"
And going to the university and the University of Florence in particular, it came out that Professor Ruggiero – that’s myself – was in absolute terms the Best Professor in the Entire University... and not only in biology and medicine but overall, concerning all the professors of the entire university" - Dr Marco Ruggiero, Professor of Molecular Biology at the University of Florence.

"Derrida's method consisted in demonstrating the forms and varieties of this originary complexity, and their multiple consequences in many fields. He achieved this by conducting thorough, careful, sensitive, and yet transformational readings of philosophical and literary texts, to determine what aspects of those texts run counter to their apparent systematicity (structural unity) or intended sense (authorial genesis)."
- Wikipedia: Jaques Derrida (and also copy-pasted to 2,520 other websites)

"I have long ago given up looking at anything from Snout... He has no credentials at all to discuss the things he talks about, yet feels free to denigrate a long-established, peer-reviewed Italian journal, and highly competent, even distinguished scientists and scholars. If anyone prefers to take his opinion rather than mine, I think that shows rather poor judgement in view of the curriculum vitae posted on my website and the anonymity and missing C.V. of Snout…"

- Henry H. Bauer. Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, Science Studies and Dean Emeritus of Arts and Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The seriously dysfunctional family of HIV/AIDS denialism

The Rethinking AIDS 2009 Conference is now over, and in honour of this illustrious event Snout is announcing a prize* of $50,000† and a signed copy of Henry Bauer’s magnum opus The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory‡. This will be awarded to the first person who can provide a coherent account of what, for the love of Mike, conference presenter Marco Ruggiero was on about in his talk HIV and the Italian Ministry of Health.
[Note: * conditions apply, see future post for details; † Zimbabwean dollars or its equivalent in a nominated currency; ‡ unit offered as prize is slightly soiled, and some of the binding has come adrift. A bit like its author].


In the afterglow of RA09, Henry has been waxing lyrical on his blog:
"RA2009, the conference held by Rethinking AIDS (RA) in Oakland, 6-8 November, was an extraordinary success in every possible way. It exceeded wildly any reasonable expectations.



"That’s not just my opinion. The RA Board meeting on Sunday evening, the later get-together for speakers at the Duesberg’s, various "au revoir"s on Sunday, all assured me that my own feelings were fully shared by many others. In the last few days, e-mails and Facebook threads and the like have further underscored how many of us remain incredulous over the blessing of having participated in this unforgettable bit of human history."
So blissed out by this unforgettable bit of human history was Henry that he declared:
"We discovered ourselves to be members of a very large and very close-knit FAMILY."
And oh boy, what a family the "rethinkers" are. A deeply dysfunctional family, as anyone who has been following the goings-on between the Perthians and the RA mob will have realised by now. See, notably absent from the Love Fest in Oakland were the Perthians and their supporters, including Anthony Brink, Claus Jensen, Michael Ellner and many more. Apparently they were unhappy with RA’s decision not to allow Eleni Eleopulos-Papadopulos’ chosen representative Brink a slot to speak. Seems there was no room on the program, even after Noreen Martin pulled out at the last moment.



Ellner himself delivered a bunch of flyers to Oakland under the HEAL letterhead outlining his own reasons for "boycotting" the shindig, and finished off by quoting a brief exchange between Eleni and Val of Perth, and RA president David Crowe:

"In closing, I offer you a brief statement from the Perth Group. It was sent to David Crowe with a request that he make their disassociation from RA public.



"Perth Group: 'Because of irreconcilable scientific and ethical differences we wish to formally disassociate ourselves from the Rethinking AIDS Group. Signed: The Perth Group'.



"David Crowe: 'Dear Val, no, I will not read this statement at the conference. It is not true, for example, to state that differences are irreconcilable when there has been no attempt to reconcile or even to determine whether differences do actually exist.'"
There’s worse - you get the picture. But Celia Farber doesn’t (or is pretending not to):

"Today I turned myself over to a healing place high in the hills, where they have built a box capable of emitting the same frequency as pure love. I plan to get myself into this box every day I am here, and twice on the last day.



"My point, Henry: I told you in person, and I want to say it again: What you have already been through is what makes you unique in this "movement," which is, I believe, turning its pyramid structure inside out, FINALLLY, thanks to the very forces, frequencies, and real people you mentioned.



"I thought your talk was not only "excellent," but connected to a spirit movement I was able to perceive.



"It was not lethally academic, as I feel most of the dissident elite wishes to be, to its great detriment if not downfall."
This person who has turned herself over to spend a long weekend in a magic box claimed to douse her in the frequency of pure love - apparently it’s 3 Hz, in case you were wanting to try it at home - is the same person who announced a meritless libel lawsuit in the gossip pages of the New York Post (where else?) accusing her detractors of unfairly claiming that she is lacking in... well... umm.. well, lacking in scientific rigor.



Hope the box helps, Celia, but Snout isn't sure that "spirit movements" are acceptable witnesses in libel cases. Snout also loves the euphemism not lethally academic. Perhaps it means ill-informed, rambling and half-witted. Certainly neither Farber nor Bauer could ever be accused of being lethally academic...



So anyway, despite the brave faces in the rethinkers' "family" of Bauer, Farber and others, the reality is that it's divorce – ugly, messy and very, very public . So what's behind all this?



Well, it's been brewing for a while now, coming to a public head with Anthony Brink's "tokoloshe" letter published on AIDS Myth Exposed and its subsequent thread back in July-August, in which he shoves RA president David Crowe into a hessian sack, drags him out into the street and proceeds to lay into him first with fists, then with steel capped boots, and finishing off with a sturdy bit of four-by-two. (For legal reasons then AME site owner and Perthian sympathiser Rod Knoll removed the thread, but it can still be read on Brink’s TIG site).



But the unpleasantness has been going on a lot longer than that, probably dating back to Peter Duesberg's pointed and contemptuous snubbing of Eleni Eleopulos-Papadopulos in South Africa back in 2001. Duesberg makes no effort to conceal the fact he thinks the Perthians are incompetent fools in stubborn denial of the obvious fact that HIV exists (only it’s a harmless passenger virus). The Perthians think that Duesberg's "HIV science" is woeful, and that the supposed non-existence of HIV should be the central argument of the HIV/AIDS denialists. The Perthians have been feeling increasingly marginalised from Rethinking AIDS, which has been touting itself as the centre of gravity of the denialist movement. They want their debate about the existence of HIV with Duesberg and his supporters, and they’ve been denied not only this but what they see as their rightful place among the denialist cognoscenti.



So who are the Perthians and their supporters? Well, there's Mrs Eleopulos-Papadopulos and Dr Turner in Perth, of course. There’s Claus Jensen in Phuket, Thailand. There’s Brink in South Africa, and numerous lesser supporters like Sadun Kal, former AME site owner Rod Knoll, Ellner from HEAL and a number of others. And they are Not Very Happy At All about the direction "Rethinking AIDS" has taken under the presidency of Crowe.



The RA board is principally a US/Canadian affair, gathered around their tarnished hero Duesberg in California. Although Crowe has been the principal target of the Perthians, other board members like Etienne de Harven, our mate Henry H. Bauer, David Rasnick and even former board member and sycophantic biographer of Duesberg, Harvey Bialy have all been the targets of their animus, as revealed by the chief architect of the divorce, Anthony Brink.



Things came to a head during the run up to RA09. Mrs Eleopulos-Papadopulos wanted to present what her supporters see as the centrepiece of the Perthian position – that HIV does not exist and all the rest of the science... umm... *waves hands around dramatically* umm... falls down from there. Rasnick, who was choosing the speakers, wanted none of this, particularly as Duesberg was presenting his "in sum HIV is a harmless passenger virus" South African crap (see previous entry). Rasnick offered to let Eleni speak provided she submitted to limiting herself to the subject of HIV testing, but EPE suddenly remembered she had to wash her hair that weekend, and suggested the Perthian attack-dog Brink might be a suitable replacement to speak on behalf of her and her followers. Rasnick said, umm... no, and so Brink went ballistic, initially on the semi-private HIVAIDS Paradigm email list frequented by most of the prominent denialists of both camps, then later on AIDS Myth Exposed, and then on his own TIG site where he has preserved some of the choicest exchanges for posterity and for the amusement of anyone with an internet connection and an appreciation of colourful invective. 


(Brink's Index page is called The Unbelievable Mediocrity of David Crowe. Snout highly recommends a visit it to anyone who wants to truly understand the depths of denialist psychopathology and has a couple of spare days to fossick around the sludge piles).


For example, in a note to Henry Bauer, Brink is his usual diplomatic self:

"If you are referring to Crowe's delegation of Rasnick to pick the topics and the speakers for the conference (presuming Rasnick didn't just give himself the job), then his delegation of this critical, extraordinarily politically sensitive function to Peter's lapdog guaranteed disaster. And it resoundingly demonstrates Crowe's utter incompetence as a director. The worst of it was Crowe's lack of appreciation for the potentially explosive consequences of rejecting Eleni's request that I present her science on her behalf, concocting and putting up the most stupid and transparently dishonest justifications for supporting Rasnick's shit-brained, mala fide decision (she had to present herself in person to be interrogated on whether a lot of semen in your backside may be immunosuppressive (as the literature tells))."
As Brink would have it, the differences between the Perthians and RA go beyond the mutual personal contempt shared by Duesberg and Eleni, his refusal to publicly debate their "science" with them or their feeling of being snubbed by the mainstream of RA.



There’s also the matter of the embarrassingly inept "public relations" fiascos that RA churns out on a regular basis. Prime among these have been:



"The Letter to Science", a ridiculous letter to the editors of Science by half-baked "journalist" Janine Roberts demanding they retract the four 25 year old papers by Gallo’s team claiming to have demonstrated that the retrovirus that became known as HIV was the likely cause of AIDS. The grounds for retraction however (as many of the more scientifically literate denialists realised, some after they signed) were based on Roberts’ complete failure to understand the papers in question (it’s not clear if she even knew there were four of them or read any but the first). The net result was that many of the senior denialist "scientists" red-lighted themselves as ignorant loons, as a few of them later realised to their regret. The letter was never published in Science, of course, and Snout's guess is that it’s still pinned up in the lunchroom noticeboard in their “cranks corner”



The pamphlet The AIDS Trap, penned by some medical and scientific illiterate and "endorsed by the board of Rethinking AIDS". This piece of idiot disinformation (with illustrations by R. Crumb that are as stupid as they are insulting) is a tort-lawsuit-waiting-to-happen if anyone actually acted on its advice. Snout's first thought on seeing it was to check if there were any actual practising physicians on the RA board (with the possible exception of Christian Fiala there aren't) because for a physician to endorse such drivel is to invite a hearing with ones relevant Medical Board for incompetence. Apparently Valendar Turner was thinking the same thing, and he pointedly asked to be distanced from it describing it in a private note as 'second grade primary school pathetic'.



The grossly incompetent Duesberg Medical Hypotheses paper, co-authored by three of his colleagues on the RA Board including Henry Bauer, and ignominiously retracted shortly after its net publication. Readers might recall its skewering on this blog and others back in July. Now Perthian Claus Jensen has published his own critique, and it is Not Kind, although much of it seems to be cribbed from Reckless Endangerment, albeit more elegantly written, and obviously from an HIV-doesn’t-exist perspective.



That’s not to forget the bumbling takeover of the Semmelweis Society in order to engineer a Clean Hands award to Duesberg and Farber – a PR nightmare that quickly turned to red faces, farce and lawsuits. As if anything involving Clark Baker in a prominent role could end up otherwise.



And of course there’s the repulsively dishonest House of Numbers which has drawn the ire of film critics, physicians, public health officers and the general public, not to mention the 17 scientists who claimed they were deceived into taking part, including Nobel laureates Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and David Baltimore. The media and the blogosphere have been scathing, particularly in the UK.



But the number one bone of contention between the Perthians and RA, particularly with its president, is to do with its handling of the Parenzee appeal hearing back in 2006-7. Apparently, the Perthians believe that their failure to have themselves taken seriously as "expert witnesses" in HIV/AIDS has nothing to do with the fact that they are entirely uncontaminated by actual training, qualifications or practical experience in any relevant discipline, nor their complete lack of insight into the role of expert witnesses in a legal setting. Nor did it have anything to do with the fact that the presiding judge, John Sulan, twigged very early on that:

"The evidence given by Ms Papadopulos-Eleopulos about the Perth group demonstrates that she is promoting a cause. She is not independent. She is motivated to create a debate about her theory. The Perth Group will use whatever means available to promote that debate, including encouragement of persons such as the applicant, to promote their theories in courts of law." 
Something of a no-no for a would-be "expert witness" Snout thinks. Or that she...

"...lacks independence. She is an advocate for a cause. She chooses to rely upon opinions of others which she often takes out of context and misinterprets. She lacks objectivity. If faced with evidence which does not support her views, she simply refuses to acknowledge it, or dismisses it without any basis for so doing. Examples of her refusal to acknowledge evidence which does not support her views include her response to the epidemiological evidence which she says is not proof and which she dismisses as unreliable."
No, apparently the reason the Perthians failed at getting recognised as expert witnesses was because of something David Crowe did. Apparently Crowe contacted Parenzee's barrister during the case and suggested involving Duesberg and de Harven as back up expert witnesses, thus confusing the thrust of the defence which was supposed to be HIV doesn’t exist, not Duesberg's well it does, but it doesn’t cause AIDS or de Harven’s yup, that’s definitely a retrovirus, but I reckon it’s endogenous. And in Brink’s words:

"...the President of RA scored the most catastrophic own goal in the history of the dissident movement since Harvey Bialy fucked up Mbeki's AIDS Panel experiments."


The obvious question is why Brink is choosing to make the conflict so public, posting the dirty laundry where anyone can read it and marvel at the depths of stupidity, narcissism, incompetence, ignorance and sheer bloody-minded viciousness that characterise the principal activities of the HIV/AIDS denialist movement. Brink is no fool (well he is, but not in this way), and is perfectly aware of how damaging this is to the reputation of the movement as a whole, and particularly to those individuals - Duesberg, Crowe, Bauer, de Harven, Rasnick - he has singled out to haul into the town square for a public kicking. Erstwhile allies are at each other’s throats (see fellow moderators Brian Carter and Rod Knoll on AME for example), and the rank and file are becoming distressed and demoralised (or as Sadun Kal would put it "demotivated").



But Brink is quite clear as to his intentions, and those of his Perthian friends:

"Yes, I propose to reduce RA in the military sense of the word."
Why?



To answer this it’s worth going to the homepage of what they call The Perth Group HIV-AIDS 'Debate' Website. Of course it is nothing of the kind – they don't allow comments and the closest they come to real debate is when they publish their long tedious trolling emails to actual, you know working, scientists and the replies they receive which are generally on the lines of "piss off and stop wasting my time with your undergraduate-level existential sophistry. I’ve got real work to do".



The Perthians make their "strategy" crystal clear:

"What is needed to prove or disprove the HIV theory of AIDS?
There are four ways to resolve this debate:



"The first is to perform isolation experiments to prove whether or not a retrovirus HIV truly exists in AIDS patients or in anyone. These experiments are documented in the Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel report. The report can be read or downloaded HERE. The cost of such experiments would be modest by AIDS research standards. Approximately $US50-100K and take 6-12 months to perform."
The "isolation experiments" proposed by the Perthians will never be performed for the simple reason that they are impossible to do to their satisfaction in practice ("nope, that’s not pure enough for our liking") and no actual virologist considers them necessary in establishing the presence of any virus. They’re a classic example of what Caj on the Daily Kos calls "the eternal request" beloved by denialists of all stripes from Obama birthers to 9/11 Troofers. You know: the one study, the one experiment, the one document that will “prove” things one way or another. Classic crank stuff. In fact, the existence of no pathogenic human virus has ever been demonstrated according to the Perthians' criteria.

"The second is to garner enough public opinion to mandate a public debate between a small number of protagonists and dissidents. This debate should be international, public and adjudicated by a number of disinterested scientists of Nobel Laureate class who must present the international community with a resolution as to the way forward."
Way forward for who? It's the Perthians who have been stuck in a 1983 timewarp, not anyone else. It ain't gonna happen. The Perthians can't even get their fellow denialists to "debate" them, let alone real scientists who are well aware that such public spectacles have never resolved any scientific controversies, merely provided a platform and vicarious credibility to cranks.

"The fourth is to perform EXPERIMENTS--Click HERE for details and an invitation to donate funds for experiments."
Well, this is basically the same as the first, only trying to hit you up for donations. Oh, and they won’t tell you exactly how they intend to spend your dosh. Coz It’s A Secret. But point three is the revealing one:

"The third is for HIV seropositive individuals to have the evidence for their diagnoses of "HIV" infection examined in courts of law."
Ah, here it becomes clear. Having failed utterly to convince any literate scientists of their hare-brained beliefs, the Perthians are taking the well-trodden path of all serious nutcases with a chip on their shoulder – they want their day in court. And if they bomb out spectacularly as they did in Adelaide in the Parenzee hearing they want another day in court. And then another, and another. As many as it takes, irrespective of the damage they do in the process.



In the future, Snout plans to write a little more about how this strategy plays out in practice, in particular the denialists' history of serially grooming vulnerable HIV positive people to act as forensic fodder for their own personal quixotic tilt at scientific glory – via the courts. Parenzee wasn’t their first attempt, and if the Perthians and other denialists have their way he won’t be their last.



But understanding this strategy makes clear what former barrister Brink is up to in very publicly distancing the Perthians from the "tumbling farting clowns" (as he puts it) of Rethinking AIDS. They’re an embarrassment to the Perthians’ grand legal ambitions. As Brink puts it:

"When the useless results of the [Mbeki's AIDS Panel] experiments he screwed up came out, Harvey [Bialy] phoned me in the blackest depression over what a total failure they'd been.



"Later he claimed they were brilliant and put them up on his blog.



"I should have realized then that whatever we do, wherever we live, no matter how distant, the Californian Mafia and their stupid henchmen will always come charging in uninvited and screwing everything up."
Bialy and the AIDS panel fiasco is another story for another time, but you get the point. The "rethinkers" movement is anything but the one big happy family that Henry Bauer is trying to make out it is. And as with just about every deeply, screamingly unhappy dysfunctional family there is a large amount of – well - denial.



Meanwhile, fresh from the Rethinker’s conference, Henry gushes:

"There could not be a more convincing demonstration that the endless diversity among human beings need be no barrier to productive commitment to a shared purpose."
What a tool. What a "family". What a bunch of narcissistic, self-important, delusional cranks.

170 comments:

Brian Carter said...

Dear Snout,
I'll tell you what the gist of Marco Ruggiero's talk was. The Italian Ministry of Health is not going to and never will subscribe to the "HIV" imposition, but I'm sure you can find that out on your own, given your immense research capabilities.

Be careful though, you might not get away with calling them "denialists" also.

Brian Carter

Anonymous said...

Thanks Snout, for brightening up my Thanksgiving Day no end! What a wonderful read! I shall send the link around to various friends who will also enjoy your summary of the entertaining schism within the ranks of the denialists. As I told David Crowe recently, on the particular issue of whether HIV exists or not, his side of the fight is clearly the right one to be one (not that such kudos should extend beyond that narrow technical point of course). Perhaps the RA group could recruit a serious scientist, like Bob Gallo, to testify for them in court, in some future legal action against the Perthies. Wouldn't that be entertaining!

One point for you to consider. Just who funds the various factions of AIDS denialism? There's some serious money, somewhere. It's well known that Duesberg, and the RA group meetings, are backed by Robert Leppo, a West Coast venture capitalist and businessman. But he's behind the RA group, and is not known to support the Perthies. The Parenzee case must have cost many millions (in whatever currency, other than Zimbabwean dollars you care to nominate). And House of Numbers, which clearly derives from the Perthies "school of thought" (sic), must also come with a multi-million dollar price tag, taking into account pre- and post-release expenditures. It's hard to believe that such sums could come from, say, the royalties of Henry Bauer's book, or from any Rands Anthony Brink collects in a hat when busking at South African railway stations.

So who paid? It's important to find this out. And isn't it amazingly hypocritical of the denialists to tarnish EVERY aspect of AIDS science and health care as being carried out for the benefit of Big Pharma, and to vilify EVERY AIDS professional as being "bribed" by the industry, when they simply refuse to disclose their own financial backers. Tracking the money trial back would greatly help understand what denialism is all about.

Anyway, thanks again for such marvelous entertainment. And thanks also for your kind comments about my essay, on Seth Kalichman's Blog.

John Moore

Chris Noble said...

The interesting question for me is how kooky and crazy do you have to get before the family will dissociate itself from you .

Clark Baker appears to be a delusional scientifically illiterate right-wing idealogue but he is still welcome.

Stefan Lanka has gone off the deep end and denies that any virus causes disease in humans. When he's not denying HIV/AIDS he's trying to stop people getting vaccinated for many serious preventable diseases.

His friend Karl Krafeld sends death threats to health ministers and yet they are both welcome in the big tent of denial.

The list of "scientists who doubt HIV" is stacked with homeopathists, chiropractors, orgone therapists etc. Yet their names are proudlly displayed on the list as "scientists".

Various HIV denialists also deny evolution or the germ theory of disease . Some are 911 truthers and some are Obama Birthers.

Just how stark raving nuts do you have to be before you get ejected from the big tent?

Nathan Geffen said...

This blog is hilarious and brilliant. Well done! (Light relief from the horrors these mad people have accomplished.)

PS: Any chance I can take one of Dr Des Pudelskern's classes? I hear he has a better grasp of logic than Valendar Turner.

jtdeshong said...

Snout,
Thank you so much for this incredibly succinct, insightful, factual and thoroughly entertaining summary of this train wreck! This is further proof of exactly why Bauer does not allow your posts! He may be an idiot, but he ain't stupid! hehe
So glad to have you back!!
JTD

Anonymous said...

Corpulent Denialist Clark Baker has let himself go.

Even the fresh coat of hair dye can't save him.

These days, he's way too old, fat and slow to even catch jaywalkers, much less brutalize them. Unlike the good old days.

http://tinyurl.com/yfqzbj2

Bennett said...

What a great summary of the AIDS loonies. Thanks for the laughs.

The crazy thing about Ruggiero's talk is that the Italian Health Ministry's website is entirely consistent with the idea that HIV causes AIDS... His ability to misunderstand and misrepresent the truth is impressive, even for an AIDS denialist.

Cheers

Bennett

jtdeshong said...

OK, I'll admit I can be incredibly thick at times. With that said, I am having quite the laugh right now.

I just looked at your profile and noticed it says: "Ovine Resources Director". It reminded me that Bauer quoted that as your occupation...after he called you a "gay, Australian nurse" that is. The comment just went in my head and back out at that time.
Now I realize he got that "profession" from your profile.

UHM, I know those denialists are completely lacking a sense of humor, but does Bauer not get the "Snout" connection with this Ovine Resources Director? Probably not. He is just trying a different put down!
JTD

Snout said...

John Moore asked:

"The Parenzee case must have cost many millions...

...So who paid?"


Well, Borick was apparently acting pro bono, but his fees would only have been a minor part of the total costs of the appeal.

I'd imagine that Parenzee's family had to hand over a substantial proportion of whatever assets they had to fund Turner and Eleopulos' little adventure.

But the bulk of it was paid for by yours truly Snout, together with Chris Noble and the rest of the Australian tax-paying public.

Snout is not very happy about this, and is keen to ensure this doesn't happen again.

sadunkal said...

Interesting, entertaining piece. Fairly accurate too. I found it confusing that I was described as a PG supporter though. Since I've been groomed by the PG and I'm being spoon-fed everything I say I really didn't have a choice in this, still don't. I thought Snout knew that I'm merely a puppet, and a paid one. If you all would like to know, PG and their puppets (the next generation is currently going through the grooming process under my supervision) are financed by the Greek mafia, kind of. Or maybe not.

jtdeshong said...

Snout,
You mention this Borick person regarding the Parenzee Trial. Is he any kin to Borat? Or perhaps, Bruno?
Perhaps he was just a failed character of Sascha Baron Cohen's whom Cohen realized was too dull and dim witted even for movie audiences.
Just a thought.
JTD

Gene said...

Snout,

You and your fellows give much food for thought and grounds for further research.

I would appreciate your promised (hopefully focused) discussion on the "preadsorption experiments" in South Africa, as proposed by the Perth Group for Mbeki Panel.

The ones Bialy "fucked up" according to Perth's account.

First loony idea: Isn't obtaining real data, the purpose of the 2001 Mbeki Panel, preferable to epidemiological guesses?

Second: Mathematical models are the equivalent of induction to verified truth.

So surely it's delusional to seek more and better data, e.g. furthering the Essex et al work on the intriguing mycobacteria and AIDS "interactions" in Africa.

Speaking of being lost in 1983, What if "TAR", said to be unique to "HIV genome" is micro RNA that participates in cellular "transactivation" of regulatory genes that were unknown in 1983?

Even though it's only 20 nucleotides or so; hey, an endogenous sequence is an endogenous sequence.

Trivial observation? I say that just might reflect the mind of the beholder.

I post this example - cherry-picking new research - to illustrate the "nonexistence" of zat bright line between science and pseudoscience.

You all seem to believe in induction = "science". This four-century old bright line (mentioned by Newton somehow anticipating Popper :o)- ONLY if it's done by a qualified experimenter does it equal "real science" - has been soundly refuted by Dawkins of all people in "The Selfish Gene".

But I'm quite interested anyway in Aschengrau and Seage textbook* cited by Chigwedere et al. Finally, at long last, I've found where all of you are smoked out, i.e. the propaganda elements of your epidemiological case are included there for all to see.

No Duesberg necessary.

So fine Professor Moore, Nathan Geffen and Dr Bennett; no more do I have to be frustrated over the "non-debate" stance. It is no longer necessary to debate you thanks to a great service to humanity - this textbook by Aschengrau and Seage.

May all of you find your very own "love box" and best regards,

Gene Semon

*who hedge their induction bets as far as epidemiology is concerned

Anonymous said...

Hi Snout. I'm sorry the Aussie taxpayers were on the hook for much of the costs of the Parenzee case. What a waste of public resources. I knew that Borick was acting pro bono, but as you note, that's only part of the costs of Parenzee's defense. Some of the Aussie scientists that I talked to during the case, providing advice on various points, were of the opinion that there MUST be a financial backer for Parenzee. According to them, the Parenzee family simply didn't have the necessary resources to be acting alone on this - they were "an ordinary, working class family" (or words to that effect). But this is speculation only.

I do recall that once David Crowe and the RA group tried to get into the action, Crowe issued an appeal to the hundreds of thousands of RA group members worldwide :) to dig into their pockets and send Parenzee and Borick some money. I wonder how many Zimbabwe dollars this effort raised. Maybe one days worth of the photocopying bill?

John Moore

Snout said...

Hi again Sadun.

I'm surprised you're confused about being described as a "Perth supporter". You have spent the better part of the last 18 months advocating their cause and demanding that the scientific world pay attention to the grave injustice of the reality-based community's neglect of their crackpot beliefs. You seem to have made hundreds of posts on the subject on multiple websites.

In more recent months you have focused on your fellow denialists, trying to have Mrs E-P and Dr T restored to what you see as their just and rightful place in the denialist pantheon, and your efforts have acted as a catalyst for the Recent Unpleasantness described in this essay. See, for example:

http://www.tig.org.za/Kal-Crowe.htm

You have even spruiked for donations for them on your blog:

http://conself.blogspot.com/2009/01/perth-group-donations-for-experiments.html

If that's not supporting the Perth Group, then what is?

And no, I never claimed that they were paying you - that kind of "paid shill" accusation is the province of denialist rhetoric.

I am still intrigued as to how it came about that a young animation student from Berlin with no scientific background or ostensible reason to be interested in HIV/AIDS has become so enarmored of their cause as to become one of the Perthians most persistent and internet-active supporters. You were going to write the story of this at one stage, and I'm disappointed you have yet to find the time for this.

sadunkal said...

Oh and the "sockpuppet" accusation is the province of whose rhetoric..? "Reality-based community"..? Well you're a bit too far off base then.

And you already became a bit familiar with the more interesting part of "my story" through the stuff at TIG's website. I'm interested in HIV/AIDS because of the same reasons for my interest in the recent ClimateGate incident. Basically I'm interested in the quality of my own future. And I think you could all learn a lot from people like Curry:

A Climate Scientist Who Engages Skeptics

Looks like this whole thing will eventually force AIDSTruth to become a more scientific org too. Unscientific position statements like "We won't debate" will likely be no longer so popular with the public in the future. Just saying... It'll be better for you too, if you people change willingly.

Snout said...

Sadun, every person who is not suffering from severe depression, catatonia or existential crisis is interested in the quality of their own future. Some of us manage to extend that interest to embrace the future of others as well.

What fascinates me, though, is how you ended up investing so much of your share of this normal human drive in promoting the ideology of a couple of cranks from Western Australia.

What made you decide that they held a crucial key to your - or anyone else's - future?

This is not an idle question - it's something I'm genuinely interested in.

sadunkal said...

It's your inability/unwillingness to deal with them that bothers me. AIDSTruth is still in denial of PG's existence. If you don't see how unscientific this attitude is... well you can learn a lot from Curry, or Feynman, or Sagan, or many others... I'm not going to let go of this until it all becomes clear, based on objective scientific arguments.

Snout said...

"Deal with them" in what way, Sadun?

I just took the effort to write a longish essay summarising the history of their hilariously messy divorce from the North American denialists.

Cranks are dime a dozen, Sadun. In the internet age they're virtually free. Why, precisely, do you think these particular cranks are more deserving of attention than any of the thousands of others?

I've asked you this question multiple times in different ways over the past 18 months. You've never given me a straight answer.

sadunkal said...

Deal in a scientific way.

To be clear you're already giving them a lot of attention; you waste considerable amount of your time talking about them in various ways (inc. ad hominems), spend time speculating about how to ensure that your taxes are not spent on anything related to their work, worrying about them dangerously misleading the public etc...

What you're unable/unwilling to do is to engage them on scientific terms. And when asked why, you claim that you rather waste your time pretending to ignore them or their influence, when what you do is anything but that.

It is clear that you personally have a lot of reasons for not ignoring them. Similar with others above like Geffen, Moore, Bennett, Noble etc.

But even if we look at it more generally they matter because the questions they raise are so fundamental and it's clear that with the amount of effort that they invested they have a capacity to be convincing. Apart from that, even if you totally disagree with them on isolation/purification, some other aspects of their critique of the AIDS field is justified without any doubt. Especially the evident politicization of the HIV/AIDS field makes it all much more confusing for the public.

You people should've woken up at least when Mbeki arranged the Advisory Panel. You should've realized that all this is serious stuff with very serious implications and that "Childish jibes are no substitute for serious debate." Things like Durban Declaration are truly pathetic in a scientific sense. The sooner you deal with it all scientifically the easier you'll make it for yourselves too. You really made very little progress against "denialism". Endorsing Kalichman's book so heartfully was probably even a step back. Better wake up soon.

Reading all the discussions surrounding "ClimateGate" may help you all grasp the situation better. Highly recommended. The public perception and political influence of such controversies can't be controlled while ignoring the scientific fundamentals. And who knows PG may even be more right than you give them credit for. It's hard to find out unless you engage them on scientific terms.

Dr. Duke said...

I like Gene Semen's reply the best. You can tell by the way he uses things like TAR and Aschengrau and Seage that he's a real sciency guy.

Anonymous said...

I was amused by Sadunkal's post that appears to suggest he's miffed that AIDS Truth has "ignored" the Perthies, and his other post implying that not debating with these people is also irksome to him. But that's precisely the point! I don't speak for AIDS Truth, but speaking as a professional scientist and anti-denialist, there are two points to be made.

As a professional scientist, "debating" with the Perthies would be degrading to science. Judge Sulan's damning verdict on Turner and EP-E in the Paranzee case said it all. The Judge slaughtered them, exposing their incompetence and lack of qualifications as expert witnesses. These two lack any credibility on the subject of HIV/AIDS, and they are, for heaven's sake, the MOST qualified of their group.

There's no debate because there's nothing TO debate. The science is settled, and if the Perthies lack the ability to understand it, that's their problem. Personally, I hope the Perthies win their battle with the RA group, as the Perthies carry even LESS weight with the outside world than the RA group does (some media people CAN still be fooled by Duesberg's and Mullis's paper qualifications, but not one has ever considered Turner and EP-E as having any academic standing).

Speaking as an anti-denialist, why should we give the denialists what they want? Why should we boost their egos by taking them seriously? Why should we give them the chance to preen on a stage and pretend that their craziness is something serious people should take seriously? So, these guys can beg all they want, but it's not going to happen. I'm reminded of the old Monty Python sketch involving a debate between a government minister and a blob of oil. In the real world, government ministers don't take the time to do this.

John Moore

Anonymous said...

In the interests of providing supporting links, here's one to the discussion between a government minister and a blob of what might be oil (text only).

http://orangecow.org/pythonet/sketches/press.htm

There's also available on the internet rare footage of what appears to be witness testimony from the Parenzee case......

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOzVkSFnKxI

sadunkal said...

Moore, seriously, inspect the discussions surrounding the ClimateGate closely. Obviously nothing is just "their problem". You're fooling yourself, in addition being unscientific as a "professional scientist".

Look at the questions you ask:

"...why should we give the denialists what they want? Why should we boost their egos by taking them seriously? Why should we give them the chance to preen on a stage and pretend that their craziness is something serious people should take seriously? So, these guys can beg all they want.."

What do you care about their egos or what they want? Why not focus on the quality and strength of your arguments against theirs. The rest shouldn't be of any concern to a scientist. How you act as a scientist shouldn't be guided by your desire to keep the people you dislike unsatisfied or anything of that sort. That's ridiculous.

And it's not that you don't debate them, it's that you don't have anything scientific at all to show against their critical arguments. Neither in the scientific literature nor anywhere else is there a proper response to the points raised by them.

"Dr. Duke" above informed me that AIDSTruth concurred that they should fix that. I seriously hope you people will bother to do it, and properly so, not in some pseudo-scientific superficial way. Something that actually objectively addresses their arguments and attempts to refute them if that's the reasonable thing to do.

Apparently your best "counter-argument" so far is a strange appeal to authority citing a judge's decision which is based on ad hominems. Gee... I wonder why you can't succeed at getting the public to trust your scientific judgments... What a mystery...

Dr. Duke said...

Sadun Kal said: "...Neither in the scientific literature nor anywhere else is there a proper response to the points raised by them. ..."

And I'd also like to point out that nobody has made an adequate SCIENTIFIC response to my book either.
If my theory of AIDS is right, there is a LOT more to worry about than just AIDS.

Anonymous said...

I never bother trying to convert individual denialists like Sadun Kal. That's a waste of time. The focus is on protecting vulnerable members of the public from the damage done to them by the more influential denialists. That's a productive use of time. The Perthies have no "critical arguments", so no answer to these people's demented warblings has ever been necessary. Judge Salan got it spot on when he dismissed them as unqualified and incompetent. Game over.

John Moore

Anonymous said...

I was previously unaware of your book, Dr Duke, but I have just read the synopsis and looked at the Amazon site. It's a little pricey at $149, but I'll have a word with my good friends the Presidents of Pfizer and Merck (we regularly tweet). I'll ask them if they can arrange for a blanket purchase of one copy for each employee. That might drag the unit price down a bit, and hey, they might give me a free copy as a kick-back for my help..... You know how it is between industry executives and AIDS researchers.....

I must say that you're onto something here with your ideas. They seem reminiscent of Fred Hoyle's ideas about infectious diseases and comet dust, but I think that's a permissible use of free thinking and extrapolation.

I too am a little surprised that the Perthies haven't yet analyzed your ideas. You may not be entirely right, but compared to the Perthies' own bizarre thought processes, what you have come up with is the epitome of reasonableness and plausibility. Nice job!

John Moore

sadunkal said...

You're still in denial of the fact that this isn't about any individuals. It is actually a bit worse; you guys know that you're telling nonsense yet you do it nevertheless. Can it be that you came to sadistically enjoy this "war" so much that you're addicted to it, and can no longer imagine a life without it? Because it doesn't look like you're looking for any way out of the mess. It could easily be argued that you're the ones responsible for "denialism" more than anyone else. Keep that in mind next time you complain about all the damage caused by "denialists". With this mindset you're totally useless to both the public and the scientific progress. It's really unfortunate. I hope you'll stop and contemplate on the consequences of your strategy sometime soon.

Snout said...

John, I'm not trying to convert Sadun from HIV/AIDS denialism - that would, as you say, be a pointless effort.

I'm trying to understand how it is that he managed to come to believe that the Perthians have a major contribution to make to HIV/AIDS science, when virtually every properly trained and qualified scientist or clinician who has done actual real work in the field thinks they're nuts.

Sadun does not have the scientific background to understand what the points of contention are, or why virtually every scientist and even a supreme court judge have dismissed the Perthians' points as specious. He cannot even articulate what those points are, let alone argue them.

And yet he has made the decision that his future happiness depends on the rather odd Perthian worldview prevailing.

Weird, huh?

Dr. Duke said...

Sadun Kal said:
"...
I hope you'll stop and contemplate on the consequences of your strategy sometime soon. ..."

The thing is, there is no "we" and no "strategy". It's just the real world against many delusions. There are viruses out there, not jsut HIV-1 and HIV-2 which cause AIDS, but also others such as the Noroviruses which kill hundreds of thousands of infants every year. They exist, and they kill people. Pretending they don't exist, or that they exist but are harmless, is silly and delusional.

sadunkal said...

Whether or not I believe this or that at is not the issue here Snout. The issue is that you are pathetically incapable of producing a single piece of evidence showing that the reason behind "virtually every properly trained and qualified scientist or clinician who has done actual real work in the field [thinking that] they're nuts" is a scientific reason, rather than one that sources from a lack of scientific integrity and rigor. And looking at the comments above it is not difficult to believe that the "anti-denialist" movement is being led by people who are totally ignorant on scientific philosophy.

Without a shred of shame Moore implies that using labels like "unqualified and incompetent" has some relevance to the scientific method.

"Dr. Duke" privately expressing surprise that "there isn't much there at AIDStruth directly addressing the Perth Group" deceitfully pretends that this is somehow unimportant when talking publicly.

And people like Snout are just in this to "have fun" apparently.

People like you are more dangerous to science and public health than any "denialist" can be.

I'll ask once again: Do you have any desire to put an end to what you perceive as "denialism"? Or do you desperately need it? If you'd rather live in a world without a conflict like this then do you have any plan about how to get rid of it and its influence? Or are you just fooling yourselves when you say that you're "anti-denialists" when you're in reality denialism junkies?

jtdeshong said...

Sad Uncle is just in dire need of attention! It is obvious he does not know anything about science (since he whole heartedly supports Perth Group). However, Sad Uncle does ask an interesting question: "Do the orthodox want the denialists to go away, or are we just having fun with them?" (I parapharased)
I believe most of us sane, rational, scientifically educated would love for the denialists to either go away OR accept the truth when we give it to them and stop misquoting, misinterpreting and out~right lying! But, in the meantime, how can we NOT have fun with them when they claim to suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and admit their therapy is to "crawl into a box and have light shone on them the frequency of pure love"???
Come on, now. You can't make that shit up!!
JTD

sadunkal said...

I also asked this:

"If you'd rather live in a world without a conflict like this then do you have any plan about how to get rid of it and its influence?"

In other words do you have any clue what you're doing? A thought-out plan or strategy? To me it seems like you either believe in some sort of "law of attraction", or you're just acting without really thinking all that much about how your actions/words influence the conflict. I consider both harmful and would like you to act more consciously.

Snout said...

I’d love to see the end of HIV/AIDS denialism, Sadun. It’s immensely destructive of people’s lives both on an individual level and even in at least one case resulted in a public health policy paralysis in an entire country that cost hundreds of thousands of lives. It’s catastrophic. On a more mundane level, denialism acts as a distraction from the very real issues that deserve attention.

You possibly have a point that taking an anti-denialist position can sometimes be counterproductive: paying attention to denialists inadvertently provides them with a platform to promote their idiocy. It’s a tricky balance: the very act of engaging their claims confers vicarious credibility on those claims as at least being worthy of discussion. This might be worthwhile if there were any chance such a discussion could be productive, but experience tells us this is very unlikely – denialists are not honest brokers and their claims are not amenable to reason. If they were, then they wouldn’t be denialists.

In reality, it is extremely difficult to even pin down a denialist on their claims long enough to engage their substance with any seriousness. Most discussions with denialists are nothing other than an extended Gish-gallop through a series of endlessly recycled argumentoids, tangents and canards, which is very tedious to so the least. In some cases (and you’re a great example here) it isn’t even possible to get a denialist to even make a coherent scientific claim, let alone to argue it.

When I first became interested in HIV/AIDS denialism it was from the point of view of whether there was anything to it as far as offering a substantive critique to HIV/AIDS science or public policy. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. Then I became interested in the mechanics of its propagation, because denialism is not just something people believe, but something they spread. I think understanding this is very important, particularly since the development of the internet, which has revolutionised the way people communicate (or don’t communicate).

Later I’ve become interested in the psychology and life narratives that have led individual denialists to their positions. How does Sadun end up obsessively advocating a fringe scientific position he is unable to even articulate? How did Ruggiero rise to presenter-status at a denialist conference without once ever making a statement about HIV and AIDS that could be construed as supporting their position? What makes Henry so confident he has discovered serious flaws in HIV/AIDS epidemiology, immunology and infectious diseases medicine without bothering to familiarise himself with even the basics of these disciplines? Why did Maggiore and her daughter forgo competent medical treatment and end up dying almost certainly unnecessarily? Why do at least two current prominent denialists promote themselves as “living proof that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS” when both have by their own account become life-threateningly ill with AIDS-defining conditions and recovered on highly active antiretroviral therapy? How do numerous Americans come to believe that HIV was created by their government in a sinister secret genocidal project?

While you might dismiss my interest as “just having fun”, I think these are important and fascinating questions, and far from being a danger to public health, a deeper understanding of the answers is crucial to it.

The shenanigans I've documented on this blog post are just a side issue, of course, but I thought they might help shed a little light on the broader issue. Which is not whether HIV causes AIDS, but why do some people so fervently insist it doesn't.

jtdeshong said...

Snout, as always, makes excellent points.
However, I believe that Sadun misses the most obvious point. And that is, why is Sadunkal putting the onus and responsibility of "stopping" this pseudodebate on the orthodox? It is obvious that this is a viscious cycle. One that started with the denialists perhaps asking honest questions. When they are given the answers, they continue to deny the answers are legitimate (hence, another reason to be called denialists. Then the denialists continue with questions that become increasingly ridiculous and therefore perpetuate a dialogue that really does not even exist. Many of the questions have been answered and can be found at PubMed. And legitimiate scientists are busy researching those questions that as yet, have not been answered.
The ball is back in your court, Sadunkal. When will your side stop moving goal posts and be satisfied with the answers we do have thus far?
JTD

Anonymous said...

Snout, Dr Duke and Jtdeshong all make some excellent points with which I wholeheartedly agree. I have never read any previous postings from Sadun Kal, and was not even previously aware of his or her existence before I joined this thread. So he or she is not exactly a "player" in the world of AIDS denialism. I'm disinclined to waste any time addressing his or her obsession with the Perthies, who are really at the lunatic fringe of the lunatic fringe. There's no underlying science to address, and much as I admire those who do take the time and trouble to engage the denialists about scientific issues on the internet, I have long since stopped doing that myself. It's a soulless and pointless exercise as none of them understands any of the science in any of the postings that are made (or, if they do, they perversely take the opposite, anti-science position as a matter of what passes for their "principles").

So, why do we fight the denialists? Well, it's very simple - because their activities kill people and need countering. And in memory of the 350,000 South Africans and known individuals like Maggiore's poor daughter. Never again!!! Or at least, never again without us making the effort to stop this insanity.

This is NOT some kind of tea party, we are NOT a debating society, we are NOT engaged in a polite discourse about prevailing but equally legitimate philosophies, or tis is NOT about resolving legitimate uncertainties that can be talked through and sorted out. If the likes of Sadun Kal believe the opposite, then he or she is even more delusional than perhaps anyone else here might have thought. No, countering AIDS denialism is, quite literally, a question of life and death - or in the case of the Parenzee trial, about justice for the women Chad Parenzee harmed and about preventing future damage to other innocent people placed in the same situation as Parenzee's sex partners.

The denialists with professional qualifications, medical or scientific, deserve a special place in Dante's circle of hell. They have betrayed their (and my) profession, by abusing their training. I don't care what particular brand of personal pathology drives them. I do care about minimizing the damage they cause to the public, and to the reputation of the overwhelming majority of physicians and scientists, who are people of honesty and integrity who serve the public. The denialist scientists/physicians I regard with the same contempt and derision as attendees at a Bar Mitzvah would treat a Holocaust Denier. I truly see no difference, moral or otherwise between these two groups - both seek to tarnish the memory of the innocent dead and to create a climate in which more innocent people will die unnecessarily.

So that's why I (and others) don't debate, engage or otherwise treat AIDS denialists as if they were merely misguided colleagues who could understand the truth if only there were a little bit of civilized conversation. It's gone WELL beyond that, and the relevant line was crossed many, many years ago, when the likes of Sadun Kal were probably still at high school or learning to read.

John Moore

Chris Noble said...

It would help if Sadun could prove an example of the leading HIV denialists ever admitting to being wrong.

No amount of evidence will ever convince them that they are wrong about anything.
It just keeps on going round and round and round with them coming up with new excuses for ignoring the evidence.

Like most other cranks they follow the principle that if you simply never admit to it then you have not been proven wrong.

Chris Noble said...

I tried to get Sadun into harmless physics crankery.

http://condeve.blogspot.com/2009/01/i-think-this-is-very-important.html

Unfortunately, he seems determined to propagate the type of pseudoscience that can kill.

For some light amusement watch this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9w_PwyDRIo

Remember. Nobody has ever seriously addressed this man's "scientific" arguments. The entire scientific community has to stop now and prove this guy wrong!

Anonymous said...

Just to address the comment, allegedly made by Dr Duke according to Saduk Kal, that the AIDS Truth web site doesn't have much information on it that addresses the claims by the Perth Group. I'm not a member of the AT team nowadays, although I do suggest to them some things I think merit posting, and I keep in touch with and am a strong supported of the team. So this is just a personal opinion.

Dr Duke is right, if indeed he did say that. There's isn't much on the AT site about the Perthies' claims (although there IS an excellent section on HIV diagnostic assays). But I don't think that's a matter of "policy", or that it matters very much. The AT site is a source of information for the neutral public, and for members of the media, about what the AIDS denialism movement is REALLY about, and it also (and importantly) provides accurate information on HIV/AIDS to the press and public (although it's far from the only such site, and others contain far more information).

AIDS Truth is run by its members, in their spare time, and without any funding. So what gets posted there is dependent on the voluntary time that can be applied by the team members, and friends. As everyone has a day job, often quite intensive ones, and many have families, there's a limit to the amount of effort that can be applied to the web site.

Is it important to counter the wacky suggestions from the Perthies that HIV does not exist and has never been isolated? Personally, I don't think so, and I'd bet that the lack of material on this point reflects the views of the AT members that it's not a high priority area. The reason is that so few people actually believe the Perthies. There's what, half a dozen or so active members of the PG and a few ill informed "believers" like Sadun Kal, none of whom could or would change their minds if they read anything posted on AT. And in my dealings with the press or the public, even the most confused and vulnerable lay people tend to chuckle at the idea that HIV does not exist. The Duesberg/RA group line that HIV exists but is harmless is more appealing to the lay public and the media than the Perthies' views (it's all relative of course, as the RA group line is only very rarely believed). So more effort needs to be expended dealing with the RA group's line than the Perthies'. In fact, the Perthies are people we see as assets, because they are so absurd and frankly silly, that their existence helps us when we explain to neutrals how ridiculous AIDS denialism is on a scientific level.

My sense, then, is that AIDS Truth has ignored the Perthies mostly out of pragmatism - they are the less dangerous, less influential strand of AIDS denialism, so aren't worth much effort. And besides, if the likes of Sadun Kal want to read evidence that HIV exists, they could simply go and ask Duesberg.....

John Moore

sadunkal said...

Snout,

You're still just talking about what you'd love to see. As I expected you don't think about how you can get to see the end of the conflict. Unfortunately love or desire alone don't make things come true. Actions must take place for things to change. And to know which actions would be the best choice you have to think things through.

"...taking an anti-denialist position can sometimes be counterproductive.."

If you do it pathetically like Kalichman of course that would be the case. But I'd argue that if you do it in a truly scientific fashion you'll almost certainly gain something from it. Even if you assume that nobody will change their minds as a result of any scientific communication, at least the curious observers out there would be better informed as a result of it, and will likely be more capable of choosing the "right" side. I'd argue that it would also be possible to convert people if you argue properly. Just as there are people who've become dissidents, there are also those who've returned to the orthodoxy for one reason or another. I don't know what exactly those reasons are but it shows that nothing is as solid as you people repeatedly claim it is.

Sure, understanding the personalities and stuff like that can help, but ultimately you should have a somewhat clear strategy for handling the conflict.

For example you clearly know that the reason behind people like me supporting the Perth Group is because of the unwillingness/inability of the orthodoxy to take some time to properly address their arguments. You know very well that this would make a significant change yet you've no inclination to support such an effort, let alone take part in it yourself. "Anti-denialism" is much more about politics than science and you all try to convince yourselves that this is appropriate. I don't think it is. Politics can only be a part of it but ignoring scientific responsibilities will never be a part of the solution.

sadunkal said...

DeShong,

Even if we assume that you're right about denialists, your reasoning is immature. I'm not saying "it's your fault" or anything like that. What I'm saying is that your actions generally just drive people away from a meaningful discussion of the topic at hand. And even if it didn't you'd still have some responsibility to improve the situation. You can't say "Well Nazis are the ones who are killing many people, not me, so it's not my responsibility to do something about it." and irrationally expect things to get better while you're just watching or acting inadequately without contemplating. And in case you haven't noticed I spend most of my time trying to address the problems on "my side".

And you ask: "When will your side... be satisfied with the answers we do have thus far?"

I'd say this is more likely to happen when your side can provide the answers in a truly scientific way.

sadunkal said...

Noble,

"It would help if Sadun could prove an example of the leading HIV denialists ever admitting to being wrong."

Although I think that this can only be a part of the problem, and not the main issue, I sort of agree with you on that point. Working on it. I'm afraid the situation isn't any better with the orthodoxy either though. So I'd ask you people to work on that.

The reason I stuck to medical science instead of physics is an issue of prioritization by the way. But if you want to talk about it I'd welcome you to do it on my blog.

sadunkal said...

Moore,

I think you're confused about what your real goal should be. I hope that the main reason behind your desire to fight the "denialists" is because you want to end what you see as "denialism", and not some sort of sadistic pleasure you get from this "war". But just as fighting students is not the same as fighting ignorance, or fighting the criminals is not the same as fighting crime, fighting the "denialists" can never be the same as fighting "denialism". And with your obsession of the people you apparently intensely dislike you seem to have lost touch with what should have been your true aim.

For example you do actually seem to have convinced yourself, that "denialists with professional qualifications" "seek to tarnish the memory of the innocent dead and to create a climate in which more innocent people will die unnecessarily." I'm sure if you stop to think about these words you'd agree that it's totally insane. Yet you literally said it. It's a conspiracy theory so ridiculous that it can be described as pure lunacy.

That the most prominent "anti-denialists" can have such misconceptions about the people they're fighting against doesn't surprise me much. And I'm afraid that's where many of the problems source from. You shouldn't expect people to take you too seriously when you're clearly so misguided. I strongly recommend that you try to get yourself a bit closer to what's really going on here if you want to be able to effectively deal with the problematic situation at hand. Even Kalichman's pathetic book is more accurate than your world view.

Back to the fact that apparently none of you have any real clue as to how to put an end to the conflict, and your lack of awareness of this deficiency:

The uncertainties involved in the controversy may be totally illegitimate, but until you can provide convincing evidence or arguments to demonstrate that you're bound to be perceived as anti-scientists by a remarkable portion of the society.

Like it or not this is still a controversy related to science. Pure politicking and ignoring the relevance of science to the conflict will not only be inadequate, it will even cause more people to lose trust in you people.

Do you actually think that you're doing an effective job against "denialism" with your current "fighting denialists" kind of political "strategy"? Do you believe that if you continue this way there will be soon no trace of "denialism" left? If so then you people are much much more delusional than any "denialist" can ever be. You're losing the "war" against the spread of "denialism" in case it's not clear to you. You better start rethinking anti-denialism soon or things will only get worse... not just for you but for the whole society through you. This review of the recent book "Denialism" might give you a clue: "Battling the Skeptics"

And I don't consider the lack of time as an honest excuse for not addressing the Perth Group. I clarified why this excuse is dishonest in my earlier comments. Instead of trying to justify such ridiculous excuses on blogs like this, in the mean time you could've easily put together a relevant document and publicized it on any website you like. Alone in here are there 7 of you anti-denialists. If you consider that this has been the state for the past 15+ years the meaninglessness of such excuses becomes even clearer.

MacDonald said...

"Is it important to counter the wacky suggestions from the Perthies that HIV does not exist and has never been isolated? Personally, I don't think so"

Prof. Moore, I am surprised at this comment from you. If you don't think it is important to counter the Perth Group why did you and your friends feel the need to line up 8 international HIV experts, including Robert Gallo against them in the Parenzee trial, where you were personally involved in frantic behind-the-scenes manoeuvering?

Also, if you say very few people believe anything the retinkers say why have you and likeminded people held scores of meetings the last couple of years, discussing and implementing strategies for muzzling the press and discrediting dissidents, including the recent Harvard Symposium:

"Laura Bogart, associate professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital Boston, introduced the event, saying that denialism also includes odd beliefs, such as that drugs for HIV treatment actually cause AIDS. Denialism, she said, is gaining momentum because of the reach that its proponents have on the Internet"

Your friend Seth Kalichman was at the same symposium:

"Kalichman cited a 2007 report on 696 gay men in five U.S. cities that showed a surprisingly high acceptance of denialist beliefs. Forty-five percent, he said, agreed with the statement “HIV does not cause AIDS,” and 51 percent agreed with the statement “HIV drugs can harm you more than help you,”"

Prof Moore, It has been claimed for years that "Denialism", as you call it, is gaining momentum. How do you square this with your claims that only very few people are paying any attention to it?

Considering all the media access and correct science you and your fellow professional anti-denialists have, do you feel that your vain efforts to stop the momentum of AIDS denialism is a reflection on your poor strategy and communication skills?

Do you take it as a personal and professional failure?

Anonymous said...

Dear Snout,

I am writing to correct a horribly wrong statement in your enjoyable article, and to give you due credit:

"Claus Jensen has published his own critique [of 'the grossly incompetent Duesberg Medical Hypotheses paper'] and it is Not Kind, although much of it seems to be cribbed from Reckless Endangerment, albeit more elegantly written, and obviously from an HIV-doesn’t-exist perspective."

To the contrary, Snout, I think the critique was very kind, constructive and proper.

I believe I have read most if not all of your criticism of the D paper, but to suggest that I have cribbed it is Not Kind.

It is possible, you know, for two people to look at for instance Duesberg's "stable HIV prevalence" argument and the referenced fig. 1 and arrive at the same conclusions independently.

Kindly observe that I have in most cases taken the criticism several steps beyond your very astute observations and drawn a larger, more coherent picture. That is perhaps what you mean by saying it is "more elegantly written, and obviously from an HIV-doesn’t-exist perspective."

I do want to give you full credit for the point about projected HIV/AIDS mortality already having gone into the population growth estimates. You were ahead of me on that one.

As for the rest - and seeing that your critique of the Letter to Science is unreferenced, tho' surely inspired by my plodding efforts - perhaps the dispute can be settled amicably in the spirit of Samuel Taylor Coleridge:

"Tis mine and it is likewise yours;
But an if this will not do;
Let it be mine, good friend! for I
Am the poorer of the two."

Yours sincerely,

Claus Jensen

Dr. Duke said...

McDonald said "... [Moore said]
"Is it important to counter the wacky suggestions from the Perthies that HIV does not exist and has never been isolated? Personally, I don't think so"

Prof. Moore, I am surprised at this comment from you.
..."

Dr. Moore says it is not necessary, because it has been done already, thousands of times. Anyone can go the the NIH's AIDS Research and Reference Reagent Program" and see that thousands of isolates of HIV-1, HIV-2, EIAV, FIVs and SIVs have been isolated and fully characterized.

The statement "HIV does not exist" or "HIV has never been properly isolated" is equivalent to saying "Human does not exist" or "the Human has never been isolated". HIV is a class of viruses, like Human is a class of mammals.

If you want to speak about "isolates of HIV", you should speak about individuals. If the method used to isolate one HIV-1 M group international panel of isolates was not to your likeing, perhaps the method used for another is more acceptable?

Brown, B.K., Darden, J.M., Tovanabutra,S., Oblander, T., Frost, J., Sanders-Buell, E., de Sousa, M.S., Birx, D.L., McCutchan, F.E. and Polonis, V.R. Biologic and Genetic Characterization of a Panel of 60 Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Isolates, Representing Clades A, B, C, D, CRF01_AE, and CRF02_AG, for the Development and Assessment of Candidate Vaccines. J. Virology 79(10): 6089-6101, 2005.

No virus has ever been isolated by the fictional Perth Group protocol, and no virus ever will be isolated by that protocol, because it was specifically written to be impossible. It is the equivalent of saying that proof that the moon is not made of blue cheese can only be attained by flying there in a lighter-than-air craft such as a hot air balloon, because we all know that things heavier than air like rocks and sticks always come back down to Earth when you toss them up. It is an argument that is helpful for convincing preschoolers that maybe the moon is made of blue cheese, but we don't really expect that NASA is obligated to issue a "scientific" response.

Isolates of HIV-1, HIV-2, FIV and other lentiviruses are produced and worked with every day in labs all over the world. Airplanes and jests fly every day. No "official scientific response" to a preschool level tidbit of misinformation is needed from either NASA or the NIH.

jtdeshong said...

Sadunkal,
I stated:
"When will your side... be satisfied with the answers we do have thus far?"
And you countered:
"I'd say this is more likely to happen when your side can provide the answers in a truly scientific way."

Are you thus claiming that all the thousands of Peer Reviewed Articles to be found at PubMed are not written in a "truly scientific way"?

I hope other "lay" people will see such outlandish statements and requests which underscore what Moore, Snout, Noble et al are saying about the dissidents (I did not say denialists) and their ridiculous demands. Nothing satisfies you people. I repeat: NOTHING!
JTD
JTD

MacDonald said...

Dr. Duke,

You are clearly a second-rater even among Truthers, although I grant you that you have successfully cribbed the standard John Moore rant about the laws of gravity etc.

You've also performed the standard dodge of the question, which I am sure Moore would applaud in principle, but in doing so you stupidly swallowed the bait and actually attempted a scientific argument.

You've broken the AIDStruth rules of engagement and, as could be expected, immediately exposed yourself. This means Snout has to shut down this comments thread as soon he wakes up to avoid further embarrassments caused by your amateurish and imprudent behaviour.

But very well, let's try to walk you through this in the meantime:

1) You don't prove the isolation of any virus by claiming that the Pasteur standard is impossible to achieve.

2) You don't prove the isolation of any virus by citing titles of papers with the word "isolation" in them. That is not even remotely going to impress any curious pre-schooler.

So, Dr. Duke, surely you're an expert, so show some spirit here and explain to us, how did they isolate viruses before the age of molecular cloning, also referred to as "traditional methods" by the only epidemiologist at the Parenzee Trial?

"So when a new virus emerges, like SARS, you can't necessarily use, reliably, nucleic acid testing until you get the sequence of that new virus for the first time. So then in fact you are in a first identifier, you are required to use these more traditional methods of virus culture and microscopy and so on", that is, purification."

Dr. Duke, please explain to us the requirements Prof. Gordon Dwyer, senior medical virologist in the Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research based at the Westmead Hospital in Sydney, is referring to here.

Or you could go back to safe ground and crack some more UFO and Loch Ness monster jokes while we wait for Snout to come to your and Moore's rescue.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to ignore Sadun Kal's last, and future, comments on my posts, as he or she is obviously a silly person who says nothing of merit. But McDonald's comment is worth a response, because it's a classic example of how AIDS denialists ignore what is actually said, take sentences out of context, and write responses that are not based on the facts (the facts being what I actually said).

McDonald's post questions why I and others bother to fight the denialists when I have stated in my post that doing this is not necessary and a waste of time (or words to that effect). What I actually said is that it wasn't worth spending time on the AIDS Truth web site countering the Perthies' more absurd claims (such as that HIV has never been isolated and does not exist), as there are so few people (particularly journalists) that took those claims seriously. That's a very different thing from saying that it's not worth spending time fighting AIDS denialists. The Perthies are the silly arm of the AIDS denialism movement, but AIDS denialism in general is still dangerous enough to need countering.

McDonald also says that my post contradicts the effort many people from the side of rational science put into the Parenzee trial. Again, there is no contradiction, merely the twisting of words, and their taking out of context. The Parenzee trial was a criminal case to which qualified scientists were ethically obliged to provide input to the judicial process. Moreover, it was also a case where Parenzee's victims needed to see justice done. Once the denialists advising Parenzee had put their absurd ideas into the legal process, a response was required. That's not the same as saying that the Perthies' ideas don't, in my opinion, merit a response on a web site. Of course the Parenzee case was a crushing, humiliating defeat for the Perth Group, who lost even the respect of the RA group over it.

And, of course, there actually IS a rebuttal to the Perth Group posted on the AT web site; it's Judge Sulan's official verdict on the Parenzee case, which damns and destroys the claims made by Turner and EP-E, based on the expert testimony of professional scientists such as, but not limited to, Bob Gallo. Any rational person reading that legal verdict would find all that needs to be said about what the Perth Group is, and the unscientific and irrational nature of their claims.

So, as usual, AIDS denialists twist words and take them out of context to create a meaning that any rational person would not think was there. Perhaps McDonald helped with the editing of House of Numbers?

John Moore

MacDonald said...

Dear Prof. Moore,

I laud your attempt at a to-the-point, albeit very partial answer. You clearly recognised that mine was not a scientific question, and therefore that it was safe to answer it. Let that be a lesson to the foolish Dr. Duke.

Let us try to stay focused here:

You said very few people believe in any dissident position, and even fewer in the Perth group's position in particular. I showed you that your very scientific friend, Seth Kalichman, disagrees, and that almost all professional anti-denialists agree that "AIDS denialism" is steadily gaining momentum. You had no answer to that.

My point re. Parenzee was, if the Perth Group's arguments are so self-evidently absurd, why was a line-up of 8 international top experts necessary? Why couldn't you just rely on a couple of the locals and the homourable Judge Sulan's intelligence?

You're obviously a man fearlessly devoted to fairness and truth, Prof. Moore, so you wouldn't mind a little debate here about Sulan's Reasons, would you? No science.

I take it upon myself to show that his arguments are pitiful, unfair and self-contradictory, you try your usual arguments from consensus, authority hate, ad hominem, you know your usual repertoire, and we'll see who's the real denialist here, ok?

Dr. Duke said...

McDonald said "...
1) You don't prove the isolation of any virus by claiming that the Pasteur standard is impossible to achieve...."

There is no such thing as "the Pasteur Standard". The Perth group made up a fictional protocol, and claimed that it was some sort of standard. Do some research, and check it out.

Dr. Duke said...

McDonald. Can you tell us of one virus, any virus, that has ever been isolated by any protocol to your satisfaction? No virus has ever been isolated by the Perth Group's protocol. Do you believe the smallpox virus ever existed? Does the SARS coronavirus exist?

Dr. Duke said...

McDonald. Can you tell us of one virus, any virus, that has ever been isolated by any protocol to your satisfaction? No virus has ever been isolated by the Perth Group's protocol. Do you believe the smallpox virus ever existed? Does the SARS coronavirus exist?

Chris Noble said...

Perhaps McDonald can provide a single example of a virus that has been proven to exist using the "Pasteur Standard".

Dr. Duke said...

McDonald; are you aware that one of the first electron micrographs of HIV-1 M group subtype B virus, made in late September of 1983, was stated by Matt Gonda to be very clearly a lentivirus?

Dr. Gonda wrote to Mika Popovic on October 3, 1983 to tell him that the virus looked like a lentivirus. This later proved to be true.

Dr. Duke said...

McDonald said: "...
So, Dr. Duke, surely you're an expert, so show some spirit here and explain to us, how did they isolate viruses before the age of molecular cloning, also referred to as "traditional methods" by the only epidemiologist at the Parenzee Trial?
..."

The methods used to study viruses have been continually expanding since the first viruses were worked with by Edward Jenner and others in the late 1700s. In the early 1900s Peyton Rous won a Nobel prize for his work with tumor viruses which cause a lot of damage in the poultry industry. Likewise, the study of Tobacco Mosaic Viruses in the late 1800s and early 1900s made significant contributions to the early development of virological methods.

Without the study of bacteriophages, the viruses that infect bacteria, much of modern genetics could not have been worked out.

There is no single method for studying all viruses. The methods that work with the T4 bacteriophage are not all directly applicable to chicken sarcoma viruses.

Although electron microscopy is one useful tool, it is neither necessary nor sufficient for the study of any given virus. All lentiviruses look alike, it is not possible to tell if a sample is HIV-1 M group virus or Equine Infectious Anemia Virus, by electron microscopy. Serology and other methods are far superior, and molecular cloning and sequencing the viral genome are the "gold standard".

MacDonald said...

Dr. Duke,

I note that you disagree with the eminent virologist, Gordon Dwyer, that,

"in a first identifier, you are required to use these more traditional methods of virus culture and microscopy and so on", that is, purification."

Moving on, you claim that "molecular cloning and sequencing the viral genome are the "gold standard".

Was there no gold standard before this? If not, please give us an example of what you consider an acceptable standard of purification and isolation for retroviruses; and if such a standard is different than for other viruses, please explain why that is.

Anonymous said...

Dr Duke, If I were you, I wouldn't bother wasting your time responding to Andrew "McDonald" Maniotis. He's not remotely a scientist of the same caliber as you are (just look at his catastrophic career trajectory at UIC). This man is merely an obsessive prattler of the Perth Group's standard mantra that only he and half a dozen or so other people believe in. As various people have noted in this thread, there is no chance whatsoever that Maniotis would ever admit he is not merely wrong on the science, but foolishly wrong. He and the other Perthies have a "belief system" that relies on faith, not the scientific method. Treating him as if he were a real scientist is not justified either by the merits of what he says, or by what he has accomplished in his failed career. Maniotis could never accept that HIV and other similar viruses have been isolated over and over again, because doing that would destroy his belief system and, indeed, his raison d'etre among the denialists. You might as well use rational arguments to try to persuade a religious zealot that God does not exist.

Like Bauer, Turner and EP-E, Maniotis is a major asset to our side in the fight against AIDS denialism. If people like these did not exist, our task would be that much harder, but fortunately we can use them to expose the complete lack of any science underpinning denialism's lethal agenda.

John Moore

PS The "McDonald" handle arose as a result of some pathetic joke Maniotis attempted on some other Blog, and was derived from the nursery rhyme "Old McDonald had a farm, eieio......"

MacDonald said...

You see, Dr. Duke? Don't say I didn't warn you that you were way out of line by starting a scientific discussion.

That rebuke from Master John you've thoroughly earned, as far as I'm concerned. So thank HIV you're anonymous you ARE anonymous, aren't you? - and quit while you're still behind.

Chris Noble said...

It is highly educational to look at McDonald's rhetoric.

1) He complains that the "Pasteur Standard" is not used to prove the existence of HIV.

2) He cannot provide a single example of a virus that has been proven to exist using the fictional "Pasteur Standard".

Debating people like McDonald is futile. It is, however, worthwhile to point out their dishonest rhetoric.

MacDonald said...

Dr. Noble,

Prof. Moore, Dr. Duke - and yourself judging by your fine performance in the BMJ debate - are the experts here, thus I accept that you don't like the Pasteur Guidelines, and that you think they are fictional and impossible.

I accept you don't agree with the distinguished virologist, Prof. Gordon Dwyer and his insistence on "traditional methods", such as EM; you're obviously more expert than he is.

All I am asking you is what methods (details and reference please) apart from molecular cloning do you consider appropriate for establishing the existence and identity of an exogenous retrovirus?

Dr Duke has told me we now have a gold standard. Well, what was/were the previous gold standard(s)?

Anonymous said...

Once more, Andrew "McDonald" Maniotis twists my words and alters their context in the way that he and his fellow AIDS denialists so often do. I was in no way "rebuking" Dr Duke, as he will surely understand. There was nothing remotely pejorative, assertive or disciplinary in what I wrote.

The offering of an opinion that something is not worth doing is not the same as the giving of a "rebuke" to someone has done something. Clearly, Maniotis has as little an understanding of what words means as he does of the science of virology on which he pontificates so foolishly. Perhaps he thinks that etymology is the study of beetles? Or is it that he understands the meaning of words well enough to willfully twist them? Ignorance or malice, that is the question? Perhaps the RA group could be consulted on this important issue......

John Moore

Dr. Duke said...

MacDonald and other denialists are great at asking rhetorical questions and they suck at answering questions. They also suck at understanding what they have been told. I said nothing that contradicted what Dr. Dwyer said.

I asked if any virus had ever been isolated according to the fictional Perth Group protocol (the answer is no, because that protocol was specifically written to be impossible, as I explained.) and MacDonald of course will never attempt to name a virus he thinks might have met all the conditions of that protocol.

Besides refusing to answer any questions, the AIDS denialists are also great at telling lies. For example claiming that the people who continue to deny that HIV is the cause of AIDS are all one big happy family. Another example would be the claim that this isolation protocol that the Perth Group made up is "the Pasteur Method".

One question every good denialist should be interested in is: Has oxidative stress ever been isolated? Of course that is a silly question. But it gets to the point. It is not necessary to "isolate" an infectious agent or an environmental factor in order to prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that it is the cause of a pathological condition. We don't need to "isolate" cigarette smoking to know that it causes emphysema and lung cancer. We don't need to "isolate" alcohol consumption to know that it causes automobile accidents. It is VERY clear that AIDS is not caused by oxidative stress, or poppers, or any environmental factor. That was all worked out by traditional epidemiology between 1981 and 1983. It was clear by mid-1982 that an infectious agent was the cause. Identifying HIV-1 M group subtype B as the cause of North American and European AIDS cases happened AFTER this. Later the identification of other viruses such as HIV-1 M group subtypes C through G, and HIV-2 as additional causes of AIDS in humans, proved that the situation n North America was not unique.

The AIDS denialists like to argue about whether or not HIV exists, because it keeps them from considering how lame their ideas about what DOES cause AIDS are. It is clearly not oxidative stress, nor malnutrition, nor poppers, nor any other factor that they sometimes discuss. Although it is trivially simple for Peter Duesberg to claim that all homosexual men who got AIDS were promiscuous drug abusers, he actually has no evidence to support that lie. And there is abundant evidence to refute that lie. See for example:

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome in the United States: the first 1,000 cases.
Jaffe HW, Bregman DJ, Selik RM.
J Infect Dis. 1983 Aug;148(2):339-45.PMID: 6604115

Dr. Duke said...

MacDonld said: "...you don't like the Pasteur Guidelines, and that you think they are fictional and impossible. ..."

There are no "Pasteur Guidelines". No such thing exists. The Perth Group, who have never worked with viruses of any kind, simply invented something and claimed that it was endorsed by the Pasteur institute or something.

I don't "think" they are fictional and impossible, I know they are, and I challenge you or anyone else to come up with some evidence (not just clever words but evidence) that I am wrong.

Anonymous said...

Speaking as a professional scientist with considerable experience in retrovirology (tenured Professor, over 200 peer-reviewed papers, well over half of them on HIV), I have NEVER previously heard of the "Pasteur guidelines" that Maniotis-McDonald advises must be used for the isolation of retroviruses like HIV. In case something seminal had passed me by in my middle-age, I just Googled the terms "Pasteur guidelines" and "Pasteur guidelines virology". Now, I confess to not looking beyond the first three pages (where anything important is usually to be found in Google searches), but within those 6 pages (2 x 3), there was nothing remotely relevant to what McDonald-Maniotis claims exists. I did however find the two interesting mentions of the phrase "Pasteur guidelines" that I append at the foot of this post. Perhaps those are what McDonald-Maniotis is referring to? Or perhaps he just made the phrase up, to add the perception of gravitas and the illusion of a scientific underpinning to the semi-random concoction of words he posts on these pages. And even if there actually IS such a thing as the "Pasteur guidelines" for isolating retroviruses, what of it? There's some kind of 'law' that everyone must follow, else their work is scientifically invalid? I think not..........

This red-herring is just another of the Perthies' delusions that displays their lack of understanding of the real world of professional science, particularly retrovirology.

John Moore

RESULTS OF GOOGLE SEARCH

PASTEUR - Finding the Right Project and Mentor
Remember that PASTEUR faculty must review your proposal to verify the scope and nature of your proposed project meet PASTEUR guidelines. ...
www.pasteur.harvard.edu/index.php?option=com...task...

Attenuation of Virulence by Disruption of the Mycobacterium ...
Mice were maintained according to the Institut Pasteur guidelines for laboratory animal husbandry. Bone marrow-derived macrophages were isolated from the ...
www.sciencemag.org › Science Magazine › 23 October 1998 -

Anonymous said...

If, instead, one Googles the actual words Maniotis-McDonald uses "Pasteur standard" and adds "Virology" to focus the search, one comes up with these most interesting and germane hits at and near the top. Perhaps Maniotis-McDonald could learn much of value from reading them......

John Moore

RESULTS OF GOOGLE SEARCH (2)

Comparison of the Sanofi Diagnostics Pasteur Chlamydia Microplate ...
Virology Section, Department of Clinical Microbiology, .... The Sanofi Diagnostics Pasteur Chlamydia. Microplate EIA standard assay has the potential to ...
jmm.sgmjournals.org/cgi/reprint/46/8/711.pdf

[PDF]
HIV/AIDS
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View
It has been developed by the Institut Pasteur's. Molecular Virology and ... Triple therapy is the standard treat- ment for patients with HIV/AIDS ...
www.pasteurfoundation.org/pdf/IP%20HIV%20Brochure.pdf

Chris Noble said...

It is painfully obvious that McDonald is fully aware that no virus has ever been proven to exist using the mythical "Pasteur Standards".

The Perth Group invented these standards/rules/guidelines for the express purpose of finding a rhetorical justification for ignoring the evidence that HIV exists.

We would still be debating the existence of Jupiter's moons, electrons, and bacteria if science worked with these sort of dogmatic rules for proving the existence of objects.

MacDonald said...

Dear Huffers and Puffers,

I have already accepted on your authority that it is impossible to isolate any virus by the (fictional)Pasteur Rules.

Try to get over it.

Now to this simple and much repeated request:

"All I am asking you is what methods (details and reference please) apart from molecular cloning do you consider appropriate for establishing the existence and identity of an exogenous retrovirus?

Dr Duke has told me we now have a gold standard. Well, what was/were the previous gold standard(s)?

Dr. Duke said...

MacDondald said: "...
Now to this simple and much repeated request:
..."

It is not my job, nor that of anyone else, to teach you virology. There are textbooks and universities for that. The short answer is that before molecular cloning there was never any single "gold standard".

If you would stop deluding yourself that you are a genius who knows it all, and take the time to read some papers, such as those written by Peyton Rous and his coworkers, or those written about the other strains of Avian Sarcoma Viruses (the Rous Sarcoma Virus is just one of dozens of viruses that have caused hundreds of millions of dollars of damage in the poultry industry), you would begin to get an idea of how retroviruses were and are studied.

As late as the late 1970s the standards (notice the plural, there was not single standard) of retroviral isolation were not sufficient for separating the replication-defective highly oncogenic retroviruses, from their helper viruses. See for example:

Structure of 50 to 70S RNA from Moloney sarcoma viruses.
Maisel J, Bender W, Hu S, Duesberg PH, Davidson N.
J Virol. 1978 Jan;25(1):384-94.
PMID: 202749

Large-volume purification of tumor viruses by use of zonal centrifuges.
Toplin I, Sottong P.
Appl Microbiol. 1972 May;23(5):1010-4.
PMID: 4113253


In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the fact that the highly oncogenic viruses were often defective because they had transduced a cellular oncogene and in doing so lost some of their own genome needed for replication, was discovered. See for example:

Spleen focus-forming Friend virus: identification of genomic RNA and its relationship to helper virus RNA.
Evans LH, Duesberg PH, Troxler DH, Scolnick EM.
J Virol. 1979 Jul;31(1):133-46.
PMID: 501795

Characterization of the env gene in avian oncoviruses by heteroduplex mapping.
Hu SF, Lai MM, Vogt PK.
J Virol. 1978 Sep;27(3):667-76.
PMID: 212588

Heteroduplex analysis of the RNA of clone 3 Moloney murine sarcoma virus.
Chien YH, Verma IM, Duesberg PH, Davidson N.
J Virol. 1979 Dec;32(3):1028-32.
PMID: 229257


Transforming genes of retroviruses: definition, specificity, and relation to cellular DNA.
Duesberg PH, Bister K.
Haematol Blood Transfus. 1981;26:383-96.
PMID: 6274750

Not all highly oncogenic retroviruses are defective and in need of a helper virus for replication. But the ones that are, posed a problem regarding isolation of the two viruses (and the hybrid that carries one genome of each, which is the third component of all such virus pairs), which was not solved until cloning into Lambda phages made it possible.
See for example:

Molecular cloning and characterization of avian sarcoma virus UR2 and comparison of its transforming sequence with those of other avian sarcoma viruses.
Neckameyer WS, Wang LH.
J Virol. 1984 Jun;50(3):914-21.
PMID: 6328022


Avian oncovirus MH2: molecular cloning of proviral DNA and structural analysis of viral RNA and protein.
Jansen HW, Patschinsky T, Bister K.
J Virol. 1983 Oct;48(1):61-73.
PMID: 6310159

v-ras genes from Harvey and BALB murine sarcoma viruses can act as initiators of two-stage mouse skin carcinogenesis.
Brown K, Quintanilla M, Ramsden M, Kerr IB, Young S, Balmain A.
Cell. 1986 Aug 1;46(3):447-56.
PMID: 3015415

Dr. Duke said...

MacDonald said: "...I have already accepted on your authority that it is impossible to isolate any virus by the (fictional)Pasteur Rules. ..."

There is no "central authority" on this or any other biological topic. I am not sure why you were deluded into thinking that an X-Ray technician and person with a BS degree in physics would be experts on this subject. It is trivially simple, as John Moore demonstrated, to do a GOOGLE search or a PubMed search and find out that they are lying about "rules of isolation" and many other things.

MacDonald said...

Dr. Duke,

You and others here have assured me that it is impossible to isolate any virus according to the
rules/guidelines discussed at the Pasteur Institute in 1973.

Are you competent to make such a statement, yes or no?

You have not told me why it is a priori impossible to comply with these rules, so to accept it, I also have to accept
unquestioningly your authority in the matter, and by extension the authority of John Moore, since he has sworn a bloody oath to correct any scientific misinformation, and he lauds your qualities as a scientist.

You have also overridden and disregarded what Prof. Gordon Dwyer, the virologist, who testified at the Parenzee trial, says about the importance of traditional methods of virus isolation, claimed that they not important at all and that molecular cloning is the gold standard.

Are you or are you not competent to make these judgments? John Moore has not corrected you, and HIV hasn't smitten him from above, so I shall assume you are more competent than Prof Dwyer.

You have now told me there were no gold standard(s) of virus isolation before molecular cloning arrived. none of your compadres have objected, and Robin Weiss has made the exact same argument, so I accept it on highest authority.

Prof. Dwyer, seems to think that there are fundamental rules of virus isolation that need to be followed when you are in a "first identifier" situation.

Those rules, you claim are, nothing like the Pasteur - we can call them the Perth Rules if it that makes you feel easier.

So what I am asking you (because Prof. Moore won't even answer these very simple and neutral questions for fear of. . . of what?)what are those fundamental rules or criteria that must be fulfilled in order to claim isolation and identification of a novel retrovirus? To make your task easier, I post the impossible Perth Rules below, then you can make amendments where you feel it's necessary:

"The rules for isolation of a retrovirus were thoroughly discussed at the Pasteur Institute, Paris, in 1973, and are the logical minimum requirements for establishing the independent existence of HIV.

They are:

1.Culture of putatively infected tissue.

2. Purification of specimens by density gradient ultracentrifugation.

3. Electron micrographs of particles exhibiting the morphological characteristics and dimensions (100-120 nm) of retroviral particles at the sucrose (or percoll) density of 1.16 gm/ml and containing nothing else, not even particles of other morphologies or dimensions.

4. Proof that the particles contain reverse transcriptase.

5. Analysis of the particles' proteins and RNA and proof that these are unique.

6. Proof that 1-5 are a property only of putatively infected tissues and can not be induced in control cultures. These are identical cultures, that is, tissues obtained from matched, unhealthy subjects and cultured under identical conditions differing only in that they are not putatively infected with a retrovirus."

7. Proof that the particles are infectious, that is when PURE particles are introduced into an uninfected culture or animal, the identical particle is obtained as shown by repeating steps 1-5.

Dr. Duke said...

MacDonald wrote: "...
"The rules for isolation of a retrovirus were thoroughly discussed at the Pasteur Institute, Paris, in 1973..."

The Perth Group makes this claim, but I have never seen any documentation of that meeting, nor evidence that these rules were adopted by anyone.

A few of those rules could in theory be completed for some retroviruses, but the complete set of 6 rules could not be accomplished for most retroviruses. In particular, the rule number 3 specifying the size and morphology rules out all lentiviruses. Lentiviruses are pleomorphic, so even a pure culture produces particles of varying shapes and sizes.

See for example:

Atomic force microscopy investigation of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and HIV-infected lymphocytes.
Kuznetsov YG, Victoria JG, Robinson WE Jr, McPherson A.
J Virol. 2003 Nov;77(22):11896-909.
PMID: 14581526

Electron tomography analysis of envelope glycoprotein trimers on HIV and simian immunodeficiency virus virions.
Zhu P, Chertova E, Bess J Jr, Lifson JD, Arthur LO, Liu J, Taylor KA, Roux KH.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Dec 23;100(26):15812-7. Epub 2003 Dec 10.
PMID: 14668432

Spatial visualization of progressive states of maturing lentivirus.
Nilsson A, Lunqvist P, Löve A, Torfason E, Gelderblom HR, Höglund S.
Vet Microbiol. 1992 Nov;33(1-4):333-40.
PMID: 1336244

Characterization of highly purified, inactivated HIV-1 particles isolated by anion exchange chromatography.
Richieri SP, Bartholomew R, Aloia RC, Savary J, Gore R, Holt J, Ferre F, Musil R, Tian HR, Trauger R, Lowry P, Jensen F, Carlo DJ, Maigetter RZ, Prior CP.
Vaccine. 1998 Jan-Feb;16(2-3):119-29.PMID: 9607019

Dr. Duke said...

Oops, I meant 7 rules. Sorry for the typo.

Blogs, internet chat rooms, web sites and other places should not be the place to look for "authorities" on any subject. There is a place, often referred to as "The Real World" where you can find the ultimate answers to questions like this. The real world has things like laboratories, hospital wards full of AIDS patients (before HAART became available they were common in the USA and Europe, unfortunately they can still be found in much of the underdeveloped world today), and doctors who treat AIDS patients. It also contains reagent repositories, where infectious molecular clones of HIV-1 and other viruses can be obtained for use in comparison to isolates obtained directly from patient blood or lymph nodes.

Chris Noble said...

You have not told me why it is a priori impossible to comply with these rules,...

The very papers that the perthies cite as references for these rules also state that it is impossible to separate cellular debris from retroviral particles using these methods.

If you actually go back and read papers from before 1973 you will find that a number of different protocols were used to identify novel retroviruses.

The Perthies and extra criteria such as 100% pure, nothing else other than retroviral particles, all the same size etc that make their criteria impossible to fulfil. In the version they gave at Mbekis' Presidential Panel (Is Rasnick still claiming that this is still ongoing?) they also had a criteria about all RNA varying by less than 1%.

It is also worth pointing out that the Friend virus complex isolated by Charlotte Friend and electron micrographed by Etienne de Harven does not fulfil the Perth Rules.

http://www.tig.org.za/Friend.pdf

Why can't the Perth Group come up with a single example of a retrovirus that has been proven to exist using their rules?

Chris Noble said...

While the Perth Group still resolutely refuse to acknowledge the existence of HIV science moves forward and HIV based gene therapy vectors are now being used to cure diseases.

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/326/5954/818

Dr. Duke said...

"Gordon Dwyer" of Westmead Hospital has never been isolated...

However, there is a Dominic Edmund Dwyer, who is a professor of immunology and infectious diseases at Westmead Hospital. Perhaps this is the person that MacDonald is thinking to be the world's foremost authority on retroviral isolation.

If you think anything I have said here contradicts anything he ever said, we should contact him, and get it straightened out. I never said that sucrose gradients, microscopy and other methods were totally useless or anything like that, they were in fact used, and are still used, in the study of HIV and every other retrovirus. I only said that the rules invented by the Perth Group were written specifically to make them impossible to follow to the letter. No virus has ever been isolated by exactly those rules. HIV-1, HIV-2 and hundreds of other viruses have been isolated and fully characterized using essentially those 7 steps, but not EXACTLY those 7 steps.

Chris Noble said...

This is what the Perth Group were claiming were the "rules" at the Presidential Panel.

To claim the discovery of a new retrovirus one must:

1)Present evidence that in cultures containing the putative infected tissue, retrovirus-like particles can be detected with the electron microscope.

2)Obtain the particles separate (isolated) from any other biological components.

3)Show that all particles are identical and possess:
a) all the morphological characteristics of retroviruses;
b) the enzyme reverse transcriptase;
c) RNA and not DNA.

4)Prove that the difference between the RNA obtained from particles originating from different cultures is about the same as the differences between the RNAs of other RNA viruses. Such proof is absolutely necessary because small genomic variations lead to large phenotypic variations. For example, the difference between the human and the chimpanzee genomes is no more than 2 per cent while even 1% sequence differences in RNA viruses are considered to represent "extreme variability"3.

5)Show that the particles proteins are unique and are coded by the particles RNA.

6)Prove that the particles are infectious.

It should be obvious that the perth Group are simply inventing the ironclad rules of retroviral isolation. They themselves keep on changing them with completely different (and bogus) criteria such as number 4 in this incarnation of the "rules".

Anonymous said...

This thread has become increasingly silly. Dr Duke and Chris Noble are absolutely correct in everything they have said in the last day or so about the isolation of HIV. Maniotis-McDonald is the living embodiment of the aphorism that "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing". He has never worked with retroviruses and focuses on trivia. As to the Pasteur Rules (sic), which date back, allegedly, to 1970 (only 3 years after reverse transcriptase was first discovered), they are certainly not "rules" that must be followed (they are, at most, guidelines). Having said that, despite their being 36 years out of date, the 7 alleged "rules" are not illogical (although they would doubtless be revised should there be a need to actually set "rules" nowadays). Moreover, every one of the criteria within them has been "passed" by HIV (with the obvious exception that, on ethical grounds, "pure" HIV has not been used to infect a human, with recovery of the same virus from the infected person). Most isolations of HIV don't involve density gradient purification of virus particles (it's not necessary for routine isolations). But HIV particles most certainly have been gradient purified (indeed, it was while purifying a large amount of HIV at the NCI in the late 1980s that an unfortunate lab worker became accidentally HIV infected and then progressed to AIDS over the next several years). Of course Maniotis-McDonald always falls back on the point that purified HIV is "not pure", because cellular proteins are also present. To which the answer from any proper retrovirologist is a big, so what? Retroviral membranes ARE cell membranes; it's where the virus buds. Larry Arthur's group has characterized both the virally-encoded and cell-derived protein (and cellular lipid) components of the HIV membrane in great detail.

All this discussion about the isolation of HIV is a nonsense. It's exactly the same material that has been posted on multiple Blogs over many years. The likes of Maniotis-McDonald don't listen, because their position is not a scientific one, it is an act of faith and belief. This man could no more acknowledge that Dr Duke and Chris Noble are right than the Pope could admit to the merits of atheism.

John Moore

Anonymous said...

Re "The Perth Rules" from the 2001 President's Commission.

4)Prove that the difference between the RNA obtained from particles originating from different cultures is about the same as the differences between the RNAs of other RNA viruses. Such proof is absolutely necessary because small genomic variations lead to large phenotypic variations. For example, the difference between the human and the chimpanzee genomes is no more than 2 per cent while even 1% sequence differences in RNA viruses are considered to represent "extreme variability"3.

This is an unbelievably foolish, ill-devised "rule" that shames the people who wrote it for their ignorance of retrovirology. It is also a "set-up". It was known LONG before the 2001 President's Commission that the RT enzyme of HIV (and the other lentiviruses) is more error-prone than those of the "traditional" retroviruses, such as HTLV, MuLV, RSV etc. As a result, HIV genomes can vary by well in excess of 10% while retaining the full properties and phenotypes of HIV (go read reviews by, for example, Bette Korber, Jim Mullins, Beatrice Hahn, Steve Wolinsky, Francine McCutchan, Simon Wain-Hobson and other HIV geneticists).

Clearly, that "rule" was written quite deliberately to EXCLUDE HIV (and other lentiviruses), which is scientifically inappropriate as well as intellectually dishonest. But, of course, that's exactly what one expects from the AIDS denialists who sat on that Commission. It's the same dishonesty as applies when Duesberg states how HIV should behave in cell culture based on what he used to observe when working with simple retroviruses like MuLV. These viruses are in different families. Saying one should be exactly like the other is akin to equating the behavior of a cat to that of a caribou. Both are animals with four legs and a head, but any biologist would be able to tell the difference between them and wouldn't draw absurd conclusions about one from observing only the other.

I'll not be posting on this thread again, as there's simply no point. The real scientists on it already know what I am saying. And Maniotis-McDonald is merely a fool, at best.

John Moore

Chris Noble said...

Many other RNA viruses such as influenzavirus and poliovirus also fail the Perth Group's "absolutely necessary" rule number 4.

You would think that the Perthies would at least have checked the sequences of other RNA viruses before they invented this rule.

Perhaps they simply don't understand what they read. One of the references that they cite in support of this rule states "..., well over half of the nucleotide positions in many RNA virus genomes can be substituted during their evolution without loss of virus viability."

PS I don't think that this McDonald is Maniotis.

MacDonald said...

I appreciate that both Dr. Duke and Prof. Moore have come out to educate us - although the last-mentioned got so upset that he left and slammed the door.let's hope he'll be back. My own teenage daughter usually is.

Dr Duke, you took issue with Rule 3:

"the rule number 3 specifying the size and morphology rules out all lentiviruses. Lentiviruses are pleomorphic, so even a pure culture produces particles of varying shapes and sizes."

I think you are being a little pessimistic here, Dr.Duke. I am sure that some pleomorphism is acceptable in a pure culture. Prof. Moore's colleagues have occasionally managed some fairly homogenous molecular clones. Why should it be different for the real thing?

There's of course a limit to size. Lentiviruses are said to be between 80-100nm. Retroviruses are said to be approx. the same size, maybe up to up to 120nm. Mature HIV virions are now said to be, what, 132- 146nm?

So, ok, we will rewrite Guideline 3, along with the size requirements for lenti and retroviruses. Dr. Duke, to be fair, how much variation in shape and size (and weight?) do you think we should allow?

Prof Moore, maybe we could get an authoritative answer from you, since the guidelines we are examining here have little to do with the point about differences in RNA between various isolates that upset you so?

If not, maybe we could prevail on you to provide a few references for gradient purification of HIV with EMs. And do correct me if I am mistaken, but wasn't it the case that the unfortunate lab worker you are referring to had the accident with a pure, molecularly cloned strain of HIV, rather than simply purified HIV, as you claim?

Dr. Duke said...

MacDonald said:
"...
I think you are being a little pessimistic here, Dr.Duke. I am sure that some pleomorphism is acceptable in a pure culture. Prof. Moore's colleagues have occasionally managed some fairly homogenous molecular clones. Why should it be different for the real thing?
..."

Infectious molecular clones of HIV-1, HIV-2 and other lentiviruses are "the real thing".

"...
Dr. Duke, to be fair, how much variation in shape and size (and weight?) do you think we should allow?
..."

That is sort of like saying that all dogs should weigh 85 lbs, how much should we allow them to weigh. New breeds can be made at any time, from tiny to large, and we can tell they are dogs without disqualifying them by some weight criteria.

Serology, genetic sequence, pathology, and dozens of other criteria are FAR more relevant to viral classification and characterization, than size.

"...
And do correct me if I am mistaken, but wasn't it the case that the unfortunate lab worker you are referring to had the accident with a pure, molecularly cloned strain of HIV, rather than simply purified HIV, as you claim?
..."

What difference does it make to you, if the worker was infected with a clone or an uncloned strain or isolate of HIV-1? So far, we have almost no evidence that any one strain or isolate of HIV-1 is any more or less pathogenic than any other. There were the group of people, known as the "Sidney blood bank cohort" who were all infected with the same unit of HIV-seropositive blood carrying a virus with a defective nef gene. That cohort progressed to AIDS more slowly that the average HIV-infected cohort, and for a while it was hoped that defective nef had renedered the virus nonpathogenic. But eventually CD4 declined and AIDS defining opportunistic pathogens infected some of the people in this cohort.

These, and thousand of other documented cases, are just some of the solid proof that HIV-1 and HIV-2 do in fact cause AIDS in humans.

Dr. Duke said...

MacDonald wrote:
"...
maybe we could prevail on you to provide a few references for gradient purification of HIV with EMs.
..."

Did you read any of the papers we have already referenced?

Did you read any of Dr. Gallo's papers, or those of Jay Levy or Luc Montagnier's groups?

Or did you just assume that the Perth Group would not lie about this sort of thing?

The 1983 paper by Montagnier's group shows HIV directly in the patient's cells, and has sucrose gradient purified virus, but does not show a photo of the sucrose gradient enriched virus.

Isolation of a T-lymphotropic retrovirus from a patient at risk for acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). 1983.
Barré-Sinoussi F, Chermann JC, Rey F, Nugeyre MT, Chamaret S, Gruest J, Dauguet C, Axler-Blin C, Vézinet-Brun F, Rouzioux C, Rozenbaum W, Montagnier L.
Rev Invest Clin. 2004 Mar-Apr;56(2):126-9.
PMID: 15378805

or

Isolation of a new retrovirus in a patient at risk for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
Chermann JC, Barré-Sinoussi F, Dauguet C, Brun-Vezinet F, Rouzioux C, Rozenbaum W, Montagnier L.
Antibiot Chemother. 1983;32:48-53.
PMID: 6205626

A bit later, dozens more were done, for example:

Isolation of human T-lymphotropic retrovirus (LAV) from Zairian married couple, one with AIDS, one with prodromes.
Ellrodt A, Barre-Sinoussi F, Le Bras P, Nugeyre MT, Palazzo L, Rey F, Brun-Vezinet F, Rouzioux C, Segond P, Caquet R, et al.
Lancet. 1984 Jun 23;1(8391):1383-5.
PMID: 6145837

Human T-cell leukemia virus in lymphocytes of two hemophiliacs with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
Palmer EL, Ramsey RB, Feorino PF, Harrison AK, Cabradilla C, Francis DP, Poon MC, Evatt BL.
Ann Intern Med. 1984 Sep;101(3):293-7.
PMID: 6205622

Isolation of lymphocytopathic retroviruses from San Francisco patients with AIDS.
Levy JA, Hoffman AD, Kramer SM, Landis JA, Shimabukuro JM, Oshiro LS.
Science. 1984 Aug 24;225(4664):840-2.
PMID: 6206563

87.

Prevalence of AIDS-associated retrovirus and antibodies among male homosexuals at risk for AIDS in Greenwich Village.
Casareale D, Dewhurst S, Sonnabend J, Sinangil F, Purtilo DT, Volsky DJ.
AIDS Res. 1984-1985;1(6):407-21.
PMID: 6085926

A simple procedure for obtaining large amounts of HIV antigens for serodiagnostic purposes.
Ivo-dos-Santos J, Galvão-Castro B.
Bull Pan Am Health Organ. 1989;23(1-2):81-5.
PMID: 2655795

Detection of human immunodeficiency virus in cell-free seminal fluid.
Borzy MS, Connell RS, Kiessling AA.
J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 1988;1(5):419-24.
PMID: 2464685

etc...

Like the 1983 Barre-Sinoussi paper, not all of them have photos of the sucrose gradient enriched material. Because all lentiviruses look alike, serology and other methods of determining which virus was present, are more important than looking at pictures of the virus.

MacDonald said...

Dr. Duke, you say:

"Serology, genetic sequence, pathology, and dozens of other criteria are FAR more relevant to viral classification and characterization, than size".

I'm sure all these things are relevant, but I'll have to say you keep impressing me with your authority in this area. First you corrected Prof. Dwyer of Westmead, now it's an entire research group, including Dr. Gelderblom:

Gentile M, Adrian T, Scheidler A, Ewald M, Dianzani F, Pauli G, Gelderblom HR.

The size of a virion is a key criterion to its proper classification and may have implications in many practical aspects.

Dr. Duke, you say:

What difference does it make to you, if the worker was infected with a clone or an uncloned strain or isolate of HIV-1? So far, we have almost no evidence that any one strain or isolate of HIV-1 is any more or less pathogenic than any other?

Dr. Duke, you seem to have serious short-term memory problems. I wasn't asking about pathogenicity. I was asking about density gradient purification of virus without the benefit of having cloned them first. Otherwise there really wouldn't be a point, would there?

Dr. Duke said...

MacDonald said:
"...
I was asking about density gradient purification of virus without the benefit of having cloned them first.
..."

OK. I don't quite understand why you think that is critical, but you'll probably try to explain that to me.

To get enough viruses to produce a nice band of virus particles in a sucrose gradient, you need to start with about a liter of serum. It is not considered ethical to take a liter of serum from an AIDS patient, or anyone else who is sick.

So viruses are usually cultured a bit at least, if not cloned, before enough are produced for a good sucrose density gradient preparation. I guess you don't care about viruses in actual patient tissues, such as:

HTLV-III/LAV-like retrovirus particles in the brains of patients with AIDS encephalopathy.
Epstein LG, Sharer LR, Cho ES, Myenhofer M, Navia B, Price RW.
AIDS Res. 1984-1985;1(6):447-54.
PMID: 6100783

Viral type particles in the germinal centers during a lymphadenopathic syndrome related to AIDS
Le Tourneau A, Audouin J, Aubert JP, Denis J, Baufine-Ducrocq H, Duterque M, Diebold J.
Ann Pathol. 1985;5(2):137-42.
PMID: 2931088

Morphology of the retroviruses associated with AIDS and SAIDS.
Lecatsas G, Gravell M, Sever JL.
Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1984 Dec;177(3):495-8.
PMID: 6096879

But really, all of this is just a distraction, to keep us from focussing on the real issue of whether or not the lentiviruses are pathogenic. Do they cause immune deficiency in humans, cats, and other mammals? Looking at photographs can't tell us that.

Back in the "good old days" people figured out that Rous Sarcoma virus and related strains of avian sarcoma viruses were causing cancer in chickens. They did not have electron microscopes or cloning available to them. They did have viral culture and serology.

Same for Polio virus and many others.

I know many AIDS denialists who like to claim that no viruses exist. Some even claim that bacteria are never pathogenic, that all disease is purely a function of the person. But I don't get the sense that you, MacDonald, are quite that deluded.

Dr. Duke said...

MacDonald wrote:

"...
First you corrected Prof. Dwyer of Westmead, now it's an entire research group, including Dr. Gelderblom:

Gentile M, Adrian T, Scheidler A, Ewald M, Dianzani F, Pauli G, Gelderblom HR.

The size of a virion is a key criterion to its proper classification and may have implications in many practical aspects.
..."

No. This is the second time I have told you: I did not contradict anything said by Dr. Dwyer. If you think I did contradict him, spell it out, and we can bring him in on the clarification.

Likewise, I have not contradicted Dr. Gelderblom or any other virologist. Dr. Gelderblom does not say that some tight range of size, say 115 to 135 nanometers in diameter is the critical determinant for classifying a virus. Size does matter to some degree. If you show me a mammal the size of a whale and claim it is a purebred dog, it would be extraordinary for sure. Likewise, a retrovirus the size of a herpesvirus would be extraordinary. But we are talking about orders of magnitude difference in size, not just 115 nanometers vs 150 nanometers.

I only said that size was not the most important factor. Dr. Gelderblom does not contradict this.

Chris Noble said...

First you corrected Prof. Dwyer of Westmead, now it's an entire research group, including Dr. Gelderblom:

Is there a name for this rhetorical trick?

"So, you disagree with Einstein/Darwin/Pasteur"

McDonald is quite prepared to ignore 99.99% of what Dwyer and Gelderblom say about HIV. It is ironic/hypocritical when he then tries to manufacture a controversy/disagreement between Dr Duke and these other scientists.

Maybe it could be called the Leung Gambit although it existed long before Leung based an entire film around it.

Anonymous said...

This article on climate change may be of interest in its own right, but note also the journalist's routine use of the terms denialist or denier to describe those who oppose the science of climate change. The AIDS denialists don't like us using those terms, but tough.......

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6931598.ece

These sentences are completely interchangeable into our world......

"There is, I saw, a fine line between the hard-head and the bone-head. The denialist hard-head swaggers his way through life hearing only what he wants to hear......."

"But, as I have often been told, those statements are as true as any scientific statements can be, and nobody — I repeat, nobody — has been able to refute this. In short, to deny any of these statements is to put yourself beyond the bounds of rational discourse."

Macdonald said...

Dr. Duke,

I asked for some kind of size criteria here. You answer that you wouldn't call a dog a whale.

Can you give me some other examples of lentiviruses that typically measure 132-146nm?

Herpes viruses are said to be 180-200. If I were to claim that I had isolated HIV particles measuring 182nm or even 240nm, would that be too much for you to accept?

Dr. Duke said...

MacDonald said:
"...
I asked for some kind of size criteria here. You answer that you wouldn't call a dog a whale.
..."

That's not exactly what I said. I said that if you had a mammal the size of a whale and claimed it was a purebread dog, I would find it extraordinary. You'd have to show me a lot of other evidence to prove to me that it was indeed a dog.


"...
Can you give me some other examples of lentiviruses that typically measure 132-146nm?
..."

No.

"..
Herpes viruses are said to be 180-200. If I were to claim that I had isolated HIV particles measuring 182nm or even 240nm, would that be too much for you to accept?
..."

My use of Herpesvirus for an example of a very large virus was an error on my part. Indeed Herpesviruses are only 100 to 200 nanometers in diameter despite having a genome over 10 times larger than a lentivirus genome.

http://www.virology.net/Big_Virology/BVDNAherpes.html

Thanks for correcting me on that.

The major point, is that looking at pictures of viruses does not tell us much. You can't tell EIAV from FIV or HIV by electron microscopy. I also doubt you can tell HSV-1 from KHSV or CMV by electron microscopy. Serological methods and other methods (such as sequencing the virus genome) are FAR more accurate for determining exactly what virus you have in a sample.

We sort of covered that earlier, but maybe you were not paying attention, or I did not explain it well. The papers that the Perth Group used to cite as demonstrating the best method of virus isolation, the 1973 Toplin paper and the 1973 Sinoussi paper, were actually showing that density gradient centrifugation and electron microscopy were NOT good enough to separate and characterize the oncovirus plus helper virus mixtures they were working with.

It was only a few years later, in the late 1970s and early to mid 1980s that Peter Duesberg and many other virologists succeeded in identifying the components of these oncovirus plus helper virus mixtures.

Chris Noble said...

All of this talk about rules for isolation is a total red herring designed purely to avoid confronting the evidence that HIV exists. It is a silly, silly game that Macdonald seems determined to play.

You have been provided with numerous references that provide nice electron micrographs and other evidence that are collectively are as strong if not stronger than the evidence for any other virus.

What are the criteria for demonstrating the existence of a planet? Science would be nice and simple if there were nice simple sets of rules to follow. We would also never discover anything new. What counts is evidence. There are always multiple types of evidence that can be used at different times.

The only people to ever talk about "rules for retroviral isolation" are people who are determined to deny the existence of a single retrovirus HIV.

Again it is worth pointing out that the Perth Group have no experience in retrovirology. I doubt that they even knew what a retrovirus was before 1984. And, yet they have the arrogance to dictate the "rules for retroviral isolation".

Here is yet another set of Perth Group rules.

For this, it is absolutely necessary to have proof for at least the following:

1.Isolation of particles from cultures containing tissue from AIDS patients. The particles should be separated from everything else. That is, they must be pure and have all the morphological characteristics of retroviruses.

2.All the particles are similar; that is, they have the same morphology and constituents.

3.The particles contain RNA and not DNA. Because small genetic differences lead to significant phenotypic differences (the difference between the human and chimpanzees is less than 2%), the RNA in particles isolated from different AIDS patients should vary by no more than the RNAs from other RNA viruses.

4.The particles are infectious.

5.Similar particles cannot be isolated from cultures under the same conditions containing tissue from non-AIDS patients but nonetheless sick people. For example, individuals with autoimmune diseases or those treated with chemotherapeutic agents.

6.The particles' proteins are coded by the particles' RNA.

7.The proteins used as antigens in the antibody tests and the RNA (cDNA) for genomic studies originate from the pure retroviral particles.

8.The antibody tests and the genomic tests are specific for this retrovirus.

9.The fresh uncultured tissue from AIDS patients, including T4 cells, contain the full copy of the RNA (cDNA). In fresh plasma, there is a direct relationship between the number of RNA copies and retroviral particles as seen by electron microscopy.

10.The purified particles when added to cultures of T4 cells lead to T4 cell destruction.

11.The decrease in T4 cells in AIDS patients is the result of their destruction by the retroviral particles.

12.The decrease in T4 cells is absolutely necessary and sufficient for the clinical syndrome to appear.

Dr. Duke said...

There is a nice review of what was known about the stucture and function of HIV-1 M group viruses by 1996 or so (a paper published in 1998 cannot review the experiments being done in that same year) in this paper by Drs Frankel and Young:

HIV-1: fifteen proteins and an RNA.
Frankel AD, Young JA.
Annu Rev Biochem. 1998;67:1-25.
ABSTRACT:
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 is a complex retrovirus encoding 15 distinct proteins. Substantial progress has been made toward understanding the function of each protein, and three-dimensional structures of many components, including portions of the RNA genome, have been determined. This review describes the function of each component in the context of the viral life cycle: the Gag and Env structural proteins MA (matrix), CA (capsid), NC (nucleocapsid), p6, SU (surface), and TM (transmembrane); the Pol enzymes PR (protease), RT (reverse transcriptase), and IN (integrase); the gene regulatory proteins Tat and Rev; and the accessory proteins Nef, Vif, Vpr, and Vpu. The review highlights recent biochemical and structural studies that help clarify the mechanisms of viral assembly, infection, and replication.
PMID: 9759480

The Perth Group's changing rules of virus isolation is what is known as "moving the goalposts". But that is irrelevant, because there never were any such rules officially adopted by any significant group of virologists.

It is important to note what the Perth Group leaves out of their rules, as well as what is put in. For example they completely leave out any mention of epidemiology, serology, and the other work needed to determine that a disease or syndrome is caused by a virus (and not a bacteria or some other factor such as "oxidative stress").

Anonymous said...

Speaking of RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT, it is one thing to be ignorant or misinformed, and quite another to commit fraud.

I don't know much of anything about operating a nuclear power plant. If the government of South Africa invited me and a few other people who have never worked with nuclear power, to come "debate" with experts, how the safety and security systems should work, I would have to decline. If I did show up and claim to be an expert, and the government listened to me, and a few hundred thousand people were killed when some plants blew up as a result, I would expect to face some serious jail time.

One could argue that the government would also be at fault for inviting a group of people who know nothing about nuclear power to give them advice. But that is a separate issue. Several of the people who were invited to advise the South African government on AIDS, truly acted fraudulently in misrepresenting their "expertise" and knowledge of virology and AIDS. They went to South Africa and knowingly and willfully told lies to the South African government. Hundreds of thousands of people died early deaths as a result.

MacDonald here professes his ignorance, and at least pretends to be interesting in learning. He is not showing any evidence of fraud on his part. It is very clear that the Perth Group, and several others who participated on the South African Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel, either did know some virology and molecular biology and willfully told lies about what they knew, or did not know anything about virology or molecular biology and willfully misrepresented their "expertise" on these topics.

Dr. Duke said...

Yes, anonymous, good point. But a blog, and specifically a silly blog comment section about how dysfunctional the "tight family" of denialists are, is not really the place to bring that up.

A very brief and concise write-up of the current situation, was recently published:

Still Crazy After All These Years: The Challenge of AIDS Denialism for Science
Nicoli Nattrass
AIDS and Behavior
Published on-line 24 November, 2009

MacDonald said...

"Serological methods and other methods (such as sequencing the virus genome) are FAR more accurate for determining exactly what virus you have in a sample. We sort of covered that earlier, but maybe you were not paying attention, or I did not explain it well."

Yes. Dr Duke, sequencing the virus tells us what virus we have, if such a virus has already been identified. That's why I asked to consider what Prof. Gordon says about "traditional methods" in a "first identifier situation".

That is also why I am not crazy about clones. What you clone are pieces of RNA, in this case from an extraordinarily heterogenous mix, co-culture etc.

Obviously there's a good chance that this clone is going to fit your preconceived notion of what you expect to find, in this case something that fits your arbitrary definition of a retrovirus - and arbitrary it is. You and your fellows confirm in every answer here that there are hardly rules for anything in virology.

It is true that Toplin didn't fulfill all his own rules. It was not his mission. De Harven and others didn't separate various viruses. But they did end up with something that was almost exclusively viral material of fairly uniform shape and size, something that has not been achieved for "HIV"

Dr. Duke said...

MacDonald wrote:

"...
Yes. Dr Duke, sequencing the virus tells us what virus we have, if such a virus has already been identified.
..."

Yes, and it also tells us what virus we have if it is the very first one of it's type identified.

"...
You and your fellows confirm in every answer here that there are hardly rules for anything in virology.
..."

Wrong. We just all agree that the Perth Group is not the global authority on what the rules are.

"...
But they did end up with something that was almost exclusively viral material of fairly uniform shape and size, something that has not been achieved for "HIV"
..."

Pure wishful thinking, for those who want to believe that there is some doubt that HIV-1 and HIV-2 are the causes of AIDS in humans. Some cultures of HIV have a lot of cellular debris in the supernatant because of the way they destroy the host cells, but not all do.

But that argument about the purity of the virus preparation is all just a "red herring" anyway.

Characterization of highly purified, inactivated HIV-1 particles isolated by anion exchange chromatography.
Richieri SP, Bartholomew R, Aloia RC, Savary J, Gore R, Holt J, Ferre F, Musil R, Tian HR, Trauger R, Lowry P, Jensen F, Carlo DJ, Maigetter RZ, Prior CP.
Vaccine. 1998 Jan-Feb;16(2-3):119-29.
PMID: 9607019

A simple procedure for obtaining large amounts of HIV antigens for serodiagnostic purposes.
Ivo-dos-Santos J, Galvão-Castro B.
Bull Pan Am Health Organ. 1989;23(1-2):81-5.
PMID: 2655795

MacDonald said...

Dr. Duke,

I said there seems to be hardly any rules virology, only exceptions. Especially when it comes to HIV.

There are no rules for isolation, no rules for virus shape, no rules for size - You are perfectly happy with a 240nm lentivirus - John Moore and Chris Noble are ok with enormous genomic differences without loss of identity or function. . . . And we've just scratched the surface here!

But you tell me that I am wrong, there is a rule. The golden rule of virology is that the Perth Group doesn't get to make the rules.

Have I understood correctly?

Chris Noble said...

It is true that Toplin didn't fulfill all his own rules. It was not his mission.

Have you actually read the paper?

http://www.theperthgroup.com/OTHER/Toplin.pdf

It is not about a set of rules for demonstrating the existence of retroviruses. Nowhere, in the paper does it state that the guidelines are intended to be a set of criteria for deciding whether a virus exists. In fact it makes it absolutely clear that cellular debris has the same density as some viruses and hence cannot be separated. It makes it absolutely clear that there are viruses for which this methods will not produce 100% pure or even close preparations.

All of the viruses were known to exist including some which cannot be cultured.

The paper describes a method which can be used to obtain more purified preparations of some viruses. It is not stated or implied that producing a high purity preparation is a precondition for proving the existence of a virus. In fact it is obvious from the paper that there are known viruses for which high purity preparations have not and cannot be obtained.

Finally, if this paper did in fact set down a set of "rules for retroviral isolation" you would expect to see numerous papers from 1973 citing it. Thankfully this can be checked on the ISI Web of Knowledge Science Citation Index. Guess how many times this paper has been cited in the literature.


Drum roll .................. once!

Guess who cited it

Drum roll .................. The perthies!

Dr. Duke said...

MacDonald said
"...
I said there seems to be hardly any rules virology, only exceptions. Especially when it comes to HIV.
..."

Wrong. HIV-1, HIV-2, SIVs, FIVs, oncoviruses, HTLV-I, HTLV-II and all other retroviruses have been studied using almost exactly the same methods. Those methods, such as sucrose gradient centrifugation to enrich of (100% purity is never needed, but it is critical to a least separate the virus particles from the cells and most of the cellular debris), electron microscopy, serology, cloning, sequencing, X-ray crystalography of purified viral proteins (yes, the individual proteins do need to be almost 100% pure to get a useful crystal) etc. have all been used on HIV-1 and HIV-2 just as they have been used on any other retrovirus.

Can you name one "exception" in HIV research? Can you name one virus that has ever been studied with the Perth Group protocol?

MacDonald said...

Dr. Duke,

What do you mean name an exception? You just told me that HIV was the only lentivirus that typically measures up to 146nm

It's funny because Gonda rejected at least some of Gallo's EMs merely because he thought the particles didn't have the right size for retroviruses. What an ignoramus he was.

According to Ho et al., HIV also seems to be one of the few lentiviruses that replicates furiously somewhere in he body to produce that impressive T cell turnover.

If you don't mind, I think we'll take the "Perth Protocol" step by step, because it completely escapes me how you prove the isolation of one virus by appealing to the lack of standards for isolation of other viruses.

It's like, "Oh ok, so you don't believe fairies are real. Next you're going to tell me that pegasuses leprechauns and griffins aren't real either, right? Just because they can't live up to the same impossible rules of physical evidence that ordinary animals do".

Peaking of which Do you think you can link to some of those purified HIV pictures - I mean the actual pics, that makes it easier for everybody? And, please humour me, no clones, no "inactivated" HIV or anything like that, ok?

Anonymous said...

So McDonald is the same Andrew Maniotis AIDS Truth has just reported as the killer of the Greek journalist, right? And he spends his time making stupid posts about whether HIV has been isolated or photographed, right? Perhaps when he's in prison for murder he can refine his arguments still further and Blog them on a cell wall using a file.

Chris Noble said...

What do you mean name an exception? You just told me that HIV was the only lentivirus that typically measures up to 146nm

Again the typical Denialist trick of putting words into other peoples mouths.

Who do you think you are going to impress with these stupid, stupid rhetorical tricks?

You have already been given this reference which shows that the size distribution of HIV virions is nothing exceptional when compared with other retroviruses such as MMTV.

http://jvi.asm.org/cgi/content/abstract/78/5/2606

This is a consistent pattern. Loaded questions, strawmen, misrepresentation and an inability or unwillingness to answer straighforward questions.

Can you provide a single example of a virus that has been proven to exist using the Perth Group "rules"?

This rhetorical ploy is a red herring designed purely to avoid looking at the evidence.

Chris Noble said...

So McDonald is the same Andrew Maniotis AIDS Truth has just reported as the killer of the Greek journalist, right?

I don't think it is Maniotis. This Macdonald is more of a troll. He takes the gutless approach of never making positive assertions of any kind. Instead he asks rhetorical loaded questions.

Maniotis, on the other hand, isn't afraid to make batshit insane statements.

Anonymous said...

ALL of you behave like pathetic children, Are TOO, Did NOT. I'm not talking to you now! Bum Face. Neither side comes across as remotely credible under the circumstances, for F*#ks sake grow up.

Anonymous said...

So McDonald is the same Andrew Maniotis AIDS Truth has just reported as the killer of the Greek journalist, right?

http://www.aidstruth.org/features/2009/memoriam-lambros-papantoniou

"Unfortunately, Lambros’ non-scientific background and his personal vulnerability as an HIV positive person got the best of him, and he became more and more a spokesperson of the AIDS denialists, putting his complete trust in Maniotis.

This trust eventually cost him his life. He simply stopped taking his medication. Already hospitalized once, Lambros’s health depended on blocking HIV through anti-retroviral drugs. Without this protection, the virus continues to damage the immune system, until the patient becomes vulnerable to a multitude of common infectious agents, which would ordinarily be blocked by a functioning immune system. With the medication, he likely would have lived a longer and healthier life."

An interesting statement, but why don't you ever list the people on ARV treatment that drop dead?


http://www.tac.org.za/community/node/2739

"TAC loses one of its long standing members from Atlantis, Cape Town: Uncle John Vollenhoven
31 August, 2009 - 11:05 — moderator

Uncle John, a 59 year old TAC member who had been openly living with HIV, will be missed. He joined TAC in 2000 and was one of the founders of TAC Atlantis branch on the West Coast of Cape Town. He was very active in the community through gardening projects for support groups. He was also one of the first members to receive ARV treatment with the TAC Treatment Project under Dr Peterson at the time when ARV’s were not available in South Africa. He served as a Treatment literacy educator in the local clinics and hospital in Atlantis. Many TAC members know him as Uncle John."

Just which is it, stopping meds kills you or continuing meds kills you?

Anonymous said...

I don't want to identify myself because I have a family and some of the AIDS denialists threaten people. Speaking as a virologist, some of McDonald's posts are insane - although I guess that's not a unique insight.

Taking EM photos is actually a VERY difficult technique, particularly with a BSL-3 virus like HIV. To take pictures, one needs a lot of virus particles, very concentrated. But concentrating HIV is quite dangerous - 20 years or so ago lab workers got infected doing exactly that. And then the safety rules also come into play when putting the virus near the actual electron microscope. There's a risk of contaminating the machine, for one thing. What I'm saying is that taking EMs of HIV is not the kind of thing one does in a garden shed for the hell of it. And safety is also the reason why most analytical EM studies that require HIV or SIV nowadays use inactivated (non infectious) viruses, or Env-pseudotyped (single cycle) viruses. Nobody in their right mind would carry out EMs on routine isolations - it would be a waste of resources.

And what's this problem with clones? Viral clones are viruses. They are HIV-1 (or SIV, HIV-2, etc), exactly the same as virus isolates. There's NO difference! Molecular clones are subject to the same lab safety rules as isolates, and even the DNA is rightly considered a serious infection hazard. Monkeys have been lethally infected with molecularly cloned viruses and even (if I recall right) with clonal DNA. I just don't get what McDonald's problem is here.

HIV-1 virus particles come in a range of shapes and sizes (although most fall in the range Dr Duke specifies). Sure, there are some aberrant, malformed particles, but only perhaps 1 virion in 100 or so is fully infectious (it used to be thought that only 1 in 10,000 were, but that's now considered an underestimate, once better virology techniques were introduced). So if some virions look a little odd, so what? They are just defective particles. Again, McDonald utters "sciencey" words, but it's obvious he doesn't have a clue about the real world of virology.

The Pasteur Rules? I too have never heard of them.

I truly admire the time you spend trying to educate McDonald, Dr Duke. I fear that you will not succeed in changing his mind. He does not understand the science on which he speaks.

Good luck to you though!

Anonymous said...

My own particular quack theory which I think personally is just as valid as any I have seen here is;

HIV prevalence in the western world runs at about 0.01%. Therefore HIV negative prevalence is 99.99%, now as the vast majority of people who die are HIV negative, this is of course a greater risk factor for a negative end point. Get Poz, live longer!

No less stupid than the shit you lot are espousing here.

Anonymous said...

"Just which is it, stopping meds kills you or continuing meds kills you?"

Stopping meds kills you.

Continuing meds, on the other hand, keeps you alive a lot longer than you would have lived.

It's the same principle as applies to any life-saving drug regimen, such as chemotherapy for cancer.

ARVs, like chemotherapy drugs, don't necessarily work for ever. The virus develops resistance, or the immune system damage caused by HIV prior to therapy was too extensive. Or, sometimes, people on ARVs die of natural causes. Uncle John's death notice doesn't list what he died of. Men age 59 do sometimes die, you know! It's hardly unheard of!

I find it hard to believe that anyone in this day and age could actually pose such a question!

Anonymous said...

"I don't want to identify myself because I have a family and some of the AIDS denialists threaten people."

BULLSHIT!

Anonymous said...

"Or, sometimes, people on ARVs die of natural causes. Uncle John's death notice doesn't list what he died of. Men age 59 do sometimes die, you know! It's hardly unheard of!"

You really do cherry pick. It's the first time I've heard any of you say that someone with HIV died of "Natural Causes". Poor old Lambros didn't get the benefit of that doubt now did he?

Anonymous said...

So now if you are HIV+ and not on ARV, you die of AIDS related something or other. If on ARV you die of Natural Causes. Comforting, you're still dead but comforting all the same.

Get real idiot

Dr. Duke said...

MacDonald said:
"...
What do you mean name an exception? You just told me that HIV was the only lentivirus that typically measures up to 146nm
..."

I did not say that HIV-1, or any other retrovirus typically measures 146nanometers. I said that if you show me a mammal the size of a whale it would take a LOT of other information, besides the size, to convince me that it was a purebread dog. Likewise, if you show me a photo that purports to show a virus more than 200 nanometers in diameter (146 is sort of large for a retrovirus, but more like a Saint Bernard or Wolfhound, not a whale) I would be highly skeptical until a LOT of other data besides the photograph was presented. There is a photo on the internet of a giant wild hog shot by a boy. It is pretty simple to do some research to find out if that story is part of what we call "the real world" or just a net.legend even if you don't trust SNOPES as the ultimate authority.

"...
It's funny because Gonda rejected at least some of Gallo's EMs merely because he thought the particles didn't have the right size for retroviruses. What an ignoramus he was.
..."

do you have any evidence for that statement? Are you sure it was size alone? Did they have the cone-shaped cores typical of lentiviruses? Everything else about those particles looked like lentiviruses, and he rejected them based on size? I think you are telling a lie there. Show me the evidence, please.

"...
According to Ho et al., HIV also seems to be one of the few lentiviruses that replicates furiously somewhere in he body to produce that impressive T cell turnover.
..."

WTF? I don't have a clue what you mean by that.

Dr. Duke said...

MacDonald said:
"...
What do you mean name an exception? You just told me that HIV was the only lentivirus that typically measures up to 146nm
..."

I did not say that HIV-1, or any other retrovirus typically measures 146nanometers. I said that if you show me a mammal the size of a whale it would take a LOT of other information, besides the size, to convince me that it was a purebread dog. Likewise, if you show me a photo that purports to show a virus more than 200 nanometers in diameter (146 is sort of large for a retrovirus, but more like a Saint Bernard or Wolfhound, not a whale) I would be highly skeptical until a LOT of other data besides the photograph was presented. There is a photo on the internet of a giant wild hog shot by a boy. It is pretty simple to do some research to find out if that story is part of what we call "the real world" or just a net.legend even if you don't trust SNOPES as the ultimate authority.

"...
It's funny because Gonda rejected at least some of Gallo's EMs merely because he thought the particles didn't have the right size for retroviruses. What an ignoramus he was.
..."

do you have any evidence for that statement? Are you sure it was size alone? Did they have the cone-shaped cores typical of lentiviruses? Everything else about those particles looked like lentiviruses, and he rejected them based on size? I think you are telling a lie there. Show me the evidence, please.

"...
According to Ho et al., HIV also seems to be one of the few lentiviruses that replicates furiously somewhere in he body to produce that impressive T cell turnover.
..."

WTF? I don't have a clue what you mean by that.

Dr. Duke said...

Continued

"...
If you don't mind, I think we'll take the "Perth Protocol" step by step, because it completely escapes me how you prove the isolation of one virus by appealing to the lack of standards for isolation of other viruses.
..."

Who is appealing? I never said anything about a lack of standards for one virus relative to any other. What I have said is that HIV-1, HIV-2, FIV and the other lentivurses have been isolate, characterized and studied by the best available methods available at the time, just like every other virus, bacteria or fungus.

I hinted to you before, that there is a place, often referred to as "the real world" where most things are consistent like that. Almost all objects fall to earth when dropped, for example and there is a "theory" about gravity that explains it. When there is an exception, such as a helium balloon it takes some extra explanation to make that fit in with what is referred to as "reality".

In the case of HIV-1 and HIV-2, the "exception" turns out to be one group of people (the Perth Group) who claim that only HIV-1 violates their special rules. It's not at all like HIV is the helium balloon. It is more like they say that green balls have not been proven to fall to earth when dropped because the rules for observing fallen objects state that the object must be observed falling from a flying saucer.

Never mind that no object has ever been observed falling from a flying saucer. This group is the world's authorities on falling objects and the theory of gravity because they say they are. And they read a paper published in 1973 saying something sort of like what they are claiming.

"...
Peaking of which Do you think you can link to some of those purified HIV pictures - I mean the actual pics, that makes it easier for everybody?
..."

Get it through your skull. Repeat after me: Photographs are not the best way of identifying any virus! All lentiviruses look identical in electron micrographs. EM is one nice tool, but it has very limited uses. Serology and other methods are FAR more important.

This blog comment place here, unlike the place called "the real world" does not allow me to paste in photos. I provided you with the citaions to the peer-reviewed literature which does show all sorts of photos of HIV in semen, HIV in saliva, HIV in sucrose-gradient enriched fractions, etc.

It is time for you to go visit the real world, and take a look around. Look for the inconsistency. If the green balls are falling to earth exactly like the blue ball, the rocks, and nearly everything else and one group of people tells you that they question the existence of gravity's action on green balls because the rules say that gravity can only be observed with flying saucers. It might be that group that is lying.

Has any virus, of any type, ever, at any time, fulfilled the requirements set forth by the Perth group? Why does the Perth Group question the existence ONLY of HIV, and not the existence of all viruses? Has "oxidative stress" ever been isolated? Does the epidemiology of AIDS truly match up with the "oxidative stress" theory, or the "gay lifestyle" theory? Can you show me the evidence?

Anonymous said...

Gonda rejected Gallo's culture on the basis of "Morphology" not "Size", there is a vast difference in the two terms and any "Scientist" representing one as the other is plainly LYING

Anonymous said...

Dr Duke is now going to great pains to state that EM pictures of lentiviruses prove nothing. Why in hell do we spend so much money on attempting to do this then? Why the pretty computer 3D graphics, why the pages devoted in AIDSTRUTH and others showing these pictures? What was the point of all that? It was to prove the existence of the damned bug. I'm seriously missing something here. I'd hazard a guess it's that when your argument starts getting shaky, just move on to another topic, much like a politician does. You're now leaking like a truth-sieve Doctor.

Anonymous said...

Oxidative Stress is a chemical state not a viral entity, making the comparison in relation to isolation is fraudulent.

Oh there's a turn up for the books someone misrepresents HIV!

Anonymous said...

If it's got 4 legs, tail, craps in your front yard, barks and likes to sniff your crotch, it's pretty safe to say it's a dog. I've seen thousands of photos of dogs and none of them were ambiguous. The morphology of a dog is pretty easy, what's the big deal with HIV?

Anonymous said...

"Or, sometimes, people on ARVs die of natural causes. Uncle John's death notice doesn't list what he died of. Men age 59 do sometimes die, you know! It's hardly unheard of!"

You really do cherry pick. It's the first time I've heard any of you say that someone with HIV died of "Natural Causes".

You're a very silly man. The post I commented on merely said that Uncle John had died, For all we know he was run over by a bus. Which would be, in this particular context, "a natural cause".

PS Clark Baker has a gun and DOES threaten people. Perhaps you too post anonymously because he knows where you live?

Anonymous said...

Dr D, this whole argument is precisely about HIV/AIDS. Stop squirming and attempting to shift it on to other viruses.

Anonymous said...

"You're a very silly man. The post I commented on merely said that Uncle John had died, For all we know he was run over by a bus. Which would be, in this particular context, "a natural cause".

When it suits you, it would have been a HIV related road fatality.

go away Cretin

Anonymous said...

Clark Baker has a gun and threatens people.

Anyone concerned about posting a blog with the possilbe implications that a deranged gun wielding ex-cop is going to get them, should take their prozac and get a psych consult pronto. Not a viral diagnosis, you're paranoid delusional.

Anonymous said...

For all we know Uncle John died of any of the numerous toxic side effects of HAART

Chris Noble said...

Why in hell do we spend so much money on attempting to do this then?

You have to get away from the idea that Denialists are the center of the universe.

The various studies on the morphology of HIV that include EMs are not aimed at proving anything to a bunch of anti-science idiots who will reject anything that doesn't conform to their deeply held beliefs

They are about understanding the morphology of HIV, its life cycle, and to find possible drug targets.

MacDonald said...

Dr. Noble,

Thanks for the reference, but like Dr. Duke, please learn it's a lot easier to just state what is the "broad range of diameters typical of retroviruses", so everybody can easily follow what's going on.

Dr. Duke,

Thanks for the lesson about the nature of the Internet. One of the great tings about the Internet is that you don't have to cut and paste photos posted on it, you can simply provide an URL directly to the pictures you wish to share, then state in your own words what they mean and the point you wish to make.

I never preach without practicing, so here's an example, and as a bonus I'll quote the Perth Group, since you're obviously a fan:

Bess et al. have published an EM of "purified HIV" with a total of six "HIV particles", [seemingly] devoid of surface projections, whose dimensions are 160 X 240; 200 X 240; 280 X 280; 208 X 250; 167 X 250 and 250 X 292 and nM respectively.

So Dr. Duke, and Dr. I-Am-A-Real-Virologist-And-The-Only-Thing-I-Am-More-Terrified-Of-Than-Denialists-Is-Viruses-So-I-Am-Writing-From-My-Fallout-Bunker-With-My-Tinfoil-Hat-On, would you please tell the real HIV virion to stand up?

http://theperthgroup.com/OTHER/bess.jpg

Dr Duke, and the other anonymous hero, it's a pretty safe bet that Gonda looks at more than just the size, smarty pants. Nevertheless, his comment clearly show that he considers these viruses to be fairly uniform in size:

The extracellular vesicles in 0904 are at least 50% smaller than HTLV mature particles seen in type I, II or III.

P.S. Dr. Real Virologist, were you the inspiration for Janine Roberts' book title "Fear of the Invisible" by any chance? Nah, just pulling your leg, I know you're a real trooper, saving livelihoods and everything.

MacDonald said...

Dr Duke,

I am surprised you claim ignorance of Ho et al.

Do familiarize yourself with this amazing level of continuous activity for a lentivirus

MacDonald said...

Wait, forgot to practice what I preach this time. Here's a freely available copy of Ho et al.:

http://www.santafe.edu/research/publications/workingpapers/95-01-002.pdf

Anonymous said...

Dr Duke, flying saucers, blue and green balls and helium balloons.Sounds like the same sort of gibberish found at AIDSTRUTH, oh sorry that was Seth Kalichman ah SNOUTWORLD can't really tell the difference the content has all been cloned (molecularly?)

Dr. Duke said...

Anonymous said
"...
Dr Duke is now going to great pains to state that EM pictures of lentiviruses prove nothing.
..."

I never said that photos prove NOTHING. I only said they are not the very best and one and only proof of the existence of something. I gave the giant hog killed by the boy as one example.

If I argued that the Perth Group has never been shown to exist because "human" has never been isolated in pure form blah blah blah you would instantly recognize the "smoke screen". Clever rhetoric about fictional rules needed for proof of the existence of the Perth Group is just clever rhetoric. It is not clear evidence that the Perth Group does not exist, nor evidence that there is some question about whether or not the Perth Group exists.

Dr. Duke said...

MacDonald said
"...
Bess et al. have published an EM of "purified HIV" with a total of six "HIV particles", [seemingly] devoid of surface projections, whose dimensions are 160 X 240; 200 X 240; 280 X 280; 208 X 250; 167 X 250 and 250 X 292 and nM respectively.

http://theperthgroup.com/OTHER/bess.jpg
..."

I don't see lentiviruses of all those differing sizes in that photo.
I do recall that somewhere in the real Bess paper there was one image that might have had the wrong scale bar added to it. Or it might have shown viruses of a different size. Only going back to the original photo and asking about how the scale bar was added, can we be sure.

But in the photo you link to, the few lentiviruses found among the cellular debris, are all roughly the same size. What makes you claim 160 x 240 nanometers etc?

Dr. Duke said...

Dear MacDonald,

It is time for you to answer one of my questions. Has any virus of any type at any time ever been isolated by the Perth Group method?

Dr. Duke said...

The Bess photo presented by the Perth Group is taken from:

Microvesicles are a source of contaminating cellular proteins found in purified HIV-1 preparations.
Bess JW Jr, Gorelick RJ, Bosche WJ, Henderson LE, Arthur LO.
Virology. 1997 Mar 31;230(1):134-44.
PMID: 9126269

The middle panel in that photo does show many virus particles, not just the 2 that are pointed to with the arrows. Yes, they are pleopmorphic, not all exactly identical, which was a point I already covered earlier. I don't see this photo as proof that HIV has never been isolated.

In fact, reading the entire paper by Bess, only points out the fact that the Perth Group is lying about their method being the only acceptable method for virus isolation.

Dr. Duke said...

Anonymous wrote:
"...
Dr D, this whole argument is precisely about HIV/AIDS. Stop squirming and attempting to shift it on to other viruses.
..."

Actually, the topic is about the tight little family that Duesberg, Turner, Brink, Crowe and the rest of the top dogs in DenialLand are.

Chris Noble said...

The middle panel in that photo does show many virus particles, not just the 2 that are pointed to with the arrows.

Apparently, the Perth Group want an arrow drawn on every single virus particle in that EM or else they can't see them.

The EM shows hundreds of virus particles.

Chris Noble said...

Actually, the topic is about the tight little family that Duesberg, Turner, Brink, Crowe and the rest of the top dogs in DenialLand are.

Macdonald changed the subject by invoking the "rules of retroviral isolation". The denialist argument is that there are a set of rules that have and are used to prove the existence of other viruses but have been abandoned for HIV. It is entirely reasonable and appropriate to ask for a single example of these rules being used to prove the existence of a virus.

Macdonald cannot do this and more importantly refuses to admit that he cannot do so.

Dr. Duke said...

Anonymous said
"...
If it's got 4 legs, tail, craps in your front yard, barks and likes to sniff your crotch, it's pretty safe to say it's a dog. I've seen thousands of photos of dogs and none of them were ambiguous. The morphology of a dog is pretty easy, what's the big deal with HIV?
..."

Correct! There is no big deal with HIV-1, HIV-2, FIV, SIV or any lentivirus. They are very unique because of their cone-shaped electron-dense core in mature particles, which shows up very clearly in almost all EM images of lentiviruses. This is exactly why Matt Gonda recognized the virus in Popovic's samples as being a lentivirus, way back in October 1983. It seems strange now, in hindsight, that it was a least a year longer before Gallo became convince that Matt Gonda's initial statement was correct.

Nucleotide sequence evidence for relationship of AIDS retrovirus to lentiviruses.
Chiu IM, Yaniv A, Dahlberg JE, Gazit A, Skuntz SF, Tronick SR, Aaronson SA.
Nature. 1985 Sep 26-Oct 2;317(6035):366-8.
PMID: 2995822

Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type III shares sequence homology with a family of pathogenic lentiviruses.
Gonda MA, Braun MJ, Clements JE, Pyper JM, Wong-Staal F, Gallo RC, Gilden RV.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1986 Jun;83(11):4007-11.
PMID: 2424014

MacDonald said...

"There is no big deal with HIV-1, HIV-2, FIV, SIV or any lentivirus. They are very unique because of their cone-shaped electron-dense core in mature particles, which shows up very clearly in almost all EM images of lentiviruses."

Dear me, what happened to pleomorphic? Maybe you weren't talking about the cores? Very well,
you know what I like about you Dr. Duke? It's that you know more about retrovirology than all the other HIV enthusiasts put together. Here's Gallo rambling:


A possible unique feature of the [HIV] virions is the cylindrical core observed in many presumably mature virions. Virions having this type of core have been frequently reported for certain type D retroviruses, and in some instances, for type C retroviruses

Dr. Duke said...

MacDonald wrote:
"...Dear me, what happened to pleomorphic? Maybe you weren't talking about the cores?
..."

Dear me, what happened to pleomorphic? Maybe you weren't talking about the cores?

Both Gallo and I (and every other virologist who has ever worked with retroviruses) noted that the mature particles have cone-shaped cores, while the immature particles don't have a core visible by EM. That means the immarture particles do not look identical to the mature ones. That's what "pleomorphic" means; Different looking.

Some of the viruses which were misclassified as "C-type" or "D-type" back in the good old days before better methods became available, actually turned out to be lentiviruses when better methods were used. Others probably do have cylindrical cores. I am not aware of any that have a true cone-shaped core, with one end fatter than the other (like an icecream cone). But if you know of them, please fill me in. Where did Gallo say this? Which virus was he talking about? Why do you always refuse to answer every question you are asked?

Has any virus, of any type, ever been isolated according the the Perth Group?

Overlapping roles of the Rous sarcoma virus Gag p10 domain in nuclear export and virion core morphology.

Scheifele LZ, Kenney SP, Cairns TM, Craven RC, Parent LJ.
J Virol. 2007 Oct;81(19):10718-28. Epub 2007 Jul 18.
PMID: 17634229

MacDonald said...

"That means the immarture particles do not look identical to the mature ones. That's what "pleomorphic" mean"

Dr. Duke,

If "pleomorphic" means that a baby looks different from an adult, I think we'll find that most things in biology are pleomorphic.

"Some of the viruses which were misclassified as "C-type" or "D-type" back in the good old days before better methods became available, actually turned out to be lentiviruses when better methods were used."

The "good old days" are 1983-1985. What better methods are you talking about?

Which feature of HIV determines it as a lentivirus, CD4 tropism?

Chris Noble said...

Which feature of HIV determines it as a lentivirus, CD4 tropism?

How long will Macdonald keep on asking questions which only demonstrate his ignorance?

How long will he avoid answering imple questions such as the request to provide a single example of a virus that has been proven to exist using the Prth Group "rules"?

Dr. Duke said...

Mac Donald wrote:
"...
If "pleomorphic" means that a baby looks different from an adult, I think we'll find that most things in biology are pleomorphic.
..."

Correct! Everywhere, the world over people are isolating and studying HIV-1 M group viruses. The Canadians do it, the Argentinians do it, the Brazilians do it, the Italians do it, the Chinese do it, the Russians do it, the Indians do it. One small group of people in Perth sit around and talk about why they think nobody else can do it.

If a pack of barking things with sharp teeth attack you, and one of them has his balls in his teeth, it is actually wiser to grab a club or a rock or a gun and start fighting, than to search the world over for someone who has a clever argument about how dogs might not be proven to exist.

Making a fictional "rule" that all dogs must be identical does not affect the real world. There are some things in the real world that suck. It would indeed be most excellent if we could sit and dream up reasons why the things that suck don't exist. But in the real world, those dreams are called "denial". It is indeed a natural human reaction to things that suck. Not just HIV, but cancer or any other shitty thing. However, as a man far mor famous than I has said: "It's like pissing in your pants on a cold and icy day. It may make you feel better for a very short time, but in the long run it spells disaster."

Dr. Duke said...

and one of them has his balls in his teeth,

That should have been

and one of them has YOUR balls in his teeth

EPIC FAIL! Of all the places for me to do a typo! Shit.

MacDonald said...

Dr Duke, typos can be forgiven I hope, since I am a serial perpetrator myself.

A few people on AZT and the likes have had the experience of pissing in their pants on a cold day. That's probably why they are phasing it out, at least in our part of the world.

Dr. Noble,

Yes on the point you mention I am admittedly ignorant. I don't know how they determined conclusively that HIV is a lentivirus. If it wasn't size, and it wasn't CD4 tropism what was it?

Chris Noble said...

Yes on the point you mention I am admittedly ignorant. I don't know how they determined conclusively that HIV is a lentivirus. If it wasn't size, and it wasn't CD4 tropism what was it?

Sequence similarity and morphology.

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/227/4683/173?ck=nck

In fact, Gonda had recognised HIV/HTLV-III/LAV as a lentivirus right from the start.

If you spent less time cutting and pasting from Perth Group scriptures and more time reading real research you would not have to ask stupid questions.

Meanwhile since I have answered yet another of your questions how about answering one of mine.

Can you give a single example of a virus that has been proven to exist using the Perth Group "rules"?

Anonymous said...

Matt Gonda recognized HIV was a lentivirus straight away, as did the other early takers of EM pictures, such as Hans Gelderblom. The HIV particles looked more like the already known animal lentiviruses than, say, the type C and type D retroviruses of human and animal origin. The cone shaped morphology of the lentivirus core is important in this regard. In other words, even by 1982-1984, there was already enough experience of what the various different families of retroviruses looked like in EM pictures, for the experts to make informed assessments of where HIV fitted into the classification scheme. Bob Gallo was reluctant to accept this classification because, at that time, he was of the view that HIV was another member of the HTLV family (ie HTLV-III), which of course is a type C retrovirus (the formal nomenclature has changed, but the old one is in common usage). Gallo accepted over time that his initial view wasn't right, and that HIV was indeed a lentivirus. Genome sequencing and phylogenetic analyses provide more formal proof that HIV clusters with the other lentiviruses, the ones known before HIV was discovered, and those isolated subsequently (overall, the list includes HIV, SIV, FIV, EIAV, Visna, CAEV family members).

I've found the comments from McDonald appallingly silly, as they lack any scientific basis.

Dr. Duke said...

Anonymous wrote:
"...
I've found the comments from McDonald appallingly silly, as they lack any scientific basis.
..."

It is not the lack of scientific basis that is silly. There are several million people infected with HIV-1 who have never been to school at all let alone had high-school level biology.

People like MacDonald, who obviously has a little bit of schooling, even if it was not in biology, should not be discouraged from asking questions. People like MacDonald are not the problem. The problem lies with people like the members of the Perth Group, who willfully and knowingly tell lies aimed at confusing people like MacDonald.

There are many laws against telling lies about financial matters. The classic "Nigeria scam" the various "make money fast" chain letters and pyramid schemes are actually illegal, and some effort is made to stop them. Every lawyer I have ever asked (I admit to only consulting with about 8 of them, not an exhaustive search) has told me that it is completely legal to tell lies about medical matters. It is legal, for example to claim that sleeping on a magnet will cure cancer. In the USA, there are some laws regarding selling "medical devices". So it is illegal to sell a magnet labeled as "the cancer cure magnet", but it is legal to write a book or make a web page saying a magnet cures cancer, and then to sell magnets not labeled as a medical device.

Although MacDonald has demonstrated very well, the depths to which people will go to cling to denial, I put a lot more blame with the Perth Group, for making up clever lies about there being some doubt that HIV has been isolated, than with people like MacDonald who fall for those lies.

How is the average Joe supposed to know that those Perth rules are fictional? Although science education, and especially biological science education, is appallingly bad in many parts of the USA, it is even worse in many other parts of the world.

The Reckless Endangerment blog is certainly no place to hope to end these types of problems. But thanks to MacDonald here, and similar people in denial who post to similar blogs, we can see the very depths of the problem.

Yes, the Perth Group's lies are silly, and can never hold up in a court of law, or in peer reviewed journals or any other venue where there are rules of engagement such as presenting evidence, and penalties for telling lies. But on the internet, where there are no rules and no penalties, their ideas can be used to kill hundreds of thousands of people, or at least to lead them to an earlier-than-necessary death.

The history of HIV Discovery, as told by Luc Montagnier.

Anonymous said...

Dr Duke, surely "McDonald" IS one of the members of the Perth Group? Why do you think he's just someone who has dropped into this thread asking innocent questions? His posts are in exactly the same style as many others I've read on various message boards for several years now. The writing style is the same, and the content's the same. "McDonald" is no parvenu.

Dr. Duke said...

Anonymous wrote:
"...
Dr Duke, surely "McDonald" IS one of the members of the Perth Group? Why do you think he's just someone who has dropped into this thread asking innocent questions?
..."

He could be Maniotis, I suppose. But it does not seem to be Turner or Papadopulos-Eleopulos. But regardless of who the person is, they did not tell many direct lies here. Refused to answer all question, yes, and pretended to be "dumb" and yet knew a lot about AIDS denial and even a little bit about what Gallo or other real virologists have said over the years.

So give them the benefit of the doubt.

I am sure the Perth Group, now that they have been caught lying to the South African government, and some groups are calling for a formal investigation to press charges etc, are looking for what I guess the courts might call "willful ignorance" rather than fraud or willful negligence. They'd like to show now that they were simply ignorant, and not willfully lying to the government of South Africa. But if so, why use a fake name like MacDonald?

MacDonald said...

Dear Variations and Permutations of Anonymous,

Don't you find it just a tad ironic that are you getting yourselves all worked up over my identity?

The only so-called scientist who dared name himself high-tailed it out the as soon as he realised he might have to answer a real question. For all I know he is still running.

Dr. Noble,

Thank you very much for the reference to,

"Sequence homology and morphologic similarity of HTLV-III and visna virus, a pathogenic lentivirus"
MA Gonda, F Wong-Staal, RC Gallo, JE Clements, O Narayan, and RV Gilden

If that's how HIV was established as lentivirus there's a small problem because a certain Nobel Prize winner had this to say about the paper:

"Science published an article by his [Gallo’s] group that showed similarities of sequences between HTLV-I, -II, and –III, and then, more curiously, between these and the lentivirus prototype, the Visna sheep virus. The two sets of findings proved entirely false, and nothing from these two articles holds any longer. We were beginning to seriously wonder whether Science was not starting to compete with the Journal of Irreproducible Results! The Pasteur team, to clear the matter up, also unraveled the Visna virus sequence in record time…there was no significant homology between the Visna and LAV sequences."

Dr. Duke said...

Mac Donald wrote
"...
The two sets of findings proved entirely false, and nothing from these two articles holds any longer. We were beginning to seriously wonder whether Science was not starting to compete with the Journal of Irreproducible Results! The Pasteur team, to clear the matter up, also unraveled the Visna virus sequence in record time…there was no significant homology between the Visna and LAV sequences.
..."

Oh! That is so rich! What an excellent lesson in pseudoscience with so much rolled into one post!

1) It is known as "quote mining". If you search the universe and find one tidbit of language which makes your case, while all of the other evidence proves you wrong, and you use it in your argument; it is called "quote mining".

2) The quote is alledged to be from a noted expert, Luc Montagnier, so it is also using a pseudoscience technique called "Argument from authority". Even better, MacDonald only refers to him as a Nobel Laureate, rather than telling us who it is wand when or where he said it.

3) In response to yesterday's note from me, that MacDonald seemed interested in learning, and not just here to misinform, he (or she) comes back hours later with post that seems aimed at either proving that MacDonald is in fact a part of the Perth Group, or that MacDonald is himself intent on misleading people, or both. The quote is taken from an internet post that was made public yesterday, Dec 4, 2009.

I think this warrants a new card for AIDS Denialist Bingo!

Dr. Duke said...

MacDonald also demonstrates that the Perth Group is still actively attempting to mislead people, not just pretending to be ignorant of virology. Not being a lawyer, I am not sure if this is technically willful negligence or not. But I suspect there is some legal definition of why it was not good to go to South Africa and present the government with clever misinformation like this with the aim of killing South Africans.

Whether or not Luc Montagnier actually wrote those words, they are easy to prove false. Or more correctly it is easy to prove that his use of the word "significantly" in this context, is the important detail. Luc did not say his LAV isolate from patient BRU, was less than 78% identical to some given isolate of Visna, or anything precise, so we are left wondering exactly what he meant by "not significantly related" in this context.

Dr. Duke said...

In case anyone is wondering. The HIV-1 M group subtype B isolate BRU protease plus RT proteins are 40% identical to the Visna/Maedi virus isolate SA-OMVV protease plus RT proteins.

This tell us nothing until we put it in perspective with other viruses. The HIV-1 M group protease plus RT is 62% identical in amino acid sequence to HIV-2 protease plus RT proteins. It is 73% to 88% identical to various SIV chimpanzee isolates that have been sequenced to date.

Taken all together, the relationships between the viruses creates a phylogentic tree, which tells us MUCH more.

Dr. Duke said...

The phylogenetic tree link above is currently broken. It refers to:

Evolutionary Origin of Human and Simian Immunodeficiency Viruses
Gojobori, Takashi; Moriyama, Etsuko N.; Ina, Yasuo; Ikeo, Kazuho; Miura, Tomoyuki; Tsujimoto, Hajime; Hayami, Masanori; Yokoyama, Shozo
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of Ame,
Volume 87, Issue 11, pp. 4108-4111

MacDonald said...

Dr. Duke,

You definitely qualify for the Nancy Drew Prize.

I am here admittedly and explicitly to argue the Perth Group's perspective and you stain your pants with glee over discovering occasional sequence homology between my quotes and those of the Perth Group, or my arguments and theirs?!

Well, whatever makes your day, Sherlock.

Now, what was so dishonest about quoting Montagnier (I think it is p-r-e-t-t-y obvious in the context who I am referring to when I say "a certain Nobel Prize winner")? Who am I allowed to quote?

For you it is apparently an evergreen to go on about PG "actively misleading" people in a discussion about early papers by an well known fraudster like Gallo. Dies the irony still escape you? Did you miss that part of the Montagnier quote?

When I suggest that even Montagnier is having a laugh about the ethical and scientific quality of Gallo's early HIV papers and the standards of the journals who published them, you affect horror of my low methods. Lighten up, Dr D., remember the saying instituted by a certain religious figure comparing motes and beams, then you might get it.

Anonymous said...

Dr Duke, McDonald is unquestionably "Dr" Andrew Maniotis. Instead of posting farcical nonsense about isolating retroviruses, you would think the man would be spending his time preparing his pathetic defense against civil and criminal charges he'll be facing over his role in the AIDS death of Lambros Papantoniou and, in the near future, sadly, over the AIDS death of Kim Bannon. In both those cases he has serious personal culpability that he will have to pay the price for. That would be the rational thing to do, but of course Maniotis is not remotely rational.

I'd like to say that Maniotis has committed career suicide as a result of what he did to Lambros, and what he is doing to Kim. But he has no career, as he committed professional suicide several years ago. Now, I would not want to be in his shoes in the world of Greek professionals. Lambros's friends are influential and have long memories. They will help ensure Maniotis pays the price for his actions. As will the civil and criminal law.

MacDonald said...

Dear me, anonymous threats. The molecular signature of Brave Sir John.

Anonymous said...

"I'd like to say..."

Anonymous, just say it.

"... that Maniotis has committed career suicide as a result of what he did to Lambros, and what he is doing to Kim."

"But he has no career, as he committed professional suicide several years ago."

How is it possible to commit suicide twice?

AIDS DOCTOR said...

I've been missing Prof Moores rantings over the last few days, so much so that I've done a little research on him over at Cornell. It's safe to say that he often goes by other anonymous tags on this and other blogs. He should look at his own syntax when trying to be someone other than himself. The give-aways are lines like "you really are silly" quite British old boy and as good as a signature. The other obvious thing is that he is an under-achieving intellectual lightweight. Moore appears to have spent moore-time self pleasuring by rubbing various ointments on to the private parts of Macaque Monkeys than any actual research. Nothing of what he has produced has been of any actual worth. He has 3 specialities;

1: looking at finding drugs that act as entry inhibitors.

2: Failed vaccine research.

3: Attending conferences to talk about denialists.

All of these are heavily sponsored by his pharma buddies in addition to his university salary. It is a part of Moores occupation and professional duties at Cornell to spend time arguing with denialists, the very thing he states he wont do. If it wasn't sanctioned how does he get away with spending so much of his working day and university computer time doing it? Moore is at the heart and is one of the protectors of the HIV=AIDS=PHARMAPROFITS=RESEARCHGRANTS=PERSONALWEALTH paradigm. Attempting to get any admission of failure from him would be harder than getting Satan in to Church. Fair to say his sycophantic mates like $NOUT and $ETH are on the payroll too. I get the Snout joke too! The Ovine Resources Director has his Snout in the Pharma Trough.

MacDonald said...

Dear Anti-Anonymous,

Snout is a scientifically illiterate nobody, as are Noble, Bergman, Kalichman and the other AIDStruth fall guys.

The simple reason for this is that nobody with a career in hard science wants to sign his/her name to the kind of self-contradictory nonsense Dr. Duke and other generic Anonymouses have spewed in this thread.

That would be career suicide twice over.

Did you not see how busy John Moore got saving livelihoods, notably his own, somewhere else as soon as I announced I was going to ask him about a little virology and philosophy of science 101?

Moore is not the sharpest oyster in the brothel, but he knows better than agreeing that a standard lentivirus can measure 240nM and replicate furiously for decades.

As an honorary inhabitant of Kuru & Prion Land, he is at least dimly aware where that road leads.

Look out, Brave Sir John, I will catch you later, and then we'll take it up a few notches, you being a virologist and all, spectacularly unsuccessful of course but a virologist nonetheless(-;

Anti Anonymous said...

I saw some blog somewhere and John Moore was bragging about having gone to the same school as John Cleese. Initially I was mildly surprised until I realised that both have made a career out of farce.

"Your not the consensus John, you're just a naughty little boy."

Anti Mice said...

Perhaps the researchers at AIDS Inc have been performing their experiments on a nony mouse or should that be nony mice?

Chris Noble said...

Now, what was so dishonest about quoting Montagnier (I think it is p-r-e-t-t-y obvious in the context who I am referring to when I say "a certain Nobel Prize winner")? Who am I allowed to quote?

If you are going to cut and paste from the Perth Group then just say so.

Again if you spent more time reading real scientific literature rather bthan the cherry picked offerings of the Perth Group you might actually learn something.

Look at Figure 1 in this paper.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16425963

MVV sits in the phylogenetic tree with HIV, FIV, BIV and SIV. All of them are identified as lentiviruses based on sequence similarity and similar genomic organisation.

Your authority, Montagnier, is also quite clear that HIV is a lentivirus based on its morphology and genome sequence. Why you cite Montagnier to apparently argue the opposite is a complete mystery.

Look out, Brave Sir John, I will catch you later, and then we'll take it up a few notches, you being a virologist and all, spectacularly unsuccessful of course but a virologist nonetheless(-;

Of course everybody is afraid of your brilliant intellect. The guy standing on the street corner with spittle drooling from his mouth is under the same delusion.

Chris Noble said...

Just to make it clear that Macdonald is misrepresenting Montagnier here is another paper.

http://www.annals.org/content/103/5/689.abstract

Recent data indicate that the lymphadenopathy-associated virus (LAV) is morphologically similar to animal lentiviruses, such as equine infectious anemia and visna viruses. This finding, together with the cross-reactivity of the core proteins of LAV with those of the equine infectious anemia virus and a similarity in genome structure and biological properties, allows LAV to be placed in the retroviral subfamily of Lentivirinae.

buskerbob said...

Snout, a thousands thanks to you!(Comment by Eddy)
Snout does know better,(Comment by Snout )
Great blog by the way, Snout!(Comment by Will )
As Eddy said:(Comment by Will)
Is this the same will that says: Allow me to demonstrate my superior scientific knowledge here...and
Pompous, arrogant, and down right stupid...Eddy, Snout and myself…
Will A.K.A Eddy A.K.A Snout.
Your'e busted Snout
http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2009/11/18/hiv-film-dangerous-and-misleading/#

Anonymous said...

Buskerbob, you're not related to sideshow bob are you? Anyways if you read this drivel here it's apparent there is a four-way-daisy-chain operating between Snout, DeShong(the idiot), Seth and Moore. I wouldn't be surprised to find the whole scientific consensus emanates from this intellectual and moral black hole.

buskerbob said...

Yeh they are obviously being paid to spoil the posts. How they can live with themselves taking money from the purveyors of death I don't know.

jtdeshong said...

Snout, did you know that you are a "scientifically illiterate nobody" and I am an "idiot"!!
I could not be more proud! How about you?
JTD

Truman Green said...

Excellent, Chris Noble, and I'd like to add this concerning the similarities between visna virus, which was originally brought to Iceland from Germany by Karakul rams to infect the Icelandic sheep as part of an experimentation to gauge its pathogenicity.

"Nucleotide sequence of the visna lentivirus: relationship to the AIDS virus." by Sonigo P. Alizon M et al.

"We have determined the complete 9202 nucleotide sequence of the visna lentivirus. The deduced genetic organization most closely resembles that of the AIDS retrovirus in that there is a novel central region separating pol and env. Moreover, there is a close phylogenetic relationship between the conserved reverse transcriptase and endonuclease/integrase domains of the visna and AIDS viruses. These findings support the inclusion of the AIDS virus in the retroviral subfamily Lentivirinae."

I've been studying so-called HIV (HLTV-3) constantly since l997 and it is obvious that it's a synthetic virus, constructed as a combination of Elizabeth's Priori ESP-1 virus (Gallo pretends that it's a murine virus), coding regions from a known animal pathogen from Germany (Visna) and an enhancer of the replication capability of visna, which is a mycoplasma.

The rethinkers" squabbling is a good cover for the truth that HIV was the endgame in a long attempt to find an animal virus that would infect human beings. The entire genomes of both visna and HIV are available online. You can run the BLAST program to identify similarities.

It should also be noted that so-called "SIV" is of similar origin as HIV, but is not the precursor of HIV. They were both part of the same animal testing programs. SIV was vectored into experimental lab monkeys that were released back into Africa so that HIV could be claimed to have been derived from it via species jumping.

Truman Green
Surrey BC

Snout said...

Yes, Truman, I have long supected that Duesberg's vocal insistence that HIV is nothing more than a harmless passenger virus is just a smokescreen to cover up his own personal involvement in the development of HIV as a biological weapon. He was doing so under the orders of the Illuminati, operating thtough their representatives in the US government.

Valendar Turner and Eleni Papadopulos are, in reality, shape-shfting alien reptilian humanoids, who are conducting a fake war with him to enhance his cover.

This is definitely the most obvious explanation for the structural and genetic homology between HIV and other lentiviruses.

Anonymous said...

McDonald is Claus Jensen...

fender52 said...

I like your portrait. It explains why your typing (I hesitate to call it writing) is so poor. You couldn't find your ass with both paws, much less any cognitive competence. Whoof whoof.