ERV referenced in 'Current Opinion in Virology'


Recombinant origin, contamination, and de-discovery of XMRV

I dont know if you all have access to this paper, but here is the relevant portion:

Treatment of CFS patient PBMCs with 5-azacytidine was omitted from Lombardi et al. paper  

In September 2011, Abbie Smith, a graduate student and virology blogger, ( revealed that Dr. Judy Mikovits, the corresponding author of the Lombardi et al. study, presented a figure at a meeting that turned out to be identical to one in the original paper, but with different patient numbers and experimental conditions (John Cohen, ScienceInsider,  This revelation led the authors to concede that the patient-derived PBMCs in Lombardi et al. had been treated with 5-azacytidine, an agent used to demethylate DNA and induce transcription from latent genes and proviruses, but did not include this treatment in the paper because “it was not germane.”  The omission of such critical information from the paper cast further doubt on the validity of the entire study.

For those of you who missed the fun, here is the post the authors are talking about:

XMRV and chronic fatigue syndrome: For your enjoyment– A magic trick.

I really hope that this review will become available for the general public.  Of course the article was written for other scientists, but I think it summarizes the XMRV fiasco in a way that Average Janes and Joes shouldnt have a hard time following either.

And I think there are lots of Average Janes and Joes who are interested in learning about XMRV-- Not just the CFS patients, but the other folks who have been battling XMRV-woo, the pro-vaccine autism parents.  They got dragged into this mess after Judy Mikovits made some irresponsible remarks about XMRV, vaccines, and autism, and the anti-vax crew ran with it.

But, YAY!  Mah blag got referenced!  W00T!!!

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Very nice! Congratulations!


By John C. Welch (not verified) on 31 Jul 2012 #permalink


By Bob Powers (not verified) on 31 Jul 2012 #permalink

Does this count as a citation?

By Bill Door (not verified) on 31 Jul 2012 #permalink

Congrats - it also sounds like they are giving you the credit for getting the ball rolling on exposing the problems. Nice.

Comgrats. You are an Elite Supressor. (of woo, that is!)

Man, this has got to piss some people off...I like that!

By Poodle Stomper (not verified) on 31 Jul 2012 #permalink


By Phil Giordana FCD (not verified) on 31 Jul 2012 #permalink

Awesome. Sincere congratulations.

.. also, I've just discovered that Frankenberry is actually a real name - I always thought he was just a character created to sell cereal.

Has Count Chocula published?

Congratulations! You deserve it!

Your eye-opening "magic trick" was quite some fun!


Congratulations :)
And that post was so many times of awesome.
Hah: ERV busted the intentional artifacts made by reactivating ERVs.

By mo (one of Abb… (not verified) on 01 Aug 2012 #permalink

What a mess. Thanks for help sorting it out.

Anyone want to take a bet that CFS/ME and autism adherents are still talking about XMRV for years to come?

By Matt Carey (not verified) on 01 Aug 2012 #permalink

Well done.
Orac is going to be so envious

I clicked to the well-written, amusing "magic trick" post - wonderful stuff! I figured where you were going with: "Actually, lets zoom in on the bottom part of that figure:". I've looked at a lot of Western blots. That was an egregious, cheap trick, re-using that blot and pretending that it would look different on account of messing with contrast.


Let's here it for Abbie........"ilk, ilk, ilk, ILK, ILK, ILK!"

I have been trying to forget about this BUT
I can't decide if Mikovitz out and out lied and faked her results or if she just did not know what she was doing. AND I want to know what you think? Did she lie or did she not know what she was doing?