Monday, February 27, 2012

Mikovits' Slide of Shame #1

Revisiting an oldie but goodie (and in order to cover both slides of shame in this blog), that is Mikovits' First Slide of Shame.

From Lombardi et al. 2009:
Samples from five healthy donors exhibited no expression of XMRV proteins (Fig. 2C).
Fig. 2C. Expression of XMRV Proteins in PBMCs from CFS patients.
  • … (C) Lysates of activated PBMCs 
  • from healthy donors (lanes 1, 2, 4, 5, and 7)
  • or from CFS patients (lanes 3 and 6)
  • were analyzed by Western blots using
  • rat anti-SFFV Env mAb (top panel)
  • or goat anti-MLV p30 Gag (bottom panel).
  • Lanes 8: SFFV-infected HCD-57 cells.
  • At left: molecular weight markers in kD.
That was the original gel, with the original description written on it:
(The patient numbers 997, 991, and 1010 on the right half of the film are not in the Addendum – but 1282 is?)

And this was presented by Dr. Mikovits at the IACFS/ME 2011 conference in Ottawa:
And here are – from the different versions – the texts from the lanes:

Lane+/-Lombardi 2009Original GelIACFS/ME 2011
1-NormalNormal T 3/11Normal PBMC
2-NormalNormal T 3/212905 PBMC
3+12352905 5 AZA 4/112905 PBMC + 5-AZA
4-NormalPBMC 4/11Normal PBMC
5-NormalPBMC 4/101674 PBMC
6+12361674 5 AZA 4/111674 PBMC + 5-AZA
7-NormalPBMC 4/15Normal PBMC
8+SFFV-infected HCD-57HCD.57 SFFVPSFFV-infected HCD-57

The patient numbers 1674 and 2905 are not in the addendum.
The patent is interesting. There are two applications, US20110151431 and US20110117056 (just search on freepatentsonline to find them).

One is based on antibody based detection methods for XMRV antigens and the other is based on diagnosis of diseases associated with the virus.

Of particular interest is the fact that both applications contain several figures from the Science paper as evidence to support their claims. One of these is the famous figure 2C - in the patents they are retitled 2D - with the following description:
“Lysates from normal PBMCs (lanes 1, 2, 4, 5 and 7) or from subjects WPI-1235 (lane 3) and WPI-1236 (lane 6) were activated for 7 days with PHA and IL-2 and then analyzed by Western blot using rat anti-SFFV env monoclonal antibody (top panel) or goat anti-R-MuLV p30 (bottom panel). Lane 8: SFFV-infected mouse HCD-57 cells. Molecular weight markers are shown on the left.”
In other words they are clear what activation means - it's the standard PHA and IL-2 treatment - yet they again leave out the fact that 5-Aza has been added to the patient samples.

If they have read the application form they should be aware that "willful false statements and the like so made are punishable by fine or imprisonment, or both under 18 U.S.C. 1001 and that such willful false statements may jeopardize the validity of the application or any patent issued theron"

Oh dear.

Posted by: Sigmund | October 7, 2011 8:24 AM

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