There are very few investigators on the planet who are interested in this subject. I am one of them. There is a reason why.
In many articles, I’ve written about the shocking lack of logic in the curriculum of advanced centers of learning. When I attended college, I was fortunate to have a professor who taught logic, and taught it in a way that appealed to the minds of his students. In other words, for those of us who cared, we could not only absorb the subject matter, we could think with it; for example, we could approach an area of knowledge and track it back to its most basic premises. And then we could check those premises and see whether they were true and correct. If they were incorrect, we could then challenge many accepted notions that followed from those basic untruths.
That is one of the payoffs of being able to deploy logic.
With this introduction, let me bring up the issue of disease-causation. How do researchers decide that a given virus causes a given condition?
There are many twists and turns involved in answering the question, but before being able to engage in such a discussion, a more basic factor has to be considered:
Has the virus in question ever been isolated and identified? More simply, has it ever been found?
Obviously, in order to eventually say virus A causes condition B, you have to know you’ve found, discovered, isolated virus A from some tissue sample removed from a human being.
I’m not talking about tests run on people in 2016, to decide whether they have virus A. I’m talking about the first time, the first time ever a researcher said, “I’ve found a virus we’ve never seen before. I’m calling it virus A.”
So, for example, with all the chatter about people with Ebola in recent years, the question would be: when was the first time a researcher said, “We’ve verified the existence of a virus we’ve never seen before, and we’re calling it Ebola.”
When was that, and by what procedure was this discovery made?
For many people, it’s unthinkable that scientists would say a given virus is causing many people to fall ill—and yet that virus had never really been isolated and identified—but who knows what you find out when you go down the rabbit hole?
Let’s consider HIV, the purported cause of AIDS. Independent reporter Christine Johnson conducted a magnificent and shocking rabbit-hole interview with Dr. Eleni Papadopulos, “a biophysicist and leader of a group of HIV/AIDS scientists from Perth in Western Australia. Over the past decade and more she and her colleagues have published many scientific papers questioning the HIV/AIDS hypothesis…” The interview was titled: Does HIV Exist?
I’ll highlight part of the exchange, because it’s so telling and instructive. Keep in mind that what Eleni Papadopulos is saying about HIV could apply to any virus — including zika.
The interview takes up a few complex procedures, but if you read through it several times, you should be able to sort out the key points:
Christine Johnson (CJ): Does HIV cause AIDS?
Eleni Papadopulos (EP): There is no proof that HIV causes AIDS.
CJ: Why not?
EP: For many reasons, but most importantly, because there is no proof that HIV exists.
CJ: Didn’t Luc Montagnier and Robert Gallo [purportedly the co-discoverers of HIV] isolate HIV back in the early eighties?
EP: No. In the papers published in Science by those two research groups, there is no proof of the isolation of a retrovirus from AIDS patients. [HIV is said to be a retrovirus.]
CJ: They say they did isolate a virus.
EP: Our interpretation of the data differs. To prove the existence of a virus you need to do three things. First, culture cells and find a particle you think might be a virus. Obviously, at the very least, that particle should look like a virus. Second, you have to devise a method to get that particle on its own so you can take it to pieces and analyze precisely what makes it up. Then you need to prove the particle can make faithful copies of itself. In other words, that it can replicate.
CJ: Can’t you just look down a microscope and say there’s a virus in the cultures?
EP: No, you can’t. Not all particles that look like viruses are viruses.
CJ: My understanding is that high-speed centrifugation is used to produce samples consisting exclusively of objects having the same density, a so-called “density-purified sample.” Electron microscopy is used to see if these density-purified samples consist of objects which all have the same appearance — in which case the sample is an isolate — and if this appearance matches that of a retrovirus, in terms of size, shape, and so forth. If all this is true, then you are three steps into the procedure for obtaining a retroviral isolate. (1) You have an isolate, and the isolate consists of objects with the same (2) density and (3) appearance of a retrovirus. Then you have to examine this isolate further, to see if the objects in it contain reverse transcriptase [an enzyme] and will replicate when placed in new cultures. Only then can you rightfully declare that you have obtained a retroviral isolate.
EP: Exactly. It was discovered that retroviral particles have a physical property which enables them to be separated from other material in cell cultures. That property is their buoyancy, or density, and this was utilized to purify the particles by a process called density gradient centrifugation.
The technology is complicated, but the concept is extremely simple. You prepare a test tube containing a solution of sucrose, ordinary table sugar, made so the solution is light at the top but gradually becomes heavier, or more dense, towards the bottom. Meanwhile, you grow whatever cells you think may contain your retrovirus. If you’re right, retroviral particles will be released from the cells and pass into the culture fluids. When you think everything is ready, you decant a specimen of culture fluids and gently place a drop on top of the sugar solution. Then you spin the test tube at extremely high speeds. This generates tremendous forces, and particles present in that drop of fluid are forced through the sugar solution until they reach a point where their buoyancy prevents them from penetrating any further. In other words, they drift down the density gradient until they reach a spot where their own density is the same as that region of the sugar solution. When they get there they stop, all together. To use virological jargon, that’s where they band. Retroviruses band at a characteristic point. In sucrose solutions they band at a point where the density is 1.16 gm/ml.
That band can then be selectively extracted and photographed with an electron microscope. The picture is called an electron micrograph, or EM. The electron microscope enables particles the size of retroviruses to be seen, and to be characterized by their appearance.
CJ: So, examination with the electron microscope tells you what fish you’ve caught?
EP: Not only that. It’s the only way to know if you’ve caught a fish. Or anything at all.
CJ: Did Montagnier and Gallo do this?
EP: This is one of the many problems. Montagnier and Gallo did use density gradient banding, but for some unknown reason they did not publish any Ems [electron microscope photos] of the material at 1.16 gm/ml…this is quite puzzling because in 1973 the Pasteur Institute hosted a meeting attended by scientists, some of whom are now amongst the leading HIV experts. At that meeting the method of retroviral isolation was thoroughly discussed, and photographing the 1.16 band of the density gradient was considered absolutely essential.
CJ: But Montagnier and Gallo did publish photographs of virus particles.
EP: No. Montagnier and Gallo published electron micrographs of culture fluids that had not been centrifuged, or even separated from the culture cells, for that matter. These EMs contained, in addition to many other things, including the culture cells and other things that clearly are not retroviruses, a few particles which Montagnier and Gallo claimed are retroviruses, and which all belonged to the same retroviral species, now called HIV. But photographs of unpurified particles don’t prove that those particles are viruses. The existence of HIV was not established by Montagnier and Gallo — or anyone since — using the method presented at the 1973 meeting.
CJ: And what was that method?
EP: All the steps I have just told you. The only scientific method that exists. Culture cells, find a particle, isolate the particle, take it to pieces, find out what’s inside, and then prove those particles are able to make more of the same with the same constituents when they’re added to a culture of uninfected cells.
CJ: So before AIDS came along there was a well-tried method for proving the existence of a retrovirus, but Montagnier and Gallo did not follow this method?
EP: They used some of the techniques, but they did not undertake every step including proving what particles, if any, are in the 1.16 gm/ml band of the density gradient, the density that defines retroviral particles.
CJ: But what about their pictures?
EP: Montagnier’s and Gallo’s electron micrographs…are of entire cell cultures, or of unpurified fluids from cultures…”