One ‘insider’ thing I hope ERV readers learn about science from this blag, is that in science, controversies are completely normal, everyday occurrences. Outsiders might think scientists are ‘mean’ when dealing with anti-vaxers/Creationists/whatever, but how we treat non-scientists manufacturing a controversy is no different than how we react to one another in a real scientific controversy.
For example, Behe feigned offense when I pointed out he was a friggin IDiot regarding HIV-1 evolution, yet technically, my response to him was muted (what got published was not my first draft *blink*). If Behe were a scientist, he would be used to being ‘corrected’ like that– thats how we operate.
But usually controversies in science arent *that* dramatic, because you assume someone in another lab is just as interested in finding the ‘right’ answer as you are.
For example, my lab is involved in the MMTV controversy (Ive written about before). Some labs think MMTV can infect humans. Some think it cant. Our lab is just biochemically characterizing MMTV infection, but we started doing this research because MMTV might be able to infect humans. Certainly it would be neat if it can, but thats not really our labs focus. There are passive aggressive ‘words’ exchanged between the ‘CANNOT!’/’CAN TOO!’ camps, but Im completely confident the more we learn about MMTVs life-cycle, we will resolve this ‘controversy’.
Here is an example of what YOU DO NOT DO if you are a professional scientist involved in a ‘controversy':
You can’t claim to replicate a study if you don’t do a single thing that we did in our study,” she said. “They skewed their experimental design in order to not find XMRV in the blood.”
“They paid to have their study published in the Public Library of Science, and it was then picked up by Science (magazine),” said Mikovits said, who suspects insurance companies in the United Kingdom are behind attempts to sully the findings of the Reno study.
“They want to know if we are going to give up because a few people are attacking us, but no, we are not going to give up,” Mikovits said. “We are still trying to develop drugs to treat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. That was our goal, and nothing has changed.”
I read these statements to a new grad student in our lab. Me: “What would you think of Bossman if he said this sort of thing to the press?” New kid: “I would lose a lot of my respect for him.”
Just like if a PhD makes an ass of himself talking about Creationism, these stupid statements require a throwdown. I will not let Average Joes/Janes think this woman is scientifically trustworthy.
You can’t claim to replicate a study if you don’t do a single thing that we did in our study…
They looked for XMRV proviral DNA in the blood of CFS patients. That is exactly what you did in Point 1 of my review of the Science paper.
Side note: both labs did regular PCR, not Real-Time-PCR, so frankly, you both suck. What is this, 1993?
“They skewed their experimental design in order to not find XMRV in the blood…
… (Mikovits) suspects insurance companies in the United Kingdom are behind attempts to sully the findings of the Reno study…”
Lets be 100% clear, here. What Mikovits is suggesting is an organized conspiracy, lying, and scientific fraud in another lab. How is this statement any different than anti-vaxers saying researchers ‘dont want to find the link between vaccines and autism’, and they sold out to BIG PHARMA? How is this statement any different than Creationists saying Average Joe/Jane scientists are SUPPRESSING evidence to support Creation?
This is some serious shit. This accusation is no fucking joke. The scientific world runs on all of us being truthful– this is my reaction to a Creationist calling me a scientific liar. If another researcher said what Mikovits just said, to me, in real life, there would be a fight. If I were the British group, Id have an awful hard time not taking advantage of their loose slander/libel laws…
Unless, of course, Mikovits has evidence to support her claims. So where is the evidence that McClure et al were purposefully and knowingly performing scientific fraud? Intercepted emails? A whistle-blower from the inside? Why do I get the feeling that this evidence does not exist, and Mikovits is just a gigantic fucking cunt?
They paid to have their study published in the Public Library of Science…
No one who has ever published anything would say something that goddamned stupid. You pay to publish in every journal, stupid! Thats the whole fucking point of PLOS! Classic journals make you pay to publish, then volunteers review your papers, then the journal charges for article access. PLOS, you pay, people volunteer, but everyone gets to read your shit.
So let me be 100% clear again. What Mikovits just did was misrepresent Science to the public in order to gain sympathy from laypeople and to discredit other scientists valid work, in a completely non-scientific manner. So, now she is a deceitful, conniving, gigantic fucking cunt. You think I get mad when journalists misrepresent Science, for a PhD, a principle investigator to do it in a malicious manner… Im not being funny, guys. I am genuinely angry at this woman.
They (CFS patients) want to know if we are going to give up because a few people are attacking us…
No one is attacking you, stupid. Okay, well, technically I am now, but I wasnt when you made these statements. The British PLOS paper simply said they found no association between XMRV and CFS, and maybe XMRV is endemic in the US. Same thing I thought was a possibility. Par for the course for what Ive read with the MMTV controversy.
So once again, Mikovits is being manipulative, suggesting another groups scientific statements are actually personal attacks, ‘attacking us’, while providing no scientific response. Like a Creationist.
We are still trying to develop drugs to treat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. That was our goal, and nothing has changed.
Aaaaand now weve graduated from ‘deceitful, conniving, gigantic fucking cunt’ to just good old fashioned dangerous. We are now well into Kook Kountry here. Other labs have difficulty finding XMRV in Europe. Another lab in England cant find XMRV in their CFS patients. But instead of thinking “Maybe, just maybe, there is an alternative explaination for why we find XMRV in CFS patient samples, lets hold off on the anti-retrovirals for now”, Mikovits says shes moving forward, full speed ahead, like nothing ever happened.
Anti-retrovirals, while they have extended the length and quality of life for HIV-1 patients, are serious shit. They arent fucking vitamins that are like “Eh, whatevs. They might help, but they dont hurt nothin.” Could you imagine giving someone chemotherapy and radiation therapy cause maybe they have cancer. Maybe not. Whatevs. That is exactly what Mikovits is suggesting! They have no evidence that their XMRV-CFS connection is causative and not simply a correlation, yet shes all gung-ho about pumping serious fucking drugs into CFS patients that already have a shitload of medical issues.
WHAT THE FUCK.
This is NOT how Science works, ladies and gentlemen.
Judy Mikovits? You suck. Grow the fuck up and learn to be a scientist.