chronic fatigue syndrome

NAME: John Hackett, Jr.
POSITION: Volwiler research fellow and manager, emerging pathogens and virus discovery, Abbott Diagnostics

Two recently published studies suggest that laboratory contamination was the likely cause of previous evidence linking murine viruses to CFS, highlighting the fact that researchers conducting PCR experiments should be extremely cautious about both inherently contaminated commercial reagents and contamination from laboratory manipulation.

Chronix is developing a test based on its circulating DNA detection technology that will be tested in studies of how patients respond to Hemispherx's experimental drug Ampligen.

The findings support a prior study that identified a similar virus in many CFS sufferers. However, it also conflicts with the results of several other studies that failed to detect gene sequences from either virus in CFS patients, raising questions about the PCR methods employed.

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Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has released the results of a genetic ancestry analysis, the Boston Globe reports.

Retraction Watch's Ivan Oransky and Adam Marcus report that Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital have recommended that more than 30 papers from a former researcher be retracted.

Thomas Steitz, who won the 2009 chemistry Nobel Prize for his ribosome work, has died, the Washington Post reports.

In PLOS this week: mechanisms for genes implicated in coronary artery disease, rumen microbes and host genetics influence cow methane production, and more.