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    XMRV Viral Link To Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Paper Retracted
    By Hank Campbell | December 23rd 2011 10:40 AM | 38 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
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    Science for the win!

    A paper claiming a viral link to puzzling Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has been withdrawn by Science.  Since publication in October, 2009 it had been met with controversy by scientists and hope by patients. Chronic fatigue syndrome affects millions of people worldwide with physical and mental fatigue that does not improve with rest but its causes remain unclear. Many people say their illness started after a viral infection so that is where the 2009 research focused and a paper by researchers at Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease in Reno detected Xenotropic murine leukemia virus–related virus (XMRV) in two thirds of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, but could not prove a direct (causal) link between the virus and the disease.

    In January 2010, another research team found no evidence of XMRV in 186 patients with chronic fatigue syndrome in the United Kingdom. Another study also failed to identify XMRV in 170 patients and
    a study in Holland shortly thereafter examined the DNA from XMRV in the blood cells of 32 patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and 43 healthy controls, matched by age, sex and geographical area but found no evidence of XMRV in any of the patients or the controls, adding to the negative evidence in the two previous studies.

    XMRV has been the subject of many studies since its discovery in 2006; some reports suggest a possible link between XMRV and prostate cancer but other links involving chronic fatigue syndrome, HIV infection, or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection have been invalidated - the retraction of the original paper in Science effectively removes it from the scientific record.  The issue is that follow-up studies did not detect XMRV in quantity, or sometimes at all, in study participants, despite the high prevalence reported in the 2009 paper, which found evidence of XMRV DNA in 67 percent of subjects with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), compared to 3.7 percent of healthy controls. No subsequent studies in Europe were able to demonstrate the presence of XMRV in CFS subjects or healthy controls.

    One study even found that cell samples used in previous research were contaminated with the virus identified as XMRV and that XMRV is present in the mouse genome.  "When we compare viral genomes, we see signs of their history, of how far they have travelled in space or time," said Dr. Stéphane Hué, Post Doctoral Researcher at UCL. "We would expect the samples from patients from around the world, collected at different times, to be more diverse than the samples from within a cell line in a lab, where they are grown under standard conditions. During infection and transmission in people, our immune system would push XMRV into new genetic variants. Viral infection is a battle between the virus and the host and XMRV does not have the scars of a virus that transmits between people."

    It's a disappointment to chronic fatigue syndrome patients but sometimes science advances by eliminating dead ends and XMRV may turn out to be important in the pathogenesis of other diseases. More importantly, it shows the public that the moment a bold claim is made efforts are on to both duplicate the result and to invalidate it; that's how solid science works.  If the researchers in 2009 had claimed 'the science is settled' they would have been ridiculed and journalists reported it as fact but that's okay.  Our skepticism was enough that our coverage of XMRV and chronic fatigue syndrome was limited to how CFS patients took out a full-page ad to insist the 2009 study was correct; ironically just a few weeks ago. The folks behind the ad were primarily looking for more study funding, something all of the NIH would agree with; they cite that $5 million for CFS research is in the NIH budget compared to $144 million for multiple sclerosis research and $121 million for lupus.

    “As far as virologists go, the story ended a long time ago,” Vincent Racaniello, a virologist at Columbia University, told the Washington Post. “There’s no evidence at the moment that any virus is associated with chronic fatigue syndrome.” 

    Kim McCleary, president and chief executive of the CFIDS Association of America said CFS patients are “certainly disappointed and discouraged that this did not pan out the way it was initially promoted. But they understand there’s no point in pursuing a dead end.”

    The American Red Cross continues to ban blood donations from chronic fatigue patients.

    Comments

    O god why are you talking about these stupid "cfs" people their just lazy and need a good kick in the behind. retrovirus??? lol!

    Kim Mcleary does not speak for me and I'm getting pretty sick of her acting like she does. Dead end?

    Obviously you have no education upon that which you are commenting. But at least you can represent "that" class of society that spouts uneducated opinions that prove you perhaps slept through part of elementary school and speak without researching the facts. We certainly need all types of folks to make up our society, and you are certainly one of them. Education is knowledge. Knowledge is powerful. Insulting others that are ill and searching for answers is just plain mean.
    Angela

    You are so ignorant. Get a grip!

    Lombardi et al did not look at people given a label of CFS, but with a neurological disease called ME/CFS according to the CCC.

    cfs is a serious disease my friend. if you have it, you will feel it. just like if you don't have aids, u hardly care about it until it is you are the victim then you wish there is a cure to help you feel better otherwise this is in your mind constantly. i know it coz i have a disease.

    The CFIDS Ass. that Kim McCeary represents is not a patient advocacy organization, they are a research organization, and should not be speaking for patients. The CFIDS Ass. does not represent CFS patients.

    Dr. Racaniello is incorrect that no viruses have been associated with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (perhaps he meant idiopathic chronic fatigue?) Please do your homework Vince, there are over 20 years worth of published studies detailing the association of viruses with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

    WIth "friends" like Kim and Vince, who needs enemies?

    Hank
    The CFIDS Ass. that Kim McCeary represents is not a patient advocacy organization, they are a research organization, and should not be speaking for patients. The CFIDS Ass. does not represent CFS patients.
    An advocacy organization sells false hope and a research group does not; a few weeks ago an advocacy organization wrote about a study that had already been discredited, just not yet officially retracted:
    A major scientific breakthrough occurred in October 2009 when the Whittemore Peterson Institute (WPI) at the University of Nevada, Reno, working with the National Cancer Institute and Cleveland Clinic, published the results of a landmark study. The seminal study, published in the leading scientific journal, Science, discovered the third human retrovirus, XMRV, in the blood of 67% of ME/CFS patients and in 3.7% of healthy controls. This suggests that up to 10 million US citizens could already be infected. 
    I don't think an advocacy organization is doing anyone a service writing silliness like "major scientific breakthrough" and "seminal" when everyone knew it was false.
    CFIDS of America was an advocacy org for over 20 years for this illness and what they sold was false and still is as a research org. They are making money off the backs of very ill people. There are 17 million of us. Just hope none of your family members, your children or you youself get sick. It will make a believer out of you the day it happens. No one can call me lazy as I've worked since the start of my illness 20 years ago. I've tried every treatment out there and nothing has worked. My profession is in Public Health and I have also never been diagnosed with any psychological disorder, and I have been tested. People should not talk about an illness they know nothing about.

    Hank
    I'm not sure what you are contending; you are saying if I get CFS I will suddenly insist it is XMRV behind it?  Why would I do that? Why wouldn't I contend Santa Claus did it since there is just as much evidence?  You're further saying no treatment has worked for you...but what does that have to do with a study that was retracted because it had no valid science basis?  What does psychology have to do with any of this? 
    The study was not retracted for having no valid science basis. There has been no solid explanation for the retraction. You cannot have a immune response to a contaminate and the serology results could have only been to an MLV virus, not an endogenous virus. Furthermore the EM is of a budding maturing virion that is a gamma retrovirus and the same size as an MLV virus. Besides even if anyone had presented evidence of this or contamination, which they have not, that is not a reason for retraction as science is meant to be self correction. I see no willingness from Science to let this occur. Why not?

    MIkvoits and Ruscetti have not retracted as they found polytropic viruses not XMRV. It was Silvermans incorrect error in fully sequencing 3 isolates that led everyone to think they were somehow different to the Lo and Alter findings. They are not different and studies using VP62 to optimise their assays are irrelevant to the paper. The paper should not have been retracted on the personal opinions of a editor who is being leaned on by others who share the same opinion. This has left science as a whole in tatters.

    The study was not retracted for having no valid science basis. There has been no solid explanation for the retraction. You cannot have a immune response to a contaminate and the serology results could have only been to an MLV virus, not an endogenous virus. Furthermore the EM is of a budding maturing virion that is a gamma retrovirus and the same size as an MLV virus. Besides even if anyone had presented evidence of this or contamination, which they have not, that is not a reason for retraction as science is meant to be self correction. I see no willingness from Science to let this occur. Why not?

    MIkvoits and Ruscetti have not retracted as they found polytropic viruses not XMRV. It was Silvermans incorrect error in fully sequencing 3 isolates that led everyone to think they were somehow different to the Lo and Alter findings. They are not different and studies using VP62 to optimise their assays are irrelevant to the paper. The paper should not have been retracted on the personal opinions of a editor who is being leaned on by others who share the same opinion. This has left science as a whole in tatters.

    "...when everyone knew it was false." This sounds like a rational for repeating gossip in the locker room, not "scientific" reporting or blogging: 'everyone knows'....???

    I guess Dr Ian Lipkin, Dr Frank Ruscetti, Dr Derek Enlander, Drs Alter, Lo, Komaroff and Montoya aren't included in your "everyone"? Or are you smearing them, too, along with the patients you so obviously disdain as "silly."

    Please stop quoting Brits who belong to the "its psychosomatic" school of propaganda. There are plenty of American and other researchers who are taking this disease seriously enough to do real research.

    Hank, you're clearly out of the loop here, and it's curious that you're bothering to cover this topic when you seem to know so little about it. The CFIDS Ass. *was* supposedly a patient advocacy organization, or that's how they promoted themselves, and now they're not, but they've failed to inform the media about that fact. So you've been suckered into believing that they are some kind of legitimate mouthpiece for the CFS patient community when they are anything but that.

    Hank
    I guess I am phrasing it the wrong way so I will try again; advocacy is irrelevant when it comes to science.  Whether or not someone quoted is an advocate makes no difference in a flawed paper being retracted.   Advocates don't do research, they are lobbyists so they are only going to accept research that agrees with their constituency and they will deny anything else.
    Where is the flaw in the experiments of Ruscetti and Mikovits?

    I should have added that some advocates do also research and are scientists.

    I guess you must be referring to me in your comment:

    "O god why are you talking about these stupid "cfs" people their just lazy and need a good kick in the behind. retrovirus??? lol!"

    Let's see how lazy I am. After graduating from high school I worked my way through undergraduate and law school, receiving a B.A. degree Magna Cum Laude while working full time. Then I worked my way through law school, receiving my Juris Doctor degree with honors. No doubt someone as perceptive as you can already tell that I'm lazy from that information. It gets better. I continued to exhibit my laziness by writing books, teaching at a university and practicing law. Obviously someone who does those things has to be lazy. Then it really gets good. In 1986 I got the worst flu I've ever had in my life and I've never recovered. Since I am so lazy, I kept working the first ten years, even though that meant I had no energy for much of anything except my work. However, my laziness got the best of me in 1996 when I could no longer stand up. The muscles in my legs simply refused to work any more and I fell to the floor. After that, the laziness-loving US government granted me social security disability for M.E. and a private insurance company, eager to pay disability benefits to lazy malingerers, also began paying me disability benefits.

    Thank God I'm lazy. If I had been trying to make someone believe I am not lazy, I could only have done so by continuing work until it killed me.

    I do not know the etiology of Myaltic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.), but I know from my own experience that the disease is real, and I know it deserves to be taken seriously and those who research it need to be treated with respect.

    LOL!!!

    Thank you Patricia. We can see by the original comment that he/she is not very educated.

    Patricia I feel for you. I too took offense to the comment he/she made. My husband graduated high school in June 1971 and on July 1,1971 went to work as a firefighter for $500 per month. He worked his way through college (while working) and later went through Paramedic school while working (no easy task with clinicals at the hospitals). He became an engineer and then finally a Fire Captain for many years. He served as incident command at many of the notable forest fires in the west throughout the years and hard work was something he enjoyed. Then after being blown off a roof at a house fire and hurting his knee, he retired in 2003. He REFUSED to file Worker's Compensation and just simply retired after 32 years of service. No disability for this man. That knee continued to be a problem. In 2007, he finally had a total knee replacement. They sent him home after three days with a 102 fever, which they said was normal. A week later, my son (also a Paramedic) came over and took one look at him and called an ambulance. Hours later he was in a coma. His temperature reached 106 and they assured me that the knee was not the cause, that it was not infected. Then they told me to call in the family. Relatives made arrangements to fly in from Montana. Much to the doctor's surprise ....he woke up on the 5th day. They needed beds and said the only thing they could find in blood tests was that he had mononucleosis. ?????? They sent him home the same day. The man that came home was and continues to be a VERY DIFFERENT man than the one prior to that surgery. After over 4 years and the best neurologist and infectious disease doctors that Duke University, Wake Forest University, and University of Virginia have to offer .... this condition of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (along with some type of brain injury as he now has lesions on his brain) and all that comes with it had dramatically changed our lives. His retirement is nothing like he had planned. If he goes fishing, he spends 2-3 days in bed afterwards. Minor exertion causes complete and utter exhaustion. He hurts all over, forgets things, and I know first hand ..... CFS is real. I know this economic climate in which we live today ...... every dollar counts. But CFS .... like autism ..... is becoming epidemic and it gets so little funded for research. All I am asking is to spread the "wealth" a little. Lets find out what we can do to make these folks function better and have a better quality of life.

    Folks like "Anonymous" are clueless and uneducated. Just read the one sentence and see the errors. Not to insult "Anonymous" ...... just recommending that one get their facts straight before posting opinions publicly.

    Angela
    (Teacher, with strong work ethic, and also accustomed to long hours for no pay to get the job done for the betterment of the children)

    A patient advocate, Khaly Castle, made this comment a few months ago, which aptly summarises what is so wrong about this whole affair. Science have just demonstrated how the ME community's concerns, (and dismay) were, and remain, completely founded:

    "Patients are not pushing for a favorite pathogen. Patients are pushing for real science to occur and to take its course before the door gets slammed on ANY potential avenue of study. Patients are not stupid and are tired of being treated as such. Patients are particularly irked that they point out the discrepancies in scientists’and government’s claims, and said scientists and government continue to push the mistruths forward as if by saying it loud enough and long enough, it will be true.”

    Hank
    Patients are pushing for real science to occur and to take its course before the door gets slammed on ANY potential avenue of study.
    Well, how many studies where those original results cannot be replicated have to occur before patients accept science, when they wholeheartedly accepted one study the first time without any basis? It doesn't make any sense to say patients will embrace anything claiming to be a viral cause for this but when no one can find it, it is "mistruths" and government conspiracies.
    You reveal your bias and your collusion with the denialists with this statement:"Well, how many studies where those original results cannot be replicated have to occur before patients accept science, when they wholeheartedly accepted one study the first time without any basis?"

    Without any basis??? 1) - The Science study used real patients. Most of the "we can't find anything" studies didn't. The lead researcher, Dr Mikovits, had had over 20 years experience researching AIDS at NIH, as does co-author Dr Frank Russcetti, also at NIH. 2) - Those 0/0 studies were, not one of them, "replications." 3) - Dr John Coffin, crony of Jonathon Stoye, crier for retraction, said then that this study was "as good as it gets for a first paper." He was one of the "peer" reviewers. A year later he concocts a fairytale "event" saying xmrv was created in the lab, in a paper about as bad as it gets. It should be retracted, as should most of the 0/0 "studies." 4) Doctors and researchers who bother with the patients and the research into this disease published statements saying this theory fits the facts of the disease. Those who can't be bothered with patients and the over 5000 papers showing the biomedical abnormalities in patients immediately said things like Bill Reeves of CDC: "Well, we'll look for it but I don't think we'll find anything", a prophetic statement. Would that inspire confidence in anyone who actually wants the facts? Is that an illustration of scientific objectivity or bias?

    Researchers, doctors and patients had plenty of "basis" for thinking this study had something to say about the disease. Many still do. So why the extreme attempt to close the door prematurely?

    You admit you know nothing of the political history of this disease, you ignore and refuse to respond to the facts brought up here, and then you resort to the usual name calling used by denialists: calling me a tinfoil hat conspiracist. Nobody in this discussion has said that "everything is a conspiracy". Surely you aren't claiming that governments never conspire -- are you? I doubt you're that naive. You can't refute the facts so you resort to name calling. FOI inquiries have disclosed multiple cases of government conspiracies against their own citizens over the decades. Why don't you ask Dr Kenneth Friedman about the "unseen hand" that punishes cfs/me researchers who take the disease seriously? He testified before the NIH State of the Knowledge Workshop 04.08.2011 that those researchers who look for the cause are denied tenure, forbidden to use the resources such as email of their respective institutions and blackballed for their interest in this disease. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhB-701-BMU Is he another "tinfoil hat conspiracist"? Or do you reserve that kind of denigration for patients, whom you try to make seem to not include the knowledgable, intelligent and scientifically educated. Helping to manage the rabble, are you?

    You continue to misstate the facts. You are either arrogantly stubborn or a part of the good ole boy network participating in the media campaign to make real research into this disease go away. Better minds than yours have not slammed the door on research into the possiblity of human gamma retroviral association with cfs/me, despite your efforts to make it look like "everybody knows" it's over and your efforts to make patients look crazy, irrational and "hysterical." Your choice of words reveals that you are part of the denialist campaign, not an impartial observer. You have chosen to quote only denialists; you have chosen not to quote or even acknowledge those researchers who are still open minded about the possibility of HGRV involvement. It appears it is you who wears the tinfoil hat for protection against the "conspiracy" of patients who want every lead investigated thoroughly, despite a governmental history of the opposite on both sides of the Atlantic.

    Here's the thing. Sloppy thinking is not acceptable. Many comments refer to the big "they." Making a generalization about a group of people is always false. ALWAYS FALSE. It is the basis of bias and bigotry.

    Scientists think....patients believe...patients embrace...advocates don't...advocates say... THIS kind of thinking is a short step away from saying that all people with a certain characteristic (race, gender, religion, ILLNESS) have the same behaviors and ya know, "They all think alike." It appears that one's educational level has no bearing on using a false premise as the foundation of an argument.

    Hank
     Making a generalization about a group of people is always false. ALWAYS FALSE. It is the basis of bias and bigotry.
    I suppose that is a fine assertion except the contention of a lot of commenters is that science only works if it says this particular virus causes CFS.  Otherwise it is the government out to get people or whatever.  It makes no sense. What does your generalization about falsehood have to do with a flawed paper that was retracted because it was wrong?
    No commenters here have said that "science only works if it says this particular virus causes CFS." You're putting words into people's mouths. You are denigrating patients just like the UK cabal of "it's all in their heads" does. Why?

    Many papers with flaws are not retracted. The flaws in this one have been addressed. It wasn't retracted because it was wrong and that is what is at issue here. You are either unaware of the political history behind this or you are a part of the effort to stifle research into the biomedical cause(s). The retraction was an extreme action, not merited by the facts. It was a political act, not a scientific one.

    Why don't you ask all your Brit quoters why the UK has an information blackout on past me/cfs research that will last for the next 50 years? Why is it a state secret in UK, one that if revealed would constitute the crime of treason, punishable by death? People seeking information through the FOI act there get back papers that are so "redacted" that there is nothing but black markings on the pages.

    A rational approach to this complicated problem is to say that when groups form an US an against THEM mentality, they tend to imply that one idea is inclusive to ALL the people in their group. Not all scientists think XMRV and MLV investigation is worthless. Not all MDs believe that CFS is hooey and not all advocates embrace government evil doers and that XMRV is the viral cause of CFS. I am a well known advocate, an old timer, a 30 year patient, and the mother of a son who died at age 23 of CFS related causes. I am XMRV positive with viral onset in 1980. As great as my losses have been, they mirror those of other people I know who have been waiting 3 generations for some kind of public health response to this illness. You think about that. If you had an illness that caused you to be housebound, then your daughter turned up sick and then a grandson became ill, what would you think about the state of the research? I have FOIA information on NIH CFS research from 2000 on, the point at which the GAO investigation stopped. You have my email.

    Hank
    Not all scientists think XMRV and MLV investigation is worthless. 
    XMRV may turn out to be important in the pathogenesis of other diseases, as I wrote.  I haven't found anyone who said the investigation was worthless.  It isn't involved in CFS but that should be good news.  It means science is continuing to look for answers and is invalidating rubbish that gives people false hope.
    Mikovits, Ruscett, Lo and Alter found polytropic MRVs, not XMRV or PMLVs.

    The negative studies looked for VP62/XMRV, not VP42/XMRV that is found in those with prostate cancer or the PMRVs found in people with ME.

    Does this now make sense?

    You say "Science for the Win." That is the initial falsehood. That retraction was a win for the ongoing politics which you apparently aren't curious about or are colluding with. The retraction was instigated by Jonathon Stoye, British associate of the UK's disability insurance company controlled governmental medical establishment. The paper you refer to re: contamination really had nothing at all to do with the Science study and had nothing to say about it. But it, too, came from the cabal in UK which has been promoting the idea that me/cfs has no biomedical basis. It was part of a 4-paper media blitz about this time last year trying to infer without actually saying it, that there is no xmrv and if there were, it would be a lab contaminant. ONE paper found that ONE brand of reagent had mouse DNA. This brand was never used in the labs doing the Science study, but those authors tried to infer it was lab contamination anyway.

    Michael Sharpe, executive sitting on two insurance company boards in UK, helped shape the CDCs attitude and campaign to ignore and disdain patients with this devasting disease. The CDC's policy is an extension of the one in UK: allow no testing for biomedical abnormalities and promote the idea the disease is psychosomatic. Who benefits from this? Medicare and insurance companies don't have to pay for tests that show the biomedical abnormalities and the treatments that might arise from such tests. Doctors who test anyway and find these abnormalities are disdained as "contaminated" by the CDC's "researchers."This is an actual statement by Bill Reeves of CDS in one of his sham research papers. The CAA's scientific director, Suzanne Vernon, worked with Reeves at CDC for decades and has her name on this paper and others. CDC recruits its cohort of "cfs" patients by random digit dialing - the Publisher's Clearing House method - and won't work with the clinicians who have deep and wide knowledge of patients and bona fide research.

    You say "Advocates don't do research, they are lobbyists so they are only going to accept research that agrees with their constituency and they will deny anything else." This exactly describes the attitude and actions of those who want research into viral causation to be seen as a dead end as soon as possible. They denied the possiblity of xmrv, and all other viral associations, even before they did their so-called research. They didn't start out to replicate anything. They started out to put an end to any research going in that direction. They are always johnny-on-the-spot to say, "no that's not it; keep moving; nothing of interest here" but they never do any research to acutally find the cause and/or treatment.

    What the cfs/me "constituency" wants is the truth. Those of us who have followed the "research" seeking to disprove viral association have seen multiple flaws in those papers - flaws so bad those papers should never have been published or should themselves be retracted. All those European studies being bandied about used an invalid cohort and most already subscribed to theory that cfs/me is psychosomatic. The Jan 2010 one you referred to was put together and published within 3 months of the Science paper's publication. The samples were supplied by Simon Wessely, notorious for promoting the "it's only an illness belief/it's psychosomatic" propaganda for decades. (His wife is a professor of "psychosomatic medicine" and sits on the governmental board that decrees cfs/me is mental illness.) It was turned down by either the Lancet or the BMJ and only got published in a pay-to-publish journal. You think that was another Win for Science? Those who have been following the politics saw it for what it was: the opening salvo in a campaign to squelch research into viral causation. Wessely said, before the study was finished, "even if we found a virus it wouldn't make any difference. We're in the business of rehabilitation." "Rehabilitation" is code for talk therapy, psychotropic drugs and graduated exercise "therapy", all of which have been found to be either contraindicated or ineffectual. At this very moment there is a cfs/me patient in UK who has been forcibly taken to a mental hospital because he "claims" he has cfs/me, supported by two independant doctors' diagnosis, but the UK government medical system, under the control of Wessely and his cronies, declare that is a delusion and he must have forced psychiatric treatment to rid him of this delusion.

    If you are genuinely interested in this subject, you should be talking to some of the doctors who have this disease such as Dr Michael Synderman, oncologist, or Dr. Jamie Deckoff-Jones; or to some of the doctors who have been diagnosing, researching and treating this disease for decades such as Dr Enlander, Dr Cheney, Dr Bell, Dr Dan Peterson, Dr Nancy Klimas, Dr John Chia, Dr Jasson, psychologist. Most if not all of them would tell you the door should not yet be closed on the search for a retroviral association. Any of them could provide you with more accurate quotes than those of Vincent Rancanciello whose buddy on the show, Alan Dove, still thinks the disease has a "psychological element." (And whose wife is also a doctor of "psychosomatic medicine.") Those shrinks just don't want to lose market share.

    I hope your one-sided article here is due to your ignorance and not to malice, but in either case, you do not aid your god, Science, by supporting only one side of the equation. You could also have noted the Alter, Lo and Komaroff study that found other Human Gamma Retroviruses and you could have mentioned Alter's quote saying something to the effect there's a virus here, it's just a question whether you want to take this disease seriously enough to find it. In addition to quoting the guy who claims xmrv hasn't mutated enough to satisfy him, you could have mentioned that other researchers have found that these MLVs reproduce mainly by clonal expansion which isn't so prone to mutation and that retroviruses in cfs/me have been found behaving like "Trojan horses", residing inside herpes viruses such as EBV - inferring this may be how they spread and how they hide from detection. Please do your homework before you dash off another one-sided pronouncement like this one. Or don't say anything at all.

    Hank
    You say "Science for the Win." That is the initial falsehood. That retraction was a win for the ongoing politics which you apparently aren't curious about or are colluding with. 
    Not everything is a big conspiracy against you.  Science won here because by narrowing down things that are not real causes, you converge on an actual cause.  I am not sure why so many people (in these comments - none of whom are scientists) are determined to circle the wagons around one virus that has been shown repeatedly to not be the cause.  It makes no sense.
    The CDC's policy is an extension of the one in UK: allow no testing for biomedical abnormalities and promote the idea the disease is psychosomatic.
    Again I have to ask why you and others introduce irrelevance.  I know nothing about the CDC claiming the disease is psychosomatic, this article is about one potential cause being eliminated.  If you are now alleging the CDC pulls the strings of Science magazine and the entire AAAS you are relegating yourself to the tinfoil hat fringe. You should be happy no one is wasting time going down a dead end road.
    I hope your one-sided article here is due to your ignorance and not to malice, but in either case, you do not aid your god, Science, by supporting only one side of the equation.
    Oops, I spoke too soon, you are definitely on the tinfoil hat fringe. There is no one side of an equation. The notion that science is out to get you yet one tiny group that used contaminated samples is awesomely accurate and on your side is bizarre.  What's next, homeopathy will cure CFS?  A real solution cannot be found until the false ones are also eliminated.
    The fervor with which some in the CFS community have embraced the now thoroughly debunked XMRV theory is reminiscent of the anti-vaxxers. Science simply doesn't matter; only conspiracies do.

    The fervor with which some in the research community have embraced the idea that XMRV and not PMRVs has anything to do with ME in Lombardi et al or Lo et al. is reminiscent of HIV deniers and the way the HHS, NIH and CDC dealt with that virus when it was discovered. Science simply doesn't matter; only jobs do.

    This may end up being one of those diseases with multiple etiologies. A biological cause is very likely, but it's definitely not XMRV.

    Once again you refuse to respond to the facts and to acknowledge that other scientists have stated opinions contrary to those you chose to quote, coincidentally all of them part of the "it's psychosomatic" bunch in UK. You continue to misstate the facts and resort to name calling instead of responding to the facts. Obviously, this is not an article about science at all, but rather an attempt to paint researchers, doctors and patients who have not been fooled as all a bunch of nutcases.

    The historical facts include the diversion of research money designated for cfs research by Congress in the early 1990's; a Congressional investigation whereby the CDC Division of Chronic Viral and Rickettsial Diseases was found guilty of theft and diversion but got a slap on the wrist for it (a course in research "accounting") and Bill Reeves, the new chief of research into those viral and rickettsial diseases stopped stealing the money and began using it to divert public attention away from biomedical causes and toward "mind-body" research, totally inappropriate for the "viral and rickettsial" mandate. Instead of doing viral research, he spent $4.5 million, through the CFIDS Assoc. of America, to "brand" cfs as unsolvable and probably mental. It doesn't take paranoia to conclude the CDC does not want a viral cause to be found. Despite brain scans showing cfs patients have punctate lesions similar to those found in AIDS patients, the CDC declared those patients to be part of "mass hysteria" and then accused the doctors who paid for those brain scans of "colluding" with their patients -- on no evidence at all of the latter. Then the CDC did a similar "study" using old, outdated scanning machines that didn't find those lesions. They made a big announcement that they had "debunked" that evidence. So the original researchers did those brain scans again, using the same outdated equipment, and came up with the same outdated results -- no lesions. When asked why they used outdated machines for this "research" the CDC said the couldn't afford the newer, more accurate machines. But, hey, no reason to doubt that the government is doing right by us, is there?

    The medical establishment will have you believe that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) is some sort of ‘mysterious illness,’ but it’s no mystery to me; CFS/ME leads to HIV-Negative AIDS, idiopathic CD lympocytopena (ICL), a clinical diagnosis that I possess.

    How can the AIDS establishment continue on with a stale "it's caused by HIV" mantra when there are HIV-Negative AIDS (ICL) cases cited in medical journals dating back to 1992?

    While millions of ailing immunodeficient CFS/ME patients get purposefully belittled and neglected, perfectly healthy HIV+ people are allocated billions of dollars in taxpayer money. How can that make any sense to anyone?

    It's so easy to see that the medical establishment simply has these paradigms (CFS, HIV) inverted. AIDS patients are simply more CFS patients, who happen to harbor a seemingly harmless virus, HIV. AIDS patients are just the tip of the CFS iceberg, and it's already well-documented that HIV is not the cause of CFS/ME.

    AIDS + CFS + ME = one catastrophic epidemic (not caused by HIV)

    See how easy?

    Now that the 'mystery' has been solved, could we please stop wasting time and re-allocate all the HIV funding into CFS research?

    7 Step Plan to resolving our World's catastrophic public health disaster:

    1. Demand research funding parity for CFS with AIDS.
    2. Suggest that CFS & AIDS be researched together by scientists rather than as separate entities.
    3. Urge the CDC to move their AIDS division under the CFS umbrella so they research all the infections that AIDS and CFS have in common.
    4. Urge that AIDS organizations (like Amfar) include CFS under their umbrellas so that CFS advocates don't have to reinvent the wheel.
    5. Demand that the White House, Fauci and the Director of NIH make a public statement that (just from what we know today) in terms of the immune dysfunction and human suffering, CFS is just as serious a public health problem as AIDS.
    6. Request that an annual international joint CFS & AIDS conference be held by the World Health Organization.
    7. Suggest that next December 1st be declared the first "World AIDS/CFS Day."

    Hank
    It's so easy to see that the medical establishment simply has these paradigms (CFS, HIV) inverted. AIDS patients are simply more CFS patients, who happen to harbor a seemingly harmless virus, HIV. AIDS patients are just the tip of the CFS iceberg, and it's already well-documented that HIV is not the cause of CFS/ME.
    This is the problem when activists and advocates try to commingle with science.  There is no zero evidence for anything you wrote in this comment, just conjecture designed to foment hysteria in people already desperate for answers.  It's snake oil and, worse, you attack legitimate science to advance your position.   You should sell magic water too.  If it makes 25% of people feel better, you can claim it's a miracle drug.
    The only 'legitimate science' referenced in my post was my objective medical file. Neither CFS nor AIDS are even diseases, so they could hardly be considered science. If I were healthy enough to sell anything to anyone, it will be logic and common sense. All my evidence is cited on my blog.

    Both retroviruses, how could the contagion factor of XMRV be different or far more reaching than HIV?

    Not even HIV (the most well-funded retrovirus in history) ever claimed an infect:harm relationship to extended family members that you see with countless CFS & ME cases.

    It has never been proven that a retrovirus (e.g., HIV) can cause harm. To top that, now we're supposed to believe that a retrovirus (e.g., XMRV) is aerosol? Or saliva-based?

    If retroviruses were aerosol/saliva-based, wouldn't everyone in the world have HIV by now?

    It doesn't add up, and I don't subscribe to any of it.

    "Dr. Klimas responds: In general, retroviruses are not spread by air or droplet but are transmitted sexually, vertically (mother to fetus) and by blood transfusion." http://consults.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/15/readers-ask-a-virus-linked-...

    Why would our allied government be covering-up our illnesses caused by a yet-to-be-discovered pathogen?

    Isn't it far more logical that they are hiding a known pathogen from the past?

    Likely tied to something *political*?