Monday, February 13, 2012

The WPI did PCR for all samples – Silverman did PCR only for a few samples

Response to Comments on "Detection of an Infectious Retrovirus, XMRV, in Blood Cells of Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome"
Mikovits and Ruscetti
Science 328, 825-d (2010); DOI: 10.1126/science.1184548

"Investigators at NCI received 100 samples from individuals without knowing their health status; furthermore, the samples were sent to NCI directly without passing through the WPI laboratory space."
What ever went wrong with the results at Ruscetti's lab, they can't blame the WPI - or else this sentence would be a lie.
"The WPI has examined all 218 control and 101 patient samples by both PCR and serological methods for the presence of XMRV nucleic acid and antibodies. In addition, NCI used plasma from all 100 samples they received in infection experiments with LNCaP cells."
And this makes it look like the WPI did most of the serology. Plus, this can be read as both PCR and serology were done for all samples by the WPI. But serology was not done for all samples!
(I have no idea why I would think that, but I get the feeling they intentionally obfuscate things.)


BTW these were the 15 samples that Silverman had, six of which were positive:
1104 +
1106 +
1109 -
1115 +
1118 -
1125 +
1129 -
1134 -
1159 -
1168 -
1174 -
1175 -
1178 +
1179 +
1199 -
From figure 4
1124 is in the table 2 in the Silverman retraction, but missing in the original figure 4, and 1129 only in figure 4 and missing in table 2? Maybe a typo and mixup between 1124 and 1129? But then again 1129 is negative and 1124 is positive.

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