(sorry about the commenting issues the past couple of days– dunno what that was, fixed now!)
So, they finally retracted Lo et al, which should have never been published in the first place, as it turns out their findings were contamination, and they should have been aware of that if they BLASTed their goddamn sequences or did some basic evolutionary biology before they tried to publish.
Again, via Retraction Watch:
Another shoe drops as authors retract PNAS chronic fatigue syndrome-virus paper
The authors wish to note the following: “Although our published findings were reproducible in our laboratory and while there has been no evidence of contamination using sensitive mouse mitochondrial DNA or IAP assays or in testing coded panels, we have the following concerns:
1. The original chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) patient samples were of insufficient volume to distribute to other laboratories for independent confirmation.
2. Only one (1) of many laboratories has found a similar association between polytropic murine leukemia viruses (pMLV) and CFS and a careful study of 100 CFS patients (2), as well as a coded panel recently constructed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) (3), have found no evidence for either xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) or pMLVs in CFS patient samples.
3. Our attempts, through collaborations, to demonstrate antibody in affected patients, to isolate the virus by culture, or to show integration sites in the human genome have failed to support the initial findings.
4. While recall of eight patients from the original cohort 15 y later showed pMLV gag sequences in seven, the copy number was very low and phylogenetic analysis showed these sequences were not direct descendents of the original dominant strains (4). Still later samples from four of these patients tested negative in the NHLBI panel. While this result could be explained by viral clearance over time, it fails to support a sustained retroviral infection in human cells.
Although a more definitive, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)-sponsored, coded panel of samples from 150 well-characterized and geographically diverse CFS patients and controls is being assembled for further study, in consideration of the aggregate data from our own laboratory and that of others, it is our current view that the association of murine gamma retroviruses with CFS has not withstood the test of time or of independent verification and that this association is now tenuous. Therefore, we retract the conclusions in our article.
Gee, thanks. I hope your sloppy (but high-profile!) publication was worth wasting everyones time and money, and jerking around patients. Thanks.
But hey, at least you all were grown up enough to retract this yourself and didnt have to have Bruce Alberts do it for you.