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a) Dr. Ian Lipkin – USA (THE VIRUS HUNTER)
Dr. Lipkin was the guru that the U.S. Government brought on board when they needed someone to investigate the SARS epidemic. A recent email from Ian Lipkin, regarding the contamination studies, reads as follows:
“These papers emphasize the pitfalls of molecular assays and raise concerns. NONETHELESS, IT IS PREMATURE TO RULE OUT XMRV OR RELATED VIRUSES AS FACTORS IN PROSTATE CANCER OR CFS. Links have also been made based on serology and the presence of viral proteins as well as of viral sequences. Thus, we still need appropriately powered, rigorous blinded studies of well characterized patients and controls. One such study is underway under the auspices of the National Institutes Health.”
Dr. Lipkin presented at the Academy of Sciences New York a symposium headlined as «Pathogens in blood banks» with the co-author of the Science study Dr. Judy Mikovits on March 29, 2011. Not exactly the type of conference would expect from someone who thinks that XMRV is the result of laboratory contamination.
b) DR HARVEY ALTER, co-discoverer of the hepatitis C
Transcript commentary, said last week at the recent meeting held in the U.S. Working Group’s Blood and HHS on the investigation of XMRV
“When a group finds a new agent, (they) become biased it’s real. When it’s not found by another group, they become even more biased it’s unreal. Our goal should be to find the truth. The truth will out over the next year. I concur we have no evidence for causality, especially when we’re at the limit of detection (LoD) and assay performance is so critical.
But I still want to counter (the contamination argument) by saying that THE CURRENT EVIDENCE FOR DISEASE ASSOCIATION IS VERY STRONG THAT XMRV OR MLV IS STRONGLY ASSOCIATED WITH CFS. IN THOSE LABS WHO DO FIND THE AGENT (XMRV/MLV), IT’S VERY REPRODUCIBLE. YEAR AFTER YEAR, SAME PATIENTS. CONFIRMED BY SEQUENCING, REPRODUCIBLE OVER TIME.
Dr. Hanson has demonstrated how critical the assays are. When tweaked assays, findings (are) identical to Lo (Lo/Alter) lab. (There is) diversity of XMRV/MLV being confirmed in WPI lab, so not only agent being confirmed there. In 100s of negative controls in same lab, extremely negative (for contamination), has done what Coffin recommended was also neg.
Always negative for contamination. It isn’t logical to suggest otherwise. Stoye used single-case anecdotal info to try to make a case (for contamination). Simply because it has happened in the past isn’t valid to negate reproducible data from 4 different laboratories. I’m not a CFS Dr, but have learned a lot in last 6 months. Absolutely convinced when you define this (ME/CFS) by proper criteria, it’s a very serious, medical disease. Characteristics of a viral disease. If it’s not XMRV, we must continue the research to find out what is.”
C) JUDY Mikovits: co-authored the Science study on XMRV
“Ours is not a PCR game and NOT contamination. We isolate infectious virus from each patient AND show they have an immune response. You cannot have an immune response to a lab contaminant.”
During the FDA BPAC, Coffin was as smug as Stoye. His only line of questioning for Lo, Hanson and Mikovits were regarding contamination. He mentioned that he had a paper coming out. His questions were a sample of things to come this week. With each of Coffin’s questions, the scientists easily and confidently refuted his accusations. As Dr. Mikovits said, “Each of us answered every one of the questions, showed infectious virus AND an immune response. None of the data published/presented by me or Lo et al has ever had a single bit of evidence for contamination. The WPI/VIPdx have cultured XMRVs and showed an immune response from almost a thousand patients worldwide. We stand behind every single isolate.”
D) JOHN COFFIN: Author of 2 published studies on contamination.
«Although his group’s studies showed that the mouse DNA is everywhere in the laboratory, none of the articles published today show that previous studies are incorrect»
E) Professor Kenny De Meirleir: CFS Researcher for years
“The contamination by mouse material was excluded in our study, that of Lo and that of Lombardi et al. We are not using PCR as a basis of the test but human prostate cancer cells that do not express RNase L so the virus from patient’s blood can grow in it. We also sequence the virus and I can assure you it is not mouse material.
Governments and insurance companies are horrified by the idea that there is a new retrovirus out there that has infected 10 times more people than HIV up to date. In the next months more will come from our side. A study with healthy blood donors, ME patients who got ill immediately after blood transfusion and ME patients who gave blood after they got ill will be published in the first half of 2011.
What these 5 are doing to the patients is a crime against humanity.”
F) Vincent Racaniello, Virologist and science journalist.
«I do not think that the four documents proving that XMRV Retrovirology is not involved in human disease. My statement to the Chicago Tribune yesterday was based on the initial reading of the documents Retrovirology. However, after careful consideration, it is obvious that the results of the four documents do not question the existence of XMRV in patients, but point to possible difficulties in doing research on this virus. «»