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The Specter of Denialism

Conspiracy theories surrounding the global HIV/AIDS epidemic have cost thousands of lives. But science is fighting back.

By | March 1, 2012

image: The Specter of Denialism Columbia University Press, March 2012

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY PRESS, MARCH 2012

There is a substantial body of evidence showing that HIV causes AIDS—and that antiretroviral treatment (ART) has turned the viral infection from a death sentence into a chronic disease.[1. PA Volberding and SG Deeks, "Antiretroviral therapy and management of HIV infection," Lancet, 376: 49-62, 2010] Yet a small group of AIDS denialists keeps alive the conspiratorial argument that ART is harmful and that HIV science has been corrupted by commercial interests. Unfortunately, AIDS denialists have had a disproportionate effect on efforts to stem the AIDS epidemic. In 2000, South African President Thabo Mbeki took these claims seriously, opting to debate the issue, thus delaying the introduction of ART into the South African public health sector. At least 330,000 South Africans died unnecessarily as a result.[2. P Chigwedere, et. al., "Estimating the lost benefits of antiretroviral drug use in South Africa," JAIDS, 49:410-15, 2008],[2. N Nattrass, "AIDS and the scientific governance of medicine in post-apartheid South Africa," Afr Affairs, 427:157-76, 2008]

The “hero scientist” of AIDS denialism, University of California, Berkeley, virologist Peter Duesberg, argues that HIV is a harmless passenger virus and that ART is toxic, even a cause of AIDS. He has done no clinical research on HIV and ignores the many rebuttals of his claims in the scientific literature.[3. P Chigwedere and M. Essex, "AIDS denialism and public health practice," AIDS Behav, 14:237-47, 2010],[4. N Nattrass, "Defending the boundaries of science: AIDS denialism, peer review and the Medical Hypotheses saga," Soc Health Ill, 33:507-21, 2011] As I describe in my new book, The AIDS Conspiracy: Science Fights Back, this has prompted further direct action against Duesberg by the pro-science community.

In 1993, John Maddox, then editor of Nature, complained that Duesberg was “wrongly using tendentious arguments to confuse understanding of AIDS,” and that because he was not engaging as a scientist, he would no longer be granted an automatic “right of reply.” More recently, in 2009, AIDS activists and HIV scientists, including Nobel Laureate Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, complained to Elsevier, the publisher of Medical Hypotheses, when that journal published a paper by Duesberg defending Mbeki and denying the existence of the African AIDS epidemic. Medical Hypotheses had a policy against peer review, so Elsevier asked the Lancet to oversee a peer review of the paper. When the panel of reviewers unanimously recommended rejection, Elsevier permanently withdrew it and forced Medical Hypotheses to introduce peer review. Last December Duesberg published a reworked version in an Italian journal,[6. PH. Duesberg, et. al., "AIDS since 1984: No evidence for a new, viral epidemic–not even in Africa," Ital J Anat Embryol, 116:73–92, 2011] sparking further controversy and protests from the journal’s editorial board, one of whom has already resigned.

Efforts by scientists to defend science are supplemented by pro-science activists operating on the Internet. Physician, author, and blogger Ben Goldacre argued in his Guardian column Bad Science that a “ragged band of bloggers from all walks of life” has been very successful at exposing pseudoscientific claims and fraudulent alternative practitioners selling quack cures. The Internet now poses a double-edged sword for AIDS denialists. It is becoming a tougher place for people to sequester themselves in a comfortable cocoon of the like-minded. While the web allows denialists to advertise their ideas and build networks, it also exposes potential converts to scientific rebuttals of their claims, as well news about the deaths of the “living icons”—high-profile HIV-positive people who rejected ART.

The key living icon for AIDS denialism was Christine Maggiore. She founded Alive & Well AIDS Alternatives (an organization with Duesberg on its board), campaigned against the use of ART to prevent mothers passing HIV to their babies, and met President Mbeki. Despite her 3-year-old daughter’s succumbing to AIDS, Maggiore remained staunchly opposed to HIV science and ART. She opted for alternative therapies and died at the age of 52, from AIDS-related infections.

Scientists often have a tough time responding to antiscience conspiracy theories because their integrity is impugned by the conspiratorial moves made against them. But precisely because living icons like Maggiore lent credence to AIDS denialism by appearing to offer “living proof” that the science of HIV pathogenesis and treatment is wrong, pro-science activists maintain a list of denialists who have died of AIDS. The weapons of science and reason are still very much in contention, but the gloves have come off in a broader struggle over credibility.

Nicoli Nattrass is director of the AIDS and Society Research Unit at the University of Cape Town and visiting professor at Yale University. Her research on the economics and politics of antiretroviral treatment helped change South African AIDS policy. Read an excerpt of The AIDS Conspiracy.

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Avatar of: Henry Bauer

Henry Bauer

Posts: 1

March 2, 2012

Readers will note the tendentious use of words like "conspiratorial", but they may not be familiar with the substantive inadequacies of Nattrass's assertions. The claim of 330,000 unnecessary deaths has been debunked by Duesberg et al. in the venerable mainstream peer-reviewed Italian Journal of Anatomy and Embryology (116 [2011] 73-92). That it sparked controversy, and that a member of the Editorial Board resigned, bespeaks only the unrelenting and unscrupulous vigor with which Nattrass and other defenders of the orthodoxy harass and attempt to silence anyone who disagrees with them. It is not "science" that fights back against a conspiracy, it is that a small group of activists, many of them like Nattrass herself not themselves scientists, are so vested in HIV=AIDS theory that they cannot recognize the clear evidence that HIV is not infectious---see my book, The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory (McFarland 2007).
Nattrass's essay in Soc Ill Health cited as 5 above was debunked by me in detail in the only published comment on that article (www.respond2articles.com/SHIL/... and to which she has failed to respond.
It is simply untrue that Chrsitine Maggiore's daughter "succumbed to AIDS", she died from an allergic reaction to a medication. The claim that she had died of AIDS was made by a coroner well known for unreliability, and the coroner's employer settled without contest the lawsuit brought by Maggiore's husband against the coroner.   

Avatar of: Guest

Anonymous

March 2, 2012

In recent years, there has been a turn in how writers ABOUT science view their role in life, and how they view their non-science-literate reading audience as dependent upon them (the writers) to lead them to enlightenment about what science preaches.

Science, in its most useful hours, is spent in searching for new understanding of the world, the universe, the makeup of things... of how living things cope, of how time and motion and space relate, and how material and energy relate and interact in them. 

It is the job of science to discover phenomena, to experiment, to seek ever newer and better models for explaining.

If scientists themselves (as opposed to the increasingly sensationalists journalism that feigns a role of protecting them from being misunderstood) were to become rhetoricians who defend "the right" facts and "the right" interpretations against their antagonists, they would be hampered in that cause by the fact that the gaining of new knowledge is not a dogma but -- quite the contrary -- the very assault upon science itself.

Yes, science is a process of ever and always challenging its own assumptions, always seeking to overturn the current wisdom, always seeking newer and better syntheses to are better at explaining anomalies that don't fit current ones.

There is no greater misunderstanding of science than the grossly false and misleading perception science could effectively overturn or squelch any misinformation that would be thrown against it.  That is the job of what are known among philosophers as "dogma" and 'apologetics."

We humans NEVER have ALL the facts about anything.  We NEVER have knowledge CERTAIN.  We NEVER have a model of any complex thing that does not sweep some anomalies under the veil of ignorance, in tidying up any set of what are often called "laws" rationalized into place to explain most of (but never all) that goes on in nature.

All scientific models are tentative.  They will do until a better one comes along.  They can be modified to some exetent, to adapt them to new information that fits only to the extent that a square peg can be forced into a round hole -- allowing us to almost explain something if we don't look at all the troublesome little details.

Dogmas can be chiseled in stone, and defended by way of apologetics that treat any debate as blasphemy.  Science, on the other hand, not being dogma, must do the best it can do with the information at hand, seek new information, and seek to find the highest and best rationale for explaining current information... and should never shrink from facts that challenge it.

There is much to be said for taking the findings of science, and, yes, the doubts among scientists, too, to the widest human audience which might kick around ideas about those findings.  The alternative would be to provide no information to the non-science-literate, at all.

Science does not, and cannot, stamp out ignorance, nor spend time effectively setting the ignorant right.

Meantime, however, journalism is a commercial product or service.  Whether it sells or not, does not depend upon how is describes or mis-describes its subject matter.

I have not read the book titled The Aids Conspiracy:  How Science Fights Back.  Therefore, I have no grounds for commenting on its contents.  For all I know, it may be well written, and may contain many reliable observations and argumentations.
My purpose here is only to point out that its title implies at the very least a mis-characterization of what science does, and at least one about what scientists do.

Hopefully the contents of the book may explain that the title is facetious, and designed only to capture reader interest and, having done that, dispel these false implications.  
 

   

Avatar of: Brian Hanley

Brian Hanley

Posts: 66

March 2, 2012

It's not hard to answer Duesberg's questions about HIV.

1. Why does Kaposi’s sarcoma, a cancer of the blood vessels, occur almost
exclusively in gay males and not in heterosexual drug users?

- Because KSHV is transmitted by homosexual practices, and while it is not terribly easy to transmit, it is easier to transmit than HIV. So it has filled out its epidemiological niche among the roughly 40% of MSMs (men who have sex with men) who are highly promiscuous. KSHV is also transmitted in heterosexuals, but heterosexual sexual practices are far less efficient at transmission and heterosexuals have far fewer lifetime sexual contacts.

2. Why is AIDS rarely transmitted by heterosexual contact in Europe but is said to spread rapidly among heterosexuals in Africa?

- Because of:

-- a much higher number of sexual contacts in African women in certain classes

-- extreme poverty causing women to engage in prostitution with higher frequency

-- female genital mutilation creating scars that crack and bleed during sex

-- a high rate of genital herpes with lesions that improve transmission

-- because of sexual practices such as putting sand or dirt on a man's penis to increase friction and cause pain and bleeding, mixing blood of the partners in the vagina

-- civil war and civil disturbance leading to rape

3. If AIDS is caused by a virus, why has it been impossible for researchers to develop a vaccine after 20 years and millions of dollars spent?

- It has also been impossible to develop a vaccine for TB, malaria and Dengue.

- Not every disease can be vaccinated against, because the human immune system cannot defeat every disease. No person has ever been found who naturally recovered from HIV. There are only a rare few elite controllers and long-term-non-progressors.

-Elite controllers are an artifact of probability. HIV variation is a matter of probability, and the exact antibodies produced are also a matter of probability. Win the lottery on both and you have an elite controller. Win the lottery on one, and you have an elite controller for a while. There is also an interaction with the strain of HIV contracted.

- Long-term-non-progressors in some cases have mutations that protect them from destroying their T-cells despite high viral loads. Duesberg is correct that viral load is not inherently a death sentence, but only if you have the right mutation(s). Studying this population has helped develop drug targets.
- Is the rare LTNP population fully understood? No, it's not. Some may be elite controllers. Some may be elite controllers who will stop being elite eventually. Some may have protective mutations. And some are deluding themselves because it makes them feel better. Some physicians skate on the edge by suggesting a patient or two of theirs is an LTNP when they probably are not and really should be on HAART.

4. Could it be that antiretroviral (ARV) drugs used to attack HIV actually do more harm than good, contrary to the common assumption that they have dramatically reduced AIDS deaths?

- There is no evidence for that. Duesberg's writeups discussed extremely long-term use of tetracycline, poppers and AZT.
- His tetracycline observation is not new. Suppression of bone marrow does happen with long term use, and it used to be that many in the gay community used tetracycline for long periods prophylactically. But so did legions of teenage boys and girls to control acne in the same time period. That demographic did not develop AIDS.

- Poppers are primarily composed of butyl or isobutyl nitrite/nitrate because it's cheaper than amyl form. These are carcinogenic. But there is no evidence tying AIDS or KSHV to such use.
- Tetracycline and poppers are not part of the pharmacopeia for HIV.
- We have moved far past AZT into targeted development of drugs that interfere
with the HIV life cycle. Those drugs worked in culture, in animals and demonstrably work in humans.
  - AZT does have negative effects with long term use and well documented toxicity. But no animal study shows an AIDS syndrome as a toxic effect. Monkey studies show suppression and increases survival, as do human studies. You cannot produce AIDS by dosing with AZT, although you can cause toxicity.

I don't know why Duesberg has kept after this any more than anyone else does. But it isn't difficult to answer the questions he has raised, and I think just answering them is probably the most productive thing to do.

Avatar of: alexandru

alexandru

Posts: 1457

March 2, 2012

Congratulation!

keepitlegal - *It is the job of
science to discover phenomena, to experiment, to seek ever newer and better
models for explaining.*

Brian
Hanley - *I think just answering them is probably the most productive
thing to do.*

Proverbs 25.2 - *We honour God for what He conceals; we honour kings for what they
explain!*

Proverbs 1.22 - *Foolish
people! How long do you want to be foolish? How long will you enjoy pouring
scorn on knowledge? Will you never learn?*

 

Not everyone can stay
comfortable at the Office knowledge.
 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 2, 2012

Readers will note the tendentious use of words like "conspiratorial", but they may not be familiar with the substantive inadequacies of Nattrass's assertions. The claim of 330,000 unnecessary deaths has been debunked by Duesberg et al. in the venerable mainstream peer-reviewed Italian Journal of Anatomy and Embryology (116 [2011] 73-92). That it sparked controversy, and that a member of the Editorial Board resigned, bespeaks only the unrelenting and unscrupulous vigor with which Nattrass and other defenders of the orthodoxy harass and attempt to silence anyone who disagrees with them. It is not "science" that fights back against a conspiracy, it is that a small group of activists, many of them like Nattrass herself not themselves scientists, are so vested in HIV=AIDS theory that they cannot recognize the clear evidence that HIV is not infectious---see my book, The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory (McFarland 2007).
Nattrass's essay in Soc Ill Health cited as 5 above was debunked by me in detail in the only published comment on that article (www.respond2articles.com/SHIL/... and to which she has failed to respond.
It is simply untrue that Chrsitine Maggiore's daughter "succumbed to AIDS", she died from an allergic reaction to a medication. The claim that she had died of AIDS was made by a coroner well known for unreliability, and the coroner's employer settled without contest the lawsuit brought by Maggiore's husband against the coroner.   

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 2, 2012

In recent years, there has been a turn in how writers ABOUT science view their role in life, and how they view their non-science-literate reading audience as dependent upon them (the writers) to lead them to enlightenment about what science preaches.

Science, in its most useful hours, is spent in searching for new understanding of the world, the universe, the makeup of things... of how living things cope, of how time and motion and space relate, and how material and energy relate and interact in them. 

It is the job of science to discover phenomena, to experiment, to seek ever newer and better models for explaining.

If scientists themselves (as opposed to the increasingly sensationalists journalism that feigns a role of protecting them from being misunderstood) were to become rhetoricians who defend "the right" facts and "the right" interpretations against their antagonists, they would be hampered in that cause by the fact that the gaining of new knowledge is not a dogma but -- quite the contrary -- the very assault upon science itself.

Yes, science is a process of ever and always challenging its own assumptions, always seeking to overturn the current wisdom, always seeking newer and better syntheses to are better at explaining anomalies that don't fit current ones.

There is no greater misunderstanding of science than the grossly false and misleading perception science could effectively overturn or squelch any misinformation that would be thrown against it.  That is the job of what are known among philosophers as "dogma" and 'apologetics."

We humans NEVER have ALL the facts about anything.  We NEVER have knowledge CERTAIN.  We NEVER have a model of any complex thing that does not sweep some anomalies under the veil of ignorance, in tidying up any set of what are often called "laws" rationalized into place to explain most of (but never all) that goes on in nature.

All scientific models are tentative.  They will do until a better one comes along.  They can be modified to some exetent, to adapt them to new information that fits only to the extent that a square peg can be forced into a round hole -- allowing us to almost explain something if we don't look at all the troublesome little details.

Dogmas can be chiseled in stone, and defended by way of apologetics that treat any debate as blasphemy.  Science, on the other hand, not being dogma, must do the best it can do with the information at hand, seek new information, and seek to find the highest and best rationale for explaining current information... and should never shrink from facts that challenge it.

There is much to be said for taking the findings of science, and, yes, the doubts among scientists, too, to the widest human audience which might kick around ideas about those findings.  The alternative would be to provide no information to the non-science-literate, at all.

Science does not, and cannot, stamp out ignorance, nor spend time effectively setting the ignorant right.

Meantime, however, journalism is a commercial product or service.  Whether it sells or not, does not depend upon how is describes or mis-describes its subject matter.

I have not read the book titled The Aids Conspiracy:  How Science Fights Back.  Therefore, I have no grounds for commenting on its contents.  For all I know, it may be well written, and may contain many reliable observations and argumentations.
My purpose here is only to point out that its title implies at the very least a mis-characterization of what science does, and at least one about what scientists do.

Hopefully the contents of the book may explain that the title is facetious, and designed only to capture reader interest and, having done that, dispel these false implications.  
 

   

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 2, 2012

It's not hard to answer Duesberg's questions about HIV.

1. Why does Kaposi’s sarcoma, a cancer of the blood vessels, occur almost
exclusively in gay males and not in heterosexual drug users?

- Because KSHV is transmitted by homosexual practices, and while it is not terribly easy to transmit, it is easier to transmit than HIV. So it has filled out its epidemiological niche among the roughly 40% of MSMs (men who have sex with men) who are highly promiscuous. KSHV is also transmitted in heterosexuals, but heterosexual sexual practices are far less efficient at transmission and heterosexuals have far fewer lifetime sexual contacts.

2. Why is AIDS rarely transmitted by heterosexual contact in Europe but is said to spread rapidly among heterosexuals in Africa?

- Because of:

-- a much higher number of sexual contacts in African women in certain classes

-- extreme poverty causing women to engage in prostitution with higher frequency

-- female genital mutilation creating scars that crack and bleed during sex

-- a high rate of genital herpes with lesions that improve transmission

-- because of sexual practices such as putting sand or dirt on a man's penis to increase friction and cause pain and bleeding, mixing blood of the partners in the vagina

-- civil war and civil disturbance leading to rape

3. If AIDS is caused by a virus, why has it been impossible for researchers to develop a vaccine after 20 years and millions of dollars spent?

- It has also been impossible to develop a vaccine for TB, malaria and Dengue.

- Not every disease can be vaccinated against, because the human immune system cannot defeat every disease. No person has ever been found who naturally recovered from HIV. There are only a rare few elite controllers and long-term-non-progressors.

-Elite controllers are an artifact of probability. HIV variation is a matter of probability, and the exact antibodies produced are also a matter of probability. Win the lottery on both and you have an elite controller. Win the lottery on one, and you have an elite controller for a while. There is also an interaction with the strain of HIV contracted.

- Long-term-non-progressors in some cases have mutations that protect them from destroying their T-cells despite high viral loads. Duesberg is correct that viral load is not inherently a death sentence, but only if you have the right mutation(s). Studying this population has helped develop drug targets.
- Is the rare LTNP population fully understood? No, it's not. Some may be elite controllers. Some may be elite controllers who will stop being elite eventually. Some may have protective mutations. And some are deluding themselves because it makes them feel better. Some physicians skate on the edge by suggesting a patient or two of theirs is an LTNP when they probably are not and really should be on HAART.

4. Could it be that antiretroviral (ARV) drugs used to attack HIV actually do more harm than good, contrary to the common assumption that they have dramatically reduced AIDS deaths?

- There is no evidence for that. Duesberg's writeups discussed extremely long-term use of tetracycline, poppers and AZT.
- His tetracycline observation is not new. Suppression of bone marrow does happen with long term use, and it used to be that many in the gay community used tetracycline for long periods prophylactically. But so did legions of teenage boys and girls to control acne in the same time period. That demographic did not develop AIDS.

- Poppers are primarily composed of butyl or isobutyl nitrite/nitrate because it's cheaper than amyl form. These are carcinogenic. But there is no evidence tying AIDS or KSHV to such use.
- Tetracycline and poppers are not part of the pharmacopeia for HIV.
- We have moved far past AZT into targeted development of drugs that interfere
with the HIV life cycle. Those drugs worked in culture, in animals and demonstrably work in humans.
  - AZT does have negative effects with long term use and well documented toxicity. But no animal study shows an AIDS syndrome as a toxic effect. Monkey studies show suppression and increases survival, as do human studies. You cannot produce AIDS by dosing with AZT, although you can cause toxicity.

I don't know why Duesberg has kept after this any more than anyone else does. But it isn't difficult to answer the questions he has raised, and I think just answering them is probably the most productive thing to do.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 2, 2012

Congratulation!

keepitlegal - *It is the job of
science to discover phenomena, to experiment, to seek ever newer and better
models for explaining.*

Brian
Hanley - *I think just answering them is probably the most productive
thing to do.*

Proverbs 25.2 - *We honour God for what He conceals; we honour kings for what they
explain!*

Proverbs 1.22 - *Foolish
people! How long do you want to be foolish? How long will you enjoy pouring
scorn on knowledge? Will you never learn?*

 

Not everyone can stay
comfortable at the Office knowledge.
 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 4, 2012

As keepitlegal says: "Dogmas can be chiseled in stone, and defended by way of apologetics that treat any debate as blasphemy.  Science, on the other hand, not being dogma, must do the best it can do with the information at hand, seek new information, and seek to find the highest and best rationale for explaining current information... and should never shrink from facts that challenge it."

Quite so, and yet the piece clearly shows the stifling of debate by censorship. This is unacceptable. Another form of censorship is taking place around AGW and in the latter case it seems that the science is far less certain being based only on correlation in imperfect computer models... What is needed is general acceptance that our science is imperfect and that we may be wrong and to always accept healthy debate, avoid hubris and to allow funding to carefully examine/consider the 5% outside the 95% confidence interval. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that AGW theories are wrong, rather that failure to properly explore the deficiencies in our understanding are as large a scientific failing as the inability to accept a hypothesis such as HIV causes AIDS.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 4, 2012

 Brian: while I agree with most of what you say, I think your reply No. 2 needs some attention.  The simple fact of heterosexual African HIV transmission is that it is due to sexual networking - and that a LOT of this is due to men being promiscuous with multiple concurrent partners.  Your reasons seem to put the load unfairly on women - and on sexual practices that are in fact not mainstream.

And as for Duesberg: I heard him disbelieve hepatitis B in 1986; he is on record as saying that its reverse transcriptase was too inefficient for it to be the virus's means of replication.  He is so caught up in the "correctness" of his world views that he is in fact incapable of being reasoned with.

Avatar of: Mark Cannell

Mark Cannell

Posts: 1

March 4, 2012

As keepitlegal says: "Dogmas can be chiseled in stone, and defended by way of apologetics that treat any debate as blasphemy.  Science, on the other hand, not being dogma, must do the best it can do with the information at hand, seek new information, and seek to find the highest and best rationale for explaining current information... and should never shrink from facts that challenge it."

Quite so, and yet the piece clearly shows the stifling of debate by censorship. This is unacceptable. Another form of censorship is taking place around AGW and in the latter case it seems that the science is far less certain being based only on correlation in imperfect computer models... What is needed is general acceptance that our science is imperfect and that we may be wrong and to always accept healthy debate, avoid hubris and to allow funding to carefully examine/consider the 5% outside the 95% confidence interval. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that AGW theories are wrong, rather that failure to properly explore the deficiencies in our understanding are as large a scientific failing as the inability to accept a hypothesis such as HIV causes AIDS.

Avatar of: Ed Rybicki

Ed Rybicki

Posts: 82

March 4, 2012

 Brian: while I agree with most of what you say, I think your reply No. 2 needs some attention.  The simple fact of heterosexual African HIV transmission is that it is due to sexual networking - and that a LOT of this is due to men being promiscuous with multiple concurrent partners.  Your reasons seem to put the load unfairly on women - and on sexual practices that are in fact not mainstream.

And as for Duesberg: I heard him disbelieve hepatitis B in 1986; he is on record as saying that its reverse transcriptase was too inefficient for it to be the virus's means of replication.  He is so caught up in the "correctness" of his world views that he is in fact incapable of being reasoned with.

Avatar of: johnfryer

johnfryer

Posts: 11

March 5, 2012

This illness is devastating and to argue about treatments is missing the point. Nobody ever got a retroviral illness until we started tinkering with DNA and introducing fragments which produced novel illnesses.

We need to research the origin and thereby prevent other illnesses possibly worse affecting us.

GMO food is one example where in Europe mysterious deaths occurred and the survivors face a zero life on medication and tied to hospital bed treatments for life. E Coli never found but present in every ounce of the millions of tons of GMO shipped from America to Europe under the guise that it is good and nourishing for us.

It is another time bomb going off at present as a damp squib.

But AIDS commenced when one person converted GMO organisms into transmissible illness.

My own enquiries 20 years ago solicited the response that no one was interested in the orign of AIDS and one oxbridge professor who was promptly died stopping any top level work continuing.

While we are dismayed that people do not accpet AIDS and treatments we forget our knowledge of how a retroviral illness arrived on mans doorstep after being without for a million years is something more important as deaths may continue now for the eternity that man exists on a planet more and more devastated by his errors.

To be blunt science and industry make advances without due regard to the hazards and when government do intervene as they did in 1973 or so they prove totally unfit to respond correctly. (Asilomar conference).

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 5, 2012

This illness is devastating and to argue about treatments is missing the point. Nobody ever got a retroviral illness until we started tinkering with DNA and introducing fragments which produced novel illnesses.

We need to research the origin and thereby prevent other illnesses possibly worse affecting us.

GMO food is one example where in Europe mysterious deaths occurred and the survivors face a zero life on medication and tied to hospital bed treatments for life. E Coli never found but present in every ounce of the millions of tons of GMO shipped from America to Europe under the guise that it is good and nourishing for us.

It is another time bomb going off at present as a damp squib.

But AIDS commenced when one person converted GMO organisms into transmissible illness.

My own enquiries 20 years ago solicited the response that no one was interested in the orign of AIDS and one oxbridge professor who was promptly died stopping any top level work continuing.

While we are dismayed that people do not accpet AIDS and treatments we forget our knowledge of how a retroviral illness arrived on mans doorstep after being without for a million years is something more important as deaths may continue now for the eternity that man exists on a planet more and more devastated by his errors.

To be blunt science and industry make advances without due regard to the hazards and when government do intervene as they did in 1973 or so they prove totally unfit to respond correctly. (Asilomar conference).

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 7, 2012

That HIV starts the process that ends in AIDS has long been shown beyond reasonable doubt. But Duesberg's assertions give us the opportunity to explain in plain, simple language how we know what we know, in both causes and treatment.

It's important to be open to new information and new hypotheses that are consistent with the facts. I believe it hurts science to try to censor pseudoscience, as in some important cases, we have found that mainstream science was wrong - e.g. germ theory, meteorites. But Duesberg doesn't have the right to invent his own facts, or to ignore the facts discovered by others.

As for AGW and CO2, we have many millions of temperature observations, with daily/hourly high/low, precipitation, and other measurements. We also have the absorption bands of the major atmospheric gases. Since CO2 and H2O vary by day/night, weekday/weekend (in populated areas), seasonal, and, in the case of CO2, secular changes, it should be possible to run the data, not in the form of models and projections, but historical data, to see what statistically significant information emerges. If it turns out that we need to collect more information in a different way to reduce error bars by enough to draw conclusions, that would also be valuable.

Since according to best available information, we have had ice ages with CO2 above 3000 ppm, it would be good to know what triggers an ice age, and if there are early warning signs. That could save billions of lives and hundreds of thousands of species.

In the current warming environment, we should also try to find out what stopped the temperature rise at the end of the last ice age and at the end of the Younger Dryas. Due to limited information, this is much more difficult than interpreting current data.

Avatar of: Thomas Lucero

Thomas Lucero

Posts: 1

March 7, 2012

That HIV starts the process that ends in AIDS has long been shown beyond reasonable doubt. But Duesberg's assertions give us the opportunity to explain in plain, simple language how we know what we know, in both causes and treatment.

It's important to be open to new information and new hypotheses that are consistent with the facts. I believe it hurts science to try to censor pseudoscience, as in some important cases, we have found that mainstream science was wrong - e.g. germ theory, meteorites. But Duesberg doesn't have the right to invent his own facts, or to ignore the facts discovered by others.

As for AGW and CO2, we have many millions of temperature observations, with daily/hourly high/low, precipitation, and other measurements. We also have the absorption bands of the major atmospheric gases. Since CO2 and H2O vary by day/night, weekday/weekend (in populated areas), seasonal, and, in the case of CO2, secular changes, it should be possible to run the data, not in the form of models and projections, but historical data, to see what statistically significant information emerges. If it turns out that we need to collect more information in a different way to reduce error bars by enough to draw conclusions, that would also be valuable.

Since according to best available information, we have had ice ages with CO2 above 3000 ppm, it would be good to know what triggers an ice age, and if there are early warning signs. That could save billions of lives and hundreds of thousands of species.

In the current warming environment, we should also try to find out what stopped the temperature rise at the end of the last ice age and at the end of the Younger Dryas. Due to limited information, this is much more difficult than interpreting current data.

Avatar of: Tomás Brewster

Tomás Brewster

Posts: 1457

March 8, 2012

 Brian, it appears that your subconcious mind using new age "AIDS Speak", has been debunked by John P Moore.  "AIDS" has never been transmitted from person to person because "you don't get infected with AIDS", you get infected with "HIV", and that causes "AIDS".  http://youtu.be/TYUoUNsJnwo

Avatar of: Ciocccholly

Ciocccholly

Posts: 3

March 8, 2012

These are absurdly racist and parochial insinuations backed up by zero evidence. What exactly is meant by "promiscuous?" 

With all sexually transmitted infections on the rise across U.S. campuses for the past 20 years - chlamydia, genital warts and herpes simplex - why have HIV infections (pure guesswork numbers from nowhere by the CDC) remained so flatlined at an alleged but never verified 40,000 cases a year (now recently upgraded to a flat 50,000)?

Avatar of: raymondffoulkes

raymondffoulkes

Posts: 1

March 8, 2012

The term ‘denialism’ has no place in a scientific journal.  It is the right of everybody to question any hypothesis or theory; and, for scientists, it is a duty.  If a hypothesis has merit it should be capable of standing on its own two feet.  There is no piece of apparatus as powerful as the methodology of science, and we must absolutely resist its hijacking by propagandists – however well meaning they may be.

Avatar of: Simon Robert Lane

Simon Robert Lane

Posts: 1457

March 8, 2012

A good introduction to this subject can be found in the form of the award-winning documentary House of Numbers. See this link for a trailer:

http://houseofnumbers.com

You can watch the documentary free online here:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=_p-...

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 8, 2012

 Brian, it appears that your subconcious mind using new age "AIDS Speak", has been debunked by John P Moore.  "AIDS" has never been transmitted from person to person because "you don't get infected with AIDS", you get infected with "HIV", and that causes "AIDS".  http://youtu.be/TYUoUNsJnwo

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 8, 2012

The term ‘denialism’ has no place in a scientific journal.  It is the right of everybody to question any hypothesis or theory; and, for scientists, it is a duty.  If a hypothesis has merit it should be capable of standing on its own two feet.  There is no piece of apparatus as powerful as the methodology of science, and we must absolutely resist its hijacking by propagandists – however well meaning they may be.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 8, 2012

A good introduction to this subject can be found in the form of the award-winning documentary House of Numbers. See this link for a trailer:

http://houseofnumbers.com

You can watch the documentary free online here:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=_p-...

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 8, 2012

These are absurdly racist and parochial insinuations backed up by zero evidence. What exactly is meant by "promiscuous?" 

With all sexually transmitted infections on the rise across U.S. campuses for the past 20 years - chlamydia, genital warts and herpes simplex - why have HIV infections (pure guesswork numbers from nowhere by the CDC) remained so flatlined at an alleged but never verified 40,000 cases a year (now recently upgraded to a flat 50,000)?

Avatar of: Ciocccholly

Ciocccholly

Posts: 3

March 8, 2012

Don't be taken in by the Nattrass nonsense. 

She spends way too much time jetting here and there and attending endless rallies that is has distorted her thinking.

Nattrass garbles the history of sicknesses like TB, malnutrition and upper respiratory infections in South Africa, ignores the well-known medical history of KwaZulu and eastern Transkei, embraces the racist use of Africans as guinea pigs for western drug companies, and is such a dogmatist that she is blind to why the labor-intensive sex miseducation programs are such flops across Africa.

Save your money folks. 

Instead re-read Ludwik Fleck's indispensable *Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact* (U. of Chicago Press, 1979) to see what a con job and anti-science hustle AIDS has become. Nicoli Nattrass is one of its chief beneficiaries and dogmatic enablers.

Avatar of: Guest

Anonymous

March 8, 2012

I'm sure you will agree that AIDS etiology, symptomology, comparative treatment protocols, and search for a preventive vaccine, are legitimate and important issues.

The best that can be said of the politicization of these issues and the urban legends and conspiracy theories that are attached to them, are hazards resulting from the democratization of information to any and all who wish to know and understand and rationalize such issues.

To read and put into useful perspective the most sophisticated thinking on the subject of how scientists know what they know (and do not know what they do not know) is beyond the motivation or the literacy of most individuals in the world, but there are those -- and I am one of them -- who believe strongly in "putting the information out there" and hoping for the best.

You are, no doubt, a person who would appreciate the observations of thinkers such as Thomas Kuhn, on what he terms "the structure of scientific revolutions," and the observations of Witgenstein, Popper, Feirabend and others on the limitations, as well as the accomplishments, of scientific research in conjunction with technological extension of the human senses and application of informal logic to the cause of optimization of coping in humans (individually as well as collectively).  Grasping the fuzziness of all observation, measurement and human learning, rationalizing and applying of what is at best fuzzier at the frontiers than most lay persons would ever begin to imagine, it is small wonder that there is fuzziness in the making of some sense of information as it gets ground up and cookie cut to fit the agendas of individuals and self-serving authorships and interest group biases on its way to the lunatic fringe of any population of "learners and users."

Thank you for the reference.  Haven't read that one.

Shall.

(: > )

Avatar of: Ciocccholly

Ciocccholly

Posts: 3

March 8, 2012

I completely agree with you that African AIDS etiology, symptomology, comparative treatment protocols, and search for a preventive vaccine, are legitimate and important issues. 
What helps to define and to characterize unscientific books like the latest shrieking accusations from Nattrass is a stubborn and rigid determinism that fails to situate the clinical symptoms that define an AIDS case in Africa (Bangui Definition 1985-2012) in the impoverished living context of rural Africans under apartheid, for instance. She imagines their fevers, diarrhea, persistent coughs, weight loss and associated ailments are somehow derived from their sexual activities!

To paraphrase the old Johnny Lee country song, "lookin' for love in all the wrong places," folks like Nattrass continue futilely but energetically to look for an AIDS vaccine, drug interventions and the real cause of those AIDS symptoms in all the wrong places. But they can sure roar through the money in no time and demand more, more, more!

Avatar of: Skepticnyc

Skepticnyc

Posts: 4

March 8, 2012

It should be noted that Peter Duesberg is casually savaged here in this report of the unprofessional political censorship he has suffered in science, without regard to his enormous body of work published in peer reviewed journals from Science and Nature on downwards justifying his dismissal of HIV as the cause of "HIV/AIDS", his explanation of HIV/AIDS as in fact being other diseases and ailments rrewritten as "HIV/AIDS", and his pioneering work in cancer and aneuploidy which is recognized widely as leading to a new and productive approach in cancer which replaces the cul-de-sac of "cancer genes" (oncogenes). Duesberg has been politically vilified but not scientifically disproven (he is unanswered in the two of the very highest journals in which he originally published his demolition of "HIV/AIDS" theory, Cancer Research 1987 and Proceedings of the National Academy 1989, see his site for exact references). His mistreatment should not be echoed in casual remarks or amateur superficialities which reflect lack of research into his position and taking for granted that his vilification by scientific and media opponents is justified.  It isn't.
As a professional science reporter I have followed this absurd situation (absurd and cruel and infinitely wasteful in money and in lives) for 28 years and it has long been quite clear that Peter Duesberg is a fine scientist, and his opponents are trying to maintain nonsense in HIV/AIDS.  It is a mistake to assume that notorious heretics in science are wrong. Many of them get the Nobel in the end. Duesberg deserves one, frankly. I am speaking of qualified heretics, of course. He is more qualified than anyone anywhere now to speak on the true science of so called HIV/AIDS, including the core truth, which should be obvious to any thoughtful person, that it is not the cause of AIDS, regardless of labeling. Be that as it may, the treatment Duesberg has received in an outrage to professional science. No one should thoughtlessly join in. It is important to research the issue properly. I refer readers to my scienceguardian.com for repeated clarifications of this egregious distortion of science and smearing of an exceptionally qualified scientist, and a long list of further references to reliable sites and journal articles on the topic.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 8, 2012

Don't be taken in by the Nattrass nonsense. 

She spends way too much time jetting here and there and attending endless rallies that is has distorted her thinking.

Nattrass garbles the history of sicknesses like TB, malnutrition and upper respiratory infections in South Africa, ignores the well-known medical history of KwaZulu and eastern Transkei, embraces the racist use of Africans as guinea pigs for western drug companies, and is such a dogmatist that she is blind to why the labor-intensive sex miseducation programs are such flops across Africa.

Save your money folks. 

Instead re-read Ludwik Fleck's indispensable *Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact* (U. of Chicago Press, 1979) to see what a con job and anti-science hustle AIDS has become. Nicoli Nattrass is one of its chief beneficiaries and dogmatic enablers.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 8, 2012

I'm sure you will agree that AIDS etiology, symptomology, comparative treatment protocols, and search for a preventive vaccine, are legitimate and important issues.

The best that can be said of the politicization of these issues and the urban legends and conspiracy theories that are attached to them, are hazards resulting from the democratization of information to any and all who wish to know and understand and rationalize such issues.

To read and put into useful perspective the most sophisticated thinking on the subject of how scientists know what they know (and do not know what they do not know) is beyond the motivation or the literacy of most individuals in the world, but there are those -- and I am one of them -- who believe strongly in "putting the information out there" and hoping for the best.

You are, no doubt, a person who would appreciate the observations of thinkers such as Thomas Kuhn, on what he terms "the structure of scientific revolutions," and the observations of Witgenstein, Popper, Feirabend and others on the limitations, as well as the accomplishments, of scientific research in conjunction with technological extension of the human senses and application of informal logic to the cause of optimization of coping in humans (individually as well as collectively).  Grasping the fuzziness of all observation, measurement and human learning, rationalizing and applying of what is at best fuzzier at the frontiers than most lay persons would ever begin to imagine, it is small wonder that there is fuzziness in the making of some sense of information as it gets ground up and cookie cut to fit the agendas of individuals and self-serving authorships and interest group biases on its way to the lunatic fringe of any population of "learners and users."

Thank you for the reference.  Haven't read that one.

Shall.

(: > )

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 8, 2012

I completely agree with you that African AIDS etiology, symptomology, comparative treatment protocols, and search for a preventive vaccine, are legitimate and important issues. 
What helps to define and to characterize unscientific books like the latest shrieking accusations from Nattrass is a stubborn and rigid determinism that fails to situate the clinical symptoms that define an AIDS case in Africa (Bangui Definition 1985-2012) in the impoverished living context of rural Africans under apartheid, for instance. She imagines their fevers, diarrhea, persistent coughs, weight loss and associated ailments are somehow derived from their sexual activities!

To paraphrase the old Johnny Lee country song, "lookin' for love in all the wrong places," folks like Nattrass continue futilely but energetically to look for an AIDS vaccine, drug interventions and the real cause of those AIDS symptoms in all the wrong places. But they can sure roar through the money in no time and demand more, more, more!

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 8, 2012

It should be noted that Peter Duesberg is casually savaged here in this report of the unprofessional political censorship he has suffered in science, without regard to his enormous body of work published in peer reviewed journals from Science and Nature on downwards justifying his dismissal of HIV as the cause of "HIV/AIDS", his explanation of HIV/AIDS as in fact being other diseases and ailments rrewritten as "HIV/AIDS", and his pioneering work in cancer and aneuploidy which is recognized widely as leading to a new and productive approach in cancer which replaces the cul-de-sac of "cancer genes" (oncogenes). Duesberg has been politically vilified but not scientifically disproven (he is unanswered in the two of the very highest journals in which he originally published his demolition of "HIV/AIDS" theory, Cancer Research 1987 and Proceedings of the National Academy 1989, see his site for exact references). His mistreatment should not be echoed in casual remarks or amateur superficialities which reflect lack of research into his position and taking for granted that his vilification by scientific and media opponents is justified.  It isn't.
As a professional science reporter I have followed this absurd situation (absurd and cruel and infinitely wasteful in money and in lives) for 28 years and it has long been quite clear that Peter Duesberg is a fine scientist, and his opponents are trying to maintain nonsense in HIV/AIDS.  It is a mistake to assume that notorious heretics in science are wrong. Many of them get the Nobel in the end. Duesberg deserves one, frankly. I am speaking of qualified heretics, of course. He is more qualified than anyone anywhere now to speak on the true science of so called HIV/AIDS, including the core truth, which should be obvious to any thoughtful person, that it is not the cause of AIDS, regardless of labeling. Be that as it may, the treatment Duesberg has received in an outrage to professional science. No one should thoughtlessly join in. It is important to research the issue properly. I refer readers to my scienceguardian.com for repeated clarifications of this egregious distortion of science and smearing of an exceptionally qualified scientist, and a long list of further references to reliable sites and journal articles on the topic.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 9, 2012

Peter Duesberg's evisceration of the claim that HIV causes AIDS is scorned by Nattrassa, a person who has exploited ths claim in her career, but she cannot quote any scientific journal article proving it, for the simple reason there is none.  She scorns Duesberg's science and thoroughly approves the censorship he has suffered without regard to his enormous body of work published in peer reviewed journals from Science and Nature on downwards justifying his dismissal of HIV as the cause of "HIV/AIDS",  and his pioneering work in cancer and aneuploidy which is recognized widely as leading to a new and productive approach. Duesberg remains unanswered in the two very highest journals in which he originally published his demolition of "HIV/AIDS" theory, Cancer Research 1987 and Proceedings of the National Academy 1989. Until he is, the censorship should be stopped, even though it powerfully demonstrates the fact that the HIV claimants feel too vulnerable to behave like true scientists.  

Avatar of: Skepticnyc

Skepticnyc

Posts: 4

March 9, 2012

Peter Duesberg's evisceration of the claim that HIV causes AIDS is scorned by Nattrassa, a person who has exploited ths claim in her career, but she cannot quote any scientific journal article proving it, for the simple reason there is none.  She scorns Duesberg's science and thoroughly approves the censorship he has suffered without regard to his enormous body of work published in peer reviewed journals from Science and Nature on downwards justifying his dismissal of HIV as the cause of "HIV/AIDS",  and his pioneering work in cancer and aneuploidy which is recognized widely as leading to a new and productive approach. Duesberg remains unanswered in the two very highest journals in which he originally published his demolition of "HIV/AIDS" theory, Cancer Research 1987 and Proceedings of the National Academy 1989. Until he is, the censorship should be stopped, even though it powerfully demonstrates the fact that the HIV claimants feel too vulnerable to behave like true scientists.  

Avatar of: Skepticnyc

Skepticnyc

Posts: 4

March 12, 2012

 "All scientific models are tentative.  They will do until a better one comes along. etc" - is a fine statement of the principles of good science, but as far as practical considerations go, it is a trifle naive.  

When the retiree keepitlegal acquires more information and experience of infighting among scientists he may better appreciate how often modern science in many ways fails to rise to the standards of the vocational ideal he has in mind. Since the last World War when funding from the federal government began to dominate and steer scientific research, joined in the last forty years by the millions invested in biotech and the ever expanding drug sector, more and more leading scientists have become politically competitive rivals wedded to their funding sources and their prospects for patents and other riches.  

No wonder Peter Duesberg has had trouble publishing his dangerous views lately (dangerous to HIV/AIDS proponents, not to science or medicine).  HIV/AIDS has become one of the biggest examples of this internal distortion of pure science, with hundreds of billions spent and invested so far.  Even though it has been clearly shown by the best man in the field to be a fairy tale, and this should be obvious to any thoughtful newspaper reader who contemplates for more than twenty minutes what he is supposed to believe in HIV/AIDS lore (antibodies a guide to future sickness? come on gentlemen!), the fierce grip of proponents on this lucrative meme will probably last until they are all gone, and are replaced by a younger generation.  As Max Planck remarked, progress in science advances funeral by funeral.

Avatar of: 1Claus_Jensen1

1Claus_Jensen1

Posts: 2

March 12, 2012

Brian Hanley's outrageous and unsupported explanation of why heterosexually transmitted HIV transmission is exploding in large parts of Africa, a huge continent where not all cultures and practices are similar mind you, is an excellent demonstration of the racist ad hoc hypotheses scientists (and certain others) come up with to explain the unexplainable. 

There are plenty of hypotheses to choose from, such as "Duffy" genes, CCR5 receptor mutations, (making white people immune to HIV infection - unless they are gay of course), smearing monkey blood on genitals, lack of circumcision, and the euphemistic term "sexual networking" preferred by Ed Rybicki, the virologist. 

Another current favourite is that African women just happen to have drier vaginas than everybody else. That's presumably because virologists are not the only ones who are a little queasy about the "smear dirt on the penis to cause pain and rape them" hypothesis championed by Brian Hanley. It does sound better to say that Africans just happen to be genetically unfortunate - but only when it comes to HIV of course. 

In one of the latest large studies it was suggested that the big difference was that the partners of African women are on average a couple of years older than those of American women. We recognise the tattered remnants of the "sexual networking" theory.

Niccoli Nattras is a well known crusader, who has found her niche on this smorgasbord of scientific ad hockery. When she is not consigning Peter Duesberg and previous president Mbeki to the flames she co-authors sociological gems such as "AIDS Conspiracy Beliefs and Unsafe Sex in Cape
Town". Some of the more intriguing observations juxtaposed are these:

"Membership of a religious organisation reduced the odds of believing AIDS origin conspiracy theories by more than a third" (...) Belief in witchcraft tripled the odds among Africans."

From that we learn that "witchcraft", the scientific name Nattras and her colleagues have coined for traditional African religion, does not qualify as a religious organisation. We further learn that members of proper religious organisations are not prone to harmful beliefs in supernatural beings, conspiracy theories and unsafe sex because the two groups, "religiously associated" and "witches", obviously don't overlap. Nattras is thus crusading in many different areas of scientific, political and cultural life for the benefit of the benighted.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 12, 2012

 "All scientific models are tentative.  They will do until a better one comes along. etc" - is a fine statement of the principles of good science, but as far as practical considerations go, it is a trifle naive.  

When the retiree keepitlegal acquires more information and experience of infighting among scientists he may better appreciate how often modern science in many ways fails to rise to the standards of the vocational ideal he has in mind. Since the last World War when funding from the federal government began to dominate and steer scientific research, joined in the last forty years by the millions invested in biotech and the ever expanding drug sector, more and more leading scientists have become politically competitive rivals wedded to their funding sources and their prospects for patents and other riches.  

No wonder Peter Duesberg has had trouble publishing his dangerous views lately (dangerous to HIV/AIDS proponents, not to science or medicine).  HIV/AIDS has become one of the biggest examples of this internal distortion of pure science, with hundreds of billions spent and invested so far.  Even though it has been clearly shown by the best man in the field to be a fairy tale, and this should be obvious to any thoughtful newspaper reader who contemplates for more than twenty minutes what he is supposed to believe in HIV/AIDS lore (antibodies a guide to future sickness? come on gentlemen!), the fierce grip of proponents on this lucrative meme will probably last until they are all gone, and are replaced by a younger generation.  As Max Planck remarked, progress in science advances funeral by funeral.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 12, 2012

Brian Hanley's outrageous and unsupported explanation of why heterosexually transmitted HIV transmission is exploding in large parts of Africa, a huge continent where not all cultures and practices are similar mind you, is an excellent demonstration of the racist ad hoc hypotheses scientists (and certain others) come up with to explain the unexplainable. 

There are plenty of hypotheses to choose from, such as "Duffy" genes, CCR5 receptor mutations, (making white people immune to HIV infection - unless they are gay of course), smearing monkey blood on genitals, lack of circumcision, and the euphemistic term "sexual networking" preferred by Ed Rybicki, the virologist. 

Another current favourite is that African women just happen to have drier vaginas than everybody else. That's presumably because virologists are not the only ones who are a little queasy about the "smear dirt on the penis to cause pain and rape them" hypothesis championed by Brian Hanley. It does sound better to say that Africans just happen to be genetically unfortunate - but only when it comes to HIV of course. 

In one of the latest large studies it was suggested that the big difference was that the partners of African women are on average a couple of years older than those of American women. We recognise the tattered remnants of the "sexual networking" theory.

Niccoli Nattras is a well known crusader, who has found her niche on this smorgasbord of scientific ad hockery. When she is not consigning Peter Duesberg and previous president Mbeki to the flames she co-authors sociological gems such as "AIDS Conspiracy Beliefs and Unsafe Sex in Cape
Town". Some of the more intriguing observations juxtaposed are these:

"Membership of a religious organisation reduced the odds of believing AIDS origin conspiracy theories by more than a third" (...) Belief in witchcraft tripled the odds among Africans."

From that we learn that "witchcraft", the scientific name Nattras and her colleagues have coined for traditional African religion, does not qualify as a religious organisation. We further learn that members of proper religious organisations are not prone to harmful beliefs in supernatural beings, conspiracy theories and unsafe sex because the two groups, "religiously associated" and "witches", obviously don't overlap. Nattras is thus crusading in many different areas of scientific, political and cultural life for the benefit of the benighted.

Avatar of: Ed Rybicki

Ed Rybicki

Posts: 82

March 13, 2012

"Peter Duesberg is a fine scientist": he certainly was; however, I don't think he's produced much in recent years that isn't considered fringe.  What's more important is that he has never actually worked on HIV or another lentivirus: he  has published far more on cancer than on HIV in the last twenty years, and not ONE of those HIV papers actually reports any experimental data.  They all seem to be commentaries or reviews.

Avatar of: Seth Kalichman

Seth Kalichman

Posts: 2

March 13, 2012

5 Lines and a virologist didn't say anything about HIV, just another sledging of Duesberg. It's incredible that the orthodox does not have any answer to the skeptics except for glib and garbled crap about "didn't work on a lentivirus". That kind of logic would state that an astrophysicist who hadn't been in to space doesn't have a right to form an opinion. Wake up you dud clowns 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 13, 2012

@google-44a0ee4bcf8bdea874fe556af48095dd:disqus Well, your mind is obviously made up!  Have you ever met Duesberg?  I have - and a couple of other prominent denialists.  NONE of whom had actually ever worked on HIV, or another lentivirus - which as a virologist myself, I would have expected is a minimum requirement for their skepticism.  Saying that Duesberg and Rasnick and Bialy's opinions on HIV and AIDS should have as much weight as those of people who DO actually work in the field, is like saying that amateur astronomers are qualified to have authoritative and controversial opinions in theoretical astrophysics.
Google my name and HIV if you want to know my qualifications to have an opinion.  I'd be interested to know your qualification.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 13, 2012

Dear Ed "the Virologist" Rybicki, 

We all understand that your job here is not to say anything of interest but simply to lend the weight of your title to lay person Nicoli Natrass's shrill cries for censorship. Good teamwork.

But you know, it looks to me like you're issuing a challenge up there; something about qualifications. Have you asked Nicoli Nattrass about her qualifications for having an opinion on HIV? Are they more impressive than Duesberg's?

Personally, I'd like to know your qualifications for deciding who can have an opinion and who can't on a given issue? I didn't see philosophy of science or similar among your formal credentials, although hardcore science fiction features prominently. 

I understand that when a scientific paper about astronomy, for example, comes out, you simply read it uncritically and say wow! The next day you read another paper saying the exact opposite and your reaction is emphatically and uncritically wow! The next day yet another paper contradicting both of the previous ones is published, and your reaction, well it's the latest paper, so this must be the truth, at least until tomorrow. Is that how you read about anything you haven't personally fondled in a test tube?  

Be that as it may, how about putting your money where your much vaunted credentials are by telling us exactly what is wrong with the dissident critique of HIV:

HIV has never been purified and isolated properly, the tests accordingly have no virological gold standard, but are validated against each other in a wholly circular fashion (the Perth Group).

There is nothing special about HIV, no special genes or anything else that offers a satisfactory explanation for all the superpowers virologists and other science fiction fans attribute to it. After 25 years HIV experts have yet to come up with an agreed method of action (how HIV causes AIDS), as witnessed by the fact that HIV infection cannot be mathematically modeled (Duesberg).

Let's start there. Please educate us about why this is so "fringe", or why you need to owe your career and your paycheck to HIV to make those observations?

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 13, 2012

 You dodged the question: your qualifications?  And if you can't understand how it is that a virus that infects helper T-cells can cause AIDS, then there's not a lot of point in trying to explain it to you.

Avatar of: Ed Rybicki

Ed Rybicki

Posts: 82

March 13, 2012

@google-44a0ee4bcf8bdea874fe556af48095dd:disqus Well, your mind is obviously made up!  Have you ever met Duesberg?  I have - and a couple of other prominent denialists.  NONE of whom had actually ever worked on HIV, or another lentivirus - which as a virologist myself, I would have expected is a minimum requirement for their skepticism.  Saying that Duesberg and Rasnick and Bialy's opinions on HIV and AIDS should have as much weight as those of people who DO actually work in the field, is like saying that amateur astronomers are qualified to have authoritative and controversial opinions in theoretical astrophysics.
Google my name and HIV if you want to know my qualifications to have an opinion.  I'd be interested to know your qualification.

Avatar of: 1Claus_Jensen1

1Claus_Jensen1

Posts: 2

March 13, 2012

Dear Ed "the Virologist" Rybicki, 

We all understand that your job here is not to say anything of interest but simply to lend the weight of your title to lay person Nicoli Natrass's shrill cries for censorship. Good teamwork.

But you know, it looks to me like you're issuing a challenge up there; something about qualifications. Have you asked Nicoli Nattrass about her qualifications for having an opinion on HIV? Are they more impressive than Duesberg's?

Personally, I'd like to know your qualifications for deciding who can have an opinion and who can't on a given issue? I didn't see philosophy of science or similar among your formal credentials, although hardcore science fiction features prominently. 

I understand that when a scientific paper about astronomy, for example, comes out, you simply read it uncritically and say wow! The next day you read another paper saying the exact opposite and your reaction is emphatically and uncritically wow! The next day yet another paper contradicting both of the previous ones is published, and your reaction, well it's the latest paper, so this must be the truth, at least until tomorrow. Is that how you read about anything you haven't personally fondled in a test tube?  

Be that as it may, how about putting your money where your much vaunted credentials are by telling us exactly what is wrong with the dissident critique of HIV:

HIV has never been purified and isolated properly, the tests accordingly have no virological gold standard, but are validated against each other in a wholly circular fashion (the Perth Group).

There is nothing special about HIV, no special genes or anything else that offers a satisfactory explanation for all the superpowers virologists and other science fiction fans attribute to it. After 25 years HIV experts have yet to come up with an agreed method of action (how HIV causes AIDS), as witnessed by the fact that HIV infection cannot be mathematically modeled (Duesberg).

Let's start there. Please educate us about why this is so "fringe", or why you need to owe your career and your paycheck to HIV to make those observations?

Avatar of: Ed Rybicki

Ed Rybicki

Posts: 82

March 13, 2012

 You dodged the question: your qualifications?  And if you can't understand how it is that a virus that infects helper T-cells can cause AIDS, then there's not a lot of point in trying to explain it to you.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 13, 2012

"Peter Duesberg is a fine scientist": he certainly was; however, I don't think he's produced much in recent years that isn't considered fringe.  What's more important is that he has never actually worked on HIV or another lentivirus: he  has published far more on cancer than on HIV in the last twenty years, and not ONE of those HIV papers actually reports any experimental data.  They all seem to be commentaries or reviews.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 13, 2012

5 Lines and a virologist didn't say anything about HIV, just another sledging of Duesberg. It's incredible that the orthodox does not have any answer to the skeptics except for glib and garbled crap about "didn't work on a lentivirus". That kind of logic would state that an astrophysicist who hadn't been in to space doesn't have a right to form an opinion. Wake up you dud clowns 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 14, 2012

Here we have a "virologist" who has "met Duesberg" ably demonstrating how poorly the HIV/AIDS claim is defended and how freely the distinguished Duesberg is scorned for debunking it, but luckily this Scientist thread has also attracted the inimitably sharp Claus Jensen, one of the few people who publicly point out how provincial and racist HIV/AIDS scientists are when they rationalize how HIV could be pandemically infectious heterosexually in Africa when it was demonstrated incontrovertibly by AIDS research general Nancy Padian that HIV positivity simply won't transfer at all from one heterosexual to another in the US. This is hardly surprising when it is detected by tests for antibody, rather than the supposed agent itself. No one has yet explained how antibodies could possibly infect another human. Perhaps Ed Rybicki, Virologist, would like to tell us?  Or does he leave it to the epidemiologists to explain this puzzle?  
In that case since he is a virologist by his own account perhaps he would tell the world how come HIV which is so lethal to T cells in the body flourishes in T cell culture and is transported in same from one lab to another?  Of course, one also waits for him to explain how HIV kills T cells in the body, since after 27 years of this fatuity no one else has managed to explain it either, let alone demonstrate that it happens at all.  Dr Anthony Fauci of NIAID has publicly acknowledged at the New School that it doesn't happen.  He said, on the contrary, HIV encourages such a furious output of T cells that the immune system "runs out of steam". 

Perhaps onlookers who are wondering how the HIV/AIDS scientific community have managed to get a free pass for 28 years on an unproven claim that makes no sense whatsoever and which is contradicted everywhere one looks in the data they have gathered should consider the politics, both scientific and also gay, which have protected them.  Then there is the tendency of all humans, scientists included, to suffer from confirmation bias and stoutly defend what they already believe against all comers, ably analyzed by Daniel Kahneman in Thinking, Fast and Slow, among dozens of other brain operation pitfalls we are all heir to.

Whatever happened to the fundamental principle of good science, which is to question ourselves first before we debate others?  HIV/AIDS is an unproven claim, not a Biblical text. Its problematic nature is indicated by its infamous lack of results in 28 years. The only way patients have been rescued is to be given weaker drugs, which take longer to undermine their health.  The CDC continues to record deaths in the US of around 17,00O a year.

And where is the vaccine?  Apparently HIV is its own very effective vaccine, since in a matter of days or weeks a newly infected person has antibodies to HIV and virtually undetectable amounts of HIV.   Perhaps someone should patent HIV?

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 14, 2012

 I have no kwalifikasions

Avatar of: Patrick Moore

Patrick Moore

Posts: 1457

March 14, 2012

 I have no kwalifikasions

Avatar of: Skepticnyc

Skepticnyc

Posts: 4

March 14, 2012

Here we have a "virologist" who has "met Duesberg" ably demonstrating how poorly the HIV/AIDS claim is defended and how freely the distinguished Duesberg is scorned for debunking it, but luckily this Scientist thread has also attracted the inimitably sharp Claus Jensen, one of the few people who publicly point out how provincial and racist HIV/AIDS scientists are when they rationalize how HIV could be pandemically infectious heterosexually in Africa when it was demonstrated incontrovertibly by AIDS research general Nancy Padian that HIV positivity simply won't transfer at all from one heterosexual to another in the US. This is hardly surprising when it is detected by tests for antibody, rather than the supposed agent itself. No one has yet explained how antibodies could possibly infect another human. Perhaps Ed Rybicki, Virologist, would like to tell us?  Or does he leave it to the epidemiologists to explain this puzzle?  
In that case since he is a virologist by his own account perhaps he would tell the world how come HIV which is so lethal to T cells in the body flourishes in T cell culture and is transported in same from one lab to another?  Of course, one also waits for him to explain how HIV kills T cells in the body, since after 27 years of this fatuity no one else has managed to explain it either, let alone demonstrate that it happens at all.  Dr Anthony Fauci of NIAID has publicly acknowledged at the New School that it doesn't happen.  He said, on the contrary, HIV encourages such a furious output of T cells that the immune system "runs out of steam". 

Perhaps onlookers who are wondering how the HIV/AIDS scientific community have managed to get a free pass for 28 years on an unproven claim that makes no sense whatsoever and which is contradicted everywhere one looks in the data they have gathered should consider the politics, both scientific and also gay, which have protected them.  Then there is the tendency of all humans, scientists included, to suffer from confirmation bias and stoutly defend what they already believe against all comers, ably analyzed by Daniel Kahneman in Thinking, Fast and Slow, among dozens of other brain operation pitfalls we are all heir to.

Whatever happened to the fundamental principle of good science, which is to question ourselves first before we debate others?  HIV/AIDS is an unproven claim, not a Biblical text. Its problematic nature is indicated by its infamous lack of results in 28 years. The only way patients have been rescued is to be given weaker drugs, which take longer to undermine their health.  The CDC continues to record deaths in the US of around 17,00O a year.

And where is the vaccine?  Apparently HIV is its own very effective vaccine, since in a matter of days or weeks a newly infected person has antibodies to HIV and virtually undetectable amounts of HIV.   Perhaps someone should patent HIV?

Avatar of: Dov

Dov

Posts: 1457

March 20, 2012

Not directly to the point, yet relevant to the SIV-HIV-AIDS relationship:

SIV-HIV And Human Y Lessons
Natural SIV Hosts: Showing AIDS the Door
http://www.sciencemag.org/cont...
 
The case of Human Y applies clearly to SIV-HIV and to many other cases:
 
Primates have been, and continue, evolving immunity defenses by ongoing physiological reactions-adaptation to changing circumstances, whereas humans rely ONLY on changing the causative circumstances…
 
Genes and genomes are BOTH ORGANISMS. Their genetic expressions evolve with, and are set by, the cultural circumstances in accordance with the RNAs-genes-organisms, natural selection. This is Darwinian evolution, extended backward – as it should be – to our primal constitutional organisms.
 
TIME TO UPDATE THE AAAS CONGREGATION-TRADE UNION CONCEPTS…
 
Rash Human Y Demising?
On The Male Sex Chromosome
(posted July 25 2009)
 
A. On Human male sex chromosome, again?
From “Male Sex Chromosome Losing Genes By Rapid Evolution, Study Revealsâ€쳌
http://www.sciencedaily.com/re...
“…we also know that most of the genes were not important for survival because they were lost, which led to the very different numbers of genes we observe between the once-identical X and Y. Although there is evidence that the Y chromosome is still degrading, some of the surviving genes on the Y chromosome may be essential, which can be inferred because these genes have been maintained for so long.â€쳌
“…found evidence that some others are on track to disappear, as well.â€쳌
 
B. “Spontaneous speciation?â€쳌
http://www.the-scientist.com/b...
“Conservation of Y-linked genes during human evolution revealed by comparative sequencing in chimpanzeeâ€쳌
http://www.mombu.com/science/e...
Chimp’s genome has been continuing survival by physiologically adapting to changing environments, whereas Human’s genome continues survival mainly by modifying-controlling its environment.
 
C. AcademEnglish verbiage should be at least scientifically careful
The rate of “losing genesâ€쳌 by an organism is not a constant value of a natural law. It is induced and set mostly by the rate and nature of the change of culture of the organism, which is induced, in turn , by various circumstantial factors…
 
IMO we can feel assured that the human Y is not on an accelerating course to oblivion…
 
Dov Henis
(Comments from 22nd century)
21st century science whence and whither
http://universe-life.com/2011/...
Earth life genesis from aromaticity-H bonding
http://universe-life.com/2011/...
Seed of human-chimp genome diversity
http://universe-life.com/2011/...

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 20, 2012

Not directly to the point, yet relevant to the SIV-HIV-AIDS relationship:

SIV-HIV And Human Y Lessons
Natural SIV Hosts: Showing AIDS the Door
http://www.sciencemag.org/cont...
 
The case of Human Y applies clearly to SIV-HIV and to many other cases:
 
Primates have been, and continue, evolving immunity defenses by ongoing physiological reactions-adaptation to changing circumstances, whereas humans rely ONLY on changing the causative circumstances…
 
Genes and genomes are BOTH ORGANISMS. Their genetic expressions evolve with, and are set by, the cultural circumstances in accordance with the RNAs-genes-organisms, natural selection. This is Darwinian evolution, extended backward – as it should be – to our primal constitutional organisms.
 
TIME TO UPDATE THE AAAS CONGREGATION-TRADE UNION CONCEPTS…
 
Rash Human Y Demising?
On The Male Sex Chromosome
(posted July 25 2009)
 
A. On Human male sex chromosome, again?
From “Male Sex Chromosome Losing Genes By Rapid Evolution, Study Revealsâ€쳌
http://www.sciencedaily.com/re...
“…we also know that most of the genes were not important for survival because they were lost, which led to the very different numbers of genes we observe between the once-identical X and Y. Although there is evidence that the Y chromosome is still degrading, some of the surviving genes on the Y chromosome may be essential, which can be inferred because these genes have been maintained for so long.â€쳌
“…found evidence that some others are on track to disappear, as well.â€쳌
 
B. “Spontaneous speciation?â€쳌
http://www.the-scientist.com/b...
“Conservation of Y-linked genes during human evolution revealed by comparative sequencing in chimpanzeeâ€쳌
http://www.mombu.com/science/e...
Chimp’s genome has been continuing survival by physiologically adapting to changing environments, whereas Human’s genome continues survival mainly by modifying-controlling its environment.
 
C. AcademEnglish verbiage should be at least scientifically careful
The rate of “losing genesâ€쳌 by an organism is not a constant value of a natural law. It is induced and set mostly by the rate and nature of the change of culture of the organism, which is induced, in turn , by various circumstantial factors…
 
IMO we can feel assured that the human Y is not on an accelerating course to oblivion…
 
Dov Henis
(Comments from 22nd century)
21st century science whence and whither
http://universe-life.com/2011/...
Earth life genesis from aromaticity-H bonding
http://universe-life.com/2011/...
Seed of human-chimp genome diversity
http://universe-life.com/2011/...

Avatar of: Bagfoot

Bagfoot

Posts: 1

March 21, 2012

 Ed Rybiki (Virologist),
You state that, "Saying that Duesberg and Rasnick and Bialy's opinions on HIV and AIDS
should have as much weight as those of people who DO actually work in
the field, is like saying that amateur astronomers are qualified to have
authoritative and controversial opinions in theoretical astrophysics" thus equating Duesberg, Bialy and Rasnick with "amateurs" in their field? Given their actual qualifications you've embarrassed yourself to those who know far better and would never say anything of the kind.
As for the term "denialist" it is difficult to imagine that such a term as that, something even closer to juvenile tongue razzing than even bad rhetoric would be used by so-called "scientists" to describe a person or the simple concept of like-minded persons as if it somehow had some meaning in the most airy, insubstantial way.
Were I to compare it to any other meaningless term I would have no compunction adducing those of empty, emotionalism such as, "Witch!", "Communist!", "Heretic!" whose value were of equal substance. It's merely a substitution for intelligence when stupidity is all that's at hand and derision of a person's character is all that's available.

Avatar of: Guest

Anonymous

March 21, 2012

Whoever this would-be "reply" was intended as a response to, it makes no reference to any fact I have offered or any argument that I have made. At one time I worked in epidemiology, where I was brought to high awareness of how much misunderstanding and misinformation, and how many myths, surround epidemic diseases in American cities. Perhaps you would want to redirect this message.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 21, 2012

Whoever this would-be "reply" was intended as a response to, it makes no reference to any fact I have offered or any argument that I have made. At one time I worked in epidemiology, where I was brought to high awareness of how much misunderstanding and misinformation, and how many myths, surround epidemic diseases in American cities. Perhaps you would want to redirect this message.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 21, 2012

 Ed Rybiki (Virologist),
You state that, "Saying that Duesberg and Rasnick and Bialy's opinions on HIV and AIDS
should have as much weight as those of people who DO actually work in
the field, is like saying that amateur astronomers are qualified to have
authoritative and controversial opinions in theoretical astrophysics" thus equating Duesberg, Bialy and Rasnick with "amateurs" in their field? Given their actual qualifications you've embarrassed yourself to those who know far better and would never say anything of the kind.
As for the term "denialist" it is difficult to imagine that such a term as that, something even closer to juvenile tongue razzing than even bad rhetoric would be used by so-called "scientists" to describe a person or the simple concept of like-minded persons as if it somehow had some meaning in the most airy, insubstantial way.
Were I to compare it to any other meaningless term I would have no compunction adducing those of empty, emotionalism such as, "Witch!", "Communist!", "Heretic!" whose value were of equal substance. It's merely a substitution for intelligence when stupidity is all that's at hand and derision of a person's character is all that's available.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 22, 2012

You do realize as a professional virologist that "lentivirus" as a category is to say the least, somewhat slippery. For example, is it determined by the genome, as in engogenous lentivirus in a rabbit? But how can this be, if lentivirus by defintion is not capable of endogenization? (According to Marco Ruggiero.)

Or is Ruggiero now disqualified for leaving the HIV cult?

These are just teasers, sir, the real problem with your point is the imbedded premise that one has to be at a lab bench to be literate in the reports of cultured retroviruses.

I trust as I go through these comments that more substantive points are raised by you.

Avatar of: Gene Semon

Gene Semon

Posts: 16

March 22, 2012

You do realize as a professional virologist that "lentivirus" as a category is to say the least, somewhat slippery. For example, is it determined by the genome, as in engogenous lentivirus in a rabbit? But how can this be, if lentivirus by defintion is not capable of endogenization? (According to Marco Ruggiero.)

Or is Ruggiero now disqualified for leaving the HIV cult?

These are just teasers, sir, the real problem with your point is the imbedded premise that one has to be at a lab bench to be literate in the reports of cultured retroviruses.

I trust as I go through these comments that more substantive points are raised by you.

Avatar of: Gene Semon

Gene Semon

Posts: 16

March 22, 2012

@Ed re JVI article: You really like to shoot from the hip, don't you sir?

I understand the position of HIV experts maybe even better than you.

And Claus has already boxed your ears back on human t-cell lympotropic virus I, which Gallo said may cause AIDS in 1983. Because of its t-cell affinity, of course. And it is also "isolated" from AIDS patients by genomic tagging. And it's also been known since the 1960s that elementary bodies of mycoplasma(100nm) bud from malignant cells and have the appearance of retroviruses.

I hope you realize by now that (with Claus Jensen) at least two non-virologists have you way in over your head :o)

Avatar of: Gene Semon

Gene Semon

Posts: 16

March 22, 2012

I can cite one dissident who's been backed up by JVI on non-isolation of HI virions.

What’s fascinating, is this statement from a HERV paper confirming Professor deHarven. “It is generally very difficult to detect pathogenic viral particles in the blood of patients by EM; for example, this has never been done successfully with HIV-1-infected patients.â€쳌

From Contreras-Galindo et al; Human Endogenous Retrovirus K (HML-2) Elements in the Plasma of People with Lymphoma and Breast Cancer. J. Virol. October 2008 vol. 82: 9329-9336
http://jvi.asm.org/content/82/...

Also at least this should raise an eyebrow re cross reactions from viral load tests: "We recently made the observation that HERV-K (HML-2) RNA can be found in the plasma of HIV-1-infected patients (18, 19). In view of this and the factors cited above, we investigated whether HERV-K (HML-2) RNA might also be present in the blood of patients with either lymphoma or breast cancer. We report that these patients indeed have extremely high titers of viral RNA in their blood, and these titers fall precipitously when patients are treated for lymphoma."

So I accept "retroviral infection", as documented in this paper, as a genomic response of neoplastic cells, perhaps as part of the cell's "emergency response" (Look up Howard Urnovitz for more details).

Avatar of: Gene Semon

Gene Semon

Posts: 16

March 22, 2012

I will respond to Ed's substantive points, which is not a complete account of what those who see a shaky HIV paradigm believe, in the order of my own choosing. I can assure him that I do not question even Gallo's competence in the design and feeding of cell lines whose collective lives are dedicated to faithfully reproducing retroviral markers.

In other words, as any amateur philosopher understands, it's about framing.

Ed: “There are  236 870 papers at least in the scientific literature since the early 1980s on HIV:are we to understand that probably over a million authors from all over the world have willingly participated in a fraud that has to be the biggest ever
perpetrated?  Or do we believe that there is something called HIV, that it causes AIDS, and that the overwhelming proportion of the world’s scientists have no problem with this?â€쳌

Or can we see, not believe:

There is a biotechnology industry founded on fundamental genetic engineering techniques. These “recombinant DNAâ€쳌 methods were used by Gallo, Haseltine et al to “clone HIV-1â€쳌, referred to as HTLV-III/LAV in 1985 Nature paper. There was no “originalâ€쳌; cDNAs were cloned from poly A RNA produced in specially designed “immortalâ€쳌 cell cultures, the known technology of retroviral
cultivation, and then sequenced - the recombined cDNA representative of an entire
retroviral genome.

Haseltine susequently scared the bejesus out of US Congress re the “coming
plagueâ€쳌 and a new biotech industry was born.

So yes, thousands and thousands of experiments have been manufactured and there’s an endless production line of papers with no end in sight. No cure, certainly no vaccine and now a WHO epidemiologist says, in agreement with the dissident position, that the South African numbers were overstated.

Ed: “Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a typical retrovirus of the genus Lentivirus, family Retroviridae: these are viruses which have single-stranded RNA as their genetic material, but multiply via a double-stranded DNA intermediate.â€쳌

Great, so why is it necessary to use a synthetic template to detect ex vivo the RT enzyme when it’s supposed to be forming the double stranded DNA intermediate?  And speaking of invincible ignorance, why can’t the entire dimeric single-stranded RNA genome be isolated directly from patients with a high viral load?

That’s it for today, speaking of losing one’s patience.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 22, 2012

@Ed re JVI article: You really like to shoot from the hip, don't you sir?

I understand the position of HIV experts maybe even better than you.

And Claus has already boxed your ears back on human t-cell lympotropic virus I, which Gallo said may cause AIDS in 1983. Because of its t-cell affinity, of course. And it is also "isolated" from AIDS patients by genomic tagging. And it's also been known since the 1960s that elementary bodies of mycoplasma(100nm) bud from malignant cells and have the appearance of retroviruses.

I hope you realize by now that (with Claus Jensen) at least two non-virologists have you way in over your head :o)

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 22, 2012

I can cite one dissident who's been backed up by JVI on non-isolation of HI virions.

What’s fascinating, is this statement from a HERV paper confirming Professor deHarven. “It is generally very difficult to detect pathogenic viral particles in the blood of patients by EM; for example, this has never been done successfully with HIV-1-infected patients.â€쳌

From Contreras-Galindo et al; Human Endogenous Retrovirus K (HML-2) Elements in the Plasma of People with Lymphoma and Breast Cancer. J. Virol. October 2008 vol. 82: 9329-9336
http://jvi.asm.org/content/82/...

Also at least this should raise an eyebrow re cross reactions from viral load tests: "We recently made the observation that HERV-K (HML-2) RNA can be found in the plasma of HIV-1-infected patients (18, 19). In view of this and the factors cited above, we investigated whether HERV-K (HML-2) RNA might also be present in the blood of patients with either lymphoma or breast cancer. We report that these patients indeed have extremely high titers of viral RNA in their blood, and these titers fall precipitously when patients are treated for lymphoma."

So I accept "retroviral infection", as documented in this paper, as a genomic response of neoplastic cells, perhaps as part of the cell's "emergency response" (Look up Howard Urnovitz for more details).

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 22, 2012

I will respond to Ed's substantive points, which is not a complete account of what those who see a shaky HIV paradigm believe, in the order of my own choosing. I can assure him that I do not question even Gallo's competence in the design and feeding of cell lines whose collective lives are dedicated to faithfully reproducing retroviral markers.

In other words, as any amateur philosopher understands, it's about framing.

Ed: “There are  236 870 papers at least in the scientific literature since the early 1980s on HIV:are we to understand that probably over a million authors from all over the world have willingly participated in a fraud that has to be the biggest ever
perpetrated?  Or do we believe that there is something called HIV, that it causes AIDS, and that the overwhelming proportion of the world’s scientists have no problem with this?â€쳌

Or can we see, not believe:

There is a biotechnology industry founded on fundamental genetic engineering techniques. These “recombinant DNAâ€쳌 methods were used by Gallo, Haseltine et al to “clone HIV-1â€쳌, referred to as HTLV-III/LAV in 1985 Nature paper. There was no “originalâ€쳌; cDNAs were cloned from poly A RNA produced in specially designed “immortalâ€쳌 cell cultures, the known technology of retroviral
cultivation, and then sequenced - the recombined cDNA representative of an entire
retroviral genome.

Haseltine susequently scared the bejesus out of US Congress re the “coming
plagueâ€쳌 and a new biotech industry was born.

So yes, thousands and thousands of experiments have been manufactured and there’s an endless production line of papers with no end in sight. No cure, certainly no vaccine and now a WHO epidemiologist says, in agreement with the dissident position, that the South African numbers were overstated.

Ed: “Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a typical retrovirus of the genus Lentivirus, family Retroviridae: these are viruses which have single-stranded RNA as their genetic material, but multiply via a double-stranded DNA intermediate.â€쳌

Great, so why is it necessary to use a synthetic template to detect ex vivo the RT enzyme when it’s supposed to be forming the double stranded DNA intermediate?  And speaking of invincible ignorance, why can’t the entire dimeric single-stranded RNA genome be isolated directly from patients with a high viral load?

That’s it for today, speaking of losing one’s patience.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 23, 2012

I feel like I'm picking on Ed, so let's begin with a question. Was another HIV dissenter – the late Llynn Margulis
– qualified to state that classifying viruses by genus and family is not
biologically plausible?

One of the obvious consequences of >300,000 papers on
laboratory produced HIV-1 and primary isolates of “HIVâ€쳌 should be noted here.
No one person can be familiar with all that’s been published. So what’s especially
important is that the standard rhetoric virologists feed the medical community
on retroviruses and their hierarchical classification based on genotype =
phenotype  can and should be challenged.

Why?

Because HIV researchers have produced papers that contradict
the neat ICTV taxonomies. Not mere hat racks, naming species implies a certain
theory of order and an imbedded premise – the name HIV and the pretense of a single
species becomes the proof itself. The point here is not that Duesberg has to
get grants to test his theory, but to bring a challenge against lay
understanding – what virologists just want ordinary mortals to accept on faith.

Claus was asking Ed for a mechanism. It turns out the great
State of New York has explained in Jefferys vs Farber, (http://www.quackdown.info/medi...
the alleged quick “transactivationâ€쳌 from proviral DNA that enables a hijacking
of the cells translational apparatus.  “A
retrovirus, which contains viral RNA, transcribes itself into the host’s DNA,
enabling the viral RNA to become DNA and take up residence in the host’s
genetic material. In the case of HIV, the retrovirus transcribes itself within
the CD4 positive T cells (“T cellsâ€쳌), white blood cells responsible for the
immune system; once transformed into DNA, the virus creates more virus instead
of normal T cells and thus begins to break down the immune system.â€쳌

Note here the explicit equating of genotype with phenotype and
the imbedded “old talkâ€쳌 logical fallacy, i.e. “DNA directsâ€쳌. As Richard
Lewontin pointed out decades ago in a New York Review of Books essay (The Human
Genome Project), DNA does no such thing – it’s a template.  The polymerase (polymer- making) enzymes do
all the doing subject to well-known laws of chemical kinetics – e.g. sufficient
molar concentration of nucleotide monomers

But HIV (from Krypton?) has this property of transactivation:
“once transformed into DNA, the virus creates more virus instead of normal T
cellsâ€쳌. This is not a property of “acutely transforming retrovirusesâ€쳌, the
compartment that Duesberg can’t see out of. But in both cases the virus “relies
onâ€쳌 the cell’s RNA polymerase and transcriptional apparatus. HIV experts are
well aware of this but leave out such facts from research when talking to the
public.

And the question remains: why can’t virions (or complete RNA
genomes) being produced in such mass quantities (as implied by the Court’s
description, 10^10/ml) be isolated directly from AIDS patients?

Additionally, It’s well known from culturing experiments
that recombinations with cellular RNA take place during the “transcribes itself
into the host’s DNAâ€쳌 step and this, plus other mutations, can halt the multiplication
process. Thus today’s lentivirus can become tomorrow’s acutely transforming
retrovirus or defective virus.

Next: some of those contradictory HIV papers

Avatar of: Gene Semon

Gene Semon

Posts: 16

March 23, 2012

I feel like I'm picking on Ed, so let's begin with a question. Was another HIV dissenter – the late Llynn Margulis
– qualified to state that classifying viruses by genus and family is not
biologically plausible?

One of the obvious consequences of >300,000 papers on
laboratory produced HIV-1 and primary isolates of “HIVâ€쳌 should be noted here.
No one person can be familiar with all that’s been published. So what’s especially
important is that the standard rhetoric virologists feed the medical community
on retroviruses and their hierarchical classification based on genotype =
phenotype  can and should be challenged.

Why?

Because HIV researchers have produced papers that contradict
the neat ICTV taxonomies. Not mere hat racks, naming species implies a certain
theory of order and an imbedded premise – the name HIV and the pretense of a single
species becomes the proof itself. The point here is not that Duesberg has to
get grants to test his theory, but to bring a challenge against lay
understanding – what virologists just want ordinary mortals to accept on faith.

Claus was asking Ed for a mechanism. It turns out the great
State of New York has explained in Jefferys vs Farber, (http://www.quackdown.info/medi...
the alleged quick “transactivationâ€쳌 from proviral DNA that enables a hijacking
of the cells translational apparatus.  “A
retrovirus, which contains viral RNA, transcribes itself into the host’s DNA,
enabling the viral RNA to become DNA and take up residence in the host’s
genetic material. In the case of HIV, the retrovirus transcribes itself within
the CD4 positive T cells (“T cellsâ€쳌), white blood cells responsible for the
immune system; once transformed into DNA, the virus creates more virus instead
of normal T cells and thus begins to break down the immune system.â€쳌

Note here the explicit equating of genotype with phenotype and
the imbedded “old talkâ€쳌 logical fallacy, i.e. “DNA directsâ€쳌. As Richard
Lewontin pointed out decades ago in a New York Review of Books essay (The Human
Genome Project), DNA does no such thing – it’s a template.  The polymerase (polymer- making) enzymes do
all the doing subject to well-known laws of chemical kinetics – e.g. sufficient
molar concentration of nucleotide monomers

But HIV (from Krypton?) has this property of transactivation:
“once transformed into DNA, the virus creates more virus instead of normal T
cellsâ€쳌. This is not a property of “acutely transforming retrovirusesâ€쳌, the
compartment that Duesberg can’t see out of. But in both cases the virus “relies
onâ€쳌 the cell’s RNA polymerase and transcriptional apparatus. HIV experts are
well aware of this but leave out such facts from research when talking to the
public.

And the question remains: why can’t virions (or complete RNA
genomes) being produced in such mass quantities (as implied by the Court’s
description, 10^10/ml) be isolated directly from AIDS patients?

Additionally, It’s well known from culturing experiments
that recombinations with cellular RNA take place during the “transcribes itself
into the host’s DNAâ€쳌 step and this, plus other mutations, can halt the multiplication
process. Thus today’s lentivirus can become tomorrow’s acutely transforming
retrovirus or defective virus.

Next: some of those contradictory HIV papers

Avatar of: Gene Semon

Gene Semon

Posts: 16

March 24, 2012

Science (Trying To) Fight Back

Or was there a technical glitch?

Again:

Begin with a question. Is another HIV dissenter – Llynn
Margulis – qualified to state that classifying viruses by genus and family is
not biologically plausible?

One of the obvious consequences of >300,000 papers on
laboratory produced HIV-1 and primary isolates of “HIVâ€쳌 should be noted here.
No one person can be familiar with all that’s been published. So what’s
especially important is that the standard rhetoric virologists feed the medical
community on retroviruses and their hierarchical classification based on
genotype = phenotype  can and should be
challenged.

Why?

Because HIV researchers have produced papers that contradict
the neat ICTV taxonomies. Not mere hat racks, naming species implies a certain
theory of order and an imbedded premise – the name HIV and the pretense of a
single species becomes the proof itself. The point here is not that Duesberg
has to get grants to test his theory, but to bring a challenge against lay
understanding – what virologists just want ordinary mortals to accept on faith.

Claus was asking Ed for a mechanism. It turns out the great
State of New York has explained in Jefferys vs Farber, (http://www.quackdown.info/medi...
the alleged quick “transactivationâ€쳌 from proviral DNA that enables a hijacking
of the cells translational apparatus.  “A
retrovirus, which contains viral RNA, transcribes itself into the host’s DNA,
enabling the viral RNA to become DNA and take up residence in the host’s
genetic material. In the case of HIV, the retrovirus transcribes itself within
the CD4 positive T cells (“T cellsâ€쳌), white blood cells responsible for the
immune system; once transformed into DNA, the virus creates more virus instead
of normal T cells and thus begins to break down the immune system.â€쳌

Note here the explicit equating of genotype with phenotype and
the imbedded “old talkâ€쳌 logical fallacy, i.e. “DNA directsâ€쳌. As Richard
Lewontin pointed out decades ago in a New York Review of Books essay (The Human
Genome Project), DNA does no such thing – it’s a template.  The polymerase (polymer- making) enzymes do
all the doing subject to well-known laws of chemical kinetics – e.g. sufficient
molar concentration of nucleotide monomers

But HIV-1 has this property of
transactivation: “once transformed into DNA, the virus creates more virus
instead of normal T cellsâ€쳌. This is not a property of “acutely transforming
retrovirusesâ€쳌, the compartment that Duesberg can’t see out of. But in both
cases the virus “relies onâ€쳌 the cell’s RNA polymerase and transcriptional
apparatus. HIV experts are well aware of this but leave out such facts from
research when talking to the public.

And the question remains: why can’t virions (or complete RNA
genomes) being produced in such mass quantities (as implied by the Court’s
description, 10^10/ml) be isolated directly from AIDS patients?

Additionally, It’s well known from culturing experiments
that recombinations with cellular RNA take place during the “transcribes itself
into the host’s DNAâ€쳌 step and this, plus other mutations, can halt the
multiplication process. Thus today’s lentivirus can become tomorrow’s acutely
transforming retrovirus or defective virus.

(Note to moderator - I can provide references for every statements above.)

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 24, 2012

Science (Trying To) Fight Back

Or was there a technical glitch?

Again:

Begin with a question. Is another HIV dissenter – Llynn
Margulis – qualified to state that classifying viruses by genus and family is
not biologically plausible?

One of the obvious consequences of >300,000 papers on
laboratory produced HIV-1 and primary isolates of “HIVâ€쳌 should be noted here.
No one person can be familiar with all that’s been published. So what’s
especially important is that the standard rhetoric virologists feed the medical
community on retroviruses and their hierarchical classification based on
genotype = phenotype  can and should be
challenged.

Why?

Because HIV researchers have produced papers that contradict
the neat ICTV taxonomies. Not mere hat racks, naming species implies a certain
theory of order and an imbedded premise – the name HIV and the pretense of a
single species becomes the proof itself. The point here is not that Duesberg
has to get grants to test his theory, but to bring a challenge against lay
understanding – what virologists just want ordinary mortals to accept on faith.

Claus was asking Ed for a mechanism. It turns out the great
State of New York has explained in Jefferys vs Farber, (http://www.quackdown.info/medi...
the alleged quick “transactivationâ€쳌 from proviral DNA that enables a hijacking
of the cells translational apparatus.  “A
retrovirus, which contains viral RNA, transcribes itself into the host’s DNA,
enabling the viral RNA to become DNA and take up residence in the host’s
genetic material. In the case of HIV, the retrovirus transcribes itself within
the CD4 positive T cells (“T cellsâ€쳌), white blood cells responsible for the
immune system; once transformed into DNA, the virus creates more virus instead
of normal T cells and thus begins to break down the immune system.â€쳌

Note here the explicit equating of genotype with phenotype and
the imbedded “old talkâ€쳌 logical fallacy, i.e. “DNA directsâ€쳌. As Richard
Lewontin pointed out decades ago in a New York Review of Books essay (The Human
Genome Project), DNA does no such thing – it’s a template.  The polymerase (polymer- making) enzymes do
all the doing subject to well-known laws of chemical kinetics – e.g. sufficient
molar concentration of nucleotide monomers

But HIV-1 has this property of
transactivation: “once transformed into DNA, the virus creates more virus
instead of normal T cellsâ€쳌. This is not a property of “acutely transforming
retrovirusesâ€쳌, the compartment that Duesberg can’t see out of. But in both
cases the virus “relies onâ€쳌 the cell’s RNA polymerase and transcriptional
apparatus. HIV experts are well aware of this but leave out such facts from
research when talking to the public.

And the question remains: why can’t virions (or complete RNA
genomes) being produced in such mass quantities (as implied by the Court’s
description, 10^10/ml) be isolated directly from AIDS patients?

Additionally, It’s well known from culturing experiments
that recombinations with cellular RNA take place during the “transcribes itself
into the host’s DNAâ€쳌 step and this, plus other mutations, can halt the
multiplication process. Thus today’s lentivirus can become tomorrow’s acutely
transforming retrovirus or defective virus.

(Note to moderator - I can provide references for every statements above.)

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 26, 2012

Looks like the hard-core denialists are up to their usual: obfuscate, complicate, challenge - and deny, deny, deny.

It is not a "hypothesis" that HIV causes AIDS: there is enough proof to fill a hundred books, and the overwhelming majority of biological scientists appreciate this.  I cannot think of a single scientist who currently publishes experimental work in retrovirology in particular, who does not believe that HIV is the necessary and sufficient cause of AIDS.

HIV-1 is probably the best-understood organism on this planet in terms of genome sequencing - and if there are holes in our understanding of exactly how it causes disease, they are rapidly closing, and are there because we don't understand ourselves and our own immune regulation as well as we'd like.

I am not going to debate the kinds of things folk who espouse the minority view would like me to: as someone once remarked in another context, "Never wrestle with a pig: you'll just get dirty, and only the pig will enjoy it".  Rather, here is a link to something I compiled a while back when denialists were close to running South Africa's HIV/AIDS agenda - a time that is, thankfully, long gone.

http://rybicki.wordpress.com/2...

Enjoy or ignore, because I'm not going to discuss it.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 26, 2012

Indeed where's Ed and all his qualifications to answer these elementary points on the great contradictions within the HIV hypothesis?

Isn't the theme of this thread "science fighting back"?

Has someone at Nature suddenly realized that this is what dissenters from the HIV paradigm are doing?

Ed Rybicki, your mission according to Ms Nattrass, is to fight back! 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 26, 2012

Similar viruses have been isolated in monkeys.  By modifying the HIV virus to incorporarte SIV (simian version) elements, a disease that causes AIDS is reproducibly caused in rhesus macaques.  The same features occur in that disease.   The monkeys even get the intestinal villus degeneration that happens in humans after HIV infection, and long before major AIDS symptoms.

Avatar of: Ed Rybicki

Ed Rybicki

Posts: 82

March 26, 2012

Looks like the hard-core denialists are up to their usual: obfuscate, complicate, challenge - and deny, deny, deny.

It is not a "hypothesis" that HIV causes AIDS: there is enough proof to fill a hundred books, and the overwhelming majority of biological scientists appreciate this.  I cannot think of a single scientist who currently publishes experimental work in retrovirology in particular, who does not believe that HIV is the necessary and sufficient cause of AIDS.

HIV-1 is probably the best-understood organism on this planet in terms of genome sequencing - and if there are holes in our understanding of exactly how it causes disease, they are rapidly closing, and are there because we don't understand ourselves and our own immune regulation as well as we'd like.

I am not going to debate the kinds of things folk who espouse the minority view would like me to: as someone once remarked in another context, "Never wrestle with a pig: you'll just get dirty, and only the pig will enjoy it".  Rather, here is a link to something I compiled a while back when denialists were close to running South Africa's HIV/AIDS agenda - a time that is, thankfully, long gone.

http://rybicki.wordpress.com/2...

Enjoy or ignore, because I'm not going to discuss it.

Avatar of: Brian Hanley

Brian Hanley

Posts: 66

March 26, 2012

 The system is screening my posts with links. (They might show up later.) But you can google Auvert herpes HIV and Weiss herpes HIV and find them.  Auvert concludes in 2001 that the difference in HIV infection rates between cities in Africa was HSV infection and circumcision. 

Promiscuity network matters, but HSV appears to be a critical factor.

Avatar of: Brian Hanley

Brian Hanley

Posts: 66

March 26, 2012

Yes. HIV is required for AIDS.  AIDS is the syndrome that occurs from lowering T-cell counts to a critical level. I misspoke and cannot correct it now.  My apologies for speaking slightly loosely.

Avatar of: Gene Semon

Gene Semon

Posts: 16

March 26, 2012

So Brian, you agree that in KS/AIDS the process does NOT start with HIV?

"Poppers are primarily composed of butyl or isobutyl nitrite/nitrate because it's cheaper than amyl form. These are carcinogenic. But there is no evidence tying AIDS or KSHV to such use."

Please please there is evidence, plenty of it, in the medical literature before HIV hypothesis was frozen in stone. 

Look, I saw that nice show on Democracy Now! the other day regarding the heroic efforts of people to educate themselves in a time of great crisis 1980 to the nineties.

So why can't we continue the process today, given that at least the pharma cocktails have ended the sense of panic?

Avatar of: Brian Hanley

Brian Hanley

Posts: 66

March 26, 2012

KSHV is a different virus. There will be, of course, an epidemiologic connection between KSHV and poppers use.  The reason is that poppers aid in promiscuity.  KSHV shows up during the later part of HIV infection cycle when T-cell counts drop to a level that allows KSHV infected cells to escape immune system control.

This is equivalent to the link between teenage alcohol use and teenage pregnancy.  Alcohol also helps people be promiscuous.  But it does not cause pregnancy.  It potentiates it.

Avatar of: Gene Semon

Gene Semon

Posts: 16

March 26, 2012

No sir, we certainly don't "know" that HIV starts the process. Nor did you "explain in plain, simple language how we know what we know, in both causes and treatment."

I've read many papers by HIV experts and there's no questioning the data, in a certain sense. But there are many examples where the conclusions of these papers are at odds with the data, because they don't match the "activity of HIV" in vivo. This was Duesberg's original point, writing as an expert in PNAS and explaining it in lay language to journalist Celia Farber.

I've posted in many places that whole HIV genomes at a quantity to do all the damage it's supposed to do, have never been isolated directly from AIDS patients.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 26, 2012

Yes. HIV is required for AIDS.  AIDS is the syndrome that occurs from lowering T-cell counts to a critical level. I misspoke and cannot correct it now.  My apologies for speaking slightly loosely.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 26, 2012

So Brian, you agree that in KS/AIDS the process does NOT start with HIV?

"Poppers are primarily composed of butyl or isobutyl nitrite/nitrate because it's cheaper than amyl form. These are carcinogenic. But there is no evidence tying AIDS or KSHV to such use."

Please please there is evidence, plenty of it, in the medical literature before HIV hypothesis was frozen in stone. 

Look, I saw that nice show on Democracy Now! the other day regarding the heroic efforts of people to educate themselves in a time of great crisis 1980 to the nineties.

So why can't we continue the process today, given that at least the pharma cocktails have ended the sense of panic?

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 26, 2012

KSHV is a different virus. There will be, of course, an epidemiologic connection between KSHV and poppers use.  The reason is that poppers aid in promiscuity.  KSHV shows up during the later part of HIV infection cycle when T-cell counts drop to a level that allows KSHV infected cells to escape immune system control.

This is equivalent to the link between teenage alcohol use and teenage pregnancy.  Alcohol also helps people be promiscuous.  But it does not cause pregnancy.  It potentiates it.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 26, 2012

No sir, we certainly don't "know" that HIV starts the process. Nor did you "explain in plain, simple language how we know what we know, in both causes and treatment."

I've read many papers by HIV experts and there's no questioning the data, in a certain sense. But there are many examples where the conclusions of these papers are at odds with the data, because they don't match the "activity of HIV" in vivo. This was Duesberg's original point, writing as an expert in PNAS and explaining it in lay language to journalist Celia Farber.

I've posted in many places that whole HIV genomes at a quantity to do all the damage it's supposed to do, have never been isolated directly from AIDS patients.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 26, 2012

 The system is screening my posts with links. (They might show up later.) But you can google Auvert herpes HIV and Weiss herpes HIV and find them.  Auvert concludes in 2001 that the difference in HIV infection rates between cities in Africa was HSV infection and circumcision. 

Promiscuity network matters, but HSV appears to be a critical factor.

Avatar of: Gene Semon

Gene Semon

Posts: 16

March 26, 2012

Indeed where's Ed and all his qualifications to answer these elementary points on the great contradictions within the HIV hypothesis?

Isn't the theme of this thread "science fighting back"?

Has someone at Nature suddenly realized that this is what dissenters from the HIV paradigm are doing?

Ed Rybicki, your mission according to Ms Nattrass, is to fight back! 

Avatar of: Brian Hanley

Brian Hanley

Posts: 66

March 26, 2012

Similar viruses have been isolated in monkeys.  By modifying the HIV virus to incorporarte SIV (simian version) elements, a disease that causes AIDS is reproducibly caused in rhesus macaques.  The same features occur in that disease.   The monkeys even get the intestinal villus degeneration that happens in humans after HIV infection, and long before major AIDS symptoms.

Avatar of: Gene Semon

Gene Semon

Posts: 16

March 27, 2012

I see that my post was held up for Ed's response. Fine and dandy.

Dude, your pig analogy is quite flawed but if it makes you feel better for backing down and not "fighting back", that's fine with me.

I'm quite baffled that you refer to HIV-1 (or SIV) as an organism.

OK, you disagree with Margulis' high bar so let's go with a lower standard - the virus factory. In HIV's case, the T-cell would be hijacked so that the entire genome would be reproduced in vast quantities. I've estimated that 200 ng/ml of complete genomic RNA could be extracted from AIDS patients if in fact HIV is causing the AIDS.

This may not be the only proof that would, so-to-speak, bring HIV into the realm of organisms, but it's consistent with current experts in the field (e.g. Eugene Koonin)

I've seen no evidence* that T-cells become viral factories in vivo, whether in man or monkey.

But please, don't make inappropriate analogies, correct me (in substance) if I'm wrong - how science is supposed to work.

As I stated and referenced previously, JVI, a peer reviewed journal, stated it flat out - virions have not been isolated directly from humans. So even if it's been done in lab animals, I would doubt such a thing from animals in the wild. Besides, it still doesn't prove that HIV causes AIDS.

As far as understanding how our immune system works, it seems to me that once again, you're shooting from the hip Ed. Are you really qualified to paint with such a broad brush? The holes in your understanding may be self inflicted because you've been backing the wrong horse, to use another animal analogy.

What about those who keep up with the vast literature on innate and acquired immunity, intracellular defenses that shred foreign nucleic acids, etc.?

*Not "there is no evidence" - a statement from belief (not science).

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 27, 2012

I see that my post was held up for Ed's response. Fine and dandy.

Dude, your pig analogy is quite flawed but if it makes you feel better for backing down and not "fighting back", that's fine with me.

I'm quite baffled that you refer to HIV-1 (or SIV) as an organism.

OK, you disagree with Margulis' high bar so let's go with a lower standard - the virus factory. In HIV's case, the T-cell would be hijacked so that the entire genome would be reproduced in vast quantities. I've estimated that 200 ng/ml of complete genomic RNA could be extracted from AIDS patients if in fact HIV is causing the AIDS.

This may not be the only proof that would, so-to-speak, bring HIV into the realm of organisms, but it's consistent with current experts in the field (e.g. Eugene Koonin)

I've seen no evidence* that T-cells become viral factories in vivo, whether in man or monkey.

But please, don't make inappropriate analogies, correct me (in substance) if I'm wrong - how science is supposed to work.

As I stated and referenced previously, JVI, a peer reviewed journal, stated it flat out - virions have not been isolated directly from humans. So even if it's been done in lab animals, I would doubt such a thing from animals in the wild. Besides, it still doesn't prove that HIV causes AIDS.

As far as understanding how our immune system works, it seems to me that once again, you're shooting from the hip Ed. Are you really qualified to paint with such a broad brush? The holes in your understanding may be self inflicted because you've been backing the wrong horse, to use another animal analogy.

What about those who keep up with the vast literature on innate and acquired immunity, intracellular defenses that shred foreign nucleic acids, etc.?

*Not "there is no evidence" - a statement from belief (not science).

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 30, 2012

Apparently Dr Rybicki means what he says, he's not coming back. I feel bad about this because if he had hung in there with me, I have no doubt that areas of common ground would have been discovered, i.e. beyond common denialist oversimplifications.

As far as the "effective presence"(1) of a reproducing HIV, I stand by the phrase "HIV hypothesis". What I mean by unproven hypothesis (and consistent with what I've posted) is what Gallo originally proposed:

"Although no one knows why the death of the T4 (CD4) cell should depend on the molecule that defines it, some suggestive findings make it possible to formulate a hypothesis. The killing depends not only on the T4 molecule but also on the viral envelope. (Envelope glycoprotein has an important role in HTLV-III's entry to its host and also in the death of the host cell.) ...(L)ike entry to the cell, its death may depend on an interaction between the viral envelope (glycoprotein) and the cell membrane. Perhaps this interaction (which takes place as the virus particle buds from the cell) punches a hole in the membrane. Because the virus buds in a mass of particles, the cell cannot repair the holes as fast as they are made; its contents leak out and it dies". (Robert Gallo, The AIDS Virus, Scientific American, [Jan 1987] V256, No 1, 46)

For those interested in current framing or reframing of virus-as-organism, I recommend reference 1.

1. Forterre P. Defining life: the virus viewpoint. Orig Life
Evol Biosph. 2010 Apr;40(2):151-60. Epub 2010 Mar 3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pu...

CNRS UMR 8621 Institut de Génétique et Microbiologie, Univ
Paris-Sud, 91405 Orsay Cedex, France. forterre@pasteur.fr

“Abstract: Are viruses alive? Until very recently, answering this
question was often negative and viruses were not considered in discussions on
the origin and definition of life. This situation is rapidly changing,
following several discoveries that have modified our vision of viruses. It has
been recognized that viruses have played (and still play) a major innovative
role in the evolution of cellular organisms. New definitions of viruses have
been proposed and their position in the universal tree of life is actively
discussed. Viruses are no more confused with their virions, but can be viewed
as complex living entities that transform the infected cell into a novel
organism-the virus-producing virions. I suggest here to define life (an
historical process) as the mode of existence of ribosome encoding organisms
(cells) and capsid encoding organisms (viruses) and their ancestors. I propose
to define an organism as an ensemble of integrated organs (molecular or
cellular) producing individuals evolving through natural selection. The origin
of life on our planet would correspond to the establishment of the first
organism corresponding to this definition.â€쳌

Pg 156:“The confusion between the virus and the virion was first
criticized by Claudiu Bandea who considered that the intracellular phase of the
virus life cycle is the ontogenetically mature phase of viruses (Bandea 1983).
As Bandea wrote in a landmark paper “in this phase the virus shows the major
physiological properties of other organisms: metabolism, growth, and
reproduction. Therefore, life is an effective presenceâ€쳌. The proposal of Bandea
was ignored until recently, when the discovery of the giant mimivirus by Didier
Raoult and his colleagues (La Scola et al. 2003; Raoult et al. 2004) focused
the attention of virologists on the viral factory. Eukaryotic viruses that
replicate in the cytoplasm form complex localized viral factories to replicate their
genome and produce virions (Novoa et al. 2005, Miller and Krijnse-Locker 2008).
The viral factories of the mimivirus are spectacular and their size is similar
to the size of the nucleus of the virus host, the amoebae Acanthameba polyphaga
(Suzan-Monti et al. 2007). The virion of mimivirus is itself much larger than
all previously known viral particles, being visible under the light microscope
and its size being similar to those of small cells, such as mycoplasma.
Jean-Michel Claverie pointed out that the viral factory corresponds to the real
viral organism, whereas the virion corresponds to the mechanism used by the
virus to spread from one cell to others and that to confuse the virion with the
virus would be the same as to confuse a sperm cell with a human being (Claverie
2006).

"One
can wonder why the confusion between viruses and their virions became a
paradigm in virology. This is probably because our modern conception of viruses
was mostly elaborated following the work on “bacteriophagesâ€쳌 performed in the
fifties by the “phage groupâ€쳌 in the USA and André Lwoff in France... Interestingly,
Lwoff wrote forty years ago that the virus transforms the entire infected cell
into a viral factory (Lwoff 1967). If we consider now that the virus and the
virion should not be confused, his sentence can be read: bacterioviruses (and
archaeoviruses) transform the infected cell into a virion factory, i.e. into a
virus! Many lytic viruses indeed trigger the degradation of the host genome. In
that case, after destruction or inactivation of the cellular genome, when the viral
genome is the only one that is expressed, one can really consider that the
infected “cellâ€쳌 is no more a bacterium, but a virus with a cellular appearance...

We observed recently the same type of conversion in the case
of a virus infecting a hyperthermophilic archaeon (Bizet et al. 2009). This
virus destroys the genome of its host and produces spectacular intracellular
structures that break the cell envelope to prepare the release of its virions."

"One
can wonder why the confusion between viruses and their virions became a
paradigm in virology. This is probably because our modern conception of viruses
was mostly elaborated following the work on “bacteriophagesâ€쳌 performed in the
fifties by the “phage groupâ€쳌 in the USA and André Lwoff in France... Interestingly,
Lwoff wrote forty years ago that the virus transforms the entire infected cell
into a viral factory (Lwoff 1967). If we consider now that the virus and the
virion should not be confused, his sentence can be read: bacterioviruses (and
archaeoviruses) transform the infected cell into a virion factory, i.e. into a
virus! Many lytic viruses indeed trigger the degradation of the host genome. In
that case, after destruction or inactivation of the cellular genome, when the viral
genome is the only one that is expressed, one can really consider that the
infected “cellâ€쳌 is no more a bacterium, but a virus with a cellular appearance...

We observed recently the same type of conversion in the case
of a virus infecting a hyperthermophilic archaeon (Bizet et al. 2009). This
virus destroys the genome of its host and produces spectacular intracellular
structures that break the cell envelope to prepare the release of its virions."

"One
can wonder why the confusion between viruses and their virions became a
paradigm in virology. This is probably because our modern conception of viruses
was mostly elaborated following the work on “bacteriophagesâ€쳌 performed in the
fifties by the “phage groupâ€쳌 in the USA and André Lwoff in France... Interestingly,
Lwoff wrote forty years ago that the virus transforms the entire infected cell
into a viral factory (Lwoff 1967). If we consider now that the virus and the
virion should not be confused, his sentence can be read: bacterioviruses (and
archaeoviruses) transform the infected cell into a virion factory, i.e. into a
virus! Many lytic viruses indeed trigger the degradation of the host genome. In
that case, after destruction or inactivation of the cellular genome, when the viral
genome is the only one that is expressed, one can really consider that the
infected “cellâ€쳌 is no more a bacterium, but a virus with a cellular appearance...

We observed recently the same type of conversion in the case
of a virus infecting a hyperthermophilic archaeon (Bizet et al. 2009). This
virus destroys the genome of its host and produces spectacular intracellular
structures that break the cell envelope to prepare the release of its virions."
We observed recently the same type of conversion in the case
of a virus infecting a hyperthermophilic archaeon (Bizet et al. 2009). This
virus destroys the genome of its host and produces spectacular intracellular
structures that break the cell envelope to prepare the release of its virions."

Avatar of: Gene Semon

Gene Semon

Posts: 16

March 30, 2012

Apparently Dr Rybicki means what he says, he's not coming back. I feel bad about this because if he had hung in there with me, I have no doubt that areas of common ground would have been discovered, i.e. beyond common denialist oversimplifications.

As far as the "effective presence"(1) of a reproducing HIV, I stand by the phrase "HIV hypothesis". What I mean by unproven hypothesis (and consistent with what I've posted) is what Gallo originally proposed:

"Although no one knows why the death of the T4 (CD4) cell should depend on the molecule that defines it, some suggestive findings make it possible to formulate a hypothesis. The killing depends not only on the T4 molecule but also on the viral envelope. (Envelope glycoprotein has an important role in HTLV-III's entry to its host and also in the death of the host cell.) ...(L)ike entry to the cell, its death may depend on an interaction between the viral envelope (glycoprotein) and the cell membrane. Perhaps this interaction (which takes place as the virus particle buds from the cell) punches a hole in the membrane. Because the virus buds in a mass of particles, the cell cannot repair the holes as fast as they are made; its contents leak out and it dies". (Robert Gallo, The AIDS Virus, Scientific American, [Jan 1987] V256, No 1, 46)

For those interested in current framing or reframing of virus-as-organism, I recommend reference 1.

1. Forterre P. Defining life: the virus viewpoint. Orig Life
Evol Biosph. 2010 Apr;40(2):151-60. Epub 2010 Mar 3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pu...

CNRS UMR 8621 Institut de Génétique et Microbiologie, Univ
Paris-Sud, 91405 Orsay Cedex, France. forterre@pasteur.fr

“Abstract: Are viruses alive? Until very recently, answering this
question was often negative and viruses were not considered in discussions on
the origin and definition of life. This situation is rapidly changing,
following several discoveries that have modified our vision of viruses. It has
been recognized that viruses have played (and still play) a major innovative
role in the evolution of cellular organisms. New definitions of viruses have
been proposed and their position in the universal tree of life is actively
discussed. Viruses are no more confused with their virions, but can be viewed
as complex living entities that transform the infected cell into a novel
organism-the virus-producing virions. I suggest here to define life (an
historical process) as the mode of existence of ribosome encoding organisms
(cells) and capsid encoding organisms (viruses) and their ancestors. I propose
to define an organism as an ensemble of integrated organs (molecular or
cellular) producing individuals evolving through natural selection. The origin
of life on our planet would correspond to the establishment of the first
organism corresponding to this definition.â€쳌

Pg 156:“The confusion between the virus and the virion was first
criticized by Claudiu Bandea who considered that the intracellular phase of the
virus life cycle is the ontogenetically mature phase of viruses (Bandea 1983).
As Bandea wrote in a landmark paper “in this phase the virus shows the major
physiological properties of other organisms: metabolism, growth, and
reproduction. Therefore, life is an effective presenceâ€쳌. The proposal of Bandea
was ignored until recently, when the discovery of the giant mimivirus by Didier
Raoult and his colleagues (La Scola et al. 2003; Raoult et al. 2004) focused
the attention of virologists on the viral factory. Eukaryotic viruses that
replicate in the cytoplasm form complex localized viral factories to replicate their
genome and produce virions (Novoa et al. 2005, Miller and Krijnse-Locker 2008).
The viral factories of the mimivirus are spectacular and their size is similar
to the size of the nucleus of the virus host, the amoebae Acanthameba polyphaga
(Suzan-Monti et al. 2007). The virion of mimivirus is itself much larger than
all previously known viral particles, being visible under the light microscope
and its size being similar to those of small cells, such as mycoplasma.
Jean-Michel Claverie pointed out that the viral factory corresponds to the real
viral organism, whereas the virion corresponds to the mechanism used by the
virus to spread from one cell to others and that to confuse the virion with the
virus would be the same as to confuse a sperm cell with a human being (Claverie
2006).

"One
can wonder why the confusion between viruses and their virions became a
paradigm in virology. This is probably because our modern conception of viruses
was mostly elaborated following the work on “bacteriophagesâ€쳌 performed in the
fifties by the “phage groupâ€쳌 in the USA and André Lwoff in France... Interestingly,
Lwoff wrote forty years ago that the virus transforms the entire infected cell
into a viral factory (Lwoff 1967). If we consider now that the virus and the
virion should not be confused, his sentence can be read: bacterioviruses (and
archaeoviruses) transform the infected cell into a virion factory, i.e. into a
virus! Many lytic viruses indeed trigger the degradation of the host genome. In
that case, after destruction or inactivation of the cellular genome, when the viral
genome is the only one that is expressed, one can really consider that the
infected “cellâ€쳌 is no more a bacterium, but a virus with a cellular appearance...

We observed recently the same type of conversion in the case
of a virus infecting a hyperthermophilic archaeon (Bizet et al. 2009). This
virus destroys the genome of its host and produces spectacular intracellular
structures that break the cell envelope to prepare the release of its virions."

"One
can wonder why the confusion between viruses and their virions became a
paradigm in virology. This is probably because our modern conception of viruses
was mostly elaborated following the work on “bacteriophagesâ€쳌 performed in the
fifties by the “phage groupâ€쳌 in the USA and André Lwoff in France... Interestingly,
Lwoff wrote forty years ago that the virus transforms the entire infected cell
into a viral factory (Lwoff 1967). If we consider now that the virus and the
virion should not be confused, his sentence can be read: bacterioviruses (and
archaeoviruses) transform the infected cell into a virion factory, i.e. into a
virus! Many lytic viruses indeed trigger the degradation of the host genome. In
that case, after destruction or inactivation of the cellular genome, when the viral
genome is the only one that is expressed, one can really consider that the
infected “cellâ€쳌 is no more a bacterium, but a virus with a cellular appearance...

We observed recently the same type of conversion in the case
of a virus infecting a hyperthermophilic archaeon (Bizet et al. 2009). This
virus destroys the genome of its host and produces spectacular intracellular
structures that break the cell envelope to prepare the release of its virions."

"One
can wonder why the confusion between viruses and their virions became a
paradigm in virology. This is probably because our modern conception of viruses
was mostly elaborated following the work on “bacteriophagesâ€쳌 performed in the
fifties by the “phage groupâ€쳌 in the USA and André Lwoff in France... Interestingly,
Lwoff wrote forty years ago that the virus transforms the entire infected cell
into a viral factory (Lwoff 1967). If we consider now that the virus and the
virion should not be confused, his sentence can be read: bacterioviruses (and
archaeoviruses) transform the infected cell into a virion factory, i.e. into a
virus! Many lytic viruses indeed trigger the degradation of the host genome. In
that case, after destruction or inactivation of the cellular genome, when the viral
genome is the only one that is expressed, one can really consider that the
infected “cellâ€쳌 is no more a bacterium, but a virus with a cellular appearance...

We observed recently the same type of conversion in the case
of a virus infecting a hyperthermophilic archaeon (Bizet et al. 2009). This
virus destroys the genome of its host and produces spectacular intracellular
structures that break the cell envelope to prepare the release of its virions."
We observed recently the same type of conversion in the case
of a virus infecting a hyperthermophilic archaeon (Bizet et al. 2009). This
virus destroys the genome of its host and produces spectacular intracellular
structures that break the cell envelope to prepare the release of its virions."

Avatar of: Gene Semon

Gene Semon

Posts: 16

April 4, 2012

Is it a denialist trick to seek an HIV expert's knowldge on, say, how if HIV is constantly mutating, does this effect the primer binding site (18 nucleotides at the leader end of RNA) and subsequent essential* reverse transcription to cDNA? That is, if the 3 prime end of the tRNA(3lys) does not recognize the mutated site, it seems like the virus has reached a dead end. Clarification please, Dr Rybicki.

And why in the first place is one more cellular RNA (besides cellular RNA polymerase) essential for the replication of an exogenous invader? Isn't this evidence of a symbiont and not a pathogen? 

Thank you moderator for considering these question for posting.

*for replication

Avatar of: Gene Semon

Gene Semon

Posts: 16

April 4, 2012

No moderator this time. Thanks again New Scientist for putting this right up.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

April 4, 2012

Is it a denialist trick to seek an HIV expert's knowldge on, say, how if HIV is constantly mutating, does this effect the primer binding site (18 nucleotides at the leader end of RNA) and subsequent essential* reverse transcription to cDNA? That is, if the 3 prime end of the tRNA(3lys) does not recognize the mutated site, it seems like the virus has reached a dead end. Clarification please, Dr Rybicki.

And why in the first place is one more cellular RNA (besides cellular RNA polymerase) essential for the replication of an exogenous invader? Isn't this evidence of a symbiont and not a pathogen? 

Thank you moderator for considering these question for posting.

*for replication

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

April 4, 2012

No moderator this time. Thanks again New Scientist for putting this right up.

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