Department of Medical Physics, Royal Perth Hospital, Western Australia, 6001,
Valendar F Turner, John Papadimitriou, Barry Page, David Causer, Helman Alfonso, Sam Mhlongo, Todd Miller, Christian Fiala
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Where are the proper controls in "HIV" research?
In his rapid response: "Re: Retrovirologist, retroviruses and purification" July 2nd, Nicholas Bennett wrote: "However, it seems "common sense" that such stringent standards as 100% pure virus preparations are hardly a prerequisite for discovering new viral proteins or RNA to a degree sufficient to satisfy most scientists of these existence".
How does Nicholas Bennett know that the presently available evidence "satisfy most scientists of their ["HIV" proteins and RNA] existence"?
Nicholas Bennett wrote: "At the very least, I ask the Perth Group where exactly the sequences deposited in the Genbank database are supposed to come from? They have the genetic appearance of an exogenous complex retrovirus and produce virus when innoculated as plasmids into culture systems".
We do not know "where exactly the sequences deposited in the Genbank database" come from. However, there is no proof that they are from "HIV". Would Nicholas Bennett please give us the evidence from a few studies which, in his view, proves the existence of an "HIV" infectious molecular clone.
Nicholas Bennett wrote: "The sequences do not appear in the human genome….Subsequent work, as I have mentioned, has shown that the genetic sequences of HIV are not present in the human genome….".
We agree. To date nobody, not even Gallo (1) could prove the existence of the full "HIV" genome "in the human genome" of anybody, including AIDS patients.
Nicholas Bennett wrote: "As an example: Montagnier's original discovery of HIV describes how proteins from a culture of the putative new virus reacted with sera from patients with AIDS. In a Western Blot, this not only gives a measure of identity (self versus non-self) but also a degree of analysis (size)".
From an antibody-antigen reaction it is not possible to distinguish between "self versus non-self" or to identify the origin of one reactant when the other is known, much less both.
Nicholas Bennett wrote: "One must however, grant that inducible expression of self proteins or RNA is not a more likely explanation. Previous arguments I have seen use the appalling explanation of "culture stimulation" to explain these findings, which I hope will not surface here. One only has to ask "why does the control culture not show the same 'stimulation'?…."
There is a very simple reason for this, the control cultures are not stimulated. In fact, one of the many problems in "HIV" research is the lack of controls. In addition, the experiments are not blind.
Nicholas Bennett wrote: "And in the end of the day, the presumed HIV RNA actually encodes the presumed HIV proteins, which in and of itself is a massive clue as to their mutual identity".
Firstly, where is the evidence that "the presumed HIV RNA", that is the poly-A RNA which in sucrose density gradients band at the density of 1.16 g/ml (the "HIV" genome) "actually encodes" the "HIV" proteins which band at the same density.
Secondly, if the poly-A RNA which bands at 1.16 g/ml "actually encodes" the proteins in that band this is not proof they are HIV.
Nicholas Bennett wrote: "These viruses are well known to produce far better quality preps than HIV due to the nature of HIV to kill cells in culture and produce a soup of cellular debris. This toxic effect has at least been acknowledged by the Perth Group, which makes their insistence of requiring such soup to have been removed from the very first analyses (of these unknown, at the time uncharacterised virus preps) all the more surprising. Anyone familiar with the practical problems of benchwork would acknowledge the difficulty of attaining perfection in the very early days of any line of investigation".
Since we are questioning the evidence which is claimed proves the existence of HIV, it is not possible for us to acknowledge its "toxic effect".
If the poor "quality preps" obtained 20 years ago were due to "the difficulty of attaining perfection in the very early days of any of any line of investigation" and to "the limitations of the science at the time", shouldn't we have much better "quality preps" today? Where are they?
1. Lauritsen JL. NIDA meeting calls for research into the poppers-Kaposi's sarcoma connection. In: Duesberg PH, editor. AIDS: Virus- or Drug Induced. London: Kluwer Academic Publishers; 1995. p. 325-330. See www.virusmyth.net/aids/data/jlpoppers.htm
Competing interests: None declared