Search Results for 'xmrv'

The Slow, Slow Road to De-Discovery

September 18, 2012 | By

The virus known as XMRV does not cause chronic fatigue syndrome. Achieving this particular bit of knowledge has taken a pretty spectacular couple of years. In October 2009, Judy Mikovits, a scientist then at the Whittemore Peterson Institute in Reno, Nevada, and her colleagues published a startling paper. They found that 68 out of 101 […]

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Flu Fighters

February 3, 2012 | By

Michael Osterholm, his face a pink-cheeked scowl, looked out across the table, beyond the packed room at the New York Academy of Sciences, and out through the windows. The New York Academy of Sciences is housed on the fortieth floor of 7 World Trade Center, and their endless bank of windows affords a staggering view […]

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2011: A Letter from the Loom

December 31, 2011 | By

In 2011, the Loom reached its eighth birthday. Thanks to everyone who’s paid a visit or become a loyal reader in that time. With the year coming to a close, I spent a little time this week perusing the Loom’s archive, reflecting on the things that obsessed me during 2011. More than many years, this […]

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XMRV takes another step to de-discovery?

December 22, 2011 | By

I’ve written a few timesĀ here about the battle over a virus called XMRV, and its supposed link to chronic fatigue system. I just wanted to point this morning to a few articles by some fine writers about the latest twist: the paper that first claimed a link has been completely retracted. Ivan Oransky in Reuters […]

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The Penultimate Chapter in the XMRV-Chronic Fatigue Story?

September 23, 2011 | By

I’ve devoted a few posts (here and here and here) to the saga of a disputed link between chronic fatigue syndrome and a virus called XMRV. This week marks the next chapter in the story, with more evidence that the original results were at least partly due to contamination and a partial retraction of the […]

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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Death threats for scientists?

August 21, 2011 | By

I hate to say I told you so. A few months ago I was asked to give a coupleĀ talks to the skeptic community. Since I had just published a book about viruses, I decided to talk about the way myths so often crop up around them, and how a properly skeptical person should think about […]

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Dediscovery: My new essay for a new section of the New York Times

June 27, 2011 | By

In the late 1800s, prominent astronomers declared that Mars was criss-crossed by canals–evidence, they declared, of an advanced civilization. But in the early 1900s, astronomers gazed through more powerful telescopes and discovered that the canals were mirages. The astronomer Percival Lowell, who had become the leading champion of the canals, scoffed at the new findings […]

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The chronic fatigue virus: de-discovered?

May 31, 2011 | By

One of the most important things that virus-hunters do is “de-discover” links between viruses and diseases. In other words, they follow up on studies that indicate a link and see if it can really hold up. Last year, a team of scientists published a paper in Science in which they reported that 67% of people […]

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