Perth Group Invention. 13 July 2004
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Christopher J Noble,
postdoc
Australia

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Re: Perth Group Invention.

The Perth Group have previously declared:

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:
    1. all the morphological characteristics of retroviruses;
    2. the enzyme reverse transcriptase;
    3. 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.

I draw the reader's attention to criterion 4. Here is a criterion that the Perth Group is absolutely essential to prove the existence of retroviruses. There is no way that the Perth Group can claim that this is even a 'paraphrasing' of the Pasteur Institute papers published in Spectra. It is purely their invention!.

Surely even diehard devotees of the Perth Group dogma must be a little skeptical when the "Rules of Retroviral Isolation" that the Perth Group put forward change all the time. It's almost as if the Perth group are making them up!

The Perth Group have also declared:

By comparison, two RNA containing viruses (polio and influenza, the latter after 27 years of dormancy,) vary by less than 1% as do RNA molecules self-assembled in test tubes denied the organising propinquity of living cells.

Seeing as it is absolutely essential to compare the genetic variation of HIV with other RNA viruses the Perth Group can now do this: what is the variation between the genomes of the three Sabin polioviruses?

Again, I put this forward as a test of the Perth Group's honesty.

Competing interests: None declared