Cort and Mark,
You are manufacturing controversy where none exists.
It has been known since the end of May that Alter had positive results that confirm the WPI findings. The only way for this result to have changed in the meantime would have been from political interference.
Dr. Mikovitz did not say anything that was not known and did not reveal the specific results of the study.
Here's the title of the article
"Findings by Reno scientists confirmed by U.S. government"
I sure didn't know it. Did you really know that the paper was going to end up positive? Is that why we are checking PNAS every day?
I think the paper chose to do an article on the story because it was news. We knew the Alter paper was positive but we also knew that he had gone back to do further testing and we didn't know what the results of that was. The further testing could have revealed he was wrong.... but it did not.
I don't know where I got that 'two weeks' from.....sure it could be six weeks
In any case the really important news is that the XMRV finding has been replicated! Not just in one study but apparently several. It took 8 months and studies or so but now several independent laboratories have finally confirmed the WPI's findings. I think that's an amazing thing after all the controversy and all the negative findings. Its kind of amazing.
It wasn't just the CDC and Kuppeveld etc. Abbott apparently stopped their study in Spain because it wasn't getting positive results. There was the antibody test that found XMRV in .5% of a 1000 or so healthy controls. The CDC couldn't even find it in positive samples. Whatever you want to think about the CDC they are not going to be happy about being on the wrong side of history - they would prefer to be on the right side of it and they clearly thought they were. This thing has turned around! The WPI was right - all that was needed, apparently, were some true replication studies.
Now the WPI are starting up right where they left off - a drug trial is apparently in the works. One of the most interesting things for me will be how much it shows up in other NEIDS - FM, autism, IBS, etc and then where it shows up elsewhere. I think it would be immensely satisfying and intriguing if it showed up in all these controversial and related disorders but not in other disorders. The next big step is showing that it is more or less unique to CFS and its related disorders. That will be an absolutely key step. They've shown its not in healthy controls as much - that's very important. Now - is it causing a pattern of disorders? I suspect that it will.
The fact that it is so much more prevalent in CFS than in controls is obviously very important. The fact that its much more prevalent in CFS patients than any other pathogen suggests that it does play a major role. Annette said none of the other pathogens in CFS are associated with more than 10% of CFS patients yet here XMRV is in about 70 or 80% (according to Mike Hillerby). That combined with the findings of immune abnormalities reported by Dr. Mikovits (again prematurely ) suggests that it really is acting like an AIDS like virus - that it is disturbing the immune system - allowing other pathogens to enter. For some reason they seem to be mostly herpesviruses and figuring out why that is will be fascinating.....