Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What Dr. Judy Mikovits' results will be in the Lipkin study – and what excuses she will find

There are four major possibilities what results Dr. Mikovits will report in the Lipkin study, when looking at patients and controls, using her XMRV test.
  1. The patient samples are mostly positive, the control samples are mostly negative
  2. All samples are positive (patient and controls)
  3. All samples are negative (patient and controls)
  4. Samples are randomly positive (no difference between patient and control samples)
I predict that we won't see #1 happening. Not in a properly blinded study.

#2 would make her look stupid (after her non-contamination claims and all), but it could keep her in the game ("I just need more time to clean up my new lab"), so we might see that possibility.

#4 would make her look extremely stupid (after her non-contamination claims and all), so I won't think we will see that either. But she could try something like "My new lab was contaminated".

#3 is interesting. She could invoke all kinds of problems that are outside of her reach ("Wrong patient selection" or "The blood was stored wrong", etc.). If she didn't mind looking stupid, she could say her new lab is not up to speed with this supposed "easy" finding of XMRV of hers. Or she could throw another lab worker under the bus. The possibilities are endless.

So my money is on #3, closely followed by #2, #4 being still a strong contender. But #1 is out of the race as far as I am concerned.

Update: I think, as she left all her "validated" reagents at WPI, it will be hard for her to come up with positives. That makes the case for #3 a bit stronger. Unless some fool hands her something she can use to create a positive, let's say because she says she needs to create spiked control samples…

Update: Well, maybe she will keep her word. After all she said about the Lipkin study: "That will be the definitive answer, …If we’re wrong and we can’t reproduce it, then we’ll be wrong, and that’s how science works."

Update: Mikovits: "The Lipkin study will use all the collection procedures exactly as we specified..and that study will determine the association."


  1. Your post is completely ridiculous.

  2. Tell me, "XMRV Positive UK Kate", by what test are you "positive"?

  3. "I said, 'No, no, no, no,' " says Mikovits of the test. "I've asked them for the better part of 2 years to show me that what we got in Lombardi et al. is the same thing they're selling to patients."

  4. You are clueless. Stop blogging.

  5. Well thank you Sharon Stapleton for your thought-provoking comment.

  6. I can understand your sarcasm and hey, you might be completely right.

    But no matter what, I'll be forever grateful to Judy Mikovits for at leasting shifting attention away from the psychological side off the illness to whatever other side.

    I understand that she is accused of spreading false hope.
    So what? Being ill does not mean being naive and dumb. Well, at least not for every ill person. Of course there are naive persons who got themselves tested at once.

    That's just ridiculous.

    But I see it this way:

    *shifting away the attention from psychological viewpont


    *raising false hopes


    = still enough accomplishment to deserve not to be bashed brutally like you do in this article.

    Just saying. It's not that I disagree with your article and it does make sense.

  7. You raise some valid points, but I have to disagree with some counterpoints:

    1. Many patients (and the patient community at large) were made to look like stupid fools. This confirmed what the psychobabblers said all along about the patients all along.

    2. I doubt Mikovits did it in the interest of the patient community. In my opinion (and I will elaborate on that more in future posts) she (and the others involved) did it for personal gain.

    3. The main point: There was a substantial damage to the biomedical ME/CFS research community. Many people researching ME/CFS for biomedical causes and mechanisms were lead down a blind alley for the personal gain of a few individuals. And you know that the research resources working for us are limited.

    I see that maybe we all may very well win after what happend, but it is not THANKS to Mikovits' best efforts, but DESPITE them.

  8. Thank you for your detailed answer.

    1. Yeah, that is unfortunately so true...

    I remember very well that here in Germany the demise of Xmrv was used to sell the Pace Trials. I am speaking of articles in magazines.

    They all went like "Haha, you fools you placed false hopes in some virus, now you know better and voilà here is the pace trials that show how immensely better you will feel when you start exercising."

    A translated quote in one of those articles was: "tired mind, tired body".

    I doubt that they would have advertised the Pace Trials in the articles as enthusiastically had they not had the retraction of the xmrv science paper to present.

    2.I am looking forward to your future posts on the subject!

    I do not have any insight but only I hope that Dr. Mikovits did it in the interest of the patient community. Of course I will never know.

    I am not investigative in this matter so I think you are the better judge of the situation.

    3. Yes I know that the research resources are limited. And of course it seems to have been wasted on xmrv.

    On the other hand, the CDC has admitted to (sorry not a native speaker, I am struggling for the right wording) have used money that was intended to go into CFS research for completely other purposes.

    Now, I don't know exactly when that was, but could it be that the uproar that went through the whole patient community when xmrv was discovered, and the focus was shifted away from the psychological aspects that THEN people (whoever they were) started to check out what the CDC was doing in CFS research all the time and then found out that most of the money that should have gone into CFS research was redirected to some different research?

    I am far too tired to check on the dates but I could imagine that the CDC could have gone on forever using the money for other things than CFS research had there not been this sudden interest sparked by the sciene xmrv article.

    Thank you for your time and I am looking forward to continue reading on your blog.


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