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Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘judy mikovits’ Category

Chronic fatigue syndrome researcher Mikovits, who championed link to XMRV, to publish book

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mikovits coverJudy Mikovits, the chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) researcher who had a paper linking the condition to XMRV retracted, has co-authored a book that’s coming out on May 6.

In an announcement on Age of Autism, co-author Kent Heckenlively gives a taste of what readers might find in the book, titled PLAGUE – One Scientist’s Intrepid Search for the Truth about Retroviruses, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Autism, and Other Diseases: Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by Ivan Oransky

March 11, 2014 at 9:30 am

Posted in judy mikovits

New study “puts…speculation to rest” about link between XMRV and chronic fatigue syndrome

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Could this really — and finally — be the end for the alleged link between XMRV, also known as xenotropic murine leukemia-related virus, to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)?

The title of the press release announcing a long-awaited study of the subject in mBio is blunt: “Viruses not to blame for chronic fatigue syndrome after all.” A quote in the release from Ian Lipkin, who led the study, is even more direct: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

September 18, 2012 at 12:00 am

Catching up: Charges against CFS-XMRV researcher Mikovits dropped, ‘gyres’ author Andrulis publishes another paper

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A follow-up on two stories we’ve covered here at Retraction Watch:

1. Criminal charges against chronic fatigue syndrome researcher dropped

The state of Nevada has dropped criminal charges against Judy Mikovits, the embattled chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) researcher whose paper linking the condition to a virus, XMRV, was retracted last year by Science.

As we reported in November, Mikovits was arrested in Ventura County, California on an “out of county warrant” from Washoe County, Nevada, for allegedly taking lab notebooks, a computer, and other material from the Whittemore Peterson Institute in Reno, Nevada, after the WPI fired her in September.

The first report on the dropped charges was apparently by Mikovits’ friend Lilly Meehan on Facebook, news that was picked up by the ProHealth website on June 13 (their post has since been updated). Later that day, ScienceInsider’s Jon Cohen, who has been covering the case closely, reported that Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

June 16, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Chronic fatigue syndrome-XMRV paper retracted by Science, completely this time

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The editors of Science have fully retracted a study they published in 2009 alleging a link between chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and the virus XMRV.

The notice begins with a nod to the reasons that the paper has already been partially retracted:

Science is fully retracting the Report “Detection of an infectious retrovirus, XMRV, in blood cells of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome” (1). Multiple laboratories, including those of the original authors (2), have failed to reliably detect xenotropic murine leukemia virus–related virus (XMRV) or other murine leukemia virus (MLV)–related viruses in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) patients. In addition, there is evidence of poor quality control in a number of specific experiments in the Report. Fig. 1, table S1, and fig. S2 have been retracted by the authors (3).

It also refers to evidence of image manipulation that was described by blogger Abbie Smith and then reported in the Chicago Tribune:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

December 22, 2011 at 10:49 am

Chronic fatigue syndrome researcher Judy Mikovits arrested

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Judy Mikovits, the embattled chronic fatigue syndrome researcher who was fired from her post at Reno, Nevada’s Whittemore Peterson Institute in September, was arrested yesterday in California.

The Ventura County, California Sheriff’s Department web site lists Mikovits under booking number 1259336, charged with a felony violation of California Penal Code section 1551.1, “Fugitive From Justice.”  This is that section, according to FindLaw: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

November 19, 2011 at 7:26 am

Posted in judy mikovits

Why didn’t XMRV-chronic fatigue syndrome researcher Mikovits — now fired — share data with Science?

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The saga of XMRV and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) continues, with the news that Judy Mikovits, a main proponent of the link between the virus and CFS, has been fired from her post at the Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease (WPI) in Reno. From a blog post yesterday on X Rx:

Breaking news. The entire WPI research program has been closed by the institute’s CEO, and the facility is now locked down. It’s former principle investigator, Dr. Judy Mikovits, is in active discussions concerning institutions to which she may move to continue her grant-funded research.

We spoke to Mikovits last week, apparently within a day of her being fired, according to the sequence of events reported today on the Wall Street Journal Health Blog. We were interested in her reaction to a comment to Retraction Watch by Science executive editor Monica Bradford about why the 2009 study Mikovits had co-authored had been partially retracted — a rare move, as we noted: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

October 3, 2011 at 7:01 pm

Why did Science partially retract the XMRV-chronic fatigue syndrome paper?

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If past experience is any indication, billions of pixels will be spilled in the coming days as scientists and advocates debate the latest twist in the story of XMRV, or xenotropic murine leukemia-related virus, and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Today’s news is that Science is partially retracting a 2009 paper by Judy Mikovits and colleagues, including Vincent Lombardi, purporting to show a link between the virus and the syndrome — a paper about which they issued an Expression of Concern in May. The retraction is of a table and a figure — more on that in a bit.

In an excellent blow-by-blow account in Science of the nearly 20-year-long saga, also out today, Jon Cohen and Martin Enserink review the unusual circumstances of that Expression of Concern. Science editor-in-chief Bruce

Alberts and Science Executive Editor Monica Bradford had first suggested that Mikovits and her co-authors retract the paper voluntarily. “Science feels it would be in the best interest of the scientific community,” they wrote in a 26 May letter. Mikovits was livid and questioned Alberts’s motives. “Who wrote that letter? I don’t think it was Science,” she says. The co-authors thought the retraction request was premature, too. “What if we walk away from this based on contamination and it’s not contamination?” Lombardi asked. “You’ve got to give us time to figure this out.”

Alberts stresses that they floated the retraction idea because Science already planned to publish the Expression of Concern. “It wasn’t a public call for retraction,” he notes, emphasizing that the recipients shared it with the media. He also does not think it would have been premature, although he says it’s often a tough call whether to retract a paper. “Ultimately, it requires expert judgment and a lot of sensitivity to the issues,” he says. “We had lost confidence in the results.”

As Science noted in May, two studies accompanied the May Expression of Concern Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

September 22, 2011 at 2:00 pm

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