I mean for Petes sake:

Chronic fatigue syndrome researcher Judy Mikovits arrested

I mean, this is funny. No doubt this is funny.

Its funny to see The Patient Community defending Mikovits, the woman who said she didnt have a problem lying to patients when it was convenient for her.

Its funny to see The Patient Community ‘figure out’ what is going on, including the hypothesis that *I* stole the stuff (I SO DID, YOU GUAIS! I USED MY STAR TREK TRANSPORTER TO TELEPORT INTO THE WPI SEPTEMBER 30TH! I DIDNT FIGURE THIS OUT FROM PUBLICLY AVAILABLE INFO, LOL!) and that Judy is going to get shanked by Simon Wessley.

Its funny to see the WPI, like Frankenstein, getting attacked by their own monster. The ‘mobilized patient community’ they happily encouraged to attack scientists who didnt support their XMRV–>CFS narrative, is now attacking them. Its funny, and I love it.

However, I need to make it clear that I dont give a rats ass about the WPI and their books of useless notes (Im assuming everything connected to the XMRV–>CFS paper was curiously convenient contamination or active withholding of information, nothing is to believed) or their $5 flash drives or $1000 computer.

I mean, yes, Mikovits and the WPI are white trash, so yes its funny to see them fighting over a laptop and a stack of paper on ‘Judge Judy’.

But I really dont give a shit about the WPIs crap.

And I dont want Judy Mikovits in a county jail.

I want that piece of shit Science paper retracted.

I want Mikovits and Ruscetti and anyone connected to ‘withholding relevant information’ from the Science publication, causing MILLIONS and MILLIONS of dollars and man-hours of some of the smartest people on the planet to be WASTED chasing a SNIPE, during a FUNDING CRISIS… I want their asses in a federal court, explaining to a judge why, exactly, they thought their behavior was appropriate.


  1. #1 Poodle Stomper
    November 29, 2011

    I can beat that, ERV! Judy admitted to having taken the notebooks but don’t worry…she didn’t know that she couldn’t coax a current employee to steal them for her so that “WPI [would] go down” and then lied about it because…wait for it…she’s just a scientist.

    From http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_19432938

    Freeman said she actually surrendered to Washoe County deputies. He confirmed the notebooks had been returned “because they were requested.” “Consistent with her innocence, we were more than happy to provide it,” he told The Associated Press. He said any delay in producing the materials—which Mikovits initially denied having—stemmed from her failure to fully understand the workings of the legal system “Explaining to a scientist how the criminal system works is like a scientist explaining to us how to cure cancer,” Freeman said.

    What a load of horse-crap! I’m “just” a scientist and I know full well that if I ever stole material related to my research that I’d have the police on my ass! And yet, I don’t think this will change the minds of her devoted sheep.

  2. #2 Poodle Stomper
    November 30, 2011

    So yeah…there ya go. Even though she was honestly confused and thought that she was allowed to have the notebooks, she still lied about having them because…errr….crap…her lies are as bad as her science.

  3. #3 autiemum
    November 30, 2011

    From the Mercury News

    The former assistant, Max Pfost, said Mikovits told him that she was in charge of the research so that technically it belonged to her and she could transfer it elsewhere at any time.

    that makes him idiotic and naive but not wicked. It makes her delusional but we knew that already

  4. #4 autiemum
    November 30, 2011

    From the Mercury News

    The former assistant, Max Pfost, said Mikovits told him that she was in charge of the research so that technically it belonged to her and she could transfer it elsewhere at any time.

    that makes him idiotic and naive but not wicked. It makes her delusional but we knew that already

  5. #5 RRM
    November 30, 2011

    @Poodle Stomper

    Wow, that’s pretty bad, although I gather that’s really the only excuse there’s left to play…

    Problem is that not only she lied about not having the notebooks on her own, but also through her (other) lawyer. Having access to a lawyer at the time effectively eliminates any “excuse of ignorance of the law” (even if it were a valid excuse a case like this, which it is not).

    Just to refresh some memories, on 11/4, Mikovits’s attorney Lois Hart stated in a letter in reply to Whittemore claims:

    Dr. Mikovits never returned to the lab or her office after being informed she was terminated. Dr. Mikovits was not and is not in possession of the lab notebooks or any WPI intellectual property. A number of individuals have keys to the office and lab, including the administrative staff, lab staff and custodial. Your client’s concern as to the location of those notebooks, and intellectual property, should be directed elsewhere.


    Dr. Mikovits’ notebooks, as well as those of the employees whom she supervised, should be returned to Dr. Mikovits so she can fulfill her responsibilities as PI on these government grants and corporate contacts […]


    Failure of WPI to make these notebooks and raw data available to Dr. Mikovits so that she can fulfill her obligations and defend against false accusations of fraud will constitute serious harm to her reputation and scientific career.


    Dr. Mikovits cannot sign the Termination Agreement because she is not in possession of her notebooks, flash drives, nor her laptop computer, which were taken when her office and lab was in control of the WPI.

    Yeah, this all so totally ‘stemms from Judy Mikovits’s failure to fully understand the workings of the legal system’. Seems more like a tragic case of failing to understand fundamental moral values to me.

  6. #6 OWE
    November 30, 2011

    I am a (somewhat leftish) German but when I listen to what Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann et al are currently saying I am not sure whether Judy is so unique in her “failure to fully understand” after all…


  7. #7 Jack
    November 30, 2011

    You couldn’t make this stuff up even if you wanted to! Jees!

  8. #8 RRM
    November 30, 2011


    What’s wrong with Cain?


  9. #9 Poodle Stomper
    November 30, 2011


    Yeah, I certainly wonder how this will affect the Gerwyn/v99 story that ERV, Billy, other mystery person must have taken the notebooks. I highly doubt that they will take a moment to wonder to themselves whether their trust in her is misplaced after all. It certainly gives fun insight into the minds of conspiracy theorists, though.

  10. #10 OWE
    November 30, 2011


    There is nothing wrong. Everything is just sooo complicated!


    and then these complicated women…


  11. #11 Gabriel Hanna
    November 30, 2011

    Ar Technica cites you, Abbie, in a report on the collapse of XMRV as a cause of CFS:


  12. #12 Smurfette
    December 1, 2011

    What do the O’Keefe and Miller papers mean at this point?

    @105 – Yeah, BPD came to mind too… whenever there’s crazy manipulation, attacks, and self-deception. Be thankful if you have never met anyone like this in person!!

    @209 – Interesting article at the end.

  13. #13 anonymous
    December 2, 2011

    Most of the articles on the issue have managed to fuck at least a couple things up, I think that ArsTechnica one was one of the worst in terms of factual errors. Jon Cohen at Science has done the best job covering it that I’ve seen.

    It’s not been clear to me though as to exactly how Mikovits ended up in gaol and I’ve even seen people say that arresting Mikovits was a step too far, but I think I’ve figured out the basic chronology. Keep in mind this is copyright 2011, Anonymous Inc, so take the following with a grain of salt-

    1. On Sept. 29, Annette Whittemore fired Mikovits. According to Max Pfost’s affidavit on the matter, later that evening Mikovits instructed him to secretly enter the WPI and remove the lab notebooks, which he does. When the rest of the gang at the WPI see that the notebooks are missing, it appears that they assume that Mikovits has taken them somehow since I think I’ve seen quotes from Annette from around that time which say stuff like ‘Judy has the notebooks’, etc.

    2. On Nov. 4, the WPI files a civil suit against Mikovits to try and get the notebooks back.

    3. Also on Nov. 4, according to what was posted on patient forums, Mikovits and/or Mikovits’ lawyer send the WPI a letter of response to the WPI’s civil suit stating that Mikovits does not have the notebooks, Mikovits does not know where the notebooks are, maybe the janitor took the notebooks so the WPI should check with him, etc.

    IMO, this is where Mikovits really fucked up. If she had simply stated that she was indeed in possession of the notebooks and she would appreciate it if the WPI would give her the remaining notebooks, etc, then the whole thing could possibly have been settled in civil court as to who owns the notebooks, who gets copies of the notebooks, etc. However since Mikovits denied having the notebooks then the WPI basically had no choice but to report the notebooks as being stolen, which is what opened up the criminal aspect of the case.

    4. Following Max Pfost’s first affidavit dated Nov. 16, a warrant was issued and Mikovits was arrested on Nov. 18 and held without bail. So as far as I can figure it, this is how the criminal and civil cases interweave and why Judy got the banhammer.

  14. #14 RRM
    December 3, 2011


    Yes, it’s about correct. Many people though (/think) that Mikovits was arrested because of the civil suit (in the sense that she had to stay in Neveda because of it and was arrested because she didn’t), but that’s clearly not the case.

    Funny addition (at least IMO): Mikovits’s husband returned much or all of the WPI’s property on 11/23. One of Mikovits’s criminal defense attorneys said that this was in line with her having no criminal intent; she just didn’t understand how the legal system worked (although she had been consulting with attorney Hart long before that).

    However, the latest Science piece reveals that, on the basis on Pfost’s testimony, the (civil suit’s) judge granted WPI the preliminary injunction they sought, which ordered Mikovits to return the notebooks and laptop or be held in contempt of court, one day before they were returned.

    Pretty coincidental that her good intentions and sudden understanding of the law coincided with this court order to either return the WPI property, or return to jail…

  15. #15 Poodle Stomper
    December 4, 2011

    It just goes to show that 90% of what comes out of Mikovits’ mouth is a bunch of crap. She lies to patients, she lies to reporters, she lies to everyone. I find it hard to believe anyone still follows her.

  16. #16 got ilk?
    December 4, 2011

    Oh yes, Poodle Stomper, they’re still following her. Suggesting that the notebooks contain evidence that will exonerate Judy from any and all wrongdoing because someone else was responsible for any misconduct in the lab and it’s all written down. [Alternatively, the notebooks contain the cure and the Whittemores want to make money off of it — that’s why they’re maintaining the lawsuit.] They are arguing that the Pfost affadavit was coerced or fabricated. [On the other hand, if she did ask him to assist with the safe return of the notebooks it was only because they were hers to begin with.] They are arguing that whatever wrong she might have committed (if in fact she did any wrong) she did out of concern for the patients. She did because she was entitled to the notebooks, the product of her creative and scientific acumen (alone), and that if any law or contract says she shouldn’t have them then they will petition the Congress or the state or the WPI to have that law or contract repealed, changed or set aside. [Or maybe it wasn’t the notebooks that Judy’s husband returned — the Cohen articles doesn’t specify WHICH materials were returned. You choose.] They’ve covered the bases.

    Furthermore, now the blinding of the Blood Safety study is suspect. After all, Judy and Frank (the only true scientists involved in that study) got half positives. Whose to say the blinding wasn’t WRONG and that’s why the results appear to be mixed up? [Either that or Lombardi did the tests and Judy just signed off on the results and was forced to take the fall–take your choice, either case is being made.]

    They are STILL following her and falling all over themselves to make excuses for [and to offer multiple confusing alternative explanations about] the situation she now finds herself in. They want their cake, they want to eat it too. They also want pie, cookies, ice cream and pudding. They want Judy freed from the shackles of civil and criminal charges, her record expunged, her reputation restored to its “world class” sterling quality and her grants doubled. They want her to have a top quality lab facility with ample staff and unlimited supplies and no interference from the scientific establishment.

    Yes. They still follow her.

  17. #17 Poodle Stomper
    December 4, 2011

    Well I can understand how desperate people can go to great lengths to deny reality but this has gone beyond stupid. Judy has lied about having the notebooks and then said that she did have them after all, ect… and with every lie the sheep just swallow it whole. I’d feel bad for them if the facts weren’t so obvious.

  18. #18 AJ
    December 5, 2011

    Poodle Stomper | December 4, 2011 6:44 PM

    Well I can understand how desperate people can go to great lengths to deny reality but this has gone beyond stupid. Judy has lied about having the notebooks and then said that she did have them after all, ect… and with every lie the sheep just swallow it whole. I’d feel bad for them if the facts weren’t so obvious.

    Oh it’s gone well beyond stupid and is currently straining the definition of grotesque farce.

    Latest development – vote for Judy as the Shine Woman of the Year.



    I must admit to being a bit tempted to go vote for Saint Mikovits just for the hell of it. Here’s an award for you, its meaningless and a bit of a waste of time, a lot like your contribution to science.

    That or nominate Annette Whittemore just for gits and shiggles (or nominate Abbie, though I imagine if she were to win an award she would prefer for it to be a more meaningful one).

  19. #19 OWE
    December 5, 2011

    @got ilk? 214,

    This is religion – not science, and rational arguments do not count anymore. And it shows that there is still a lot of “prey” around from which easy money can be made. People like Mr Wakefield will be pleased.


  20. #20 Poodle Stomper
    December 5, 2011


    “Freeman [Mikovit’s lawyer] argues that, legally speaking, it’s unimportant how she obtained the material in dispute. “The question is whether or not she had the criminal intent to permanently deprive the institute of property that belonged to them,” he says, adding that he hopes to get the case dismissed.”

    Riiiiiight. Because her behaviour was one of someone who innocently thought that they had the right to the materials, what with the hiding on the boats, lying about having the materials, ect… Good luck with that, buddy!

  21. #21 RRM
    December 5, 2011

    That Science url is one pretty epic abbreviation. ‘Attorney speaks for con’….
    Anyway, that attorney seems a bit like a nut (too).

    First, that bail thing was decided by an independent judge so it’s hard to see how he would use that as some ‘look how they’re treating my client’ argument..

    Second, it certainly appears she ‘intented to permanently deprive’ WPI of those notebooks and the data on that laptop. In her reply to WPI at 11/4 (through Lois Hart), she denied having the property. On top of this, she had this active ‘campaign’ running with the apparent objective of taking over the grants from WPI. For instance, Mikovits was (pretty blatantly) ‘advising’ patients to drop out of the ongoing WPI studies if WPI wanted to continue these stusies themselves (and this is well documented on the internets).

    Finally, perhaps I being stupid for not understanding US law myself, but him continually playing the ‘my client doesn’t understand the law’ card seems really ridiculous. You’re supposed to know the law, and only extreme situations can lead to an exception to that rule. But with Mikovits hiding on boats and apparently lying about having the notebooks in her 11/4 reply, I can’t see how you can put any energy into playing that tactic.

    Oh, in case anyone missed it, here’s the mugshot:


  22. #22 Poodle Stomper
    December 5, 2011

    Yep, It seems to me to be nothing more than more lies from someone with a history of making them. Looks like her behaviour has finally caught up with her, though…although a little too late, IMO.

  23. #23 Jack
    December 7, 2011

    So then…

    Dr Cheney: http://www.cheneyclinic.com/changing-status-of-xmrv-hgrv-research-2/843

    Still talking about ‘XMRV’. This NGS is what Lipkin is hoping to offer I believe isn’t it? To be honest I have kinda lost the will to live now…

  24. #24 Poodle Stomper
    December 7, 2011

    I’d say that I am anxious for the Lipkin study to be published so that people can put all this junk behind them but I know they’ll just march on regardless, most likely accusing Dr. Lipkin of conspiracy (if they haven’t already).

  25. #25 RRM
    December 7, 2011


    They have already.

    Remember that Lipkin visited WPI earlier this year (6/24 to be precise)?

    Well, *coinidentally*, just after that visit, Annete’s attitude towards Judy started to change….


    That stuff from Cheney is not news. In fact, it’s in the infamous 9/23 Slidegate presentation by Mikovits. But now I’ve seen his site: he’s actually charging people for subscriptions to his “information portals” on the internets. And it’s no cheap shit either:

    3 Month
    $79.95 per month
    for 3 months

    1 Year Monthly
    $49.95 per month
    for 12 months

    1 Year Annual
    $499.50 paid

    Yearly subscription is about the same price, same utility as that VipDx XMRV test, I’d say.

  26. #26 Jack
    December 8, 2011


    So this NGS that will be used by Lipkin what exactly is he going to be looking for?

    I mean presumably he must look for something that is identifiable and I note from the forums that they believe he will look for VP62 and so doesn’t stand a hope of ‘finding’ this ‘HGRV’ (because of course only Mikovits could possibly do that).

    So whatever Lipkin does do his results have already been condemned. I don’t seem to recall much being published about Lipkin’s study, but until the subtle shifting of position, he was called in to hunt for ‘XMRV’ if I recall correctly – so they can’t really complain – and maybe it will nail Lombardi et al.?

    Is this NGS as good as Cheney claims i.e. removing the contamination problems of PCR etc.? Must confess to knowing not a lot about it I am afraid.

  27. #27 got ilk?
    December 8, 2011

    Apparently another group has used NGS to find, uh, wait, CONTAMINATION (instead of XMRV) in prostate cancer:

    Next generation sequencing of prostate tumours provides independent evidence of XMRV contamination

    Fan Mo, Alexander W. Wyatt, Chunxiao Wu, Anna V. Lapuk, Marco A. Marra, Martin E. Gleave, Stanislav V. Volik and Colin C. Collins*

    Dec. 2011, Journal of Clinical Microbiology


  28. #28 Poodle Stomper
    December 8, 2011

    Clearly Next Generation Sequencing is in the pocket of big anti-XMRV-which-would-provide-a-huge-new-drug-market-Pharma!

  29. #30 OWE
    December 16, 2011

    @Jack, 227

    So, a Merry XMRV …uhum… XMAS, to everybody!


  30. #31 Poodle Stomper
    December 16, 2011

    Yeah, I saw that. I sure as hell hope that a) they keep a very close eye on her work and b) bolt down their lab notebooks. I’m not even sure why they’d want her participating after she said she wanted to stop the Lipkin study before.

  31. #32 got ilk?
    December 16, 2011

    Doesn’t it make you long for the good old days of government hiring freezes, when OPM might actually have reason to reject the idea of bringing on staff with criminal rap sheets who have recently done time? Meanwhile at WPI not a creature is stirring. Nothing but dancing sugarplums, a few motivational quotes and some bizarre posts about ancient gene mutuations not related to NIDS on their facebook page. Guess its no biggie that they aren’t part of the now infamous Lipkin study. EZ come. EZ go. I can hear it now: “Fa-la-la-la-laaaaa. Have another egg nog. Tis the holiday season and we’re taking Judy to court on Monday!”

  32. #33 Jack
    December 17, 2011

    A scientist is for Christmas and not just for life?

    It seems I am not the only one kerfuddled by what Lipkin et al. are up to (I note of late the lamentations of my peers calling for the study methodologies to be published).

    This effort of Lipkin’s is intriguing, no? Regardless of what one ‘believes’ or not about any association, it promises to scour blinded blood samples (note: blood) for something that isn’t ‘XMRV’ using the very star-trek sounding NGS (which is not infallible particularly in terms of contamination).

    The only paper published claiming an ‘association’ between blood samples from CFS patients and any retrovirus was Lombardi 2009 but that was about ‘XMRV’ and knocked on the head by, well, BWG to name but one.

    So now they are looking for anything that isn’t ‘XMRV’ that accounts for Mikovits’ belief (shared presumably by the media shy Ruscetti) that there is indeed something out there… or rather in there.

    So my question is: How? How do you do this? How do you look for anything and arrive – presumably – at any sort of definitive conclusion? And my layman’s feeble answer is: you can’t.

    You can look presumably for known retroviruses (just as one’s blood is routinely screened for known and suspected viruses (something that should in theory happen before a diagnosis is afforded of CFS – but only happens if a particular virus is suspected)) – but how can you look for the unknown?

    And if Mikovits no longer has her notes….? Isn’t this whole thing going to be based on conviction alone? And are we still talking about an association that is believed to be as high as that originally reported in Lombardi 2009? I mean where is the documented evidence of anything – any methods – any results – anything substantive?

    How can any patient who has ‘tested positive’ for ‘XMRV’ still possibly believe they are in fact ‘positive’ for some other unknown retrovirus? Where is the science to back any of this belief? And even more importantly – when has anyone demonstrated that any of these perceived retroviruses cause or prolong the symptoms associated with my devastating condition?!

    Lipkin was hoping originally to have this all wrapped up by the end of 2011 I understand. Any idea when he might now finish wrapping this very awkwardly shaped present?

  33. #34 anonymous
    December 19, 2011

    1. Notice how the article says ‘temporary’ home. Lipkin is simply being smart enough to realize that unless Judy is allowed to fuck everything up herself and have the results come back dartboards following the samples being tested by hand by the one and only Saint Mikovits, aka Our Lady of Perpetual Contamination, with no outside interference whatsoever, there will be very little chance of keeping the XMRV addicts from being royal pains in the ass for decades to come. After this, it’s done.

    2. There are two ‘Lipkin’ studies. The first is the XMRV study in which Lipkin is not directly involved with the testing of samples, but is rather acting as a facilitator and/or referee. The CDC, NCI, Saint Mikovits and maybe the FDA are each going to do their own tests on over a hundred well characterized patient samples and see what the results are.

    The second ‘Lipkin study’ is going to be Lipkin himself doing his hoodoo with molecular sequencing or deep sequencing or whatever the hell you call it where he is going to do an unbiased search for any and all pathogens, both known and unknown, on possibly samples from the same patients that are being included in the XMRV/MLV study. The one issue that I can think of with this one is that while sudden-onset patients might be more likely to have an enteroviral cause to their illness, there are a lot of pathogens such as HIV, Hep B and C, etc, where there is no sudden, flu-like onset but rather a gradual progression of illness, so it kind of leaves something lacking to only do a deep sequence study on sudden onset patients, IMO. I think they’re even going to do rectal swabs and the like to see if there’s any enteroviral DNA or RNA or whatever in patients’ GI tracts, a la the findings reported by Chia a couple years ago in which he reported finding evidence of chronic enteroviral infection in the guts of 81% of ME/CFS patients but only 20% of controls. As an aside, I think I read recently that the CDC is planning on doing a similar study with fewer patients with Eric Delwart of Blood Systems Research Institute, another deep sequencing big dog.

    For a quick starting point on deep sequencing, since I don’t know much at all about it- “Dr. Lipkin was the first to use purely molecular methods to identify infectious agents. In 1999, he identified West Nile virus as the cause of encephalitis in North America. He developed MassTag PCR and Greenechip technology, two multiplex assays that have been used to identify and characterize more than 400 viruses, and was the first to use high throughput sequencing for pathogen discovery.”

    3. As for ‘other viruses than XMRV’ being tested for in the first Lipkin study, I think they’re counting the Lo MLV sequences and/or other as yet unknown MLV viruses as being ‘other’ than XMRV. I think patients claiming that they have another virus than XMRV comes from the Silverman retraction of the Lombardi/XMRV paper, in which the XMRV sequences were shown to be the result of contamination. Ergo, according to the patients the whole snafu was Silverman’s fault and not Mikovits’.

    Therefore according to the XMRV faithful, as written in the Gospel of Saint Mikovits Chapter 11, Verse 99, as translated by the Prophet Gerwyn, the ‘other’ MLV retroviruses that they have would be the Lo MLV sequences, which I believe have also basically been shown to be the result of contamination, it’s just that they don’t know enough to understand this yet since until now the majority of the focus has primarily been on XMRV, with the Lo MLV’s being more in the background. Verily, there have been several papers which have also looked for MLV sequences and did not find them, as well as several other papers indicating that the MLV sequences are the result of contamination, but these findings of course were dismissed out of hand by the faithful.

  34. #35 Jack
    December 20, 2011

    Thanks for the link Anon. I shall take a look.

    I believe in the Lipkin facilitated ‘XMRV’ search it is interesting to note that the BLOOD samples will be fresh i.e. unrelated to the Lombardi et al samples.

    Also perhaps that as Mikovits is in a new lab this may/may not be relevant to any results she produces given that previous efforts have all taken place in her WPI facility.

    Finally, I believe one of the three contributing labs in this study is Alter but may be wrong.

    And yes, Lipkin will separately do his thang looking for any virus known to man I guess. But in either study he ain’t looking specifically for ‘HGRVs’ as some have claimed.

    Not that there is such a thing anyway.

    Did you see this: http://www.mynews4.com/news/local/story/Whittemore-Peterson-Institute-Prevails-in-Lawsuit/UdA8q-xp2Ui0UbxkZPRKnQ.cspx

  35. #36 RRM
    December 20, 2011

    Funny thing about Alter is that he really didn’t have much to do with the original Lo et al. study. He didn’t perform any experiments or analyzed any data – he “just” co-wrote the actual text of the paper after the science was completed (as well as sent provided Lo with the healthy control samples).

    It really seems his most important contribution to the Lo et al. study was to provide the authors with a shortcut to publication.

  36. #37 Jack
    December 20, 2011

    One wonders what he will do this time round then RRM?

    Do scientists get ‘dumbass’ insurance btw? I hear litigation in the states can be expensive and according to that news report, not everything has been returned.

    So much for the original defence and Ms. Hart’s assurances. Still, at least Mikovits can continue her work and this can all be laid to rest… or maybe not… 😉

    ‘So here we are, two years after the scientific community was told which rock to look under, still arguing about whether two or three scientists can reproduce their work or not. In the meantime, a promising avenue of treatment, antiretrovirals, has been shut down like a prohibition, for the flimsiest of reasons…’


    I am not comfortable entirely with the Rituximab research and trial but at least it was double blinded with placebo and is now on to larger scale studies…

  37. #38 Perplexed
    December 20, 2011

    So any thoughts on who in the Ruscetti lab will actually be doing the “Mikovits experiments”? She was the PI, I thought it was Pfost/Lombardi who did the bench work in the first place, but they are still at WPI. Does some poor sap in Ruscetti’s lab get press-ganged into wasting their time or will they have the endlessly entertaining spectacle of a PI returning to the bench after more than a decade? Where are the fly on the wall documentary makers when you need them…

  38. #39 RRM
    December 20, 2011


    Lombardi and Pfost did the PCR bench work, but NCI (Ruscetti and Bagni) did the serology work for the original study. Lombardi and Ruscetti shared first authorship on the Science paper BTW.

    Also, Lo did send samples from their 9 retested patients to NCI/Ruscetti and not to WPI (there wasn’t enough of the original samples left for subsequent testing BTW). At NCI, Ruscetti/Bagni did find all of these 9 samples positive for XMRV (and not the MLV-related viruses Lo found) using both serology and culturing techniques, so I think we can assume they think they have the necessary know-how to do this.

  39. #40 Peprlexed
    December 20, 2011

    So Mikovits’ magic PCR isn’t part of the new study? Maybe I need to go back and check previous reports, but I thought Ruscetti/Bagni were already part of the Lipkin study doing their serology and culture assays and that Mikovits’ lab was going to be doing PCR or culture+PCR at WPI. If all that happens at Ruscetti’s lab is the same culture he was doing anyway then it’s hard to see what the point of Mikovits’ presence is, besides placating the crazies. And spritzing the apparatus with l’eau de souris.
    On a side note, I really hope she going to be paid to be there.

  40. #41 RRM
    December 20, 2011

    Damn, the crazy is strong with this one:

    WPI filed an affidavit from a computer expert that said all the files had been recently deleted on the laptop


    The judge’s ruling seems pretty epic too from the sound of that article. Surely the verdict will be made publicly available?

  41. #42 ERV
    December 20, 2011

    “…so I think we can assume they think they have the necessary know-how to do this.”

    “… WPI filed an affidavit from a computer expert that said all the files had been recently deleted on the laptop…”

  42. #43 Poodle Stomper
    December 20, 2011

    According to that article:
    “Mikovits, who is also facing related criminal charges for possessing stolen property, returned some of the notebooks and a laptop after being briefly jailed. But WPI filed an affidavit from a computer expert that said all the files had been recently deleted on the laptop. WPI attorney Ann Hall further asserts that Mikovits returned only 18 of the notebooks, withholding half a dozen more that include experiments done between 2006 and 2009.”

    So apparently she REALLY wants to go to jail. Not only did she steal (or have stolen) the notebooks, she is still keeping some of those at the present. I feel bad for her lawyer who is probably beating his head against a desk wishing he’d never taken this case.

  43. #44 Poodle Stomper
    December 20, 2011

    “… WPI filed an affidavit from a computer expert that said all the files had been recently deleted on the laptop…”

    Well we obviously can’t expect her to know how to wipe data properly if she’s too naive and innocent to understand that the law says you can’t steal, right?

  44. #45 ERV
    December 20, 2011

    Well, I mean for fucks sake the dumbass faked her figures IN POWERPOINT. Dumbass could get hax0r skillz from my mother, honest to god, my mother could provide her with some useful computer ‘pro-tips’.

    I mean for FUCKS SAKE!


  45. #46 RRM
    December 20, 2011


    From what I had read about it (before the latest developments), only WPI, CDC and FDA (Lo) were involved in the Lipkin study originally, although I asssumed that Ruscetti was to be a part of the WPI team anyway.

    But the PCR has long been discredited, really. Mikovits has long been backing away (slowly but surely) from the original PCR findings (in December of 2010 she even proclaimed that they didn’t do “direct PCR” at a BWG meeting were some shitty WPI results were announced) and found the culture and serology assays (as well as the purty EM picture) to be the “real evidence”.

    But that shit about deleting the data is crazy. That lawyer that explained that she really had no criminal intent (on account of her being a scientist) must indeed be banging his head against his desk right now.

  46. #47 Perplexed
    December 20, 2011

    Oops, the end of my previous comment should have read “ISN’T going to be paid”.

  47. #48 Perplexed
    December 20, 2011

    Thanks, for the update. Brings to mind a comment/truism I heard a little while back (perhaps on this blog, I forget), that if a hypothesis is true, more specific testing should yield a more obvious result. If the better your tests get, the less certain the data become, you’re probably going in the wrong direction. In this case clearly the “best” data are those most prone to false positive, which makes perfect sense really.
    The court case is just funny though, I must remember the “I can’t be guilty, I’m a scientist” line next time I get a traffic citation.

  48. #49 Poodle Stomper
    December 20, 2011

    I hear that! I wasn’t aware that there was a clause in the law that allows scientists use their careers as a way out of legal trouble. I’m going to remember that one, too!

    PS, my kid could probably teach Judy some computer stuff, too. I guess her computer skillz are on par with her research skillz!

  49. #50 OWE
    December 21, 2011

    I assume the information deleted from the laptop was not germane…

    Is there a limit to stupidity???


  50. #51 Poodle Stomper
    December 21, 2011

    I also assume that the deleting of files was done for the welfare of CFS patients everywhere…right?

  51. #52 Jack
    December 21, 2011

    Of course we are all assuming that there was data on the computer and in those notebooks in the first place. Could have been recipes or doodles or something else totally worthless 😉

  52. #53 Poodle Stomper
    December 22, 2011

    BAM! Full retraction on the Lombardi paper. Totally…well expected…


  53. #55 Alan Dove
    December 22, 2011

    Abbie, you really, really (really) need to do three things right now:

    1. Have a cup of coffee so you’re good and revved up.

    2. Post about the retraction @Poodle just mentioned above, but be sure you download and read the actual PDF of Bruce Alberts’s statement (linked from the Nature blog post) first. Specifically, scroll down to the bit on “concerns expressed about Fig. 2C [summarized in (4)]” and follow the link to that reference. Yes, that’s right, you’re the one who broke that story, which led to Mikovits et al. admitting to “poor quality control” or whatever, which in turn is why Science is finally, fully retracting this POS paper.

    3. Pat yourself on the back, then crack open a beer. Sure, it’s not even noon yet, but you earned it. Congratulations on proving that science bloggers can do real reporting that leads to genuine change.

  54. #56 Poodle Stomper
    December 22, 2011

    Alan, do you have a working link for that pdf? I just get to the Eurekaalerts page and it asks for a login…

  55. #57 ERV
    December 22, 2011

    Nature guy is a dork 😛 I think this is technically supposed to be embargoed until 2 pm Eastern, which is why non-journalists cant read the pdf yet 😛

  56. #58 Jack
    December 22, 2011

    You can’t stop Father Christmas Abbie 🙂

  57. #59 Poodle Stomper
    December 22, 2011

    According to: http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2011/12/in-a-rare-move-science-without-a.html

    WPI’s Judy Mikovits, who led the study with Ruscetti, says she and two of her contributing lab assistants refused to sign the retraction. The day after the publication of the Blood Working Group study, Mikovits presented new data at a CFS meeting in Ottawa, Canada, that purported to show evidence of human gamma retroviruses—the family XMRV belongs to—in patients. She essentially argued that the original paper focused too narrowly on one variant of XMRV. (She also showed a slide at the meeting that led to Science to discover that the original paper had a mislabeled image, which factored into the full retraction.) “We were confident of our data,” Mikovits told ScienceInsider, explaining why they wanted to include a line in the retraction that said they still trusted their data and conclusions.

    So not surprising that she and her labbies didn’t sign the retraction but nice to know that exposing the duplicate image factored in the full retraction! A win for real science!

  58. #60 Murat
    December 23, 2011

    This study which linking a virus to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)has been withdrawn by the journal.

    I thought it was a work made ​​for reasons of financial already.

  59. #61 UnivLawyer
    December 24, 2011

    Chicago Trib article today – w/ what you would expect, i.e., a general overview of events and background – was my first knowledge of this ‘event”, WPI, the XMRV-CFS claims, or Mikovits. What led me to look for more information — and hence to this fascinating forum — is that Trib buried link btwn WPI & U-Nev Reno; this intrigued me due to my professional role (as a Gen Counsel of a Univ). Some legal sub-points for your possible edification:
    1. WPI evidently offered Mikovits a Termination Agreement (per her lawyer’s Nov. 4 letter). What specific terms did WPI offer, I wonder? My guess is that reading this document would reveal how long the intention to fire her had been building up.
    2. There are NIH grants here,correct? NIH funds are subject to a very specific research misconduct protocol, as many who post here know. Has NIH opened an inquiry? Will the retraction of the Science article impel NIH to do so?
    3. If someone finds the court’s latest ruling, I hope you will post the link. I believe the ruling is for issuance of a Preliminary Injunction, which only preserves the status quo (much as the earlier-granted Temporary Restraining Order accomplished). But the civil claims still will move toward trial. Given the strongly held views expressed on this forum, I’d guess that one could sell tickets when WPIs lawyers take Mikovits’ deposition.
    4. If I’m UNev-Reno’s lawyer, I’m advising a hard, hard look at the relationship with an affiliated entity which runs its research ship in this fashion. Case in point: relationship between grad student Max and PI Judy — as we say a lot in my field, “you can’t make this stuff up”!!

  60. #62 Tum
    January 25, 2012

    @8 and @11
    “C’mon people, if you want to play in the XMRV sweepstakes with questions like “What was Frank thinking?” you’ve got to keep up with the latest. Maybe somebody spiked the samples they shared with Frank with something different than the ones they shared with Bob, just to keep it interesting. ”

    There are several things I don’t understand (apart from most of the scientific details). For one, what tests were done in which lab? Who send samples to whom and when? I am trying to reverse-engineer this thing, but I won’t get far because of my lack of insight into this – and I hope I can trick Dunning and Kruger…

    So I was thinking: What is the minimum amount of fraudulent work, with the minimum amount of involved people, necessary to get these results of Lombardi et al 2009.

    The PCR seems easy: Add XMRV VP62 plasmid and send to poor Bob Silverman. Only one person in the know at WPI required.

    Mikovits is very proud in her “Dear Dr. Alberts” letter that the EMs don’t *show* contamination. Could the virus isolation be faked by adding XMRV VP62 plasmid at WPI, with no outsider knowing? Who did that part of the study? Who would have necessary been in the know?

    What about the detection of viral proteins, who did this? Could it have been faked by a single person from the WPI, by adding 5AZA or somesuch?

    And the 7C10 Env antibody thing, who did this? Could that have been faked by a single person from the WPI, by adding 5AZA or somesuch?

  61. #63 gjkasuaw
    May 31, 2012

    XMRV and chronic fatigue syndrome: I fought the lawl and the lawl won. – erv I was suggested this website by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my problem. You are wonderful! Thanks! your article about XMRV and chronic fatigue syndrome: I fought the lawl and the lawl won. – ervBest Regards Veronica

New comments have been disabled.