John Coffin on TWiV

urbantravels

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http://www.virology.ws/2010/10/02/why-john-coffin-doesnt-sleep-well/

John Coffin, Professor of Genetics and Molecular Microbiology at Tufts University, studies the molecular biology and evolution of retroviruses. He wrote a commentary (A new virus for old diseases?) that accompanied the publication by Lombardi and colleagues of the finding of the new retrovirus XMRV in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, and has spoken widely about whether this virus has a causative role in the disease. In this video he expresses cautious optimism about the role of XMRV (and related murine retroviruses) in human disease. Note in particular his statement While the major XMRV studies to date appear to be well controlled for these problems, extreme caution is necessary.
 

CBS

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Hi UrbanTravels,

That's actually a one minute snippet from Coffin's presentation at the 1st International XMRV Conference posted on Virology Blog (http://www.virology.ws/). Virology Blog is Dr. Racaniello's blog where he posts his take on important issues where as This Week in Virology (TWiV - also by Dr. Racaniello - http://www.twiv.tv/) is almost always posted on Sundays and TWiV is always done in an interview format such as his interviews (Racaniello and a regular cast of colleagues) with Drs. Singh or McClure (done at the recent ICAAC conference in Boston). TWiV is presently about an hour plus in length.

Both site have great educational materials for anyone looking to learn more about the basics (and sometimes not so basics) of virology. Check out the Virology 101 section (http://www.virology.ws/virology-101/) or the Virology Tool Box (http://www.virology.ws/virology-toolbox/).

Either way, thanks for the heads up.
 

urbantravels

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I know all about TWiV, I've been following it closely.

The short snippet isn't typical of the lengthy discussions TWiV posts every week - but Dr. R. has also been discussing on his blog lately whether he might change his format, post more or less frequently, or change the length of the weekly podcasts (I agree with what many commenters said there - that the podcasts are somewhat too long, not ideal for the podcast format. Of course when they're talking XMRV with someone who really knows their stuff, i.e. Ila Singh, I'd be happy for them to go on for hours...)

I really, really, REALLY strongly recommend that everyone should go and listen to all the Virology 101 videos that they can - at least the first one if nothing else [the one labeled What is a virus? (W3301)]. I see misconceptions about viruses repeated almost every day on this message board, and Dr. R. is such an engaging teacher in the way he puts across the basics. Some of the later lectures get to be a bit heavy sledding on the technical side, but I've found almost all of them to be very valuable.
 

VillageLife

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Contamination - that's all I keep hearing this week!!

And the only clip that's been released from the 1st xmrv conference...is a one min clip on contamination by Dr Coffin!
So it seems contamination is the hot topic and it's just getting hotter.

How can we rule lab contamination out?...like Dr Coffin says there's mice in labs at night and it won't be long before someone says, forget labs what about the hospitals or doctors office where the bloods drawn, how can we be sure no mice were there.

Can't they draw and test the blood in a special lab built just for this? I'm sure they could of built a mouse proof lab in the last year??!!

(Guard the outside of the lab with a few cats???)
 

eric_s

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I think it's good we can hear him say "We can be optimistic that XMRV will turn out to be important in the etiology of Chrionic Fatigue Syndrome [...]".
This sounds far different from the McClure line, in my opinion.