Friday, June 10, 2011

XMRV & CFS - the story continues

June 7, 2011

Murine Viruses and Chronic Fatigue: Does the Story Continue

Posted by Derek

Well, one day after writing an obit for the XMRV
story comes this abstract (
from Retrovirology.

The authors, from Cornell and SUNY-Buffalo, say
that they've detected other murine retrovirus
transcripts from CFS patients (but not in most
controls), and that these are more similar to
those reported in last year's Lo and Alter paper in
PNAS ( than they are to XMRV

So perhaps the story continues, and what a mess
it is at this point. I continue to think that the
XMRV hypothesis itself is in serious trouble, but
murine retroviruses as a class are still worth
following up on.

This is tough work, though, because of the twin
problems of detection and contamination, and it's
going to be easy for people to fool themselves.

Meanwhile, Retraction Watch has more
( on Science's *Expression of
Concern* that I wrote about yesterday.

It appears that the journal asked the authors to
retract the paper (so says the Wall Street Journal,
anyway) but that co-author Judy Mikovits turned
them down (as might have been expected from
her previous stands ( in this

Science released their editorial note early because
of the WSJ piece.

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