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    Scientific Papers > Duesberg Defends Challenges.... Part 2


Duesberg Defends Challenges to the Existence of HIV:
Article 2 of 2 for Continuum

-adapted from Continuum vol 4 (5) page 26, February/March 1997

I am honored by the profound and passionate reactions of Hodgkinson, Lanka, and Papadopulos-Eleopulos et al. to my letter on the existence or the non-existence of HIV (Hodgkinson, 1996; Lanka, 1996; Papadopulos-Eleopulos et al., 1996) . However, I cannot surrender to the HIV-non-existentialists for the following two scientific reasons:

1) The weakest point of the HIV-non-existentialists is their failure to explain the origin of "19 sequences encompassing the full-length, 10 kb-HIV-1 genome" (Papadopulos-Eleopulos et al., 1996) and "19 full-length HIV genomes" (Hodgkinson, 1996) . Hence Papadopulos et als unanswered question: "Can one exclude the possibility that the 19 "full-length HIV genomes" described so far, even if they all had the same length of 9150 bp and identical sequences are nothing more than a chance finding among the many molecular species present in the cultures, or even the uncultured lymphocytesŠ?"(Papadopulos-Eleopulos et al., 1996) , that were "...taken from AIDS patients and AIDS risk groups", as Hodgkinson points out (Hodgkinson, 1996) . ­­Yes, one can exclude that. Remember the odds of coming up with even one nucleotide sequence of 9150 bp by chance are astronomically low, namely 1 in 49150 which is very very close to 0 (see my letter in the July/August Continuum, (Duesberg, 1996) ). The chance of coming up 19-times with the same HIV-DNAs, even "from cultures treated with chemical or physical oxidants" (Papadopulos-Eleopulos et al., 1996) are another 19 orders of magnitude lower than finding it once by chance. Indeed the odds are much much lower than finding 19 guys on this planet with the same phone numbers. Science offers but one rational origin for such sequences appearing "very occasionally" (Hodgkinson, 1996) in species, namely viruses or other infectious agents. Thus the virus hypothesis is not a "specious" (Hodgkinson, 1996) explanation for the origin of 9150 bp DNA that is "very occasionally" found in AIDS patients.

2) The HIV-non-existentialists also fail to realize that available isolation efforts have already adequately identified the 9150 bases as the genome of a virus. In order to "isolate" a given infectious agent, one needs no more than to isolate it from all other, possibly contaminating, infectious agents ­ this is in fact Koch"s second postulate. Since viruses have an extracellular and intracellular existence, viruses can be isolated from two entirely different sources:
(i) Viruses have been traditionally isolated from extracellular fluids. Such viruses may be contaminated by extracellular proteins, nucleic acids and possibly other microbes. Montagnier"s original isolate of HIV from extracellular fluids is an example. Indeed, Montagnier"s isolate appears to meet functional standards of isolation adequately, because two of the world"s leading retrovirologists, Robert Gallo of the NIH and Robin Weiss of the Chester Beatty have re-isolated only HIV from Montagnier"s virus stock (Weiss, 1991; Cohen, 1993) . If Montagnier"s virus had been grossly contaminated by other viruses or microbes, those would have been found by Gallo and Weiss.

(ii) Since the 1980s viruses can also be isolated as infectious nucleic acids from infected cells. Such infectious nucleic acids initiate replication of virus in uninfected cells from which new virus particles are subsequently released. In this case viral nucleic acid is contaminated by cellular nucleic acid, and possible other intracellular viruses. As I pointed out in my Missing Virus Reward claim in the July/August Continuum, infectious HIV DNA has been isolated from infected cells several times by molecular cloning (Duesberg, 1996) . This cloned, infectious HIV DNA of 9150 bases represents an almost theoretical isolation, as it is a 100,000 fold purification from all nucleic acids of the cell and its possible viruses. This is because the human cell contains 1 million kilobases of DNA and HIV only 10. Contrary to Papadopulos et als." slogan ­"No isolation no cloning." ­ cloning is isolation, and is in fact the most rigorous isolation science has to offer for retroviruses.
Thus the high standards of virus isolation from extracellular materials postulated by Papadopulos et al. and Hodgkinson may be relevant for crystallographers or chemists who want to analyze the structure of a virus, but are not relevant for functional isolation.

In view of this I hope to liberate the minds of HIV dissidents from HIV for the cause that unites us all ­ the solution of AIDS. It seems tragic that over 99% of AIDS researchers study a virus that does not cause AIDS and that the few who don"t are now engaged in a debate over the existence of a virus that doesn"t cause AIDS.

Cohen, J., 1993. HHS: Gallo guilty of misconduct. Science 259: 168-170.
Duesberg, P. H., 1996. Duesberg"s HIV. Continuum, July/August, p8-9.
Hodgkinson, N., 1996. Origin of the specious. Continuum, September/October, p17-18.
Lanka, S., 1996. Collective fallacy; Rethinking HIV. Continuum 4: 19-20.
Papadopulos-Eleopulos, E., T. V., J. Papadimitriou and D. Causer, 1996. The isolation of HIV: has it really been achieved? The case against. Continuum, September/October, pSupplement 1-24.
Weiss, R., 1991. Provenance of HIV strains. Nature (London) 349: 374.
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