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Scientific Illusions

Can we trust science?

Yes we can, BUT science is not God. Scientists are fallible human beings. There are scientists with ironclad integrity, and there are those who are susceptible to putting their career ahead of honesty.

Recently we had a horrific example of scientific fraud, with the exposure of how the database for global warming and climate change research had been manipulated. That explains why North America, Europe and Siberia are having one of the coldest winters in decades (at the time of writing - winter 2009/2010). Global warming seems, at present, to be limited to Ellisrus and Keetmanshoop in South Africa.

Two Research Teams Two Conflicting Results.

Research in the United States, published in October 2009 in Science, had shown that a retrovirus, XMRV, caused Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The researchers had found this virus, previously linked to prostate cancer in 68 of 101 Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients. That left a third with some other cause, warranting further research.

Now UK scientists at the Imperial College London, say they can find no proof that a particular virus is the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME). They analysed blood samples from 186 patients with CFS and found none had the virus. The UK team say the conflict between the two studies might be down to differences between the patients enrolled, the way the research was conducted, or there might be different geographical types or strains of XMRV.

This is very significant in treating the condition as potent antiretroviral drugs given to already weak patients could do more harm than good.

Professor Myra McClure, of the Imperial College London research team, said, “We are confident that our results show there is no link between XMRV and chronic fatigue syndrome, at least in the UK.”

The artist and scientist Beau Lotto shows us in this entertaining video that what we see is is not always reality.

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