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Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Science has “not asked for a correction or retraction” of arsenic life paper, and why situation is unlike XMRV-CFS

with 53 comments

The science world has been abuzz with news that a 2010 Science paper on an arsenic-based strain of bacteria had been refuted by two new studies published Sunday night. Yesterday on Retraction Watch, David Sanders argued the paper should still be retracted. So we were curious whether the editors of the journal had ever asked Felisa Wolfe-Simon and her colleagues to retract the paper. Science tells Retraction Watch:

Except in rare cases, corrections, clarifications, or retractions should ideally be initiated by the original research authors. In the current situation involving GFAJ-1 research, Science has just published the first papers indicating that the bacterium did need low levels of phosphorus to live. As you know, the journal previously had published eight Technical Comments. Editors last week provided the two new studies to Dr. Felisa Wolfe-Simon to evaluate and consider. We have not asked for a correction or retraction. GFAJ-1 remains a fascinating microbe, and the data provide insights beyond whether or not an organism can replace phosphorus with arsenic and still sustain life. The scientific process is a self-correcting one as scientists seek to replicate or refute findings put forth in the scholarly literature.

Given that, as Science notes, editors should only retract papers themselves in rare situations, we were also interested in the differences between this case and the retraction last year of the paper by Judy Mikovits and colleagues claiming a link between chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and the virus XMRV. There were similarities: That paper, too, was published in Science, as were rebuttals. And Mikovits claimed contamination was responsible for the findings that refuted her work, just as Wolfe-Simon and John Tainer suggested in this case. But Science asked the authors to retract the CFS-XMRV paper, and went ahead and did it themselves when the authors didn’t agree. Science tells us:

The situation with the XMRV papers was unique. The retraction of that paper was the last step in a series of events related to testing the association of XMRV and chronic fatigue syndrome. At least ten papers were published reporting that the results of Lombardi, et al. could not be replicated. Science had published two papers demonstrating that the results  probably reflected contamination of the laboratories and research reagents with the virus. Then two of the authors indicated that they found contamination in their samples and the results they contributed to the paper were retracted. This was followed by a larger study in which the Science authors contributed results and were unable to consistently detect the presence or absence of the virus in blood samples from CFS patients. The final incident related to the revelation that some of the figures in the original paper were not properly labeled.  It was this body of evidence that led to the retraction. This paper directly affected a patient population, and it was important that they were not misled about the association.

Fair enough. But we’ve note, as Ivan told Science News yesterday, that readers can still be misled if the refutations aren’t given bigger play on the original arsenic life abstract page:

A naïve reader who lands on the Science page hosting Wolfe-Simon et al’s paper may not know or bother to scroll past the 11 “suggested reading” links that sit between the original paper and the newly published findings that contradict it.

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Written by Ivan Oransky

July 10, 2012 at 9:30 am

53 Responses

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  1. This “naive reader” syndrome is a little silly. Either the work is interesting to a reader or it isn’t, and if it is interesting they’ll likely assess the curent state of play on the subject.

    And any “naive reader” that chances upon the Science page hosting the article will find at the bottom a whole list of “TECHNICAL COMMENTS” on the paper, not to mention a list of subsequent papers citing this one. So when you refer to a “naive reader” you really do mean “naive” – i.e. someone entirely lacking in nous!

    Ultimately this comes down to the purpose of scientific publishing. Historically, this serves the purpose of presenting research studies and outcomes to the wider scientfic (and non-scientific) community, as periodic punctuations of research progress, a resource for building on research outcomes, and a forum for near-contemporaneous (letters and technical comments) and much slower debate through which scientific issues become embedded with established (but still contingent)”facts”.

    The non-retraction of this paper leaves all of these purposes intact, and maintains a continuity through this interesting little episode. If the authors choose to retract it then that’s another matter.

    chris

    July 10, 2012 at 10:03 am

  2. Work on XMRV / MLV is not over. Dr Ian lipkin continues his study’s on this.

    Xmrv

    July 10, 2012 at 11:35 am

    • The “Lipkin” study is not a replication paper. They have created a new entry criteria for patients. How do they know they are studying the same people?

      The collection and processing are also not under the control of Dr Mikovits and Ruscetti, the only people taking part who use clinically validated assays.

      PCR is also not sensitive enough for MLVs, so the study is flawed.

      Why is the Government creating studies like this? They have ignored and abused ME patients for decades and in the process ignored all the previous warning that an infectious retrovirus was involved.

      Finn

      July 11, 2012 at 9:50 am

  3. The reason the editors of Science aren’t interested in a retraction is they knew it was a load of cobblers in the first place. As such they as much to blame for this farce as the authors.

    The authors (and by extension the editors and reviewers) seem to have gone out of their way from to a conclusive experiment. One presumes the only reason for that is they knew a conclusive experiment would demolish the premise in a minute. While its a little out of my expertise I assume that all you needed to do is purify the DNA, hydrolyse it to individual nucleotides and do Maldi-TOF. Perhaps this might have technical issues ?size limitations – none the less I am sure if you passed DNA to any competent MS team, they would have had the answer within a week. The fact the authors went of their way to avoid the most obvious of experiments instead faffing around with tryig to show the presence of arsenic within the cell demonstrates to me that neither the editors, the reviewers or the authors were serious.

    I assume it was nothing more than a publicity exercise for NASA so they can sting the taxpayers for a few more dollars.
    So of course the editors won’t be asking for a retraction, they were sniggering up their sleeves when they published it.

    Forget about Wolfe-Simon, she is nothing more than a pawn. How about referring Science to the ORI.

    Or better still the Serious Fraud Office

    littlegreyrabbit

    July 10, 2012 at 11:40 am

    • On the positive side I am guessing two groups just got the easiest Science publication to put on their CVs of their entire career.

      littlegreyrabbit

      July 10, 2012 at 11:45 am

    • “a load of cobblers”…it was here that I fell on the floor laughing…after that I was hopeless…”a publicity exercise…sniggering up their sleeves”–how true. Thank you, rabbit.

      Conrad T Seitz MD

      July 10, 2012 at 5:10 pm

  4. The real situation with Lombardi et al., is that the viruses were not shown to be xenotropic. There is no evidence of contamination in the Mikovits or Ruscetti labs and no other lab has attempted to replicate their multiple methods that detected the MRVs in ME patients. This finding was also confirmed in Lo et al., and Lee et al., as well as the paper Grossberg et al., from 1997.

    The 10 papers you name did NOT replicate those methods. They made no attempt to repeat the experiments of Mikovits or Ruscetti. They used their own and they were NOT clinically validated tests either. Never in the history of science have the results of an experiment been reproduced when the details of the experiments have not been.

    Science did not present any paper that showed contamination of Mikovits or Ruscetti’s labs or their reagents. The CDC and other independent labs retested those samples and could find NO contamination.

    It was Silverman’s lab that had contamination when he fully sequenced. Not Mikovits or Ruscetti. He sequenced the VP62 plasmid contaminating his lab, not the isolates sent to him. The VP62 plasmid was never in the Mikovits or Ruscetti labs.

    The later study you name is the blood study. The controls were not pre screened by all labs using all methods, the serology test which does not cross react with anything but exogenous MLVs was positive. Dr Lombardi of the WPI did not use the assay from Lombardi et al. The Lo team did not use the successful assay from Lo et al. None of the other labs used clinically validated assays. The blood collection procedures were different and the blood was not flash frozen. It was not a replication study.

    The gel in the paper was correctly labeled. Science magazine during the review saw all the original data and they changed the labels to simplify hundreds of western blots.

    There is NO body of evidence to against Lombardi et al., but there is evidence against Paprotka et al., and the blood study group.

    Those papers will be investigated.

    study the science

    July 11, 2012 at 5:31 am

    • > Never in the history of science have the results of an experiment been reproduced when the details of the experiments have not been.

      I’m afraid I need to take issue with your hyperbole here. This statement is only true if the purpose of the experiment is simply to determine correlation. Most experiments, however, are intended to investigate a model, and in that case the “result” is the verification of model predictions in experimental outcome. Thus, it is not only acceptable science but preferable to “reproduce” an experiment with a design intended to verify the model in a different manner.

      Alas, in the biological sciences many protocols contain so much circumstance and the models are so poorly quantified that it is often extremely difficult to do so…

      Reviewer #3

      July 14, 2012 at 9:46 am

      • It may be acceptable to also use different methodology for further study, but a different methodology cannot be used to refute the findings of a different methodology. This is lesson 1 in science.

        Finn

        July 18, 2012 at 10:21 am

  5. It has now been demonstarted conclusively that the paprotka methodology was not sensitive enough to detect a virus ancestral to xmrv in wild mice.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22771940

    study the science

    July 11, 2012 at 5:32 am

  6. This arsenic DNA nonsense is a direct consequence of Science editors making a bet on a technically questionable but potentially sensational manuscript. It’s not the only paper that made it to a high profile journal based on the hype, and definitely this problem isn’t endemic to Science. Cell and Nature have the same problem. What I would like to see in case of arsenic DNA is the editorial casework – like EMBO does it, in public – the reviews, the rebuttal, and the decision. So that is would be clear who exactly screwed the pooch this time: incompetent reviewers – if they recommended this gobbledygook for publication, or the editors, who once again pushed the manuscript through despite negative reviews.

    Pymoladdict

    July 11, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    • Why would it matter? Ultimately the blame for a bad paper still rests with the editor, who has a responsibility to ensure that they’ve picked appropriate reviewers and to validate that the reviews are adequate…

      Reviewer #3

      July 14, 2012 at 9:50 am

  7. A patient ME/CFS advocate (see below) recently gave an exposition of community concerns about the whole so-called ‘XMRV’ issue which scientists (and, with respect, The good people at Retraction Watch) would do well to read. The problem of how science can be corrupted as a process by politics is something that Retraction Watch will inevitably find themselves having to address :(

    My view on the Lipkin “XMRV” study is one of strong suspicion and skepticism. I will preface this by saying that I am hopeful that he will produce a quality study that provides scientific answers and isn’t swept into town in a tsunami of self-righteous political triumph. But I would be shocked if he actually does.

    The main problem is that everything Lipkin has said and done to date with regard to this study is indistinguishable from astute politicking aimed at ensuring that this study seals off this line of research once and for all. I’m not saying that this is definitely the case, merely that Lipkin has yet to do anything to logically preclude this motivational possibility. Through a lens of such politics, all of his “maverick” actions are perfectly coherent:

    ** Carrying on with the study in defiance of criticism: The negative faux “replications” and the BWG didn’t successfully put out the political fire, so another study is necessary. However, it must be carefully framed as the final word (an absolute nonsense concept in science) and conducted by someone who has delicately jockeyed themselves into a superficial position of agnosticism. Despite patients being admonished endlessly about “following scientists instead of the science,” it is hoped that they will in fact follow someone down a path of corrupted science based solely on his appearance as caring and even handed.

    ** Getting Mikovits and Ruscetti involved: This is necessary to give the appearance of actually trying. Someone who accepts the carefully cultivated image of Lipkin’s agnosticism would likely to a double-take at any attempt that entirely excludes the primary proponents. The narrative key is to have them “involved,” even using their own tools and methods, but to remove crucial elements of the process from their control (in this case cohort selection; sample collection, processing, coding; overarching study design and analysis).

    ** Saying a number of “open minded” things about ME: Words are free and never warrant suspension of skepticism prior to actions (in this case the actual scientific quality Lipkin produces with his study). In fact, the use of hopeful words to prime the populace for destructive action is a timeless political tool, a “fig leaf.”

    Again, I must stress that I’m not accusing Lipkin of being motivated in this way, nor am I attacking him. I am simply pointing out a possible motivation that is entirely consistent with what has been said and done thus far. It won’t be until his study is published that we will be able to evaluate the integrity of his actions and words. It is entirely in his hands to produce research that is rigorous, logical, and measured in its conclusions.

    There are, however, a number of aspects to this study that would suggest this political motivation is more than a mere possibility:

    ** Requiring participants to pre-accept results in order to participate (i.e. gagging them): It’s hard to imagine any legitimate reason why an honest study would require this. It reeks of a totalitarian attempt to control the message after publication and marks an effective continuation of gags on Mikovits.

    ** The very nature of the study: Why yet another “do-or-die” test under novel conditions? This is akin to demanding that because someone claims evidence of a novel phenomenon, they must immediately know enough about it to always reproduce it under any conditions presented to them. Yes, blinded and controlled reproducibility is crucial, but not at square one of understanding (unless, perhaps, your goal is to exclude additional understanding…). I think that the only honest approach to get to the bottom of things at this point is for Lipkin to sit down with Mikovits and Ruscetti and see what they are finding and then work closely with them to flesh out the many unknowns surrounding these possible viruses (e.g. better contamination controls, better understanding of viral life cycle and tropism and reservoirs, better understanding of the role of collection and processing, better understanding of methodological nuances and sequence variations). If they cannot find some agreed upon explanation such as contamination, they can at least acquire enough understanding to devise a blinded test that will reasonably control for these current unknowns, which necessarily plague this Lipkin study. Interestingly, this is the precise approach that DeFreitas recommended to the CDC, which they declined due to the cost of a plane ticket. Yet surprisingly the CDC found the funds to force upon her a series of eerily similar, premature, CDC-controlled “do-or-die” tests that “disproved” her finding.

    ** The secrecy of the design: Obviously the details will be known upon publication, and any criticisms levied thereafter. Obviously the study cannot begin until the design has been worked out, so why not release the details ahead of time, especially if (with a straight face) you intend it to be “definitive”? Wouldn’t you want to tidy up any overlooked loose ends before starting, as it would be laughable to genuine scientists to hear of a fatally flawed study being sold as the last word? The reason for the secrecy cannot be that Lipkin is ensured of producing a flawless study and therefore it would be pointless to air the details publicly, as that would imply that the whole peer review process is unnecessary. Is the canard about “that’s not the way it’s done” so deeply entrenched that it cannot be put aside to make sure this all-important study is robust? Or is it just easier for criticisms to be conveniently lost in the media frenzy that will accompany a negative study?

    ** The possibility of this study being used to discount all retroviral involvement: In Lipkin’s letter from last December, he says the study will “address the question of whether a retrovirus is associated with disease.” There are already serious questions about whether this study will even adequately look for relevant MRV sequences (see below), which is a small subset of all retroviruses. The question of whether a retrovirus is involved is far far beyond the scope of this study, esp if they don’t do extensive testing for reverse transcriptase, extensive searching in non-blood tissues, and extensive, unbiased deep sequencing. If the study is negative, I fully expect many “lazy” media articles to “accidentally” state that the involvement of a retrovirus has been definitively ruled out in ME.

    From the perspective of patients, there is only one outcome of this study that could be devastating. That is if MRVs are involved in ME and this study renders research into this area politically infeasible and scientifically suicidal, as it would mean there will never be full understanding of or a reliable treatment for the root cause. It’s far worse to seal the only path to freedom than it is to wander a bit further down a dead-end. Unfortunately, the Lipkin study seems poised to deliver this nightmare.

    I think it’s also worth considering some of the extraordinary implications if this study is actually positive. It would mean that Fauci (who has presided over decades of government negligence in this disease), following years of successful legal, political, media, and pseudo-scientific attacks on this finding, has inexplicably allowed his star pupil to reveal the truth just before the political finish line. It would mean unavoidable realization by the public (in an election year no less!) that not only is there a new retrovirus loose in the population, but that it has been negligently allowed to spread and destroy lives for decades by the government health agencies. It would mean catastrophic cost escalation for health insurers. It would mean that the BWG and many of the negative studies would almost have to be investigated for fraud. It would mean a fall from respectability for many of the “top” retrovirologists. It would expose the psychobabblers for what they truly are. It would mean very uncomfortable questions about viral origin and government knowledge. It would force a re-evaluation of all of the previous “rumor viruses,” thus exacerbating all of these other issues. Simply put, it cannot be allowed to happen.

    Lastly, I want to enumerate just some of the open questions that would have to be left on the table if this study is negative and successfully sold as “definitive”:

    ** What about issues of cohort selection, sample collection and processing, viral life cycle and tropism adversely affecting the study? After all, the BWG failed in its duty to better elucidate these issues, so they now represent unknown variables in Lipkin’s study. When you don’t even know what variables you should be controlling and accounting for, your conclusions are wholly unreliable.

    ** What about novel sequences found by Hanson, O’Keefe, the Lithuanians, and Grossberg? None of these are close enough to VP62 to be simply written off as contamination, so leaving them unexplained (and likely un-searched-for in Lipkin’s study) shows an extreme lack of scientific ingenuity.

    ** What about Mikovits’s unsequenced isolates? It seems laughably disingenuous to claim that something is not there when you haven’t even bothered to take a small step (sequence the isolates) to identify precisely what you’re even searching for (the ME virus sequences). Not even Judy knows at this point exactly what sequences she found originally.

    ** What about Dr. Snyderman’s results? If Lipkin is the maverick some claim, and the deep sequencing expert some claim, and he’s serious about getting to the bottom of this disease, how could he possibly not take on such a straightforward case that others have turned down out of fear?

    ** What about an ARV clinical trial? Putting aside all the disingenuous “concern” from non-patient onlookers, it would be completely trivial to find very willing volunteers. Dr. Snyderman’s data alone is more than was necessary to launch trials of Rituximab, a far more dangerous drug.

    ** What about the PC and BPH results? If the ordained ministers of Science have proclaimed that MRVs don’t exist in ME, it would be rather incongruous for these studies to persist.

    ** What about searching for reverse transcriptase? Seems odd to say you found no sign of RVs when your search was limited to specific–but unknown–sequences and never extended to more generic markers of RV infection.

    ** Why has no attempt been made to test tissues? Evidence from the macaque study as well as behavior of MRV-like viruses in other animals would strongly suggest that blood is not the ideal place to look, esp until more is understood about the virus.

    ** What about all of the still-unexplained non-PCR results (serology, IHC, FISH)? These cannot be simply written off as contamination, and the explanations to date (cross-reactivity, etc) have not be supported by anything other than desperation and guesswork.

    ** Philosophically and practically, could the axioms of modern retrovirology ever permit the discovery of a slowly replicating exogenous retrovirus with some vague semblance to human or animal ERVs? I believe this is essentially the question that anciendaze has been positing for some time. In essence, the axioms and assumptions that rule the field exclude any MRV-like virus from ever being “found” in humans as any MRV-like virus would have enough similarity to endogenous sequences and be close enough to limits of detection to always be reflexively dismissed as contamination.

    Angela Kennedy

    July 16, 2012 at 2:40 am

    • Angela, I will and cannot go into all the objections you list, but I do need to address one: the proposed ARV trial. This will never ever be allowed by any ethical committee. You are asking to introduce an active compound (a drug) with associated side-effects into a patient population without even knowing the etiology of the disease. Even if we *did* know the etiology to be a retrovirus, we still have absolutely no idea whether the ARVs that are available would be able to attack the various mechanism used by this specific retrovirus. And if the treatment works, there still is no evidence of the etiology, since these ARVs do a lot more in the human body (hence the side-effects).

      Regardless of whether you can find people that are so desperate that they are willing to put themselves at risk, no ethical doctor would ever perform such a treatment. It would be better to give a placebo *claiming* it to be a drug. At least then we would with certainty, without any side-effects, help a small proportion of the patients.

      Marco

      July 16, 2012 at 3:24 am

      • Marco – The one word I can reply to that is ‘Rituximab’. Obviously the writer of the above exposition I cited addressed that.

        Of course, another problematic treatment that over-ran your hypothesised objections is the PACE trial. That trial ticks all the boxes for potentially dangerous treatments based on unsubstantiated beliefs of aetiology (CBT/GET), that was allowed by an ethical committee nevertheless. How’s about the SMILE trial, where the ‘Lightning Process’ is being trialled on children? That ticks the same boxes.

        Placebo is actually a NON-treatment. That’s very important to remember. It does NOT ‘help’ any patients and is not designed to within a trial. A placebo is not being trialled within a controlled treatment trial. The treatment is. In a controlled trial with a placebo arm, the treatment is being measured against no treatment at all. What is more, under ethical tenets of informed consent, trial participants are made aware they may be given a placebo. Claims of ‘placebo effect’ usually fail to understand this basic tenet of controlled trials.

        ARV’s are also being trialled as prophylactic on non HIV healthy but ‘at risk’ people. etc….

        I’m sure we could rustle up many trials using treatments that tick the boxes of your objections. The point of the above exposition is to highlight the discrepancies in the way ‘science’ is conducted on ME/CFS patients, that basically takes the mickey out of the scientific process.

        Angela Kennedy

        July 18, 2012 at 2:44 am

      • ARVs are given to both pregnant women and healthy people. The aetiology of the disease is not being studied and yet a Rituximab trail was allowed to take place. This drug is far more dangerous than ARVs. A clinical trial is the only real way to established what ARVs would do to real ME patients. ME patients are already at risk from earlier death, no life and higher rates of rare cancers. The trials are worth while and patients should push for them.

        Finn

        July 18, 2012 at 10:18 am

      • Marco, thanks for providing a clear example of precisely the kind of disingenuous double standard that ME patients in general and proponents of further retroviral study in particular must constantly struggle against.

        You claim such a trial to be unethical because it would be “asking to introduce an active compound (a drug) with associated side-effects into a patient population without even knowing the etiology of the disease.” By this precise logic, however, the vast majority of current and historical clinical trials would necessarily and unequivocally be deemed unethical. Your claim is identical to saying that drug trials are inherently unethical in diseases of unknown etiology. Therefore, all drug trials pertaining to MS, Parkinsons, Alzheimers, Depression, Schizophrenia, Lupus, most cancers, and many other diseases are entirely unethical.

        It’s strange then, that you are here pontificating about your self-proclaimed ethical issues with a hypothetical trial whilst hundreds of *actually occurring* trials stand in direct conflict with these same stated ethical standards. Hence the duality pointed out by others between the acceptability of trials with Rituximab, Lyrica, CBT/GET, Lightning Processs, etc, and the knee jerk guffaws lobbed at any proposed ARV trial for ME (though ARV trials are perfectly acceptable for other diseases and even non-disease cases).

        You also claim: “Even if we *did* know the etiology to be a retrovirus, we still have absolutely no idea whether the ARVs that are available would be able to attack the various mechanism used by this specific retrovirus.”

        You might have forgotten about Smith et al (http://www.retrovirology.com/content/7/1/70/) and Singh et al (http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0009948) that have already demonstrated in vitro potency of various ARVs against XMRV. These provide theoretical support for specific ARV efficacy against this class of RV (and even though the synthetic “XMRV” isn’t what has been found in patients, similar studies could easily be repeated once wild-type isolates are cloned). The next logical step beyond in vitro demonstration is in vivo study, i.e. a clinical trial.

        Lastly, you claim: “And if the treatment works, there still is no evidence of the etiology, since these ARVs do a lot more in the human body (hence the side-effects).”

        This is again disingenuous and represents selectively applied logic. You are in effect insisting that any proposed clinical trial must stand to conclusively prove something about etiology. In reality, clinical trials can provide non-conclusive evidence for or against an etiological theory as well as evidence of safety and therapeutic efficacy independent of etiological questions. This demand for unwieldy and impractical conclusions in clinical trials seems to be rather exclusive to ARV research in ME. Certainly it has *not* been applied to various drugs trialed in other etiologically unknown diseases for purely therapeutic reasons (SSRIs in MDD, Lyrica in FM, etc) or trialed for etiologically-independent treatment (chemo drugs in cancer, Rituximab in ME, etc).

        asleep

        July 18, 2012 at 11:48 am

      • I can see that I made some ME/CFS patients upset, so I will just leave the discussion mostly for what it is. I merely would like to point out that neither the PACE nor SMILE trial involved treatments with known severe adverse effects, and that rituximab had been found effective by accident. ME/CFS patients may want to check other clinical trials and ask if anyone ever found an accidental alleviation of symptoms of ME/CFS patients in treatments with ARVs. At least then they could convince an ethical committee (as happened with rituximab).

        Marco

        July 20, 2012 at 8:32 am

      • Hi Marco – I am in agreement with you and I myself have far too many objections with Angelas’ statement to address them singularly. Thus, I shall respectfully disagree with almost everything she has stated.

        I will say I am grateful for the CII and Dr. Ian Lipkin, Dr.Peterson, Dr. Montoya, Dr. Klimas, Dr.Mikovits, Dr. Ruscetti And Dr. Hornig as well as others who picked up the ball in collaboration to complete the XMRV and pathogen papers that may have been dropped/lost due to a scandal.

        The Hutchins family donation of 10 million was an astounding contribution. We are lucky Dr. Lipkin went out on a limb and went to Bat for DR. Mikovitz to get her back into a lab to complete her work so her portion of the XMRV study could be completed. We are lucky the greatest microbe hunter in the world (Lipkin) has taken an interest in the CFS disease. We are lucky Stanford (Montoya) participated withhis numbers in the XMRV study at Columbia collaboration as well. We are lucky that Nancy Klimas’s work is getting vetted and hopefully immune biomarkers are getting identified. As far as “how a research study should be conducted, reviewed and released to the public”; I leave that to scientific protocol.
        Julia Hugo Rachel

      • It is Fauci and Collins who have commissioned this study. The study is to also use a criteria that is not recognised and the collection processing is not in the hands of Mikovits or Ruscetti, although this is the first stage of their assays. What kind of clinicians would stop this being a replication study by changing the entry criteria and worse using an unrecognised criteria? Most of those clinicians involved in the study are chronic fatigue doctors. Who says they ever have an ME patient come through their doors. They all use Fukuda in their research, which is a fatigue criteria.

        Lipkin wants to put his name to this? Wow who is this guy. He has never discovered a human retrovirus unlike Dr Ruscetti and Dr Mikovits. Dr Lipkin is also fully aware that many MLVs cannot be detected without using next generation sequencing, but is not using it in this study and is fully aware that the ME viruses that Dr Mikovits and Dr Ruscetti discovered are not XMRV, they are anything but. Dr Lipkin is your standard wannabe. You only get famous in virology if you discovered a retrovirus. He hasn’t. Your comments about his standing are blown out of proportion.

        The Hutchins family have direct ties to Obama, Clinton, Romney, financial institutions and some very big companies. ME and prostate cancer retroviruses would cause great financial hardship to those.

        Dr Lipkin had no choice but to put Dr Mikovits in the study. Shame on him for not making sure this is a replication study and for not leaving the collection and processing to Dr Mikovits and Dr Ruscetti.

        Finn

        July 23, 2012 at 3:48 am

    • Yawn, Your whole rambling above is just a litany of Non Sequitors. An illogical ranting of sorts. Yes, you are constantly accusing Lipkin even though you deny it with your unproven and illogical conspiracy theories. Really, this is getting so mundane. You are absolutely wrong concerning the Lipkin study. The best clinicians and researchers in the field of ME/CFS for decades, are the ones choosing the cohorts and developing the methodology. There is no secrecy. The conclusion that one must draw from your accusations is the fact that the same clinicians treating patients for ME/CFS for many years, are now part of some grand conspiracy to deny finding the cause for this illness.

      DeFreitas admitted she was wrong. You are absolutely out to lunch concerning Grossberg. He realized he made an error on naming his sequence and changed it. Look at the his sequence in GenBank compared to XMRV and you will realize this. Ad hominem attacks on the scientists in the BWG is without merit and disgraceful. Mikovits lab was one big contamination site.

      Anti-bodies to FISH are unreliable caused frequently by cross reactivity. They cast a wide net and additional experiments are required to determine if there is indeed something to pursue. Sequences by Mikovits and for that matter, the WPI, into GenBank have everything related to XMRV VP62. No MRVs…ho-hum…no HGRVs. No truth to the statement concerning Dr. Synderman. Basically a rambling of conjectures brought by a fraught mind.

      Neither XMRV nor their ancestoral MLV’s have capablities to overcome human defenses against retroviruses. They can not infect a human (these viruses can not “maintain an efficient spreading infection” (Bogerd et al., 2011; Groom et al., 2010b; Paprotka et al., 2010; Stieler & Fischer, 2010).

      Ecoclimber

      July 18, 2012 at 3:12 pm

      • @Ecoclimber Yawn, your rambling above is just a litany of Non Sequitors. An illogical ranting of sorts. Yes, you are constantly accusing those who provide evidence of the retroviruses infecting people even though you deny it with your unproven and illogical conspiracy theories. Really, this is getting so mundane. You are absolutely wrong concerning the Lipkin study.

        The people you claim are using the best clinicians in the field have chosen to abandon sense and are not using a recognized diagnostic criteria for the study. So first off there this is not a replication study. The scientists will not have had a hand in creating this new clinical criteria. Only the clinicians created the criteria and they do not understand that in science you cannot rule out an infectious agent using a cohort that is selected subjectively. Besides most those providing the cohort use the Fukuda definition of fatigue, which is not an ME criteria anyway. Those same clinicians have been unable to find a treatment for ME, so again your argument makes no sense.

        Grossbergs virus is still listed as an XMRV related virus. Please see the Genbank. Where do you get these ideas from? You should have checked before making that mistake.

        FISH is not prone to contamination. Again, where is your evidence for making the claim you just have. The viruses were also found inside the cells. Contamination couldn’t put them there. The additional experiments used in Urisman, Schalberg, Arnold, Lombardi, Lo, Fisher, Lee, all confirmed the viruses.

        The env sequence from Mikovits is 24% divergence from VP62. The gag regions detected by Mikovits are XMRV like and PreXMRV-2 like. Many viruses share the same short sequences as they are recombinants. You cannot claim their viruses are VP62. VP62 is a lab artefact created around 2006. As there has never been contamination identified in the Mikovits, Ruscetti, Lo, Alter, or Hanson samples and they were confirmed using multiple methods, including a serology assay that will only react to an exogenous MLV, they are MRVs.

        There are no defenses that have been found in humans which can stop these viruses. All those defenses are no hindrance to HIV or HTLV.

        Groom actually said that it was ” unlikely that XMRV could maintain an efficient spreading infection in these cells.” http://www.meassociation.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/vir.0.041038-0.full_.pdf

        That is not the same as cannot, and does not mean the same is true in humans.

        Please stop ranting on a subject you have no education in.

        YAWN

        July 18, 2012 at 4:34 pm

      • With your logic all you would need to confirm you had found a T rex would be an arm. Full sequencing is needed to know what those viruses are, but the XMRV tests that Dr Silverman used never worked for Dr Mikovits or Ruscetti. Their viruses were never xenotropic.

        Finn

        July 18, 2012 at 4:40 pm

      • “Mayer et al. discovered that where NGS sequencing could detect MLV viruses, PCR used in the Paprotka and Cingoz papers would generally detect nothing. ”

        http://me-advocacy.com/Cat_that_caught_the_mice.html

        ““Some of the same sites participating in the NIH’s XMRV study will also help enroll patients in the Chronic Fatigue Initiative’s bio-bank and cohort recruitment project. Once samples start coming in to the bio-bank, Lipkin says they plan to do an initial search for 20-30 infectious agents implicated in the past to be connected to CFS, including the herpes and Epstein-Barr viruses.

        XMRV won’t be one of them, Lipkin says. “This should not be taken as bias one way or another,” he adds. “Given we are already doing that in another context, it doesn’t make sense to invest twice.”

        http://me-advocacy.com/NGS_not_to_be_used.html

        Finn

        July 18, 2012 at 4:51 pm

      • I should have added, that as Lipkin won’t be using NGS in the NIH study, how does he know he is not missing the retroviruses that are present? Instead he wants to use this on viruses that are easy to detect with other methods and have been ruled out as capable of causing ME.

        Finn

        July 18, 2012 at 4:54 pm

      • Well Said EcoClimber!!! JHR

      • It doesn’t look great to agree with someone when they can’t follow the discussion. Sorry Julia but your comments are transparent.

        Finn

        July 23, 2012 at 3:35 am

    • My reply was @Angela Kennedy to avoid any confusion

      Ecoclimber

      July 18, 2012 at 3:15 pm

  8. It’s impossible to take your rantings serious egoclimber. As a shouty and supercilious member of various patient forums , you continually make assertions with no substantiating evidence, relying also on appeals to your own authority as an anonymous, claiming of being in the know, something that you cannot back up in any way. As a few months ago you also (incorrectly) insinuated elsewhere I was involved in threats to the Royal Family, I consider you an unreliable witness at best, your comments mere noise to detract from the real issues involved. You are trying to function as a red herring here, a predictable phenomenon every time the ME/CFS patient and supporter community try and seriously discuss why they are so concerned with the discrepancies in the way ‘scientists’ have behaved in respect to the possibility of retroviral involvement in ME/CFS.

    Angela Kennedy

    July 18, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    • Unfortunately, most of the commenters on here suffer from the Duning-Kruger effect. The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than average. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their mistakes. In other words, the more ignorant you are, the greater knowledge you assume you have. Your ignorance in the field of molecular biology, genetics, bio-chemistry, virology and retrovirolgy is quite apparent. Researchers in the field of retrovirology have stated: “nothing new in the Mayer’s paper, just confirms that preXMRV-2 is distributed in several mouse strains.” This is something the researchers were aware of but apparently your group led by esteem and world renown retovirologist Gerwyn failed to pickup. The cult of Gerwyn continues as you rely on the his misinformed pronouncements and parroted them across the blogosphere along with your cadre of sheep including asleep, V99, anciendaze, currrer, ctd, flex, jej, fly feeding off each other with conspiratorial ideas and your own agenda.

      What is troubling is the nefarious tactics you employ to disrupt legitimate scientific research in this country by attacking and trashing the most prominent and pre-eminent scientific researchers even before the research is completed. Your allegiance to Mikovits who was arrested on criminal and civil charges-still pending on the civil charges- and Dr. Jamie Deckoff-Jones who recently had a massive PR blow up on her treatment protocol for Little Andrew, makes one wonder concerning your ability to understand inquiry into even basic scientific research. Lipkin’s study is conducted by the NIH funded by taxpayers of this country. Since you are not citizens of this country, I am tired of your group piggybacking with ad hominem and repugnant comments on the research funded by U.S. taxpayers by outstanding scientists in this country. I suggest you contact researchers in your own country if you are unhappy with the research in this country and I am quite confident that you can raise sufficient funds for Gerwyn to conduct his own research since he is the only person on planet earth that seems to know how to use the proper techniques, methods, controls in PCR assay techniques and patient population to find the retrovirus causing ME. Over the years, he has derided the researchers for calibration errors to VP62 instead of VP35, VP42, annealing temperatures, amplification of low copy number, magnesium levels ad nauseum and the only one that understands the scientific method.

      Failure for him to put forth his ‘great’ knowledge and the failure of your group to fund his research does a disservice to humanity. Perhaps Dr. Stoye and Dr. McClure should be your focus in Britain and not the scientist here.

      Grossberg sequences JHK retrovirus isolate JHK-3 5′ LTR, partial sequence; and gag protein (gag) gene, partial cds GenBank: HM119591.1. His sequence are aligned with the LNCaP sequences and not the XMRV sequences. Unless you are referring to the BK virus sequence which is not related to XMRV.

      It is strange how now XMRV is still out there among your group when Mikovits after the BWG group stated the you cannot detect XMRV by PCR methods and what she found was not XMRV but HGRV although no sequence has been up loaded to the GenBank to validate her statement…still waiting. Silverman discovered VP42 and VP35 in tumors of prostate cancer patients in his lab not Mikovits.

      It is strange how your ad-hominem attack was against me and not the science listed above. Groom actually said that it was ” unlikely that XMRV could maintain an efficient spreading infection in these cells.” http://www.meassociation.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/vir.0.041038-0.full_.pdf

      Angela do you deny your arrest and detention at the police station house and deny being interrogated on comments regarding members from the Royal. That is what I read from the police report which I obtained.

      Ecoclimber

      July 19, 2012 at 7:07 pm

      • “Angela do you deny your arrest and detention at the police station house and deny being interrogated on comments regarding members from the Royal. That is what I read from the police report which I obtained.”

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA! ROTFL!

        This ridiculous question by you egoclimber is exemplary of your uncanny ability to make authoritative fact-free comments! Any such British police report that you allegedly obtained would have to have been written by someone who was on hallucinogenic drugs, or a pathological liar. I never was arrested or interrogated for anything, and never even remotely investigated for any alleged crimes towards the Royal Family!!!!! You, sir, need to go back and check some facts. Or better still, perhaps you can exhibit this ‘police report’, along with the specimen of unicorn manure you keep in your special box of artefacts.

        Your authoritative exuberance in your own verbosity on this occasion has led you to one massive cock-up, showing just how unreliable a witness you actually are. Your assertions cannot be taken seriously, because you make demonstrably false comments like this very frequently. But, on a highly serious level, it is people like you who show up to cause doubt and confusion whenever the ME/CFS community attempt to discuss their concerns about bad science with scientists who might be amenable to rational discussion, such as readers/the owners of this site. You are like a Punch and Judy show at a murder investigation.

        Angela Kennedy

        July 20, 2012 at 2:08 am

      • ROTFL

        If you say you are a US citizen Eco, then how would you get hold of police documents? Are you suggesting you are best mates with Wills and Harry. Ha ha ha you are out of it. Ha ha ha ha ha!

        The Queen

        July 20, 2012 at 4:11 am

      • JHK is recorded as an XMRV, not the XMRV which is only VP62 as determined by people like Dr Coffin.
        “Lineage( full )
        Viruses; Retro-transcribing viruses; Retroviridae; Orthoretrovirinae; Gammaretrovirus; Mammalian virus group; Murine leukemia-related retroviruses; XMRV-related viruses; XMRV”

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Taxonomy/Browser/wwwtax.cgi?id=1133973

        You would have to ask the WPI about any sequences they are holding onto.

        Eco this is what you previously said about Groom.

        “They can not infect a human (these viruses can not “maintain an efficient spreading infection””

        It was YAWN that provided the full quote and said.

        “Groom actually said that it was ” unlikely that XMRV could maintain an efficient spreading infection in these cells.” http://www.meassociation.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/vir.0.041038-0.full_.pdf
        That is not the same as cannot, and does not mean the same is true in humans.”

        PCR assays cannot be optimised to a synthetic virus for detecting a wild type infection. You have to use a clinical positive. Synthetic viruses dropped in a blood sample cannot replicate the conditions of a real virus in a cell.

        Gallo’s HTLV-III (HIV-1) paper misrepresented HIV. That paper has not been retracted. Why didn’t science act in all those years? http://herbogeminis.com/IMG/pdf/federal_inquiry.pdf

        But they retracted Lombardi et al. without evidence of any wilful wrongdoing and without any replication study having been published.

        Finn

        July 20, 2012 at 5:10 am

      • I could not agree more EcomClimber. Well Said.

      • Julia, you can’t agree. You can’t follow the conversation.

        Finn

        July 23, 2012 at 3:49 am

  9. @ Marco – how do you know any of the responses are from ME patients? I am not one of those, for example, and the other respondents to you are anonymous, like yourself, and I cannot see any self-identification of any patients, actually (Do point me to where I’m wrong if I am though).

    As others have shown, there are many studies in medical science which render your defence of refusing ARV trials on ME/CFS patients untenable. But, I’d like to address your claim about PACE and SMILE and the so-called ‘lack’ of ‘known’ harms.

    There are indeed studies by patient charities in which respondents have reported harm from both graded exercise therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy. The PACE paper even admits that. So therapies ‘known’ to have caused some adverse effects were nevertheless trialled. The massive discrepancies of the PACE trial aside (and I for one believe THAT paper should be retracted, and have already made public my complaint to the Lancet about the claims of ‘safety’ of CBT/GET arising from that fundamentally flawed paper. I’m not the only person of course), they were nevertheless ethically approved to carry out a potentially dangerous trial. Obvious the exposition I cited above raises the inconsistencies of approach to ME/CFS patients, where SOME dangerous trials with treatments with known adverse effects are nevertheless approved, while ARV’s are not.

    Other ‘known’ problems with Graded Exercise Therapy are the documented cardiovascular impairment in people given ME or CFS diagnoses in response to exertion. Both GET AND Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is designed to tell the patient to override symptoms of such as and carry on prescribed exertion no matter what the consequential impairments (to those readers unaware, that IS what is being prescribed) because those ‘symptoms’ are deemed delusional. The SMILE trial uses a process called the ‘Lightning Process’ on CHILDREN (before even it had been trialled on adults) to tell them they are being negative and to change their way of ‘doing ME’ (as in ‘doing’ illness, not ‘being’ ill.) The claims made by LP practitioners in adverts have been found to be unfounded by Advertising Authorities. The psychological harm of not being believed itself on children is, I understand, a ‘known’ risk in general.

    Obviously Rituximab does have known adverse effects, including risk of death, yet, as you say, convinced an ethics committee. Your defence of these only highlights even more that the comment made about ARV’s by the person whose exposition I cited above is reasonable. When it comes to the ME/CFS community, inconsistencies and discrepancies in the way they are treated by ‘scientists’ are stark, and that is why the community (including supporters) are so concerned. This is why some of us come on science interest sites to express our reasonable misgivings about how this community is being treated, even when we end up having to run through the rain of unicorn manure (and also manure of the bovine kind) routinely thrown our way by aggy anons.

    Angela Kennedy

    July 20, 2012 at 10:11 am

    • Angela, you are simply too much invested in your idea that ME/CFS patients are improperly treated by scientists for me to have any further discussions with you. There clearly is no way of convincing you of anything that does not support your preconceived notion, as evidenced by your last remarks.

      Marco

      July 22, 2012 at 10:23 am

      • ‘Marco’, that is a massive leap in logic you are asking readers to take. You used the term ‘made some Me/CFS patients upset’ as an answer to their reasonable objections to your argument, even though no-one who had objected to your argument identified as such, and I, as I believe you would know from elsewhere, am most definitely not a patient. Sadly the word ‘upset’ to describe people’s responses functions as a way of trivialising them, and the term ‘patient’ in this context serves to construct people as ‘outsiders’ away from the so-called ‘insiders’ of ‘science’, in order to portray them as recalcitrant hostile ignoramuses to be scorned by ‘real scientists’.

        Indeed, it could be asked – who are you, if not a patient? I thought you WERE a patient, unless you are a different ‘Marco’ to the patient who sometimes posts on patient forums. Nevertheless, your status is not of issue. What is of the issue are the problems I and others have highlighted, and the objections to the argument you made. If we want to talk ‘investment’ you seem TERRIBLY invested in your beliefs and preconceived notions, and that indeed may proscribe rational debate (for example where I showed you why your belief in any ‘placebo effect’ was untenable). We can go on like this all day – but all it does is set up some demoralising tit-for-tat system where people attempt to ‘score points’ by the use of ad hominem etc. rather that discuss reasonably what are extremely important issues – to the point I note the Retraction Watch people have kept out of, which is a worry. I have a feeling this issue may only just be revealing itself to them as far more complex and problematic than they realised, and one which takes many ‘science’ people out of their comfort zone, in terms of understanding the politics of what is often falsely portrayed as a pure enterprise (science).

        Angela Kennedy

        July 22, 2012 at 10:58 am

  10. Who is Dusty Miller?

    flex

    July 20, 2012 at 8:10 pm

  11. Of course, what should be just as interesting to the editors and readers of Retraction Watch is what papers are NOT retracted, and why, and how difficult it is, the vast majority of times, to get serious scientific discrepancies even investigated. This is the case with the PACE trial.

    Angela Kennedy

    July 21, 2012 at 2:55 am

  12. Ah I remember now Dusty Miller is a scientist who has worked with MRVs/MLVs/XMRV for a number of years, many more years than the Mikovits XMRV paper of 2009.

    I remember him coming to mecfsforums 2 years ago with Ecoclimber and Cort Johnson who runs PR aboutmecfsforums.

    We thought it so strange that he should come with the intention to recruit people who had previously tested positive for MLVs to carry out his own study.

    Even weirder he was going to be testing for VP62 which is not what was found by Mikovits. So his assays would have been flawed and he would have produced a negative paper.

    Even weirder was the fact that Cort Johnson went to mecfsforums incognito under the name MEman and tried to persuade people of the benefits of Millers proposed study. More surprisingly this approach to patients was done by Miller, Meman and Ecoclimber without any study approval in place.

    We know Cort Jonson favours the psychogenic approach to ME and runs a patient forum which he uses as a platform to spread CAA propaganda although most members there dont buy into that. He also attempts to use his position to unscientifically attack the HGRV hypothesis and he has within full view of us all engaged in history revision changing his posts when he is challenged.

    Miller having worked with many RVs for a great number of years is always around to assure people that they cannot infect humans its seems simply on the basis that that is the “accepted scientific wisdom”.

    He has no intention of doing a Lombardi replication study to prove himself right. However he does want to show that the kind of viruses implicated in Lombardi are merely contamination in the lab by using a contaminate to set his assay to. Very weird.

    I am surely glad that the kinds of viruses he has been working with for years are of no danger to any of us.

    Ecoclimber is…..? I dont know if he is a patient a patient advocate or what if anything it was that drew him into the ME debate. Yet somehow he Cort Johnson and Miller attempted to recruit for a not then IRB approved study on a patient forum with Cort going undercover….all this when Cort has his own forum. Not only that but at that time he had already taken down the link on his own forum to the proposed study.

    As I say I dont know what ecoclimbers interest is in this whole ME situation.

    Who is Dusty Miller?

    flex

    July 21, 2012 at 1:13 pm

  13. Oh ye I forgot to say……its very reassuring to hear that these kinds of viruses pose no threat to the human population even to those who have tested positive for them.

    Whats more reassuring is that this is because its the “accepted scientific wisdom” even though just recently even the non believers in HGRVs have had to concede that many cell lines etc are “contaminated” with such viruses that cause neuro immune diseases and cancers in mice.

    Its especially reassuring that they admit they didn’t know this has been the case for an unanswered amount of decades until they started to publish negative “XMRV”/ HGRV papers.

    Its just a mere coincidence that the same virus types implicated in mice (except MLVs not MRVs) in Mikovits 2009 paper are implicated in a human population of neuro immune diseased and people with cancer.

    Its just reassuring that the Lo Alter paper which claimed to have confirmed the Mivovits/Lombardi 2009 paper when they found MLVS in over 80% of an ME cohort was also retracted without any evidence of fraud or deception.

    Its so reassuring that even before the Lipkin study which claims to be “settling the issue” that these two papers Lo?Alter and Mivovits/Lombardi) where retracted without waiting for a “multi lab definitive study”.

    It’s all so very reassuring.

    flex

    July 21, 2012 at 1:40 pm

  14. What I find amazing is that Lo/Alter was retracted when the reasons given for retracting Lombardi where the use of 5AZA, the acetate “patient relabeling” and the BWG that had nothing to do with the original Lombardi/Mikovits assays but was merely a test to see if a quick turnaround assay was reliable enough to be used by the blood service. That was the whole premise of the BWG study!

    All the BWG showed us was that we don’t have a “cost effective enough short cut assay” yet to assess blood safety risks……IN THE BLOOD SERVICE!! Its shocking and positively dangerous that this was used as a reason to, one declare the blood supply safe and two, as a reason to retract a paper and its findings that used completely different methods.

    Also the fact that the Silverman sequencing issue of “XMRV” was used against Mikovits when absolutely none of those issues were of relevance in the Lo/Alter paper.

    It just goes to show that if none of those issues where questioned in the Lo/Alter paper and yet Alter claimed he confirmed Lombardi results by finding MLVs (remember this was in 80+% of patients yet only 7% of healthy controls) that the reasons given for the Lombardi retraction are null and void.

    flex

    July 21, 2012 at 4:58 pm

  15. It has come to my attention that some people may believe the exposition I posted was my own, when it is not. The first paragraph ending with the sad emoticon are my comments. The rest is from the forum poster I mentioned. While I would have LOVED to have produced this exposition, I did not, and cannot take credit for it. It does however, encapsulate the problems I and many others in the community have identified, maybe more piecemeal, since Lombardi et al was published and the massive impetus to discredit the findings began.

    Angela Kennedy

    July 22, 2012 at 4:33 pm

  16. @ Julia. You can disagree with me as much as you like. What you cannot do effectively is deny that there are many people within the ME/CFS community *and others) who have the same concerns as I and other posters here: your implicit support of Egoclimbers false allegations about me and the Royal Family is silly though, and I would advise you to retract support for that particular fantasy, so as to not to appear silly yourself.

    Angela Kennedy

    July 22, 2012 at 4:39 pm

  17. Egoclimber said: “Unfortunately, most of the commenters on here suffer from the Duning-Kruger effect. The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than average. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their mistakes. In other words, the more ignorant you are, the greater knowledge you assume you have. Your ignorance in the field of molecular biology, genetics, bio-chemistry, virology and retrovirolgy is quite apparent.”

    Ah, the old irrational appeal to the ‘Duning-Kruger’ effect. It’s basically a variation on the irrational appeal to authority, but also another variation of the ubiquitous ad hominem. It’s thrown around so much in recent years I propose a variation of ‘Godwin’s Law': Sooner or later some aggy anonymous internet warrior, especially on science-related forums, whose own ‘credentials’ are impossible to even check, will use it to try and dismiss someone’s argument by invoking the Duning-Kruger effect.

    Angela Kennedy

    July 23, 2012 at 5:07 am

  18. I remember the thread on ME/CFS forums, where Dusty Miller, MEman and Ecoclimber tried to recruit those of us that had tested positive for HGRVs with Mikovits or VIPdx to an unauthorised as yet potential study into VP62 XMRV. Eco kicked it off, was asked for details, got aggy, as Angela says, Dusty and Cort joined in, and then, all Ecoclimber’s posts disappeared!

    Evidence of the harms to people with ME, from the current ‘treatment’ as allowed in the UK by the NICE guidelines (NHS) and as ‘described and tested’ by the PACE trial, as mentioned above, is here:

    http://www.iacfsme.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=Rd2tIJ0oHqk%3D&tabid=501

    Mean rate of harms from GET, over a sample size of 4335, was 51.24%.

    jace

    July 28, 2012 at 5:55 am

  19. Why is it constantly claimed that the Lombardi/Mikovots paper was the only HGRV/MLVs positve paper. Harvey Alter confirmed the results of the Lombardi paper in his own paper which was peer reviewed and held back by John Coffin before publication.

    The Coffin Paportka paper which claims to challenge the Lombardi findings is an illusion and a set of claimed probabilities not actually a scientific study.

    No one has replicated Coffins “findings” as they are an illusion. In which case why is Dusty Miller using that paper to claim any findings of MLVs etc are false positives in the Lombardi paper and why does he pretend along with some other virologists that the Alter paper does not exist.

    What about the Hanson findings and the Mayer paper. is this a brave new world where all evidence that goes against your narrative is simply ignored?

    Is this to do with a political consensus of the powerful and worried and nothing to do with science? Are those people whom have insured us of the safety of such bio hazardous viruses which they have worked with and engineered for decades now in a state of denial and serving their institutes by means of spin and deception rather than scientific evidence?

    Did Science magazine retract Mikovits paper under pressure from the mighty and powerful because it certainly wasn’t retracted for normal reasons usually given.

    Must all positive papers of new viruses now be retracted because they don’t fit in with the contamination narrative favoured by those who lobby governments and persuade editors what to print or retract based on unproven unreplicated illusions made up on a piece of paper.

    Why did Dusty Miller go under cover to a patient forum to try to recruit people for an “XMRV” study when the assay was not set to test the virus found by Judy Mikovits? How could he claim to be attempting to disprove her by not looking for the same thing.

    What was he looking for, or more to the point not looking for as some were suggesting on that very forum?

    flex

    July 28, 2012 at 3:13 pm

  20. If ME has been an official government secret for decades and is set to still be one until the UK government release locked files on it in 2071 are MLVs also an official secret and who is being paid to keep them a secret.

    Who works with MlVs and why?

    flex

    July 28, 2012 at 6:46 pm

  21. @ Ecoclimber

    You have written:

    “Angela do you deny your arrest and detention at the police station house and deny being interrogated on comments regarding members from the Royal. That is what I read from the police report which I obtained.”

    I am British; I am not an ME patient; I have no personal or professional interest in XMRV; I have no involvement in any legal cases, either Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) or civil cases.

    I do not like to see misinformation being promulgated, especially when the individual doing so has already been advised of his misconceptions but chooses to ignore, and especially when done so under the cloak of anonymity.

    Your inferences or innuendo have nothing whatsoever to do with the topic of this Retraction Watch post, so one questions why you introduced this.

    But since you made similar assertions on another platform last October and were challenged then, I am challenging you again. Your persistence in flogging this dead horse is disturbing.

    I assume you mean “members from the Royal Family”?

    Since you give no references, readers have no means of knowing to which case or alleged case involving “members from the Royal” you are referring.

    If I do have the wrong case, then you will be able to provide a reference for the correct case. If you cannot, then readers will rightly conclude that there is no substance in what you have written.

    I suspect you are referring to the Countess of Mar. Lady Mar is an hereditary peer, a crossbench Member of the House of Lords and a farmer and cheese maker. I suggest you consult Wikipedia.

    The Countess of Mar is not a member of the Royal Family – but you were told that on Phoenix Rising, last year.

    In 2005, there was indeed a CPS case involving the Countess of Mar. But this related to Ms Jane Bryant. Angela Kennedy was, at that point, a co-director of ONE CLICK (Ms Kennedy ceased involvement with ONE CLICK over six years ago).

    But Angela Kennedy was neither arrested nor interrogated – so there is another misconception on your part, if the case of Jane Bryant is the one to which you are referring.

    You say you have obtained “a police report.” You give no case number, no police force, no case details nor the means by which you obtained said report. Since you post anonymously and since you provide no supporting evidence for your source, this statement is worthless.

    So, no Royal Family, no Angela Kennedy. Doesn’t look too solid, does it?

    That leaves the “police report”.

    As a US citizen, it doesn’t seem very credible that you would be in a position to obtain a CPS report from British police. I suspect (but do correct me if I am wrong) that the document to which you refer is in the public domain.

    I suspect you are referring to documents around the case that Ms Bryant has published on the ONE CLICK site, which include documents relating to her legal representatives’ formal complaint to the CPS for wrongful arrest.

    If you do not have these documents, yourself, because you have relied on hearsay, innuendo and the misconceptions of ill-informed others, then I’d be glad to provide you with the URLs.

    On the other hand, if you do have evidence that supports your statement, then please do provide it – we in the UK are all agog since the first we heard of any alleged case involving the “Royal Family” was from your own, hazy references, last October, on Phoenix Rising.

    Otherwise I respectfully suggest that in future, whether you are posting under your own name or anonymously that you practice fact checking. (I understand that unsubstantiated references on Phoenix Rising to alleged threats against the “Royal Family” have since been removed by the moderators.)

    Suzy Chapman

    meagenda

    July 31, 2012 at 2:53 pm

  22. I would invite anybody to cross-check the the table 4 from Mikovits/Ruscetti’s 2010 paper with all the other claims made by those two researcher – the table 4 from said paper can reasonably only be explained as fabrication.

    Tony Mach

    August 5, 2012 at 11:45 am

  23. Further evidence that the arsenic bacteria article in Science should be retracted http://www.periodicplayground.com/blog/bp/2013/02/guest-post-david-sanders-why-its-high-time-to-retract-arseniclife

    David Sanders

    February 28, 2013 at 12:46 pm


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