The Penultimate Chapter in the XMRV-Chronic Fatigue Story?

I’ve devoted a few posts (here and here and here) to the saga of a disputed link between chronic fatigue syndrome and a virus called XMRV. This week marks the next chapter in the story, with more evidence that the original results were at least partly due to contamination and a partial retraction of the original paper. Two great writers at Science, Martin Enserink and Jon Cohen, have put together an epic telling of this affair, from the first reports two years ago to the latest developments. The magazine has wisely put the piece out in front of their paywall. Do read it.

As Enserink and Cohen note, this is not the final word. That will probably come early next year, when a larger study led by Ian Lipkin of Columbia. We’ll see then if the link is buried at last, or lives to see another day.

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