Judy Mikovits is taking her work on the road. The embattled chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) researcher will conduct her arm of a study sponsored by the US National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) on the condition’s link to certain retroviruses at another US government laboratory, the scientist overseeing the study told Nature today.
It will be good that she is involved in the ongoing, multi center study. As the face of XMRV/CFS research, her participation will add to the acceptance of the results, I suspect.
As reported by David Kirby , Ms. Mikovits made public statements that XMRV might be linked to autism and even suggested the hypothetical link might be involved in a hypothetical connection to vaccines.
No work on XMRV and autism has been published to date by Ms. Mikovits. However two other papers did explore the question of a connection, but found no evidence:
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:
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I thought she was going to jail.
At least if she publishes something, the work can be checked and verified or refuted if necessary. Her search for a connection to vaccines and autism smells odd but I'll withhold judgement until the results are in.
It is essential she be allowed to follow up her work. Dr. Lipkin has been generous in making sure she and Dr. Frank Ruscetti are accommodated appropriately. As a patient, I am quite interested in the results.
Note: Please use Dr. Mikovits as opposed to Ms. Mikovits.
I make a policy of using "Dr." only for treating physicians. It is a similar policy to that of some newspapers. To my knowledge, she is a researcher only, not a clinician. You are welcome to correct me on that.
Like Heidi, I also think it is good that Dr. Mikovits is allowed to continue her work...under supervision.
With the retraction of her Science paper, the only connection between XMRV (or any gamma retrovirus) and CFS resides within Dr. Mikovits' skull. Since she had claimed that other researchers are "incompetent" to replicate her work, this is her opportunity to show that she can replicate it while someone is watching her.
This is rather like the Randi Challenge - she has claimed the ability to do something nobody else can do (i.e. find XMRV virus in a large percentage of patients with CFS) and now she is being tasked to repeat her magic under scrutiny. I only hope that the laboratory supervisors keep a close watch for any "inadvertent" contamination.