Dr. Judy A Mikovits
Director of Research, Whittemore Peterson Institute:
May 30, 2011
Dr. Bruce Alberts
Ms. Monica Bradford
Executive Editor Science
1200 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20005
Re: Lombardi et al.
Dear Dr. Alberts and Ms. Bradford:
As the corresponding author of the Lombardi et al. study I want to express my
deepest concern about the proposed issuance of your editorial expression of concern
regarding our XMRV findings and its association with chronic fatigue syndrome. This is especially so in light of the gross disregard for the integrity of the scientific process by the apparent willful breach of your embargo by one of the authors or their collaborators.
This has resulted in the apparent public knowledge of the contents of your request that we retract our seminal paper. I would respectfully ask that you focus on the following key facts and reconsider your position. We share your deep concern over the number of negative non-replication studies in this new area of research. However, the publication of your editorial expression of concern over the validity of Lombardi et al. findings are premature and would have a disastrous impact on the future of this field of science.
Please do not proceed down a path that could be detrimental to the scientific exploration of human retroviruses in infectious disease, cancer, and, therefore, the future health of millions around the world.