Nature.com report that Alter paper reviewers want "additional studies"

Mithriel

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The CDC as an organization and many self proclaimed "experts" have built a career out of trivialising CFS and denying that it is a disease or has any physical aspects.

Now proper scientific research is finding that they have been wrong. They have done their usual work - even Vernon says their study seems designed to NOT find XMRV - but they are no longer king pins and proper scientists who are looking for the truth instead of exploiting sick people for gain, are showing them up for what they truly are to a wide world.

Fighting for their survival they have used all their influence to cast doubt on the positive studies.

That fits the facts too.

Mithriel
 

Cort

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Remember that by making extraordinary demands of Lombardi and Mikovits, Science made their paper incredibly water-tight.
This could be exactly what happens here. The paper only becomes more of definitive home run that moves this discussion into a new phase and halts the silly negative studies based on bogus cohorts and collection/lab techniques.
That's certainly possible. Alter will want, after being really kind of publicly humiliated, to turn the tables on the DHHS. PNAS is involved too - they accepted the paper, it appears that it was only after pressure from the DHHS for more work - that the paper was temporarily withdrawn. That sequence of events makes them look rather inept.

The interference appears to be due to 'senior public health officials' at the DHHS not the CDC. They are sticking with the CDC paper = they believe its the more accurate one.
 

Parismountain

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Alter is credited with discovering Hep C virus, I've just got to believe he'll stick to his guns on this one and not give in to pressure. Are his bosses as acclaimed as he? I just pray someone of his caliber doesn't cave.
 

Recovery Soon

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The interference appears to be due to 'senior public health officials' at the DHHS not the CDC. They are sticking with the CDC paper = they believe its the more accurate one.
OR...

They are sticking with the CDC paper = they WANT it to be the more accurate one.
 

Doogle

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Do we know that this interference is due to the CDC?
I thought that the interference was coming from the Department of Health?
What information do we have about this?
Nature News reported "government agencies" and Science said it was the "HHS" :

Although a PNAS spokeswoman reportedly told The Wall Street Journal that the study had been accepted for publication, press officers at PNAS refused to comment on the matter today. One scientist familiar with the issue said that the journal's editor-in-chief, cell biologist Randy Schekman of the University of California, Berkeley, sent the paper out for further review after government agencies requested the publication delay. That review came back with requests for additional studies, the scientist says.
The contradiction has caused "nervousness" both at PNAS and among senior officials within the Department of Health and Human Services, of which all three agencies are part, says one scientist with inside knowledge.
Before the NIH/FDA publication was reported to be on hold, Hillary Johnson's blog reported that the CDC might try to suppress the NIH/FDA publication:

There initially was some concern that senior staff at the Centers for Disease Control might try to suppress this paper by intimidating the editors at the journal. My source today scoffed at that notion and suggested the prestige of the journal is such that any effort to squelch the data would be quite difficult.
Someone did get the publication on hold and the WSJ states:

In an email between scientists familiar with the situation, viewed by the Wall Street Journal, a researcher said the two teams were asked to put their papers on hold because senior public-health officials wanted to see consensusor at least an explanation of how and why the papers reached different conclusions...
The CDC paper is now published without change after they reviewed their results. There is currently no consensus or explanation of how and why the two papers reached different conclusions. My belief is that the NIH/FDA researchers will now be pressured to change their results to agree with the CDC, or explain why their results are different. I don't see how they can explain why their results are different within a reasonably short time period. I think we should press for the NIH/FDA publication now and let research figure out why the results differed later as is normally done.
 

bullybeef

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Maybe a journal with the clout of Nature would apply pressure on the PNAS to not interfere, or create further controversy, by allowing the NIH/FDA study to be published as it was. If there is anything different in Dr. Alters rewrite, I'm sure Nature, and the WSJ would be all over it. And I’m it would be very embarrassing for both Alter, and PNAS. PNAS may struggle to receive important, and accurate publications in the future.
 

Otis

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Nature article excerpt

Strong association

Monroe (Stephen Monroe, director of the CDC's Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology) called the delay a "strategic pause", initiated after CDC officials learned of a contradictory study by the NIH and FDA team, reported at a meeting by NIH researcher Harvey Alter. Although a PNAS spokeswoman reportedly told The Wall Street Journal that the study had been accepted for publication, press officers at PNAS refused to comment on the matter today. One scientist familiar with the issue said that the journal's editor-in-chief, cell biologist Randy Schekman of the University of California, Berkeley, sent the paper out for further review after government agencies requested the publication delay. That review came back with requests for additional studies, the scientist says.
This makes it obvious the CDC is central to pulling of this paper after publishing their "study" - it's not their call. This isn't right people.
 

lululowry

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That's certainly possible. Alter will want, after being really kind of publicly humiliated, to turn the tables on the DHHS. PNAS is involved too - they accepted the paper, it appears that it was only after pressure from the DHHS for more work - that the paper was temporarily withdrawn. That sequence of events makes them look rather inept.

The interference appears to be due to 'senior public health officials' at the DHHS not the CDC. They are sticking with the CDC paper = they believe its the more accurate one.
Although you have repeated this several times, I can find no source at all for Alter's supposed "humiliation." Is this your own belief or do you have a source? You refer to Alter and his group as inept. The implication is that you believe the CDC scientists know what they are doing. Again, are these your own beliefs or those of "senior public health officials"? If the latter, could you please provide a source?
 
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There may well be (almost certainly is) some politics driving all of this. But I am trying to think of the bigger scientific process - given that journalist Mindy Kitei has stated that there is reportedly 3 studies due out by the end of summer that support the original WPI findings. I am assuming that the FDA/NIH study may be one of them - either way - this still leaves us with 2 positive studies. Regardless of American government (and CDC) interests.... science from independent sources will surely surface science may be withheld, repressed, delayed but ultimately the answer to this will have to come out. I am also assuming that when the DHHS hear about other positive studies that support Alters findings it will no longer be in their interests to continue forcing delays.
 

Recovery Soon

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Although you have repeated this several times, I can find no source at all for Alter's supposed "humiliation."
It's probably a safe guess that a respected researcher would feel humiliated by having his study publicly put on hold after successful peer reviewal.
 

dschlindwein

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"There is currently no consensus or explanation of how and why the two papers reached different conclusions. My belief is that the NIH/FDA researchers will now be pressured to change their results to agree with the CDC, or explain why their results are different. I don't see how they can explain why their results are different within a reasonably short time period. I think we should press for the NIH/FDA publication now and let research figure out why the results differed later as is normally done.[/QUOTE]"

(The excerpt above is from Doogle. I'm new to posting here and somehow couldn't find how to highlight the material I took from Doogle's post.)

There is plenty of explanation for how and why the CDC research failed to find XMRV. Suzanne Vernon has summarized at least some of them, such as the CDC's using inappropriate blood collection tubes. I will be optimistic here and hope that the additional time that Alter is taking is to write into his PNAS article all the reasons why the CDC study could not have been expected to find XMRV. And I think it is likely that he CAN do that within a reasonably short time period. Here's hoping....
 
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I dont think that the National Academy of Sciences could be intimidated by CDC. They are in different leagues.

As previously stated previously The Proceedings of the the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) has confirmed that they have two different tracks to publication, one for members and one for non members. Track 1 is for members like Dr Alter. They can get their own referees, and then submit the paper with their own referees comments attached. Track 2, the more normal route, is for other scientists and non NAS members. These non members submit their paper to directly to PNAS and then the PNAS editors send the paper out to referees for review. I suspect that Alter submitted his paper via track 1, then when the editors of PNAS got the news about the controvery, ie different results, from CDC or DHHS, they decided to Track 2 it, and send it out to more reviewers, (referees) to make certain it was OK or perhaps they did that anyways. These subsequent reviewers were probably the ones who wanted additional data.
 

IamME

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It stinks to high heaven.

By allowing the CDC to publish they've sent a clear message in confidence in the CDC and in "nothing to see here" studies as the norm. They are holding the NIH study to a different standard, and putting their money on Reeves et al. We can only hope the new reviewers will be as reasonable as the ones for Science, but the damage is done, because at best they've given the CDC a head start, enlarged the CDC's pool of scientific fraud and increased the difficulty level for publication of future XMRV in CFS papers.

Though Alter probably does feel embarrassed it's not his fault as he can't force a journal to publish. The fault is with the journal for agreeing to put aside the scientific process to meet the DHHS' political expediency, while Retrovirology/CDC has no such compunctions.

Anyone in the US interested in science should be up in arms about this. Activists should be aiming their ire at PNAS/Randy Sheckman and the DHHS, and asking why the CDC is being shown favouritism.

I'm not sure if the argument that they wanted to really make sure makes sense as the basic standard should be rigorous anyway.

(The excerpt above is from Doogle. I'm new to posting here and somehow couldn't find how to highlight the material I took from Doogle's post.)
Choose "Reply with quote" or click on the balloon icon above the reply text box. Or you can manually type (QUOTE)text to be quoted(/QUOTE) except with square brackets.
 

Doogle

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As previously stated previously The Proceedings of the the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) has confirmed that they have two different tracks to publication, one for members and one for non members. Track 1 is for members like Dr Alter. They can get their own referees, and then submit the paper with their own referees comments attached. Track 2, the more normal route, is for other scientists and non NAS members. These non members submit their paper to directly to PNAS and then the PNAS editors send the paper out to referees for review. I suspect that Alter submitted his paper via track 1, then when the editors of PNAS got the news about the controvery, ie different results, from CDC or DHHS, they decided to Track 2 it, and send it out to more reviewers, (referees) to make certain it was OK or perhaps they did that anyways. These subsequent reviewers were probably the ones who wanted additional data.
Granted that's a possibility, but consider that there are only so many ME/CFS experts in the world that are widely published and available as reviewers. If the HHS recommends Shape, Jones, Buchwald, or one of Heneine's buddies as a referee and they are accepted by PNAS (what does PNAS know about the politics of ME/CFS?) we could get screwed. We'll never know who the referees were because they never publish that information.
 

alex3619

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Hi Doogle,

Agreed. However unless the DHHS uses this as an excuse to finally shut down the research, it will get published some months later in a less presitigious journal. That will reflect really badly on them once other confirmatory studies are published.

Bye
Alex


Granted that's a possibility, but consider that there are only so many ME/CFS experts in the world that are widely published and available as reviewers. If the HHS recommends Shape, Jones, Buchwald, or one of Heneine's buddies as a referee and they are accepted by PNAS (what does PNAS know about the politics of ME/CFS?) we could get screwed. We'll never know who the referees were because they never publish that information.
 

Sean

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Remember that by making extraordinary demands of Lombardi and Mikovits, Science made their paper incredibly water-tight.
This could be exactly what happens here. The paper only becomes more of definitive home run that moves this discussion into a new phase and halts the silly negative studies based on bogus cohorts and collection/lab techniques.
I think this is the most likely explanation and outcome. Which is why I am not too troubled about the dramas of the last couple of weeks.

Also think that the -ve CDC paper was probably published just to get it out of the way before the main act starts - publication of the Alter paper (and maybe other papers) supporting the original Lombardi paper.

The CDC paper is now published without change after they reviewed their results. There is currently no consensus or explanation of how and why the two papers reached different conclusions. My belief is that the NIH/FDA researchers will now be pressured to change their results to agree with the CDC, or explain why their results are different.
Being asked to explain why their results are different is reasonable (though the CDC paper authors should also be required to do so, if they haven't). But I very seriously doubt that Alter will change the scientific contents of his paper due to political pressure. 1) It would be the end of his reputation and career when (not if) that fact got out. 2) If the PTB tried to do that, then I would expect the original paper to be leaked within days. There is no way in the modern internet era that this info can be permanently suppressed. There are already far too many people who have a copy of Alter's paper to be able to bury it.
 
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> consider that there are only so many ME/CFS experts in the world that are widely published and available as reviewers

The reviewers would mostly, or all, be retrovirologists I would think.