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By David Tuller, DrPH

I’ll be in Bristol later this week for the CFS/ME Research Collaborative’s annual conference. I was not welcome last year, since I was at that point engaged in harshly criticizing the organization for its unwillingness to acknowledge that its deputy chair had falsely accused me of libel. This year, things have changed and both the chair and the new deputy chair have graciously welcomed me.

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Ned Landau joins the TWiV team to discuss restriction of HIV replication by SAMHD1, and a viral antagonist that can be used to produce a dendritic cell vaccine.

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Gray Mouse LemurLemurs are primates found only on the island of Madagascar and a few small neighboring islands. Some of these animals have endogenous lentiviruses in their genomes. How did these viruses infect the isolated lemurs?

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Vincent and Dickson travel to the 44th Retrovirus meeting at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, where they speak with John Coffin, Stephen Hughes, Ya-Chi Ho, and Matt Takata about the meeting and their work on HIV-1.

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Poliovirus by Jason Roberts

Poliovirus by Jason Roberts

The global withdrawal of the Sabin type 2 poliovirus vaccine is a test of the feasibility of the plan, declared by the World Health Assembly in 1988, to eradicate all polioviruses.

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By David Tuller, DrPH

Cochrane–formerly called the Cochrane Collaboration–is respected worldwide for its systematic reviews of medical treatments. These reviews are often cited as the definitive source of information about treatment efficacy and safety. In taking on the thankless task of assessing the data on commonly used interventions, Cochrane performs an invaluable public health service and has advanced the cause of evidence-based decision-making in medicine.

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The TWiV team considers whether those who can do, can’t teach, and newly discovered viruses of planarians and Aplysia with the largest RNA genomes.

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planarianThe development of high throughput nucleic acid sequencing tools has rapidly increased the pace of virus discovery in the past 20 years. Yet in that time, while the largest DNA genomes have increased by nearly ten times, the largest known RNA viral genome has only increase in size by a tenth. This situation has now changed with the discovery of new RNA viruses of planarians and mollusks.

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By David Tuller, DrPH

Jonathan Edwards, an emeritus professor of medicine at University College London, recently sent a letter to Professor Fiona Watt, executive chairwoman of the UK Medical Research Council. The MRC was the main funder of PACE and has continued to defend the trial and its conduct. In recent years, Professor Edwards has been very involved in the effort to promote biomedical research and blunt the impact of PACE and related research. In his letter, he urged the MRC to publicly acknowledge that it was a mistake to fund the trial in the first place. Not surprisingly, Professor Watt declined to take such a step.

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By David Tuller, DrPH

Last week, The Times ran an article about the open letter to The Lancet concerning the PACE trial, quickly followed by a piece in The BMJ. This morning, I e-mailed the following letter to Fiona Godlee, editor-in-chief of The BMJ and editorial director at BMJ. I cc’d officials at the Health Research Authority, some NICE stakeholders, and Carol Monaghan MP on the letter, since all have interests in the proper assessment of studies in this domain.

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