Articles

SANE Vax adopts Dr. Hanan Polansky’s “microcompetition” as its own. Hilarity ensues.

One of the hallmarks of science as it has been practiced for the last century or so is that scientists share their discoveries in the peer-reviewed literature, where their fellow scientists can evaluate them, decide if they’re interesting, and then replicate them, usually as a prelude to building upon them. While the system of publication and peer review in science is anything but perfect (and, indeed, we have discussed many of its shortcomings right here on this very blog), I tend to like to view it in much the same way Winston Churchill characterized democracy:

Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.

I would rephrase this as:

Many forms of evaluating science have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that peer review is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said (by me) that peer review is the worst form of evaluating science except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.

As mainstream medicine has become more scientific over the last century in the wake of the Flexner Report, physicians and medical researchers have similarly come to view publication in the peer-reviewed literature to be a very important component of communicating and evaluating medical discoveries. It’s not as though this is even a particularly high bar to pass, either. After all, many are the absolutely execrable papers that I (and my partners in crime here at SBM) have discussed over the last four years, nearly all of which were in peer-reviewed journals, some very prestigious. After all, if papers on “energy chelation” can find their way into decent journals and the likes of Mark and David Geier can publish in the peer-reviewed literature, while someone like Christopher Shaw can get cringe-worthy confusions of correlation with causation published, I don’t take seriously the whines of cranks who claim that they can’t publish in the peer-reviewed literature for one reason or another.

That’s why I view being published in the peer-reviewed literature as a minimum, but by no means sufficient, requirement good science. It’s also why, whenever I see a new claim, my first reaction is to see if (1) the person making the claim has published on it and (2) there are publications in the peer reviewed literature that support the claim. The first criterion helps me judge whether the person is a serious scientist; the second, whether there is any plausibility to his ideas. Sure, it’s not a foolproof scheme, but it is helpful.

I only wish antivaccinationists would do the same. That they don’t explains why they seem to be embracing someone named Dr. Hanan Polansky.

Fear and loathing of DNA among the antivaccine crowd

Back in September, I employed what I like to call science-based ridicule to deconstruct the overwhelmingly silly fear mongering by a group known as SANE Vax over the alleged discovery of HPV DNA in the HPV vaccine. SANE Vax, as you may recall, is a group founded by a woman named Norma Erickson dedicated to spreading misinformation about the HPV vaccine. If you peruse the SANE Vax website, you’ll see that the common antivaccine tropes are all there; they’re just directed mainly at the HPV vaccine. The hysterial fear mongering over the alleged discovery of DNA fragments of HPV in Gardasil was, as I described, massively overblown. The full explanation is in my post from September. The CliffsNotes version follows.

Basically, a pathologist by the name of Dr. Sin Hang Lee, who appears to have drunk at least a little of the antivaccine Kool-Aid, was hired by SANE Vax to test Gardasil for the presence of HPV DNA. Dr. Lee apparently made his name by developing exceedingly sensitive nested PCR assays to detect various DNA sequences. It was impossible to tell if his methods were valid, if Dr. Lee controlled adequately for the potential of false positives (which increase rapidly with the sensitivity of a test), and if his analysis was convincing because in September he had not published his results in the peer-reviewed literature. A quick search of PubMed on Saturday failed to find any publications on the topic since September. In any case, even if Dr. Lee’s analysis was correct and his new, allegedly more sensitive methodology had picked up previously undetected traces of HPV DNA from the plasmids used to make the HPV vaccine, it is still incredibly unlikely that such tiny amounts of DNA could cause problems because, as I explained, it’s incredibly difficult to get naked DNA into cells and making the proteins it normally makes, and, even if Dr. Lee were 100% correct about there being undetected HPV DNA in Gardasil, the quantities involved are many orders of magnitude less than what would be needed to have even a whiff of a wisp of a hope of the DNA getting into cells and making its protein. That’s even assuming it could pass the blood-brain barrier or that the DNA fragments were large enough to contain whole coding regions of genes with a proper promoter in front of them to drive their expression.

In other words, the fear mongering about the potential for minute quantities of HPV DNA being in Gardasil was nonsensical and not based on science.

On some level, I rather suspect that even Dr. Lee, Norma Erickson, and Leslie Carol Botha, host of a radio show known as Holy Hormones and, judging by her prominent association with SANE Vax, apparently also a die-hard antivaccinationist, have some inkling how utterly implausible their fear mongering about HPV DNA fragments in Gardasil was. The reason I suspect this is that they’ve latched on to Dr. Hanan Polansky and his “microcompetition” idea as a means of salvaging their fear of the evil HPV DNA that’s supposedly in Gardasil, waiting to make your little girls sick.

With the Oil of Aphrodite and the Dust of the Grand Wazoo

Dr. Hanan Polansky’s apparent coming to the rescue of SANE Vax began two weeks ago, when his Center for the Biology of Chronic Disease issued a press release:

Dr. Hanan Polansky, Director of the Center for the Biology of Chronic Disease, will discuss his discovery of Microcompetition with Norma Erickson, President of SANE Vax Inc. Dr. Polansky will use Microcompetition to explain the biological mechanism underlying the Gardasil adverse events. Leslie Carol Botha will host the event on the Holy Hormones Radio Show. The show will be broadcast on the community radio station KRFC FM in Fort Collins, CO, Monday, February 6, from 6 to 7pm MST.

Dr. Hanan Polansky is the author of the highly acclaimed “Purple” book, entitled Microcompetition with Foreign DNA and the Origin of Chronic Disease. In his book he explains how foreign DNA fragments can cause many major diseases without damaging (mutating) the human DNA. The book has been read by more than 5,000 scientists around the world, and has been reviewed in more than 20 leading scientific journals.

I’ll get to Dr. Polansky’s radio interview and “purple book” a little later. In the meantime, let’s take a look at Dr. Polansky’s background and what he might mean by “microcompetition.” To do this, it doesn’t help to go to the medical literature. A quick search of PubMed this weekend for works by Dr. Polansky reveals only one publication in Acta Oncologica entitled Gene-Eden, a broad range, natural antiviral supplement, may shrink tumors and strengthen the immune system. Remember what I said about how low a bar it is to get a paper published somewhere in the peer-reviewed literature? Let’s just say that this paper is evidence of that. It’s a case report of the use of a supplement called Gene-Eden published as what appears to be a letter to the editor describing how Gene-Eden plus chemotherapy shrank a pancreatic cancer. (Obviously, it must have been the Gene-Eden that worked.) But what is Gene-Eden? According to the Gene-Eden website, Dr. Polansky’s Gene-Eden-VIR supplement contains “five natural ingredients” (Camellia Sinensis Extract, Quercetin, Licorice Extract, Cinnamomum Extract, and Selenium) identified thusly:

Gene-Eden-VIR the the first product of our Science-Based approach. To identify the Gene-Eden ingredients, the scientists at polyDNA used the scientific method developed by Dr. Hanan Polansky. We scanned the scientific literature, analyzed thousands of papers using our proprietary bioinformatics-based computer program, and identified the most effective and safe natural ingredients. Some of the laboratory and clinical studies, which were published in scientific journals, and show that these natural ingredients have a strong antiviral effect, are described here.

The studies listed are, as you might expect, a bunch of cell culture and animal studies. Amusingly, on the Gene-Eden website there is also a table boasting between 913 and 6,753 publications for each ingredient, depending on the specific ingredient. (Take that, skeptics!) There’s that, and, in addition to Dr. Polansky’s single publication listed in PubMed, lots of press releases, for instance about how Gene-Eden-VIR can treat cervical cancer, prevent swine flu, and treat a whole host of viruses.

And ya might not believe this, little fella, but it’ll cure your asthma, too.

In any case, besides apparently shrinking pancreatic cancer, according to Dr. Polansky his Gene-Eden supplement can also help insomnia (which Polansky attributes to “latent viruses”), chronic fatigue syndrome, and a host of other diseases. In fact, Polansky attributes many diseases to “latent viruses,” reminding me of how many supplement hawkers justify the ingredients in their supplements. They cherry pick the literature to find suggestive preclinical or correlative studies for each ingredient that might indicate usefulness for the purpose claimed, with nary a convincing clinical trial to justify the combination of ingredients used at the dose used, because, well, latent viruses cause every chronic health problem known to humans, apparently.

And the rationale for Gene-Eden is based on something that Dr. Polansky refers to as “microcompetition” or the “starved gene hypothesis.” This brings us to how Polansky’s ideas can serve the agenda of a crank organization like SANE Vax. But what is “microcompetition”?

Microcompetition? More like a microhypothesis!

Now here’s where things start to get all “sciencey.” A trip back to the website of Dr. Polansky’s Center for the Biology of Chronic Disease soon leads one to a link to his free book, Microcompetition with Foreign DNA and the Origin of Chronic Disease. It even has an ISBN and everything! But what about Dr. Polansky’s Center? Its address is listed on the website; so I did a bit of Google Maps fun. Here’s where the institute maps to (click to enlarge):

Even though it’s on a major road, it sure looks like a private residence to me. Shades of Mark and David Geier doing their antivaccine research in the basement of Mark Geier’s house as part of their “Institute for Chronic Illnesses” (which sounds eerily similar to the Center for the Biology of Chronic Disease)!

Still, just because Dr. Polansky isn’t affiliated with a university or research institute doesn’t necessarily mean his ideas aren’t worth considering. After all, Albert Einstein did some of his best work when he was still a patent clerk. True, Polansky’s selling of a dubious supplement and his apparent belief that latent viral infections are the cause of most chronic illnesses suggest he might be a few bases short of a full coding sequence, but let’s see what he says. Back to the press release about his appearance on Holy Hormones:

The FDA and Merck admit that Gardasil contains foreign DNA fragments. However, the FDA asserts that these foreign DNA fragments pose no risk. In contrast, Dr. Hanan Polansky, in his highly acclaimed “Purple” book explains how certain foreign DNA fragments, at high concentrations, cause major diseases, such as, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and even obesity even when the DNA is broken and not functioning.

Note: “…at high concentrations.” (Emphasis mine.) It’s half tempting to stop right here, point out that, even if there is a tiny amount of HPV DNA left in each Gardasil vaccine vial, it isn’t “at high concentrations” and couldn’t possibly get into any cell in the human body at high enough concentrations to induce microcompetition, thus making Dr. Polansky’s ideas about “microcompetition,” right or wrong, completely irrelevant to SANE Vax’s fear mongering, and leave it at that. However, by agreeing to be interviewed it was Dr. Polansky who voluntarily offered up his idea as tactical air support for the SANE Vax campaign of fear mongering about the HPV vaccine. Besides, you come to SBM for more than that; so more than that I will try to deliver. To do that, let’s head to the source:

Dr. Hanan Polansky discovered that fragments of DNA, called N-boxes, can be very dangerous. When foreign N-boxes enter the body (naturally, or artificially, like through an injection of some treatment), they end up in the nucleus, where they attract scarce genetic resources. It is interesting that many common dormant (latent) viruses have strong N-boxes in their DNA. They include the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Herpes Simplex virus (HSV), Varicella Zoster virus (VZV), Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), Human Papillomavirus (HPV), and others. In fact, the CMV virus has the strongest N-box known to science. This N-box is so strong that human genes cannot compete with its power to attract the scarce genetic resources.

Sometimes Dr. Polansky compares these fragments of DNA to magnets. Imagine introducing a powerful magnet into the nucleus. What will be the effect of this powerful magnet on the allocation of genetic resources in the nucleus? The weak human N-boxes have no chance. Poor human genes. Poor host.

In the nucleus, “microcompetition” between the foreign N-boxes and the human N-boxes in the human genes can lead to disease. When the foreign N-boxes belong to a virus, microcompetition between the viral DNA and the human DNA can lead to disease even when the virus is dormant (latent), or the viral DNA is broken into pieces and cannot express proteins. As predicted by Dr. Hanan Polansky, many studies found fragments of DNA that belong to these viruses in tumors, clogged arteries (arterial plaque), arthritic joints, and other diseased tissues.

What might come as a surprise to SBM readers is that this is not an entirely implausible hypothesis, at least for some viral infections. What makes it implausible is how Dr. Polansky links it to latent viral infections. Be that as it may, back in the day, way, way back when I used to do a lot of plasmid transfections, we knew about microcompetition, only we didn’t call it that. Plasmids, for those not familiar with them, are DNA circles in which scientists can place whatever genes they want under the control of whatever promoter (DNA sequences that control how much a gene is transcribed into RNA) they want. “Transfection” is a process by which scientists can introduce this foreign DNA into mammalian cells and thereby drive expression of an exogenous gene. For purposes of this discussion, it’s not really that important how the plasmid DNA gets into the cell, only that it gets into the cell.

In the cell, the transcriptional machinery is made up of a number of proteins, among which is a class of proteins known as transcription factors. Transcription factors bind to specific DNA sequences on promoters and activate the transcription of the gene into messenger RNA, which is then used as a template to make protein. The key concept to understand here is that the supply of transcription factors and their protein co-factors in the cell can be limited, which means that there are only so many binding sites that the cell can accommodate. It is possible to “sop up” all of the cell’s supply of a specific transcription factor (or set of transcription factors) by flooding the cell with short length oligonucleotides that contain the correct sequence of nucleotides to bind to the transcription factor. When this happens, the transcription factor supply is tied up and these transcription factors can’t activate transcription of the cell’s DNA. It’s all a matter of chemical equilibrium; if the amount of exogenous DNA binding sequence introduced into the cell is very large relative to the amount of endogenous DNA binding sequences in the genome and the sum total is much larger than what the cell’s transcriptional machinery can accommodate, the transcription of the cell’s genes controlled by that sequence will plummet. This concept is illustrated in a figure from a paper published 12 years ago (click to enlarge).

Note that in this figure a specific sequence of DNA is acting as a “decoy” to tie up the E2F transcription factor. This oligonucleotide decoy strategy is a strategy that’s been studied for at least a couple of decades for shutting down gene activity, with mixed results. It is, however, not a new idea. Nor is it a new idea that certain viruses can do exactly the same thing by flooding the cell with copies of themselves, including sequences that can “sop up” specific transcription factors. This appears to form the basis of Dr. Polansky’s “microcompetition” idea. Indeed, in his book, Dr. Polansky goes way back to the very beginnings of molecular biology and gene transcription assays and points out well-known observations that I was taught in graduate school 20 years ago showing how investigators using pSV2CAT in 1984 showed that two plasmids could compete with each other for the cell’s transcriptional machinery: “taken together, our data indicate that a limited amount of the cellular factors required for the function of the SV40 72-bp repeats is present in CV-1 cells. Increasing the number of functional SV40 enhancer elements successfully competes for these factors, whereas other elements necessary for stable transcription did not show such an effect” (quoted from Scholer et al, 1984). My PhD thesis advisor did studies of this type studying transcription in muscle in the late 1980s.

Right here I should admit that I didn’t read all—or even most—of Dr. Polansky’s book. It is, after all, 427 pages long, not counting indices and the list of references (the latter of which numbers well over 1,000, demonstrating that the number of references doesn’t necessarily correlate with the quality of the science). Much of it is also painfully tedious reading. I’ll do a lot of things for a blog post, but even I have my limits, and trying to slog through 427+ pages of snore-inducing prose prose about a mildly interesting but outdated idea is beyond my limits. That’s why I found this review of Dr. Polansky’s book rather useful, coupled with some careful “cherry picking” of chapters discussing topics about which I’m knowledgeable. Basically, Dr. Polansky zeros in on a DNA sequence known as an N-box, which is also known as the ETS binding site and has a motif that looks like this: (A/C)GGA(A/T)(G/A). This is the core binding sequence of a transcription factor known as GA-binding protein transcription factor (GABP), which is involved in the regulation of transcription of a lot of important genes that regulate important cellular processes. It turns out that some viruses, including the HPV virus, have N-box sequences. Dr. Polansky claims that these N-box sequences in latent viruses compete for GABP and cause disease.

There are, as you might imagine, a lot of problems with this concept, and that’s even before we get to discussing whether this concept has any relevency whatsoever to HPV and its vaccine. For one thing, dormant viruses are by definition dormant. That means they are not replicating. Remember, the concept of “microcompetition” means that the N-box DNA must be present in high concentrations in order to compete with the N-boxes in the cellular DNA. Yet Dr. Polansky seems to think that this N-box in some viruses has some sort of magical powers to attract all the transcription factors in the cell to them. He uses terms like “magnet” and in his interview with Leslie Carol Botha approves of Norma Erickson’s referring to them as “vampires.” In fact, he more than just approves of the term, he even says, “I love the word ‘vampire’; it adds a lot of flavor to it.” Erickson then carries the analogy one step beyond into the ether when she then refers to the cells as functioning like “zombies.”

He analogizes to sucking the nutrients out of cells (hence the “starved gene hypothesis.” In reality, even if it occurs in reality, microcompetition is nothing more than a chemical equilibrium. For “microcompetition” to be the cause of disease, these latent viruses would have to be churning out N-box sequence at prodigious levels, which latent viruses don’t do because, well, if they were replicating themselves they wouldn’t be latent anymore.

None of this stops Dr. Polansky from saying this about N-box sequences in his interview:

At the end of the five years, we had found something pretty amazing, that many of the major diseases originate from the same source, and the source is basically foreign fragments of DNA and specifically one segment of DNA that’s causing all the trouble. This fragment of DNA is called an N-box, that is basically operating as a magnet and competing with human genes for scarce genetic resources available in the nucleus. Once these foreign DNA fragments are found in the nucleus, then as they arrive in high concentrations [difficult to understand], a disease will start and we see all the symptoms that today are recognized for all these major diseases.

Erickson helpfully chimes in later that this is “starvation at a cellular level,” and Dr. Polansky agrees. If this guy can’t even understand the difference between transcription factors and nutrients, I have a hard time taking him seriously. Even as a metaphor, Polansky’s analogy fails. It gets worse than that, though. Later in the interview, Polansky goes on and on about how regular drugs are “synthesized from scratch” and biologicals (like vaccines) are not, but are rather made using plasmids and recombinant genetic technology. This leads Botha and Erickson to gasp in terror at “genetically modified” treatments. Scary! This is followed by an anti-pharma rant about how much money drug companies make selling…drugs! And they’re shocked—shocked, I say!—that Gardasil, being a vaccine, is classified as a “biological.” Run for the hills!

But how does all of this relate to HPV and Gardasil? I think you know. I’ve already alluded to it, but just for the heck of it, let’s take a look at what Dr. Polansky has to say:

In my book, these DNA fragments are dangerous. They are the cause potentially—it has to be investigated further. But potentially, they can be the source of all the adverse effects, side effects, or diseases that we see with the injection… after the the injection, with the woman being vaccinated.

After Botha expresses her gratitude at having “found” Dr. Polansky (the two deserve each other from where I stand), she rants a bit about how many girls are allegedly sick from Gardasil, regurgitating various antivaccine tropes. The discussion (such as it is) then continues and goes beyond Gardasil, with Dr. Polansky opining:

All the modern vaccines are basically sharing the same process and therefore all of them will have DNA or fragments of DNA that are being injected into the people getting the vaccines. Autism, for instance, was linked recently with the MMR and a lot of debate about it, meaning you can read opinions on this issue. I read somewhere recently that MMR was also discovered to have foreign DNA fragments in it. So that’s the way it’s being done. That’s the manufacturing process and the purification pricess. And the limits of the purification process result in DNA residuals in the vaccines. As I said, the dispute is not whether there are DNA fragments in the vaccine, because nobody will argue that. You go online, you check on Google, and you’ll see that the debate is whether these DNA fragments cause disease. And if you ask the maintream scientist or doctor or pharmaceutical officer whether these DNA fragments cause any harm, they’ll say no. My book argues otherwise. So in a way my book is flying in the face of the entire traditional mainstream biology.

Except that it’s not. As I’ve described before, microcompetition is not a new concept, nor is the concept that viruses can cause chronic diseases. All Dr. Polansky has done with respect to this is to repackage old ideas in a not particularly exciting way. Hilariously, even the die-hard antivaccine Australian Vera Schreiber stated this in the comments of one of the SANE Vax posts about Dr. Polansky. He’s also way behind the times when it comes to genomics and molecular biology in that he doesn’t even consider microRNAs as a mechanism that could explain some of the “anomalous” observations he describes in his book about BRCA1 and breast cancer linked to low BRCA1 in women without BRCA1 mutations.

In fact, as Abbie Smith describes, there are a lot of things that Dr. Polansky apparently doesn’t understand about virology and biology, among other things.

Now I understand where microcompetition came from!

Microcompetition as a concept has a modicum of plausibility in a limited fashion for some aspects of cellular behavior. It has not to my knowledge been directly linked to any specific diseases in the 9 years since Dr. Polansky first wrote his book. Certainly Dr. Polansky hasn’t published anything supporting his idea, nor has anyone else as far as I’ve been able to ascertain in my multiple searches of PubMed. As speculation, Dr. Polansky’s concepts are somewhat interesting, but he takes their potential implications far beyond what the evidence can support. Normally, this wouldn’t necessarily be such a horrible thing if it were done as an intellectual exercise. After all, I didn’t mind, for example, the speculative fiction that was Medical Hypotheses until it started providing a platform for quacks to give their ideas a patina of seeming scientific respectability, as it did for Mark and David Geier and their ideas that led to their use of chemical castration with Lupron as a treatment for autism. Besides, sometimes outlandish ideas actually go somewhere.

I consider it higly unlikely that Dr. Polansky’s idea will.

The reasons are numerous. First, his idea isn’t all that new, as much as he tries to labor to represent it as some radical new breakthrough. Yes, I know he’s managed to impress a few doctors and scientists, but that was eight years ago, back when his idea actually seemed mildly innovative. Science has moved on, particularly virology and genomics, the two most relevant scientific disciplines to Dr. Polansky’s ideas. Second, nine years after he proposed it, it hasn’t really gone anywhere. Neither Dr. Polansky himself nor any other scientist that I’ve been able to locate has published any reports linking the concept of microcompetition definitively to a human disease.

Worse, however, instead of doing research to determine whether his idea has experimental evidence to back it up and, more importantly, whether that experimental evidence can suggest strategies to use the concept of microcompetition to intervene in the pathophysiology of any disease, instead Dr. Polansky has devoted himself to selling a supplement that he made up by cherry picking some natural compounds for which he could find a bit of in vitro and animal data supporting antiviral effect and using them to make a supplement that he sells to treat “chronic viral infection.” There’s no clinically acceptable evidence that his supplement works in humans as advertised or that it impacts microcompetition in any way. Not only that, but he’s been warned by the FDA about at least one of his claims for his supplement.

Worst of all, though, now Dr. Polansky appears to have hitched his horse to the antivaccine movement. I don’t know who contacted whom first, SANE Vax or Dr. Polansky. It might have been either. Perhaps the brain trust at SANE Vax saw Dr. Polansky’s website and thought it a perfect way to slap a veneer of plausibility on their utterly ridiculous fear mongering about minuscule bits of DNA in the HPV vaccine, or maybe Dr. Polansky sought out SANE Vax because of their recent “revelation.” Who knows? Does it really matter? Either way, what we have is a crank organization teaming up with a crank to link their respective crank ideas in the service of spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt about vaccines. They’re two nasty crank ideas that taste cranky together.

There’s still one final question, though: Where did he get this idea? The answer to that question, my friends, is perhaps the silliest aspect of this entire sordid story. Although Dr. Polansky explains how he came up with his idea in his interview, it’s easier to go to another of Dr. Polansky’s websites for the skinny:

Wouldn’t you wish to have Einstein working on your medical problem? Imagine someone with his ability to choose the right direction to work on, his talent to recognize meaningful findings, his genius to leap from old concepts to new and more promising ideas. Think how much you would accomplish with Einstein on your team.

Einstein and other great scientists had one overwhelming talent, their superb intuition. This talent led them to discover pathways not charted on any map, and ensured that these pathways would become highways traveled by generations of scientists in their expeditions to uncover the secrets of nature.

We believe that the above proposition is not merely wishful thinking. Our sophisticated computer program, called Computer Intuition, was modeled to show the characteristics of genius intuition, and therefore, to turns us into “Einsteins.”

The basic premise of the Computer Intuition program is that every future event is preceded by hints, and that the key to realizing these events is recognizing the future significance of these hints.

In 1996, Dr. Hanan Polansky completed a prototype of a computer program that analyzes scientific text and assigns a rating to all ideas found in the text. The rating can be interpreted as intuitive intensity, (or psychological intensity, hence, psytensity). The higher the intuitive intensity, or psytensity, of an idea, the more it hints on future discoveries or future treatments. Dr. Polansky modeled the program after the intuition of the greatest minds in science such as Einstein, Newton, Edison and Tesla, and called it Computer Intuition.

Yes indeed, you read it right. Dr. Polansky wrote a “computer intuition program” and used it to scan the medical literature. In his interview with SANE Vax, he stated that he had used his computer program to scan 500,000 publications. This microcompetition idea is what he came up with. I kid you not. You’d think such a seemingly awesome algorithm could come up with something better, but apparently you’d be wrong.

As a consolation prize, at least Dr. Polansky should be proud that he made it in the alt-med world. He now has his own entry on Whale.to. Now, that‘s an accomplishment!

Posted in: Basic Science, Cancer, Vaccines

Leave a Comment (71) ↓

71 thoughts on “SANE Vax adopts Dr. Hanan Polansky’s “microcompetition” as its own. Hilarity ensues.

  1. sarah007 says:

    The Flexnor report was a joke, it was about dumping anything that didn’t follow the medical drug prescribing minority at that time and has led to a focus on research that is divorced from clinical practice and more interested in creating revenue for caring for patients. The paranoia that the septic community has is based on the skewing of the development of modern medicine toward profit not real investment in understanding health.

    “After 1960, however, as medical research became increasingly molecular in orientation, patients were bypassed in most cutting-edge investigations, and immersion in the laboratory became necessary for the most prestigious scientific projects. Clinical teachers found it increasingly difficult to be first-tier researchers, and fewer and fewer investigators could bring the depth of clinical knowledge and experience to teaching that they once had.10

    The increasing turbulence of the health care environment in the past 20 years has generated a second set of conditions inimical to medical education as Flexner imagined it. Clinical teachers have been under intensifying pressure to increase their clinical productivity — that is, to generate revenues by providing care for paying patients.11-13 As a result, they have less time available for teaching, often to their immense frustration. In addition, the harsh, commercial atmosphere of the marketplace has permeated many academic medical centers. Students hear institutional leaders speaking more about “throughput,” “capture of market share,” “units of service,” and the financial “bottom line” than about the prevention and relief of suffering. Students learn from this culture that health care as a business may threaten medicine as a calling.

    Thus we arrive at our current predicament: medical students and residents are often taught clinical medicine either by faculty who spend very limited time seeing patients and honing their clinical skills (and who regard the practice of medicine as a secondary activity in their careers) or by teachers who have little familiarity with modern biomedical science (and who see few, if any, academic rewards in leaving their busy practices to teach). In either case, many clinical teachers no longer exemplify Flexner’s model of the clinician-investigator.”

    Review Article

    Medical Education

    Malcolm Cox, M.D., Editor, David M. Irby, Ph.D., Editor
    American Medical Education 100 Years after the Flexner Report

    Molly Cooke, M.D., David M. Irby, Ph.D., William Sullivan, Ph.D., and Kenneth M. Ludmerer, M.D.

    N Engl J Med 2006; 355:1339-1344September 28, 2006

  2. windriven says:

    “That’s even assuming it could pass the blood-brain barrier”

    I thought the barrier to be breached in HPV transmission was rather … lower.

    Seriously, I haven’t heard much complaint about Gardasil adverse effects. Maybe I’ve become immune to the background noise of luddites and flat-earthers clucking about the horrors of polluting our precious bodily fluids with vaccines. Are there reports (credible or not) suggesting reactions affecting the brain? CDC mentions Guillain-Barre but:

    “There has been no indication that Gardasil® increases the rate of GBS above the rate expected in the general population, whether or not they were vaccinated.”

    As a side note CDC reports 40 million doses of Gardasil and 20,000 adverse effects reports, 92% of those being minor (soreness at the injection site and so forth). 8% were considered serious. 8% of 20,000 is 1600 and 1600 out of 40,000,000 is on the order of 40PPM. That seems high to me for serious medical problems in a population clustered in the mid-teens. Can anyone tell me if a 40PPM background rate is about right for a teen population?

  3. windriven says:

    @Sarah007, secret agentess of the sacred order of truth-keepers and defenders of the grail

    “The paranoia that the septic community has…”

    I’m still chuckling. You really should be writing for Colbert. Oh, you didn’t mean that to be funny? Sorry.

    “The Flexnor (sic) report was a joke…”

    And because you’ve uttered it, the truth of that remark is self-evident, is that the idea?

    I haven’t read the NEJM report that you cite but will happily bet that the authors did not call Flexner ‘a joke’. Most people would also concede that medical education has room for improvement; most everything does. But it should also be noted that a good deal of practical doctoring skills are acquired during internship and residency, building on the intellectual foundation laid in medical school. The fact that some medical school faculty do not spend much time as clinicians isn’t particularly striking.

    If you want to be taken seriously, learn to moderate your comments. If you have issues with Flexner, lay them out rationally and tie them to the consequences you believe they evoke. Shrieking that the study that reshaped medical education in North America is “a joke” makes you appear a fool and perhaps delusional.

  4. rork says:

    Polansky seems to be in it entirely for the money. How is that not obvious to the rabble? Is Zappa the cure?

  5. sarah007 says:

    Windy, one interesting factoid about Gardasil is that girls who prestest postive with HPV that are given this vaccine show a 44% increase in cervical cancer a year later when researchers went back to the first group given it. So one would ask why prestesting is not part of the protocol of this vaccine?

    Flexnor was funded by private groups like the Rockafellas who all saw the potential profit in moving out anything that challenged them, didn’t they do well.

    Nice to see that the history of modern medicine is steeped in the old boys network.

  6. annappaa says:

    Seeing the above headline on this dreary and sleepy morning really brightened my day. Just last month I received a comment from one of Polansky’s associates in reply to something I wrote about HPV in a blog. I initially approved the comment and replied to it, before realizing that the same person had copied and pasted the same comment in many blogs under at least two different names. It turned out that he has written press releases and is involved in the distribution of Polansky’s “antiviral” patent medicine — the same stuff that was cited by the FDA last year for peddling products falsely claiming to cure STDs.

    I was especially amused by your description of the bountiful “evidence” given on the supplement’s website — long lists of irrelevant studies and a link to a seemingly independent research institute. After looking at these webpages, I had all the same reactions that you did — except you went the extra mile and actually read (much of) the good doctor’s book!

    Probably by posting this I am inviting more annoying comments, but I guess that’s what I signed up for when I decided to write about vaccines in the first place.

  7. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

    I find it amusing that Polansky criticizes Big Pharma for making money, when he himself is selling something to treat disease.

    He’s also got a bit of a “one true cause of all disease” floating about. I suppose it’s “specific” to all chronic disease, which is…better?

    Heh, also funny is the comparison to Einstein. Einstein was a physicist. The types of problems, and particularly the levels of specifics/exceptions are totally different. You can hold all the ideas for a physics problem in your head with a certain amount of ease. With biology, you’re always having to look up the specifics. Physics and medicine are both hard, but for different reasons. Physics is counter-intuitive to our day-to-day understanding of reality, and does things that seem impossible to us (i.e. time slowing down for both observers when passing each other at relativistic speeds). Medicine can be much more intuitive, to a certain extent, but evolutionary history, with its extensive employment of exaption to create new functionality and move into new niches. Billions of years of shoddy construction compounded on shoddy construction. Like building a badger’s burrow into a skyscraper, passing through the phases of mud hut, log cabin, ziggurat, pyramid, cathedral, Eiffel Tower, and masonary palace in between – without demolishing anything. Out of order. And the badger still has to get in and out.

  8. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

    Sarah’s right, we didn’t need the Flexner report. Look how healthy everyone was before modern medicine! Nobody died of smallpox, polio was nonparalytic, iron lungs were fashion statements and infectious diseases easily conquered. That’s why everybody died in their sleep at an age of 102.

    Funny that she would cite a journal article though, you know you can’t trust the scientific literature! You have to rely on non-scientific literature published by people who don’t make any money off of their work. You know, like Joseph Mercola. Or Hanan Polansky. Neither of whom sell proprietary products direct from their website.

  9. windriven says:

    Someone, please stop me before I engage with SecretSarah again!

    “one interesting factoid about Gardasil is that girls who prestest postive with HPV that are given this vaccine show a 44% increase in cervical cancer a year later when researchers went back to the first group given it”

    This is sort of a jumble of words from which I deduce the following claim:

    (n=?) Females (age and deviation?) who pretested positive for HPV (using what diagnostic?) and who were vaccinated with Gardasil were later shown to have a 44% increase in cervical cancer diagnosis (yes? actual diagnosis or so-called precancerous lesions? 44% increase compared to what composition control group?) one year after vaccination (is that correct? the wording ‘a year later when researchers went back to the first group given it’ is murky).

    And where can the study reporting this finding be found?

    You have made an extraordinary claim: a 44% increase in cervical cancer rates one year after Gardasil vaccination in a population of presumably young women is startling – presuming that n is not so small as to pluck 44% out of the background noise.

  10. I have developed a new theory about foreign DNA and chronic disease that will revolutionize modern medicine!

    (Oh, and as a side note, I have also developed a computer program capable of thinking intuitively that if it works as billed, would be worth billions and would have nearly unlimited potential for application, but since I’m a medical researcher, I’m only interested in using this program for my research and have no plans for commercializing my new artificial intelligence program. And it’s entirely plausible that I as an obscure medical researcher could make such a breakthrough in the field of artificial intelligence.)

    “The basic premise of the Computer Intuition program is that every future event is preceded by hints, and that the key to realizing these events is recognizing the future significance of these hints.”

    Wait a minute, I just realized, it sounds like he’s developed a real life version of a certain computer from a certain British science fiction show made in the late ’70s/early ’80s. (I won’t mention the name of the computer because for some reason, I suspect it might trigger a content filter that would trap my comment in moderation.)

  11. “The basic premise of the Computer Intuition program is that every future event is preceded by hints, and that the key to realizing these events is recognizing the future significance of these hints.”

    OK, I can’t help myself: He’s apparently built a real life Orac!

  12. Chris says:

    windriven, don’t even bother. If there was a real citation she probably could not read it. She had a paper that included the name “Flexner” in the title, yet she spelled it as “Flexnor.” The report is available for free here. It really does not say what she claims it does. Think of her as slightly less delusional, but definitely less literate than Thingy (Th1Th2).

    But the reason she should be ignored is that she is trying to hijack the thread away from what Dr. Gorski wrote. Mainly the quality of research and researchers that folks like SaneVAX attempt to use.

  13. Harriet Hall says:

    HPV: Let me see if I understand this. Sarah heard somewhere that girls who had evidence of HPV infection before vaccination had a higher incidence of cervical cancer after vaccination than… what? girls who were not vaccinated? girls who had not been infected with HPV?
    We don’t know if that’s true, because she didn’t provide a citation, but even if it is true, so what?
    That makes sense. If they had been already been infected by the virus and were already at increased risk, the vaccine wouldn’t change that. The vaccine is intended to prevent young women from getting infected. It was never expected to benefit existing infections. And wouldn’t pretesting be useless unless the patient were proven to have ALL the strains of HPV that are covered by the vaccine?

  14. lizditz says:

    I usually follow Chris’s directives, but I couldn’t help myself. Couldn’t find a source for Sarah007′s claims, but I’m betting it will be something from Tenpenny.

    However, I did go read annappa‘s excellent posts on various reproductive health issues. You should too!

    And I wandered over to pubmed and found something new:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22123221
    Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2012 Feb;24(1):3-7.
    Cervical cancer in the human papillomavirus vaccination era.
    Tay SK.

    RECENT FINDINGS:
    Limited sensitivity and unequal access to screening have resulted in an imbalance in distribution of the burden of cervical cancer between developed and developing countries, between metropolitan and rural areas in developed countries, and among women from different ethnic groups. In screened populations, there is a relative increase in incidence of cervical cancer in young and elderly women, and an increased proportion of adenocarcinoma. A high coverage of the target population has been achieved in human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination programs in many countries. After 3 years of mass vaccination of adolescent girls, surveillance data in Australia confirmed a significant reduction in high-grade abnormalities for girls aged 18 years and below.SUMMARY:HPV vaccination is more feasible than cytology screening for universal implementation across geographic sectors and demographic groups within individual countries and over the world. The high vaccine efficacy should significantly reduce the total burden and unequal distribution of invasive cervical cancer, including adenocarcinoma hitherto observed. These epidemiological changes provoke consideration for appropriate modifications of the current screening program.

  15. David Gorski says:

    OK, I can’t help myself: He’s apparently built a real life Orac!

    Nah. Polansky program’s a piker compared to Orac. You could only compare the product of his work to Orac if:

    1. Dr. Polansky’s computer has a tarriel cell;
    2. His computer can communicate instantaneously with every computer in the the known galaxy: and
    3. Can use the information it gets that way to calculate probabilities to such a fine degree that its predictions are so accurate that they’re virtually indistinguishable from predicting the future.

    :-)

  16. Narad says:

    suggest he might be a few bases short of a full coding sequence

    I laughed. Excellent coinage.

  17. lilady says:

    “Windy, one interesting factoid about Gardasil is that girls who prestest postive with HPV that are given this vaccine show a 44% increase in cervical cancer a year later when researchers went back to the first group given it. So one would ask why prestesting is not part of the protocol of this vaccine?”

    Cripes Guys…You all missed it! Troll actually used a *FACTOID* for her argument:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Factoid

    Under the circumstances, I agree with the Troll’s argument…in its entirety.

  18. windriven says:

    @lilady

    Crap. Serves me right for not reading more carefully.

    Thanks for the dope slap!

  19. bgoudie says:

    I’d guess this is the evidence behind Sarah’s 44% claim

    http://tvotr.blogspot.com/2010/03/cervical-cancer-vaccine-increases.html

    Really I’m utterly convinced by this. The website in question says that’s the voice of the resistance, and movies have taught us the the rebel is always right.

    There you go folks, we can put this whole vaccine idea behind us a return to the paradise of pre-immunization humanity.

  20. sarah007 says:

    Muff with a C said “I have developed a new theory about foreign DNA and chronic disease that will revolutionize modern medicine! ”

    First we will tell everyone that every disease has a specific organism or bug that causes it, then we will tell people that you can do nothing except believe this concept and pay large sums of tax for the privilage of access to the only group of people who can save you with their special ‘medicine’.

    Then we will tell them stories when they are really small of heroic tales of men in white coats who selfessly stayed up really late to perform weird rituals too complicated to explain but we all had to believe in their mystic power.

    They would set up websites to trawl for arguments against them and selectively make sure all traces of evidence was removed from the kingdome. Only evidence approved of by the king was real evidence, irrespective of real time proof and the ruling of EBM, which has no EBM for itself shall reign.

    These priests or doctors would train long and hard to remember great long lists of protocols and even though they may become the largest cause of death this little fact shall be overlooked.

    No one shall question this or risk being struck off from the gravy train. Period.

  21. weing says:

    Silly sarah tries another straw man argument, again demonstrating her ignorance. She assumes that, like her and Polansky, real doctors also think that there is a one true cause of all disease.

  22. qetzal says:

    Sarah’s claim about HPV was raised here once before. The 44% increase was indeed seen in one clinical study. What Sarah is omitting is that a second study found essentially no difference, while a third found a decrease. I can’t remember the details, but the issue was explicitly discussed in FDA’s review docs. Taking all the data into account, they concluded there was most likely no real relationship, though they acknowledged that further surveillance was warranted, just in case.

    Again, this is from memory, but I believe I’m recalling correctly. If I get time later I’ll try to find links to the data.

  23. lilady says:

    I think “bgoudie” located the Troll’s source about HPV vaccine. I viewed the video provided in the link and there was some vague statement about “44 % of girls immunized against the virus who were already infected with HPV were diagnosed with cervical cancer a year later….according to the August, 2007 JAMA issue”. (Troll didn’t provide a citation and Troll is clueless that JAMA issues are weekly)

    I did locate this article in the August 15, 2007 issue of JAMA:

    http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/298/7/743.abstract

    Of course, there is absolutely nothing in this abstract or any other abstract that claims that the HPV vaccine will cure a pre-existing HPV infection. And, I have not located any abstract that states that the vaccine causes cervical cancer.

  24. qetzal says:

    OK, the previous discussion was actually over on Respectful Insolence. See my comment #21 here. There’s a link there to the FDA discussion.

    And Sarah, please note there was never any evidence of increased cervical cancer. It was a concern about increase precancerous lesions. An increase that, again, was only seen in one study out of three, and wasn’t even statistically significant within that one study (much less when all three studies were combined).

  25. windriven says:

    @sarah007

    I am happy to engage those with whom I disagree, it is a wonderful way to hone my own beliefs and to sometimes learn something new or to learn a new way to view an issue.

    I make time to engage the ignorant because there is no shame in not knowing, only in not being open to learning. What finer thing than to bring even a small bit of light to a darker place?

    But I have no time for the for those who celebrate stupidity, who revel in the puerile, who wear their vapidity like a dribble cup. How can you even put your name to a sentence like this:

    [H]eroic tales of men in white coats who selfessly (sic) stayed up really late to perform weird rituals too complicated to explain but we all had to believe in their mystic power.

    Too complicated to explain??? Mystic power? Where were you when they taught the scientific method in Earth Science class in about the 5th grade?

    Chris was right: move along, nothing to see here.

  26. sarah007 says:

    Pretzel said “The 44% increase was indeed seen in one clinical study. What Sarah is omitting is that a second study found essentially no difference, while a third found a decrease.”

    Well what a surprise, first the data says the vaccine is dangerous and each subsequent one shows that it is a postive benefit to health, no surprises then.

    Windypants quoted and didn’t like”[H]eroic tales of men in white coats who selfessly (sic) stayed up really late to perform weird rituals too complicated to explain but we all had to believe in their mystic power. ”

    Well the next time a doctor tells you you have high blood pressure and there is nothing you can really do about it, it’s in the family/genetic etc. and the only thing you can do is take this ‘medication’ the doctor is either a liar or a superstious twat.

  27. sarah007 says:

    Windy said “I am happy to engage those with whom I disagree, it is a wonderful way to hone my own beliefs and to sometimes learn something new or to learn a new way to view an issue.”

    How charitable, I must admit I am struggling to see more than flatearth dwellers and mud hut conspiracy here. We still don’t know what Lilady had to eat so can we assume it’s …………..

  28. writeboywrite says:

    Dr. Gorski wrote: “Right here I should admit that I didn’t read all—or even most—of Dr. Polansky’s book.”

    1. This should have begun the good doctor’s critique of Dr. Polansky’s work. Instead, it was buried 31 paragraphs or so down in his rant.

    You know, whether one respects the Bible or not, in Proverbs 18:13 it says: “He that gives an answer before he hears is a fool, and is brought to shame” – (Aramaic Bible in Plain English, 2010)

    Dr. Gorski read some of the book, but he quickly got bored and didn’t feel like continuing. Thus, he has no clue whether Dr. Polansky’s book might have answered any of his criticisms later on or not.

    2. Dr. Gorski wrote: “As I’ve described before, microcompetition is not a new concept, nor is the concept that viruses can cause chronic diseases. All Dr. Polansky has done with respect to this is to repackage old ideas in a not particularly exciting way.”

    Once again, Dr. Gorski decided not to read the whole book. Some of those who DID read the entire book said:

    “Even if only a portion of the author’s thesis is correct, it would establish wholly new insights into the pathogenesis of chronic disease states, and would have significant implications for treatment and/or prevention.” – Kim E. Barrett, PhD – Professor of Medicine and Vice-Chair for Research, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine

    “Not only does the book present a strong theory to unify the cause of many diverse disease states, the book itself represents an aspect lacking in the field of medical science, an attempt to unify observations into coherent theories.” – Q. Ping Dou, PhD – Co-Leader, Prevention Program, Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, and Professor, Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Wayne State University

    “I believe every scientist working with biological systems should read the book to become aware of how important mathematical descriptions of systems are. Moreover, the book demonstrates in a very elegant way how important it is to see the big picture and not to be focused on isolated systems.” – Felix B. Engel, PhD – Research Fellow, Department of Cardiology, Children’s Hospital, Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School

    “(Dr. Polansky’s) hypothesis provides a different and simplified perspective to understand Darwin’s hypothesis of survival and adaptability … I recommend his book as a thoughtful, in-depth analysis of seemingly unconnected data to provoke thoughtful discussions by an equally diverse audience.” – Lloyd E. King, Jr., MD, PhD – Professor of Medicine (Dermatology), Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

    “I anticipated that the contents of Dr. Polansky’s book would be philosophical and purely subjective. I sat down to read it with such a mental focus, and was completely knocked off my feet by the plethora of data provided in support of his stated theories and observations … (The book) will challenge what we consider to be ‘truisms’ and has the potential to incite new thinking to old problems. Anyone in the biomedical, medical or basic science research fields would benefit from reading it.” – N. Joseph Espat, MD – Associate Professor, Department of Surgery and Department of Pharmacology, University of Illinois at Chicago

    “His book has caught my attention because we currently do not have any good theory about the origin of chronic diseases, even though we think that we understand quite well, the biological basis or pathogenesis of some individual chronic medical conditions. Upon finishing my reading, I have found that this is an amazingly well-written book. In this book, Dr. Polansky has clearly presented the theory of ‘microcompetition with foreign DNA.’ To support this theory, Dr. Polansky has cited a tremendous amount of evidence, most of which is the most up-to-date throughout the book … I strongly recommend this book to both clinicians and scientists who are interested in a better understanding of the origin of chronic disease.” – Sean X. Leng, MD, PhD – Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

    Clearly, there are a host of other doctors and scientists that READ the book in its entirety, that disagree with Dr. Gorski.

    3. Dr. Gorski wrote: “The hysterial fear mongering over the alleged discovery of DNA fragments of HPV in Gardasil was, as I described, massively overblown.”

    In fact, Dr. Gorski wrote in regards to the presence of DNA in the Gardasil vaccine that it was “alleged.” Yet, the FDA admits here:

    http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/ApprovedProducts/ucm276859.htm

    “The presence of DNA fragments is expected in Gardasil and not evidence of contamination.” and “Gardasil does contain recombinant HPV L1-specific DNA fragments, but these are not contaminants.”

    Thus, the presence of HPV DNA in the Gardasil vaccine is not doubtful, suspect, or supposed. The question is not whether the DNA is present, but whether the DNA causes harm. There are no clinical studies to say one way or the other.

    4. Dr. Gorski wrote: “Note: “…at high concentrations.” (Emphasis mine.) It’s half tempting to stop right here, point out that, even if there is a tiny amount of HPV DNA left in each Gardasil vaccine vial, it isn’t “at high concentrations” and couldn’t possibly get into any cell in the human body at high enough concentrations to induce microcompetition.”

    Perhaps Dr. Gorski would not mind letting everyone know what the definition of “high concentrations” happens to be. Otherwise, saying “high concentrations” or “tiny amounts of HPV DNA left in each Gardasil vaccine vial” means very little. His statement is subjective since he gives no objective criteria one way or the other as to what constitutes “high” or “low” amounts of DNA.

    5. Dr. Gorski rather condescendingly wrote: “Besides, sometimes outlandish ideas actually go somewhere. I consider it higly unlikely that Dr. Polansky’s idea will.”

    Really?

    “The predictions made, the mathematical rigor provided for the models proposed and the proposed role that viruses may play in bringing about a range of subclinical chronic health problems is most fascinating … The value of Polansky’s thinking and his reorganization of others’ work truly must be tested in the laboratory.” – Lynn C. Yeoman, PhD – Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Baylor College of Medicine

    “… I believe that all biomedical researchers in virtually all endeavors would benefit from reading the book. In addition, the concepts need to be integrated into the medical curriculum, as well as studies for biomedical research students.” – Waldemar A. Schmidt, MD, PhD – Professor Emeritus, Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University

    “The unique feature of this work is that the author presents a testable model for his hypothesis. Although ample supporting literature is provided to substantiate his ideas, further, directed research which tests the microcompetition phenomenon can now be performed. An understanding of this process at the subcellular level can then provide the impetus to develop highly targeted drug therapies aimed at reversing the respective microcellular events leading to phenotypic disease.” – Atif Zafar, MD – Clinical Professor of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine

    The point is, numerous doctors and scientists disagree with Dr. Gorski. Moreover, it is really annoying and frustrating that someone who is, I am sure, a good surgeon, could not put forth the effort to actually read all 427 pages and yet has the gall to begin trashing someone else’s work as well as his character. That’s pretty shameful.

    As some of the other doctors and scientists who READ the book made note: Dr. Polansky’s ideas should at least be investigated. What if these DNA fragments DO pose a risk? These ideas should not be investigated in blogs or on the Internet, but in the lab.

    This should not be an intellectual exercise but rather a biological exercise. People should READ the freaking book in its entirety and those who have the means to Clinically Test the full theory presented should do so.

  29. David Gorski says:

    Methinks that Dr. Polansky might be in da house. Gotta go to the OR right now. I’ll check back later.

    I can say that I see a lot of quotes about how great Dr. Polansky’s ideas are but very little evidence. As for reading the whole thing, I read enough to know that what I was reading was pure speculation and several years behind the times in genomics.

  30. writeboywrite says:

    I’m not Dr. Polansky.

    Dr. Gorski cannot get around the fact that he didn’t read all of Dr. Polansky’s book. Because he did not, his arguments are based on little more than opinion and supposition.

    As for the quotes talking about how great Dr. Polansky’s ideas are, Dr. Gorski is of course, free to disagree with them. However, his own disagreements are not based on any real evidence.

    Moreover, Dr. Gorski is a breast surgeon, not a geneticist. While, again, he is probably great at what he does…he is hardly, himself, an expert in genomics. Let a real expert in genetics speak:

    As Jerzy K. Kulski, PhD – Professor, Division of Molecular Life Science, Department of Genetic Information, Tokai University School of Medicine, Japan said, “In the final analysis, it is an extraordinary book and I certainly recommend it to students, clinicians and scientists who are interested in viruses and the origin of chronic disease. Indeed, virologists should now resurrect their RNA/DNA ‘in situ’ hybridization techniques and test some of Hanan Polansky’s predictions.”

  31. windriven says:

    @writeboywrite

    “The unique feature of this work is that the author presents a testable model for his hypothesis.”

    Fair enough. Polansky’s book was published a decade ago. Can you suggest a few journal articles where some of Polansky’s hypotheses have been tested and proved?

    This is the way science works, writeboy.

  32. writeboywrite says:

    Windriven,

    First, I know how science works. Thanks.

    Secondly, yes.

    Here’s one from Cell Cycle that discusses Dr. Polansky’s work.

    http://www.landesbioscience.com/journals/cc/article/783/

    To be fair, I have not read any of the scientific journals’ articles on Dr. Polansky’s work. However, that is my point. Dr. Gorski hasn’t either, and yet he is slamming both Dr. Polansky as well as Polansky’s work without any first hand knowledge.

    That’s not playing fair, is it?

    I mean come on…how many doctors, surgeons and other medical personnel have the training to really have an expert opinion on genomics and virology? How many actually have the time to sit and investigate the relevant literature in depth? Yet many sure have opinions that are only backed up by the few studies they have read. When another view comes along, if it doesn’t jive with what they believe they know and hold as true…skepticism and outright derision is leveled at those espousing that other view. Never mind the fact that they actually have NOT read the other side’s literature in detail.

    One thing I do agree on is that there doesn’t seem to be any movement with the theory for some time. But, this could be due to a lack of funding more than anything else.

  33. windriven says:

    @writeboy

    “how many doctors, surgeons and other medical personnel have the how many doctors, surgeons and other medical personnel have the training to really have an expert opinion on genomics and virology?

    Hmmm, doesn’t this defeat the argumentum ad populem you used above?

    And it may interest you to know that Dr. Gorski actually is one of the “doctors … [who does] have the training to really have an expert opinion on genomics and virology”

    But I’m not here to defend Dr. Gorski; he certainly doesn’t need my help. I’m trying to engage you in the underlying science.

    The link that you provided is not to peer reviewed research it is to a book review. That doesn’t clear the hurdle no matter how glowing it might be. Science does not work because a lot of people think an idea is elegant. A generation of theoretical physicists have spent their careers working on string theory but they don’t have much to show for it beyond some really elegant mathematics.

    Dr. Polansky’s book has been out for 10 years. There should be some preliminary work in the journals by now. But there isn’t. Or if there is, I can’t seem to find it. If Polansky has unlocked an important door it is incumbent on him and those who are interested in his work to test his hypotheses rigorously and to present their results to their peers for review.

    Until the work gets done it isn’t science, it’s just conjecture.

  34. nybgrus says:

    So you are saying that if I find a big Santa bag sitting on the street, and I run over to it eager for presents to pilfer, that if I open it and see a giant stinking pile of garbage I have to take each and every single piece of garbage out to inspect it and only then I can say that the whole bag is a sack of @&^#? That I have to dig down all the way to the bottom, in ever crevice, to see if maybe there is one shining nugget of gold in there that could somehow turn that entire bag of garbage into presents? Please.

    Moreover, Dr. Gorski is a breast surgeon, not a geneticist.While, again, he is probably great at what he does…he is hardly, himself, an expert in genomics.

    He is also a PhD cancer researcher who did (and does) a lot of bench science with the genetics of cancer. Now who is slamming someone without all the facts? Why don’t you do a pubmed search and check it out.

    First, I know how science works. Thanks.

    Woah there sparky. Seems you’re missing a crucial part – evidence. You see, it is integral to science and there exists none of your understanding of it.

  35. rork says:

    Competition for binding factors is interesting, especially for endogenous DNA or RNA or even protein (HPV E6 protein has interesting binding partners) sequences, or those from infections.
    For vaccines, perhaps not so much. Yes, I am making a statement about the doses, without having done the precise math, cause it does seem like homeopathic doses. Someone got a reference otherwise, I am willing to read.

    I do have a guess for why folks would not study such a thing for vax effects: The chances of getting an effect seem so small that you’d be a fool to work on it. Writing books to make money is a different game.

  36. writeboywrite says:

    nybgrus,

    Come on. Who are you kidding?

    Have YOU read Dr. Polansky’s work? I do not intend to offend, or insult, anyone here. I did a Pubmed search and indeed, Dr. Gorski has something like 14 papers there, half of them having to do with genetics. So, I will admit I was wrong about Dr. Gorski not being up on his genomics.

    However, you can’t go around claiming that Dr. Polansky’s work is total crap when there are obviously many Scientists who say otherwise. Clearly there have been many scientists who took the time to read Dr. Polansky’s book and had nothing but praise for it. Dr. Gorski on the other hand could not be bothered to finish the book and instead devoted his time to slamming what portion of the book he did read, as well as Dr. Polansky’s character, when he doesn’t even know the man.

    It comes to down to this: scientists exhibit certain qualities…patience and curiosity among them. Dr. Gorski exhibited neither of these qualities when it came to Dr. Polansky or Polansky’s work. It seemed to me, that Dr. Gorski saw Dr. Polansky somehow related to the anti-vaccine movement and BOOM! Everything he has to say is immediately discredited. That also is not fair.

    I think Dr. Gorski missed the point of Dr. Polansky’s work because he didn’t take the time to finish it. I think he was quick to judge. I think he simply didn’t “get it.”

    Consider what Elena N. Naumova, PhD – Professor of Public Health and Family Medicine, Director of the NIH-sponsored Tufts Initiative for Forecasting and Modeling of Infectious Diseases, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Tufts University School of Medicine said regarding Dr. Polansky’s book:

    “To be honest, it took me three attempts to read this book. The first attempt resulted in frustration and confusion. The unusual writing style, complex terminology, and volume of information was daunting. I put the book aside, but the seeds of curiosity had been planted, and intriguing ideas took root.

    They began to grow, and soon I was forced to return to my reading. My second attempt was far more productive but nevertheless challenging. I went through all seven chapters of technical notes. It was a slow process, not because of the numerous mathematical equations (which were straightforward and well-supported) but because I found myself repeatedly distracted by independent thoughts and ideas triggered by the content of the book.

    I would read a sentence or two and immediately attach my own observations to the proposed frame, and test the fit; I was amazed by the serendipities. My third attempt was joyous; the book served its purpose – it made me think differently! What had first seemed like cumbersome technical notations became transparent when I connected them to the work I perform daily.

    I also realized that the area of my research interest – mathematical modeling of disease temporality – would benefit greatly by applying many fruitful ideas presented in Dr. Polansky’s book. I believe that Dr. Polansky’s book will catalyze the scientific learning process, promote interdisciplinary cross-fertilization, stimulate development of treatment strategies and drug discovery, and leave the reader inspired.”

    Dr. Naumova deals with the mathematical modeling of infectious diseases and had nothing but good things to say…but then, she took the time to slog through Polansky’s work. She didn’t look at it briefly, scan it, jump from page to page, or flat out not finish it. She plodded on three separate times!

    But in the end, she got it. How many times has a scientific idea been presented only to be shot down…and then years and years later it is shown to actually be correct?

    As for clinical studies that back up Dr. Polansky’s claims…perhaps there are none or only a few to date. I am unsure. But! There are also few to none that refute his claims.

    The point is, with no concrete evidence either way, don’t you think it is hasty and ill advised to slam Polansky or his work?

    Testing is what is needed. Until then, everything is opinion.

  37. David Gorski says:

    @rork

    Exactly. When a grad student working in the same lab where I was a grad student was trying to get DNA into skeletal muscle, for instance, in order to get it to express a reporter gene and to test the effects of different promoters, if memory serves me correctly he had to inject milligram quantities just to get measurable activity in a small area of muscle. (I remember him doing large numbers of maxi preps.) The amount of HPV DNA found in Gardasil is minuscule. I don’t know the exact number, but even if Gardasil were made up of 100% pure HPV DNA N-boxes it would almost certainly not be enough to get enough DNA into enough cells at high enough concentrations to induce microcompetition, except possibly in the immediate area of the injection site. Moreever, Polansky’s blaming of dormant viruses—which are, you know, dormant—is just plain silly. There comes a time when basic knowledge of molecular biology is enough to point out the huge flaws in Dr. Polansky’s blaming HPV DNA for problems with the Gardasil vaccine.

    And Dr. Polansky’s book is way behind the times. Eight or nine years old is a very long time in genomics. Next generation sequencing techniques have replaced microarrays and older sequencing techniques. We understand the importance of microRNAs (which, by the way, could potentially explain a lot of the “anomalies” in BRCA expression that Dr. Polansky harps on in his book). We didn’t back in 2003. So, basically, what we have is a mildly interesting hypothesis without a lot of evidence to support it that made potential sense in 2003 but today is not nearly as interesting, particularly given the lack of evidence to support it developed in the last 8 years. We also have someone who is trying to apply that hypothesis to something where its plausibility is near homeopathic; i.e., the HPV vaccine. Let’s also not forget that he’s also selling a dubious supplement based on this hypothesis.

  38. David Gorski says:

    @writeboywrite

    Enough with the testimonials. They don’t impress me, and they don’t refute a single thing I’ve written. They take up space and bore me and my readers. You’ve made your point already.

    I didn’t take the time to finish the book because it only took a couple of chapters and a survey of a few others to tell that the hypothesis was not well supported and is uninteresting. In 2012, it is now hopelessly out of date. Let’s put it this way. You say:

    As for clinical studies that back up Dr. Polansky’s claims…perhaps there are none or only a few to date. I am unsure. But! There are also few to none that refute his claims.

    Come back when you have some. I’m willing to change my mind. Until then, you’re just blowing smoke.

    Or even come back with some preclinical studies done since the publication of Polansky’s book that support his claims.

    Microcompetition is not a new idea, by the way. I learned about it under a different name when I was a graduate student 20 years ago.

  39. nybgrus says:

    Well, it seems Dr. Gorski neatly handled your latest criticisms as well. I was going to make essentially the same exact points.

    However, you can’t go around claiming that Dr. Polansky’s work is total crap when there are obviously many Scientists who say otherwise.

    First off, nobody said it was total crap. Just that the parts that weren’t are pretty dated and not terribly novel or interesting these days. Secondly, there are many scientists (with actually legitimate degrees in relevant sciences) who also believe that creationism is legit and evolution is a lie. Argumentum ad popularum is always a fallacy, but especially when you have to cherry pick the populace.

    It comes to down to this: scientists exhibit certain qualities…patience and curiosity among them. Dr. Gorski exhibited neither of these qualities when it came to Dr. Polansky or Polansky’s work. It seemed to me, that Dr. Gorski saw Dr. Polansky somehow related to the anti-vaccine movement and BOOM! Everything he has to say is immediately discredited. That also is not fair.

    Seems to me your characterization is incomplete and incorrect. Yes, scientists have those qualities. This site and the people here (myself included) advocate for an additional one – a staunch support of standards and the discarding of old and/or bad ideas. He slammed Dr. Polansky… in exactly where he deserved to be slammed. The point is that the ideas specific to the issue at hand – HPV and anti-vax – are wrong. And his own premise for positing them are wrong. He may have a few good ideas elsewhere, but those do not justify his bad ones here, nor are they relevant.

    I think Dr. Gorski missed the point of Dr. Polansky’s work because he didn’t take the time to finish it. I think he was quick to judge. I think he simply didn’t “get it.”

    There’s not much to get. The very basic premise – as clearly stated by Polansky and SANE Vax – are wrong. You don’t need to read the rest of the book, because nothing possibly written could change the fact that N-box competition from HPV DNA in Gardasil is simply not something that could happen. And Dr. Gorksi’s understanding and experience with genomics is indeed adequate to address that reality. Every other chapter in his book could be the cure for all disease – and that would be great, Dr. Gorski and myself would sing his praises for it – but once again, that is immaterial to the discussion at hand (and also not true, of course). But just like we all respect and admire Linus Pauling’s work as a legit scientist, so do we lament his fall into vitamin C craziness.

    But! There are also few to none that refute his claims.

    That is a very poor and extremely wrong tack to take. Absence of evidence is not a positive claim of Polanksy’s veracity. And as I just demonstrated, relevant to the discussion at hand, there is plenty of evidence to dismiss the a priori likelihood of him being correct.

    The point is, with no concrete evidence either way, don’t you think it is hasty and ill advised to slam Polansky or his work?

    There was nothing hasty or ill advised. Gorski gave appropriate recognition of where Polanksy got it right and where he failed terribly. Pretty straighforward actually.

  40. weing says:

    @writeboywriteon,
    The reference you gave is a book review from 2004. The testimonials that you cite are just that. Appeals to authority don’t work. You have to judge the work on its own merits. If you are given wine to taste, you know after seeing it, smelling it, and tasting it whether it is a bad bottle or not. You don’t have to drink the whole bottle. I thought the post was hilarious. Holy Hormones? There is no way I can say that with a straight face.

  41. qetzal says:

    I think it’s also very important to distinguish between the claims in Polansky’s book and the ones he’s making about Gardasil.

    Now I, too, admit I haven’t read all of Polansky’s book. But in his chapter on athersclerosis (the first specific disease he attempts to link to microcompetition), he doesn’t talk about random DNA fragments from vaccines. He hypothesizes that latent CMV gets reactivated in some cells, resulting in viral replication, which would obviously increase viral DNA in that cell. In such a case, sure. There ould be enough copies of CMV in such a cell for Polansky’s microcompetition to occur. And perhaps that could lead to disease. Of course, if a latent virus gets reactivated and starts replicating, all kinds of bad things are likely to happen to that cell, and the ones around it. Viruses have all kinds of mechanisms designed to divert cellular machinery for viral purposes. There’s no particular reason to focus specifically on N boxes, GBAP, and microcompetition.

    But that’s all very different from Polansky’s latest claim. Reactivation of latent viruses is at least plausible because viruses replicate. Their numbers increase. Random DNA fragments contaminating vaccines or other biologicals don’t do that. They also have a very hard time getting into cells. I spent 8 years trying to develop nonviral gene therapies. They all failed, as have every other nonviral gene therapy approach I know of. All because it’s nearly impossible to get enough DNA into a cell in the body. And that’s even though we used all kinds of tricks and entry enhancers to try to maximize uptake.

    If the rest of Polansky’s book invokes the same ideas as the atherosclerosis chapter, then maybe there could be some merit there, at least in some diseases. And I think Dr. Gorski made the same point in his post. But when it comes to the ideas that residual DNA in Gardasil could be having similar effects, I agree that Polansky is way off the deep end.

    As an aside, if Polanskys claims about Gardasil were correct, virtually every gene therapy trial subject ever should have had massive side effects. Almost all gene therapy vectors, viral or otherwise, contain strong viral promoters. The most common is the CMV IE promoter (the one Polansky claims has the strongest N box known).K

  42. David Gorski says:

    He hypothesizes that latent CMV gets reactivated in some cells, resulting in viral replication, which would obviously increase viral DNA in that cell. In such a case, sure. There ould be enough copies of CMV in such a cell for Polansky’s microcompetition to occur. And perhaps that could lead to disease. Of course, if a latent virus gets reactivated and starts replicating, all kinds of bad things are likely to happen to that cell, and the ones around it. Viruses have all kinds of mechanisms designed to divert cellular machinery for viral purposes. There’s no particular reason to focus specifically on N boxes, GBAP, and microcompetition.

    D’oh! I now realize I didn’t emphasize this nearly enough in my post. If a virus is latent, then attributing microcompetition to it is not plausible, but if it reactivates then it’s not latent anymore and has the potential to do a lot more bad things than just suck up cellular transcription factors. Maybe I should have spent more time on that than going after the blithering nonsense about HPV DNA fragments.

  43. EricG says:

    i think we have all been quite unfair to sarah007. to date, she has not been given one single opportunity to state her medical opinion, uncontested, among all of the competitive shouts blitzkrieging the world with false doctrines of disease management. can we give the gal some room to at least clear her online throat?!

    I am dying to know, just what is it that you would recommend in lieu of following the advice and direction offered by the (dis)honorable drs. Gorski, Novella and company?

  44. Chris says:

    EricG, she was given plenty of opportunity when she first showed up. Among other things she is a germ theory denialist. Possibly tied into “Natural Hygiene” nonsense.

    In addition to outlandish ideas she also resorts to name calling, insults and cherry picking. Seriously, do not engage in the troll.

  45. writeboywrite says:

    Dr. Gorski said:

    “Enough with the testimonials. They don’t impress me, and they don’t refute a single thing I’ve written. They take up space and bore me and my readers. You’ve made your point already.”

    So…the opinions of those who have doctoral degrees in genetics, in medicine, and other sciences but with whom you disagree, BORE you?

    You said Dr. Polansky’s work was boring and uninteresting and certainly not new or novel. The quotes I gave said the exact opposite. They may not completely refute your statements, but they certainly do contradict them.

    My goodness…such an ego! Such disdain for fellow scientists and their thoughts is not very becoming.

    Thank goodness I made my point.

    Dr. Gorski said: “I didn’t take the time to finish the book because it only took a couple of chapters and a survey of a few others to tell that the hypothesis was not well supported and is uninteresting. In 2012, it is now hopelessly out of date.”

    Again, the opinions of not just a few other MD’s and PhD’s disagreed with your assessment that “it was not well supported and is uninteresting.” Yeah…go back and read some of the quotes. They definitely contradict your assertion there.

    Just because a book was written ten years ago does NOT mean that in 2012, the material is hopelessly out of date. What it could mean is that you didn’t spend the time to “get it”…and that the concepts espoused are still ahead of their time. Most bench scientists don’t get into theoretical modeling of disease much, do they?

    And if you want to talk about clinical studies etc. this standard is not the be all to end all. We all know about studies that have been bought and paid for by various institutions where the results were skewed one way or the other due to the pressure placed on scientists because of the commercial interests involved.

    Granted…the science should stand by itself with no personal agenda one way or the other. But, that’s living in an ideal world isn’t it?

    A point in your favor is that you claim you are willing to change your mind if shown evidence.

    The fact of the matter is that there are no clinical studies that refute Dr. Polansky’s claims…and until there are…all you have is opinion. Thus, it seems anyone espousing an opinion one way or the other is “blowing smoke” as you call it.

    Moreover, something interesting to note is that I don’t believe Dr. Polansky is anywhere mentioned as being anti-vaccine. He did come out against Gardasil. I saw and read the press release there.

    In any case, at least specifically regarding the issue of DNA fragments in the HPV vaccine, the debate is about to move beyond the realm of intellectual exercises. Instead, the discussion between you and I here (or debate) whichever you choose to call it, is rather going to be solved by a judge in court.

    Already there is a gigantic class action law-suit being developed against Merck in Australia. Should the lawyers of those going up against Merck choose to use Dr. Polansky as a witness because of these DNA fragments in the vaccine…someone will have to actually test his ideas.

    If the NIH, or others don’t want to fund research into his ideas…the lawyers will. They’ll spend 300K or so on some studies to help them prove their case…and if they win, they’ll make much more than they spent. You and I both know this to be true.

    If Dr. Polansky is proven wrong. Fine! It will put a (according to you) not so novel, not so new, theory to rest. Right? We’ll get rid of some bad ideas and bad science.

    But! If he is proven right…the entire pharmaceutical industry is going to pay billions of dollars because DNA fragments are not just in Gardasil. They’re in tons of other biological drugs. The lawyers will smell blood.

    It will not remain a disagreement between a small group of scientists for long.

  46. writeboywrite says:

    Oh! In terms of studies…how is one published February 13, 2012?

    Dr. Gorski wrote, quoting someone else but speaking of Dr. Polansky: “He hypothesizes that latent CMV gets reactivated in some cells, resulting in viral replication, which would obviously increase viral DNA in that cell. In such a case, sure. There ould be enough copies of CMV in such a cell for Polansky’s microcompetition to occur. And perhaps that could lead to disease. Of course, if a latent virus gets reactivated and starts replicating, all kinds of bad things are likely to happen to that cell, and the ones around it. Viruses have all kinds of mechanisms designed to divert cellular machinery for viral purposes. There’s no particular reason to focus specifically on N boxes, GBAP, and microcompetition.”

    Then Dr. Gorski says: “D’oh! I now realize I didn’t emphasize this nearly enough in my post. If a virus is latent, then attributing microcompetition to it is not plausible, but if it reactivates then it’s not latent anymore and has the potential to do a lot more bad things than just suck up cellular transcription factors. Maybe I should have spent more time on that than going after the blithering nonsense about HPV DNA fragments.”

    Actually, according to a paper entitled “Human Cytomegalovirus Persistence” published February 13, 2012 in the journal Cellular Microbiology:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22329758

    Concerning latency:

    “Both the chronic and latent states of infection contribute to HCMV persistence and to the high HCMV
    seroprevalence worldwide. The chronic infection is poorly defined molecularly, but clinically
    manifests as low-level virus shedding over extended periods of time and often in the absence of
    symptoms.”

    Concerning cellular transcription:

    “Transcripts and proteins encoded from a region encompassing the major immediate early region are detected in hematopoietic cells following infection in vitro as well as in latently infected individuals.” (Kondo et al., 1996; Landini et al., 2000).

    Hmmm…so…there is still viral shedding occurring during the latent phase. Moreover, there does indeed seem to be transcription, even during latency.

    Seriously, what good are Dr. Gorski’s credentials if he doesn’t know the basics of latent viruses? Can one take Dr. Gorski’s reviews of Dr. Polansky’s discovery when Dr. Gorski knows anything about viral latency as the quotes above prove?

    Come on…go to the library before boring the rest of us with ignorant blog postings.

  47. writeboywrite says:

    Should have read:

    *Seriously, what good are Dr. Gorski’s credentials if he doesn’t know the basics of latent viruses? Can one take Dr. Gorski’s reviews of Dr. Polansky’s discovery seriously when Dr. Gorski doesn’t seem to know anything about viral latency as the quotes above prove?

  48. Scott says:

    Opinions are irrelevant. Facts matter. If the folks you quote actually had good evidence to support those statements, they’ve been lost by the reduction to testimonials. So, they have exactly zero evidentiary value.

    Also,

    The fact of the matter is that there are no clinical studies that refute Dr. Polansky’s claims

    The burden of proof is on POLANSKY. If he doesn’t have the clinical studies to back up his claims, he is both wrong and grossly irresponsible to make them.

  49. David Gorski says:

    Seriously, writeboywrite, you think that that paper is supportive of Polansky’s ideas? And that it somehow shows I don’t understand the basic concept of viral latency?

    Let’s see:

    The chronic infection is poorly defined molecularly, but clinically manifests as low-level virus shedding over extended periods of time and often in the absence of symptoms. Latency requires long-term maintenance of viral genomes in a reversibly quiescent state in the immunocompetent host.

    And, in the paper itself, latency is defined thusly:

    The latent infection is defined by a reversibly quiescent state in which viral genomes are maintained, but viral genome expression is highly restricted and no virus is produced.

    Got that? Highly restricted genome expression and no virus is produced. By definition. Detecting transcripts and proteins is not the same thing as the virus being active and replicating. In any case, I never said that latent viruses don’t make some of their transcripts. I merely pointed out that, because they’re, you know…latent, latent viruses aren’t replicating and don’t exist at nearly the numbers in cells to make their causing microcompetition for the transcriptional machinery of the cell with their N-boxes very plausible at all. In other words, latent viruses would be highly unlikely to induce microcompetition. However, as was pointed out above, viruses that reactivate after latency could certainly do a lot of other things to the cell to cause disease that make it unnecessary to invoke microcompetition as an explanation.

  50. qetzal says:

    @writeboywrite

    It seems like you’re still ignoring some key points about Polansky’s claims:

    1) If the virus is truly latent, there’s only one copy of its DNA, and microcompetition isn’t plausible.

    2) If the virus is replicating, microcompetition is plausible, as Polansky argues in his book (in his atherosclerosis chapter, at least). But if the virus is replicating, there’s no need to invoke microcompetition. Viral gene functions will directly alter the cell’s proteomic and gene expression patterns in all kinds of ways. Microcompetition, if it’s occurring, will be just one among many severe impacts on the cell. Singling out microcompetition as “the” cause doesn’t make sense.

    3) Regardless of what role viruses and microcompetition might play in chronic disease, Polansky’s latest claim – that residual DNA fragments in vaccines could be causing side effects and disease – is unfounded, irresponsible, and reprehensible.

    Your repeated gripes about Dr. Gorski don’t change any of these issues with Polansky’s claims.

  51. @writeboywrite

    “So…the opinions of those who have doctoral degrees in genetics, in medicine, and other sciences but with whom you disagree, BORE you? ”

    A series of cherry picked quotations does not represent the consensus of the relevant scientific fields. quote mining and cherry picking bores me.

    “You said Dr. Polansky’s work was boring and uninteresting and certainly not new or novel. The quotes I gave said the exact opposite. ”

    Yes, but the quotes you provided were provided without context, and as presented, had no support for the opinions presented, whereas Dr. Gorski did provide numerous points of support for his position. I can find a lot of quotes regarding Battlefield Earth being the greatest science fiction movie of all time, that doesn’t mean I should take those quotes seriously.

    “Thank goodness I made my point. ”

    You’ve made the point that you don’t really understand how science works, yes.

    “Again, the opinions of not just a few other MD’s and PhD’s disagreed with your assessment that “it was not well supported and is uninteresting.” Yeah…go back and read some of the quotes.”

    Opinions are not scientific or logical support for a position.

    “And if you want to talk about clinical studies etc. this standard is not the be all to end all. ”

    Dr. Gorski has not opined that they are. If you were familiar with his writings, you would know that. That said, peer reviewed double blinded clinical trials are generally superior to other forms of investigation, especially to those that are not well controlled.

    “The fact of the matter is that there are no clinical studies that refute Dr. Polansky’s claims…and until there are…all you have is opinion.”

    This represents a profound misunderstanding of how the scientific process (and logical discourse) works. The burden of support is on Dr. Polansky as he is the one making scientific claims. I don’t get to invent a new medical theory and say it’s valid until you provide clinical studies to show I am wrong.

    “Should the lawyers of those going up against Merck choose to use Dr. Polansky as a witness because of these DNA fragments in the vaccine…someone will have to actually test his ideas.”

    I don’t know how the legal system works in Australia, but that’s not how it works here. The judge would rule whether Dr. Polansky’s credentials were sufficient for him to be considered a relevant expert witness, and if he testified, the opposition would present their own expert witnesses to counter that testimony. The judge wouldn’t rule that a clinical trial must be performed to settle the issue; this isn’t Perry Mason. Regardless, legal standards of evidence and expert testimony have little to no relationship to scientific standards.

    “If the NIH, or others don’t want to fund research into his ideas…the lawyers will. They’ll spend 300K or so on some studies to help them prove their case…and if they win, they’ll make much more than they spent. You and I both know this to be true.”

    This statement by the same person who wrote:

    “We all know about studies that have been bought and paid for by various institutions where the results were skewed one way or the other due to the pressure placed on scientists because of the commercial interests involved. ”

    Studies funded by trial lawyers with a vested interest in a particular outcome wouldn’t be likely to be taken vary seriously or be published in most reputable high impact journals. I also think you underestimate just how much is involved in doing “some studies”.

    “It will not remain a disagreement between a small group of scientists for long.”

    No, I doubt anyone will even be talking about it much in a few months.

  52. David Gorski says:

    Yes, but the quotes you provided were provided without context, and as presented, had no support for the opinions presented, whereas Dr. Gorski did provide numerous points of support for his position. I can find a lot of quotes regarding Battlefield Earth being the greatest science fiction movie of all time, that doesn’t mean I should take those quotes seriously.

    You mean Battlefield Earth wasn’t the best science fiction novel and movie of all time?

    Also, those cherry picked quotes were for the most part at least eight years old. Remember, I conceded that Dr. Polansky’s ideas might have been somewhat interesting—eight or nine years ago. Science has moved on, however. Unfortunately, what was interesting in 2003 and 2004 is often not so interesting anymore in 2012. Maybe Dr. Polansky needs to write a followup and try to persuade the skeptics like myself that his ideas are still relevant to molecular biology and virology today. I doubt he will, though. He appears to be too busy cozying up to antivaccine crank organizations and selling supplements.

  53. writeboywrite says:

    Gentlemen,

    Please, there is so much that dear Dr. Gorski and his followers on this board don’t know about genomics, viruses, and specifically latency, that I don’t know where to start their education (maybe Virology 101?).

    Let see one example. Dr. Gorski says:

    For “microcompetition” to be the cause of disease, these latent viruses would have to be churning out N-box sequence at prodigious levels, which latent viruses don’t do because, well, if they were replicating themselves they wouldn’t be latent anymore.”

    Really? “Prodigious levels”?

    According the Dr. Gorski, to have an effect on the cellular gene expression, latent viruses have to be replicating, that is, present copies of themselves at “prodigious levels”?

    qetzal concurs with Dr. Gorski (I would like to urge each of you to spell check. Your spelling mistakes reveal your sloppy thinking):

    “Now I, too, admit I haven’t read all of Polansky’s book. But in his chapter on atherosclerosis (the first specific disease he attempts to link to microcompetition), he doesn’t talk about random DNA fragments from vaccines. He hypothesizes that latent CMV gets reactivated in some cells, resulting in viral replication, which would obviously increase viral DNA in that cell. In such a case, sure. There could be enough copies of CMV in such a cell for Polansky’s microcompetition to occur. And perhaps that could lead to disease. Of course, if a latent virus gets reactivated and starts replicating, all kinds of bad things are likely to happen to that cell, and the ones around it. Viruses have all kinds of mechanisms designed to divert cellular machinery for viral purposes. There’s no particular reason to focus specifically on N boxes, GBAP, and microcompetition.”

    Again, same basic misunderstanding.

    “In such a case, sure. There could be enough copies of CMV in such a cell for Polansky’s microcompetition to occur.”

    What is “enough copies?” And do you really need replication to create “enough copies”? Is it possible that during latency, there are enough copies to cause abnormal cellular gene transcription?

    First consider the following quote from the paper. “Quantitative analysis of latent human cytomegalovirus” published in Journal of Virology in 1999.

    “During natural infection, viral genomes were detected …. at a copy number of 2 to 13 genomes per infected cell.”

    See the difference between the data published in this peer review study by two experts on latency and the comment made by certain pretentious people on this board? “If the virus is truly latent, there’s only one copy of its DNA, and microcompetition isn’t plausible.”

    A little note on logics. When the premise is false, the conclusion is worthless. But I guess this little piece of logic is too complicated for some of you here.

    Second. Are you familiar with the study “CMV enhancer/human PDGF-b promoter for neuron-specific transgene expression”" published in 2004 in Gene Therapy?

    Stupid question.

    Of course Dr. Gorski and his followers are not familiar with this study (and all other studies on CMV or latency).

    Fgure 1 reports a comparison between the strength of the CMV promoter/enhancer and the strength of the platelet-derived growth factor Beta-chain (PDGF-beta) promoter. As the figure shows the strength of the CMV promoter/enhancer was more than 150-fold(!) stronger in some cells than the promoter of the human gene.

    Now take these two numbers, about 10 copies per cell during latency, and 150 time stronger promoter/enhancer. What do you get? (Try to answer the question intuitively, without using stochastic models, which I’m sure you cannot comprehend.)

    You get that a latent infection with CMV will have a similar effect as the introduction of 10×150 copies of PDGF genes into the cell. This is 1500(!) copies of the PDGF gene. Is that “enough copies” to have an effect? And what if you test the effect on human genes with even weaker promoters compared to the PDGF gene?

    Let me repeat what I said before. Guys, get thee to the library and read some papers before you write anything. You are an embarrassment to science.

  54. nybgrus says:

    hmmm… a troll who knows just enough to think he actually knows what he is talking about.

    I’m only doing this because it will help me learn a few things in more detail otherwise I wouldn’t bother wasting my time with our writing boy.

    Is it possible that during latency, there are enough copies to cause abnormal cellular gene transcription?

    No. Because then it wouldn’t be “latent” it would be “active.” Before a pitiful attempt at schooling actual scientists, opening a dictionary would be very helpful for you.

    Oh yeah, and “cherry picking” is also a term you should look up. Lets see you say:

    First consider the following quote from the paper…’During natural infection, viral genomes were detected …. at a copy number of 2 to 13 genomes per infected cell.’

    What does the actual paper say?

    During experimental latent infection of cultured granulocyte-macrophage progenitors, the viral genome was detected in >90% of cells at a copy number of 1 to 8 viral genomes per cell.

    Interesting… what about in natural infection?

    During natural infection, viral genomes were detected in 0.004 to 0.01% of mononuclear cells from granulocyte colony-stimulating factor-mobilized peripheral blood or bone marrow from seropositive donors, at a copy number of 2 to 13 genomes per infected cell.

    and lastly the whole point of the paper:

    This investigation identifies the small percentage of bone marrow-derived mononuclear cells that become latently infected during natural infection and suggests that latency may proceed in some cells that fail to encode currently identified latent transcripts

    Basically they are saying that an extremely small amount of the cells become latently infected and of those they have a small count of genomic copies. They postulate that there are other CMV transcripts that become latent since the amount of viral DNA in naturally (and even experimentally) infected cells is so low.

    So where else did writeboy make a mistake?

    Well, lets start with the fact that his quote:

    If the virus is truly latent, there’s only one copy of its DNA, and microcompetition isn’t plausible

    Was never written by anyone on this thread besides writeboy.

    Next, the eminent professor of Virology that he is, misses a very fundamental principle here. CMV DNA that is hybridized and latent in a cell is also not expressed. Once again, hence the whole “latent” part. There could be 10,000 genomic copies of the CMV DNA in a cell’s nuclear composition. That, by itself, means nothing. The vast majority of your DNA is not currently being expressed the vast majority of the time. Have a cell become transfected and incorporating CMV DNA means nothing… until it is actually being expressed!

    What was actually written was that the N-box replication can only occur if the latent DNA is being expressed and then at that point the virus is no longer latent! The point qetzal was making is that once the virus actually becomes expressed, the copy count of N-boxes goes up because of viral expression (let me stress this again… LEAVING LATENCY) then the microcompetition aspect is moot – the viral machinery takes over anyways and is not a function of competitition for cellular machinery resources – it just co-opts them, as viruses tend to do.

    Moving on to the next paper that writeboy thinks supports his stance.

    . As the figure shows the strength of the CMV promoter/enhancer was more than 150-fold(!) stronger in some cells than the promoter of the human gene.

    Actually, that is not only irrelevant to the discussion (you’ll see why soon) but also… wait for it… wrong. Lets pull up the actual paper, shall we?

    A hybrid promoter was constructed by appending a 380-bp fragment of the CMV enhancer 5′ to the PDGF-beta promoter…the plasmid with the hybrid promoter significantly augmented expression of a luciferase reporter gene, providing expression levels 8- to 90-fold and 7- to 178-fold higher than those from two baseline constructs containing the PDGF-beta promoter alone and the CMV enhancer alone, respectively…Transgene expression in the brain driven by the hybrid promoter was detectable 24 h after injection, being 10-fold higher than that driven by the PDGF-beta promoter alone…

    but wait, wait… where did writeboy get 150-fold stronger? That number doesn’t even exist in the paper!! My guess is he read this:

    The expression peaked around 5 days at 1.5 x 10(5) relative light units per brain and lasted for at least 4 weeks.

    and got 150 out of it somehow. What that is actually saying is that the maximum expression of luciferase (a light producing enzyme) was 1.5 x 100,000 (or 150,000) light units.

    The best part? This paper in no way supports writeboy! The paper is about an attempt to create a promoter that would express a gene product robustly for transgenic applications. In other words, except for a small part of the CMV promoter, this paper has absolutely nothing to do with CMV infections!. The entire purpose of the experiment was to induce the expression of luciferase and measure the activity of various promotors in being able to accomplish this… so it also has nothing to do with latent viruses!

    Now take these two numbers, about 10 copies per cell during latency, and 150 time stronger promoter/enhancer. What do you get?

    You get very solid evidence that writeboy doesn’t have the tiniest shred of a clue of what he is talking about.

    You get that a latent infection with CMV will have a similar effect as the introduction of 10×150 copies of PDGF genes into the cell

    Wrong!

    Now will you actually learn and move on, or try and futily and stupidly defend yourself? Sadly, my money is on the latter.

  55. writeboywrite says:

    Dear nybgrus,

    It seems one of two things is happening here:

    1. You cannot read

    or

    2. You are blind.

    I said “Figure 1 reports a comparison between the strength of the CMV promoter/enhancer and the strength of the platelet-derived growth factor Beta-chain (PDGF-beta) promoter. As the figure shows the strength of the CMV promoter/enhancer was more than 150-fold(!) stronger in some cells than the promoter of the human gene.”

    Did you look at figure 1, specifically at part b?

    Did you see the results from the activity of the CMV and PDGF plasmids in the KB3-1 and U251 cells, or did you miss it? Check the results on the Y-axis.

    Please note that the numbers are in log scale. You know what this means, I hope. If you read the results from the Y-axis you might see, if you open your eyes, the 150-fold difference.

    You also said the following:

    “Well, lets start with the fact that his quote: ‘If the virus is truly latent, there’s only one copy of its DNA, and microcompetition isn’t plausible’

    Was never written by anyone on this thread besides writeboy.”

    This is a direct quote from qetzal written on 22 Feb 2012 at 9:51 am.

    Just look above. Scroll up. Is it really that hard to do? I mean come on. How hard is it to read through the postings on this board? If THAT is too hard, what must people think about your (or others’) ability to really fact check the stuff you are spouting regarding viral latency?

    Well, in regards to the quotes above, you can always use the “search” option found in most browsers. You know how to search in browsers, right?

    I prove my point yet again. It doesn’t matter what it is… papers, figures, data, comments. You suffer from the worse case of paradigmatic blindness I have ever seen.

    When people choose such blindness, they are hopeless. They won’t see the truth, even when it is staring them in the face.

    You call yourself a scientist? Scientists are curious, open-minded people. If you ARE a scientist, I urge you to open your mind a bit more.

  56. David Gorski says:

    There is such a thing as being so open-minded that your brains fall out. Being open-minded does not mean you have to give up critical thinking and just accept any idea proposed without sufficient evidence.

  57. writeboywrite says:

    Dr. Gorski,

    Insults aside, why not engage in some critical thinking rather than sitting there mocking me? What is your definition of “sufficient evidence”? What, exactly, would it take in your mind, to take this idea of viral latency which I’m bringing evidence for…and in your mind…take it from the realm of hypothesis to valid theory?

    How MUCH evidence is enough for you? Or, is this simply a philosophy of science question? Basically, no amount of evidence would ever be enough because you are clinging to what is accepted.

    You have your religion, and you won’t change it for anyone. Or am I wrong?

    I have presented evidence (which nybgrus ignored or glossed over.) I have yet to see anyone, ANYONE here, bring other studies that refute what I am arguing.

    I have brought several, I have made a very clear argument…and that argument has not been addressed.

    Rather you spew ridicule with nothing to back your derision. You laugh and mock but do not bring evidence to show I am wrong.

    It’s true that someone can have a “too open” mind. But, throughout the history of science there have been paradigms held by the majority of scientists…scientists who held on to their accepted theories and dogma for dear life…only to be proven wrong in the end by geniuses like Hippocrates, Leonardo Davinci, Sir Isaac Newton, and Gregor Mendel.

    In the end, the paradigm changed due to these men not giving up. They were RIGHT. The majority was wrong.

    So again, if there is bad science going on here…show WHY it is bad.

    nybgrus and qetzal have attempted to do so…but again, they make accusations of cherry picking and either ignore or don’t actually see, or gloss over, the things that ARE there, that are NOT made up, and that DO help to make my point.

    One definition of genius is ‘the ability to connect two seemingly unconnected things’.

    I am not claiming to be a genius, but there are definitely seemingly unconnected things, that can be connected, resulting in new understandings of viral latency without having one’s brains fall out.

    I think no one here is willing to dig a little deeper. I would be happy to be wrong in this.

  58. nybgrus says:

    I did do a search. I copy and pasted your quote into my search… and only you came up. If my search result was incorrect… apologies. Doesn’t change the point.

    It also doesn’t change the point that the papers you cited in no way support your thesis. I am aware that you copypasta’d the paper and referenced the fact that it was a hybrid promoter. But you clearly didn’t understand what the point was, since a paper demonstrating hybrid promoters enhancing the expression of luciferase has nothing to do with naturally (or experimentally for that matter) occuring CMV infections and latency of viruses. Sure, the CMV promoter is quite robust. That’s all that paper demonstrates and we’ve all already agreed to that.

    Keep thinking of yourself as Da Vinci. You wouldn’t be the first delusional person here. However, my response did quickly degrade because what you offered was so incredibly poor. I actually expected more and was dissappointed. So lets just focus on one little part here:

    Now take these two numbers, about 10 copies per cell during latency, and 150 time stronger promoter/enhancer.

    I will agree fully that the CMV promoter is 150 times stronger. I will agree that latently infected cells contain roughly 10 copies of the CMV genome (well, parts of it anways, but perhaps the whole thing – doesn’t matter). What’s your point? As was already pointed out, the copies of the genome are latent – they exist incorporated in non-transcribed hetorochromatin much like the rest of the cell’s genome. When it becomes actively transcribed… it is no longer latent! Then you get active infection, which, as we all agree here, can indeed cause pathology! But not by microcompetition!

    And that’s about as much time as I am willing to waste on this.

  59. weing says:

    @writeboywrite,

    “What, exactly, would it take in your mind, to take this idea of viral latency which I’m bringing evidence for…and in your mind…take it from the realm of hypothesis to valid theory?”

    Maybe I missed it. What evidence did you bring and for what? Regarding the paper you cited, do you know what happens to this promoter in a latent infection? What’s the mechanism of the virus becoming latent?

    What would it take to take any idea from the realm of hypothesis to a valid theory? That is a long road. It would take the scientific method. According to Richard Feynman “Observation, reason, and experiment make up what we call the scientific method.” Writing a book fulfills one, maybe two of the criteria.

    If you are so sure of Polansky’s idea, you do the experimental work to test it. You might learn something, and you may even become famous, win the Nobel prize or something. I am a clinician, not a researcher. My impression is that microRNA is what the researchers are running with.

  60. sarah007 says:

    Hi Eric Darling, Well did some reading for a change, you are both wrong “Polansky and Gorski”

    Chronic disease is the natural consequence of abuse! There may well be viral/DNA markers whatever, but at the end of the day the idea that disease is some kind of other state altered paradym is bonkers.

    The continual suppression of homeostasis or acute events leads to systems giving up and collapsing into compensation. Medic prefer to remove or replace failing systems but none of this would be necessary if the science of medicine focused on staying well rather than firefighting.

    I still haven’t met a doctor who knows how to do this, they think preventative medicine is taking Statins!

  61. What the fucking fuck?

    “We scanned the scientific literature, analyzed thousands of papers using our proprietary bioinformatics-based computer program, and identified the most effective and safe natural ingredients.”

    You can’t do that!!! Can you?? I work in a bioinformatics/virology lab. There’s a computer program that you can feed papers into and it spits out what is essentially a review paper???

  62. sarah007 says:

    Nobodynonah said ““We scanned the scientific literature, analyzed thousands of papers using our proprietary bioinformatics-based computer program, and identified the most effective and safe natural ingredients.”

    Yeah right we used a really clever time machine to read all the literature and select programmed target words/sentences and we got the right answer! Please don’t tell me you are involved in NIH healthcare strategy programmes, well it might explain flu pandemics.

    “What the fucking fuck?” Well this is what you said, sums it up nicely.

    “You can’t do that!!! Can you?? I work in a bioinformatics/virology lab. There’s a computer program that you can feed papers into and it spits out what is essentially a review paper???”

    LOL this is priceless!

  63. David Gorski says:

    I have brought several, I have made a very clear argument…and that argument has not been addressed.

    One notes that the studies you brought do not support microcompetition, at least not as it’s described by Polansky. That is why you’re taking flak. As for my comment about being open-minded, that wasn’t an insult. It was an observation.

  64. David Gorski says:

    My impression is that microRNA is what the researchers are running with.

    You are correct. Whenever people claim that scientists are too hidebound not to change paradigms, I point out microRNAs as an example. In about one decade (less, actually, given that we didn’t really start to notice how much microRNAs regulated cellular processes until maybe around 2004 or so), the paradigm of how genes are regulated has undergone huge changes. I published a paper on a microRNA regulating angiogenesis back in 2008. When that paper came out, it was only one of maybe three or four in the whole literature, as I found to my surprise when I searched PubMed back then. Now there are hundreds of papers looking at that topic. In a year or two, it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s thousands. Meanwhile, we’re moving even beyond microRNAs to understand that noncoding RNAs are more than just microRNAs and do a lot in the cell. Ironically, microRNAs probably explain a lot of the “anomalous” results that Dr. Polansky discusses, particularly with respect to BRCA.

    If microcompetition were an amazing new paradigm that had predictive power and was potentially useful for diagnosis and/or therapy, scientists would very likely be interested.

  65. sarah007 says:

    I take it nobodynonah that you withdraw from your untenable position regarding presenting ‘a plausable’ point of view on the inherent fallacies in medical peer reviewed research.

    This is the fundemental flaw on this site, it assumes that the only ‘real’ evidence is work published by its peers, a system that relies on an old boys network, shareholder conflicts and quite a lot of inapproapriate political fiddling. They invent psuedo worldwide pandemics at whim, if I did this they would call it fundementalist terrorism. Maybe to follow papertrials idea on the other thread with advice on suicide bombers, we should put all the ‘research medical scientists’ in a football stadium, along with all the vaccinators and run over them with tanks. Then we could see if the world became a better place, and whether or not the subsequent fertilizer propagated e coli 157? any volunteers?

    David said “Meanwhile, we’re moving even beyond microRNAs to understand that noncoding RNAs are more than just microRNAs and do a lot in the cell.”

    All very impressive but orthodox medicine still has no idea what the common cold is, even Dawkins in his book the ‘God delusion’ refers to the ubiquitious common cold not quite fitting in with his fancy theories on nemes, ie has no idea what is physiologically usefull about a cold and didn’t know why it has survived as something of use! I am not at all religious but reading this book I started to wonder what the difference between the big bang theory and the Quoran was, the whole book is a Harry Potter style fantasy embraced by the Septik community as somekind of biblical rewrite, Halleluya.

    All this sexy nanotechnology is a bit like Bush planning to colonise (sic) other planets but millions are starving, the priorities are all wrong and the people doing this kind of work have too much ‘legend in their own lunchtime’ syndrome!

  66. writeboywrite says:

    Dear nybgrus,

    Thank you for your comment: “I will agree fully that the CMV promoter is 150 times stronger. I will agree that latently infected cells contain roughly 10 copies of the CMV genome”. Conceding that is quite gentlemanly of you.

    (I’m not being sarcastic.) I know I am arguing up-hill as it were. However, I do see some progress here!

    Now let’s turn to your other comment: “What’s your point? As was already pointed out, the copies of the genome are latent – they exist incorporated in non-transcribed hetorochromatin much like the rest of the cell’s genome. When it becomes actively transcribed… it is no longer latent!”

    Consider the following quote from “Molecular basis of persistence and latency.” By Jarvis MA, Nelson JA. In: Arvin A, Campadelli-Fiume G, Mocarski E, Moore PS, Roizman B, Whitley R, Yamanishi K, editors. Human Herpesviruses: Biology, Therapy, and Immunoprophylaxis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2007. Chapter 42.

    Note that this is a chapter in a book on the biology of herpesviruses! It is not a marginal comment in some forgotten journal.

    “The mechanisms controlling HCMV latency and reactivation in these cell types are currently unknown. CMV latency-associated transcripts (CLTs) have been detected in latently infected GM-Ps suggesting a possible role of CLTs in the control of latency.

    CLTs are represented by sense (ORF94) and antisense transcripts (ORF152 and 154), expressed from the UL122/UL123 region of the genome. This region is normally involved in the expression of transcriptional activators (IE1 and IE2) that are required for lytic replication (Kondo et al., 1996).

    The presence of CLTs in bone marrow aspirates from healthy HCMV seropositive individuals, as well as the presence of antibodies directed against proteins encoded by ORF94 and ORF152 in the serum of healthy HCMV seropositive individuals (Kondo et al., 1996), have implicated CLTs in the control of HCMV latency in vivo.

    However, in the in vitro GM-P latency model, only a small proportion of latently infected GM-Ps have been shown to contain detectable CLTs (1.8%–3.6%) even though greater than 90% of GM-Ps are latently infected (Slobedman and Mocarski, 1999).

    Furthermore, inactivation of ORF94 does not affect the ability of latent HCMV to reactivate in this latency model (White et al., 2000) and CLTs have never been observed in the Allo-MDM model. Together, these observations suggest that CLTs play a minimal role in the regulation of HCMV latency and reactivation. Recently, DNA array analysis using an in vitro CD34+ latency model has revealed an expression profile of HCMV genes that is unique to the latent, compared to lytic, state of infection (Goodrum et al., 2002).

    The role of this latency-associated gene expression profile for the maintenance of latency in these cells is currently unknown.”

    Note the sentence: “The presence of CLTs in bone marrow aspirates from healthy HCMV seropositive individuals, as well as the presence of antibodies directed against proteins encoded by ORF94 and ORF152 in the serum of healthy HCMV seropositive individuals (Kondo et al., 1996), have implicated CLTs in the control of HCMV latency in vivo.”

    The studies report finding CMV latency-associated transcripts (CLT) in healthy seropositive individuals!

    Also, “CLTs have never been observed in the Allo-MDM model.” (Allo-MDM is allogenically stimulated monocyte-derived macrophages.) Note the difference between models of latency and healthy seropositive individuals. You find CLTs in healthy seropositive individuals, but not always in experimental models (artificially infected cells, etc.)

    Finally, note the sentence: ” Recently, DNA array analysis using an in vitro CD34+ latency model has revealed an expression profile of HCMV genes that is unique to the latent, compared to lytic, state of infection (Goodrum et al., 2002).”

    All these sentences indicate, clearly, that there is transcription during CMV latency.

    Therefore, your conclusion that “As was already pointed out, the copies of the genome are latent – they exist incorporated in non-transcribed hetorochromatin”, is simply wrong.

    Now, since there is transcription during latency, and since the effect of latent CMV copies is equivalent to the effect of 1500 copies of an average cellular gene, microcompetition between latent CMV and cellular gene have a significant effect on cellular transcription, that is, increase the transcription of some cellular gene and decrease the transcription of some other cellular genes to abnormal levels.

    On this conclusion, see the observations from the paper: “Impact of Human Cytomegalovirus Latent Infection on Myeloid Progenitor Cell Gene Expression” published in JOURNAL OF VIROLOGY, on Apr. 2004.

    “Herpesviruses establish lifelong latent infections in their hosts. Human cytomegalovirus (CMV) targets a population of bone marrow-derived myeloid lineage progenitor cells that serve as a reservoir for reactivation; however, the mechanisms by which latent CMV infection is maintained are unknown.

    To gain insights into mechanisms of maintenance and reactivation, we employed microarrays of [1]26,900 sequence-verified human cDNAs to assess global changes in cellular gene expression during experimental CMV latent infection of granulocyte-macrophage progenitors (GM-Ps).

    This analysis revealed at least 29 host cell genes whose expression was increased and six whose expression was decreased during CMV latency. These changes in transcript levels appeared to be authentic, judging on the basis of further analysis of a subset by semiquantitative reverse transcription-PCR.

    This study provides a comprehensive snapshot of changes in host cell gene expression that result from latent infection and suggest that CMV regulates genes that encode proteins involved in immunity and host defense, cell growth, signaling, and transcriptional regulation. The host genes whose expression we found altered are likely to contribute to an environment that sustains latent infection”

    This paper reports that “This analysis revealed at least 29 host cell genes whose expression was increased and six whose expression was decreased during CMV latency.”

    Interesting? See how these results are consistent with microcompetition?

    Now, of course, you can argue that other mechanisms can produce these results, such as microRNA [I might comment on microRNA and microcompetition later] True.

    More research is needed, as always. However, these results are consistent with microcompetition, which logically means that they support microcompetition as a possible underlying mechanism.

    To conclude, now, do you see how microcomopetition can cause disease?

  67. writeboywrite says:

    nobodyyouknow,

    You said: “What the fucking fuck?

    ‘We scanned the scientific literature, analyzed thousands of papers using our proprietary bioinformatics-based computer program, and identified the most effective and safe natural ingredients.’
    You can’t do that!!! Can you?? I work in a bioinformatics/virology lab. There’s a computer program that you can feed papers into and it spits out what is essentially a review paper???”

    DUDE!

    What the fuckity fuck?

    Er, Ehem…actually, if you simply went to Pubmed.gov and put “computer intuition” in quotes you would come up with the following study:

    Almog DM, Heisler EM. “Computer intuition: guiding scientific research in imaging and oral implantology.” Journal of Dental Research, 1997

    Consider that the impact factor of the Journal of Dental Research is 3.773 and that it is ranked 2 out of 77 in dentistry, oral surgery, and medicine. This isn’t some forgotten, lost, or unimportant journal.

    Consider how advanced Dr. Polansky was, 18 years ago. (Were you possibly still in elementary school? I mean, “fuck!”)

    In any case, Dr. Polansky put together a computer program that you, today, in your bioinformatics/virology lab, consider impossible!

    That gives a lot of credibility to the process Dr. Polansky used to discover microcompetition. Both the theory as well as the process used to create the theory were ahead of their time.

    Fuck!

  68. writeboywrite says:

    Oh yes, I forgot…

    Both Karl Withakay and Dr. Gorski made fun of “Computer Intuition” in the comments above, and I would like to point them as well to Pubmed:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=%22computer%20intuition%22

  69. sarah007 says:

    Hi writeboy. Wow you’re an angry bunny. Thanks for explaining why most medical research has nothing to do with understanding. Like comparing a study done on grain/hay used to produce negative data to show that corn/real grass has no founding for the reason for e coli 157.

    I suppose if some dork who wrote the library programmes said grass and hay are interchangable and corn and grain are the same that might explain it.

    Since when does a computer have intuition? I don’t give a monkeys about Polansky, both he and David are pissing on the wrong tree.

    Maybe the computer gave us gems like swine flu pandemic, I mean the only ‘virus’ that behaves like the medical myth is a computer one so ‘computer says yes’, medic follows. My intuition tells me this is the reasoning of a dick head.

  70. David Gorski says:

    More research is needed, as always. However, these results are consistent with microcompetition, which logically means that they support microcompetition as a possible underlying mechanism.

    Well, not exactly. When evidence for other mechanisms (i.e., microRNAs) is becoming far more convincing, clinging to microcompetition strikes me as just a bit behind the times, not unlike the way some alt-med mavens cling to the ideas of Antoine Beauchamps, even 130 years after Pasteur rendered his ideas obsolete.

  71. muklowd says:

    @sarah007

    I think you misunderstood nobodyyouknow’s comment there Sarah. He was kind of expressing disbelief at the idea of a computer program scanning all those papers and coming out with a review, not CLAIMING to have done that.

    Oh yeah and you kind of quoted his name wrong too :)

Comments are closed.