Science Live Chat: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome--Science and Controversy

TODAY at 3 pm Eastern Time

Science magazine will be hosting a live-chat with a couple of San Fransisco Big Dogs-- Michael P. Busch and Jay Levy!

Live Chat: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome--Science and Controversy

Normally I would tune in just to see them roll their eyes at the stupid questions they are getting from the XMRV True Believer Brigade, but this is not a video chat, so it would be nice if some ERV readers had some cool questions to ask them and we could all learn something!

EDIT 1 PM-- According to tweets from Trine Tsouderos:

  • #mecfs: BWG fr journal Science: 7/9 labs found 0 #xmrv/mlv in samples, 2 (wpi/nci) did, but couldnt tell difference btwn controls/ patients
  • Authors of original 2009 Science paper on #xmrv #mecfs RETRACT several figures and tables related to findings by Silverman and Das Gupta.
  • From Simmons et al (blood working group): "Blood donor screening is not warranted." #xmrv #mecfs
  • "Science currently stands by its Editorial Expression of Concern...editors will be discussing next steps w/ authors." #xmrv #mecfs

Working now, Ill almost certainly a post on this up tomorrow.


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Word is that the results of Phase III of the Blood Working Group will be released around the same time as this chat. Supposedly after the chat, but before seems to be making more sense to me.

On another note, Silverman has today published a follow up on the Garson et al. paper (that showed identical integration sites). I don't have access to the full paper, but apparently he and his collaborators analyzed single nucleotide polymorphisms in those patients' (supposed) integration sites and their results "provide direct evidence for contamination during analysis of XMRV integration sites".

Going to think about a good question now....

I think it is about time we start to see retractions of the other positive XMRV papers, since they are just as likely to be due to contamination.


9 Lab follow-up study, Mikovits is 4th author, blinding, wpi + nci get false positives; partial retraction.
This thing is so deader than dead.

Very good call right from the start of the whole affair, erv. Cheers to you.

BTW, wtf does a 9 lab study only have 23 authors? Those graduate students who did the work need their authorships - they had to subtract work time from their own projects to do this!

Actually, I am being confused about it. If we say that chronic fatigue syndrome is sience, it might be right. But, why is it also controversy? What is it caused by?

We don't know what it is caused by, but we do know that XMRV is definitely not the cause. Because this virus was accidently created in lab mice which were used to cultivate a human prostate tumor line, it can not infect real humans, and the positive results the 2009 'Science' paper were caused by adding a copy of the genome of that same virus that infects the human prostate cancer line to the CFS patients' samples.