Latam Eco Review: Gold fever in Peru and cryptic fish from the deep

first_imgThe most popular stories from our Spanish-language service, Mongabay-Latam, followed new deforestation from gold mining in Peru, new fish species deep in Chile’s sea, mining on Ecuador’s beaches, and hundreds of dead turtles in Mexico.Gold mining tears through Peru’s AmazonA new study shows that gold mining in Peru’s Madre de Dios region has cleared more forest than originally estimated: 100 square kilometers (39 square miles) in 2017 alone. Since 1985, more than 950 square kilometers (367 square miles) have been lost. Most of the deforestation in the last 32 years occurred in the buffer zones of three protected areas.Sites mined with mercury, many of them abandoned without any attempt at environmental rehabilitation, scar a 20-kilometer (12-mile) stretch of the Madre de Dios forest. Image by Vanessa Romo/Mongabay Latam.Atacama Trench: New species observed in Pacific depths of Chilean coastGelatinous fish, scavenger crustaceans, octopuses and strange worms have been seen for the first time, 8 kilometers (5 miles) deep in the most extensive trench in the world along the Peruvian and Chilean coasts. This year, for the first time, an expedition reached the bottom by sending a robot to take samples from this unknown abyss.One of the species found in the Atacama Trench. Image courtesy of the Millennium Institute of Oceanography.Mining the metallic sands of Ecuador’s beachesMining concessions have taken over the black sands of Playa Negra in Ecuador’s Esmeraldas province. The mining of the metallic sand in search of iron and titanium is happening on beach zones that buffer protected areas. There are eight such concessions on the beaches of three of Ecuador’s Pacific provinces.Ecuador’s Environment Ministry has ordered a halt to all mining on Playa Negra. Image courtesy of the Mompiche Commune.Hundreds of turtles die in nets off MexicoAlmost 400 sea turtles found dead and rotting on the western coast of Mexico in April were caught in abandoned, illegal nets, a crime that carries a jail sentence of up to nine years. Mexico is the site of the most important sea turtle nesting beaches in the world. Juan Carlos Cantú, head of the Mexican program of the Defenders of Wildlife, says such accidental capture, illegal capture for their meat, and taking of their eggs in nesting season are now the biggest threats to sea turtles.Turtles coming to shore in La Flor-San Juan del Sur Wildlife Refuge in Nicaragua. Image courtesy of Paso Pacifico.Peruvian indigenous group uses an app to fight miningMembers of the Masenawa indigenous community in Peru’s Amazon documented the presence of an illegal mining camp through a mobile app called ForestLink, developed by the Rainforest Foundation UK. Once a group that works with the community had evidence that the miners were working in a zone close to the Amarakaeri communal reserve in the south of Manu National Park, they shared the information with government officials.Police responded to the reports of illegal mining, one of the main threats to the communities and biodiversity of Madre de Dios, by destroying heavy equipment and arresting five suspects. Image by FENAMAD.Read all these stories in full at Mongabay-Latam in Spanish here. Biodiversity, Conservation, Environment, Illegal Mining, Mining, New Species, Rainforests, Wildlife, Wildlife Trafficking Article published by Maria Salazarcenter_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Venus Williams reaches quarterfinals at Australian Open

first_imgFilipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Williams has advanced without dropping a set, finding her rhythm quickly after pulling out of a tournament in Auckland and withdrawing from the doubles before the first round at the Australian Open because of an elbow problem.“It was just not ideal to start the year like this, and it was a ton of anxiety, to be honest,” Williams said of her preparation. “But really, at the end of the day, it’s about walking to the net, shaking hands as the winner.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return“This is where you want to be … but this is not the end-all for me. This is not the end goal.”Williams will next play No. 24-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who beat No. 8 Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 6-3 in the opening match of Day Seven at Rod Laver Arena. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Defending champion and No. 1-ranked Angelique Kerber was playing CoCo Vandeweghe in the last night match.It’s a lot more crowded on the top quarter of the men’s draw, which features matches later Sunday involving top-ranked Andy Murray against Mischa Zverev and Roger Federer against Kei Nishikori.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next DILG to lock shops in Tagaytay City, other areas near Taal Luis Manzano jokes about Mikee Morada’s proposal to Alex Gonzaga: ‘Baka nagtali lang ng sintas’ Palace: Crisis over ABS-CBN franchise unlikely View comments Pavlyuchenkova’s win over fellow Russian Kuznetsova left Williams as the only Grand Slam winner left in that quarter of the draw.Williams has a 3-2 edge in career meetings with Pavlyuchenkova, including wins in the last two matches.But she hasn’t advanced beyond the quarterfinal round at Melbourne Park since her loss to younger sister, Serena, in the 2003 final. Against Barthel, she won 90 percent of points when she got her first serve into play, hit 31 winners and fired four aces while not serving any double-faults.Barthel was the lowest-ranked player to reach the fourth round of the women’s draw here since 2010, although she has a career-high ranking of 23 and was consistently top 50 before an illness last year caused her slide down the rankings.“I know what it’s like to be down on my luck,” Williams said. “We’ve played a couple of tough matches before. Today I expected to have some competition.”ADVERTISEMENT Gamboa officially assumes post as new PNP chief Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town Motorcycle taxis ‘illegal’ starting next week — LTFRB board member Anne Curtis talks about renewing faith in God amid the world’s ‘noise and clutter’ Ben&Ben, IV of Spades, SB19 win big at 5th Wish Music Awards MOST READ LATEST STORIES Bulacan inmates, jail guards raise donations for Taal victims Ortiz chokes out Sonnen in 1st round to wrap up MMA career United States’ Venus Williams makes a backhand return to Germany’s Mona Barthel during their fourth round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017. APMELBOURNE, Australia — Venus Williams has returned to the quarterfinals for the ninth time at the Australian Open, where she reached the same round on debut in 1998.The 36-year-old, seven-time major winner had a 6-3, 7-5 fourth-round win Sunday over No. 181-ranked Mona Barthel, who won three matches in qualifying and then beat two Australian wild cards and Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig in the first three rounds.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Essequibo Leo Club fetes children, senior citizens for the holidays

first_imgThe Christmas festivities have begun and the Leo Club on the Essequibo Coast is spreading the holiday cheer to children and senior citizens in the region.The Club, in fulfilling its mandate of service to the less fortunate, hosted two Christmas parties, where over 40 senior citizens were treated to a luncheon at the Anna Regina Multilateral Secondary School.The children enjoying their treats, compliments of the Essequibo Leo ClubGuests were treated to lunch and a hamper, and free medical service was also provided by a team from the Suddie Public Hospital. Senior citizens’ diabetes and hypertension levels were tested.This little girl is happy to receive a gift from SantaIn addition, 62 needy children from Onderneeming were also treated to a lunch, ice-cream, a goodies bag and a toy from Santa Claus. The excited children also had a “dancing” time with Santa, who set the mood for Christmas.The Club’s President, Leo Thareshme Persaud, noted that the club is happy to extend its services to the elders and children during the festive season. Among the other humanitarian works, Persaud explained that the club recently donated fans to the Suddie Public Hospital as well as erected a sign board at Aberdeen Village.She also used the opportunity to extend Christmas wishes to all Guyanese.last_img read more

‘We can’t be worried about reputations!’ – Chris Coleman not scared of Ronaldo

first_imgChris Coleman has urged his Wales players to focus upon themselves rather than worry about the reputations of Portugal’s stars – including Cristiano Ronaldo.The Dragons reached the Euro 2016 semi-finals after an excellent display against a Belgium team considered likely contenders for silverware.Their starting XI was littered with a host of star names, but Coleman’s unheralded team secured a 3-1 win due to hard work and a fantastic team ethic.And for Coleman, beating teams with star names has been easy, with the Round of 16 clash against Northern Ireland actually the biggest test.The 46-year-old told talkSPORT: “[Cristiano] Ronaldo, he’s a world class player. But we don’t know how he’s going to perform on Wednesday.“From our experience, Hamsik for Slovakia is a fantastic player and England were littered with top quality players, and Eden Hazard for Belgium.“But I think our hardest match in terms of trying to how he had to try and win it was Northern Ireland, and that wasn’t one great player, that was one great team.“Again, team spirit and organisation are hard to play against, and it shows how far that can take you.“We can’t be worried about reputations. We just have to worry about ourselves and try to stamp our authority and bring our own game plan.”The cost of the victory over Belgium was two bookings handed out to Ben Davies and Aaron Ramsey, which mean they are suspended for the meeting with Portugal.Coleman believes the ban is harsh on the two excellent performers, but he is confident the players he names to start will be up to the task of facing Ronaldo and his teammates.He added: “If you’re looking at Aaron Ramsey and Ben Davies, they are two players that deserve to be in a semi-final, and unfortunately, because of the rules they are going to miss that.“It’s harsh on both players who have been absolutely outstanding.“Our guys will know that they’ve got to do a job and give their very best, and I hope that’s enough to get a result.”last_img read more

A reminder of how much Tottenham star Harry Kane loves scoring against Leicester

first_img targets Ian Holloway thinks Arsenal have made a mistake in hiring Mikel Arteta Top scorer in 2019: Messi, Mbappe and Sterling trailing Europe’s top marksman What every Premier League club’s fans dream of this Christmas on target Spurs investigation into alleged racial abuse of Rudiger is so far ‘inconclusive’ BIG PRESENTS UP TOP Kane showed brilliant improvisation after beating Kasper Schmeichel with a shot into the ground and over the keeper.He managed this excellent finish despite being nudged to the ground by Foxes centre-back Caglar Soyuncu just before he took the shot.This was Kane’s 13th goal in 12 career appearances against Leicester.Arsenal are the next club to fall victim to Kane’s attacking prowess the most as he’s netted 10 times in 12 appearances against them.He scored a penalty during Spurs’ pulsating draw against the Gunners earlier this season. statement Strugglers Wigan hold Blackburn to goalless draw in Championship deals latest Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT. We’ll bring you LIVE commentary of Premier League games across all three time slots on Saturday – 12.30pm, 3pm and 5.30pm – with Leicester vs Tottenham among our games this weekend. Getty Images – Getty Kane somehow managed to score from this position 13 – Since the start of last season, Harry Kane has scored 13 Premier League away goals, more than any other player in this period. Improvised.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 21, 2019 Liverpool transfer news live: Star man wanted by Real Madrid, Mbappe latest and more LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS Man United transfer news live: £17m bid for Barca wonderkid, English starlet linked 13 – Harry Kane has scored 13 goals in 12 games in all competitions against Leicester, more than he has vs any other side in his professional career. Haunt.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 21, 2019The goal against Leicester also brought up another impressive stat concerning Kane’s Premier League away goal tally.Since the start of the 2018/19 campaign, Kane has scored 13 away Premier League goals which is more than any other player has managed during the same period.However, it was a disappointing day for Kane’s side as second-half strikes from Ricardo Pereira and James Maddison saw Leicester turn the game around and claim a 2-1 victory. Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti rookie error 1 Every great striker has a team they always seem to score against and this rule is no different for Tottenham’s Harry Kane.Leicester are that team for Kane and he added to his tally against the Foxes during Spurs’ Premier League clash at the King Power Stadium. stalemate last_img read more

Brand leadership award for South Africa

first_imgTravellers arriving at Zurich airportduring the World Economic Forum earlierin 2010 were greeted by stunning SouthAfrican vistas.(Image: IMC) MEDIA CONTACTS • Chantal WellingtonIMC digital content manager+27 11 483 reporterAnitha Soni, chairperson of the board of trustees of the International Marketing Council of South Africa (IMC), will receive the Brand Leadership Award at the 19th World Brand Congress in Mumbai, India, later in November.Described as the most prestigious award an individual can receive at the congress, the award is one of several accolades to be given. Others include CEO of the Year, Media Professional of the Year, and Brand Builder of the Year.The World Brand Congress represents 60 countries. Some 600 branding and marketing specialists are expected to participate in the 2010 event.Soni, a tourism specialist and award-winning businesswoman, will be honoured for her “professional efforts” in overseeing the activities of the IMC, as it delivers on its mandate to manage the country’s reputation, and position South Africa as an investment destination of choice.Under her guidance, the IMC is delivering on this mandate, both domestically and internationally. The most recent and highest-profile example is the 2010 Fifa World Cup – here the IMC’s mobilisation initiatives engendered strong social cohesion among South Africans, fulfilling the country’s 2010 brand promise to “celebrate Africa’s humanity”.She was also instrumental in the council’s drive to position South Africa’s business and economic competitiveness at the 2010 meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, which saw a powerful delegation of political and business leaders departing for Switzerland to promote the country’s agenda.While at the congress Soni will deliver a speech titled “The impact of international events on a nation’s pride and therefore its brand – sharing South Africa’s 2010 World Cup experience”.Passionate about South AfricaSoni believes the award does not belong to her alone, but to all the role players in government and the private sector that participate in building the country’s brand.“The IMC is the custodian of Brand South Africa, but the brand belongs to all South Africans,” she said. “The World Cup has shown that when South Africans act with unity of purpose, everyone contributes to growing our reputation on the international stage.“The primary role players responsible for enhancing the nation brand are dedicated, skilled and passionate about our country. This past year they have worked with great diligence to foster relationships, engage with international stakeholders and promote South Africa.”Soni added that the award belongs to everyone who contributed to South Africa’s enhanced global reputation, and that she would think of all South Africa’s brand builders when the award was placed in her hands.last_img read more

#Nextchat RECAP: Finding Your Voice as an HR Professional

first_imgOn August 1, @shrmnextchat chatted with SHRM Field Service Director and host of Honest HR podcast Callie Zipple, @SHRMCallieZ about Finding Your Voice as an HR Professional.  In case you missed this amazing chat filled with helpful tips and advice you can read all the tweets here:last_img

Cartoon: Social Media Shakeout

first_imgrob cottingham 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App Years from now, our grandchildren will gather at our knees saying: “Tell us again about those wild days of Podango! And Pownce! And I Want Sandy!” Misty-eyed, we’ll tell them about a glorious time when any youngster with a VPS, a sans-serif wordmark and a glint in her eye could stake her claim to social media millions… Related Posts More Noise to SignalTop image credit: krisdecurtis Tags:#Cartoons#web 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…last_img read more

UN: Nearly 71 million now displaced by war, violence at home

first_img(AP) – The United Nations refugee agency says a record 71 million people have now been displaced worldwide from war, persecution and other violence.That’s an increase of more than 2 million from last year and an overall total that would amount to the world’s 20th largest country by population.The annual “Global Trends” report from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees was released Wednesday and counts the number of the world’s refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people at the end of 2018.The agency said Wednesday that 70.8 million people were forcibly displaced at the end of last year, up from about 68.5 million in 2017.That’s a nearly 65% increase from a decade ago. Among them, more than 41 million people have been displaced within their home countries.last_img read more

With Papers On Hold, Government Scientists Fuel Debate on Virus for Chronic Fatigue

first_imgIt was just a snippet of news, reported by an obscure journal in the Netherlands. And yet it lit up the Internet. Twitter was all atwitter, scientists’ mailboxes on both sides of the Atlantic began filling up, and dozens of bloggers started jubilating. “It’s happened. I cannot tell you all how this changes the world as we have known it for 25+ years,” one patient wrote on her blog. “Now to work on the vindication part!”The reason for all the excitement? Scientists at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) were reported to have confirmed the link, first published in Science last year, between a human retrovirus and the elusive condition called chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Earlier this year, three other groups reported being unable to replicate such a connection. That federal scientists now confirmed it was huge mood-lifter for patients, many of whom are desperate to find a biological cause, and a cure, for their debilitating ailment.But the story wasn’t as simple as that. Science has learned that a paper describing the new findings, already accepted by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), has been put on hold because it directly contradicts another as-yet-unpublished study by a third government agency, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That paper, a retrovirus scientist says, has been submitted to Retrovirology and is also on hold; it fails to find a link between the xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) and CFS. The contradiction has caused “nervousness” both at PNAS and among senior officials within the Department of Health and Human Services, of which all three agencies are part, says one scientist with inside knowledge.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The debate over XMRV started in 2009 when a group of researchers led by Judy Mikovits of the Whittemore Peterson Institute (WPI) for Neuro-Immune Disease in Reno, Nevada, reported in Science finding traces of the virus in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, a type of white blood cell, of 67% of CFS patients. By contrast, only 3.4% of healthy controls were found to harbor the virus. The team also showed that XMRV could infect human cells and concluded that the virus—which had previously been linked to prostate cancer—might play a role in causing CFS (Science, 23 October 2009, p. 585).Many scientists were skeptical, however, and in May, Science published three Technical Comments that tried to poke holes in the study, along with a rebuttal by Mikovits and first author Francis Ruscetti of the National Cancer Institute. By that time, two groups in the United Kingdom and one in the Netherlands had also published papers failing to find a link; in fact, they found little or no evidence of XMRV infection at all, either in patients or in healthy people. Three other groups, two from the United States and one from Europe, have also reported negative findings at meetings, says Kim McCleary, president of the Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome Association of America, a patient advocacy group.The FDA-NIH paper would offer fresh hope that Mikovits is on to something after all, but so far, details about the work are scant. Ortho, a Dutch magazine about nutrition and food supplements, last week issued a press release saying that Harvey Alter, a renowned virologist at NIH’s Clinical Center, mentioned the study when he gave a talk at a blood safety meeting in the Croatian capital Zagreb in late May. In his PowerPoint presentation, Alter wrote that the data in the 2009 study in Science “are extremely strong and likely true, despite the controversy.” Another bullet point said: “We (FDA & NIH) have independently confirmed the Lombardi group findings.” (WPI’s Vincent Lombardi was the paper’s first author.) But the presentation offered no detail beyond that tantalizing summary, and an NIH spokesperson says Alter is not available for comment.Meanwhile, a group working with retrovirologist William Switzer at CDC, which has done an independent study, has held its cards closer to its chest. But Science talked to several scientists who say they have seen the data, and they are negative. Although it’s not unprecedented for government scientists to be on opposite ends of a scientific debate, two contradictory press releases on a flashpoint issue like CFS would look odd, scientists say. With publication deferred, “they want to find out what’s going on first,” says one researcher who says he has been briefed about the controversy. Last week, the AABB, an international association of blood banks, recommended to its members that they discourage CFS patients from donating blood. A special task force on XMRV conceded that the evidence was preliminary but decided it’s “prudent” to err on the side of caution, says task force member Louis Katz, the medical director at the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center in Davenport, Iowa. “If [XMRV] turns out to be important,” says Katz, “I don’t want to be criticized for doing nothing when I could have done something.” (This story is adapted from a longer one in the 2 July issue of Science.)last_img read more