Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Serious Pants

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome -- No laughing matter!
The NZ Blood Service intends to refuse blood donations from people who have ever been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. This is all to do with XMRV (Xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus), a new virus that is currently flavour of the month in health quackery circles.

Note to self: Check whether our overseas readers know the phrase 'flavour of the month', or is it restricted to Mrs Miggins' Pie Shop? Never sure how well these local idioms travel. Most months it's rabbit's wogglers.

So a research group in Nevada found traces of XMRV in blood samples from cases of CFS. Then the principle investigator from the group confidently announced that XMRV is spreading through the human population via blood transfusions and could be the next HIV. The Australian and Canadian blood services promptly banned CFS people from donating blood, and the NZ service plans to do the same because, well, if Jimmy down the road jumped off the bridge then YES NZ would do the same thing, only it's called 'following best international practice' and no-one here ever lost their job for making a stupid mistake if they can point to enough people overseas who made the same stupid mistake previously.

The report from the Nevada group is now looking increasingly shonky. They equivocate about their methods and the source of the blood samples; other researchers have been unable to replicate the results; there are concerns about contamination. Meanwhile the PI is also looking increasingly like a quack. She's touting XMRV as the cause of autism and buddying up to the anti-vaccination crowd; she's even trying to link XMRV with Chronic Lyme Disease. Crank magnetism, how does it work? Morgellons cannot be far away and I have sent her an invitation to the next meeting of the Imaginary Diseases working group.

This scattergun search for links with every conceivable condition is understandable since the CFS-centric foundation funding this research* has a commercial arm that sells a test for the virus at $650 a pop. This wouldn't necessarily arouse total cynicism until it emerged that the commercial company has teamed up with BioRay (purveyors of colloidal silver and dental-filling-mercury-stabilisers) to rip off the parents of autistic kids, so you know, total GUILT BY ASSOCIATION.

ERV's posts on the ongoing foofarow are worth reading, if only for the totally-invested all-caps quality of some of her commenters, for whom Judy Mikovits is a heroine who has taken on the uncaring medical establishment, and THEY LAUGHED AT GALILEO TOO. But Sciencebasedmedicine is also good.

But wait! VIP-Dx have sent me this false-colour EM image of antiretroviral reverse-transcriptase-inhibitor drugs destroying XMRV viral particles.** OMG, photographic proof, it must be true!


I was going to save the picture for a rant about the recent news about the 2004 guidelines to governments from WHO, advising them to stockpile Tamiflu in preparation for the next influenza pandemic (i.e. the news that of the three scientists who wrote the guidelines, two have been employed as spokesmen for Roche while the third had a "professional relationship" with Roche). Well, not so much recent news since the BMJ article came out in May, but news media are finally beginning to notice it. But the Tamiflu scandal is not linked to Chronic Lymes Disease or health weirdos and OH LOOK SOMETHING SHINY

* Set up by millionaire parents with a CFS child, who have since successfully lobbied the state of Nevada to subsidise their obsessions.

** May include some computer enhancement.

24 comments:

mikey said...

Y'know, funny you should mention it. There was a blood drive down at the market last week, and I was totally going to donate some blood but I was...just...so...damn...tired...

tigris said...

Xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus

You can't just squirt that eye stuff any old place.

mikey said...

I looked at that top picture again, and panicked. I can't help but fear I'm looking at a still from the first minute of "Two Grooms, One Cup" starring a horse this time. That ought to make up in volume what it lacks in viscosity. Just Ewwww.

Also, the groom who is positioned to 'receive' (sorry Tigris - you'll probably get banned for that) seems to have a Lacrosse um, er, stick thingie. Some sort of subtle running joke Bimler's setting up. Sometime in July he'll run a post that includes a horrendous pun about Vikings playing Lacrosse...

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Watch out for when Rupert Murdoch shows up and takes over your nooz media.

Or has that already happened? Canadia is under threat, here in the norther hemidemisphere.
~

Substance McGravitas said...

'flavour of the month'

Here it is "flavour of the mouth" and has to do with all those gift horses the in-laws bring over. A quick smooch with horsie will tell you what those old bastards REALLY think of you.

Smut Clyde said...

I don't know if we can ban tigris now that she has the key to the liquor cabinet.

a horrendous pun about Vikings playing Lacrosse...
THe thought never crossed my mind, but now you mention it, they did play some sort of bat-&-ball game. Details are scanty but there were poor losers:

The game began and Egil proved to be the weaker, while Grim made the most of his strength. Then Egil got so angry that he lifted the bat and struck at Grim with it, but Grim took hold of him, hurled him to the ground and gave him some very rough treatment. He said that if Egil wouldn't behave himself, he'd do him some real damage. Egil scrambled back onto his feet and left the field with the youngsters jeering at him.
Egil went to look for Thord Granason and told him what had happened.
"I'll come with you," said Thord. "The two of us will pay him back."
Thord gave Egil a thick-bladed axe he was carrying, common enough at that time, and they went to the field where the boys were playing. Grim had just caught the ball and was racing along with the other boys after him. Egil ran up to him and drove the axe into his head right through to the brain.

M. Bouffant said...

I'm sick & tired
And I really have my doubts

Nap time yet?

WV: We don't care what emosay.

Mendacious D said...

I don't know if we can ban tigris now that she has the key to the liquor cabinet.

Don't worry, it's empty now. You're welcome.

Also, Fox North will have some competition.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

I'd be more worried about Xenotropic murex leukemia virus, which turns one's white blood cells Tyrian purple.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

has tigris even commented since becoming a coblogger, let alone putting up a post?

I may need to call shenanigans.

tigris said...

No.

Substance McGravitas said...

We're waiting for tigris.

Substance McGravitas said...

Damn you!

tigris said...

It doesn't always let me comment, for some reason. I'm trying to work up the courage to post something, I have blage-fright.

tigris said...

Dangit, I comment and it doesn't appear!

Smut Clyde said...

has tigris even commented since becoming a coblogger, let alone putting up a post?

She comments but fish steals them.

Substance McGravitas said...

I have blage-fright.

Pick on Jonah Goldberg. He's utterly reliable.

tigris said...

I commented about 80 times on this thread, only one has made it through the lab maze installed here in the Riddled Cellar, where they keep me shackled. The rest are curled up in blind alleys, quietly weeping themselves to sleep, hoping another similar enough comment comes along so they can trick Smut into putting them in a twin study.

Smut Clyde said...

"Let's pick on Jonah Goldberg," said AK. "He's utterly reliable."

"Still looks like work," I said.

"No probs," said AK. "We'll recruit an unpaid intern."

Another Kiwi said...

Why, and I realise that this may involve an answer about the Great Kiwi Pie that might be a tad disturbing, in the first picture, is Mrs Miggins looking at the sleeping groom and the horse???
And the second picter is the burstin fire and the splitting the littl shining man. But I didn't say that.

Smut Clyde said...

which turns one's white blood cells Tyrian purple

BBBB is totally asking for a post about North Sea dog-whelks and the early medieval trade in whelk purple. Just saying.

lawnguylander said...

Sometime in July he'll run a post that includes a horrendous pun about Vikings playing Lacrosse...


He should take care not to because I will figure out a way to ban him from his own blog if he does. Unlike diseases and such, Vikings lacrosse is not a subject for jokery.

Grant said...

My first thought looking at the illustration was that the bloke had clean passed out from a equine fart!

Grant said...

'an', for 'a', sorry... Sigh You always see these things after sending the comment...