Friday, March 11, 2011

A retrovirus generated in the lab that can readily infect human cells is troubling

Jon Cohen, Science 11 March 2011:

More Negative Data for Link Between Mouse Virus and Human Disease

Jon Cohen
A new finding presented at a conference last week throws cold water on the impassioned debate about the link between a novel mouse retrovirus and prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome in humans. Yet few believe it will end the controversy, which began in 2006.

In an extensive sleuthing expedition that looked back nearly 20 years, two collaborating research teams contend that they have evidence that xenotropic murine leukemia virus–related virus (XMRV) resulted from the chance recombination of pieces of two mouse viruses in lab experiments and that the connections to human disease are spurious.

But even if XMRV is not a threat to human health, the fact that a retrovirus that can readily infect human cells was apparently generated by chance in the lab raises some interesting and potentially troubling issues.

See also: CDC will now look for XMRV and MLV in their own lab workers ! or Bizarre CROI Conference suggests that XMRV is contamination and then they all run off to check if they are XMRV positive !! or When CROI says XMRV is a contaminant they mean it is a recombinant

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