Two years ago, Science published a paper suggesting that a mouse retrovirus called XMRV might be involved in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a debilitating disease with no known cause. The study raised worries that XMRV might be spreading via blood donations. Since then, many other studies have failed to find XMRV in CFS patients, and some have suggested that the 2009 paper was the result of lab contamination.
Where does the science stand today? And how has the long and sometimes bitter debate affected the scientific field and CFS patients? Join us for a live chat on this page at 3 p.m. EDT on Thursday, 22 September, to discuss these and other questions with Michael Busch, a transfusion medicine scientist involved in XMRV research, and retrovirologist Jay Levy. You can leave your questions in the comment box below before the chat starts.
Michael P. Busch
Michael P. Busch is director of the Blood Systems Research Institute in San Francisco, California. He has led many studies in transfusion medicine and is a member of the Blood XMRV Scientific Research Working Group, a government-funded panel investigating whether XMRV is a risk to the blood supply.
Jay Levy studies HIV/AIDS at the University of California, San Francisco. The main focus of his work is HIV pathogenesis. In July, he published a study in Science that failed to find XMRV in chronic fatigue syndrome patients.