By DAVID TULLER:
The researchers relied on P.C.R. technology to show that about two-thirds of patients but less than 4 percent of control subjects harbored XMRV. Using other technologies, however, they also documented an antibody response in some chronic fatigue syndrome patients, and reported that XMRV in human blood could infect other human cell lines.
Even some specialists stumbled over the meaning of the new findings.
Vincent Racaniello, a professor of microbiology at Columbia not involved in the research, apologized on his Virology Blog for having stated that it was likely to spell “the beginning of the end” for the proposed connection between the viruses and chronic fatigue syndrome.
After reviewing the issue more thoroughly, he wrote, he realized that the new studies “show that identification of XMRV can be fraught with contamination problems, but they do not imply that previously published studies are compromised.”
He added, “If I had difficulties interpreting these papers, how would nonscientists fare? Read more>>