This is insanity, people.
#1– Lead author of the Reno XMRV–>CFS study is holding a live-streamed press conference at Hotel Mar Monte on Friday.
This is insanity. They have no evidence connecting XMRV to CFS in anything but a casual manner, and yet she is giving a presentation/Q&A to CFS patients. Insanity.
Why in gods name would any scientist with any sense of self-worth agree to this event?
I mean, I ‘debated’ Lenny and his magic tuning forks, but that was for lulz. Im assuming Mikovits is serious about this.
#2– I am completely baffled by VIPDX super awesome NEW diagnostic test. Okay, old test was PCR. Fine. I mean, sure it had a false positive rate of 1:25, where the false positive rates of HIV-1 tests are 1:250,000 (at worst), but whatever, it ‘worked’.
Dudes switched to ‘viral culture based tests’.
Viral culture is an old-school way of diagnosing viral illnesses. By ‘old-school’, I mean 50-60 years ago, and they did it because they did not have technology like ‘immunology’ and ‘PCR’. Today, when you go to the doctor to get tested for Mono or flu or HIV-1 or herpes, they use todays technology– usually immunology (cheaper) but sometimes PCR (more accurate, but also more expensive).
Example– How we do HIV-1 testing.
1. You are PCR positive right after you get infected. ONLY the viral RNA (and DNA) is there.
2. Next, you are ELISA positive. The RNA/DNA is there, and its making proteins.
3. Finally, you are Western Blot positive. Viral RNA/DNA/proteins are there, and you are making antibodies to HIV-1.
Sure PCR(1) is ‘the best’, but its more expensive (especially Real-Time), so today you can just do a quick HIV-1 test to look for antibodies(3).
The only people who do viral culture for HIV-1 are research labs. They arent doing it for diagnostic purposes, they are doing it to isolate single viruses (well, their genomes) for us to study in the lab.
On no planet is viral culture ‘better for diagnosis’ of HIV-1 than PCR/ELISA/WB.
Though technically, once viral culture did give me an advantage over PCR– I infected a cell line that was labeled ‘uninfectible’ with HIV-1. I got about 50 infected cells out of a several billion cells, which is WAY below my detection threshold for PCR, and the threshold of every other HIV-1 researcher that had used this cell line. The only reason I know those 50 cells were infected was because my HIV-1 makes cells glow green when they are infected.
But, unless these patients are infected with viruses that contain EGFP, I really cannot imagine how viral culture is ‘better’ than PCR.
Furthermore, MLV is notorious for contaminating cell lines. Its not just TZM-bls, you can go to PubMed and find a number of papers that suggest routinely checking cell lines for MLV, like we regularly check for mycoplasma.
Its insane that theyre switching from PCR to culture.
Furthermore, gf01 kindly left some test results in a comment here:
Only one was postive for XMRV with both the PCR and culture test.
Seven more were positive with only the culture test.
Seven were negative for both.
We already know that 1:25 PCR results are going to be false positive, yet more patient samples were culture positive than PCR positive, which can only make sense if your friggen cell line is contaminated with Plain Jane MLV.
This is insanity.
This is pure insanity.
Im out until someone from another lab publishes.
ADDED 1-22-10: After listening to most of this presentation and Q&A, I have lost all faith in the Reno research group. I will elucidate why later when my blood pressure goes down and I take half a bottle of Xanax.