Saturday, December 11, 2010

XMRV was man made in the 1980s

By: Ron Logan

“We decided to further analyze the genomic sequence of the MuLV-like contaminant virus. Surprisingly it… showed 99% identity to a synthetic retrovirus which was engineered in the 1980s.”

“The present report extends these studies by identifying for the first time a presumably synthetic chimeric retrovirus as a contaminant. This gene-modified organism seems to have replicated and spread intensely in a broad set of cell lines for several years without being noticed.

This hybrid amphotropic/Moloney murine leukemia virus was engineered in the 1980s and neither the virus itself nor the plasmid (pAMS) containing its proviral genome were ever used in our laboratory. Although the precise source for the contamination could not be traced back, sharing cell lines with other laboratories seems the most likely explanation.”

The initial concern of these authors is contamination of their own laboratory experiments but, alas, it is not only laboratories that can be contaminated with retroviruses that were “engineered in the 1980s”, many members of the international public could have met with a similar contaminatory fate.

It is early days to say conclusively what has actually happened but that something very extraordinary may have in fact happened to millions of ME patients and has put international blood supplies at risk looks increasingly likely.

Sudden international epidemics of illness coupled with secret establishment files on the matter along with assertions that all can be managed with psychotherapies, such as happened with ME (CFS) from the 1980s, ought to ring loud alarm bells within the public at large. There is something very odd going on and it has the whiff of international scandal about it.

In the UK, the establishment psychiatric Lobby has become known as “The Wessely School”, after leading proponent Professor Simon Wessely of the Institute of Psychiatry in London.

In spite of thousands of biomedical studies to the contrary(7), Wessely famously asserted that “ME is simply a belief, the belief that one has an illness called ME” in his address entitled “Microbes, Mental illness, the Media and ME: the Construction of Disease” delivered to ... Read more>>


Anonymous said...

i had a look at the paper in the titled "Unintended spread of a biosafety level 2 recombinant retrovirus" from which this article quotes. i believe the article (by ron logan)is misleading as has quoted

“We decided to further analyze the genomic sequence of the MuLV-like contaminant virus. Surprisingly it… showed 99% identity to a synthetic retrovirus which was engineered in the 1980s.”

When i had a look and read the text in the original it says

"We decided to further analyze the genomic sequence of the MuLV-like contaminant virus. Surprisingly it was neither identical to MuLV nor to the novel xenotropic MuLV related retrovirus (XMRV) but showed 99% identity to a synthetic retrovirus which was engineered in the 1980s."

so what they found was not xmrv and the author of this very speculative article doesn't really want you to know this or he would have quoted it properly. people with ME don't always have the energy to waste checking up on every reference, especially when these papers are written in technical language not easily understood by laypeople.

i personally don't really understand the findings in the paper and the consequences of them but i'm willing to imitate the author and therefore speculate that he doesn't understand the studdy either.

ps the text in bold above is my emphasis

oerganix said...

The only thing that is possibly misleading is the headline. Headlines are often written by someone other than the article writer.

The rest of the article is not misleading at all. It doesn't even mention XMRV. Therefore, to speculate that Ron Logan tried to deceive his readers is nothing but speculation itself.

What Anonymous left out is that although the contaminant the Retrovirology paper's authors found was not IDENTICAL to MuLV nor ...the related XMRV, it was very similar, 97-100% similar: "Additionally we isolated seven clones that bore six different sequences with high similarity scores of 97-100% to murine leukemia virus strains (MuLV) in a nucleotide BLAST search."

They also found a high level of contamination with SMRV (squirrel-monkey retrovirus) which is similar to HIV.

Their most stunning finding, though, was the high level of contamination by the bioengineered retrovirus called pAMS: "This construct was engineered in the 1980s and is composed of sequences from Moloney murine leukemia virus (MoMLV) and amphotropic mouse leukemia virus clone 4070A." They reference two papers by AD Miller, published in Molecular and Cellular Biology in 1985 and 1986. One was titled "Redesign of Retrovirus Packaging Cell-Lines to Avoid Recombination Leading to Helper Virus Production".

"Recombination" and "helper virus" are two areas of retrovirology that interest me, an ME/CFS patient since the mid-80s.

Since we don't yet know whether the tests Alter, Lo and Komaroff used in their study to detect MLVs are sensitive enough to detect XMRV or the PMRVs that WPI has found, it is too early to say whether XMRV was "man made". Ron Logan's article in the Guardian doesn't even have that headline, so I don't know where it comes from. Dr. Speedy? The Guardian headline says "“UNINTENDED” INTERNATIONAL SPREAD OF A FAMILY OF RETROVIRUSES?" Logan is quoting from a paper titled “Unintended spread of a biosafety level 2 recombinant retrovirus.”

I, for one, am glad he found these papers and put them out here for the rest of us to contemplate.


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