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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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Nature News reports that researchers in Japan hope to soon test the use of reprogrammed stem cells to treat damaged corneas.

A new approach may help limit the number of fish that are mislabeled at markets or restaurants, according to New Scientist.

At Slate, the R Street Institute's Nila Bala discusses the privacy rights of suspects that genetic genealogy approaches in law enforcement bring up.

In PNAS this week: numerous mobile genetic elements contribute to Vibrio cholerae drug resistance, troponin I mutations in sudden infant deaths, and more.