Mod+ 273. DR. HENRY BAUER, DOGMATIC SCIENCE WRONG ABOUT HIV-AIDS CONNECTION

C

Chris

#81
Lone Shaman

The point I'm making is that if there is an overwhelming scientific consensus that something has happened, it's not much good just asserting that it hasn't.

As for Dr Lanka, all I can say is that I wouldn't trust a word he said about viruses unless I had it confirmed by a reliable source.
 
#82
Lone Shaman

The point I'm making is that if there is an overwhelming scientific consensus that something has happened, it's not much good just asserting that it hasn't.
Well of course something.

As for Dr Lanka, all I can say is that I wouldn't trust a word he said about viruses unless I had it confirmed by a reliable source.
Well I am studying some micro biology, I am just a noob though. I had not heard of Lanka before, but there is nothing that seems at fault with what he is saying. And it is pretty much exactly what others have said. What he is saying is that reverse transcriptase is not specific to retro viruses as was first supposed and that it's activity is actually enhanced in cultures used to test for it. What is found are genetic products that may or may not be from retro viruses, also among hundreds of endogenous ones. Embryonic cultures will obviously have a lot of reverse transcriptase activity. Nothing he is saying has not been said before actually.

Ultimately he is talking about controls in established virology really. Not crank stuff at all.

Think about it, viruses because of there genetic clocks so to speak, act fast, it is part of there life cycle. They do not take years for onset. We should be able to produce a pure strain that can be shown to infect and replicate, but this is not the case. Also it apparently kills T cells, but retro viruses do not kill cells, why they were implied in some cancers. It does not even appear to be a virus even on a superficial level. What they see are genetic markers that resemble retro viruses. But around 50% of our DNA is from reverse transcriptase, and little are retroviruses. The admixtures in cultures actually promote this activity.

The only way to know for sure is by the original standards of purification and isolation. As far as I can tell this has not been done. There are a lot of misleading EM pictures of various genetic products supposed from a retro virus or reverse transcriptase, and this makes it hard for the layman. You would think it is a well established thing, it really isn't.
 
Last edited:
#83
http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/38739/title/How-HIV-Destroys-Immune-Cells/
How HIV Destroys Immune Cells

During HIV infection, CD4 T cells in lymphoid tissues initiate a highly inflammatory form of cell death that helps cripple the immune system.

By Dan Cossins | December 19, 2013

HIV leads to AIDS primarily because the virus destroys essential immune cells called CD4 T cells, but precisely how these cells are killed has not been clear. Two papers published simultaneously today (December 19) in Nature and Science reveal the molecular mechanisms that cause the death of most CD4 T cells in lymphoid tissues, the main reservoir for such cells, during infection.
...
Two research teams led by Warner Greene at the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco have demonstrated that the vast majority of CD4 T cells in lymphoid tissues, despite their ability to resist full infection by HIV, respond to the presence of viral DNA by sacrificing themselves via pyroptosis—a highly inflammatory form of cell death that lures more CD4 T cells to the area, thereby creating a vicious cycle that ultimately wreaks havoc on the immune system.
...
For the study published in Nature, the team looked at human spleen and tonsil tissue cultured in the lab and spiked with HIV. The researchers found that when the virus productively infects the few permissive CD4 T cells present, death occurs through apoptosis mediated by an enzyme called caspase-3. But when HIV abortively infects nonpermissive CD4 T cells, death occurs by pyroptosis, which depends on the activation of caspase-1. It turns out that the vast majority—roughly 95 percent—of CD4 T cell death in lymphoid tissues is driven by caspase-1-mediated pyroptosis.
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v505/n7484/full/nature12940.html
Cell death by pyroptosis drives CD4 T-cell depletion in HIV-1 infection
Abstract
Abstract• References• Author information• Extended data figures and tables

The pathway causing CD4 T-cell death in HIV-infected hosts remains poorly understood although apoptosis has been proposed as a key mechanism. We now show that caspase-3-mediated apoptosis accounts for the death of only a small fraction of CD4 T cells corresponding to those that are both activated and productively infected. The remaining over 95% of quiescent lymphoid CD4 T cells die by caspase-1-mediated pyroptosis triggered by abortive viral infection. Pyroptosis corresponds to an intensely inflammatory form of programmed cell death in which cytoplasmic contents and pro-inflammatory cytokines, including IL-1β, are released. This death pathway thus links the two signature events in HIV infection—CD4 T-cell depletion and chronic inflammation—and creates a pathogenic vicious cycle in which dying CD4 T cells release inflammatory signals that attract more cells to die. This cycle can be broken by caspase 1 inhibitors shown to be safe in humans, raising the possibility of a new class of ‘anti-AIDS’ therapeutics targeting the host rather than the virus.​

 
#84
"I regard homosexuality as an aberration or illness, not as an ‘equally valid life-style’ or whatever the current euphemism is."
Bauer later explicitly retracted these and other statements.

Wild misquoting out of context - this can be done with anyone to misinterpret and misrepresent their position. Bauer does NOT think AIDS (or HIV) is supernatural.
To be very clear about this I did not misquote Bauer. But yes, I didn't understand the context. I was not doing this on purpose. Put simply, I could not understand a context in which Bauer would sarcastically describe HIV as having supernatural properties until I took a step back to look at the larger picture. The context in which it makes sense as sarcasm, and the one that I didn't understand, is that Bauer does not believe HIV actually exists. I know this because I asked him.

Alex said:
And here is what I understand to be your position statement. Substantive grounds for doubting that HIV is the necessary and sufficient cause of AIDS, and that antiretroviral treatment is unambiguously beneficial
While this is true, it now appears to me to be a radical understatement if HIV does not exist.
 
#85
"I regard homosexuality as an aberration or illness, not as an ‘equally valid life-style’ or whatever the current euphemism is."
I found this:
Bauer has since retracted this view, stating on his website that he had been "wrong" about the issue and had, in particular, mistakenly relied on the "naturalistic" fallacy that reduced culture and ethics to biology. - See more at: http://www.cosimobooks.com/current_author.php?author=4147#sthash.JYtWZwzd.dpuf
 
#86
I found this:
Bauer has since retracted this view, stating on his website that he had been "wrong" about the issue and had, in particular, mistakenly relied on the "naturalistic" fallacy that reduced culture and ethics to biology. - See more at: http://www.cosimobooks.com/current_author.php?author=4147#sthash.JYtWZwzd.dpuf
This article about Bauer is copy-and-paste from Wikipedia. And, as we all here know, Wikipedia is not reliable when it is dealing with controversial issues.

And here is his website page where he admits that he was wrong about homosexuality, and reject his earlier homophobia as a mistaken notion.

BTW, it is his inquiry into HIV-AIDS controversy which lead him to look more into homosexuality and provided him the information necessary to admit his mistakes and change his views.
 
#87
It's very difficult to grasp the issues involved in the AIDS dispute. However, I've stumbled across the clearest exposition I can find here:

http://www.ourcivilisation.com/aids/hivexist/

It's a longish interview with Dr. Eleni Papadopulos, a prominent sceptic, which rewards close reading. She defines what a retrovirus is, which helps. Prior to the discovery of retroviruses, it was assumed that DNA always produced RNA which in turn went on to produce proteins. However, retroviruses are a class of virus containing RNA that generates DNA that goes on to sit within the host cell genome:

ELENI: Yes. Another important point is that retroviruses do not directly use their RNA blueprint to make more virus. According to retrovirologists, what sets them apart from nearly all other viruses is that retroviruses first make a DNA copy of their RNA. This DNA then moves into the cell nucleus where it becomes part of the cellular DNA. This stretch of DNA is called a provirus and there it sits, hibernating, perhaps for years, until something activates the cell.

CJ: What happens then?

ELENI: The proviral DNA is copied back into RNA and it is this RNA, not the original RNA, that instructs the production of the necessary proteins to make new virus particles.

CJ: Why are they called retroviruses?

ELENI: Because for a long time biologists believed that the direction of information flow in the cells of all living things was from DNA to RNA, and thence to the proteins whose synthesis the RNA instructs. If we say this direction is "forwards" then what retroviruses do first is copy their information "backwards".

CJ: Understood.

ELENI: There's one more thing. One of the proteins inside a retrovirus particle is an enzyme which catalyses this process. Not surprisingly, it's called reverse transcriptase*.
*RT--my comment

CJ: And that's it?

ELENI: Well, that's why they're called retroviruses.

There's something that would prove the existence of a retrovirus and the linkage of that to a specified disease. It utilises a sugar solution gradient that is spun a high speed in an ultracentrifuge. Particles from host tissues placed in this solution eventually come to be banded at a place within the gradient that matches their own density. The band for retroviruses is at 1.16 g/ml.

Then, you'd need to get electronmicrographs of the particles in the 1.16g/ml band, and they'd have to be within 100-120nm diameter and be covered with knobs:

ELENI: Gallo and all other retrovirologists, as well as Hans Gelderblom who has done most of the electron microscopy studies of HIV, agree that retrovirus particles are almost spherical in shape, have a diameter of 100-120 nanometres and are covered with knobs. (12,13) The particles the two groups claim are HIV are not spherical, no diameter is less than 120nM, in fact many of them have major diameters exceeding twice that permitted for a retrovirus. And none of them appear to have knobs.

Next, you'd need to extract a sample from the band and show that the particles could replicate. You'd also have to show that the replicated particles could cause the disease/effect in question.

The article was written in 1997, and prior to that time, something like this had never been applied to HIV. However, when centrifugation was attempted by the two groups mentioned in the snip, none of the particles in the 1.16g/ml band conformed to size expectations for a retrovirus, and in any case, no knobs were seen. Nor, as far as I can see, was an attempt made to show the particles could replicate--for example, by using the replicants to re-infect uninfected host cells, and from those, collecting samples that could have in turn been centrifuged to establish unequivocally the presence of a retrovirus.

The assumption that HIV causes AIDS is indirect: it depends on establishing the presence of antibodies to the presumed HIV retrovirus. All the tests depend on this. But the inconvenient fact is that many processes can generate such antibodies, including those that might occur in people who do not have AIDS.

Papadopulos doesn't deny that the "HIV" test is useful:

CJ: Then is it fair to say that the HIV antibody tests are useless?

ELENI: No, they're not useless. There is no doubt being in a risk group and having these antibodies is not a good thing.

CJ: How can that be?

ELENI: Because empirically such people are more likely to develop the illnesses we classify as AIDS. (31) In fact, there is evidence published in the Lancet that a positive test also predicts increased mortality from diseases which are not classified as AIDS. But what the tests don't do, or at least there is no proof that they do, is prove HIV infection. Or even less that HIV infection is the reason people develop AIDS. You may not appreciate that the only evidence HIV causes AIDS is these tests. If the tests are unproven for HIV infection then there is no proof that HIV causes AIDS. (3, 4, 5, 26, 32, 33, 34)

CJ: What about a positive test in people who are apparently healthy and not in any risk group? Should they be worried?

ELENI: There is no data to answer that question and I think it would be impossible to ever obtain that data. There would have to be an experiment comparing matched groups of healthy people with and without these antibodies. In other words, follow people with a positive test over a period of years and see who developed AIDS and who did not. The trouble is it would be very difficult for most people knowing they are HIV positive, as well as their physicians, not to believe that sooner or later they're going to get very sick and eventually die of AIDS. And that mindset may greatly effect the results of such an experiment. From both sides.


CJ: What do you mean from both sides?

ELENI: I mean that patients' health will be affected knowing they are HIV positive and their physicians will feel compelled to offer treatments with drugs given in the belief they are necessary to kill a virus the patients do not have.

CJ: The drugs themselves might be harmful?

ELENI: Well AZT, the original and still most widely used drug is certainly well known for its toxic effects and in fact some of these effects mimic AIDS.

CJ: What if we did this experiment, and we did it blind, and found that the HIV positives were more likely to develop AIDS than the HIV negatives? What would that tell us?

ELENI: On our present data that would mean the same it means in the AIDS risk groups. Gallo and his colleagues serendipitously discovered a test which for some reason predicts a tendency to get sick from certain diseases that are lumped together as AIDS. But it doesn't prove that the link to all these diseases is a retrovirus. That can never be proven unless HIV is proven to exist by isolating it first and then used to validate the antibodies as HIV antibodies. Even then, you can't say HIV causes AIDS just because it's present in AIDS patients. Association doesn't prove causation. You can be present at a bank robbery but not be the robber. You need other data to prove causation. In fact, according to the CDC AIDS definition, you don't even need to be HIV infected to be diagnosed as AIDS.

CJ: That sounds really crazy.

ELENI: It's written down in the literature. Under some circumstances the CDC AIDS definition requires a patient to be diagnosed as a case of AIDS even if the patient's antibody tests are negative. (35)

CJ: What about the RNA tests. The PCR and viral load and like?

ELENI: That's another huge subject but I can say just one thing. All these tests rely on matching a piece of the patient's RNA or DNA to a test piece of RNA or DNA deemed to originate from a particle called HIV. You can think about this like the rabbit antibodies. There's another bottle on the shelf and the label on this one reads "HIV RNA". But if a retroviral particle hasn't been isolated and purified and shown to be a virus, how does anyone know where this piece of RNA comes from? The HIV experts themselves say that there are about one hundred million distinct HIV RNAs in every AIDS patient. (36)With that much variation one would think that a virus is the most improbable source for such RNA. I mean, how can a virus have that much variation and still be the same agent? Still make the same proteins and induce the antibodies? Still perform all the same tricks?

CJ: Tell me Eleni, if there is no virus where do all the things Montagnier and Gallo found come from? I assume you do believe they did find something in their cultures?

ELENI: Of course they found something. They found many things. All the things we've discussed. And your question is fair. In our view it is possible the RT and particles could be some reaction produced when cells from sick people are cultured. Or the result of the chemicals introduced into the cultures. We know that both normal and pathological processes can be associated with the appearance of retroviral-like particles. There's absolutely no doubt about that. What exactly are all these particles? Well, some may be no more than pieces of disintegrating cells. Others certainly look more uniform and might conceivably be viral-like or even retroviral-like but in the context of HIV what really matters is proof that at least one of these varieties of particles is a retroviral particle. Even if we had that proof, the RT and the particles and proteins could all come from an endogenous retrovirus.

CJ: What's an endogenous retrovirus?

ELENI: Unlike the case for all other infectious agents, normal human DNA contains retroviral information which did not get there following a retroviral infection. The cell was born with it. So amongst all our DNA there are stretches made up of some retroviral information and that may sit there maybe all your life until something happens. The DNA starts to make RNA and hence proteins, and this may go even further and lead to the assembly of endogenous retroviral particles. They're called endogenous because they're not something that got in from the outside. Like HIV is supposed to. Something that gets in from the outside is called exogenous. Long before the AIDS era everyone knew that in animal cells endogenous retrovirus production could occur spontaneously. You make a cell culture and do nothing else. Just leave it on the bench for a few days or maybe a few weeks and then one day it starts to produce retroviral-like particles. They seemingly come out of nowhere and the process can be significantly accelerated and the yield of particles increased, sometimes millions of times, by conditions which induce cellular activation, the same conditions which are obligatory to obtain what is called HIV from cell cultures. Interestingly, up until 1993, neither Gallo nor Fauci who is another well-known HIV researcher, (37) accepted that humans contain the DNA to make endogenous retroviruses but now it's accepted that endogenous retroviral DNA forms about 1% of human DNA. For the record, that's about 3,000 times larger that what the experts claim is the size of the HIV genome. And what's more, new retroviral genomes can arise by rearrangements and recombination of existing retroviral genomes.

CJ: So HIV could be an endogenous retrovirus?

ELENI: There are many explanations for the laboratory phenomena held up as proof for the existence of HIV. We went into all these in a very long article we wrote for Continuum magazine last October. (38)

CJ: Can you tell endogenous and exogenous apart?

ELENI: No. Endogenously produced retroviruses are morphologically and biochemically indistinguishable from exogenous retroviruses.

CJ: If HIV is an endogenous virus, why would AIDS patients produce such viruses when we don't?

ELENI: Because the patients are sick. In fact they are sick before they ever develop AIDS. So their cells are sick and their sick cells find themselves in the right condition in cultures to be activated. That's what's needed to produce endogenous virus and that's been known for decades. Either the agents to which the patients are exposed induce the right conditions or the culture conditions play a part. Perhaps a major part. I don't know which contribution is the greater but that might have been sorted out a long time ago if the first HIV researchers had included a few control experiments.
Papadopulos' position, and that of many sceptics, is a highly nuanced one: it can't be characterised simply as "AIDS denialism". It has a strong scientific justification, and ought to be under open discussion. But she, and many others, find it very difficult to publish work, and when they do, it's often in less well-known journals because their papers get rejected by the more prominent ones on account of dogmatism.

I thoroughly recommend reading the whole of the article to get a better handle on the kinds of things sceptics are saying, and not relying solely on orthodox sources.
 
Last edited:
#88
I would say that ones views about the rightness of homosexuality has absolutely nothing to do with the possible medical consequences of anal sex, and regular colonic 'cleansing'.

This issue really has nothing to do with the rights or wrongs of homosexuality, and for my part I think that the vast majority of people have no choice in their sexuality, and simply want to be left in peace with whatever nature has given them.

If their choice has medical consequences, these should be handled without regard to so-called 'moral' issues.

David
 
#89
It's very difficult to grasp the issues involved in the AIDS dispute. However, I've stumbled across the clearest exposition I can find here:

http://www.ourcivilisation.com/aids/hivexist/

It's a longish interview with Dr. Eleni Papadopulos, a prominent sceptic, which rewards close reading. She defines what a retrovirus is, which helps. Prior to the discovery of retroviruses, it was assumed that DNA always produced RNA which in turn went on to produce proteins. However, retroviruses are a class of virus containing RNA that generates DNA that goes on to sit within the host cell genome:

ELENI: Yes. Another important point is that retroviruses do not directly use their RNA blueprint to make more virus. According to retrovirologists, what sets them apart from nearly all other viruses is that retroviruses first make a DNA copy of their RNA. This DNA then moves into the cell nucleus where it becomes part of the cellular DNA. This stretch of DNA is called a provirus and there it sits, hibernating, perhaps for years, until something activates the cell.

CJ: What happens then?

ELENI: The proviral DNA is copied back into RNA and it is this RNA, not the original RNA, that instructs the production of the necessary proteins to make new virus particles.

CJ: Why are they called retroviruses?

ELENI: Because for a long time biologists believed that the direction of information flow in the cells of all living things was from DNA to RNA, and thence to the proteins whose synthesis the RNA instructs. If we say this direction is "forwards" then what retroviruses do first is copy their information "backwards".

CJ: Understood.

ELENI: There's one more thing. One of the proteins inside a retrovirus particle is an enzyme which catalyses this process. Not surprisingly, it's called reverse transcriptase*.
*RT--my comment

CJ: And that's it?

ELENI: Well, that's why they're called retroviruses.
There's something that would prove the existence of a retrovirus and the linkage of that to a specified disease. It utilises a sugar solution gradient that is spun a high speed in an ultracentrifuge. Particles from host tissues placed in this solution eventually come to be banded at a place within the gradient that matches their own density. The band for retroviruses is at 1.16 g/ml.

Then, you'd need to get electronmicrographs of the particles in the 1.16g/ml band, and they'd have to be within 100-120nm diameter and be covered with knobs:

ELENI: Gallo and all other retrovirologists, as well as Hans Gelderblom who has done most of the electron microscopy studies of HIV, agree that retrovirus particles are almost spherical in shape, have a diameter of 100-120 nanometres and are covered with knobs. (12,13) The particles the two groups claim are HIV are not spherical, no diameter is less than 120nM, in fact many of them have major diameters exceeding twice that permitted for a retrovirus. And none of them appear to have knobs.
Next, you'd need to extract a sample from the band and show that the particles could replicate. You'd also have to show that the replicated particles could cause the disease/effect in question.

The article was written in 1997, and prior to that time, something like this had never been applied to HIV. However, when centrifugation was attempted by the two groups mentioned in the snip, none of the particles in the 1.16g/ml band conformed to size expectations for a retrovirus, and in any case, no knobs were seen. Nor, as far as I can see, was an attempt made to show the particles could replicate--for example, by using the replicants to re-infect uninfected host cells, and from those, collecting samples that could have in turn been centrifuged to establish unequivocally the presence of a retrovirus.

The assumption that HIV causes AIDS is indirect: it depends on establishing the presence of antibodies to the presumed HIV retrovirus. All the tests depend on this. But the inconvenient fact is that many processes can generate such antibodies, including those that might occur in people who do not have AIDS.

Papadopulos doesn't deny that the "HIV" test is useful:

CJ: Then is it fair to say that the HIV antibody tests are useless?

ELENI: No, they're not useless. There is no doubt being in a risk group and having these antibodies is not a good thing.

CJ: How can that be?

ELENI: Because empirically such people are more likely to develop the illnesses we classify as AIDS. (31) In fact, there is evidence published in the Lancet that a positive test also predicts increased mortality from diseases which are not classified as AIDS. But what the tests don't do, or at least there is no proof that they do, is prove HIV infection. Or even less that HIV infection is the reason people develop AIDS. You may not appreciate that the only evidence HIV causes AIDS is these tests. If the tests are unproven for HIV infection then there is no proof that HIV causes AIDS. (3, 4, 5, 26, 32, 33, 34)

CJ: What about a positive test in people who are apparently healthy and not in any risk group? Should they be worried?

ELENI: There is no data to answer that question and I think it would be impossible to ever obtain that data. There would have to be an experiment comparing matched groups of healthy people with and without these antibodies. In other words, follow people with a positive test over a period of years and see who developed AIDS and who did not. The trouble is it would be very difficult for most people knowing they are HIV positive, as well as their physicians, not to believe that sooner or later they're going to get very sick and eventually die of AIDS. And that mindset may greatly effect the results of such an experiment. From both sides.


CJ: What do you mean from both sides?

ELENI: I mean that patients' health will be affected knowing they are HIV positive and their physicians will feel compelled to offer treatments with drugs given in the belief they are necessary to kill a virus the patients do not have.

CJ: The drugs themselves might be harmful?

ELENI: Well AZT, the original and still most widely used drug is certainly well known for its toxic effects and in fact some of these effects mimic AIDS.

CJ: What if we did this experiment, and we did it blind, and found that the HIV positives were more likely to develop AIDS than the HIV negatives? What would that tell us?

ELENI: On our present data that would mean the same it means in the AIDS risk groups. Gallo and his colleagues serendipitously discovered a test which for some reason predicts a tendency to get sick from certain diseases that are lumped together as AIDS. But it doesn't prove that the link to all these diseases is a retrovirus. That can never be proven unless HIV is proven to exist by isolating it first and then used to validate the antibodies as HIV antibodies. Even then, you can't say HIV causes AIDS just because it's present in AIDS patients. Association doesn't prove causation. You can be present at a bank robbery but not be the robber. You need other data to prove causation. In fact, according to the CDC AIDS definition, you don't even need to be HIV infected to be diagnosed as AIDS.

CJ: That sounds really crazy.

ELENI: It's written down in the literature. Under some circumstances the CDC AIDS definition requires a patient to be diagnosed as a case of AIDS even if the patient's antibody tests are negative. (35)

CJ: What about the RNA tests. The PCR and viral load and like?

ELENI: That's another huge subject but I can say just one thing. All these tests rely on matching a piece of the patient's RNA or DNA to a test piece of RNA or DNA deemed to originate from a particle called HIV. You can think about this like the rabbit antibodies. There's another bottle on the shelf and the label on this one reads "HIV RNA". But if a retroviral particle hasn't been isolated and purified and shown to be a virus, how does anyone know where this piece of RNA comes from? The HIV experts themselves say that there are about one hundred million distinct HIV RNAs in every AIDS patient. (36)With that much variation one would think that a virus is the most improbable source for such RNA. I mean, how can a virus have that much variation and still be the same agent? Still make the same proteins and induce the antibodies? Still perform all the same tricks?

CJ: Tell me Eleni, if there is no virus where do all the things Montagnier and Gallo found come from? I assume you do believe they did find something in their cultures?

ELENI: Of course they found something. They found many things. All the things we've discussed. And your question is fair. In our view it is possible the RT and particles could be some reaction produced when cells from sick people are cultured. Or the result of the chemicals introduced into the cultures. We know that both normal and pathological processes can be associated with the appearance of retroviral-like particles. There's absolutely no doubt about that. What exactly are all these particles? Well, some may be no more than pieces of disintegrating cells. Others certainly look more uniform and might conceivably be viral-like or even retroviral-like but in the context of HIV what really matters is proof that at least one of these varieties of particles is a retroviral particle. Even if we had that proof, the RT and the particles and proteins could all come from an endogenous retrovirus.

CJ: What's an endogenous retrovirus?

ELENI: Unlike the case for all other infectious agents, normal human DNA contains retroviral information which did not get there following a retroviral infection. The cell was born with it. So amongst all our DNA there are stretches made up of some retroviral information and that may sit there maybe all your life until something happens. The DNA starts to make RNA and hence proteins, and this may go even further and lead to the assembly of endogenous retroviral particles. They're called endogenous because they're not something that got in from the outside. Like HIV is supposed to. Something that gets in from the outside is called exogenous. Long before the AIDS era everyone knew that in animal cells endogenous retrovirus production could occur spontaneously. You make a cell culture and do nothing else. Just leave it on the bench for a few days or maybe a few weeks and then one day it starts to produce retroviral-like particles. They seemingly come out of nowhere and the process can be significantly accelerated and the yield of particles increased, sometimes millions of times, by conditions which induce cellular activation, the same conditions which are obligatory to obtain what is called HIV from cell cultures. Interestingly, up until 1993, neither Gallo nor Fauci who is another well-known HIV researcher, (37) accepted that humans contain the DNA to make endogenous retroviruses but now it's accepted that endogenous retroviral DNA forms about 1% of human DNA. For the record, that's about 3,000 times larger that what the experts claim is the size of the HIV genome. And what's more, new retroviral genomes can arise by rearrangements and recombination of existing retroviral genomes.

CJ: So HIV could be an endogenous retrovirus?

ELENI: There are many explanations for the laboratory phenomena held up as proof for the existence of HIV. We went into all these in a very long article we wrote for Continuum magazine last October. (38)

CJ: Can you tell endogenous and exogenous apart?

ELENI: No. Endogenously produced retroviruses are morphologically and biochemically indistinguishable from exogenous retroviruses.

CJ: If HIV is an endogenous virus, why would AIDS patients produce such viruses when we don't?

ELENI: Because the patients are sick. In fact they are sick before they ever develop AIDS. So their cells are sick and their sick cells find themselves in the right condition in cultures to be activated. That's what's needed to produce endogenous virus and that's been known for decades. Either the agents to which the patients are exposed induce the right conditions or the culture conditions play a part. Perhaps a major part. I don't know which contribution is the greater but that might have been sorted out a long time ago if the first HIV researchers had included a few control experiments.
Papadopulos' position, and that of many sceptics, is a highly nuanced one: it can't be characterised simply as "AIDS denialism". It has a strong scientific justification, and ought to be under open discussion. But she, and many others, find it very difficult to publish work, and when they do, it's often in less well-known journals because their papers get rejected by the more prominent ones on account of dogmatism.

I thoroughly recommend reading the whole of the article to get a better handle on the kinds of things sceptics are saying, and not relying solely on orthodox sources.
The doc I posted is kind of an hour and a half explanation of what exactly is at issue . . . And seems to cover a lot of this . . . I by and large think I understand.

I will say this, I can't help but wonder where our loyal methodologists are. Why are they hesitating to pull this experiment apart like a parapsychological one? It seems very ripe for it.
 
#90
I will say this, I can't help but wonder where our loyal methodologists are. Why are they hesitating to pull this experiment apart like a parapsychological one? It seems very ripe for it.
Yes, that is a psychological pattern, skeptics stop being skeptics when consensus, and lots of "smart" people say so. They can just switch there brains off because the thinking has been supposedly done for them. Why they do not apply skepticism to cosmological or evolution issues or medical science.

Not skeptics but ideological sheep. It is really quite glaring. It does not show critical thought but a psychological phenomena. Quite amazing really.
 
#91
Skepticism is an illusion because those who are skeptical about "x" are gullible about "not x". The stronger your emotional attachment to a belief, the more skeptical and gullible you will be. It takes 100% iron clad proof to get someone to change his mind about a strongly held belief, but it only takes a tenuous hypothesis for them to explain away contradictory evidence.
 
#93
It's very difficult to grasp the issues involved in the AIDS dispute. However, I've stumbled across the clearest exposition I can find here:

http://www.ourcivilisation.com/aids/hivexist/

.
That interview is an excellent one, and it illustrates very well how all the shades of grey get eliminated as science is reported. How often have we heard the phrase, "virus particles were detected...", and yet here we read just how tricky and ambiguous this observation can be - particularly if a retrovirus is involved. Combine this difficult, tenuous science with an urgency to come up with answers, and an extreme reluctance to countenance the idea of a mistake, and you can see how modern science can get into trouble.

Assuming this is indeed a mistake, I am sure nobody tried to deceive initially - they did their best - but beyond a certain point, it is terrifically hard to turn round and admit a mistake - particularly when many people have been told they have the disease, vast advertising campaigns have started rolling, drugs companies are involved, and Nobel Prizes have been awarded. Those that do, get vilified by the many who are still 'in denial'.

Imagine the parallel with the 'climate scientists' tasked with deciding if CO2 was a danger to the planet! These guys could really only collect temperature readings from thermometers placed all over the globe, and back in the 1990's there did seem to be a tiny increase. That didn't in itself attribute the change to rising CO2 concentration, but if the two continued to rise in parallel, that idea might make some sense. However, the perceived need to decide quickly meant that nobody wanted to wait long enough to know what that tiny rise meant (or even if it was real - a global temperature rise of a few tenths of a degree taken over decades, could be the result of all sorts of artefacts - just as those supposed HIV particles could.

This meant that when the evidence started to come out in favour of a more stable climate - no temperature rise for about 18 years and counting - it was too late to turn back, except for a few brave souls, who then got treated as lepers.

David
 
#94
It's very difficult to grasp the issues involved in the AIDS dispute. However, I've stumbled across the clearest exposition I can find here:

http://www.ourcivilisation.com/aids/hivexist/

It's a longish interview with Dr. Eleni Papadopulos, a prominent sceptic, which rewards close reading. She defines what a retrovirus is, which helps. Prior to the discovery of retroviruses, it was assumed that DNA always produced RNA which in turn went on to produce proteins. However, retroviruses are a class of virus containing RNA that generates DNA that goes on to sit within the host cell genome:

ELENI: Yes. Another important point is that retroviruses do not directly use their RNA blueprint to make more virus. According to retrovirologists, what sets them apart from nearly all other viruses is that retroviruses first make a DNA copy of their RNA. This DNA then moves into the cell nucleus where it becomes part of the cellular DNA. This stretch of DNA is called a provirus and there it sits, hibernating, perhaps for years, until something activates the cell.

CJ: What happens then?

ELENI: The proviral DNA is copied back into RNA and it is this RNA, not the original RNA, that instructs the production of the necessary proteins to make new virus particles.

CJ: Why are they called retroviruses?

ELENI: Because for a long time biologists believed that the direction of information flow in the cells of all living things was from DNA to RNA, and thence to the proteins whose synthesis the RNA instructs. If we say this direction is "forwards" then what retroviruses do first is copy their information "backwards".

CJ: Understood.

ELENI: There's one more thing. One of the proteins inside a retrovirus particle is an enzyme which catalyses this process. Not surprisingly, it's called reverse transcriptase*.
*RT--my comment

CJ: And that's it?

ELENI: Well, that's why they're called retroviruses.
There's something that would prove the existence of a retrovirus and the linkage of that to a specified disease. It utilises a sugar solution gradient that is spun a high speed in an ultracentrifuge. Particles from host tissues placed in this solution eventually come to be banded at a place within the gradient that matches their own density. The band for retroviruses is at 1.16 g/ml.

Then, you'd need to get electronmicrographs of the particles in the 1.16g/ml band, and they'd have to be within 100-120nm diameter and be covered with knobs:

ELENI: Gallo and all other retrovirologists, as well as Hans Gelderblom who has done most of the electron microscopy studies of HIV, agree that retrovirus particles are almost spherical in shape, have a diameter of 100-120 nanometres and are covered with knobs. (12,13) The particles the two groups claim are HIV are not spherical, no diameter is less than 120nM, in fact many of them have major diameters exceeding twice that permitted for a retrovirus. And none of them appear to have knobs.
Next, you'd need to extract a sample from the band and show that the particles could replicate. You'd also have to show that the replicated particles could cause the disease/effect in question.

The article was written in 1997, and prior to that time, something like this had never been applied to HIV. However, when centrifugation was attempted by the two groups mentioned in the snip, none of the particles in the 1.16g/ml band conformed to size expectations for a retrovirus, and in any case, no knobs were seen. Nor, as far as I can see, was an attempt made to show the particles could replicate--for example, by using the replicants to re-infect uninfected host cells, and from those, collecting samples that could have in turn been centrifuged to establish unequivocally the presence of a retrovirus.

The assumption that HIV causes AIDS is indirect: it depends on establishing the presence of antibodies to the presumed HIV retrovirus. All the tests depend on this. But the inconvenient fact is that many processes can generate such antibodies, including those that might occur in people who do not have AIDS.

Papadopulos doesn't deny that the "HIV" test is useful:

CJ: Then is it fair to say that the HIV antibody tests are useless?

ELENI: No, they're not useless. There is no doubt being in a risk group and having these antibodies is not a good thing.

CJ: How can that be?

ELENI: Because empirically such people are more likely to develop the illnesses we classify as AIDS. (31) In fact, there is evidence published in the Lancet that a positive test also predicts increased mortality from diseases which are not classified as AIDS. But what the tests don't do, or at least there is no proof that they do, is prove HIV infection. Or even less that HIV infection is the reason people develop AIDS. You may not appreciate that the only evidence HIV causes AIDS is these tests. If the tests are unproven for HIV infection then there is no proof that HIV causes AIDS. (3, 4, 5, 26, 32, 33, 34)

CJ: What about a positive test in people who are apparently healthy and not in any risk group? Should they be worried?

ELENI: There is no data to answer that question and I think it would be impossible to ever obtain that data. There would have to be an experiment comparing matched groups of healthy people with and without these antibodies. In other words, follow people with a positive test over a period of years and see who developed AIDS and who did not. The trouble is it would be very difficult for most people knowing they are HIV positive, as well as their physicians, not to believe that sooner or later they're going to get very sick and eventually die of AIDS. And that mindset may greatly effect the results of such an experiment. From both sides.


CJ: What do you mean from both sides?

ELENI: I mean that patients' health will be affected knowing they are HIV positive and their physicians will feel compelled to offer treatments with drugs given in the belief they are necessary to kill a virus the patients do not have.

CJ: The drugs themselves might be harmful?

ELENI: Well AZT, the original and still most widely used drug is certainly well known for its toxic effects and in fact some of these effects mimic AIDS.

CJ: What if we did this experiment, and we did it blind, and found that the HIV positives were more likely to develop AIDS than the HIV negatives? What would that tell us?

ELENI: On our present data that would mean the same it means in the AIDS risk groups. Gallo and his colleagues serendipitously discovered a test which for some reason predicts a tendency to get sick from certain diseases that are lumped together as AIDS. But it doesn't prove that the link to all these diseases is a retrovirus. That can never be proven unless HIV is proven to exist by isolating it first and then used to validate the antibodies as HIV antibodies. Even then, you can't say HIV causes AIDS just because it's present in AIDS patients. Association doesn't prove causation. You can be present at a bank robbery but not be the robber. You need other data to prove causation. In fact, according to the CDC AIDS definition, you don't even need to be HIV infected to be diagnosed as AIDS.

CJ: That sounds really crazy.

ELENI: It's written down in the literature. Under some circumstances the CDC AIDS definition requires a patient to be diagnosed as a case of AIDS even if the patient's antibody tests are negative. (35)

CJ: What about the RNA tests. The PCR and viral load and like?

ELENI: That's another huge subject but I can say just one thing. All these tests rely on matching a piece of the patient's RNA or DNA to a test piece of RNA or DNA deemed to originate from a particle called HIV. You can think about this like the rabbit antibodies. There's another bottle on the shelf and the label on this one reads "HIV RNA". But if a retroviral particle hasn't been isolated and purified and shown to be a virus, how does anyone know where this piece of RNA comes from? The HIV experts themselves say that there are about one hundred million distinct HIV RNAs in every AIDS patient. (36)With that much variation one would think that a virus is the most improbable source for such RNA. I mean, how can a virus have that much variation and still be the same agent? Still make the same proteins and induce the antibodies? Still perform all the same tricks?

CJ: Tell me Eleni, if there is no virus where do all the things Montagnier and Gallo found come from? I assume you do believe they did find something in their cultures?

ELENI: Of course they found something. They found many things. All the things we've discussed. And your question is fair. In our view it is possible the RT and particles could be some reaction produced when cells from sick people are cultured. Or the result of the chemicals introduced into the cultures. We know that both normal and pathological processes can be associated with the appearance of retroviral-like particles. There's absolutely no doubt about that. What exactly are all these particles? Well, some may be no more than pieces of disintegrating cells. Others certainly look more uniform and might conceivably be viral-like or even retroviral-like but in the context of HIV what really matters is proof that at least one of these varieties of particles is a retroviral particle. Even if we had that proof, the RT and the particles and proteins could all come from an endogenous retrovirus.

CJ: What's an endogenous retrovirus?

ELENI: Unlike the case for all other infectious agents, normal human DNA contains retroviral information which did not get there following a retroviral infection. The cell was born with it. So amongst all our DNA there are stretches made up of some retroviral information and that may sit there maybe all your life until something happens. The DNA starts to make RNA and hence proteins, and this may go even further and lead to the assembly of endogenous retroviral particles. They're called endogenous because they're not something that got in from the outside. Like HIV is supposed to. Something that gets in from the outside is called exogenous. Long before the AIDS era everyone knew that in animal cells endogenous retrovirus production could occur spontaneously. You make a cell culture and do nothing else. Just leave it on the bench for a few days or maybe a few weeks and then one day it starts to produce retroviral-like particles. They seemingly come out of nowhere and the process can be significantly accelerated and the yield of particles increased, sometimes millions of times, by conditions which induce cellular activation, the same conditions which are obligatory to obtain what is called HIV from cell cultures. Interestingly, up until 1993, neither Gallo nor Fauci who is another well-known HIV researcher, (37) accepted that humans contain the DNA to make endogenous retroviruses but now it's accepted that endogenous retroviral DNA forms about 1% of human DNA. For the record, that's about 3,000 times larger that what the experts claim is the size of the HIV genome. And what's more, new retroviral genomes can arise by rearrangements and recombination of existing retroviral genomes.

CJ: So HIV could be an endogenous retrovirus?

ELENI: There are many explanations for the laboratory phenomena held up as proof for the existence of HIV. We went into all these in a very long article we wrote for Continuum magazine last October. (38)

CJ: Can you tell endogenous and exogenous apart?

ELENI: No. Endogenously produced retroviruses are morphologically and biochemically indistinguishable from exogenous retroviruses.

CJ: If HIV is an endogenous virus, why would AIDS patients produce such viruses when we don't?

ELENI: Because the patients are sick. In fact they are sick before they ever develop AIDS. So their cells are sick and their sick cells find themselves in the right condition in cultures to be activated. That's what's needed to produce endogenous virus and that's been known for decades. Either the agents to which the patients are exposed induce the right conditions or the culture conditions play a part. Perhaps a major part. I don't know which contribution is the greater but that might have been sorted out a long time ago if the first HIV researchers had included a few control experiments.
Papadopulos' position, and that of many sceptics, is a highly nuanced one: it can't be characterised simply as "AIDS denialism". It has a strong scientific justification, and ought to be under open discussion. But she, and many others, find it very difficult to publish work, and when they do, it's often in less well-known journals because their papers get rejected by the more prominent ones on account of dogmatism.

I thoroughly recommend reading the whole of the article to get a better handle on the kinds of things sceptics are saying, and not relying solely on orthodox sources.
wow... great stuff. if accurate, this would explain a lot.
 
#95
Right, so the consequence of the 70s from Temin and Baltimore in ingraining the concept that retro viral markers were specific to retro viuses affected what happened in the 80's. Except this activity can exist in every cell. And Reverse transcriptase activity even promoted in cell cultures. Not specific to retro viruses.

So the evidence consists of a) non specific retro viral markers and b) em of what is likely to be endogenous human retro viral, reverse transcriptase products.

HIV may or may not exist. Science has not actually established it.
 
#96
It's very difficult to grasp the issues involved in the AIDS dispute.
Papadopulos' position, and that of many sceptics, is a highly nuanced one: it can't be characterised simply as "AIDS denialism". It has a strong scientific justification, and ought to be under open discussion. But she, and many others, find it very difficult to publish work, and when they do, it's often in less well-known journals because their papers get rejected by the more prominent ones on account of dogmatism.

I thoroughly recommend reading the whole of the article to get a better handle on the kinds of things sceptics are saying, and not relying solely on orthodox sources.
Yet the HIV skeptics are dehumanized, demonized, denigrated and labeled as "AIDS denialists" - by ones who never even tried to understand any nuance and detail but demand unquestioning submission to the holy Consensus Science. This is the horror of the situation, as George Gurjieff reportedly liked to say...
 
#97
wow... great stuff. if accurate, this would explain a lot.
Not that it matters, but that interview is almost 20 years old.

I'm a layperson, so it can be difficult to understand the science everyone seems to be an expert on here. But aren't there some basic questions that at least merit some attention? Like if HIV does not exist what exactly is it that the global medical and scientific field has been dealing with for decades on end? They're just all spinning their wheels pretending to treat something, or collectively agreeing to engage in conspiracy?

I'd like to know what is it that people are actually claiming here. Is it that there is actually nothing that exists that maps in reality to what the scientific establishment calls HIV? Or is it that the scientific establishment is wrong about exactly what HIV is but something does exist? There's quite a difference there.
 
#98
Not that it matters, but that interview is almost 20 years old.

I'm a layperson, so it can be difficult to understand the science everyone seems to be an expert on here. But aren't there some basic questions that at least merit some attention? Like if HIV does not exist what exactly is it that the global medical and scientific field has been dealing with for decades on end? They're just all spinning their wheels pretending to treat something, or collectively agreeing to engage in conspiracy?
The answer to that question is given in that interview, and in an extremely detailed set of notes by Henry Bauer that I linked to eariler.

As a layman, the question you should ask yourself is how it can be that well respected researchers - such as Henry Bauer - are suddenly shunned the the science community for pointing out that a theory might be wrong. Shouldn't these issues be discussed openly at scientific conferences? Also, did you read that statement (above) by Karry Mullis - who has a Nobel Prize for molecular biology? If you have achieved those heights you don't stick your neck out unless you are pretty sure you are right!
I'd like to know what is it that people are actually claiming here. Is it that there is actually nothing that exists that maps in reality to what the scientific establishment calls HIV? Or is it that the scientific establishment is wrong about exactly what HIV is but something does exist? There's quite a difference there.
Well it isn't clear that much has changed. For example, they promised a vaccine and several attempts have failed.

I think the claim is that the idea that HIV causes AIDS is a muddle created out of jumping to a conclusion too soon about a subject that isn't really so clear cut. HIV is supposed to be a retrovirus, and these things can be generated by cells under stress - so it is awfully easy to mistake a virus generated by natural processes in the body for something foreign.

When someone is found to be HIV positive, they are given anti-retroviral drugs that are very poisonous. Bauer and others are claiming that the symptoms of AIDS are disturbingly similar to the side effects of these toxic drugs - surely you see the point?

I too am curious as to whether there is a well defined entity called HIV virus. I get the impression the whole area is far more confused than it should be after so many years. For example, it isn't clear to me if any experimental animals can be infected with HIV (BTW, I don't like such experiments, but normally such experiments are done). Monkeys can be infected with SIMV, which is supposed to be similar, but this is a much milder disease.

Again, I do wish Henry Bauer would contribute to this thread!

David
 
#99
The answer to that question is given in that interview, and in an extremely detailed set of notes by Henry Bauer that I linked to eariler.
Hey David, I'm not sure I understand where they answer the questions I was posing. Would you mind elaborating?

As a layman, the question you should ask yourself is how it can be that well respected researchers - such as Henry Bauer - are suddenly shunned the the science community for pointing out that a theory might be wrong. Shouldn't these issues be discussed openly at scientific conferences? Also, did you read that statement (above) by Karry Mullis - who has a Nobel Prize for molecular biology? If you have achieved those heights you don't stick your neck out unless you are pretty sure you are right!
That's a fine question, yes. Though I won't say it's necessarily surprising when someone gets called out for ideas that bump up against scientific consensus. Either way dissent doesn't say anything about whether the claims are true or not in and of itself. As always the problem is that the layperson cannot be expected to become a scientist to understand who is correct, and for every expert claiming "A" we can present another expert that's claiming "not A".

When someone is found to be HIV positive, they are given anti-retroviral drugs
This is exactly what I'm talking about. What does it even mean to be found HIV positive if it doesn't exist? What exactly is it that does not exist? That's what I meant by my question about whether or not HIV, as it is understood by scientific consensus at least, actually maps to something in reality. Or if it doesn't at all. Is it just a complete global mish mash of people making it up as they go along? To be a hyperbolic here, do people sometimes go to the hospital with a headache and the doctor decides he needs to fill the quota for big pharma and tells the patient they have HIV (which doesn't exist, of course), so he can prescribe some treatment? And then those people die of AIDS later by coincidence? I guess we'd have to work out why that would happen. Perhaps the treatment itself is what causes AIDS?

I understand that there are a lot of ideas that don't seem to add up, and I get that Bauer is presenting a case. And I can try my best to understand it despite a lack of scientific background. But it also seems a worthy exercise to consider what the implications are, how this system could even function the way it does, to understand what the flip side of the coin is to see if it all fits together in a meaningful way.
 
Top