Monday, October 24, 2011

XMRV and chronic fatigue syndrome

Judy Mikovits, the scientist who discovered the XMRV virus might be linked to the chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) has be sacked by the Whittemore Peterson Institute in Reno, Nevada. They were investigating allegations of data manipulations. She was dismissed for failing to pass on a cell line to a fellow researcher.

Although her 2009 paper in Science brought new hope to sufferers of CFS that there might be a physical cause for their syndrome, other laboratories have failed to confirm her results and a study last year suggested that samples were contaminated with mouse DNA. On September 22 the authors of the science paper retracted part of the paper. and on the same day Science published a paper from nine separate laboratories including the Reno laboratory which failed to find XMRV in blinded samples.

Now Science is investigating images published with the paper after Abbie Smith, a graduate student blogged that it was suspiciously like an image used by Dr Mikovits in another context in a lecture given in Ottawa last year.

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