Re: Retrovirologists, retroviruses and purification 2 July 2004
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Christopher J Noble,

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Re: Re: Retrovirologists, retroviruses and purification

The Perth Group have for many years been putting forward a set of rules as being the minimum requirements for proving the existence of a retrovirus.

The correct procedures, now having been used for over half a century to achieve this proof, require demonstration that:

  • 1. In "infected" cell cultures (cocultures) there are particles with a diameter of 100-120nM containing "condensed inner bodies (cores)" and surfaces "studded with projections (spikes, knobs)"; (82)
  • 2. In sucrose density gradients the particles band at a density of 1.16 gm/ml;
  • 3. At the density of 1.16 gm/ml these is nothing else but particles with the morphological characteristics of retroviral particles;
  • 4. The particles contain only RNA and not DNA and that the RNA consistently has the same length (number of bases) and composition no matter how many times the experiment is repeated;
  • 5. When the particles are introduced into secondary cultures, but mindful of the critical caveat discussed below: (a) the particles are taken up by the cells; (b) the entire RNA is reverse transcribed into cDNA; (c) the entire cDNA is inserted into the cellular DNA; (d) the DNA is transcribed into RNA which is translated into proteins;
  • 6. As a result of 5 the cells in the secondary cultures release particles into the culture medium;
  • 7. The particles released in the secondary cultures have exactly the same characteristics as the original particles, that is, they must have identical morphology, band at 1.16 gm/ml and contain the same RNA and proteins.

They have been repeatedly asked for:

  • A reference that clearly contains these rules and not something that needs to be "interpretted" by the Perth Group.
  • References showing that these rules have in fact been used in the past half century as they have claimed.

So far the Perth Group have done neither.

I will ask them again for this proof.

Competing interests: None declared