Why the world is complex

Xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus may not be associated with human prostate cancer:
[Via Eureka! Science News – Popular science news]

The xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) which has previously been linked to prostate cancer has been found to have a dramatically lower prevalence among German prostate cancer patients, if any. Contrary to some reports, which have found XMRV in 40% of cases in patients in the US with familial prostate cancer, research published today in BioMed Central’s open access journal, Retrovirology has found no link between the two conditions in a large study of German prostate cancer patients.


I mentioned this virus (XMRV) a few days ago because of its correlation with chronic fatigue syndrome. The initial connection of this virus and CFS was from a paper indicating that this virus was found in a form of prostate cancers in the US.

Now this report finds no correlation between the presence of the virus and prostate cancer in German men. This makes things a little more complex, to say the least. A lot more study will be needed.

So this is a cautionary tale at the moment. Correlation is not causation. And correlation may not be universal or repeatable. One has to know this as we try to understand the world around us.

The same applies to CFS. The work has to be repeated and the correlation has to be maintained. I’m sure that is what is being done right now.

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