WSJ "XMRV: Raising the Issue of Contamination"

Wayne

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Here is another article by the ever reliable Amy Dockser Marcus. It puts the chaos of today into prospective.

http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2010/12/20/xmrv-raising-the-issue-of-contamination/
Thanks LJS for posting this. My first thought when I started reading about the Retrovirology articles was that it wasn't passing "the smell test". I then figured Amy Dockser Marcus would be commenting, and most likely present a much more balanced perspective.

It turns out that was the case. It's gotten to the point where I trust very little, if anything, that's published in the British media regarding ME, CFS, XRMV, etc. They just seem to be in bed with the powers that want to debunk any non-psychological associations with ME/CFS.

Wayne
 

urbantravels

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Is there *any* other reporter out there actually picking up the phone and asking other researchers for comment, rather than just parroting the Wellcome press release? Seriously, is Amy the only one who even bothers?
 

LJS

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I think we all need to accept the possibility that the WPI is finding something other then XMRV or not actually finding XMRV. The papers published today make some good points, just because they go against the findings of the WPI does not mean they are horrible people and have no intention of finding the truth. Only time will tell the truth and I have a feeling we are going to be waiting a very very long time to figure out if XMRV is real in CFS patients.
 

urbantravels

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I'm not objecting to that possibility; I'm objecting to the press dutifully repeating that these new papers have "shown" or "demonstrated" that the past positive studies were the result of contamination. The headline should be "Controversy continues," not "XMRV not linked to chronic fatigue syndrome, study shows."
 

Wayne

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I think we all need to accept the possibility that the WPI is finding something other then XMRV or not actually finding XMRV. The papers published today make some good points, just because they go against the findings of the WPI does not mean they are horrible people and have no intention of finding the truth. Only time will tell the truth and I have a feeling we are going to be waiting a very very long time to figure out if XMRV is real in CFS patients.
Hi LJS,

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding the central thesis of these five Retrovirology articles, which I believe is the following:

"Our conclusion is quite simple: XMRV is not the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome," said Greg Towers, of UCL, who worked on the latest study. "All our evidence shows that the sequences from the virus genome in cell culture have contaminated human chronic fatigue syndrome and prostate cancer samples."
Aren't they saying they have definitively proven that XMRV is absolutely NOT causal for ME/CFS? Not sure if they're also saying there's definitely no association either. And isn't Amy Dockser Marcus saying it's still an open question?

If Amy is correct, then urbantravels makes a very good point with the following:

""The headline should be "Controversy continues," not "XMRV not linked to chronic fatigue syndrome, study shows.""

Wayne
 
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Wayne and Urban Travels are making very sage points. This is not about a bunch of ME malcontents being mean to the poor scientists. This is about an astounding press release and quotes by 'scientists' that should never have been made at this stage, and exhibits extremely poor scientific reasoning at best. Again.
 

LJS

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Aren't they saying they have definitively proven that XMRV is absolutely NOT causal for ME/CFS? Not sure if they're also saying there's definitely no association either. And isn't Amy Dockser Marcus saying it's still an open question?

If Amy is correct, then urbantravels makes a very good point with the following:

""The headline should be "Controversy continues," not "XMRV not linked to chronic fatigue syndrome, study shows.""

Wayne
I agree, on the media front it has been really bad. The reporters not doing there work just repeating what others are saying without looking further into it. The headlines should say controversy continues, not that the case is closed. My point was on the science side of things; we should not be attacking the people behind these science papers. I enjoy reading posts debating the science of the papers and this should be discussed heavily with no stone left unturned but I have seen too many posts with senseless attacks of the people who created and published the papers that I am speaking up.
 
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I agree, on the media front it has been really bad. The reporters not doing there work just repeating what others are saying without looking further into it. The headlines should say controversy continues, not that the case is closed. My point was on the science side of things; we should not be attacking the people behind these science papers. I enjoy reading posts debating the science of the papers and this should be discussed heavily with no stone left unturned but I have seen too many posts with senseless attacks of the people who created and published the papers that I am speaking up.
Where are people 'attacking' the scientists or the people behind these papers?
 

5150

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Is there *any* other reporter out there actually picking up the phone and asking other researchers for comment, rather than just parroting the Wellcome press release? Seriously, is Amy the only one who even bothers?
Where is WPI Media Relations person? Direct our scientists' remarks via that office. Isn't that the job description? Get our viewpoints in front of the same people who read the original untrue remarks! Come on... move it, let's go.
 

Wayne

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Picture of Amy Dockser Marcus

I ran across this picture of Amy Dockser Marcus. Thought I'd post it here since she's done such great reporting for us at the WSJ.

marcus-x01.jpg