Yesterday I had a brief meeting with the veterinary opthalmologist we’ve been working with in our ongoing research into retinal dysplasia in Miniature Schnauzers.
During our conversation, he mentioned his frustration with a decision by the Canine Eye Registry Foundation. CERF tracks the incidence of eye defects in breeds of dogs. Board certified veterinary opthalmologists use formal diagnostic forms that are designed to be read by computers and fed into the CERF database, which forms the basis for breed clubs and geneticists to track the prevalence of genetic eye disease.
Well, that’s how it’s supposed to work.
The researcher has been working on a specific type of retinal defect – retinopathy – in a handful of breeds. With several peer-reviewed published papers in the library, CERF concluded that the defect should be added to the form, so that data collection can begin.
However, for reasons unexplained, CERF decided to place retinopathy into the grouping of retinal dysplasias.
That’s problematic. Retinopathy is clinically and genetically distinct from retinal dysplasia. Placing it under an inappropriate category not only limits the ability to track this unique defect, it also corrupts the data on retinal dysplasia. It makes as much sense as lumping in statistics on schizophrenia with data on brain tumours.
Last night I was doing some surfing, and stumbled upon a discussion from Dean’s World from last month, titled HIV Skepticism, about the “sloppiness” of the research linking HIV to AIDS. It’s interesting reading, and even if you disagree with the premise (advanced in the book Inventing The AIDS Virus by Dr. Peter H. Duesberg), there are compelling arguments that conventional wisdom about “AIDS” may be as much politics and scientific group think, as it is scientific fact.
Dean Esmay has been interested in this for a few years;
Either Peter Duesberg was a monstrous liar or, by the mid-1990s at least, no one had ever demonstrated with any scientific rigor that HIV caused AIDS–and people had only come to believe it by a combination of well-meaning panic to stop a horrible disease, bureaucratic bumbling, pettypoliticking, and greed. No there was no conspiracy, but there was certainly a massive interlocking of government SNAFUs, scientists with huge conflicts of interest, a breakdown of the peer review process, and people in charge of that process who now had vested personal interests in maintaining the status quo.
Or: Duesberg was full of it. There really didn’t seem much alternative explanation. The man was too careful, too meticulous, and provided too much documentation. He had to be taken seriously, if only to prove him wrong.
Or so I thought.
Instead, there seemed a virtual press blackout on the book. Most of the reviews in the mainstream press were short, snotty, and condescending. It was clear that they weren’t interested in arguing with Duesberg, and when they didn’t sniff at him like rancid garbage they ridiculed him, and mocked anyone who wanted to take him seriously.
I began to feel like I was either wildly paranoid or this was a dizzyingly frightening look at just how the confluence of billions of dollars of government money, journalistic laziness and incompetence, and petty politicking had polluted medical science, science reporting, and public health policy.
In December, Dean contacted the author of a more recent book on Duesberg’s work – Oncogenes, Aneuploidy, and AIDS: A Scientific Life and Times of Peter H. Duesberg, one George L. Gabor Miklos, PhD.
Quoting the review in Nature Biotechnology, itself, worth reading in its entirety;
Oncogenes, Aneuploidy and AIDS should be compulsory reading for those concerned with`what the U.S. (and other Western) governments are buying when they spend public money on cancer and`AIDS research. It should also be compulsory for pharmaceutical and biotech executives, since most of`their potential targets for solid tumors are irrelevant entities that continue to clog drug development`pipelines.
Finally, it should be read by anyone who is interested in the way scientific theories develop and are`shaped by historical circumstances.
Miklos had this to say, in personal correspondance with Dean;
Bottom line; Duesberg is correct on both counts…on the basis of DATA…not hysteria. Your readers can be as angry as they like, but they should save their anger until after they have evaluated`clinical DATA…and then they should direct their anger at their own medical profession.
The scientific data do not support the hypothesis that the HIV virus causes AIDS.
If you have Kaposi sarcoma and you have antibodies to the HIV virus, the CDC says you`have AIDS…by definition!
If you are diagnosed with Kaposi sarcoma and you don’t have antibodies to HIV, then you don’t have AIDS…you have Kaposi sarcoma!….go figure!
Tell me Dean, if you are diagnosed with blue ears and you have antibodies to the HIV virus, the CDC would say that you have AIDS….if you don’t have antibodies to the HIV virus you would have blue ear disease….what a joke. Your own CDC essentially defines any disease where you have antibodies to HIV in your system as AIDS. If you have malaria and and you have antibodies to the HIV virus, the CDC would you have AIDS…by definition! So AIDS equals malaria…this is clinically stupid.
You ought to ask your readers.”What is AIDS?”…DEFINE IT!
Does it all seem too far out in left field to merit a look? Is it possible that the entire scientific community is basing its assumptions – and research – on AIDS on sloppy research, unsupported by the data?
Before answering that, go back to the top of my post, and re-read the portion about how the world’s most authoritative body on canine eye disease is collecting data on retinopathy.
(HIV Skepticism at Deans World)