Science Guardian

Truth, beauty and paradigm power in science and society

I am Nicolaus Copernicus, and I approve of this blog

News, views and reviews measured against professional literature in peer reviewed journals (adjusted for design flaws and bias), well researched books, authoritative encyclopedias (not the bowdlerized Wiki entries on controversial topics) and the investigative reporting and skeptical studies of courageous original thinkers among academics, philosophers, researchers, scholars, authors, filmmakers and journalists.

Supporting the right of exceptional minds to free speech, publication, media coverage and funding against the crowd prejudice, leadership resistance, monetary influences and internal professional politics of the paradigm wars of cancer, HIV(not)AIDS, evolution, global warming, cosmology, particle physics, macroeconomics, information technology, religions and cults, health, medicine, diet and nutrition.

***************************************************

HONOR ROLL OF SCIENTIFIC TRUTHSEEKERS

Halton C. Arp wki/obit/txt/vds/txt/txt/bk/bk, Henry Bauer txt/blg/ blg/bks/bk/txt/bk/vd, John Beard bk, Harvey Bialy bk/bk/txt/txt/rdo/vd, John Bockris bio/txt/ltr/bk, Donald W. Braben, Peter Breggin ste/fb/col/bks, Darin Brown txt/txt/txt/txt/txt/vd, Giordano Bruno bk/bio/bio, Frank R. Buianouckas, Stanislav Burzynski mov, Erwin Chargaff bio/bk/bio/prs, James Chin bk/vd, Nicolaus Copernicus bk, Mark Craddock, Francis Crick vd, Paul Crutzen, Marie Curie, Rebecca Culshaw txt/bk, Roger Cunningham, Charles Darwin txts/bk, Erasmus Darwin txt//bk/txt/hse/bks, Peter Duesberg ste/ste/bk/txt/vd/vd, Freeman Dyson, Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman bio, John Fewster, Rosalind Franklin, Bernard Forscher tx, Galileo Galilei, Walter Gilbert vd, Goethe bio/bk/bio, Nicolas Gonzalez tlk/rec/stetxt/txt, Patricia Goodson txt/bk/bk, Alec Gordon, James Hansen, Etienne de Harven bk/txt/vd, Alfred Hassig intw/txt, Robert G. Houston txt, Steven Jonas vd, Edward Jenner txt, Benjamin Jesty, Adrian Kent vd, Thomas Kuhn, Fred Kummerow, Stefan Lanka txt/txt/vd, Serge Lang, John Lauritsen vd, Paul Lauterbur vd, Mark Leggett, Richard Lindzen, James Lovelock, Andrew Maniotis, Lynn Margulis, Barbara McClintock, Christi Meyer vd, George Miklos, Marco Mamone Capria, Peter Medawar, Luc Montagnier txt/txt/vd, Kary Mullis, Linus Pauling prs/vd/vd, Eric Penrose, Roger Penrose vd, Max Planck, Rainer Plaga, David Rasnick bio/vd/bk, Robert Root-Bernstein vd, Sherwood Rowland, Otto Rossler, Harry Rubin, Marco Ruggiero txt/txt/intw/vd, Bertrand Russell Carl Sagan vd, Erwin Schrodinger, Fred Singer, Barbara Starfield txt, Gordon Stewart txt/txt, Richard Strohman, Thomas Szasz, Nicola Tesla bio/bio, Charles Thomas intw/vd, Frank Tipler, James Watson vd/vd, Alfred Wegener vd, Edward O. Wilson vd.

ACADEMICS, DOCTORS, AUTHORS, FILMMAKERS, REPORTERS AND COMMENTATORS WHO HAVE NOBLY AIDED REVIEW OF THE STATUS QUO

Jad Adams bk, Marci Angell bk/txt/txt/txt, Clark Baker ste/txt/rdo/vd, James Blodgett, Tony Brown vd, Hiram Caton txt/txt/txt/bk/ste, Jonathan Collin ste , Marcus Cohen, David Crowe vd, Margaret Cuomo, Stephen Davis BK/BK,/rdo, Michael Ellner vd, Elizabeth Ely txt/txt/ste, Epicurus, Dean Esmay, Celia Farber bio/txt/txt/txt/vd, Jonathan Fishbein txt/txt/wk, T.C.Fry, Michael Fumento, Max Gerson txt, Charles Geshekter vd, Michael Geiger, Roberto Giraldo, David Healy txt, Bob Herbert, Mike Hersee ste/rdo, Neville Hodgkinson txt /vd, James P. Hogan, Richard Horton bio/vd/vd, Christopher Hitchens, Eric Johnson, Claus Jensen vd, Phillip Johnson, Coleman Jones vds, William Donald Kelley, Ernst T. Krebs Sr txt, Ernst T. Krebs Jr. txt,/bio/txt/txt/ltr, Paul Krugman, Brett Leung MOV/ste/txt/txt/tx+vd/txt, Katie Leishman, Anthony Liversidge blg/intv/intv/txt/txts/txt/intv/txt/vd/vd, Bruce Livesey txt, James W. Loewen, Frank Lusardi, Nathaniel Lehrman vd, Christine Maggiore bk/ste/rec/rdo/vd, Rouben Mamoulian txt/txt/txt/txt/txt/doc/flm/flm, Noreen Martin vd, Robert Maver txt/itw, Eric Merola MOV, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Michael Moore bio/MOV/MOV/MOV, Gordon Moran, Ralph Nader bk, Ralph Moss txt/blg/ste/bks, Gary Null /txt/rdo/vd, Dan Olmsted wki, Toby Ord vd, Charles Ortleb bk/txt/bk/intw/flm, Neenyah Ostrom bk, Dennis Overbye, Mehmet Dr Oz vd, Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos ste/vd, Maria Papagiannidou bk, Thomas Piketty bk/bk/bk/bk/bk/bk/bk/bk/bk/bk, Robert Pollin txt/vd/bk, Jon Rappoport bio/bk/bk/ste/bk/bk/vd, Janine Roberts bk/bk, Luis Sancho vd, Liam Scheff ste/txt/bk/bk/rdio/vd, John Scythes, Casper Schmidt txt/txt, Joan Shenton vd/vd, Joseph Sonnabend vd, John Stauber, David Steele, Joseph Stiglitz bk/txt, Will Storr rdo Wolfgang Streeck, James P. Tankersley ste, Gary Taubes vd, Mwizenge S. Tembo, John Tierney vd, Michael Tracey, Valendar Turner rec, Jesse Ventura bk, Michael Verney-Elliott bio/vds/vd, Voltaire, Walter Wagner, Andrew Weil vd, David Weinberger bio/bk/blg/blg/BK/bk/pds, Robert Willner bk/txt/txt/vd, Howard Zinn.

*****************************************************
I am Albert Einstein, and I heartily approve of this blog, insofar as it seems to believe both in science and the importance of intellectual imagination, uncompromised by out of date emotions such as the impulse toward conventional religious beliefs, national aggression as a part of patriotism, and so on.   As I once remarked, the further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.   Certainly the application of the impulse toward blind faith in science whereby authority is treated as some kind of church is to be deplored.  As I have also said, the only thing that ever interfered with my learning was my education. I am Freeman Dyson, and I approve of this blog, but would warn the author that life as a heretic is a hard one, since the ignorant and the half informed, let alone those who should know better, will automatically trash their betters who try to enlighten them with independent thinking, as I have found to my sorrow in commenting on "global warming" and its cures.
Many people would die rather than think – in fact, they do so. – Bertrand Russell.

The progress of science is strewn, like an ancient desert trail, with the bleached skeletons of discarded theories which once seemed to possess eternal life. - Arthur Koestler

One should as a rule respect public opinion in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison. – Bertrand Russell

Fraud and falsehood only dread examination. Truth invites it. - Samuel Johnson

A sudden bold and unexpected question doth many times surprise a man and lay him open. – Sir Francis Bacon (1561 – 1626)

He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that. – John Stuart Mill

Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform. – Mark Twain

Although science has led to the generally high living standards that most of the industrialized world enjoys today, the astounding discoveries underpinning them were made by a tiny number of courageous, out-of-step, visionary, determined, and passionate scientists working to their own agenda and radically challenging the status quo. – Donald W. Braben

An old error is always more popular than a new truth. — German Proverb

I am Richard Feynman and I approve of this blog

When even the brightest mind in our world has been trained up from childhood in a superstition of any kind, it will never be possible for that mind, in its maturity, to examine sincerely, dispassionately, and conscientiously any evidence or any circumstance which shall seem to cast a doubt upon the validity of that superstition. I doubt if I could do it myself. – Mark Twain

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his income depends on his not understanding it. – Upton Sinclair

A clash of doctrines is not a disaster, but an opportunity. - Alfred North Whitehead

Fraud and falsehood only dread examination. Truth invites it. – Samuel Johnson

Man’s mind cannot grasp the causes of events in their completeness, but the desire to find those causes is implanted in man’s soul. And without considering the multiplicity and complexity of the conditions any one of which taken separately may seem to be the cause, he snatches at the first approximation to a cause that seems to him intelligible and says: “This is the cause!” – Leo Tolstoy

The evolution of the world tends to show the absolute importance of the category of the individual apart from the crowd. - Soren Kierkegaard

Who does not know the truth is simply a fool, yet who knows the truth and calls it a lie is a criminal. – Bertold Brecht

How easily the learned give up the evidence of their senses to preserve the coherence of ideas in their imagination. – Adam Smith

Education consists mainly in what we have unlearned. – Mark Twain

The mind likes a strange idea as little as the body likes a strange protein and resists it with similar energy. If we watch ourselves honestly, we shall often find that we have begun to argue against a new idea even before it has been completely stated. – Arthur Koestler

Whenever the human race assembles to a number exceeding four, it cannot stand free speech. – Mark Twain

People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. - Adam Smith

There isn’t anything so grotesque or so incredible that the average human being can’t believe it. – Mark Twain

He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that. – John Stuart Mill

It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere. – Voltaire

People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come into the mind of others.- Blaise Pascal.

Illusion is the first of all pleasures. – Voltaire

The applause of a single human being is of great consequence. – Samuel Johnson

(Click for more Unusual Quotations on Science and Human Nature)

Important: This site is best viewed in LARGE FONT, and in Firefox for image title visibility (place cursor on pics to reveal comments) and layout display. Click the title of any post to get only that post and its Comments for printing. All posts guaranteed fact checked according to reference level cited, typically the original journal studies. Full guide to site purpose, layout and how to print posts out is in the lower blue section at the bottom of the home page.
---Admin AL/E/ILMK---

In Europe, fish oil after heart attacks – but not here


Times reporter in Rome discovers amazing difference in treatment

Classic example of how US system defeats natural antidotes

Real solution is obvious – but far away

The seventh and eighth most searched keywords at the Times today were “health” and “science”, one ahead of “bush”. And we bet it is because of the article on taking fish oil after heart attacks, which is the second most emailed article.

What Elizabeth Rosenthal in Rome has found out will confirm the worst fears of those who suspect the drug companies and the FDA are somehow in cahoots against the welfare of Americans, refusing to give us what the Europeans in their more ancient wisdom hand out freely to their sick and diseased – in this case a key nutritional supplement which protects patients from dying after they have a heart attack.

Her article is polite and balanced in the Times manner so one has to read it closely to find out exactly what is going on. But it seems according to In Europe It’s Fish Oil After Heart Attacks, but Not in U.S. that the big Italian study ten years ago showed a sizeable indication that purified fish oil, or omega-3 fatty acids, can reduce deaths over three years by 20 per cent, and sudden deaths by forty per cent, if you dose heart attack patients within 24 hours after the event.

But there was a minor imperfection in the methodology – the study control group was untreated, rather than given a placebo – so the FDA will not accept the study’s impressive results, even though regulators in Spain, France, and Britain approved the prescription fish oil version, brand name Omacor, by 2004, and in Italy, according to the chief of cardiology at the Rome hospital Rosenthal quotes, every patient who survives a heart attack goes home with a prescription, and it is “considered tantamount to malpractice in Italy to omit the drug.”

Plenty of authoritative sources in the US support the practice too, Rosenthal finds, including a study in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine last month which said it was “important advice” to give patients.

But in the US patients are not given omega-3’s, nor are they offered information on it on the Omacor manufacturer’s Web site, which when it finds out you are a US citizen steers you past the information to a page where heart attacks are not mentioned! Instead, cardiologists and hospitals routinely offer more expensive and invasive treatments, in the form of pills and implanted defibrillators:

But in the United States, heart attack victims are not generally given omega-3 fatty acids, even as they are routinely offered more expensive and invasive treatments, like pills to lower cholesterol or implantable defibrillators. Prescription fish oil, sold under the brand name Omacor, is not even approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in heart patients.

“Most cardiologists here are not giving omega-3’s even though the data supports it — there’s a real disconnect,” said Dr. Terry Jacobson, a preventive cardiologist at Emory University in Atlanta. “They have been very slow to incorporate the therapy.”

Whose fault is it?

So is this the fault of the drug companies, whose ads and salesmen steer the US medical fraternity to the drugs and tools they sell, and who in the absence of FDA approval for Omacor cannot even mention the European solution? Hardly. The lack of FDA approval means they can make no money out of it, without a hugely expensive clinical trial.

Because prescription fish oil is not licensed to prevent heart disease in the United States, drug companies may not legally promote it for that purpose at conferences, in doctors’ offices, to patients or even on the Internet.

“If people paid more attention to guidelines, more people would be on the drug,” Dr. Jacobson said. “But pharmaceutical companies can’t drive this change. The fact that it’s not licensed for this has definitely kept doctors away.”

For example, on Solvay Pharmaceutical’s Web site for Omacor, www.solvay-omacor.com, the first question a user sees is, “Are you a U.S. citizen?”

If the answer is yes, the user is sent to a page where heart attacks are not mentioned. (In the United States, Omacor is licensed only to treat the small number of people with extremely high blood triglyceride levels.)

So community doctors do not learn how to use the drug. Lack of F.D.A. approval also means that insurers will not pay for treatment with Omacor. Approval from the agency for the use of the drug in heart disease is not expected soon.

A study published last month in The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine found that only 17 percent of family doctors were likely to prescribe fish oil to their patients, including patients who had suffered a heart attack. There was a great need, the authors concluded, to “improve awareness of this important advice.”

A lousy system, but why?

Clearly this is a lousy system in some respect or other. But what is the flaw? Maybe heart attack victims should rise up and storm the gates of the FDA and the NIH, and demand their rights. Why should they not be told about fish oil, have fish oil prescribed, see fish oil ads and read about them on the Web?

Come to think of it, why does this stuff need a precription anyway? Is pure fish oil a danger to your health in some way? The entire Mediterranean tradition says not. The Italians and the Greeks flourish on their delightful cuisine with minimal heart attacks, and as the article notes scientists have theorized as we all have that it’s the fish that do it, along with the wine.

And why does it have to be pure? According to Rosenthal,

over-the-counter preparations of fish oil have much less rigorous quality control and are often blends of the two fish oils know to be beneficial in heart disease with other less useful fatty acids.

For that reason, Dr. Jacobson of Emory gives the prescription drug, “off label,” to cardiac patients, even though the F.D.A. has not approved it for that use. “Then I know exactly what they’re getting, and there is no mercury,” he said.

So according to this the dangers of non-precription versions are “less useful fatty acids” and “mercury”. Is that a reason not to have generic fish oil available?

Still, hard to see why the company with the license for the drug in the US doesn’t seem in a hurry to go through the necessary trials in the US and market Omacor here. Could it be the cost of such trials, which involve hundreds of millions of dollars?

Marylou Rowe, a spokeswoman for Reliant Pharmaceuticals, which owns the license for the drug in the United States, said that further trials of Omacor would be needed for it to be licensed for heart attack patients in the United States. But she refused to discuss a timetable.

Why is is “ethical” to withhold fish oil and not HAART?

The whole story is a classic study of what is wrong with the health delivery system in the US. The FDA is placing a giant hurdle for an obviously beneficial natural compound to jump over before it can be part of the system, and while it is kept from being prescribed all the experts salute its benefit and even pop omega-3 pills themselves.

Rather embarrassing parallels can be seen in the world of HIV∫AIDS where it is becoming rather evident that what the top scientists know and talk about quietly among themselves is a lot more enlightened than what they release for public consumption.

For example, the aforementioned JAMA study below breaking the link between the virus and immune cell depletion which is now causing a little debate in Science and elsewhere, where the authors of the study plainly say it knocks out a basic assumption of the paradigm, but are careful to state their faith in the paradigm itself at every public opportunity to avoid getting in Dutch with Dr Fauci.

We have a friend who recently had a heart attack and was carted off to hospital for a triple by pass. Apparently we now have the duty of briefing him on the need to ask his cardiologist about omega-3 fatty acids when we see him next. Evidently the system cannot now be trusted in this simple matter.

As for the methodological weakness of the massive Italian study which brought the good news in the first place, is this really important enough for the FDA to hesitate before giving permission to cardiologists to prescribe them if they wish?

the landmark Gissi-Prevenzione trial of fish oil had methodological weaknesses: the patients treated with prescription fish oil pills were compared with untreated patients, rather than with patients given a dummy pill. This meant that, despite impressive results, the trial did not meet the F.D.A.’s standards for approval. Yet by 2004, regulators in almost all European countries, including Spain, France and Britain, had approved Omacor for use in heart attack patients.

Obviously not.

After all, if the FDA officials can see their way to forgiving the need for placebo groups in trials of the most dangerous HIV∫AIDS drugs, why is it so hard for them to forgive a slight methodological weakness in a huge trial of a familiar natural substance that the entire world agrees is good for you and rule that it would be “unethical” to withhold it from Americans after heart attacks?

The real solution is far, far away

The story highlights the basic problem with the current profit based system, where “the fundamental premise of US health care is that patients suffer from a deficiency in drugs,” as Robert Houston has wittily observed.

What is needed is for the government to finance nutritional and other approaches to combating ill health which cannot be patented and/or cannot ever be profitable enough to justify the hundreds of millions of dollars needed to finance clinical trials to win approval from the FDA (up to $900 million according to a Tufts University study).

But of course in their extreme capitalist frenzy it is unlikely that our present rulers or their party will ever recognize the fact that economics has a welfare dimension which cannot be reliably covered by the activities of profit making companies, unless government takes action in some way to provide incentives.

So for the moment we will just have to hope that the senior guilt trips of robber barons and other highly successful entrepreneurs and investors such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffett will include the idea of funding unprofitable avenues of research into alternatives to profitable drugs.

What we are saying is simple: someone should call or phone Bill Gates, Bill or Hilary Clinton, or any other parties of influence and get either government officials or rich men to fund the trials of natural alternatives so that the FDA has more to license than the latest profit making synthetic drug to come down the pipeline after trials which in HIV∫AIDS at least are notoriously corrupt and which novel chemicals are generally unpredictable in terms of side effects when mixed with numbers of other commercial drugs given the patients, as is so often the case with seniors.

In a sane system it may be that the NIH should be spending $3 billion a year on such trials, starting, for example, with selenium and its relevancy to the health of the immune system.

Under the current system the products of mother nature are effectively banned in favor of synthetic drugs, because they cannot be patented so if any company pays for expensive trials it cannot be sure of payback, since companies with competing versions will be free to come in and exploit the market without any upfront cost.

What’s even more egregious is the kind of thing that happened with AZT where the government paid for invention of the drug and the trials and then handed over the patent to Burroughs Wellcome who proceeded to jack up the price and make money killing people with high doses of this DNA chain terminator branded as Retrovir.

(In Europe It’s Fish Oil After Heart Attacks, but Not in U.S. by Elizabeth Rosenthal:

(show)

October 3, 2006

In Europe It’s Fish Oil After Heart Attacks, but Not in U.S.

By ELISABETH ROSENTHAL

ROME — Every patient in the cardiac care unit at the San Filippo Neri Hospital who survives a heart attack goes home with a prescription for purified fish oil, or omega-3 fatty acids.

“It is clearly recommended in international guidelines,” said Dr. Massimo Santini, the hospital’s chief of cardiology, who added that it would be considered tantamount to malpractice in Italy to omit the drug.

In a large number of studies, prescription fish oil has been shown to improve survival after heart attacks and to reduce fatal heart rhythms. The American College of Cardiology recently strengthened its position on the medical benefit of fish oil, although some critics say that studies have not defined the magnitude of the effect.

But in the United States, heart attack victims are not generally given omega-3 fatty acids, even as they are routinely offered more expensive and invasive treatments, like pills to lower cholesterol or implantable defibrillators. Prescription fish oil, sold under the brand name Omacor, is not even approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in heart patients.

“Most cardiologists here are not giving omega-3’s even though the data supports it — there’s a real disconnect,” said Dr. Terry Jacobson, a preventive cardiologist at Emory University in Atlanta. “They have been very slow to incorporate the therapy.”

The fact that heart patients receive such different treatments in sophisticated hospitals around the world highlights the central role that drug companies play in disseminating medical information, experts said.

Because prescription fish oil is not licensed to prevent heart disease in the United States, drug companies may not legally promote it for that purpose at conferences, in doctors’ offices, to patients or even on the Internet.

“If people paid more attention to guidelines, more people would be on the drug,” Dr. Jacobson said. “But pharmaceutical companies can’t drive this change. The fact that it’s not licensed for this has definitely kept doctors away.”

For example, on Solvay Pharmaceutical’s Web site for Omacor, www.solvay-omacor.com, the first question a user sees is, “Are you a U.S. citizen?”

If the answer is yes, the user is sent to a page where heart attacks are not mentioned. (In the United States, Omacor is licensed only to treat the small number of people with extremely high blood triglyceride levels.)

So community doctors do not learn how to use the drug. Lack of F.D.A. approval also means that insurers will not pay for treatment with Omacor. Approval from the agency for the use of the drug in heart disease is not expected soon.

A study published last month in The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine found that only 17 percent of family doctors were likely to prescribe fish oil to their patients, including patients who had suffered a heart attack. There was a great need, the authors concluded, to “improve awareness of this important advice.”

The fact that fish oil is also sold as a nutritional supplement has made it harder for some doctors to regard it as a powerful drug, experts said.

“Using this medicine is very popular here in Italy, I think partly because so many cardiologists in this country participated in the studies and were aware of the results,” said Dr. Maria Franzosi, a researcher at the Mario Negri Institute in Milan. “In other countries, uptake may be harder because doctors think of it as just a dietary intervention.”

In the largest study of fish oil — conducted more than a decade ago — Italian researchers from the Gissi Group (Gruppo Italiano per lo Studio della Sopravvivenza nell’Infarto), gave 11,000 patients one gram of prescription fish oil a day after heart attacks. After three years, the study found that the number of deaths was reduced by 20 percent and that the number of sudden deaths by 40 percent, compared with a control group.

Later studies have continued to yield positive results, although some scientists say there are still gaps in knowledge.

This summer, a critical review of existing research in BMJ, The British Medical Journal, “cast doubt over the size of the effect of these medications” for the general population, said Dr. Roger Harrison, an author of the paper, “but still suggested that they might benefit some people as a treatment.”

Dr. Harrison said he believed that people should generally increase their intake of omega-3 acids, best done by eating more fish.

Still, he acknowledged that it was difficult to eat foods containing a gram of omega-3 acids each day. “If you ask me do I take omega-3 supplements every day, then, embarrassingly, the answer is yes,” said Dr. Harrison, a professor at Bolton Primary Care Trust of the University of Manchester in England.

“I, too, am caught up in this hectic world where I have little time to shop and prepare the healthy foods I know I should be eating,” he said.

It seems natural for Italy to be at the forefront of the fish oil trend and home to the largest clinical trials. Scientists have long noted that Mediterranean diets are salubrious for the heart and theorized that the high content of broiled and baked fish might be partly responsible.

But the landmark Gissi-Prevenzione trial of fish oil had methodological weaknesses: the patients treated with prescription fish oil pills were compared with untreated patients, rather than with patients given a dummy pill. This meant that, despite impressive results, the trial did not meet the F.D.A.’s standards for approval. Yet by 2004, regulators in almost all European countries, including Spain, France and Britain, had approved Omacor for use in heart attack patients.

Marylou Rowe, a spokeswoman for Reliant Pharmaceuticals, which owns the license for the drug in the United States, said that further trials of Omacor would be needed for it to be licensed for heart attack patients in the United States. But she refused to discuss a timetable.

The American College of Cardiology now advises patients with coronary artery disease to increase their consumption of omega-3 acids to one gram a day, but it does not specify if this should be achieved by eating fish or by taking capsules. But over-the-counter preparations of fish oil have much less rigorous quality control and are often blends of the two fish oils know to be beneficial in heart disease with other less useful fatty acids.

For that reason, Dr. Jacobson of Emory gives the prescription drug, “off label,” to cardiac patients, even though the F.D.A. has not approved it for that use. “Then I know exactly what they’re getting, and there is no mercury,” he said.

He said he tells patients who cannot afford the prescription version that they can take the over-the-counter supplements, although there is uncertainty about the dose and they probably need three to four pills a day.

In Europe, meanwhile, research on prescription fish oil, which is now thought to act by stabilizing cell membranes, has gained momentum. The Gissi Group is conducting two huge trials using fish oil in patients with abnormal heart rhythms and in patients with heart failure.

165 Responses to “In Europe, fish oil after heart attacks – but not here”

  1. noreen martin Says:

    WHY SHUCKS AND BY GOLLY, IMAGINE THAT ETHEL. This latest revelation does not surprise most us of who are fed-up with the FDA, CDC, NIH and other governmental organizations. If this latest finding is good enough for the Europeans, then why can’t our doctors use these results? Bernard Shaw put it beautifully, “Had rather bury a whole hillside ethically than see a single patient cured unethically. They will give credit to no method of healing without the tenets of their own school”.

  2. trrll Says:

    Come to think of it, why does this stuff need a precription anyway? Is pure fish oil a danger to your health in some way?

    Nobody is preventing you from taking fish oil that is as purified as you want or your doctor from recommending that you do so. The only thing distinguishing prescription fish oil from other fish oil is that the manufacturer’s representations as to content and efficacy have been approved by the FDA. So in bemoaning the inability of patients to get access to prescription fish oil, you seem to be simultaneously acclaiming the high level of quality control maintained by the FDA and criticizing them for being overly stringent.

    By the way, the lack of a placebo control is not considered a “minor” methodological defect. Some types of studies require even more stringent controls. If some treatment has already been shown to be effective in a painful or dangerous disease, then a study is ethically bound to provide that treatment to the control group. Effectively, the question being asked is no longer, “Is this treatment better than nothing?” but rather, “Is this treatment better than the current standard?” This of course raises the bar for approval, which can sometimes be unfortunate. If a new treatment is not better on average, there is still the possibility that it might be better for some individuals. On the other hand, if the current anti-HIV agents were actually harmful, as some believe, then it would have the effect of actually lowering the bar for new treatments, because a new drug that did nothing (or a regimen that dropped one or more drugs out of the currently favored multi-drug cocktail) would appear to be effective in comparison.

    What we are saying is simple: someone should call or phone Bill Gates, Bill or Hilary Clinton, or any other parties of influence and get either government officials or rich men to fund the trials of natural alternatives

    The NIH has an entire institute dedicated to this purpose.

  3. Michael Says:

    Hello Trrll. Your advocacy of the “entire institute dedicated to this purpose” is surely meant as a joke, right?

    NCCAM does fund research on medicinal plants, but compared to other institutes the NCCAM budget is quite small (estimated at $113 million for 2003) and much of the budget goes to keeping the public informed about the safety and effectiveness of various complementary and alternative medical practices–not to funding scientific research.

    Contrast that with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which is slated to receive some $5 billion dollars in 2003, roughly half for research project grants.

    Funny thing isn’t it trrll? Yah know what else is funny? Very few people put much trust in the government to ever get anything right, be it Iraq or running the NIH or FDA, except on one issue-HIV/AIDS.

    The gay population, which has been in no way ever overly loved or protected by any government entities other than the dept of HIV/AIDS, does not trust the US government to do anything for it whatsoever, without a fight. Witness the ongoing struggle since 1969 for any kind of gay rights and protections. The government is in no way overly loved or trusted by the gay community, except on one issue- HIV/AIDS and HIV drugs.

    Only the HIV/AIDS paradigm and HIV drug and medical thing is the sole aspect of the relationship between gays and their government that has been one big lump of mutual and unquestioned trust, love, and coziness since high dosage AZT was approved in 1987. What government agencies or government funded scientists say about HIV or AIDS is fairly unquestioned by all, gay and straight alike, except for us few and far between fanatics and AIDS dissenters.

    Funny thing, trrll, isn’t it? I really am glad to know that bright and itelligent people such as yourself are scrutinizing all of this and after your scrutiny, you are still so completely trusting of the government to have gotten the whole HIV/AIDS thing and health alternatives thing right. Brightens my day to know that such bright and questioning minds such as your own are looking into issues such as NIH funding for alternatives and looking into the HIV/AIDS and medications issues, and finding, after your quite scrutinizing look at it all, that all is just swell here in NIH and HIV paradise. It is nice to know that you are still completely trusting of our government on these issues. Thank you for letting us AIDS dissenters know in no uncertain terms that our scepticism and distrust of the government on these issues is just simply unfounded and unwarranted. Thank you trrll, for looking in-depth into these matters. I certainly feel much safer knowing that people such as yourself stay on top of it all!

  4. kevin Says:

    By the way, the lack of a placebo control is not considered a “minor” methodological defect.

    Good point. A placebo control is essential to establishing efficacy. Wonder why new anit-HIV drugs are not held to this standard? It ought to make one question the validity of the clinical trials and experiments that recommend them. And, it seems that it should now be more difficult to argue that it is unethical to use a placebo control when evaluating new anti-HIV meds in light of the findings in the new JAMA study on viral loads.

    You seem to understand the investigative rigor needed to achieve good science, Dr. Trrll, but you conveniently excuse HIV research from measuring up to that necessary standard.

    Do you have financial stake in maintaining the status quo, regarding HIV?

  5. Martin Kessler Says:

    I’ve said it before, Michael, If Adolf Hitler had his medical geniuses “discover” (out of whole cloth) a contagion that affected predominantly Jews and Gypsies, then “devloped” a “treatment” for this disease that not surprisingly killed the patients (but not too quickly), the patients and the public clamoring for more and better “treatments”, the patients eagerly taking the poisonous treatments (and coerced to do so when not because their “disease” was “contagious”), Hitler would have been hailed as a saviour to mankind instead of a genocidal murderer. Jews and Gypsies = Gays and drug addicts (mostly poor blacks and Hispanics). I think the US Govt got it right this time.

  6. trrll Says:

    Good point. A placebo control is essential to establishing efficacy. Wonder why new anit-HIV drugs are not held to this standard? It ought to make one question the validity of the clinical trials and experiments that recommend them. And, it seems that it should now be more difficult to argue that it is unethical to use a placebo control when evaluating new anti-HIV meds in light of the findings in the new JAMA study on viral loads.

    The JAMA study shows that there is wide individual variation around the strong trend showing that rising viral levels are associated with declining CD4+ levels. This is typical of the individual variation that occurs in many diseases and in the response to drugs, and is not an argument against a causal role for HIV. Given the large amount of clinical data indicating that anti-HIV meds preserve CD4+ counts and reduce progression to AIDS, I think that any Institutional Review Board in the US would reject such a study on ethical grounds, and even if they did not, I doubt if you would be able to recruit an adequate number of patients willing to be randomly assigned to either a placebo or anti-HIV treatment group in a double blinded study.

  7. trrll Says:

    Do you have financial stake in maintaining the status quo, regarding HIV?

    No, my own research does not concern HIV, so I am a completely uninvolved scientific observer. I have followed the AIDS/HIV story in the literature from the time when it was just an ominous spike in Kaposi’s sarcoma rates among gay men. And like most people, I have seen the disease take people I cared about and people I admired. There was a point in my career where I considered whether to change my scientific direction to get involved in what was clearly an important area of research and an opportunity to help a lot of people. I was already pretty far advanced in what I was doing, and ultimately chose not to. But I know people who went into the field, and their motivation for doing so was very similar to that which led me to contemplate it. So I find the implication that one must have some sort of a financial stake in human misery to be persuaded by the scientific evidence supporting a causal relationship between HIV and AIDS to be both ignorant and insulting.

  8. Truthseeker Says:

    So I find the implication that one must have some sort of a financial stake in human misery to be persuaded by the scientific evidence supporting a causal relationship between HIV and AIDS to be both ignorant and insulting.

    The implication is rather than you must have some sort of financial stake or other influence at work to be motivated to contribute the series of flatulent posts you have recently contributed to Comments here under the “JAMA confirms HIV load doesn’t govern CD4 loss”, which demonstrate prima facie that you are a mere rote apologist for the status quo without any balance or perception which might allow you properly to recognize and deal with the difficulties raised against it.

    This implication is far from insulting, since it depends on the assumption that you are an intelligent observer capable of independent thought on the matter, when there is in fact no evidence in your comments for either. You should therefore thank the Commenter concerned for giving you the benefit of the doubt in this matter, and for the compliment.

    If you don’t want the staff of NAR and other Commenters to believe that you are merely a rote apologist, perhaps you would provide some evidence of your capacity for independent skeptical thought on the matter.

    The NIH has an entire institute dedicated to this purpose.

    Dedicated to, but not implementing, as Michael has pointed out. If you are really so ignorant of the matter, then the level of your information is such that you need to be a little better researched before you respond to an ironic point with such reflex denial, wouldn’t you say?

    And is there any reason why you should not apply the same self-doubt to your blind faith in and rote defense of HIV∫AIDS and its research? Which is, we should warn you, in increasing danger of being assessed by NAR software as intentional trolling rather than trrlling, and being automatically banned from this site as willful interference in the transmission of significant information and argument, which is the purpose of this blog.

  9. trrll Says:

    NCCAM does fund research on medicinal plants, but compared to other institutes the NCCAM budget is quite small (estimated at $113 million for 2003) and much of the budget goes to keeping the public informed about the safety and effectiveness of various complementary and alternative medical practices–not to funding scientific research.

    Contrast that with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which is slated to receive some $5 billion dollars in 2003, roughly half for research project grants.

    Did you even bother to look at what NCCAM supports? Alternative medicine has yet to prove itself by rigorous scientific standards as a source of medical treatments with efficacy comparable to conventional therapies. However, in contrast to other Institutes, which invest substantially in basic research, NCCAM is focusing its efforts particularly on clinical trials, and has quite an impressive list of ongoing trials, which go considerably beyond your dismissive characterization of its efforts as “research on medicinal plants”

    Do you really think that it is reasonable to complain because alternative medicine is not receiving the same budget as cancer research? I think that if money in the limited NIH budget were being massively diverted from areas like cancer and stroke to alternative medicine, there would be a massive public outcry. If indeed some of these trials succeed in identifying particularly useful therapies, then it is likely that public and Congressional support (and the budget) for NCCAM will increase.

  10. Michael Says:

    Duhhh, gee, trrll, lets check out the nccam budget for 2006….WOW! A whopping 122 million!!! Oh my god, how can the country afford all that pharma alternatives research?

    Duhhh, lets check out NIAID for 2006…. Ohhhh, poor babies only get 4.4 BILLION. Gee, its gonna be another tough year to figure out who gets their pockets lined with that measly little bit of chump change.

    Duhhh, lets check out the entire NIH for 2006….. Dohhh, 27 billion total, for pharma corp projects and only 122 million for NCCAM. Geee trrll, no wonder they have yet to prove anything over at nccam. They better not prove anything that might tread on any pharma drug competition!!! And the guys on top are gonna make sure they never do.

    Wow trrll, your sense of balance and overwhelming brilliance on this issue is shining through as usual.

    Have you been tested for HIV trrll? Could be a bit of AIDS dementia setting in that keeps you from understanding the difference between 27 billion pharma bucks and 122 million alternative bucks. If not dementia, did you by any chance fall off a turnip truck in your youth or get bounced on your head a bit too much in your childhood to be able to clearly see reality as an adult?

  11. kevin Says:

    So I find the implication that one must have some sort of a financial stake in human misery to be persuaded by the scientific evidence supporting a causal relationship between HIV and AIDS to be both ignorant and insulting.

    My apologies. Thank you for your thorough answer. I didn’t intend to imply that you must have a financial stake in the outcome, merely that I’ve encounter many doctors in my own life who are definitely more interested in monetary gain and personal prestige than in alleviating human suffering caused by disease.

  12. kevin Says:

    The implication is rather than you must have some sort of financial stake or other influence at work to be motivated to contribute the series of flatulent posts you have recently contributed to Comments here under the “JAMA confirms HIV load doesn’t govern CD4 loss”, which demonstrate prima facie that you are a mere rote apologist for the status quo without any balance or perception which might allow you properly to recognize and deal with the difficulties raised against it.

    Thank you for clarifying the real bent of my comment, Truthseeker.. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  13. trrll Says:

    This implication is far from insulting, since it depends on the assumption that you are an intelligent observer capable of independent thought on the matter, when there is in fact no evidence in your comments for either. You should therefore thank the Commenter concerned for giving you the benefit of the doubt in this matter, and for the compliment.

    If you don’t want the staff of NAR and other Commenters to believe that you are merely a rote apologist, perhaps you would provide some evidence of your capacity for independent skeptical thought on the matter.

    Yes, the No true scotsman fallacy can be very comforting. If you can convince yourself that anybody who doesn’t share your views either “lacks independent thought,” or is motivated by financial gain (if not something even more ignoble), then it frees you from the cognitive dissonance of confronting the fact that a huge number of honest, highly intelligent people, with years of scientific training and experience, have examined the same scientific evidence and come to the opposite conclusion from you. Otherwise, you might actually have to confront their arguments and evidence and figure out why so many rational people disagree with you.

  14. Truthseeker Says:

    Trrrll, glad you didn’t get discouraged from posting after our last stern warning, because the above “No True Scotsman” post is such a classic exhibition of inability to think independently even about material you admire and quote that we are very glad indeed to have an opportunity to reply to it, as Exhibit A for the prosecution of your highly suspect self as possibly more Troll than Trrrrlll.

    In the first place the “No True Scotsman” entry you refer to in the Wikipedia is a classic example of the balderdash which fills that work courtesy of people without the capacity to think for themselves about the material they are entering. Contrary to the laughable exercise in poor logic that comprises the bulk of the explanation of this not very serious idea, the No True Scotsman concept in the quoted example is not really a fallacy at all, or even an argument, but merely a matter of whether or not “true Scotsman” is correctly and fully defined as one who eats porridge with salt, rather than sugar, in which case Angus who likes it with sugar is not a “true Scotsman”, even if he is a “Scotsman” in some way or other, as anyone who is familiar with the Scots knows very well.

    In the case of HIV∫AIDS on the other hand one could very well say that you are not a true Scotsman in this debate, ie that you are not a true rethinker even though you are a thinker in one way or another, because you show no sign of any ability to exercise critical reexamination of the tenets of your apparently profound faith in the HIV∫AIDS paradigm, and when challenged to demonstrate that you can in fact exercise independent thinking when faced with one or other of the plethora of inconsistencies of the increasingly embattled hypothesis, you reply with the inappropriate No True Scotsman “fallacy”, implying that we only say you lack independent thought or must be compromised by self-interest because you are wrong ie disagree with our views.

    In fact we never said any such thing. We simply said you show no sign of independent thought on the matter and asked you to provide an example of any kind of your capacity to think independently about the HIV∫AIDS paradigm. The reason we asked you to do this is because your entire contribution from beginning to end is one attempt after another to rationalize the “conundrums” and other difficulties presented by the paradigm, particularly by its core claim of HIV somehow being the cause of CD4 depletion. Every time other distinguished posters deconstruct your comment and correct the facts and assumptions in them, you evade the force of the objection by rolling out a statement of your untroubled faith in the paradigm and why details which seem to betray its unreality are resolved by some other fanciful interpretation.

    As to the cognitive dissonance aroused by the fact that you and tens of thousands of people like you feel that the HIV∫AIDS paradigm is so well established that objections to it can be dismissed without critical examination , there is no cognitive dissonance involved at all. That very large numbers of “highly intelligent” people with “years of scientific training” have “examined the evidence” and come to the “opposite conclusion” on a “rational” basis would certainly give us pause if it was true, but as your own posts help to demonstrate this is not the case in three out of four of the relevant requirements specified in quotation marks. The only one that even half way applies is “years of scientific training” and most supporters of HIV∫AIDS are either outside the field or else have known no other training.

    Very few highly intelligent people have addressed the problem with independent minds and those that have have come to the opposite conclusion ie that the HIV∫AIDS paradigm is one that had nothing to recommend it from the very beginning and has now consistently been demonstrated by the mainstream papers such as the one under discussion at JAMA to have been constructed entirely from “conundrums”.

    The truth appears to be that you are a classic specimen of the worthy but socially driven supporter of the paradigm whose belief in its pristine inviolability hinges not on genuine examination of its fundamental premises but on a collegial faith in the opinion of your colleagues, which are as likely fundamentally unthinking and uninformed as your own are, even if they work in the field, in fact especially if they work in the field, and therefore stated as firmly, in the paradoxical manner of all hollow opinion, which is always stated with so much more conviction than one which is fully informed.

    What you write with such bloviate confidence suggests that you probably have no idea how fallible the literature can be, especially when it depends on this or any other paradigm that is possibly incorrrect because unproven, in that the researchers who conduct studies and write the papers all believe in the paradigm, and therefore it goes untested year after year, in this case evading review through censorship of media coverage as well as professional aversion to challenging ‘productive’ assumptions – in reality grossly unproductive in this case, however profitable in attracting federal and drug company resources.

    We suspect in fact that you are either an activist entrained by the Moore club into coming to this blog to spoil the clarity of its contribution or a politically greenhorn graduate student yet to wise up to the human weaknesses of your elders, intellectually and professionally in loco parentis. If this is incorrect we challenge you to demonstrate otherwise. We are giving you the benefit of the doubt as we said earlier and not even contemplating the possibility that someone such as yourself has studied these matters to the extent you have and failed to see the light thought the cracks of the paradigm because you are unable to meet the intellectual challenge of the situation, despite the forceful judgements of other distinguished posters that may or may not be coming your way as well as Chris Noble’s.

  15. Chris Noble Says:

    Very few highly intelligent people have addressed the problem with independent minds and those that have have come to the opposite conclusion ie that the HIV∫AIDS paradigm is one that had nothing to recommend it from the very beginning and has now consistently been demonstrated by the mainstream papers such as the one under discussion at JAMA to have been constructed entirely from “conundrums”.

    If this was supposed to be an attempt to argue against the charge of using the “no true Scotsman” fallacy then you have failed miserably.

    What criteria do you use for determining if someone is highly intelligent and has an independent mind other than whether they agree with you?

  16. Truthseeker Says:

    The demonstration that they are capable of holding more than one opposing idea in their minds at the same time would be reassuring. It woould at least qualify them for a role in the discussion.

    The ability to follow the logic of a comment and reply to it would be another.

  17. Chris Noble Says:

    The demonstration that they are capable of holding more than one opposing idea in their minds at the same time would be reassuring. It woould at least qualify them for a role in the discussion.

    Leaving aside the question of what “one opposing idea” could be, the fact that the vast majority of scientists reject the views that you personally hold does not mean that they are incapable of understanding them. Despite your fantasies to the contrary most scientists are not the stupid sheep that you portray them as.

    The ability to follow the logic of a comment and reply to it would be another.

    You have totally failed to demonstrate that you have the ability to follow basic logic.

    Write to JAMA to inform them that the recent paper demonstrates that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS.

  18. trrll Says:

    In fact we never said any such thing. We simply said you show no sign of independent thought on the matter and asked you to provide an example of any kind of your capacity to think independently about the HIV∫AIDS paradigm.

    Defined presumably by agreeing with some of the nonsense that has passed for logic on this board, such as the contorted, mathematically incorrect attempts to rationalize Duesberg’s elementary statistical error in an earlier thread, or the equally nonsensical insistence that the presence of high individual variation around the negative correlation between HIV levels and CD4+ levels somehow constitutes evidence against a causal role for HIV. One does not have to know anything at all about virology or HIV to recognize these as obviously fallacious arguments that only somebody who was blinded by bias could take seriously for a moment.

    As to the cognitive dissonance aroused by the fact that you and tens of thousands of people like you feel that the HIV∫AIDS paradigm is so well established that objections to it can be dismissed without critical examination

    So far, I’ve seen no objections that can withstand even the most elementary critical examination.

    What you write with such bloviate confidence suggests that you probably have no idea how fallible the literature can be

    Over the years, I’ve seen many examples of errors in the scientific literature. Like many scientists, I tend to be a bit contrarian and skeptical of the prevailing view. However, I must say that what I’ve seen on this board has increased, rather than decreased, my impression of the strength of the HIV/AIDS paradigm. If these are truly the strongest arguments to the contrary that can be raised, then the current paradigm is very strong indeed.

    We suspect in fact that you are either an activist entrained by the Moore club into coming to this blog to spoil the clarity of its contribution or a politically greenhorn graduate student yet to wise up to the human weaknesses of your elders, intellectually and professionally in loco parentis. If this is incorrect we challenge you to demonstrate otherwise.

    Once again, I perceive a certain desperation in the attempt to deny that I could possibly be am an independent scientist, with no financial stake or other affiliation to one side or the other in the debate, who has formed his opinions independently, purely on the basis of the scientific literature. I confess that I have no idea what the Moore club is, so I cannot address that allegation. Ironically enough, as somebody who has read the AIDS literature since the very earliest days, including some of Duesberg’s early papers at their original publication, I have the suspicion that many people around here are late-comers to the debate, and do not fully appreciate just how poorly Duesberg’s predictions have held up over the years. Like many scientists, I initially thought that Duesberg made some good points, but the steady accumulation of evidence to the contrary ultimately convinced me that he was wrong. The existence of a negative correlation between HIV and CD4+ levels is a case in point. While many around here are ready to dismiss it as “only a correlation,” I can remember when Duesberg was insisting that HIV could not be a cause of AIDS because it was neutralized early on by the immune system. So the finding that HIV was indeed continuing to replicate, and that CD4+ levels were declining at the same time during the “latent period” that Duesberg found so inexplicable, supported with the predictions of the HIV/AIDS camp, but not those of Duesberg. Duesberg’s insistence that viruses such as HIV were incapable of causing illness from opportunistic infections was disproved by the discovery of virally mediated immunodeficiency in other species. Similarly, Duesberg insistence that the drugs being developed against HIV would be ineffective in reducing progression toward AIDS or even increase AIDS runs up against multiple studies showing that progression toward AIDS has indeed declined in populations who received antiretroviral therapy. Duesberg’s strained after-the-fact attempts to explain this finding away based upon changes in illicit drug use habits are singularly unconvincing, and do not apply to all affected populations. Yes, I’m aware that in for each contrary observation, Duesberg has managed to come up with some such excuse for why such apparently contradictory findings are not reasons to reject his hypothesis, but what impresses scientists is the ability of a theory to make predictions that turn out to be correct, as opposed to rationalizing them after the fact.

  19. Truthseeker Says:

    Terrill, although the above post will be preserved as a prize specimen of repetition of eighteen previous points you have made without showing any sign of understanding the replies made to them, any more posting of what is now revealed to be prepared boilerplate will result in automatic removal of the offending post, a function of the blog software over which we have no control.

    Chris, your repetition of our very own points back to us as if you had thought of them is very flattering, and we thank you for it.

  20. john Says:

    In fact, the efficiency of HAART shown by the important decline of the mortality in 1996 proves not at all that hiv is the cause of AIDS. Indeed, HAART is characterized by the use of substances wich act as reducing agents such lamivudine or lopinavir more recently. It is enough to consider their chemical structure. They thwart all the nitrogen-containing oxidizing agents (AZT, nitroantibiotics, isoxazoles, oximes, oxime-ethers, hydroxylamines, N-oxides), which are at the origin of the forming of the excess of peroxynitrites responsible for the apoptosis of the CD4.
    They are also at the origin of the mutations of ARN leading to the famous ” vih “, these mutations which can not be unpredictable as proclaims it the orthodoxy, the simple consideration of the chemical structure of the DNA, which is anisotropic, imposing the régioselectivity of the reactions leading to these mutations.

  21. trrll Says:

    In fact, the efficiency of HAART shown by the important decline of the mortality in 1996 proves not at all that hiv is the cause of AIDS. Indeed, HAART is characterized by the use of substances wich act as reducing agents such lamivudine or lopinavir more recently. It is enough to consider their chemical structure. They thwart all the nitrogen-containing oxidizing agents (AZT, nitroantibiotics, isoxazoles, oximes, oxime-ethers, hydroxylamines, N-oxides), which are at the origin of the forming of the excess of peroxynitrites responsible for the apoptosis of the CD4.

    So all of the newer drugs effective against AIDS, drugs, just happen to have an additional property that protects against other drugs. I suppose that it’s possible, but if that’s the mechanism it is an amazing coincidence, given that these drugs were specifically designed based upon efficacy against HIV. As I said, it is often possible to come up with after-the-fact rationalizations to explain a result that doesn’t fit. Now if these drugs had specifically been designed as reducing agents to fight AIDS, and HIV advocates were claiming that they just happened to inhibit HIV, I’d have the opposite reaction. As I said, it’s all about prediction.

  22. trrll Says:

    Terrill, although the above post will be preserved as a prize specimen of repetition of eighteen previous points you have made without showing any sign of understanding the replies made to them, any more posting of what is now revealed to be prepared boilerplate will result in automatic removal of the offending post, a function of the blog software over which we have no control.

    Since I’ve read mostly the scientific literature, and until viewing this web site (and a few posts on Aetiology and Respectful Insolence), I had no idea what modern anti-HIV arguments looked like. I’d read Duesberg years ago, of course, but I was curious why at this late date there were people still hanging onto his theory (Duesberg I can sort of understand; it can be hard for a scientist to let go of a pet theory). Not having been involved in the debate, I have almost no knowledge of what other scientists have been saying to rebut anti-HIV rhetoric. There’s not much discussion of this issue in the modern scientific literature, of course, since most scientists consider the issue to have been resolved years ago. So I find it very interesting that you are so anxious to dismiss my responses, which I assure you were written on the spot, describing the basis by which I have arrived at my opinion, and are not derived from any other source, as “prepared boilerplate.” What that tells me is that you have been hearing the same logic from other sources, and rather than accept the disturbing possibility that multiple scientists, looking at the same arguments and data, might independently come up with the same conclusions, you feel the need to invent some sort of conspiracy. I can’t possibly have arrived at my opinions and arguments independently–I must somehow be in collusion with the other scientists who disagree with your views. I am beginning to understand why you find my responses so upsetting; so I will certainly understand if you eventually find them too disturbing to share with other readers on your site.

  23. john Says:

    Trrll,
    It is necessary to remember that these drugs were synthetized by screening, by looking for for the first ( NRTI) some structures for which the CHOH in position 3′ of the desoxyribose was replaced by a structure not allowing the forming of the alkyl phosphate necessary for the DNA replication.
    The first obtained structures (and that must be active logically, because answering these criteria), namely didanosine, zalcitabine and stavudine, were disappointing. The mortality continuing to increase at the beginning of the 90s.
    These structures were more expensive to synthetize than AZT, thus they were later launched on the market, although they are chemically simpler. The synthesis of the AZT requires only 5 simple stages. The replacement of an azide by an hydride ion is much more complex (as in the zalcitabine for example).
    Always by screening, and accidentally thus, Belleau and al synthetized the lamivudine by anhydrous way, and it turned out that she allowed to revolutionize the treatment of the AIDS.
    That the replacement of CH2 by S (zalcitabine -> lamivudine) causes a modification so important of the therapeutic properties indicate that it is not the properties of DNA-terminator that intervene here.
    The 3-oxathiolanes are easily hydrolyzed in acid environment; and in weakly acid environment, the presence of électrophiles (oxidizers), such as NO+, also allow this hydrolysis, which leads at the liberation of compounds enough reducing to decrease the oxidative stress.
    The PI normally have to be symmetric polypeptides, because the active site of these proteases is symmetric. Their synthesis was then refined randomly, according to the found properties, without any more guiding thread.
    Now, the “effective” PI’s are all totally asymmetrical, and the most effective, the lopinavir, present a benzenic ring substituted by two methyl and by the oxygen of a function ester. You can say what you want, this compound will capture by SEA the nitrating agents apparently the most harmless, and in particular the famous peroxynitrites.

  24. Truthseeker Says:

    Rest assured that your comments are not disturbing in the slightest as far as reason and evidence go, Trrrlll, since they consist of claims that the standard line in HIV∫AIDS is correct and there is no need to worry, all problems will be solved anon and in the interim, faith plugs the holes with rationalization, just as you say. What is the giveaway is that you constantly show you are unfamiliar with the discussion, just as you have stated in the last two posts. While this performance may be a salutary demonstration of the power of your left frontal cortex to invert incoming data to make it fit your preconceptions, it is insufficient to justify your uninformed confidence in the truth of the paradigm or your participation in serious discussion of its myriad problems. In order to navigate a minefield, one has to have some sense that the mines exist and where they are. You are like the captain of a ship ploughing through the seas who says “Mines? What mines? I don’t see any mines!” Interesting to observe your fatal progress, but not particularly instructive.

  25. MacDonald Says:

    As if Dr.Trrll hadn’t embarrassed himself enough with his comments under the viral load of crap post with his definitions of correlation, causation and falsifiability -many goodies to choose from, but my favourite has got to be this errrm. . . rationalization before the fact?:

    German Guest: Dr. Mellors said that he doesn’t buy the conclusion of the study. “We don’t agree with the paper at all,” he was quoted as saying. “[Viral load] is the most powerful predictor of time to AIDS and death.” Dr. Mellors suggested that the JAMA paper’s results may reflect that CD4 measurements vary a great deal in different labs. Dr. Mellors also said that viral loads should continue to play an essential role in determining when to start people on treatment.

    Lise: It would become too biologically complicated for one of my sex to try to understand inter-laboratory variables as they impact the accuracy of CD4+ cell counts for diagnostic use (at least that’s what my husband says and he’s very much into biology, although not on the human level so to speak)

    But, Dr. Trrll, if you could please just explain to those of us who are “not only incapable of clear thinking, but also apparently unable to read” how any result of a scientific study may falsify “current thinking”, when it’s that easily invalidated?

    Trrll: Results have to be replicated in other laboratories (that is, they have to be replicated where they per Dr. Mellor’s definition vary!)before they become generally accepted. Perhaps (meaning we move into pure science fiction now) Dr. Mellor can show that using better methods (better than what?) of measuring CD4 cells, or by taking other measurable variables into account, it is possible to make stronger predictions based on HIV RNA levels

    “Perhaps” indeed! For more HIV lab. perhapses, have a look at the table found here

    http://www.healtoronto.com/vloadpg.html

    However, reading the present thread I realize all these ‘perhapses’ regarding reproducibility and ‘predictions’ were only a meek prelude to this magnificent climax in which Dr.Trrll explains just why he is so impressed with HIV Science:

    but what impresses scientists is the ability of a theory to make predictions that turn out to be correct, as opposed to rationalizing them after the fact.

    TS, please, there’s got to be a special ‘senseless parrots’ wall of fame’ somewhere at NAR, with an extra green frame and generous scatterings of golden stars for this priceless homage to HIV Science.

  26. Truthseeker Says:

    ***********************************************************
    ***********************************************************
    ===========================================================
    what impresses scientists is the ability of a theory to make predictions that turn out to be correct, as opposed to rationalizing them after the fact. – Trrrrllll.
    ===========================================================
    **********************************************************
    **********************************************************

    Unfortunately the Mac we were using last night decided it couldn’t copy this or any other phrase of the distinguished Trrrrllll’s, for what particular reason we know not, since it cannot be that it detected that his phrases are inaccurate, since this one is supremely accurate, and we are happy to enshrine it as best we can with multiple stars and borders, as a statement that is precisely the nub of most of this debate, which Trrrrrllll has expressed to a T.

    There has probably never been a paradigm that has failed to realize its predictions to the extent of the HIV∫ AIDS hypothesis, which is to say, 100 per cent. Heterosexual AIDS epidemic in the US anyone? Vaccine anyone? Explanation of workings anyone? Cure anyone? Nobel anyone?

    As to the peculiar fact that Trrrrlllll is evidently unaware that it speaks against the paradigm, rather than for it, we can only surmise it is yet another indication of the pre frontal cortex at work absorbing and inverting data which debunks the paradigm before delivering it to whatever part of the mind is paying attention to the issue.

    The phenomenon is like nothing so much as a very large scintillating soapy bubble of a paradigm belief through which fingers labeled inconsistency and paradox can be poked without bursting it, or even disturbing it in the slightest, for it simply closes around the finger and maintains its membrane and structural integrity as if the finger didn’t exist.

    In such a case all one can do is wait until the unpredictable moment when the very large bubble runs out of soap in the way bubbles do eventually and bursts of its own accord, leaving nothing but the hot air of speculation and rationalization which were its contents to dissipate into the atmosphere, apart from a soapy residue on the ties of the believers such as Trrrlll and Noble, who will be not only confounded by the unexpected development but at a loss to discover something else to replace their one and only role on the stage of scientific discussion.

  27. trrll Says:

    There has probably never been a paradigm that has failed to realize its predictions to the extent of the HIV∫ AIDS hypothesis, which is to say, 100 per cent. Heterosexual AIDS epidemic in the US anyone? Vaccine anyone? Explanation of workings anyone? Cure anyone? Nobel anyone?

    It sounds like you don’t really understand the what constitutes a prediction of a theory. It does not mean merely “a prediction by a scientist.” A prediction must be logically derived from a theory, such that it must be true if the theory is correct. An expression of a scientist’s expectations or speculations, such as “we expect to be able to develop a vaccine for HIV” does not constitute a prediction of the theory, unless it is logically derivable from the theory. There is nothing in HIV theory that requires that it be possible to develop a vaccine within a certain time frame. So failure to develop a vaccine, while disappointing, is not evidence against the theory. On the other hand, if a vaccine was developed and shown to prevent HIV infection, yet did not prevent the development of AIDS, it would be evidence against the theory, because the theory predicts that protection against HIV should also confer protection against AIDS. Similarly, the theory predicts that the virus must be present in the body and active during the period between infection and development of symptoms. So if HIV was indeed inactivated by the immune system, as Duesberg’s theory predicted, rather than replicating and increasing within the body, it would be evidence against the theory that HIV is the causative agent in AIDS.

  28. pat Says:

    “A prediction must be logically derived from a theory, such that it must be true if the theory is correct”

    I’m not sure if I am understanding you correctly Trrll, but I am wondering when you will jump the HIV ship.

  29. MacDonald Says:

    There is nothing in HIV theory that requires that it be possible to develop a vaccine within a certain time frame

    There is nothing in HIV theory that requires it to produce any results at whatsoever. That’s the exact reason why it wasn’t scrapped 25 years ago – dumbo

    For 17 unfulfilled predictions that do follow logically from the theory itself, try duesberg.com.

  30. MacDonald Says:

    I restate that for the benefit of wilfull misreaders.

    There’s nothing in HIV theory that requires any cure whatsoever to be produced. That’s why it wasn’t scrapped 25 years ago – DUMBO!

    For 17 unfulfilled predictions that do follow logically from the theory itself. try duesberg.com

  31. trrll Says:

    For 17 unfulfilled predictions that do follow logically from the theory itself. try duesberg.com

    On Duesberg’s web site, I found this list of “predictions.” However, they all seem to be “straw man” rhetorical arguments rather than genuine predictions of the theory. For example,

    AIDS in America would “explode” from the original risk groups via sexual transmission into the general population. Like all other sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS would tend to strike an equal share of both genders.

    It does not make any kind of scientific sense to make such a blanket prediction. The mathematics of disease spread are well worked out and depend upon a number of variables that must be determined to make any kind of prediction. Whether AIDS would be expected to “explode” depends upon factors such as the transmission risk, frequency of contacts between members of the originally infected groups and the general population, changes in sexual behavior once the risk of AIDS became known, and the efficacy of anti-HIV treatments in delaying the onset of the syndrome. All of these would have to be measured and modeled to make any prediction of the rate at which the incidence of the disease is expected to increase.

    There is no rational basis to assume that AIDS will be “like other sexually transmitted diseases” in striking men and women equally. HIV differs in a number of respects from the causative agent in other sexually transmitted diseases.

    The spread of AIDS would follow the dissemination of HIV

    Duesberg himself admits this “prediction” is predicated upon the assumption that there is no latent period between initial infection and development of illness. In fact, considering the proposed mechanism of HIV a latent period would be expected.

    Health care workers would contract AIDS from their patients, scientists from propagating virus and prostitutes from their clients, particularly in the absence of an anti-HIV vaccine or drug.

    Duesberg claims that there is “not a single confirmed case.” However, this paper reports 26 cases of AIDS in health care workers, and this by a stringent criterion that excludied individuals with other risk factors.

    Chimpanzees inoculated with HIV would develop AIDS, and the 15,000 American hemophiliacs who were infected iatrogenically before 1984 would die from AIDS.

    The “prediction” that HIV will cause AIDS in chimps is particularly nonsensical. There are numerous examples of infectious agents that do not cause severe illness in their major host, but do in other species. And the “prediction” that all hemophiliacs would die from AIDS assumes no improvement in HIV treatment since the identification of the causative agent. So the reduction in hemophiliac mortality could well be taken as evidence for the HIV theory, not against it.

    Natural or vaccine-induced anti-HIV immunity would cure AIDS or protect against future AIDS.

    This is a ridiculous expectation for a virus that attacks the immune system. Moreover, retroviruses mutate rapidly, and we have been singularly unsuccessful in producing vaccines for rapidly mutating viruses. Note that there is still no flu vaccine that protects against all strains, due to the rapid mutation of influenza virus.

    It would be demonstrated that HIV causes AIDS by killing the white blood cells known as T cells.

    Direct killing is not the only possible way that a virus could damage the immune system. All that the basic theory predicts is that HIV damages the immune system through some mechanism.

    All AIDS diseases are the consequence of HIV-mediated T cell deficiency.

    This is foolish. Immunodeficiency is thought to play a big role in AIDS, but but it is highly improbable that a virus–especially one that integrates itself into DNA–will have only one effect on the body.

    AIDS would be restricted by controlling the spread of HIV via “safe sex” and through programs adopting the use of “clean needles” for the injection of street drugs.

    As documented by the CDC the spread of HIV has declined, particularly in high-risk groups who have the most reason to adopt “safe sex” practices. AIDS has also declined.

    So every one of the predictions turns out not to be a real prediction, but a straw man argument. His “predictions” are so unreasonable and illogical that I can only see them as evidence of desperation. I suspect that Duesberg realizes how poorly the predictions of his own theory have held up, and feels compelled to to balance the books by inventing a set of unfulfilled predictions of HIV theory.

  32. Robert Houston Says:

    Was “trrll” born yesterday? Or is he truly an extraterrestrial as his name suggests? He claims to be unaware of most of the eight listed predictions of the HIV/AIDS establishment, but they were all well known and well publicized since the mid-1980s – even in Time and Newsweek cover stories.

    He gets away with this canard by citing an article by Duesberg from a nonscientific publication (Insight magazine), which does not normally permit references. Why not consult one of Duesberg’s documented papers on the subject? For example, “The chemical bases of the various AIDS epidemics” (J. Biosci. 28:383-412, 2003). Table 4 on p. 390 of that paper uses quotes from the Durban Declaration for 17 predictions of “the HIV-AIDS hypothesis” and provides documentation showing how each claim has been disproven (click HERE).

    Whose side is Terrell – sorry – “trrll” really on? For most of the eight predictions listed from Insight, he seems to agree with Duesberg that such extrapolations were “illogical” and “ridiculous”. In attempting to debunk Duesberg, he winds up attacking the common claims of the HIV theory itself.

  33. Truthseeker Says:

    In attempting to debunk Duesberg, he winds up attacking the common claims of the HIV theory itself.

    Precisely.

  34. Chris Noble Says:

    Like all other sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS would tend to strike an equal share of both genders

    Has Duesberg checked the US syphilis stats for the last 10 years?

    Apparently syphilis is not a sexually transmitted disease because it doesn’t act how Duesberg thinks it should.

  35. Truthseeker Says:

    Chris, do you know how to spell ceteris paribus?

  36. MacDonald Says:

    (o: (o: (o:

    TS Sir,

    I do think Mr. Noble brings the best out in you.

  37. Chris Noble Says:

    Chris, do you know how to spell ceteris paribus?

    Do you know what it means?

    All sexually transmitted diseases are equally distributed between the sexes except those where it is not.

    So much for Duesberg’s rules of epidemiology.

    There is absolutely nothing in the theory that treponema pallidum causes syphilis that predicts that it should be equally distributed between the sexes.

    There is absolutely nothing in the theory that HIV causes AIDS that predicts that it should be equally distributed between the sexes.

    Duesberg’s so-called predictions are just strawmen designed to convince the credulous.

  38. Robert Houston Says:

    According to the Centers for Disease Control:

    • The male-to-female (M:F) rate ratio for P&S [primary and secondary] syphilis has risen since 1996 when it was 1.2 … suggesting that syphilis cases among men who have sex with men have increased since that year. (Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance: 2004 Supplement, p. 6.)

    They note that a ratio of 1 would mean equality. Figure 2 of the CDC report shows that throughout the 1990s syphilis affected nearly “an equal share of both genders,” as Duesberg stated in the 1994 article which “trrll” and Noble are quoting. According to the CDC, in recent years there has been an increase of the disease predominantly in male homosexuals; this does not mean that the share is disproportionate between heterosexual men and women.

  39. Chris Noble Says:

    In 2004 the male-to-female ratio of syphilis in the US was 5.9.

    There is absolutely nothing in the theory that treponema pallidum causes syphilis that predicts that it should be equally distributed between the sexes.

    It clearly depends on the risk behaviours in the population and these are not uniformly distributed between subgroups such as MSM.

    Treponema pallidum does not control the behaviour of its host. There is nothing clever that the parasite does to infect more men than women. It simply follows the risk behaviour.

  40. Truthseeker Says:

    It clearly depends on the risk behaviours in the population and these are not uniformly distributed between subgroups such as MSM.

    Treponema pallidum does not control the behaviour of its host. There is nothing clever that the parasite does to infect more men than women. It simply follows the risk behaviour.

    Chris, this is a blinding breakthrough insight of yours. You have finally, after twenty seven posts on this point, finally answered your own question.

    It is a wonderful thing to observe the human mind in slow motion. One can follow it step by step, with absolutely no loss of intermediate links. We value your contribution enormously for this reason. Slowly but surely, you pass through all the intermediate stages and finally arrive at the conclusion Duesberg started with. This allows anyone at all to follow the process, instead of being left behind by the quicksilver mind of the distinguished professor, who like his Boswellian acolyte Dr Harvey “Do Not Ask Me To Explain” Bialy, can be a little too pithy for the average citizen to follow without a second reading. Your interpretation, however, Chris, is, like a deer frozen in the headlights, or a video moving frame by frame, easily perceived and understood by all comers, however slow off the mark. In fact, it allows scientific experimentation at every juncture, as one can throw in jokes, prods, provocations and encouragement at any point, to see how firmly the wheels are held by the rails. And by Golly, they don’t derail easily, but creak on entirely immune to every explanation designed to accelerate their movement until they arrive at the destination, the circle having been completed between what Duesberg said at the beginning of their journey and where they arrive at the end of it, namely, precisely the same spot they started out from.

    In fact, so usefully transparent is your performance we would like to recommend you as a living, working model of thought in action, slowed down to what was hitherto thought to be an impossible extent, exactly like slowing down light, a similar recent breakthrough. May we get in touch with MIT and point them in your direction? After all, fMRI is far too crude an instrument still to allow each thought to be examined, and here you are, able to provide a perfect opportunity for recording every inch of mental movement.

  41. Chris Noble Says:

    Slowly but surely, you pass through all the intermediate stages and finally arrive at the conclusion Duesberg started with.

    There you go again with the bizarre rhetorical twists.

    Duesberg’s assertion is that the HIV causes AIDS theory of itself predicts that HIV should equally infect males and females and therefore AIDS should also be equally distributed.

    This is completely false. It is not a prediction of the theory. It is a strawman created by Duesberg. Like many logical fallacies despite being fallacious it can fool the credulous.

    Syphils, gonorrhea, Hepatitis A, shigellosis and other diseases show male-to-female ratios that are comparable or even greater than that for HIV. It is completely fallacious to assert that that all sexually transmitted diseases are uniformly distributed between the sexes.

    If you wnat you can interpret Duesberg’s statement with the caveat ceteris paribus but this just turns it into a truism – all sexually transmitted diseases are equally distributed between thes sexes except those that aren’t.

  42. MacDonald Says:

    My apologies to Trrll and everybody else for speaking from faulty memory. Only a few of the 17 predictions and definitions under discussion follow logically from the theory itself. That includes equal distribution in practice between the sexes.

    Duesberg’s formulation in the Biosciences Paper states:

    Viral AIDS – like all viral/microbial epidemics in the past should spread randomly in a population.

    That is in a (sub)population, not necessarily the population as in the entire American population. It is therefore not necessarily illuminating to study the general statistics for entire countries.

    In a virgin (sub)population, then, that share the exposure to the disease causing viral/microbial agent a truly epidemic disease will spread randomly and explosively.

    In Trrll’s quote Duesberg says sexually transmitted diseases :

    tend to strike an equal share of both genders

    Duesberg does not say it will do so; he says it will tend to do so. Ceteris paribus.

    Of course Duesberg does not claim that f. ex. in a subpopulation where men to women are 10 to 1 that equal numbers will get infected. But it will tend that way.

    Duesberg’s point is that anywhere in the Western world, when HIV/AIDS ‘hits’ a sub-population that’s characterirized by being non-gay, non-drug using, white and living above the poverty line nothing epidemic whatsoever happens.

    This is backed up by the minor argument that even in those subgroups very few women get HIV/AIDS exactly because they don’t practice the other risk behaviour to the same extent as men – that risk behaviour being drugs, not sex with other men, since no matter how bi-curious the heterosexual Western male may be, I still think the females score higher on the receptive sex with men count.

    This does not constitute complete refutation of the HIV/AIDS hypothesis, but it’s all in all such a strong argument against that apologists continually have to fall back on last line of defence maneuvers, such as relying on misrepresentations of what Duesberg says to obscure its overall import.

  43. Truthseeker Says:

    If you wnat you can interpret Duesberg’s statement with the caveat ceteris paribus but this just turns it into a truism – all sexually transmitted diseases are equally distributed between thes sexes except those that aren’t.

    Chris, thank you for repeating what has to be a classic statement of such mindbending, universe splitting unreason that it escapes almost all attempts to deconstruct its infinite subtleties of misapprehension and misguided logic. There are few challenges to equal the task of demonstrating precisely where you are going wrong, because of the number of times your logic turns inside out and upside down and mirrors itself into a sort of infinite loop or Mobius strip of perfectly self defeating attempts to escape its imprisoning limitations, but that is the beguiling attraction, so here goes.

    1) HIV is said to be sexually transmitted. Like other sexually transmitted diseases, ie diseases transmitted through sex, it is characteristically transmitted through sex between a man and woman, with gay sex being an exception to the general rule of how it is evolved to be transmitted.

    2. Anything transmitted through sex between the two sexes will tend to be equally distributed between the two sexes, since heterosexual sex is by definition between man and woman, overwhelmingly one man and one woman per bout, and pretty much equal number of partners x bouts (p x b) per person.

    3. It is reasonable to expect sexually transmitted parasites/disease agents to be equally distributed between men and women, therefore.

    4. In AIDS, therefore, we would expect equal distribution between men and women.

    5. We do not get equal distribution between men and women in the US, but distribution almost wholly lop sided ie it is found in many men and very few women.

    6. This is because the men are gay and highly active therefore enable HIV to spread among that subpopulation with sex between man and man.

    7. This spread among the gay subpopulation does NOT however prevent spread among the heterosexual population in the US, and therefore the lack of a pandemic/epidemic or even noticeable spread among the heterosexual population here remains a puzzling paradoxical conundrum as yet unexplained even by the strenuous and almost super humanly Noble effort at rationalizing the absurdities and nonsensically inexplicable and loopily baffling puzzles of the world’s most asinine hypothesis – puzzles, that is, to the believer, though not to the critic, who resolves them all with one slash of Occam’s razor – HIV is not after all the cause of “AIDS”.

    8. This viRtually non existent spread among the heterosexual population of the US is the failed expectation inherent in the HIV∫AIDS paradigm referred to by Duesberg as one of the predictions of HIV∫AIDS that fails.

    9. The fact that supposedly there is the expected heterosexual spread in the rest of the world only highlights the failure of the paradigm to explain why it is missing in the US. No, the use of condoms is not enough to account for it, as you presumably well know.

    10. Nancy Padian and others have produced studies suggesting that in fact the transmission of HIV positivity between discordant couples is far too low, if it exists at all, to yield a heterosexual epidemic.

    11. Therefore all rational people ie those without the AIDS meme occupying the entire space between their ears which would otherwise be a functioning brain would and do agree that the way the conundrum is to be resolved is to acknowledge and accept that HIV is not a heterosexually transmitted entity.

    12. Result: critics of HIV have one more huge reason to reject HIV∫AIDS as a viable hypothesis, and the Chris Nobles of the world are left twisting in the wind at the end of a logical rope so tangled that only the dedicated efforts of a specialist untangler of HIV∫AIDS rationalizing can unwind the rope fast enough to free the victim before his brain is permanently crippled.

    We hope we have acted fast enough to succeed in this case, but cannot be sure. Nonetheless, we can but hope, and indeed fervently pray to the God of Irrationality that we have succeeded, because without the contribution of CN (and neuroscientist Trrll) this blog would have only half the minimal entertainment value it has, and as all know no information is taken in these days without the leavening effect of playing to the crowd, and the author of the blog would be hard put to amuse his readers without the highly valued contributions of these stalwart supporters of paradigmatic science in which paradoxes and conundrums play a leading part.

    Let us sing the praise of Noble,

    Whose winged mind flies free of chains

    Ignores the shackles of mere logic,

    This racehorse easily slips the reins.

    Chris loves his science’s conundrums

    Paradoxes are his pets so fond,

    If his paradigm lacks wings, no matter

    Rocket fool – er, sorry, fuel – will send it up beyond

    Beyond the bounds of reason or

    The earthbound stretch of common sense

    Into the deep of space fantastic

    Of licensed, funded rank nonsense.

  44. Robert Houston Says:

    Bravo, Truthseeker, for that excellent 12-point analysis and for your terrific new verse in “praise of Noble”!

    A couple of new examples have turned up regarding your honoree’s reliability regarding such mundane items as facts and figures. His latest claim is that gonorrhea and hepatitis A are STDs that “show male-to-female ratios that are comparable or even greater than that for HIV.” He should inform the US government of this new information that he has divined. According to the CDC, in both cases the distribution between the genders is similar:

    * Gonorrhea: For the third straight year… gonorrhea rates in women are slightly higher than in men (Figure 14). In 2004 the gonorrhea rate among women was 116.5 and the rate among men was 110.0 cases per 100,000 population (Tables 14 and 15). ” (CDC, Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance, 2004 Supplement)

    * Hepatitis A: ” Rates of hepatitis A have historically been higher among males than females…However, since 2001 rates have declined more in males than females and rates are similar for both genders (2.1/100,000 for males vs 1.8/100,000 for females…” (CDC, Hepatitis Surveillance Report No. 61, September 2006, p. 18.)

    The CDC also points out that the marked decline in syphilis among heterosexuals combined with a rise of the disease in male homosexuals is what accounts for the present male/female disparity. Throughout the 1990s, the rates in men and women were comparable.

    In other words, Duesberg was correct in suggesting that STDs “tend to strike an equal share of both genders.”

  45. Chris Noble Says:

    …such as relying on misrepresentations of what Duesberg says to obscure its overall import.

    Duesberg has made himself absolutely clear. See this for instance.

    Now, if we wanted to distinguish between infectious and not, here are the hallmarks of infectious diseases versus non-infectious diseases: All infectious diseases, zero exceptions, all of them, viruses, bacteria, fungi, you name it, are equally distributed between the sexes.

    Once again it is not a prediction of the treponema pallidum theory of syphilis that it infects an equal number of men and women nor is it a prediction of the HIV theory of AIDS.

    You will not find it in any textbook. The only place you find it is in “rethinker” texts. It is a strawman.

  46. Chris Noble Says:

    A couple of new examples have turned up regarding your honoree’s reliability regarding such mundane items as facts and figures. His latest claim is that gonorrhea and hepatitis A are STDs that “show male-to-female ratios that are comparable or even greater than that for HIV.” He should inform the US government of this new information that he has divined. According to the CDC, in both cases the distribution between the genders is similar:

    Hepatitis A has in the past had a large male-to-female ratio.

    Gonorrhea is also disproprtionately more prevalent in MSM. I may well have been mistaken about the male-to-female ratio.

    http://tinyurl.com/ya4jdh

    It is also worth noting that the prevalence of gonorrhea remains disproportionately higher in African Americans. This is also something that sexually transmitted diseases should not do according to Duesberg.

    The CDC also points out that the marked decline in syphilis among heterosexuals combined with a rise of the disease in male homosexuals is what accounts for the present male/female disparity.

    According to Duesberg this should not be possible. The standard “rethinker” rhetoric is to claim that treponema pallidum must be really smart to be able to infect more men than women.

    Throughout the 1990s, the rates in men and women were comparable.

    The male-to-female ratio dipped in the 1990s but never reached 1:1. It has consisitently been above 1:1.

    What male-to-female ratio does the treponema pallidum theory of syphilis predict? This should be an easy question for all the expert epidemiologists here.

  47. MacDonald Says:

    CN,

    Even your friend, Trrll, was smart enough to know when he’d embarrased himself sufficiently and shut up for a while.

    Why is it that when repeatedly exposed by Robert Houston, we don’t get any of your hallmark accusations of ‘dishonesty’, but merely a “I may have made a mistake”? Could it be because the finger is pointing at yourself this time that these so called ‘mistakes’ are so honest all of a sudden?

    So what was the ‘mistake’ my dear honest fellow? Did you insert your contact lenses upside down so you, the famous statistician from Murch, couldn’t read a simple CDC report in your own field? No wonder you haven’t ever produced anything that passed peer review

    Speaking of “hallmark”, when accused by ME of misrepresenting what Duesberg says, you chose to counter by providing the most lucid illustration of my words yet. That is all in all beyond belief!

    In your own quotation Duesberg says, “it is the hallmark of infectious diseases that they’re equally distributed between the sexes”

    Your comment on this is that it’s a strawman for Duesberg to say that equal distribution between sexes follows logically from the HIV theory itself .

    I think your personal Murchy space behind those highly psychoactive contact lenses is the only place this side Alice’s looking glass that “is the hallmark of” can get equated with “follows logically from the theory.”

    Strawman? It’s a miracle if the scarecrow from Wizard of Oz is not already sueing you.

    Apart from that, you still haven’t grasped what Robert Houston told Trrll, have you: that you’re arguing for Duesberg and against the authors and signatories of the Durban declaration?

    I think the scarecrow must be preparing a double lawsuit for unauthorized appropriation of the “If I only had a brain” act.

    FYI only, since everybody else here can read, “hallmark” means “hallmark behaviour”. The Durban declaration, not Duesberg get it??? says HIV/AIDS is an epidemic (pandemic) viral disease, and tells us throughout that it behaves just like all other viral/bacterial epidemics and diseases, whether or not it follows logically from the theory itself.

    So if you feel any of this is wrong to assert, feel free to take it up with the authors of the Durban Declaration in between your basic read and comprehend classes.

  48. MacDonald Says:

    Re the ‘Argument from Syphilis’.

    CN, before the progress of your brain’s revolutions, so slow that only the Truthseeker has been able to observe a few mitogenically induced instances of forward motion, switch into reverse, try to grasp the difference between a new ‘pandemic’, like HIV/AIDS, hitting a virgin (sub)population on one side, and the behaviour of long established diseases, like syphilis, and the concept of sub-epidemics on the other before you put more of your own inanities in Duesberg’s mouth.

  49. Truthseeker Says:

    MacDonald, this is a very, very serious site as you well know and posts which send the laughometer needle over 100 are not allowed very often, but in this case we will make an exception.

  50. nohivmeds Says:

    Bravo, MacDonald! And TS, perhaps we could use more levity from time to time — that laughometer is looking rusty!

  51. Gene Semon Says:

    Let’s revisit MacDonald’s citing of trrll, “by taking other measurable variables into account, it is possible to make stronger predictions based on HIV RNA levels.”

    And response, ” ‘Perhaps’ indeed! For more HIV lab. perhapses, have a look at the table found here
    http://www.healtoronto.com/vloadpg.html“.

    What’s interesting here is the data showing substantial variability within the surrogate itself (supposedly representing a single agent), necessitating the qualitative assessment, “strength of the association”, that logically undermines the measured RNA as A CAUSE, but leaves us with the more “biologically plausible” RNAs as effect, i.e. CELLULAR caused differences in transcribed gag or pol RNAs. (Cells under what kind of stress? Hint: it starts with O!)

    Trrll, “HIV”, a putative single agent, is not “replicating and increasing within the body”, and your non-response to this point many posts ago demonstrates that you ignore substantive counter- arguments to “HIV theory” (assuming THIS is even singular) and join Chris in nit-picking Duesberg. Bringing Perth Group into the discussion is “illegitimate”, right? They even DEBATED each other years ago!?!?

  52. Chris Noble Says:

    Oh the irony!

    MacDonald accuses me of a) misrepresenting Duesberg and b) arguing against the authors of the Durban Declaration.

    The “prediction” in question comes from a table labelled The HIV-AIDS Hypothesis: 16 Predictions Versus the Facts.

    http://www.rethinkaids.com/body.cfm?id=60

    Accordingly, the “predictions” are claimed to be predictions of the HIV-AIDS hypothesis.

    13. Prediction: Viral AIDS – “like all viral/microbial epidemics in the past” – should spread randomly in a population

    Duesberg claims that it is a prediction of the HIV-AIDS hypothesis itself that it should spread randomly in a population.

    The fact is that risk factors for the transmission of sexually transmittted diseases are not randomly distributed and people do not have sex randomly.

    There is absolutely nothing in the HIV-AIDS hypothesis that predicts that it should be uniformly distributed between the sexes or ethnic groups.

    The claim that I am arguing against the authors of the Durban Declaration is frankly inane. You will not find these “predictions” anywhere in the Durban Declaration. They are the invention of Duesberg and there only purpose is to confuse lay-people with simplistic rhetoric. It is apparently highly successful.

  53. Chris Noble Says:

    Previously MacDonald wrote:

    For 17 unfulfilled predictions that do follow logically from the theory itself. try duesberg.com

    So what is it?

    Are you claiming that Duesberg’s 17 “predictions” logically follow from the theory itself?

    Please make up your mind.

  54. pat Says:

    “Accordingly, the “predictions” are claimed to be predictions of the HIV-AIDS hypothesis.

    13. Prediction: Viral AIDS – “like all viral/microbial epidemics in the past” – should spread randomly in a population”

    Perhaps you should tell us what “random” means

  55. MacDonald Says:

    CN,

    I know this is an unknown concept to you, but when I wrongly put words in Duesberg’s mouth and become aware of it, I immediately post a correction and an apology. So if you’d had the stamina to run your eyes just a few posts down you’d have encountered this:

    My apologies to Trrll and everybody else for speaking from faulty memory. Only a few of the 17 predictions and definitions under discussion follow logically from the theory itself

    Or are you just being selective with your quotes again my dear honest fellow?

    But really Chris, although I’m flattered, I’m quite certain it’s against your lawyer’s advice to drag me in as ultimate reference for your inanities. I hope for your sake that’s not how you hope to beat the Scarecrow’s lawsuit.

    Duesberg claims that it is a prediction of the HIV-AIDS hypothesis itself that it should spread randomly in a population.

    The fact is that risk factors for the transmission of sexually transmittted diseases are not randomly distributed and people do not have sex randomly.

    There is absolutely nothing in the HIV/AIDS hypothesis that predicts that it should be uniformly distributed between the sexes or ethnic groups

    The claim that I am arguing against the authors of the Durban Declaration is frankly inane. You will not find these “predictions” anywhere in the Durban Declaration. They are the invention of Duesberg and there only purpose is to confuse lay-people with simplistic rhetoric. It is apparently highly successful

    OK, I see we’ll have to walk you through this one after all.

    HIV/AIDS is in the Durban declaration called both an ‘epidemic’ and a ‘pandemic’ which like other viruses recognizes no social, political or geographic boundaries.

    Now Chris, even you are capable of googling some keywords from this ‘simplistic rhethoric’ and find out what normally is supposed to happen when an entity described thus hits a virgin (sub)population like white, heterosexual, middle-class americans.

    A hint for you: do the words ‘epidemic/pandemic’ predict,

    a. nothing much will happen?
    b. something epidemic/pandemic will happen?

    I’ll give you one more tool to get a handle on this very difficult question, using the theme I’ve noted interests you the most by far. So one more time:

    The fact is that risk factors for the transmission of sexually transmittted diseases are not randomly distributed and people do not have sex randomly.

    Chris, does it follow logically from the hypothesis that human beings have sex with each other, and that diseases are transmitted that way, that they do not have sex randomly. Or do we agree that’s not the case?

    And yet, in your own expert opinion this is a fact , is it not? – perhaps even to the extent you’d use it in one form or other to prove HIV is sexually transmitted? Regardless, that amounts to a prediction that all sexually transmittted diseases which resemble hitherto known sexual diseases will spread in the same way, ceteris paribus. Yes?

    Ergo, the prediction that so escapes you lies precisely in the carefully selected ‘simplistic rhethoric’ employed in the Durban Declaration.

    Your beef, old chap, is with the Durban Declaration. Get over it.

    (To anybody else who’s not asleep by now, I apologize on Chris’s behalf for holding up the proceedings like this. He is taking extra-curricular read and comprehend classes to get up to speed, as well as specially designed one on one tutorials to refresh what his mom told him about lying and misrepresenting)

  56. Truthseeker Says:

    To anybody else who’s not asleep by now, I apologize on Chris’s behalf for holding up the proceedings like this

    You are performing a useful service, Sir, in deconstructing wilful stupidity. Not that the perpetrator will acknowledge it, but others will be entertained, and enlightened as to how the trick is done. The tricky trick of the perpetrator that is. The wilful obstuseness of the intelligent is the hardest of all text to expose, but no doubt you are married, since you are expert at revealing it, and it is a trick usually seen in domestic debate, where the normal rules of justice and fairness do not apply. Why it should be applied here is a conundrum.

  57. objukwu Says:

    G’Martian Moonlight onya

    Before you start talking about a correlation, positive or negative, with respect to HIV and CD4 you might want to demonstrate the presence of virus, which Piatek couldn’t , when he got this whole ball rolling. Assigning unit value to null sets doesn’t count. Unless you’ve got a dog in the fight, which we have long suspected.

    OH, Chris , what’s you’re favorite way now , for HIV to kill t cells? I remember distinctly when you liked the direct cytopathic effect, until you’re mother told you that didn’t look good on you.

    And I remember when you were forever yapping that two- viruses cause Kaposi sarcoma, kinda of like two comets hitting the earth simultaneously, and that’s what really happened on 9/11. (Those weren’t jets, everybody)

    I haven’t been around for a while, but I’ll say this much for you , you are still about as hard to embarrass as Bill Clinton

    R O

  58. Chris Noble Says:

    And I remember when you were forever yapping that two- viruses cause Kaposi sarcoma, kinda of like two comets hitting the earth simultaneously, and that’s what really happened on 9/11. (Those weren’t jets, everybody)

    I was about to ask MacDonald who he was trying to convince with his nonsense about predictions that aren’t.

    Now I have my answer.

  59. objukwu Says:

    my apologies for submitting this 5 times. its like a compulsive obsessive thing,. I get nervous everytime I hear somebody mention Bill Clinton’s name. His wife is pretty soon going to do the retroactively raise taxes thing , just like bill did, and that makes me edgy. I know alllayouall’ll understand but please erase 4 of them , to save space, anyway

  60. objukwu Says:

    Again, greetings and boundless cheer,

    You Australians have all these tremendous, friendly salutations , even in pubs just before a soccer ball goes flying over the bar and knocks all the glassware off the poor bartenders display rack.

    Since I assume that last salutationless comment was aimed at me, I will have to go back and read of MacDonald, and his work pertaining to “Predictions that Aren’t” , a somewhat catchy title, when I can get around to it.

    In the meantime, how come some of these things have green borders?

    And how come, during the last Ice age, only the eastern half of Alaska was under the ice.?
    Siberia was not under the ice?

    R O

  61. Truthseeker Says:

    In the meantime, how come some of these things have green borders?

    Because some of them are carefully argued and typed, and make very good points, or very bad ones, which are also noteworthy for that reason.

  62. MacDonald Says:

    TS,

    Your powers of observing and drawing conclusions from the observed continue to serve you well. All my skill in making head and tail of CN’s contortions indeed stem from experiences with members of the fair sex who, as we all know, offer but foul reply to charmless Reason.

  63. objukwu Says:

    You notice , anytime anybody wants to talk about Piatek and all those zeroes, not Japanese zeroes,but real loser virus zeroes, Chris has to go cut the grass or something.
    The wife , ya know, kicking up a fuss again.

    And how do you know when something is “carefully typed”? One guy maybe can do 186 words per minute, and miss a key or two , and somebody else is only doing 23 wpm. How hard is it , 23wpm, to get all the notes right? My 6 year old niece can do that.

  64. Gene Semon Says:

    Predictions that follow from HIV theory cannot actually be derived from that theory.

    Think of the higher truth that Chris has revealed to us.

    The reputation of science has been saved by ignoring its vaunted self-correcting property.

    Duesberg’s great sin against “science” was that he exposed the NIH “progress” from the time of Nixon’s declared War on Cancer as nothing more than a chimera.

    Meaning that when Duesberg falsified Gallo’s uniquely unique (not only a pathogen, but the ultimate destroyer) HTLV retrovirus on the heels of the Science, Nature and PNAS papers that debunked retroviral oncogenes as disease causing agents, “science” would have to be twisted into a pretzel logic. (Gallo had at least invoked a semblance of germ theory.)

    The wily HIV meme, like its genetic counterpart, had to rescue itself from potential oblivion.

    This ultimate destroyer, after bestowing upon itself the name of Houdini Immunodeficiency Virus,
    infiltrated the brilliant minds of David Baltimore and Anthony Fauci, hijacked their reasoning faculties and insidiously convinced them with an offer they couldn’t refuse: keep me alive and you will walk in the company of great men.

    The thoughts induced by the ever increasingly intelligent HIV made clear the wonders of producing p24 as equivalent to culturing whole virus, action-at-a-distance bystander killing, hiding in special reservoirs and clouds of sugar and the most incredibly amazing feat of replicating in a computer. This was reported in the Journal of Irreducible Results as the first known human to machine memetic transfer.

    The result, of course, is that protean HIV causes AIDS theories can be defined as NOT what Peter Duesberg says they are, in spite of the hundreds of papers he cites from HIV researchers.

    And good ol’ Chris, like that famous stopped clock …

  65. objukwu Says:

    the difference is , Chris -and I see no reason not to stipulate to your fact that 5x as many men as women got syphyllis in iceland in 1406– ( I will not however concede that that in any way invalidates anything that Duesberg has to say)-the difference is, that I want to know WHY????

    WHY did 5x as many men as women get syphillis?

    In and of itself that’s a curious phenomena(the 5x thing , not the fact I want to know why) even if it had no pertinancy to the discussion on AIDS.

    But what you do , you don’t ask WHY,–never– you just go and punch some more computer keys.

    That’s how you “solve” everything.

    But I want to know why; Why in America AIDS kills a mere 15000 people,(600K die of cancer–1.2mil die of CVD—but 300billion$ gets spent on AIDS !% times as much as cancer/CVD put together—what’s your cut of that, by the way?) 90% of whom are male drug adicts but in Africa, where we are far less promiscuous than most people egregiously suggest, it’s split 50/50, and that’s a legitimate question your button pushing hasn’t answered.

    No matter whether you think you’ve answered it , or not.

    But far more to the point is , you NEVER really ask WHY(?).

    Whatever it says on the screen, for you, that’s it–that’s the answer– hell and high water be damned.

    And – well, forgetaboutit, you don’t get the point and you never will— I’d tell you to have a nice day with some good onya, but I still resent it from when you called me a goat worshipper. That was un-necessary, Chris. But like I said, somany, many times– you have no shame.

  66. Chris Noble Says:

    So is anyone still claiming that Duesberg’s 17 predictions of the HIV/AIDS hypothesis actually logically follow from the hypothesis?

    Simple question.

  67. objukwu Says:

    Speaking only for myself, simple answort: no.
    Simple added comment: who cares?
    Unless you get some extra money for each person you can get to concede that point.

  68. objukwu Says:

    TS: Is it too late to change my name to “Patient Zero”?

  69. Chris Noble Says:

    Speaking only for myself, simple answort: no.
    Simple added comment: who cares?

    Well apparently Duesberg supporters do not care. The scientific community does.

    Don’t you find it a little bit strange that Duesberg makes a big list of “predictions” of the HIV/AIDS hypothesis that aren’t actually predictions of the hypothesis?

    Who exactly is Duesberg targetting? Anybody who has any knowledge of the HIV/AIDS hypothesis can see straight away that Duesberg’s “predictions” do not follow logically from the HIV/AIDS hypothesis.

  70. objukwu Says:

    If you’re asking if *I* find it a little bit strange, the answer is no. I don’t see what the big deal is.

  71. GS Says:

    Chris

    Your claim that Duesberg’s “predictions” are not those put forth by proponents of the HIV hypothesis does nothing to weaken Duesberg’s argument. Duesberg’s “predictions” are those which the HIV hypothesis would predict if it were not intellectually bankrupt. If the “predictions” put forth by Duesberg are not met, how the hell does HIV cause AIDS?

    The FACT remains – these predictions are necessary for the HIV hypothesis to be true.

    If you can explain the HIV hypothesis without meeting these “predictions” you have done more than any other contemporary scientist, journalist, or thinking person.

    Come on Chris, do it. This is a challenge. I do not know about the rest of the people on here, but I am willing to accept the paradigm shift – if you can deliver.

    I do not know, however, if the proponents of the HIV hypothesis would be able to accept this paradigm shift. If you can explain how HIV causes AIDS without being present, I have a feeling that even they would be uncomfortable.

    But who knows? The proponents of HIV are a strange crew.

  72. objukwu Says:

    CN:
    Are you trying to say the scientific community *cares* about what Duesberg says?
    Interesting.

  73. objukwu Says:

    I found a priceless quote up there somewhere by the *doctor* (how’s it going *doctor*) who has a name like somthing out of Lord of the Rings, which says, amidst a blizzard of vitriol aimed at Duesberg, that the mathematics of (this) disease, its epidemiology, is (precisely) worked out. Something to that effect. (These things don’t have numbers , andI’m not going to waste all day going back looking for it.
    Hey Doc, you been sniffing glue or something?
    Can I fix you up with Donna Shalala?
    Donna said 100million(no order of magnitude error there) USA registerd voters would be infected with HIV by the year 2000.
    If they had drivers licences.
    Do you know why there was no ice in Siberia? I ask everybody, just in case.
    Why does Chris Noble go on and on and on and on like the Everready Bunny about predictions, did you give him meth?
    Are you two guys in it together.
    How much do you get paid? Did your agent get you the the same deal Chris got. Maybe your getting screwed.

  74. MacDonald Says:

    Objukwu,

    you’re being far too modest. According to Chris, who obviously is an important spokesperson, the scientific community cares about what YOU think, never mind Duesberg.

    What I think is that it’s Chris’s agent that’s getting screwed.

    Hey Chris’s agent!! are you actually cheking on him? Do you know how little the chronic under-achiever is doing for his money?

    We’re all for sale here at NAR, and at least as shameless and unprincipled as Murchy boy, so don’t you think it’s time to renew your team before the oppostion takes both House and Senate, if you know what I mean?

  75. trrll Says:

    Duesberg:

    Now, if we wanted to distinguish between infectious and not, here are the hallmarks of infectious diseases versus non-infectious diseases: All infectious diseases, zero exceptions, all of them, viruses, bacteria, fungi, you name it, are equally distributed between the sexes.

    This is the sort of thing that makes me wonder whether Duesberg is suffering from some form age- related dementia, because this is not really a logical argument at all, but rather a statement of prejudice. A scientific prediction regarding the expected sex ratio would have to consider such factors as the prevalence of the virus in secretions of males and females, the mechanism by which the virus crosses into the bloodstream, the nature of the tissues exposed to the virus (which obviously differs between the sexes). This kind of basic error in reasoning might be understandable in a layman, but for a trained, experienced scientist it is as incomprehensible as Duesberg’s math error in calculating how many times a person would have to have had sex to contract HIV. Quite literally, no scientist in his right mind would make such an argument.

  76. GS Says:

    Trrll

    Go ahead, personify this damn virus.

    If you are right, and Duesberg is wrong, I guess HIV discriminates.

    I guess we could call up the Australian courts and charge HIV with hate crimes.

    NEWS ALERT

    HIV is a member of the KKK and is also extremely homophobic!!

    Hey Trrll – do you know of any other microbes committing hate crimes? Because, we could go after them too!

  77. Dave Says:

    Trrll,

    If you had even an ounce of scientific integrity, rather than offering pointless abstractions, you would have rebutted Dr. Duesberg’s observations with some fairly concrete data on common microbes (gonorhea, herpes, flu) that infect far more men, than women.

    You haven’t. You don’t.

  78. Chris Noble Says:

    Your claim that Duesberg’s “predictions” are not those put forth by proponents of the HIV hypothesis does nothing to weaken Duesberg’s argument. Duesberg’s “predictions” are those which the HIV hypothesis would predict if it were not intellectually bankrupt.

    Not only are Duesberg’s “predictions” not put forward by the proponents of the HIV/AIDS hypothesis they also do not logically follow from the hypothesis at all.

    I asked a simple question before. I’ll rephrase it.

    What male-to-female ratio does the treponema pallidum theory of syphilis predict?

    It is a very simple question which all the experts here should have no problem answering.

  79. Chris Noble Says:

    Hey Trrll – do you know of any other microbes committing hate crimes? Because, we could go after them too!

    According to Duesbergian epidemiology gonorrhea discriminates.

    http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats/trends2004.htm#trendsgonorrhea

    Rates in African Americans was 19 times higher than that for “whites” in 2004.

    What does the Neisseria gonorrhoeae theory of gonorrhea predict?

  80. GS Says:

    Chris

    It does not make a prediction!! And, neither does the HIV hypothesis.

    But, are you going to tell me that microbes can discriminate?

    While the HIV hypothesis may not directly predict an equal sex ratio, it should follow the rules of infectious diseases (as it is supposedly an infectious disease).

    Also, you have not explained how HIV causes AIDS without even being present. Please do, or please drop the issue of Duesberg’s predictions.

  81. Chris Noble Says:

    It does not make a prediction!! And, neither does the HIV hypothesis.

    No predictions or just no prediction about male-to-female ratios or relative prevalence in different ethnic groups.

    But, are you going to tell me that microbes can discriminate?

    Not at all. I am simply pointing out that if you follow the “rethinker” argument that HIV somehow discriminates then you logically have to accept that syphilis and gonorrhea also discriminate. If you are logically consistent then you have to reject syphilis and gonorrhea as sexually transmitted diseases.

    While the HIV hypothesis may not directly predict an equal sex ratio, it should follow the rules of infectious diseases (as it is supposedly an infectious disease).

    What exactly are the “rules of infectious diseases”?

    Why are epidemiologists apparently unaware of these “rules of infectious diseases”?

    Can you provide a set of “rules” that do not also exclude one or more other infectious diseases?

    Also, you have not explained how HIV causes AIDS without even being present. Please do, or please drop the issue of Duesberg’s predictions.

    Who apart from Duesberg and his supporters claims that HIV causes AIDS without being present? I do not have to explain something that is not true. This is just one more example of a typical strawman argument.

  82. trrll Says:

    If you had even an ounce of scientific integrity, rather than offering pointless abstractions, you would have rebutted Dr. Duesberg’s observations with some fairly concrete data on common microbes (gonorhea, herpes, flu) that infect far more men, than women.

    You haven’t. You don’t.

    And I won’t, because it would be a foolish argument to make. As I said before, no scientist in his right mind would suggest that you could conclude or rebut anything about HIV on that basis. HIV is not gonorrhea, herpes, or flu, but a completely different organism. It is like insisting that I should be able to predict how far an eagle can fly based upon the flight capabilities of penguins and ostriches. Any scientific prediction about the sex ratio to be expected for a particular infectious organism would have to consider the specific characteristics of that particular organism and its mechanism of infection.

  83. Chris Noble Says:

    All infectious diseases, zero exceptions, all of them, viruses, bacteria, fungi, you name it, are equally distributed between the sexes.

    Is this one of the “rules of infectious diseases”?

  84. GS Says:

    Chris

    Your IQ must be equal to the daily number of HIV induced cell deaths. It might not be exactly zero, however, because you appear to be able to spell your own name.

    You seem to like to create paradoxes, and to attempt to pass them off as facts.

    According to you, HIV can both not discriminate and not be randomly distributed amongst the sexes If it does not discriminate – why is it more frequent in men (in North America and Europe)?

    The only time microbes should appear to be discriminating is if they are present in one group but not in another. This is not the case with HIV. AIDS, thus, is more explainable (in a world in which HIV is present in all relevant groups – like this world) as a result of things that differ between groups (i.e., drug use, poverty, etc.).

    And…..

    As for your last point. ICL is AIDS!

    Robert Koch’s “Rules” do not exclude any infectious diseases. And, Koch’s “Rules” claim that the microbe must be present in all cases of the disease (i.e., there are no other alternative explanations). Since ICL is AIDS, and ICL does not involve HIV, than AIDS can be explained without HIV.

    Duesberg’s claim that the HIV hypothesis prediction is broken when AIDS can occur in the absence of HIV is not a strawman. It is one of the foundations of science.

  85. Chris Noble Says:

    According to you, HIV can both not discriminate and not be randomly distributed amongst the sexes If it does not discriminate – why is it more frequent in men (in North America and Europe)?

    Why is syphilis more prevalent in men than in women in the US? Does treponema pallidum discriminate? Simple question!

    As for your last point. ICL is AIDS!

    To be more exact ICL is a form of immune deficiency. Its cuase is not known hence the idiopathic. Nobody is saying that ICL is caused by HIV therefore your comment:

    Also, you have not explained how HIV causes AIDS without even being present.

    is completely unfounded. You also ignore the fact that ICL is clinically diffferent from AIDS.

    Robert Koch’s “Rules” do not exclude any infectious diseases.

    Are you really trying to tell us that all known infectious diseases fulfil Koch’s postulates?

    Really?

    Have you actually checked?

    Tuberculosis, cholera, leprosy, syphilis?

    If you read something lese other than “rethinker” websites you wouldn’t have these problems.

  86. Truthseeker Says:

    This is the sort of thing that makes me wonder whether Duesberg is suffering from some form age- related dementia, because this is not really a logical argument at all, but rather a statement of prejudice. A scientific prediction regarding the expected sex ratio would have to consider such factors as the prevalence of the virus in secretions of males and females, the mechanism by which the virus crosses into the bloodstream,…..

    Trrll, do you know how to spell ceteris paribus?

  87. Chris Noble Says:

    Trrll, do you know how to spell ceteris paribus?

    When Duesberg said:All infectious diseases, zero exceptions, all of them, viruses, bacteria, fungi, you name it, are equally distributed between the sexes.
    what did he mean by all of them and zero exceptions?

    To top this off if you haven’t noticed all things are not equal. Each microbe has different characteristics. Different subpopulations have different levels of risk behaviour.

    Duesberg’s “predictions” do not follow from the theory. He invented them as rhetorical devices to convince the credulous (with a high degree of success at least in the subpopulation that comments on this blog).

  88. GS Says:

    Golly gee, the boy can twist words. He also appears to be well adapted to continuously banging his head off the wall.

    Chris, it appears to me that you lost this argument before.

    McDonald said:

    Duesberg’s formulation in the Biosciences Paper states:

    Viral AIDS – like all viral/microbial epidemics in the past should spread randomly in a population.

    That is in a (sub)population, not necessarily the population as in the entire American population. It is therefore not necessarily illuminating to study the general statistics for entire countries.

    In a virgin (sub)population, then, that share the exposure to the disease causing viral/microbial agent a truly epidemic disease will spread randomly and explosively.

    In Trrll’s quote Duesberg says sexually transmitted diseases :

    tend to strike an equal share of both genders

    Duesberg does not say it will do so; he says it will tend to do so. Ceteris paribus.

    Of course Duesberg does not claim that f. ex. in a subpopulation where men to women are 10 to 1 that equal numbers will get infected. But it will tend that way.

    Duesberg’s point is that anywhere in the Western world, when HIV/AIDS ‘hits’ a sub-population that’s characterirized by being non-gay, non-drug using, white and living above the poverty line nothing epidemic whatsoever happens.

    This is backed up by the minor argument that even in those subgroups very few women get HIV/AIDS exactly because they don’t practice the other risk behaviour to the same extent as men – that risk behaviour being drugs, not sex with other men, since no matter how bi-curious the heterosexual Western male may be, I still think the females score higher on the receptive sex with men count.

    This does not constitute complete refutation of the HIV/AIDS hypothesis, but it’s all in all such a strong argument against that apologists continually have to fall back on last line of defence maneuvers, such as relying on misrepresentations of what Duesberg says to obscure its overall import.

    10.16.2006 6:24am

    Also Chris, would you care to explain how ICL is different from AIDS. I seem to remember certain CDC officials saying that if it wasn’t for the lack of HIV that the two (ICL and AIDS) would be the same.

    And, could you explain how TB does not follow Koch’s postulates. Please make it a referenced article, and preferably more than one.

    Chris, it is boring to argue with you. You repeat the same arguments and never answer questions. This brings me to ask – WHY ARE YOU HERE?

    Also…

    For your information, I read a lot of material that is not from rethinker web sites. I am well read in the HIV broadly neutralizing antibody literature. A knowledge that makes me think Dennis Burton should had stuck to basic chemistry.

    I am also well read in the history of AIDS – prepared by individuals who were not rethinkers.

    I have, also, an extensive training in psychology and molecular biology. I might be only a grad student, but I feel as if I am more qualified to understand this damn disease than you overtly demonstrate yourself to be.

  89. Chris Noble Says:

    Duesberg does not say it will do so; he says it will tend to do so. Ceteris paribus.

    All infectious diseases, zero exceptions, all of them, viruses, bacteria, fungi, you name it, are equally distributed between the sexes.

    Zero exceptions! You can twist these words anyway you want but he still says zero exceptions.

    And, could you explain how TB does not follow Koch’s postulates. Please make it a referenced article, and preferably more than one.

    Tuberculosis does not fulfil a strict interpretation of Koch’s third postulate because a large percentage of those infected are asymptomatic carriers.

    You tactically avoided my question. Are you claiming that all infectious diseases fulfil Koch’s postulates? Yes or no?

    You also failed to answer my question about the male-to-female ratio predicted by the treponema pallidum theory of syphilis. In the US as a whole there is a roughly equal number of males and females but the number of males infected with syphilis is some 6 or so times higher than the number of women.

    Also Chris, would you care to explain how ICL is different from AIDS. I seem to remember certain CDC officials saying that if it wasn’t for the lack of HIV that the two (ICL and AIDS) would be the same.

    Probably the biggest difference is that ICL4 is often characterised by transient low CD4+ counts. In HIV infection a gradual steady decline is seen.

    http://tinyurl.com/yzn9sh

    Even if ICL4 and AIDS were totally indistinguishable (apart from HIV antibodies,antigens,RNA,DNA) your argument would still be fallacious.

    Several different viruses can cause the common cold. Do you think there is some agreement between viruses that they each get exactly one set of symptoms each.

    Stop listening to how Duesberg thinks microbes should behave. They don’t care what Duesberg thinks and neither should you.

  90. GS Says:

    So, that is all you have for TB?

    The third postulate is the only of the four that is a should – the other three are musts. Koch covered this in 1884. I was really hoping you had more than that, but I guess I expected too much from the Noble one.

    If you give me the reference to the syphilis data I will pass judgement. I, as of now, know not which (sub)populations you are talking of.

    I also figured you would use the ICL excuse you used. Of course ICL low CD4 counts are sudden. This occurs because the diagnosis only occurs after the cells have been reduced. These individuals do not belong to HIV risk groups, they are not constantly being tested and measured. So, of course it will appear as if their cells have suddenly become low.

  91. MacDonald Says:

    Chris, does your employer know you can’t spell ceteris paribus?

  92. GS Says:

    Spelling does not appear to be the only thing this one does not know how to do.

  93. trrll Says:

    Trrll, do you know how to spell ceteris paribus?

    Uh, yeah, I took Latin in high school, although as a matter of simple courtesy I try to avoid avoid using it in debate if I can concisely express the same concept in English.

    But so what? You cannot base a scientific prediction upon an assumption of ceteris paribus unless in fact you actually have reason to believe that all other things are in fact equal. But in the case of HIV, we know that there are many, many things different between HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Again, literally: no scientist in his right mind would make such an assumption.

  94. trrll Says:

    But, are you going to tell me that microbes can discriminate?

    To a scientist, that’s kind of a silly question. Of course microbes can discriminate. To infect an organism, most microbes require a specific binding interaction between a molecule or molecules upon the microbe’s surface and a “complementary” molecule on the surface of a cell of the prospective host. This is a highly discriminatory interaction (although the preferred scientific term is “specific”). If a host cell does not have those molecules, or has them only at low density, the microbe is unlikely to infect that cell type. This is why it is that infectious organisms frequently discriminate among different cell types in the host’s body. For example, rabies virus specifically infects nerve cells, discriminating against other cell types. And of course, basic knowledge of biology will tell you that males and females have numerous biochemical differences. So there is absolutely no reason why a virus should not discriminate between the sexes. Whether it will actually do so in practice will depend upon (among other factors) what specific cell surface molecules it needs to bind to, and whether their abundance differs between the sexes.

    This is very elementary biology. No biologist in his right mind would attempt to make a prediction about whether an organism will discriminate between the sexes without knowing the details of its infection mechanism.

  95. MacDonald Says:

    Trrll,

    Do you know how to spell ‘pandemic’? (apologizing for using a word derived from an old world language)

    If not, perhaps you can manage ‘Durban Declaration’.

    Or how about ‘Padian’, who “without knowing the details
    of infection mechanism” established not only that white heterosexual women are at higher risk of being infected sexually than white heterosexual men You can spell subpopulation can’t you?), but that sexual transmission is by far the main route of transmission overall?

    Trrll my man, how can she claim such a thing? Does it follow logically from the hypothesis itself? It’d better cuz I found it on a site called ‘aidstruth’ and Truth is something that’s true yesterday, today and tomorrow regardless wouldn’t you say? Or maybe u be one of them post-modern scientists who thinks truth is a flexible kinda one-edged sword?

    Which reminds me Trrll, would you say it follows logically from the HIV hypothesis itself that when viral load goes up CD4 count goes down? Or would you say it’s sort of ceteris pari. . . I mean all other things beings equal?

  96. trrll Says:

    Or how about ‘Padian’, who “without knowing the details
    of infection mechanism” established not only that white heterosexual women are at higher risk of being infected sexually than white heterosexual men You can spell subpopulation can’t you?), but that sexual transmission is by far the main route of transmission overall?

    Trrll my man, how can she claim such a thing? Does it follow logically from the hypothesis itself? It’d better cuz I found it on a site called ‘aidstruth’ and Truth is something that’s true yesterday, today and tomorrow regardless wouldn’t you say? Or maybe u be one of them post-modern scientists who thinks truth is a flexible kinda one-edged sword?

    No, it is not a prediction based upon knowledge of the details of the infection mechanism, it is a conclusion derived from analysis of epidemiological data. As for the scientific view of truth, it is rarely absolute. Even conclusions based upon observational data have a statistical uncertainty about them, which means that they have some probability of being incorrect.

    Which reminds me Trrll, would you say it follows logically from the HIV hypothesis itself that when viral load goes up CD4 count goes down? Or would you say it’s sort of ceteris pari. . . I mean all other things beings equal?

    Yes, this certainly falls into the “all things being equal” category, because there are undoubtedly many factors other than HIV infection that can influence CD4 count. On the other hand, one can make a reasonable prediction that these other factors will average out if you consider a large enough group of patients, and that on the average high viral load will be correlated with low CD4 count (even though a specific individual might well show the opposite).

  97. MacDonald Says:

    The conclusion derived from the analysis of epidemiological data , Dr. Trrll, extends from known to unknown does it not? Or would you claim that Ms. Padian has been around the world testing and counting everybody?
    Does her conclusion not predict that as unknown becomes known more and more people get counted the percentages will hold, and that it is falsified if it doesn’t? Or do you stillinsist on scrapping that basic principle along with the correlation/causation distinction

    Yes, this certainly falls into the “all things being equal” category, because there are undoubtedly many factors other than HIV infection that can influence CD4 count. On the other hand, one can make a reasonable prediction that these other factors will average out if you consider a large enough group of patients, and that on the average high viral load will be correlated with low CD4 count (even though a specific individual might well show the opposite

    If you can do so with your hypothesis, why can Duesberg not do the same and say, “if we take a large enough group my prediction holds’?

  98. Bialyzebub Says:

    Even more puzzling and astoundingly wonderful is that TRRLL (Indeed a name from the LoftR as Brother O. suggested)
    writes this:

    <b>
    …because there are undoubtedly many factors other than HIV infection that can influence CD4 count</b> ..and even in the presence of HIV !

    Wow. What are they? Why aren’t they the causes of AIDS too?

  99. trrll Says:

    Wow. What are they? Why aren’t they the causes of AIDS too?

    There are many factors that quite plausibly could influence CD4 counts: such things as nutrition, endocrine factors (which are dependent upon such things as mood), genetic variation among individuals, environmental toxins, other illnesses, etc. When dealing with biological measures, there is typically a great deal of uncontrolled variance, the source of which can often be very difficult to identify, since it may result from multiple factors that individually have small effects and make a difference only when they occasionally happen to mostly line up in the same direction. In most cases, their effects probably would not be consistent or large enough enough to produce an identifiable syndrome such as AIDS, but could play a role in the way susceptibility to illness varies from person to person and from time to time. Surely you have encountered people who don’t meet the clinical definition of AIDS, but still seem to get sick more often than most. Or perhaps you have noticed that you are more likely to become ill when you are stressed, tired, or have not been eating properly.

  100. Gene Semon Says:

    What exactly are the “rules of infectious diseases”?

    Why are epidemiologists apparently unaware of these “rules of infectious diseases”?

    Can you provide a set of “rules” that do not also exclude one or more other infectious diseases?
    Here we go again. Chris, we went through all this at Tara’s. The “rules” are known as the Farr-Brownlee epidemic curve and Koch’s postulates – all NINE of them – as revised for viruses by Huebner! These are, as every schoolgirl knows, a first approximation, and NOT rigid criteria that every germ is going to fit into.

    So epidemiologists don’t use this curve anymore, right Chris? Oh wait, that damnable JAMA Bregman and Langmuir paper that Duesberg cites where the discarded F-B curve is plotted for AIDS incidence.

    So let me submit, once again, the comments of DJ Bregman and AD Langmuir, which passed JAMA’s peer review and apply in the determination if such a thing as an exponential “HIV incidence” actually exists, “We have made no effort to calculate confidence limits for these projections. We humbly submit that we do NOT KNOW HOW TO ACCOUNT* for the error due to biases in the reporting system. Furthermore, we believe it would be futile and meaningless to place a 95% confidence interval based on random error about the projections that extend out for a decade. To do so would suggest a greater confidence in both the method used and the data available than is justified.” The authors conclude, “the use of the normal curve was chosen partly in respect to the Farr-Brownlee tradition but more practically because of the stark SIMPLICITY* of the method. Others have also discussed the complexity of modeling the infinite number of events, circumstances and relationships that have conspired to create the epidemic of AIDS. There is reluctance to accept simple explanations of complex phenomenon.” *(emphasis added) (DJ Bregman and AD Langmuir, Farr’s Law Applied to AIDS Projections, JAMA, V263, 1522, 1996)

    And, according to Farr and an important Koch postulate as stated by Huebner, “In order that a virus be regarded as an established cause of a specific human illness, the following” condition is at least “necessary: constant association with specific illness. If the disease in question is a WELL-DEFINED* and recognizable entity, the agent should be constantly associated therewith. If tissues of the host are available at a suitable time during the course of the illness, the agent should be found in the diseased areas.”

    Finally, “the virus must originate in the human specimens under study and must be shown by repeated isolation to be present therein and not in the experimental animals, CELLS*, or media employed to grow it. This may seem an idle suggestion, yet the literature is replete with examples of such misadventures.” (Robert J Huebner, Criteria for etiologic association of prevalent viruses with prevalent diseases: the virologist’s dilemma, Annals New York Academy of Sciences, V67, 430, 1957. (Note: Author employed by NIH at time of publication and retired in early 1980’s; well documented as highly regarded mentor.) *emphasis added

    “Misadventures”? In the Bizarro World you can make up “rules” that “exclude” all known properties of infectious diseases.

  101. trrll Says:

    Dr. Trrll, extends from known to unknown does it not? Or would you claim that Ms. Padian has been around the world testing and counting everybody?
    Does her conclusion not predict that as unknown becomes known more and more people get counted the percentages will hold, and that it is falsified if it doesn’t? Or do you stillinsist on scrapping that basic principle along with the correlation/causation distinction

    .

    It sounds as if you are confusing statistical sampling with predictions made from a theory. While there is a certain sense in which both can be said to be predictions, they are predictions of a very different nature. Estimates of population frequencies derived from statistical measures are dependent upon mathematical models of variance, and the measurement of sample frequencies allows conclusions to be drawn based upon studies of an appropriately selected sample from a larger population. Well established mathematical methods make it possible to draw conclusions with known error bounds that are dependent only upon the ways in which measured characteristics are distributed and correlated within the population, which those same methods can be used to determine.

    In contrast, the predictions made from a theory are determined by the logical structure of the theory and its detailed inner workings. A strong prediction is one that must be true if the theory is correct. Such predictions can be tested by statistical sampling methods. For example, the HIV theory makes strong predictions about the average correlation between viral load and CD4 level, but it does not make any prediction about how those levels will relate in any individual person, because knowledge of biology indicates that there are likely to be additional sources of variance that are not strongly correlated with HIV status.

    If you can do so with your hypothesis, why can Duesberg not do the same and say, “if we take a large enough group my prediction holds’?

    Because if there is a systematic difference between men and women in factors affecting infection, such as the amount of virus shed into bodily fluids, the ability of the virus to infect the tissues exposed, etc., those differences (because they are correlated with sex) will only become more apparent as you look at larger and larger groups.

  102. Gene Semon Says:

    Who apart from Duesberg and his supporters claims that HIV causes AIDS without being present? I do not have to explain something that is not true. This is just one more example of a typical strawman argument.

    Great! Can you please explain to us how “bystander killing” works?

    I’m really routing for you here Chris since I’ve come to admire your persistence!

    Now, can you move the discussion forward?

  103. Gene Semon Says:

    Hi trrll.

    HIV is not gonorrhea, herpes, or flu, but a completely different organism.

    Organism? Our good friend trrll believes the product of “junk genes” represents an organism. Or does his version of “elementary biology” include special creation?

    If a host cell does not have those molecules, or has them only at low density, the microbe is unlikely to infect that cell type.

    Speaking of “sampling”: gp120 is NOT found in “purified virions”. Following excerpted from Robey WG, Arthur LO, et al, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA [1986] V83, 7023-7027:

    “Purified HIV virus preparations contain relatively little gp120 so HIV-infected cells were used as the antigen source.”

    “Initial purification studies using sucrose-banded virions showed that very little gp120 was present. The levels observed were 0.06-0.10 ug/mg of virus protein. However, purification of HIV gp120 to homogeneity was possible using infected cells or cell culture fluids as the source of the glycoprotein. The purified material is immunogenic in goats, horses, and rhesus monkeys . . . .”

    “In previous studies gp120 was readily detected in either cell extracts or cell culture fluids but was not significantly present in sucrose-gradient purified virions.” (Robey, WG, Safai, B . . . . Gallo, RC . . . .[1985] Science, V228, 593-595)

    Thank you trrlll for falsifying AIDS caused by HIV.

  104. MacDonald Says:

    Trrll, you’ve used the “I think you’re confusing statistical sampling, etc” before. It didn’t work then either. Or did you think it was an accident that I chose one of each kind of predictions.

    The “systemic difference” between men and women seemed in Padian’s study to indicate that women were more susceptible than men to get infected via the main (sexual)route of infection. So how come it ain’t so. Wsath study group not large enough?

    By the way your “strong prediction” doesn’t look all that strong to me. It’s a bit like calling 51% to 49% a landslide victory.

    But even if the correlation turns out not to be, what prevents you from saying that all the other “many, many, many, many, many factors” that influence CD4 count, completely drowned out and obscured HIV, the sole cause of AIDS according to the Durban Declaration? Or didn’t you understand Dr. Bialyzebub’s point at all?

    If you didn’t let me give you the one prediction that follows from the logical structure of the HIV/AIDS hypothesis: no HIV no AIDS Or if that’s still not clear, do you know how to spell U-N-F-A-L-S-I-F-I-A-B-L-E

  105. Bialyzebub Says:

    Can’t resist….TRRLL in every other viral infection in which the virus does some harm to the infected organism, when the virus titer is high there is disease (not statistical disease..one to one), and when the virus titer is low there is less or no disease. But in HIV/AIDS, the virus can be undetectable, barely present or “significantly” present and the severity of the disease is unaffected (on an INDIVIDUAL basis, which is the only kind that counts in infectious disease.)

    So explain this.

  106. Lise Says:

    Surely you have encountered people who don’t meet the clinical definition of AIDS, but still seem to get sick more often than most

    Dear Dr. Trrll,

    That is ‘unfalsifiable’ as in surely we have all encountered people who decidly met every clinical definition of AIDS, except of course they weren’t HIV positive.

  107. trrll Says:

    Can’t resist….TRRLL in every other viral infection in which the virus does some harm to the infected organism, when the virus titer is high there is disease (not statistical disease..one to one), and when the virus titer is low there is less or no disease. But in HIV/AIDS, the virus can be undetectable, barely present or “significantly” present and the severity of the disease is unaffected (on an INDIVIDUAL basis, which is the only kind that counts in infectious disease.)

    Statements such as this that begin “in every other…” are not statements of reason but rather expressions of prejudice. There is no point in rebutting such a statement because it does not contain any rational argument. If you are interested in constructing a rational argument, what you need to do is explain why it is logically essential for this to be the case, without reference to the behavior of different infectious agents.

    And by the way, don’t forget that it is obviously much, much easier to identify an infectious agent if its levels correlate clearly with severity of disease. So is the fact that this is the case for most known infectious agents really mean that it is usually true (and you have offered no reason why it needs to be), or merely that it is much easier to identify an infectious agent when it is? Arguments based upon prejudice are even more suspect when your data set is itself subject to selection bias.

    As for the “INDIVIDUAL” basis, it would certainly be convenient for biologists if there were only a single source of individual to individual variation, but in biology and medicine this is almost never the case, so the lack of such a perfect individual correlation is more the rule than the exception and not much of anything can be concluded from it except that there are a lot of sources of biological variation (and we knew that already). Indeed, modern statistical methods were originally developed as a means of deriving reliable conclusions in biological systems where there is a high degree of uncontrolled variability among individuals.

  108. Dave Says:

    Trrll,

    Does your brain function normally?

    There are 2 very, very, very, very simple general propositions:

    1. Since humankind is divided between (a) men and (b) women — in general, most infectious diseases are expected to be equally distributed between these 2 groups. Is this the case with flu, cold, herpes, tb, chickenpox, gonorhea, syphillis or not?

    2. Viruses, in general, cause disease when titer is high, not low.

    Now, in light of these 2 general, uncontroversial propositions, I would think that most normal people, all but the most myopic AIDS zealot, would find it a bit odd, that AIDS and HIV fail to conform to these general propositions.

    Is this a medical smoking gun? Perhaps, not. But, surely these discordant observations require some significant, unbiased scientific inquiry to explain what is going on. This is exactly what Dr. Duesberg has done.

  109. Truthseeker Says:

    Dave, thanks for that clarity.

    Smart is simple.

    Dumb is complex, as the embryo of sense struggles like Laocoon to free itself from the muscular pythons of myopia and nonsense in the dim intellectual womb of pre-dawn incomprehension, otherwise known as the mind of the average HIV∫AIDS scientist and his/her fellow travelers.

  110. Dave Says:

    Truthseeker,

    From Ms. Bryant’s Latin class moons ago:

    Veritatis Simplicitas Oratio Est

    (The language of truth is simplicity)

  111. Truthseeker Says:

    Shouldn’t that be Oratio Veritatis Simplicitas Est?

    Apologies to Ms Bryant. 🙂

  112. trrll Says:

    Does your brain function normally?

    There are 2 very, very, very, very simple general propositions:

    1. Since humankind is divided between (a) men and (b) women — in general, most infectious diseases are expected to be equally distributed between these 2 groups. Is this the case with flu, cold, herpes, tb, chickenpox, gonorhea, syphillis or not?

    This is not a rational argument, merely a statement of prejudice–a way to avoid actually thinking about the biological factors that could influence infectivity. Trying to reason about infectivity based upon flu, cold, herpes, etc. makes about as much sense as figure out how well penguins can swim by considering the swimming capabilities of pigeons, hawks, and sparrows. Different organisms behave differently.

    2. Viruses, in general, cause disease when titer is high, not low.

    Unfortunately, we are not speaking about viruses in general, but about one particular virus. So once again, this is merely a statement of prejudice. When dealing with individuals, generalities, stereotypes, and prejudices are far more likely to obscure than illuminate. Much as you might prefer to blind yourself with “simple” generalities, in biology there is no substitute for actually thinking about the messy, complex details of biological mechanisms.

  113. Truthseeker Says:

    Unfortunately, we are not speaking about viruses in general, but about one particular virus. So once again, this is merely a statement of prejudice.

    It is merely a statement of reasonable expectations, based on what we know about viruses. If you wish to claim HIV is an exception to the rule, you had better have an explanation of this remarkable discovery, and even better, some proof, as well as a claim, or people with any ability to think without prejudice will prefer to choose the explanation that is simpler, which is that HIV is the wrong candidate for doing what you said and think it does.

    Otherwise you will be like nothing more than an infatuated teenager claiming that a tart he has just met is an angel from heaven when all the while she is picking his pockets.

    Hey Trrlll, keep at it! Maybe you will rescue her from her awful fate.

  114. Dave Says:

    TS,

    Yeah, don’t blame Ms. Bryant, she was great – myself, I didn’t do so hot:)

    Trrll,

    Your response is pure tripe. No, it’s not a rational argument, because it’s not an argument of any sort. It’s a statement of 2 simple propositions, nothing more.

    You are the poster child for Orwell’s famous quote:

    The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.

    Your aim is not to honestly assess:(1) the claims made by the AIDS establishment nor (2) the competing critique of said claims by Duesberg et al.

    Your aim is to defend the paradigm at all costs. Period. Your dress it up in a false veneer of scientific infallibility.

    Let me try again.

    1. Do you agree or disagree that, in general, infectious diseases are expected to be equally distributed between the sexes?

    2. Do you agree or disagree that, in general, viruses cause disease when titer is high, not low?

    With these two background questions answered, then, I’d be glad to discuss the supposed “virus” in question and the supposed “disease” it purports to cause.

  115. trrll Says:

    Do you agree or disagree that, in general, infectious diseases are expected to be equally distributed between the sexes?

    I disagree. No rational expectation can be formed without detailed knowledge of the mechanism of infection. I also disagree with the notion that any meaningful statement can be made about viruses “in general,” given the wide diversity of viruses and mechanisms of infection.

    2. Do you agree or disagree that, in general, viruses cause disease when titer is high, not low?

    Here again, I disagree with the notion that any meaningful generalization can be drawn, given the many different ways in which a virus can cause disease.

    It’s like asking somebody, “Do you agree or disagree that, in general, birds can fly?”–and then trying to use that generalization to argue that there is no such thing as a penguin.

  116. trrll Says:

    Organism? Our good friend trrll believes the product of “junk genes” represents an organism. Or does his version of “elementary biology” include special creation?

    I’m not sure what you mean by this apparently nonsensical statement. Are you trying to nitpick my use of the word organism based on the old debate as to whether viruses should be considered as living? My own definition of life is “anything that is capable of evolving by natural selection,” but I’m not interested in sophomoric quibbling over semantics, so if you prefer some other term, feel free to cross out “organism” and pencil in whatever term takes your fancy. And I certainly have no idea what you mean by the oxymoron “junk genes” (a gene, by definition, cannot be “junk” DNA) or how you think that relates to special creation.

    Speaking of “sampling”: gp120 is NOT found in “purified virions”. Following excerpted from Robey WG, Arthur LO, et al, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA [1986] V83, 7023-7027:

    “Purified HIV virus preparations contain relatively little gp120 so HIV-infected cells were used as the antigen source.”

    I’m not sure what your point is here, either. HIV has been sequenced, so there is no doubt that gp120 is a HIV protein. It would not be particularly surprising if it were more abundant and easier to detect in HIV infected cells than in the virion itself.

  117. Truthseeker Says:

    It’s like asking somebody, “Do you agree or disagree that, in general, birds can fly?”–and then trying to use that generalization to argue that there is no such thing as a penguin.

    Good one, trrll. However, as we pointed out, if you wish to produce an exception to a general characteristic of a species then you have to demonstrate it makes some kind of sense, especially if the behavior is radically different, and even goes against reason, as does the odd nehavior on your part when you are unruffled by having to deny that in this case, the virus you are fond of does not create more effect when it is present in greater quantity, and that even when it is not present, it still has an effect, though explaining it is still an unsolved conundrum. Shades of homeopathic remedies! You really should amalgamate with homeopathy, it is a cult right up your alley.

    Trrlll this is akin to believing in fairies at the bottom of the garden, not in penguins in Antarctica, because it posits a magical, rather than a scientific effect. There is nothing magical about penguins deciding not to bother to fly, since they enjoy living in the sea and on land. There is something superstitious about belief in a virus which acts when it is not there. But perhaps you think this is merely the new quantum physics of biology, deserving of the Nobel. The old laws of nature no longer apply, eh Trrll? Nor the laws of logic, it would seem.

    A Nobel for Gallo, would you say? Where is it, by the way? Does Stockholm know something you don’t?

  118. GS Says:

    Trrll

    You have created quite the conundrum. You say that you do not agree that HIV’s titer needs to be high to induce disease. Yet, you probably agree that ARV therapy is good because it reduces viral load.

    Just one question

    How is ARV therapy beneficial if HIV can, magically, induce AIDS at low titers?

  119. john Says:

    Trrll,

    It is easy to demonstrate that the momentary efficiency of ARV is due to the other thing than to their antirétroviral action.

  120. Chris Noble Says:

    1. Since humankind is divided between (a) men and (b) women — in general, most infectious diseases are expected to be equally distributed between these 2 groups. Is this the case with flu, cold, herpes, tb, chickenpox, gonorhea, syphillis or not?

    No, it is not the case with all infectious diseases.

    Take syphilis as an example. In 2004 the male-to-female ratio for syphilis in the US was 5.9. ie for every women infected with syphilis 5.9 infected men were found.

    http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats/trends2004.htm#trendssyphilis

    On a related topic the rate of infection with gonorrhea was 19 times higher in black americans than in white americans.

    http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats/trends2004.htm#trendsgonorrhea

    Forgetting HIV for the moment syphilis, gonorrhea and herpes simplex do not follow the same epidemiological trends. There are no set of fixed rules of how infectious agents should behave.

  121. john Says:

    There are no set of fixed rules of how infectious agents should behave.

    Thus we cannot trust the epidemiology to know if they are infectious or not. It is necessary to isolate them at first…

  122. trrll Says:

    Good one, trrll. However, as we pointed out, if you wish to produce an exception to a general characteristic of a species then you have to demonstrate it makes some kind of sense

    I’ll go along with that within a species, but not when there is any higher level of phylogenetic divergence. I don’t think that it makes any sense at all to talk about general characteristics of viruses, aside from those trivial generalizations that are true by definition, e.g. “all viruses are parasitic.” (because if it wasn’t, we’d come up with a different name for it)

    So what is your basis for considering all viruses to be the same “species?”

    There is nothing magical about penguins deciding not to bother to fly

    Neither is there anything magical about an infection sex ratio other than 1:1, or about a great deal of host-specific and virus-specific variation regarding the level of virus required to produce disease. Biological mechanisms capable of producing both of these phenomena are well known. However, when you start imagining that there is some sort of general characteristic of “viruses,” that must hold for all viruses regardless of the details of how they infect tissues or cause disease, then you are indeed engaging in magical thinking.

  123. trrll Says:

    You have created quite the conundrum. You say that you do not agree that HIV’s titer needs to be high to induce disease. Yet, you probably agree that ARV therapy is good because it reduces viral load.

    Just one question

    How is ARV therapy beneficial if HIV can, magically, induce AIDS at low titers?

    There are some poisons that are toxic at very low levels. Nevertheless, you can reduce symptoms of toxicity by reducing the dose. Moreover, you will find some people who show no ill effects at one blood level, and others who are desperately ill despite a blood level ten-fold lower. So the error is not with the general concept “a high blood level of HIV is harmful,” but with the unreasonable expectation that the relationship between blood level and damage must be the same in every individual (or even in the same individual at different times). This sort of variation is extremely common when it comes to biological phenomena. That’s why biologists and epidemiologists use statistical techniques that are able to distinguish general truths in the presence of a high level of individual variation.

  124. trrll Says:

    A Nobel for Gallo, would you say? Where is it, by the way? Does Stockholm know something you don’t?

    Perhaps. There are a lot of scientists, and very few Nobel Prizes, so every scientist can give you a list of people they think should have received a Nobel prize by now, but hasn’t. Many people received the Prize many, many years after they did the work it was awarded for. I remember there were some nasty priority disputes over the discovery, and I didn’t bother to follow the details, so I really have no opinion (and not much interest) as to whether Gallo deserves the Prize.

  125. noreen martin Says:

    Why are you not discussing what some of the co-factors could be as HIV by itself cannot possibly do the harm to the immune system that it is given the credit for doing.

    Why is it that people are walking around healthy with viral loads and low CD4’s? And why isn’t somone doing research on these people? And if so, who is doing it?

  126. MacDonald Says:

    Wow Trrll,

    you give a whole new meaning to the concept ‘last ditch defence’. Is there anywhere, anywhere at all, you want to venture beyond “stats may prove me right as along as the study group is large enough”?

    How about the same person being equally ill whether the virus titer is high or low, you think you can handle that?
    We’ve got a couple on this forum, virus titer high or low, alive and well. Are you capable of treating them like individuals? Or do they fall under the ‘extremely common’ occurrences that live with 10 higher virus titers and/or tenfold lower CD4 counts.

    Falsifiability? I didn’t see you spell that anywhere up above. D’you know the concept?

    Let’s turn the tables for a while: the whole world knows HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, now convince me it does.

  127. trrll Says:

    We’ve got a couple on this forum, virus titer high or low, alive and well. Are you capable of treating them like individuals? Or do they fall under the ‘extremely common’ occurrences that live with 10 higher virus titers and/or tenfold lower CD4 counts.

    This is the point. They must be treated, and regarded, as individuals. It is generally misleading to try to draw broad general conclusions from individual cases.

    Falsifiability? I didn’t see you spell that anywhere up above. D’you know the concept?

    Certainly, but you have to use correct statistical methods rather than seizing upon anecdotal cases. If on the average HIV levels and severity of disease did not correlate inversely with CD4 levels, then the HIV theory would be falsified.

  128. noreen martin Says:

    There are many more of us out here than credit is is being given. If someone were keeping track of us, maybe your statistics would be different.

  129. Chris Noble Says:

    Moreover, you will find some people who show no ill effects at one blood level, and others who are desperately ill despite a blood level ten-fold lower.

    The funny thing is that when you bring up examples of people taking AZT for ten years or people taking large amounts of recreational drugs without getting AIDS “rethinkers” explain these counterexamples away with – you guessed it – individual variation.

  130. MacDonald Says:

    Exactly Noreen.

    + we note that our scientific friend has come full circle once more and calls ‘correlation’, any correlation however fragile under scrutiny, ‘causation’. He is even able to determine what way the cause-effect relationship goes from a correlation that can only be brought out by using carefully constructed ‘correct’ statistical and mathematical methods.

    So when the examples start coming, we know already what the answer will be: “study group not large enough, other factors, inter-lab variability, methods of measuring not precise enough, or ‘wrong’ stats/maths, unlike the correct one described here by Darin Brown:

    If you take a cloud of data points that are essentially random (no correlation) and you break them into 5 subgroups by magnitude of the predictor variable and choose the median outcome of the response variable for each subgroup, this will have the effect of obscuring the lack of correlation.

    With all this at his disposal, and as long as he can eke out a landslide 51% in whom high titers can be made to correlate with low CD4 (if nothing else works, at least with a little help from AZT), what biologist in his right mind cares if the other 49% directly contradict the hypothesis?

    The true biologist knows that when we talk about infectious diseases there’s no such thing as individuals, only a ‘cloud of data points’, so why worry about things such as, whether he can find any gp 120 in the cell. It’s hardly even a point worth mentioning as we can see.

    I’m not sure what your point is here, either. HIV has been sequenced, so there is no doubt that gp120 is a HIV protein. It would not be particularly surprising if it were more abundant and easier to detect in HIV infected cells than in the virion itself.

    See how easy that one was? HIV could still be infective somehow, never mind exactly how. And there’s more good news. The dedicated biolgist need not worry about the mechanism of ‘bystander killing’ either. He doesn’t even need to answer it, when it’s so much more fun doing stats.

    Hey my mistake. Why would anybody need to know how to spell ‘falsifiable’?

    In fact, as amply demonstrated by Chris Noble as well, with the correct scientific attittude, one need not even know how to read:

    the 15,000 American hemophiliacs who were infected iatrogenically before 1984 would die from AIDS. (Duesberg)

    the “prediction” that all hemophiliacs would die from AIDS assumes no improvement in HIV treatment since the identification of the causative agent. So the reduction in hemophiliac mortality could well be taken as evidence for the HIV theory, not against it . (Trrll)

    See? Missing that little detail about the year, 1984, means nothing either because, although what Duesberg is actually saying is exactly the opposite of what NAR’s very own Dr. Strangelove thinks he is saying, namely that hemophiliac life expectancy had been rising in the seventies and eighties, then fell drastically when the ‘HIV treatment’ (AZT) was introduced, is not to be taken as evidence against the HIV hypothesis. There IS no evidence against. There is evidence for, and then there are the many, many, many unknown factors that easily explain away any screw-ups like this one.

    As Dr. Strangelove undoubtedly would say, does it follow from the intrinsic logic of the HIV-hypothesis itself that the treatment shouldn’t kill the patients?

  131. MacDonald Says:

    The funny thing is that when you bring up examples of people taking AZT for ten years or people taking large amounts of recreational drugs without getting AIDS “rethinkers” explain these counterexamples away with – you guessed it – individual variation.

    No Chris, that’s as usual not correct. We explain it away with reduced dosage.

  132. Chris Noble Says:

    No Chris, that’s as usual not correct. We explain it away with reduced dosage.

    It is exactly the response I have seen a “rethinker” give when someone mentioned that he had been taking AZT for close to ten years.

    There are also people that take huge amounts of drugs and don’t get AIDS. There are people that do not take any recreational drugs and get AIDS. Ask Duesberg about Raphael Lombardo.

    Actual research such as the study by Ascher et al found no difference in the incidence of AIDS between heavy and light/none drug use.

    Wouldn’t you expect to see a significant difference between the two groups? Wouldn’t you expect to see a dose response?

    How much of the variation in the AIDS incidence in the cohort in the Ascher study was explained by the amount of drug use? ~0%. How much of the variation in AIDS incidence was explained by HIV infection? 100%.

  133. Chris Noble Says:

    None of the experts here appear to want to answer my question about the male-to-female ratio predicted by the treponema pallidum theory of syphilis.

    The male-to-female ratio for HIV was 2.7 in 2004 compared to 5.9 for syphilis.

    http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/factsheets/At-A-Glance.htm

    Can anyone explain how syphilis manages to achive a higher male-to-female ratio than HIV. The male-to-female ratio for HIV is supposed to be impossible. Doesn’t this make syphilis impossible too?

  134. Lise Says:

    I’m not sure what your point is here, either. HIV has been sequenced, so there is no doubt that gp120 is a HIV protein. It would not be particularly surprising if it were more abundant and easier to detect in HIV infected cells than in the virion itself . (Trrll)

    Dr. Semon,

    It is certainly impossible that Dr. Trrll, the highly accomplished biologist, would have been so busy with his statistical models lately that he doesn’t know the function assigned to gp 120 in the ‘unknown infection mechanism’ of HIV, so it must be that you didn’t express yourself clearly enough. Being married to one I can confirm what Mr. MacDonald says, that biologists’s read and comprehend deficiencies are second only to their lack of social skills.

    Mr. Truthseeker,

    I think the latin quotation you’re looking for is the well known in virus veritas

  135. noreen martin Says:

    Did every one happen to catch Oprah’s discussion comments about Mr. Johnson? It looks like the home team of AIDS,Inc. took a loss. Lise, I miss you over at Barnsworld.

  136. Oigen Says:

    Noreen
    Re: Oprah’s Magic

    The whole bloody thing was one big advert for Big Pharma. Why she couldn’t have done a better job of shilling than if she had paraded around the stage sporting a sandwich board with “Get your poisons here curtesy of Abbott labs”

  137. noreen martin Says:

    I agree, but we made our points in her discussion section under Johnson on her site, read all the rethinkers comments. There are currently over 200 comments and most are the rethinkers point of view.

  138. noreen martin Says:

    Oigen, I know that you made some very good comments on Oprah’s discussion page. I made the above reference for those who may have not read it as yet.

  139. Oigen Says:

    I did Noreen. Messages 18 and 206 were particularly stimulating No?

  140. Dan Says:

    Noreen, Oigen,
    could either of you provide a direct link to the discussion at Oprah?

    I find her site to be fairly unmanageable. Thanks.

  141. Oigen Says:

    Dan

    Try…. http://snipurl.com/10k9x

  142. noreen martin Says:

    Yes, you get a pat on the back for your posts. By the way luv, I know who you are but we will keep that our little secret and I had a few good points on there too, we all did!

  143. Truthseeker Says:

    ladies and gentlemen, we beg you, please do not use short urls, they cause too many problems in loading, and the text of the url does not show the name of the site concerned, which is helpful for the record. Thanks.

    The correct form to ensure the Comment space renders the link correctly, and it doesn’t overflow the borders, is name of url

  144. noreen martin Says:

    OK,maybe this will help you out: go to Oprah’s website

    Then scroll all the way down and click onto Join in a message Board Discussion

    Next, you have to click on NBA Legend Magic Johnson and the New Faces of AIDS in America

    Then you are in like Flint to the comment section which at this point you can right click and make a short cut directly to the comment section for future, easy access.

  145. Truthseeker Says:

    Oops. Hard to write the thing without it constantly turning into the link or bits of html.

    OK if > is the right pointing angle and

    the other is the left pointing angle then

    the right way to write a link in Comments is this:

    The left pointing angle

    then (with no space)

    a

    then a space then

    h

    then with no space

    ref=”url”>name of url

    then with no space

    /a

    and right pointing angle

    Phew!

  146. Truthseeker Says:

    Oprah Comments on Magic Johnson

  147. trrll Says:

    It is certainly impossible that Dr. Trrll, the highly accomplished biologist, would have been so busy with his statistical models lately that he doesn’t know the function assigned to gp 120 in the ‘unknown infection mechanism’ of HIV, so it must be that you didn’t express yourself clearly enough. Being married to one I can confirm what Mr. MacDonald says, that biologists’s read and comprehend deficiencies are second only to their lack of social skills.

    I can only presume that the purpose of these snide little insults is to distract attention from the fact that neither you nor MacDonald have been able to articulate any rational reason why gp120 should be more abundant in virus particles than in infected cells.

  148. Gene Semon Says:

    Statements such as this that begin “in every other…” are not statements of reason but rather expressions of prejudice. There is no point in rebutting such a statement because it does not contain any rational argument. If you are interested in constructing a rational argument, what you need to do is explain why it is logically essential for this to be the case, without reference to the behavior of different infectious agents.

    And by the way, don’t forget that it is obviously much, much easier to identify an infectious agent if its levels correlate clearly with severity of disease.

    Fine. This is all well and good. I appreciate the logic teasers. But the subtance?

    How about this, trrll? What if there is no single, isolated-directly-from-patients “infectious agent”? What if there’s only plural manifestations of the unknown – therefore characterized at that time as – “junk genes”? In 1984, Gallo produced a set of surrogate markers, but of what? Misrepresented at a press conference as a singular AIDS virus, but ultimately sets and sets of “subtypes”.

    So is the fact that this is the case for most known infectious agents really mean that it
    is usually true (and you have offered no reason why it needs to be), or merely that it is much easier to identify an infectious agent when it is?

    The there’s the issue of “fuzzy” categories, e.g. horizontal or lateral gene transfer. Is there a pathogenic transmission, necessarily? Is it in the same “usually true” sense as “infection” by a documented plague germ from one organism to another? Do modern DNA assays detect the same entity that was “easier-to-identify” in Farr’s day?

    Arguments based upon prejudice are even more suspect when your data set is itself subject to selection bias.

    Excellent. That’s it! See Gallo’s experiments 1980 – 1984.

    As for the “INDIVIDUAL” basis, it would certainly be convenient for biologists if there were only a single source of individual to individual variation, but in biology and medicine this is almost never the case, so the lack of such a perfect individual correlation is more the rule than the exception and not much of anything can be concluded from it except that there are a lot of sources of biological variation (and we knew that already). Indeed, modern statistical methods were originally developed as a means of deriving reliable conclusions in biological systems where there is a high degree of uncontrolled variability among individuals.

    Help, there’s a hot air mass in the vicinity! So we can’t do controlled epidemiological studies or meta-analysis, even a reliable confirmation of the null hypothesis?

    “Viruses, in general, cause disease when titer is high, not low.”

    Unfortunately, we are not speaking about viruses in general, but about one particular virus. So once again, this is merely a statement of prejudice. When dealing with individuals, generalities, stereotypes, and prejudices are far more likely to obscure than illuminate. Much as you might prefer to blind yourself with “simple” generalities, in biology there is no substitute for actually thinking about the messy, complex details of biological mechanisms.

    I’m not sure what you mean by this apparently nonsensical statement. Are you trying to nitpick my use of the word organism based on the old debate as to whether viruses should be considered as living?

    However, when you start imagining that there is some sort of general characteristic of “viruses,” that must hold for all viruses regardless of the details of how they infect tissues or cause disease, then you are indeed engaging in magical thinking.

    Magical thinking? Good, very good, trrll, and later on you can work in creationism and anti-science.

    Fortunately, as a consequent of the logical precision you so highly favor, we have at hand a discussion pertaining to the properties of the sets of entities in question – I hear these days going by the appellation Houdini Immunodeficiency Vendetta. You have done the great service of challenging my off-the-electronic-cuff remarks.

    “Junk genes”!? A post human-genome-project clarification: such sets of genes that are categorically equivalent to the genes of HIV do indeed make up 8% of the human genome.

    Do they constitute an “organism”? Let me defer to one such magical thinker who may even know the forbidden art of culling simplicity from complexity and be able to introduce a much needed rational observation on the topic at hand. Llynn Margulis, “Viruses behave as chemicals until they enter the appropriate living cells where they can co-opt the amenable cellular environment to reproduce themselves. On its own, a virus is inert.” Does not display metabolism. Could this be one of those mythical general characteristics? Or simply trivial? “Genes, by themselves, like viruses, are unable to produce cell material, which is mostly protein. Genes and viruses absolutely require the intact living cell for growth, reproduction and propagation.”

    According to my rational prejudice, high virus titers, NOT DEFECTIVE, correlate with this skill in “co-opting” the living cell.

    I don’t think that it makes any sense at all to talk about general characteristics of viruses.

    So, is this the part of no demonstrated ability by wild type HIVs to “co-opt” the cellular environment that you don’t understand?

    “HIV has been sequenced.”

    Not ex vivo from a single purified agent, but from multiple clones extracted from cell cultures multiple times.

    … the unreasonable expectation that the relationship between blood level and damage must be the same in every individual (or even in the same individual at different times). This sort of variation is extremely common when it comes to biological phenomena. That’s why biologists and epidemiologists use statistical techniques that are able to distinguish general truths in the presence of a high level of individual variation.

    The point is to use our reason considering statistical techniques and assign biologically plausible directionality to any correlation. Also necessary to assess its strength. In this case, the surrogate (“junk-gene” RNA) is highly problematic.

    … why gp120 should be more abundant in virus particles than in infected cells. Not

    Sure. Subgenomic transcription, env gene separate, retroviral core secreted by cell as defective virion; thus, according to the authorized revised standard version of the theory, incapable of infecting another cell. (with acknowledgement to Lise)

  149. trrll Says:

    What if there is no single, isolated-directly-from-patients “infectious agent”? What if there’s only plural manifestations of the unknown – therefore characterized at that time as – “junk genes”?

    Again, I don’t have any idea what this is supposed to mean. I’ve heard of “junk DNA,” but one of its defining characteristics is that it is not part of a gene and does not code for any kind of functional protein. So “junk genes” just sounds like an oxymoron.

    “Junk genes”!? A post human-genome-project clarification: such sets of genes that are categorically equivalent to the genes of HIV do indeed make up 8% of the human genome.

    This also does not seem to make sense. Do you have any references to the scientific literature in which this terminology is rigorously defined? I did a MedLine search for “junk genes” and it returned zero references.

    So we can’t do controlled epidemiological studies or meta-analysis, even a reliable confirmation of the null hypothesis?

    Of course we can, using standard statistical methodology. For example, the predicted correlation between viral load and CD4 count is well established on a statistical basis. If this had not turned out to be the case, other scientists would doubtless have looked more favorably upon Duesberg’s hypotheses that HIV was successfully “neutralized” by the immune system and therefore incapable of causing illness.

    What we cannot do is draw any valid conclusions about the relationship between HIV infection, CD4+ cell counts, and illness, based upon anecdotal reports of individual patients. As with many biolgical measures, there is simply too much individual variance.

    Do they constitute an “organism”? Let me defer to one such magical thinker who may even know the forbidden art of culling simplicity from complexity and be able to introduce a much needed rational observation on the topic at hand. Llynn Margulis, “Viruses behave as chemicals until they enter the appropriate living cells where they can co-opt the amenable cellular environment to reproduce themselves. On its own, a virus is inert.” Does not display metabolism. Could this be one of those mythical general characteristics? Or simply trivial? “Genes, by themselves, like viruses, are unable to produce cell material, which is mostly protein. Genes and viruses absolutely require the intact living cell for growth, reproduction and propagation.”

    My definition of life is any entity that is capable of evolving by natural selection. I’m aware that some people like to argue about whether viruses can be considered living organisms, but I see little value in such purely semantic debates over terminology. You now know what I mean when I use the term “organism.” If you don’t like that term, feel free to pencil in whatever substitute term takes your fancy.

    According to my rational prejudice, high virus titers, NOT DEFECTIVE, correlate with this skill in “co-opting” the living cell.

    It seems to me that “skill” in co-opting the cellular machinery is a function of the viral genes and proteins, not the number of copies. In principle, a single functional virus can infect a cell. Virus titer is more likely to correlate with probability of infection, but even that relationship is likely to vary substantially from person to person, based upon the abundance and sequence of their cell surface receptors.

    So, is this the part of no demonstrated ability by wild type HIVs to “co-opt” the cellular environment that you don’t understand?

    I’m not sure what you are talking about here. HIV infection of cells in culture has been repeatedly demonstrated. It is a standard assay.

    Sure. Subgenomic transcription, env gene separate, retroviral core secreted by cell as defective virion; thus, according to the authorized revised standard version of the theory, incapable of infecting another cell. (with acknowledgement to Lise)

    I don’t see why you imagine that this jumble of sentence fragments constitutes a rational argument as to why gp120 should be more abundant in virus particles than in infected cells

  150. Gene Semon Says:

    Again, I don’t have any idea what this is supposed to mean. I’ve heard of “junk DNA,” but one of its defining characteristics is that it is not part of a gene and does not code for any kind of functional protein. So “junk genes” just sounds like an oxymoron.

    Trrll, let me suggest this paper, “J Brosius and SJ Gould, On Genomenclature”: A Comprehensive (and Respectful) Taxonomy for Pseudogenes and Other “Junk DNA”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol 89, 10706-10710; 1992” Note junk is in quotes.

    This also does not seem to make sense. Do you have any references to the scientific literature in which this terminology is rigorously defined?

    Yes. See above and page 174 of Harvey’s book.

    What we cannot do is draw any valid conclusions about the relationship between HIV infection, CD4+ cell counts, and illness, based upon anecdotal reports of individual patients.

    A clinician’c reviews of the pile of anecdotes can indeed lead to rational assessments of biological plausibility and strength of the association.

    I don’t see why you imagine that this jumble of sentence fragments constitutes a rational argument as to why gp120 should be more abundant in virus particles than in infected cells.

    They explain the result, gp120 NOT in purified “virions”. Sentence fragments due to your apparent literacy problem.

  151. trrll Says:

    Trrll, let me suggest this paper, “J Brosius and SJ Gould, On Genomenclature”: A Comprehensive (and Respectful) Taxonomy for Pseudogenes and Other “Junk DNA”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol 89, 10706-10710; 1992” Note junk is in quotes.

    I’m surprised that you would cite this. Not only do the authors not define the term “junk genes,” but they are even arguing against the use of the term “junk DNA,” (which in contrast to the oxymoron ‘junk DNA’ actually does have a recognized scientific meaning).

    A clinician’c reviews of the pile of anecdotes can indeed lead to rational assessments of biological plausibility and strength of the association.

    “The plural of ‘anecdote’ is not ‘data’.” At best, anecdotes may offer the basis for a hypothesis that can then be tested using rigorous statistical methods.

    They explain the result, gp120 NOT in purified “virions”. Sentence fragments due to your apparent literacy problem.

    Not exactly. They say, “Initial purification studies using sucrose-banded virions showed that very little gp120 was present. The levels observed were 0.06-0.10 ug/mg of virus protein. ” Thus, it was clearly present. By the way, to a scientist, “Not significantly present” does not equate to “absent.” Rather, “not significantly present,” means “the sensitivity and reproducibility of my assay is not sufficient for me to assert at better than 95% certainty that I have detected this protein.” Always remember the scientific adage, “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” This is particularly the case when it comes to immunolabeling and immunopurification. Antibodies are notoriously quirky, and false negatives are common, so scientists rarely try to make too much out of a negative result unless it is supported by a very strong set of control experiments to demonstrate that they would have detected the protein if it were present. Furthermore, gp120 is not an integral membrane protein. That means that it is relatively loosely attached to the viral particle, and could potentially fall off during a purification procedure–another reason not to overinterpret a negative result.

    Moreover, a few minutes of searching on MedLine or Google would have shown you that many labs have been successful in finding gp120 in purified virions–See, e.g. Moore et al. (1990) Science 250:1139. So your obsessing about this one paper is an example of one of the defining features of “denialists”:

    Selectivity Denialists will often cite: a critical paper supporting their idea, or famously discredited or flawed papers meant to make the field look like a it’s based on weak research.

    Thanks for trying, do you care to play again? Remember, the challenge was to provide a rational argument as to why gp120 should be more abundant in virus particles than in infected cells.

  152. objukwu Says:

    No, I can’t, Chris…I can’t *answer* or *explain* it , because I don’t know. I can’t *explain how *syphyllis manages to …to achieve a higher male-to-female ratio than HIV, not because because I don’t *want* to answer(…none of the experts here appear to *want* to answer…), it’s because I don’t KNOW the answer. I don’t know the answer to that any more than I know the answer to why Donna Shalala predicted that 100,000,000 would have HIV by the year 2000. If it’s not because men are so much more likely to work oppressive 20 hr shifts near all that toxic, sweltering blast furnace heat in high voltage scrap metal plants trying to recover copper and lead and As2O3 unless they are homosexual and on a different continent, then what is the answer? Is it because they inject too much mercury? Is it the arsenates?Tell us the answer, Chris.
    What are you waiting for, Halloween? It’s here already. So you can cut loose with the answer. Unless what , everybody has to cave at once? Then you get an extra bonus in your check? (Does it come at the end of the month , or the end of the quarter?) Tell us, because we need to know why the ratio is different and this is starting to get on my nerves.

  153. objukwu Says:

    Hell, I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner…..Pssst, Hey TRlll, why don’t you tell us the damn answer. Why is the ratio different trlll? Is it because of arsenate, or because homosexuals inject too much mercury? , Do you have a drivers licence? Chris says you’re only one meter tall, Trlll. Did you know that president Kennedy was assasinated? Trlll , if I’m speelling your name wrong , pleases let me know, i don’t mean any disrespect. I know that Isaac Newton took too much mercury, Trlll, but I don’t know if he had syphillis, although the odds(according to Chris) would favour it. Do you want me to fix you up with Donna shalala, Trlll? You never did get back to me on that. Why, Trlll. Are you shy?Did the kids taunt you when you were in school? Donna never pays her parking tickets Trlll. She says that 100,000,000 Americans would have HIV by the year 2000. Thhis was a very dire prediction she made on the floor of the US congress when they were trying to fix social security. Donna told the leaders of democracy and the free world there was no need to worry about getting the social pension budget in balance ,— or what ever you call it,—-that it was a complete waste of time and effort, because all you had to do was run the numbers to see that by the time retirement came around for these people , everybody would be dead. Which i din’t completely understand, but , hell, I’m not really that good with math. And I was wrong earlier when I said they had to have driver’s licences – I meant social security cards. But Donna is now the head football coach of the Miami Hurricanes , and all of the players on her squad are criminals on probation. One of their players, Trlll, killed his cousin in an argument over a sandwich at a family barbecue(State of Florida v Benny Blades), but he got off. It scares the other team, trlll , when they think somebody is going to shoot them if they get to far ahead, so you have to figure that into the point spread.
    Something else , Trlll, I should tell you before the date : Donna is connected. Don’t let the name Shalalala fool you. Her real name is Tedesco. She changed it in college , after a proffessor who gave her a bad grade disappeared mysteriously and was never heard from again . I know Isaac Newton took too much mercury,Trlll, but I don’t know if he had syphillis or not, even though of the higher probability. Trlll,did you pay back your student loan? How big is your medical bag. If you are only one meter tall, does it have luggage wheels on one end to make it easier to handle? Chris told us how you are only one meter tall but he won’t give us any other details except you grew up right next to a methylene chloride plant. He won’t tell us anything about what you look like. Trlll, did you know that Chris tried to hypnotize his cat? And then , when his wife started nagging him again about cutting the grass, he told her he was going to jump into the sky in a single bound and fly away to another world. He told her he was going to form an alliance with other people who also had super powers if she didn’t get off his back. Do you have specially made shoes trlll? DID you pay back your student loan Trlll(we’re not going to let that one slide)? You use the word *sane* a lot, in various froms, like no *sane* biologist, no scientists in *his right mind*, no doctor *with all his marble* would ever think of injecting mercury into a homosexual…I was wondering, why that is, Trlll? Sanity seems to be a big deal to you(whilst I pay it no mind whatsoever). Trlll, do kids make fun of you when you go to the park? Does your family let you eat at the table? When you were at University, did some guys from your fraternity often trick you into going out with them to a bar, and then they would all get drunk and start tossing you from table to table like a soccer ball? Do you have specially made shoes? Tell us the answer to Chris’s question about the ratio , Trlll, and I’ll tell what happened when I debated Chris at a public forum in Sydney. Trlll, did you know that the Battle of Gettysburg in the American Civil War started from a fight over some shoes? I don’t know why president Kennedy was assasinated ,trlll gut I doubt if it was because of mercury or syphillis,. Unless you know something different, Trlll, tell us your opinion. We’re interested in you.

  154. MacDonald Says:

    Trrll, are you really as short as Objukwu has told Chris?
    Personally I don’trust short people as far as I can throw them (forgive me if I invoke unpleasant memories from your school days), but there’s a lot of short people in high places telling tall stories and being very important, so don’t let it get you down. It’s highly unscientific anyway.

    But Objukwu hasn’t exhausted al the questions by far. . .

    I see you’ve CHALLENGED us all, me, Lise, Gene Semon, ALL of us. “THE challenge was to provide a rational argument why gp120 should be more abundant in virus particles than in infected cells.”

    Trrll, why do you get to decide what THE challenge is? Is it something to do with your physical appearance? Have you thought about using it to your chosen party’s advantage in political ads? BIG money. Why should virions purified or not have any gp120 at all? Would it falsify anything? Would it make a difference to human growth? Why does Robin Weiss say it’s easy to purify knobless virions in sucrose density etc. Why would he say something like that? Is it a part of THE challenge? Is infection not isolation? What IS the challenge all about, and is there a prize for the winner?

  155. Gene Semon Says:

    Good, trrll, excellent responses. You’re completely in synch with the current re-branding campaign that’s all over the place in media.

    Are you now Dale, by any chance? You want to play? Why not drop the anonymous bit?

    Afraid of embarrassing yourself on the www?

    More of that damned, heretical denialist propaganda: biological plausibility. Notwithstanding your huffing and puffing over gp120, you’ve evaded this substantive point.

    What the data tells us is that natural selection in vivo produces 99.99% defective HIVs. The next problem ultimate destroyer HI Vendetta – (since you’ve endowed it with purpose) – faces is in the proviral stage, and here we assume an individual arrives with its GENES (= RNA/DNA coding regions) intact so it actually is a self respecting organism. It is dead-on-arrival in the chromosome, a well recognized phenomenon in retronuons known as transcriptional silencing. It is, like its endogenous counterparts, now subject to the transcriptional apparatus of the cell and incapable of “co-opting” the cellular machinery.

    Now, what you willfully ignore from the previous posts re the LTR: subgenomic transcription in retroviruses means oxidant-induced RNA transcripts, gag-pol and env, are observed in association with reverse transcriptase production in cell lines. In vivo, this phenomenon is observed when a branched DNA assay is deployed to measure the pol RNA, an EFFECT of the toxic overload => pro-oxidant stress, that does not equate to the measurement of purified, non-defective virions. Particle association is “assumed”.

    The fun starts when an experimentalist or outside observer overstates these results as “isolation” of a previously unknown organism.

    “The plural of ‘anecdote’ is not ‘data’.” At best, anecdotes may offer the basis for a hypothesis that can then be tested using rigorous statistical methods.

    You really believe this? A clinician’s results MUST be massaged by statistical methods in order to count for anything. Let’s follow this logic. We treat 100 patients with full-blown AIDS using a combination of non-pharmaceutical remedies derived from Drs. Rath, Giraldo, Null and Ali. I’m going to get a little crazy here, but say 99 have their AIDS-defining diseases reversed and this is confirmed by yearly follow-ups. Note that hypothesis testing is inherent in the protocol, the details are published and results replicated by other clinicians. No conclusions permitted, eh trrll?

    Moreover, a few minutes of searching on MedLine or Google would have shown you that many labs have been successful in finding gp120 in purified virions.

    Does your reference show us an EM of these “purified virions” from the sucrose density band?

    The point of your challenge SHOULD be, how many NONDEFECTIVE virions, i.e., capable of “the complete life cycle” of the putative uniquely unique Houdini IV – from provirus to provirus in the next cell – exist in vivo, based on the indirect ex vivo and in vitro measurements. Considering all the arguments of Perth and Duesberg, your selective challenge collapses as pointless. SELECTIVITY is inherent in the making of a rational argument, is it not, trrll? Selectivities also add up, but you’re very good at playing “constructive dismissal” or “whacking the mole” – to use Chris’ expression; so you willfully ignore other papers (e.g. Piatak et al – again Harvey’s book), posts, etc on the matter at hand to come up with the most interesting charge of “obsessing”.

    After all this, still nothing from you to support the proposed genus HIV as causing anything.

  156. Gene Semon Says:

    More Than a Hypothetical

    From http://www.virusmyth.net/aids/data/gnhivequals.htm

    Gary Null: “The resistance to new evidence and exploration continues. Just last year, (1994) I sponsored a conference featuring 100 AIDS survivors who beat the odds using alternative therapies. Although press releases were issued on three occasions, not a single member of the mainstream media attended.”

    VNR based “news”, memory holes and rebranding campaigns: all reflect the disappearance of mainstream investigative journalism and the “propaganda model”.

  157. trrll Says:

    What the data tells us is that natural selection in vivo produces 99.99% defective HIVs.

    So what? Let’s think about it from the perspective of natural selection. What is the cost to the virus of the production of defective virions? Answer: virtually nil. After all, it is using the host cell’s resources, so it can afford to be wasteful and inefficient. Keep in mind also that HIV is still relatively new to the human host, so it would not be surprising if efficiency of assembly is poor. The shortest “mutational path” to compensating for poor efficiency is overproduction. So the valid question is not what percentage of defective virions are formed, but rather whether there are enough complete ones (even if the percentage is low) such that new cells are infected faster than host cells die off.

    You really believe this? A clinician’s results MUST be massaged by statistical methods in order to count for anything. Let’s follow this logic. We treat 100 patients with full-blown AIDS using a combination of non-pharmaceutical remedies derived from Drs. Rath, Giraldo, Null and Ali. I’m going to get a little crazy here, but say 99 have their AIDS-defining diseases reversed and this is confirmed by yearly follow-ups. Note that hypothesis testing is inherent in the protocol, the details are published and results replicated by other clinicians. No conclusions permitted, eh trrll?

    Statistics do not “massage” data; rather, they test for validity and assess the impact of possible biases and chance fluctuations. So if you treat 100 patients, with an appropriate control group, and analyze the results with valid statistics, you have moved beyond anecdote into the realm of science.

    The next problem ultimate destroyer HI Vendetta – (since you’ve endowed it with purpose) – faces is in the proviral stage, and here we assume an individual arrives with its GENES (= RNA/DNA coding regions) intact so it actually is a self respecting organism. It is dead-on-arrival in the chromosome, a well recognized phenomenon in retronuons known as transcriptional silencing. It is, like its endogenous counterparts, now subject to the transcriptional apparatus of the cell and incapable of “co-opting” the cellular machinery.

    The virus brings along its own promoters, which enable it to subvert the cell’s mechanisms of transcriptional regulation. Cellular mechanisms of transcriptional silencing of retroviral DNA are not infallible, and of course there is strong selective pressure for the virus to circumvent cellular mechanisms of recognizing and silencing viral insertions.

    The point of your challenge SHOULD be, how many NONDEFECTIVE virions, i.e., capable of “the complete life cycle” of the putative uniquely unique Houdini IV – from provirus to provirus in the next cell – exist in vivo, based on the indirect ex vivo and in vitro measurements.

    More accurately, it is whether there are sufficient infective virions to propagate the virus, irrespective of how much excess there is in the form of shed proteins and incomplete virions. Considering that a single virus particle is in principle capable of infecting a cell, they could be very much in the minority and yet the infection would continue.

  158. trrll Says:

    I see you’ve CHALLENGED us all, me, Lise, Gene Semon, ALL of us. “THE challenge was to provide a rational argument why gp120 should be more abundant in virus particles than in infected cells.”

    Trrll, why do you get to decide what THE challenge is?

    I guess I can take this as admission that you have been unable to come up with any kind of rational argument to support that proposition.

    It is not my decision or choice, it is those inflexible, fascistic rules of logic and evidence that set the challenges that all scientists must face–that dictate, for example, that if you wish to offer a particular observation as evidence for theory A over theory B, you actually need to demonstrate logically that theory A predicts that result and that theory B does not, and you also need to show that the observations are valid. You are not allowed to use cheats such as taking “no significant amount of gp120” as equivalent to “gp120 is absent,” or citing the papers that fail to detect gp120 and ignoring the ones that succeed.

    So if you want to argue that lower levels of gp120 in purified virions than in infected cells constitute evidence against the HIV theory of AIDS, you need to show that the HIV theory predicts higher levels in purified virions in cells, and also that gp120 would necessarily be expected to copurify with the virus, and not be lost in the purification process.

  159. MacDonald Says:

    I guess I can take this as admission that you have been unable to come up with any kind of rational argument to support that proposition.

    Absolutely. None whatsoever, you clever devil! (‘small but smart’ as they say where I come from – never mind exactly where)

    So the valid question is not what percentage of defective virions are formed, but rather whether there are enough complete ones (even if the percentage is low) such that new cells are infected faster than host cells die off.

    I guess I can take this as admission that you’re fonder of anecdotes than you let on.

  160. Chris Noble Says:

    What the data tells us is that natural selection in vivo produces 99.99% defective HIVs.

    Other viruses like FMDV have high mutation rates that put them close to the error catastrophe.

    There is obviously a trade off between the benefits of a high mutation rate that allows for rapid evolution and the high proportion of defective virions.

    Several viruses including HIV operate at close to the error catastrophe. There is nothing strange about this.

  161. Gene Semon Says:

    I guess this is the Dale/trrll machine; a semblance of reasonableness, definitely appreciated.

    IMHO, this “agency” attributed to Houdini who may kill or not kill is a form of teleology, not modern science. Terms like “cost/benefit” are descriptive, and beg for a physiological handle. What environment is doing the “purifying selection” that overcomes the entropic degeneration of the retro-informational sets of cellular signals. And what is the function of the emergency information transfer that makes it through the “error catastrophe”?

    Here’s another way of stating the problem:

    “To help you understand the mind set of the human genomics community, these regulatory genes are commonly referred to in the literature as “junk genes.” The name junk implies that not much is known about these elements. But in fact, the lexicon of regulatory genes is quite rich and includes things like: long interspersed elements, short interspersed elements, endogenous retroviruses, transposons, retrotransposons, Alu retroelements, short interfering RNAs, micro RNAs, snos, and microsatellites, to name a few. The study of the relationships between gene control and biological function is referred to as “regulatory genomics.” Confused? We are talking about the human body. Many of us believe the beauty of life comes from its complexity.

    “The AIDS research community has completely ignored the field of regulatory genomics. In a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) last year, I suggested that their position that HIV is the sole cause of AIDS is substantially based on scientists studying complex mixtures of biological fluids with unknown numbers of regulatory genes and concluding that one big structural gene, HIV, is causing the syndrome. This is medical incompetence at its worst.” (REPLY TO THE PERTH GROUP BY HOWARD URNOVITZ, July 22, 2002, http://www.redflagsweekly.com/debate/2002_july22.html)

  162. Chris Noble Says:

    IMHO, this “agency” attributed to Houdini who may kill or not kill is a form of teleology, not modern science. Terms like “cost/benefit” are descriptive, and beg for a physiological handle. What environment is doing the “purifying selection” that overcomes the entropic degeneration of the retro-informational sets of cellular signals. And what is the function of the emergency information transfer that makes it through the “error catastrophe”?

    I’ve finally worked it out. I’ve been responding to a computer program.

    http://dev.null.org/dadaengine/

    Somebody has taken a glossary from a molecular biology text book and used it in an application using the Dada engine.

    For an example of text created by the Dada engine see this

    http://www.elsewhere.org/pomo

  163. Gene Semon Says:

    Very good. Excellent response. I’ve been looking for an application of the appropriate AI program to deal with you guys. You mean a Bull-Dada engine?

    In the meantime, more programming to respond to. Let’s consider the following:

    “Other viruses like FMDV have high mutation rates that put them close to the error catastrophe.

    ”There is obviously a trade off between the benefits of a high mutation rate that allows for rapid evolution and the high proportion of defective virions.

    ”Several viruses including HIV operate at close to the error catastrophe. There is nothing strange about this.”

    Now, Chris, do you really know what you’re talking about here? Remember, you don’t want to lose to a computer.

    I notice nothing regarding the “rescue” from error catastrophe by retroviral recombination or that “various gene products are changing at different rates”. I.e. why is the 4kb gag-pol segment coding for reverse transcriptase, ribonuclease H, endonuclease and proteases “more refractory to both recombination and residue substitution than either the envelope or the terminal gag regions”?

    And what about pseudotyping? As in, “A member of the HERV-W family of human endogenous retroviruses (HERV) had previously been demonstrated to encode a functional envelope which can form pseudotypes with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 virions and confer infectivity on the resulting retrovirus particles.” Blaise et al, Journal of Virology, January 2004, p. 1050-1054, Vol. 78, No. 2)

    Does “Shannon entropy” have anything to do with this and can it be quantitated in picornaviruses?

    Finally, I’m sure you can provide a good account based on current research of extant – some even newly discovered, e.g. iRNA – cellular inhibitors that cause “lethal mutagenesis” to our Mr. Houdini I. Vendetta.

    A hacker of those two sites has informed me that something like a “graft” of lymphocytes, generously donated to certain “bottoms” as recipients or gracious “hosts”, may even explain the transcription phenomena associated with the “infectious transmissions” that we are honing onto thru a semblance of a rational dialogue right here at NAR.

    Once again, I’m really rooting for you Chris and confident that you will display the depth of your understanding to the “grand master” on the other side.

  164. trrll Says:

    Here’s another way of stating the problem:

    “To help you understand the mind set of the human genomics community, these regulatory genes are commonly referred to in the literature as “junk genes.”

    This tells me more about the mindset of the person who wrote it, because in fact (as I mentioned previously) in a MedLine search, the expression “junk genes” turns up not even once . So this supposedly “common” expression does not turn up even once in the abstract, title, or keywords of any of the 14 million references in the literature.

    The author goes on to write “The name junk implies that not much is known about these elements”. Now this is just idiotic. I thought at first that he was just confused and talking about the somewhat slangy expression “junk DNA,” which does have a scientific meaning although even it does not qualify as “commonly” used (75 references in Medline). But “junk DNA” specifically refers to sequences with no function at all–regulatory elements, whether imperfectly understood or not, do not qualify. And of course, “junk genes” is an oxymoron, because a gene by definition codes for something, which is a function, and therefore it cannot qualify as “junk.”

    So what’s with this guy? Is he just making it up, and outright lying about the expression being common in the literature? Or did he misunderstand something he overheard somewhere, and is just too dumb or lazy to do a Medline search?

  165. Nick Naylor Says:

    Terrell said (10/06): “Alternative medicine has yet to prove itself by rigorous scientific standards as a source of medical treatments with efficacy comparable to conventional therapies.”

    A blast from the past to remind us how they never stop reciting from the same catechism, no matter how much evidence is presented.

    “Rigorous scientific standards” means double-blind placebo controlled studies. These may be appropriate for pharma drugs but one has to wonder why they are elevated to an immutable and eternal law when considering “alternative medicine.”

    Later (right above) our hero attacks Howard Urnovitz for using a common term “junk genes” instead of the more precise junk DNA and really gets all worked up over this great affront to rigor.

    Wow, Terrell really showed his stuff here. Of course, if he ever actually debated Dr. Urnovitz on the dynamic genome, we’d have to rename him Pancake Trrll.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.


Bad Behavior has blocked 1328 access attempts in the last 7 days.