P.O. Box 98199
Washington, DC 20090-8199
Oh for fucks sake.
Just after Jenny McCarthys ‘keynote address‘ at an ‘autism’ conference sponsored by AUTISMONE and Generation Rescue, Judy Mikovits is going to talk to everyone about XMRV (3-4 pm).
Judy, you are one pathetic excuse of a ‘scientist’.
Did you happen to see who else is speaking at that “conference?”
Discredited fraudster Dr. Andrew Wakefield is giving not one but two presentations, including (WARNING: turn off all irony meters before reading further: The Elizabeth Birt Center for Autism Law and Advocacy Keynote Address!
Rather-son tag-team quacksters Mark & David Geier will also present.
Then there’s the session on “Homeopathy & Homotoxicology and Their Role in Reversing Vaccine Injury.” (Although I admit, it makes a certain kind of sense to treat imagined vaccine injuries with imaginary medicines.)
Is Mikovits really that clueless, or does she consider this an appropriate forum for her work?
I hope somebody from the CFS crowd covers Drimble Wedge and the Vegetations….
That speakers list sounds like “Orac’s greatest hits”. Someone send him the transcripts.
After I recovered from the facepalm, I did a Google search for “XMRV and autism” because I hadn’t heard anything about this. I discovered this marvelous quote from Mikovits (emphasis mine):
“On that note, if I might speculate a little bit,” she said, “This might even explain why vaccines would lead to autism in some children, because these viruses live and divide and grow in lymphocytes — the immune response cells, the B and the T cells. So when you give a vaccine, you send your B and T cells in your immune system into overdrive. That’s its job. Well, if you are harboring one virus, and you replicate it a whole bunch, you’ve now broken the balance between the immune response and the virus. So you have had the underlying virus, and then amplified it with that vaccine, and then set off the disease, such that your immune system could no longer control other infections, and created an immune deficiency.”
I have definitely moved from seeing her as a researcher with a cause to a researcher with a desire to get her name mentioned everywhere possible, no matter what bullshit she needs to cook up in order to get there.
Ah, I also found the abstract for her presentation:
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) share common clinical features including immune dysregulation, increased oxidative stress, increased expression of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines, mitochondrial dysfunction and chronic active microbial infections suggesting an underlying immune deficiency may be involved in subgroups of CFS and ASD. We recently demonstrated the first direct isolation of an infectious gammaretrovirus, XMRV, from the blood of CFS patients. We have developed quantitative assays to detect XMRV replication and infection in cell culture. Moreover, we found evidence of XMRV infection in >85% of more than 200 CFS patients tested to date. These data implicate a role for XMRV infection in the pathogenesis of CFS. Because of the clinical similarities of CFS and ASD, we hypothesized that XMRV infection may also be detected in subgroups of ASD. This presentation will update the status of XMRV research, show evidence of XMRV infection in ASD and discuss the implications of XMRV infection in the pathogenesis of neuroimmune disease including ASD.
Which I translate to “I really wanted to get my name associated with autism too, so here’s a whole buttload of baseless speculation for you.”
I saw the abstract, but hadn’t seen the other quote about “why vaccines would lead to autism in some children.”
Until now, I was still trying to give her some benefit of the doubt. No longer. This woman is a crank.
qetzal, I hear that. I also didn’t want to write her off entirely, because as someone with CFS I do have hopes, and am trying to remain a good skeptic. (That is, keeping my mind open about XMRV, but not so open that my brain falls out.)
That she has thrown her lot in with the “vaccines cause autism” crowd has utterly discredited her with me, possibly permanently unless she turns her act around.
You all are funny with your half a batch of info and trying to make anything other than a sad sad cake. If you watch the show that quote is from, Nevada Newsmakers, you can see that Dr. Mikovits just gets enthused and starts speculating as to the possibilities, which as far as I’m aware is what makes a good scientist.
She just discovered a new human retroviral infection at the time and was pumped. She also likes to speculate as well, what a bitch. Thinking about things is for dummies, dontyaknow? Perhaps you happened to miss the part where she clearly stated “if I might speculate a little bit…”? The host is the one who brings up autism and Dr. Mikovits refers to unpublished work the WPI has already done which found XMRV in a ‘significant number’ of samples taken from autism patients. What a showboat! She also clearly mentions ‘the hypothesis’ that kids were fine until they got a vaccine, which is a pretty common statement among parents of autistic children, so she speculates on that hypothesis. What a fucking douche; a scientist who likes to think about things and conduct research.
“She just discovered a new human retroviral infection”
No, she did not discover XMRV.
“The host is the one who brings up autism”
And yet Mikovits is presenting at an autism conference.
Your apologia is entertaining, to say the least.
For the same reason you would be in denial that vaccines cause cancer.
From what I’ve heard, the prostate cancer study didn’t prove XMRV was a human pathgen, but the Science paper did. Perhaps someone a little more educated on the subject can expound on that.
From your own post- “This presentation will update the status of XMRV research, show evidence of XMRV infection in ASD and discuss the implications of XMRV infection in the pathogenesis of neuroimmune disease including ASD”. XMRV found in samples taken from autism patients= making a presentation at an autism conference. What nerve. She’s also going to present at a haematology conference in Europe!http://www.bshconferences.co.uk/prog/prog_wed.htm#
Call tha po-lice, Dr. Mikovits be presentin’ research at conferences!
Oh no! She’s also collaborating with the NCI! How pathetic! http://ccr.cancer.gov/Staff/staff.asp?profileid=5518
Conducting research, publishing that research, and presenting said research at scientific conferences; what a bunch of bullshit. Well said, ZenMonkey, well said.
John, you are completely missing the point of my objection, which is this:
“This might even explain why vaccines would lead to autism in some children…”
There is no link between vaccines and autism. She is now in the land of Wakefield with that statement. Of course it’s only speculation, as you say…because she’s talking about a problem that doesn’t exist! On the basis of her one (as yet unreplicated and uncorroborated) study, she is now playing to the antivax crowd.
Where exactly in the abstract did you see anything about vaccines? In an interview she speculated on a hypothesis; big fucking deal. Again, some people like to think about things. From what I’ve seen her paper is on XMRV and autism, which looks to be what she is to be presenting on at this conference.
“She also clearly mentions ‘the hypothesis’ that kids were fine until they got a vaccine, which is a pretty common statement among parents of autistic children, so she speculates on that hypothesis.”
The issue of vaccines and autism, CFS, etc. are somewhat to relatively prominent hypotheses. She speaks to the hypothesis of vaccines and autism, clearly stating it as such. Fuck anyone who says that the issue with vaccines and illness is solved, over, done, etc. There’s plenty of reasons why vaccines might not be totally healthy, and fuck anyone who labels people who either find fault or merely discuss potential faults with vaccines as ‘antivax nutjobs’. Vaccines are a primary method of introducing illnesses in laboratory animals such as EAE, yet vaccines are just a-ok in the human population and produce no illness whatsoever. Just like MLV’s don’t infect humans, right? Everybody knows that!
What some people seem to be forgetting is that basically every single advance, not only in medical science but in human history itself, came as a result of basically everybody else either being wrong or just plain ignorant of the subject, which is the very reason why it’s labelled an advance. An advance establishes new ground. Retroviruses themselves weren’t thought possible to exist. The retrovirus from which XMRV came was thought not to be able to infect humans. Do you realize there are probably more examples of the medical establishment being wrong that there are of it being right? The entirety of the medical establishment has a long and convoluted history of having no fucking clue what it is talking about, and yet you and so many others expect people to believe that somehow on the subject of this and other as yet undeciphered illnesses the medical establishment is somehow magically on top of the ball. In case you haven’t noticed, a significant proportion of this same medical establishment doesn’t even believe the disease you and I suffer from(CFS) exists, either, so that in itself should tell you how far you can trust these ‘experts’.
“Ten years in the scientific wilderness is a long time; few have had to bear the silence of their colleagues for so long. I can remember meetings in the 1960s when Howard[Temin] would present his latest data supporting the provirus notion only to be greeted by either skeptical questions or quiet, polite disbelief.”
Well, John, your calm, reasoned rhetoric does certainly invite further discussion, but I think I’ll leave that to someone with a more masochistic bent. One last clarification:
“Fuck anyone who says that the issue with vaccines and illness is solved, over, done, etc.”
Check my previous comment. I said “autism,” not “illness.” Again: no link between vaccines and autism. Have fun.
“Vaccines are a primary method of introducing illnesses in laboratory animals such as EAE, yet vaccines are just a-ok in the human population and produce no illness whatsoever.”
We measure the rates of adverse reactions in human populations that are associated with vaccines. So your speculation is uneccessary (got more than one example of vaccine-induced animal illness?). Instead we can refer to the data form population-wide human surveillance. Don’t forget, vaccines are tested for safety prior to use and some have been withdrawn. So they are not assumed to be safe automatically.
A scientist should publicise her results, not her hypotheses.
Fuck anyone who endangers public health without a good reason.
This is so sad. John, Mikovitz is presenting at an antivax event. She’s at the very, very least giving credibility to Wakefield and McCarthy. Of course, she isn’t just doing that very little bit – she’s also going to “speculate” for the attendees, playing on their preconceptions. This is despicable behavior from a PI and the ‘final straw’ for me. She’s irredeemable without drastic and public changes.
Not that you would probably care, since you seem to be just fine with people claiming autism has anything to do with vaccines. These people aren’t ‘wondering’ about potential effects of vaccines, they’re making utterly unsupported claims and making strong insinuations. It’s why they’re attending an antivax conference rather than, you know, publishing their speculations or actually working on seeing if they have any basis in fact. Mikovitz has nothing to offer parents with autistic children. Nothing.
For those (one guy?) too uninterested to get why even just that one quote by ZenMonkey is utterly irresponsible, I have an example.
Let’s say we have a different PI who says this: Let me just speculate for a bit. This could explain how antibiotics would cause brain damage.
All by itself, it’s awkwardly phrased and imprecise. Are they speculating about both the explanation and whether the brain damage is caused by antibiotics, or just the explanation? Well, let’s add the context: they’re joining a circuit of speakers and events that routinely try to claim an association between antibiotics and brain damage. In fact, several of the speakers’ actions directly led to the underuse of antibiotics, resulting in the deaths of several people as well as serious illness for others. Most were children. None of this has any basis in fact, yet this PI is giving such misleading presentations, throwing themselves in with a group directly opposed to public health.
I would hope that most people would find the PI’s actions damning.
Crank magnetism, straight up.
John: Knock it off. Any attempt to write off Mikovits’ comments as idle speculation is blown out of the water by her participation in an antivax/woo conference. You don’t idly speculate and then give speeches about it to those who desperately want to believe it. She either believes it too, or wants others to believe it.
But then, her idle speculation should have evaporated with a couple seconds’ thought in the first place. As in: “Hmmm…what ELSE ramps up an immune response?” Or how about: “Hmmm…IS there an association between vaccines and autism to idly speculate about the causality OF?”
John you are a dumbass. EAE creates antibodies to MOG35-55, a glycoprotein in the myelin sheath. So its a vaccine but designed to incite an autoimmune response. Obviously it causes demyelination and MS like illness, that’s kind of the point. Likely if I incited an immune response to other innate animal proteins I could similarly cause illness. Since vaccines incite an immune response to viral proteins that tend not to be expressed all that much by human cells your comparison with EAE is entirely invalid and frankly laughable.
Try again fuckwit.
John at #8-etc
“You all are funny with your half a batch of info and trying to make anything other than a sad sad cake.”
Dismiss the meandering yet ultimately advancing path and past of medical science…if you will.
Laud an opportunistic bargain basement Rasputin of a Reno real estate dynasty as the reincarnation of Snow, Lister and Marcus Welby all rolled into one….if you will.
Shout “fuck anyone who..”, throw roundhouse blind punches, make bar room generalizations, pejorative yourself into a frenzy and froth with anecdotes of your personal suffering…if you will.
But do not ever talk smack on the cake.
Cake never did anything to you.
Leave cake out of it mother fucker.
I think Mikovit’s comment in the press was just idle speculation. But she seems to do it a lot, making comments in the media which she really shouldn’t.
In a way, I like this, as it lets us see how she’s thinking and where she’s a bit nutty – I find her lack of self-awareness kind of endearing too. On the other hand, such speculation can end up misleading those who instinctively think anyone claiming to be a ‘scientist’ must be making only proven claims supported by all the evidence. The vaccine debate has been rightly politicised, as a lot of parents are scared of vaccines and putting their children at greater risk by not vaccinating them.
I don’t know anything about autism – but even if there was good reason to think XMRV was linked to autsim it seems strange for the WPI to be moving on to this while their work on CFS is looking so tenuous. They’re not timid, and their lack of caution, even as three studies have come out showing no link between xmrv and CFS, seems a bit crazy.
I’ve seen lots of things linking autism and CFS over the years, but have tended to dismiss them as being primarily marketing driven. If you want to sell a quack cure to desperate patients willing to try anything – these are good groups to go for. It would be pretty funny if the WPI was just a scam organisation who’d managed to get a paper in Science and are now out to fleece a load of ill people.
Saying all that – if a flood of papers replicating their work on XMRV and CFS came pouring out, none of this would matter.
Amy, you are one pathetic excuse for a “scientist”. Are you just insanely jealous of Mikovits or hoping to get hired by Merck for more phony avian/swine/etc, etc,/flu “pandemics” propaganda? Wakefield is not the fraudulent huckster – the vaccine makers are. Recently found in vaccines: unrelated, unnecessary pig DNA, that they say isn’t harmful. Right! It’s all about the money; create a fear and sell the antidote. Public health? In a pigs eye!
“Amy, you are one pathetic excuse for a “scientist”.”
Who is Amy and why are there scare quotes around scientist?
Seriously, nothing in your post makes sense.
My wife’s best friend is the power lobbyist for PhRMA (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America). If ERV wants a private sector gig I guess could make a call.
My drinking/dominoes/pretend to be hunting buddies are Monsanto execs so behave yourself or the black helicopters will show up and rendition you out of your mom’s basement.
It’s a new McCarthy era.
OMG YOU GUYS PIG DNA!!!!!! I HEARD THERE WAS BEAR DNA TOO THEIR TURNING BABBYS INTO MANBEARPIG!!!!!11!!1
LEAVE ANDY ALONE!!!!!!
All you monkeys go back to the jungle and let scientists do their work.
This pig dna in the vaccine crap is gonna get real old real fast.
Sorry, but I don’t think it’s fair to pass off Mikovits’s vaccine comments as “idle speculation.” There’s no reasonable scientific basis to link vaccines and autism. On the contrary, multiple large, well-designed studies show that vaccines are NOT detectably linked to autism.
This woman is supposedly a scientist, with a professional interest in autism (based on the claimed association with XMRV). Is it really possible that she’s unaware of those studies? I find that hardly creditable. It’s much more likely that she’s consciously pandering to the anti-vaccinationists. Either that, or she’s an anti-vaccionationist herself. Why else would she be speaking at a conference sponsored by proponents of the scientifically discredited autism-vaccine link? Why is she sharing a stage with the likes of Jenny McCarthy, Andrew Wakefield, Mark & David Geier, & David Kirby?
She’s a crank, pure and simple. If WPI wants to be a serious, data-driven research institute, they should get rid of her right away.
ZenMonkey: “Which I translate to “I really wanted to get my name associated with autism too, so here’s a whole buttload of baseless speculation for you.”"
No, it means “My woo-marketing patron has identified the autism market as a target-rich environment of stooges willing to spend lots of money on quackery.”
“Posted by: Prometeus ” ???????
Heavens to Betsey! I’ve been spoofed.
Here I spend all day watching episodes one and two of season 5 of the Golden Girls; Sick and Tired, so that I can speak with authority on the subject of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome only to be shabbily treated.
What an affront to the spirit of internet civility.
I don’t know. Mikovits has always seemed willing to say what she thinks about subjects she doesn’t know much about. I saw some video of her answering audience questions, and she just jumped in (with provisos, but even so, it was certainly not how I’d have responded).
I think it’s quite possible she just answered a question based on her own parital memory of speculation that vaccines could be linked to autism. I think that it’s bad for her to have done this given the cultural climate in which she was speaking, but I don’t think that it means she is being intentionally dishonest or that she is a commited anti-vaccinationists. At the point she made this statement she may not have only just started to look at autism.
There are a number of things about the WPI which give us reason to be sceptical about them, but I think it’s all still quite uncertain. I wouldn’t feel comfortable classing them as cranks at this point. The most troubling thing about them (to me) is their apparent lack of concern about the three XMRV/CFS studies which have found no cases of XMRV infection – that Mikovits shoots her mouth off about things she knows little about is far less significant.
It’s certainly not impossible that the WPI are being intentionally fraudulent, although if this is the case they’ve gone about it in a strange way.
Actually… in addition, the linking of XMRV to autism at this point rings alarm bells to, but seeing as I know so little about autism, this could well just be a reflection of my own prejudices.
Just to be clear, I don’t classify WPI overall as cranks, nor do I think they are being intentionally fraudulent.
But Mikovits is definitely a crank (IMO), and she makes WPI look bad. It’s not just her speculation on vaccines and autism. It’s also this conference she’s speaking at. Not to mention her reactions to the contradictory XMRV studies (including alleging fraud by Erlwein et al!).
One act of crankery might be forgiven, but hers is a consistent behavior pattern.
qetzal and gf1: I just sent a polite but concerned email to the WPI asking if they could clarify Mikovits’ comment as well as the reason for her participation at AUTISMONE. I’m very interested in the response (including whether I even get one).
Jon H: Probably another very good translation.
What qetzal said.
Mikovits’ participation in this conference goes well beyond idle speculation. And while to my knowledge there isn’t direct evidence for this yet, it seems plausible that she’s shopping around for a disease for XMRV to cause and found a credulous population ready to support her. Whether she believes the link herself or is merely exploiting it for possible research support is almost academic; either way, she should know better.
On a personal level, there’s something I like about Mikovits.
I like the fact sh so totally failed to spruce herself up for this magasine’s photo: http://www.unr.edu/silverandblue/archive/2010/winter/Pages%20from%20NSB_Winter_2010_12-13.pdf
I like the fact she’s seems so willing to say whatever’s on her mind when she’s asked a question, even though I also think it’s irresponsible, and certainly makes her look bad.
I like the fact she seems so lacking in self-awareness and savy.
I think I feel an emotional desire to defend her in the way you would the school nerd when they’re being attacked. This could well all be utterly misplaced, and maybe she’s a cynical master-mind manipulating desperate and needy patients. It’s certainly a bit unreasonable for me to interpret her actions more favorably because she didn’t bother to glam up for a photo-shoot – but there we go. We’re all a bit nuts in our own way.
I dont’ really feel able to comment on the autism stuff. I don’t know enough about it. It could well be that speaking at this conference requires you to be a self-confessed quack – I really don’t know. I’ve tended to be dismissive of any talk of links between CFS and autism, but because of this instinctive scepticism I’ve never actually taken the time to try to understand why some argue that there is a link.
I certainly think it’s possible that the WPI is now just targeting desperate patient groups, but her presentation’s abstract could be entirely reasonable. I don’t feel able to judge.
“I like the fact she’s seems so willing to say whatever’s on her mind when she’s asked a question, even though I also think it’s irresponsible, and certainly makes her look bad.
I think I feel an emotional desire to defend her in the way you would the school nerd when they’re being attacked.”
I get that completely but be careful.
There was a lot of conversation about this very thing around the JREF ten years ago and how the shabbier, rougher or more ridiculous the Psychic was the more effective they were at selling cold readings.
We were calling it the “Spivey Effect”. People were more willing to swallow the snake oil because they believed they couldn’t possibly be fooled by somebody so improvised or just plain silly.
This is Spivey:
It tends to be a retreat of people with rationally indefensible positions, like McCarthy’s Mommys=Experts shtick.
There are some non-quacks speaking at the conference, but mostly it is a quack-fest.
@ Prometheus: It’s a danger. But things seems so uncertain now, and I think it’s generally best to give people a bit of leeway for wackiness.
I think it’s most likely that Mikovits and the WPI are honest researchers who have somehow made a mistake in their work, but got sucked in to believing their own hype. CFS is a difficult disease to produce solid research for, so there will always be some genuine reasons for dismissing papers you disagree with, and it seems quite normal for academics to get caught up in their own initial interpretations of their results. But I still think there’s a significant chance that they might have found something important.
At least with XMRV there really should be enough objective evidence that we’ll be able to find out fairly conclusively one way or the other. If their testing for XMRV is found to be unable to distinguish between blinded samples from CFS patients and healthy controls, but they go on pretending otherwise, then we’ll know that they’re kooks.
The link between prostate disease and autism is similar to that with bowel disease. It’s only obvious if your brains in your arse.
I hope somebody from the CFS crowd covers Drimble Wedge and the Vegetations.
Best movie ever.
It’s disturbing for a legitimate scientist to associate with conspiracy theorists. I cannot read minds and can not know what inspired JM to step into that trap.
That shouldn’t distract people from looking or more definitive information about CFID and also XMRV.
At least to people without the tools to dissect each of the recent studies it isn’t clear whether
- XMRV is or is not present in most CFID cases
- XMRV is or is not present in the general population
- XMRV is or is not associated with prostate cancer
- Something different from but close enough to XMRV to show a positive lab result exists in CFID cases
- None of the above, unknown pathogens likely play a role in CFID but have not been identified.
Finding the answers will yield considerable knowledge about how the immune system works. It would be pretty dumb to let a personality and politics circus end a scientific effort to light up a dark highway in medicine.
> I have definitely moved from seeing her as a researcher with a cause to a researcher with a desire to get her name mentioned everywhere possible, no matter what bullshit she needs to cook up in order to get there.
I think you are misreading her. She is obviously mildly dorky (yup, takes one to know one). I think she can be a touch naive or unworldly, or over-gentle. Otherwise she would at least realize that all y’all consider this vaccine-autism stuff to be anathema, and that it is Machiavellianly speaking a terrible idea to be associated with it. (I haven’t read any pertinent lit myself and have no opinion, other than being aware that the question is well-amenable to study, and thus the scientific consensus is pretty likely, or quite likely, to be true).
She might be a little impressionable, and I suspect she was influenced by A*** W*** having had a relapse upon receiving immunizations required for her to enter or re-enter college. (A.W. is of course the daughter of the benefactress of the WPI.) She has pointed out that replication of A.W.’s lymphocytes after vaccination might well permit increased replication of XMRV. This is certainly plausible. I’ll remain agnostic on whether it is a good idea for Mikovits to theorize about this publicly.
Honestly, I don’t really care what she dabbles in. I don’t think it is *good* for her to bolster this Jenny McCarthy sort of stuff which is probably just a bunch of loonery. But on an emotional level I don’t really care, being a bitter chronic sickie – nor do I care very intensely whether people think they need to badmouth her rudely in order to save the precious children. I’m sure most of you know that Newton was more interested in alchemical mumbo-jumbo than physics. Then too, Pauling is probably the most accomplished American scientist or intellectual ever, and you know how he ended up – pushing vitamin C as a cancer treatment. The ideal creative original personality may not necessarily always be the lean epistemic machine who can ruthlessly deracinate virtually every last false idea from his mind. Maybe you don’t even disagree with that much. But at any rate, she is much more likely to be a partial naif, a bit hyper-open-minded, and so on, than to be some kind of cynical publicity plotter who wants to extort NIH using lightly armed mobs of autism parents. Which I wanted to point out just for the heck of it.
My best to her and to mankind, etc, but I mainly care about XMRV. And there is NO QUESTION that it has now been PROVEN to be the cause of CFS. Wessely said it’s not, therefore it is. Just kidding. I realize of course that the odds are now somewhat against XMRV causing CFS, at best. Yet hope abideth.
> But Mikovits is definitely a crank (IMO), and she makes WPI look bad. It’s not just her speculation on vaccines and autism. It’s also this conference she’s speaking at. Not to mention her reactions to the contradictory XMRV studies (including alleging fraud by Erlwein et al!).
> One act of crankery might be forgiven, but hers is a consistent behavior pattern.
Why are you counting autism crankery and participation at a crank autism conference as two distinct crankifications? I question your method, sir. And getting all mad at your enemies is not crankery, it’s commonplace. You know, read between the lines, in any bitter science dispute. The hate is intense, dude. So, assuming for the sake of argument that she’s right about XMRV, she’d be no crankier than Pauling.
> They’re not timid, and their lack of caution, even as three studies have come out showing no link between xmrv and CFS, seems a bit crazy.
Logically sound in form sir. And yet I think you are not bearing fully in mind that it’s an XMRV problem, not a CFS problem. The data on Mr. X in both normals and prostate cases are just as fubar as the data on him in CFS. Obviously XMRVirology is yet languishing in its barbaric stone age (which is not to imply that it’s necessarily ever going to get any better).
Why are you counting autism crankery and participation at a crank autism conference as two distinct crankifications?
They are two separate examples of crankish behavior. gf1 wanted to argue that TV interview, where she talked about vaccines and autism, might just be “idle speculation.” And if that was the only example, I’d agree to give her a pass.
But now she’s speaking at a Generation Rescue conference. So she’s either incredibly naive for a scientist with a professional interest in autism, or she’s a crank, or she’s willing to cater to crankery if it advances her own agenda.
Take your pick.
P.S. Pauling was a crank when he pushed all his orthomolecular medicine crap, too, and I bust on him just as much.
XMRV, it’s gonna be me and you, girl
They’re gonna see me and you, girl
Run your Env through my dendrites
I’m on top of the world
And TNF-a wouldn’ have nothing on you
And type I interferons can’t believe that it’s true
They pile up like cold conjectures
Screaming to their blunt effectors
In the eye of their storm
You’re a lavender worm
With your trundling DNApol
Slowly re-arraying all
Has anyone pondered whether vaccines could precipitate autism in babies who are already developing it anyway, or going to? If so, the anecdotes about babies being fine until injections might be true (I don’t know how credible they are in themselves). At the same time, empirical evidence on vaccines not increasing the prevalence (or severity – ?) would of course also be true.
Yes, people have speculated about that. I’ve never seen credible evidence to support it, but it’s impossible to rule it out.
People have looked for evidence linking vaccines to autism over all, and they find no evidence for such a link. But we can’t rule out a link between vaccines and some small and currently unrecognized subset of autism cases. In order to test that, you’d have to have some way to distinguish that putative subset from the rest of the autism cases, so you could study it specifically.
The problem with that is that there’s no good basis to pursue such links. The whole reason to blame vaccines in the first place was the apparent temporal relation between when kids get vaccinated and when they begin to show signs of autism. But research has failed to find a link. Moreover, it’s been shown that parents often ‘misremember’ that their child’s autism symptoms began right after a vaccination.
In other words, the temporal connection doesn’t really hold up either, except in the really broad sense that kids generally show symptoms of autism beginning around 2-3yo, and kids also get vaccines during their first 2-3 years. But a lot of things happen during a kid’s first 2-3 years. They get weaned onto ‘real’ food; they start watching TV; they get their first colds; etc.
So if vaccines aren’t linked to the majority of autism cases, and if the claimed close temporal link doesn’t usually hold up anyway, why should we continue to focus on vaccines as a possible cause of a hypothetical small subset? Isn’t it better to continue looking for the cause of the majority of cases?
I don’t think those anecdotes are too credible…scratch the surface and you find dates are fuzzier than reported, the parents were already primed to fear vaccines, the reported reactions aren’t as specific or documented as implied, confirmation bias, etc. It’s also quite a shrunken gap to cram a vaccine role into. But to the question itself, I don’t know if research has looked specifically at that idea or not. But I would think it ought to show up in data on age of incidence. At least that’s how I’d look for it. And I think (?) that data is available. I wonder how it would be affected by the confounders.
“She might be a little impressionable, and I suspect she was influenced by A*** W*** having had a relapse upon receiving immunizations required for her to enter or re-enter college.”
Aaaaaaaand there you have it.
Mikovits is goal oriented to the loss of all objectivity.
This makes her behavior unseemly and her claims at least subject to being viewed with a jaundiced eye.
This remains unchanged if tomorrow while fiddling with the Transmission Electron Aberration-corrected Microscope she got from Annette for Christmas, a virus in a g string playing a tune on the alto sax called “I’ve got those mean and nasty chronically fatigued blues” hoves into view.
Her entire career hinges on being able to cure cfs in one person.
Her benefactor demands results in the same way his clients demand results for his lobbying efforts and his partners for his luxury real estate schemes.
Harvey has thrown piles of his own money at Mikovits and used political muscle to extract over 19 million from the State of Nevada and millions annually in federal grants. Why? To determine cause? To refine a scatter shot clinical definition?
While the line forms out my door for wills, trusts and advance directives and I am conducting the kind of triage where I say things like “Unless you are stage 4 I couldn’t possibly see you until the end of next week.” a gazillion tax dollars in a busted economy are pouring over the general malaise of a 32 year old socialite.
Don’t get me wrong.
I think it would be nifty if Mrs.A*** W*** was cured of her syndrome and freed from the burden of Ampligen, homeopathic medicine, yoga, meditation, nutrition etc. and she could perhaps sponsor a Cris-Craft in Concours d’Elegance this year or whatever the Reno idle rich do to fill their days.
If everybody else was incidentally offered said cure that would be even niftier.
A cure extorted from a researcher who wakes up every night sweating bullets because she dreamed A*** got the hiccups and she had to go back to screaming at the Res-bar supply guy over bev-nap orders seems an unlikely scenario.
Aye there’s the rub of familial patronage.
There is a distinct possibility that Judy is being battered between competing complex personalities.
She has a patriarch who demands results (Cure her!) combined with a matriarch and a scion who have spent twenty years defining themselves as respectively, the support system and victim of a dread disease.
While she waits (and waits)for her results to be reproduced she is as aggressively jumping the gun in defending her study as she jumped the gun on the issue of causation and mounting a pulpit in front of the most critically impaired audience since well….
I’m betting that bartender gig is staring to look better and better.
I definitely agree that normal people can come up with bunk anecdotes and the like pretty frequently. While this is pretty obvious prima facie, one can also look at data on the unreliability of eyewitness testimony in court, etc.
> This makes her behavior unseemly and her claims at least subject to being viewed with a jaundiced eye.
Well with like 25 labs already in the game, it’s really only what they find that matters. When and if she publishes another paper saying “wouldn’t you know! I’m *still* finding it!,” that won’t make any difference if 20 other labs found nil.
Don’t forget, Science News – admittedly an interested party since it was Science that published her paper – said both sides know of forthcoming work supporting their own side.
So allegedly there is Something out there, though I wouldn’t bet my life on said allegation. As far as I know Science is the only public source for such information (and I don’t know of any private ones either, not that I would).
> While the line forms out my door for wills, trusts and advance directives and I am conducting the kind of triage where I say things like “Unless you are stage 4 I couldn’t possibly see you until the end of next week.” a gazillion tax dollars in a busted economy are pouring over the general malaise of a 32 year old socialite.
I think she is pretty much prostrated, and I doubt she socializes in person very much – note that she was unable to attend or finish college. But that’s not even the point – those who fall very ill find that the ability to do stuff or not means little, compared to whether you simply feel OK or awful (perhaps awful enough to want to die). This is borne out in research. To the extent that you can accurately measure someone’s happiness by just asking them, the handicapped are no less happy than they were when bodily intact. In contrast the pained are markedly unhappier than controls.
Cancer primarily attacks people who are 45+ and especially 55+. A*** W*** got sick at like 15 or something. Someone who got terminal cancer at 60, or even 40, probably got a sweetheart deal compared to her. Personally, while I’m now much better, indeed rather near normal, I was in hell for two years starting at age 22. I spent like 6 hours a day just contemplating suicide, every single day, and just reflexively imagining spurting blood whenever I saw my wrist. I did not have enough attention and focus to stop this train of thought. I could only halt it for 30 seconds at a time tops, except when I was feeling relatively well. You sound like a man who has probably gotten extremely wasted at least a few times in life, so I’ll just say it was like a very severe hangover except with much worse mental stuff. But it never ended (until it did), and for all I knew I would be like that every day til I died.
She was 11-12.
Same age I was when I got out of my leg braces.
Protip 1: Don’t expound your jolly cripple theory anywhere near a rehab center unless your suicidal fantasies involve death by sodomy with a Fetterman forearm crutch.
Protip 2: My trusts are not for people that are dying, they are for the ten year olds watching mom scream in agony at the grocery store when she put her hand in her pocket before she remembered the radiation made her fingernails fall out.
I don’t have less sympathy for you than anyone else who is extremely ill but don’t have the expectation that my sympathy should be greater.
Or that Judy throwing fits and playing Rasputin scores points.
One of my coffee buddies has CFS, or rather he did. He put on his pajamas, walked out into the back yard and blew his brains out last year.
He would have made a good spokesman or maybe you would.
Cause it aint conducive to appropriate public recognition of your illness to have it carried to its royal wedding by a team of private medical professionals in a ampligen studded palanquin chair.
Your wikipedia is showing, Prometheus.
> I don’t have less sympathy for you than anyone else who is extremely ill but don’t have the expectation that my sympathy should be greater.
Bah, didn’t ask for it to be. It seemed like you were saying CFS didn’t merit research compared to cancer, and I was reacting to that. But anyway, twice as miserable *is* twice as miserable, though the experiences aren’t measurable. And getting sick as a kid is worse than in one’s 20s which is worse than in one’s 40s, ceteris paribus. As you seem to agree. At least you can always kill yourself, at worst – if you’re sane, anyway. That’s one of the heart-warming features of the universe.
I was somewhat wrong about the jolly cripple thing, which is pretty weak of me. (But maybe my name, which is not meant sarcastically, partly indemnifies me.) They are thought of as being “surprisingly happy,” but *not* close to as happy as controls on average. This paper showed lower happiness for chronic osteomyelitis patients (painful bone infection) than certain amuputees:
“Quality of life assessment of patients with posttraumatic fracture nonunion, chronic refractory osteomyelitis, and lower-extremity amputation.”
Another paper, “The disability paradox: high quality of life against all odds,” states
“we note that 54.3% of the persons with serious
disabilities in the study reported that they had an
excellent or good quality of life. These numbers com-
pare with 80-85% of persons with no disabilities who
report they are satisfied or very satisfied with their
quality of life in various national surveys in the 1990′s
(Leitman et al., 1994).”
Though you have to wonder if the figures are exactly comparable.
> He would have made a good spokesman or maybe you would.
My social acumen is around the 20th percentile for the US population, as best I can tell. I would probably make a public faux pas before long.
HEY ALL YOU PEOPLE IT IS OBVIOUS VACCINES CAUSE AUTISM IT IS PROVEN BY ARTICLES IN MEDICAL HYPOTHESES THE MOST IMPORTANT MEDICAL JOURNAL OF OUR TIME. JUDY MIKOWITZ SHOULD PUBLISH IN IT MORE. JUDY WE LOVE YOU AND YOU CAN SERVE ME A DRINK IN YOUR NEW BAR ANY TIME!
Whatever. You’re badmouthing one of the most accomplished and beneficient people alive – maybe. If she turns out to be right about XMRV in CFS and autism, you’ll seem like kind of a jaggoff in retrospect, nein? We’ll know soon enough. I still give it 33% odds. Again, note that
1. XMRV findings in prostate patients and normals are maximally contradictory so far – not just the CFS findings. It’s an XMRV mystery, not a Mikovits-only mystery.
2. Cleveland and NCI had her back on the Science results – they replicated.
Why only attack Mikovits, what about these two http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWOWvdiXiSE. No need to focus on one person.
Moron– …one of the most accomplished and beneficient people alive…
Not on the planet Im living on, whether shes ‘right’ or not. Could you even name another scientist?
1. I have already written about XMRV and prostate cancer.
2. Silverman didnt go into hysterics and accuse other laboratories of fraud when they didnt find XMRV in their cancers or their RNaseL connection.
3. Silverman is not speaking at anti-vax conferences.
I have no problem with Dr. Silverman, so what exactly am I supposed to ‘attack’ him for?
What of the video? and the following bits.
XMRV discovery and linkage to Prostate Cancer & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Also investigated if it may be also be associated with CFS.
We identified XMRV in 67% of CFS patients.
This exciting discovery may open the door to new diagnostic treatments, and ultimately lead to a vaccine that prevents diseases caused by this virus.
Sandra Ruscetti is to speaker at this Event http://meetings.cshl.edu/meetings/retro10.shtml
1. Silverman was a collaborator in CFS XMRV study
2. Fraud is an enoumous problem in CFS, psychiatric research. (Reading papers will demonstrate this – The Wessley school) Try Magical medicine, by Prof Hopper.
3. Wessley collaborated on the first UK study.
4. What if someone who disagreed with the vaccine/ autism theory presented at the anti-vax conferance. Would that make you feel better? What exactly makes the conferance unworthy? Is it your assumptions? Mikovits is also presenting to the British Heomotology Socitey. If she presents the same information there, does that make it more valid?
Sorry, should have read British Society of Hematology. (I will blame the broken hand)
There aren’t many recent achievements in medicine of this magnitude, again if she’s right. I’m speaking on a purely medical point of view, and only of things that have come to fruition clinically. The major advances in transplantation were decades ago. All very important achievements in infection and antimicrobials were decades ago, except the HAART stuff and H. pylori: beyond those two you’re going all the way back to streptomycin, PAS, and izoniazid, and then penicillin. Endocrinology: decades ago. Anti-inflammatories: decades ago, except anti-TNF Ab.
I leave out of account surgery, which I know nothing about. Not very knowledgeable about cancer either. The cervical cancer thing is fantastic but it’s not an abundant disease. It’s no footnote either. I’d place it in the meso range.
Obviously a lot of luck goes into most advances unless one is Isaac Newton or something, and a whole lot of knowledge from prior workers goes into it too. But a win is a win. The point of science is to advance. Just to have the most formidable knowledge of what is already known, is not in itself the point, and is not what I’m claiming may turn out to bring immortality to Mikovits’ name. I’m sure you’re aware of the hilarious beliefs of Kary Mullis, yet he’s not exactly unaccomplished (though I don’t think he invented the actual concept of PCR int he most abstract sense).
Newton was pretty lucky to have that apple fall when it did. I’ve sat by many an apple tree and not seen one fall. Lucky bastard.
> I’m speaking on a purely medical point of view, and only of things that have come to fruition clinically.
Eh, since her thing hasn’t come to clinical fruition itself, I guess my post has a little logic problem. Still, you get my point.
And how many definite major disease etiologies have been uncovered in recent decades? HIV. H-py. Cervical cancer (meso prevalence – not sure when discovered). Cystic fibrosis and CFTR, I think (a minor disease – minor prevalence, I mean). Borrelia burgdorferi (not an important disease, as far as we know).
So HIV and H-py are the only big ones I’ve got. I hope I don’t seem like a jerk for rating the importance of various diseases. Public health people and big jocks at NIH do it: they measure in terms of DALY (disability-adjusted life years), or something like that.
There’s that super-hydration treatment for cholera. That’s probably important. But my mind was on things that affect our world here in the West.
> beyond those two you’re going all the way back to streptomycin, PAS, and izoniazid, and then penicillin.
And polio in between. Those were the decades.
Fuck all of you and if you don’t stop talking about me Im going to sue all of you for defamation of character.
The previous comment will be reinstated if said user emails me proof if their ID/dox.
Otherwise, *frowny face* at someone who used a real name as a handle for lulz… Not funny when dealing with CFS True Believers.
My blog readers, you will have to forgive me.
Though I take pride in the free speech allowed on ERV and never censor/edit comments, especially reasonable ones, A*** has asked that her name be removed from the comments on this post.
No, readers, I have not sold out.
I have sold out for lulz*.
And that I shall never apologize for.
*lulz forthcoming tomorrow– I got a presentation at 8-fucking-15 am tomorrow, so Im going to bed now.
This has to be the most disgusting blog I have read. Tall poppy syndrome for sure. I’m glad this research is not in your hands.
Yeah, Abbie! It’s DISGUSTING!!! how you demand evidence and don’t just through patients to the wolves of whackos and woo merchants and random internet fuckwads like mgb!
Shame on you!
Tall puppies for you!
I think a lot of people should keep their opinions to themselves. Personal attacks are not needed, so keep your beaks out. Let the scientists involved get on with discovering the truth. Shame on you all for making fun of ME patients, disgusting!
I have complete and utter respect for the WPI Institute, Dr Judy Mikovits and the Whittemore Family. I can understand why people may be sceptical but not with the venom some of you seem to feel on this. I have CFS/ME, I live in the UK and I am XMRV positive so for forgive me for believing in their research, I do not feel it is a coincidence that I have both. In all my dealings with the WPI I have found them all to be utterly honest and committed to finding a cause and a cure for CFS/ME, that does not just include for their daughter, it is for everyone with CFS/ME. You complain about Dr Mikovits and all her hypotheses, hers are backed up through years of experience and years of science…what are all your hypotheses backed up with? I think some of you have been offensive personally towards Dr Mikovits..well give me someone anyday who is more dedicated to her work than perhaps looking in a mirror. I think some of you have too much time on your hands.
what have ervs got to do with humans
perhaps there needs to be some epigenetic control of this erv
The difference is that dr mikovits is a real scientist and erv is not nor likely to be given the level of knowledge displayed in this area.
the study of the epigenetic genetic control of ervs should be a fairly short one as they are themselves epigenetic ageants
perhaps ervs problem with dr mis a mouse to woman thing
By the way, it has just been announced that Glaxo Smith Kline have funded a new study that will evaluate CFS patients with characteristics similar to the Science paper. CFS patients known to have XMRV from the Science paper will be used as a positive control. This study is designed to estimate the prevalence of XMRV in CFS subjects (selected by the modified Fukuda criteria and the Canadian criteria) and healthy control subjects. Ethics board approval is pending but they expect the study to begin shortly. Arguably this is the first true replication study announced since the Science paper was published last October…why don’t you wait and see the results before you hypothesize again.
Sounds like a real + control and a real, proper replication. Very glad to hear it.
JAS, experience is not a get-out-of-science-free card. Abbie has listed several flaws in Mikovits’s research and explained the problems, so you should understand what’s wrong with it.
Her attendance as a speaker at an antivaccine conference simply seals the deal. It is an irresponsible move for any PI, let alone one going around irrationally accusing others of fraud and making a stink about their own ill-supported conclusions. There’s a pattern here: sloppy conclusions, sloppy public relations, sloppy relations with other labs, sloppy regard for the truth. Whether she works hard doesn’t matter if she’s working hard for the wrong thing.
“There is a distinct possibility that Judy is being battered between competing complex personalities.
She has a patriarch who demands results (Cure her!) combined with a matriarch and a scion who have spent twenty years defining themselves as respectively, the support system and victim of a dread disease.”
If we’re being honest, surely we can understand why stumbling across that sort of speculation about yourself would be pretty hurtful if you’d spent most of your life being seriously ill and desperate to get better.
Imagining the psycho-dynamics of the WPI might just seem fun here, but it’s not really fair on the individuals involved, especially the daughter, who doesn’t seem to have done anything to make herself a public figure.
I didn’t bother mentioning it at the time, but kind of wish I had now.
“This has to be the most disgusting blog I have read.”
Lurk more but in the meantime, congratulations on your purchase of the Tandy 2000. Your spread sheets are going to look fantastic!
“Tall poppy syndrome for sure. I’m glad this research is not in your hands.”
ERV is a North American, one of the winner obsessed freaks of the first world. North Americans don’t get Tall Poppy. We’re whores for wealth and fame for their own sake. We have no regard for merit.
If you need a derisive sociological metaphor, this blog is more like “Crabs in a Bucket”.
” …but it’s not really fair on the individuals involved, especially the daughter, who doesn’t seem to have done anything to make herself a public figure.”
I worry about my privacy too, that’s why I grant consecutive interviews and photo shoots for the New York Times and post my biography in support forums.
Now stop criticizing me or I will sue you.
The proof’ll come out
So just stay in bed
Don’t have to pay!
I love ya,
@Shirakawasuna….you are right, experience is not a get out of jail card, however, she deserves more respect than you are affording her. If you have a point re flaws you feel in the science great…state them…I am all for free speech. However, the way that it is being done in relation to both Dr Mikovits and the Whittemore family including of a very sick woman is in my view unacceptable. Where you are wrong is a sloppy disregard for the truth..her work was peer reviewed for 6 months by the best you can get and verified in 3 seperate laboratories. It is being put to the test with this latest study and she is co-operating with that. History will determine who is right.
The proof’ll come out
Bet your bottom dollar
There’ll be proof!
Takin’ my Ampligen ‘til
Noblesse oblige is hollow,
And the sorrow
I’m so bored!
You can confirm contamination in 20 separate laboratories or 3, who cares? Explain to ERV why the sequences are freakin’ identical. These peeps for 25 years had a retrovirus and they did not get any mutations, that is impossible.
If you want to make a complaint about Erv here’s her details:
Name: Abigail Smith
Title: Graduate Student
Address: Department of Immunology and Microbiology
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
Areas of Expertise: viral evolution, endogenous retroviruses, genetics
Here’s her uni: http://www.ouhsc.edu/
“The Office of Community Partnerships and Health Policy is a part of the OUHSC Provost Office. The mission of Community Partnerships and Health Policy is to better connect OUHSC to the community.”
Maybe this is her way of connecting OUHSC with the community?
Hey Sal, is that you again?
Dinna fash yerself, folks.
Just keep calm and carry on…
Ive heard the best way to gain scientific legitimacy is to post the personal information of young female graduate students on the internet, and encourage harassment.
Oh, wait, no, that was a move from the HIV-1 Deniers.
ie, The Kooks.
Congratulations, CFSers! YOURE CREEPY! *balloons and confetti fall from the ceiling** YAAAAAAY!!!
Shame on you all for making fun of ME patients, disgusting!
I’m a ME/CFS patient and I’m not remotely bothered.
If the WPI and Mikovits are so morally upright and open about their intentions, I’m curious why I still haven’t received a response to my email. You’d think they’d be eager to correct my “misapprehensions.”
This is one of the the most factually inadequate “scientific” blogs I have read in a long time. But then it is written by a young grad student so what more can one expect? Perhaps said grad student should do a bit of reading into the history and politics of M.E. before spouting regurgitated drivel. There are a lot of dodgy dealings on the psychiatric side of things in the UK. The first negative study was conducted by a psychiatrist (psychiatrist and virology study…hmm one of these things is not like the other) who has a lot to lose if XMRV were found to be the cause of M.E. Having built his livelihood on the false belief that M.E/CFS is psychiatric condition. The third XMRV study (although you can hardly call it a study) is the same. A “friend” of first negative proclaimer. Now whether it’s fraud is another matter but all were rushed to publication with little to no peer review – and in one case (the first neg study) money was exchanged to get it published. Hmmm. Hardly sturdy, robust science. Several weeks research versus several years; 2 day review by editor of online journal versus 6 months peer review in Science. Which one sounds more credible?
You might also be interested to know that Wessley (first neg study) holds sway over the media, being on the panel of the Scientific Advisory Panel set up by New Labour in the UK. He has access to all major media channels and decides what information relating to M.E. is given out to journalists. Another reason why he has been able to hoodwink the general population and repress the true nature of M.E.
Being in the US you may not realise exactly what M.E. sufferers are having to endure here in the UK. We are not given full access to pertinent tests; our doctors are specifically told NOT to test for co-conditions that will prove the physiological nature of the illness, ie doctors are told not to conduct a tilt table test which would show how our circulatory system is compromised; and we are only offered psychiatric treatment. (Wessley was responsible for setting up the M.E. clinics in the UK which offer purely psychiatric treatment measures and where M.E. sufferers are forced to exercise and take CBT or face being sectioned).
Please, please, please do some research on the matter before you start attacking Dr. Mikovits on her reaction to these ludicrous XMRV-negative studies. http://www.meactionuk.org.uk/magical-medicine.htm There are a lot of desperately ill people here in the UK who are being criminally neglected. You could actually do a lot of good – just do a little reading first.
Please also be aware that the results from the WPI study was supported by two other studies so it’s not just one positive study but 3.
@Moron: I like you.
@ERV: Poor thing, outed on the interwebs. It’s hard when the shoe is on the other foot, isn’t it? Sad face.
I am amused but not surprised by the replies
Zen Monkey – maybe they are too busy actually working instead of wasting time answering your insignificant rants.
“because when I criticize or condemn another, it makes me feel bigger, superior.”
Wow big ego’s here.
ERV’s not exactly the sweetest being on the planet but it’s a bit much to advocate messing with her in real life.
95ME cries conspiracy. The insurance companies control “Wessley.” He controls the media. The media control the sheeple.
But it doesn’t make sense. I work in insurance. I dont want to pay claims. I want my company to deny CFS claims so I decide CFS sufferers are malingerers. I control Wessely so I tell him to cook up research that CFS is a crock of shit. The absolute last thing I want is Wessely saying CFS is a real debilitating disorder. The next to last thing I want him saying is there is therapy that works and I the insurance guy, should pay some damn psychologists for people to get it.
With my awesome conspiracy in place why does Wessely say exactly what I don’t want him to?
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