
10,681
I don't know how these things work but, I would think that if vials of blood are not "safe" when contained in a freezer that
all of our bloodwork at any lab could be compromised.
 

Bob

Senior Member
Messages
16,455
Likes
34,041
Location
England (south coast)
I don't know how these things work but, I would think that if vials of blood are not "safe" when contained in a freezer that
all of our bloodwork at any lab could be compromised.
Yes, containing contamination is a major issue. If you read about the lengths that Silverman goes to, in his lab, to avoid contamination, they are extraordinary. I think that Mikovits has mentioned in the past that is is possible for patient samples to contaminate other patient samples, quite easily with MLVs (even if not in direct contact), and so extra precautions are needed. But if contamination is carefully controlled, then it doesn't need to be a problem. It's all about methodology.
 

Bob

Senior Member
Messages
16,455
Likes
34,041
Location
England (south coast)
I did not know that.
Silverman wrote a piece about his anti-contamination precautions in his lab. It's on the internet somewhere. I can't remember the details now, but he uses different rooms for different parts of experimentation, and each room is partially sealed. And loads of other precautions. It's an interesting read, if you can find it. I've had a look, but I can't find it.
 
Messages
435
Likes
365
Silverman wrote a piece about his anti-contamination precautions in his lab. It's on the internet somewhere. I can't remember the details now, but he uses different rooms for different parts of experimentation, and each room is partially sealed. And loads of other precautions. It's an interesting read, if you can find it. I've had a look, but I can't find it.
Supporting Online Material for Partial Retraction to “Detection of an Infectious Retrovirus, XMRV, in
Blood Cells of Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”



...

Materials and Methods

In early 2009 we received PBMC DNA samples from CFS patients and healthy controls from the Whittemore Peterson Institute (WPI), Reno, Nevada. The PBMC DNA samples were taken directly to a clean room upon arrival and stored in a -20oC freezer in the same room. Precautions were taken to minimize the possibility of crosscontamination of the human samples with laboratory sources of XMRV DNA. In particular, neither plasmid XMRV VP62/pcDNA3.1(-) nor XMRV PCR products were ever taken into the clean room. Also, new pipetmans (Gilson) were purchased for exclusive use in the clean room and were never used elsewhere. At the entrance to the clean
room there is a sticky pad on the floor and lab personnel must change lab coats upon entering and exiting the clean room. The clean room is locked when not in use. The PCR reaction mixtures that contained PBMC DNA were pipetted in an AirClean 600 PCR Work Station (ISC Bio Express) in the clean room. The PCR Work Station was purchased for use in the clean room and never used elsewhere. The single-round PCR on human DNA samples was performed in a BioRad PCR thermocycler, used exclusively for that purpose, in a separate room from the clean room. The PCR on the plasmid XMRV VP62/pcDNA3.1(-) was performed in yet another room in a different PCR
thermocycler from the one used on patient DNA samples.

...