Archive for October, 2008

#Justice Made-No Nobel for Gallo but for Montagnier

October 8, 2008

Sent to the BBC and PRI’s

On the 2008 Nobel Prize for Medicine:

You were quite short and wrong on reporting Gallo vs. Montagnier, and the order was precisely that: Gallo against Montagnier. There are many, many scientific and journalistic reports that show what the reference below, by Dr. Robert Bazell, shows briefly but concisely: there was scientific fraud and there was unbecoming, scientifically unacceptable, inhuman and abusive behavior:


By Robert Bazell
Chief science and health correspondent
NBC News

Charges of stolen virus

<<But Gallo believed AIDS had to be caused by some kind of HTLV. At a meeting in a ski resort in Utah, Montagnier presented his findings. According to those present, Gallo abused him verbally with a memorable viciousness. Part of the problem was Montagnier’s limited command of both English and retroviruses. Clearly, Gallo sensed an impending battle and wanted to draw the first blood.

Immediately, the French responded with outraged statements and with lawsuits. It was not just a matter of pride. Hundreds of millions of dollars in patent rights for those tests were at stake. The French claimed repeatedly that Gallo had stolen their virus. A series of investigative newspaper reports eventually agreed with the charges about Gallo. Finally, a study by the U.S. National Institutes of Health came to the same conclusion.

The Nobel Prize remains the highest goal to which a scientist can aspire. It’s long been thought there would be no prize for HIV because the Nobel committee often avoids controversy. In fact, the Committee Monday declared the controversy is over: The French discovered the viruses that cause AIDS.>>

TManning Writer & Co., LLC
Manuel J. Torres-Anjel DVM, PhD
Author of the 2008 book

Larvatus Prodeo,©
The Interview
{(The disappearance and Cartesian reappearance of Dr. Carmine Barre.
{(A work of “faction,” yes, factual fiction.)

Excerpt from the book

Carmine Barre had to be physical witness to the poker round between Dr. Paggano, the Franco-American ANH scientist, against his counterpart and bona fide competitor in France, Dr. Professor Corniche. It had been a poker match in which the French had been asked to play against very biased odds. Had it been boxing, it would have been with a hand tied behind his back, so to speak. And even so, the French Corniche went on to win handsomely.

The American had all the time, as we say in Spanish “the frying pan by the handle”: prestige-wise, facilities-wise, and particularly peer review-wise.

Paggano in all of his prestige was the de facto editor and peer reviewer of all virus journals, where Corniche was going to submit papers to. And Paggano was going to find ways to delay Corniche’s publications, to reduce them to lesser papers (like from full papers to research “notes” or letters), or send them to less conspicuous part of the journal, as he had relegated Corniche’s presentation to a late Friday afternoon at Aspen in the midst of the ski season. Only Corniche’s most faithful disciples and friends were there, including Carmine Barre who had made sure that all were going to be there en mass and plentiful to listen to the most prominent retrovirologist in Europe make a historic presentation.

And, by gosh, what he was saying! Dr. Carmine Barre knew that we, members of the scientific community, were going to be presented right then and there with the first absolute, unquestioned scientific and immediately publishable recognition of the existence of a human retrovirus associated to the newly diagnosed HAIDS!

Of course, Paggano was there too, sitting in the front but absolutely devoted to flirt with gorgeous Palette Paul, talking into her ear and laughing in apparent and complete disregard for what Corniche was saying. Corniche did not have a chance. Or wouldn’t have had a chance had it not been by his extremely continental good manners, his persistence, but particularly because he was a better, not richer, not flamboyant, only better scientist all the way through, and very meticulous and shrewd one in science but also a very good human being. He was very well liked by his peers and particularly by his pupils.

Barre could not believe his eyes and ears when he saw Corniche facilities first at L’Institut Supérieur de la Salubrité in Alfort, France (French Higher Institute of Public Health). Corniche occupied the equivalent of a large closet compared to the two floors facilities of Paggano at the Gaithersburg Research campus. Corniche’s collaborators did not have desks but had to use the benches also as writing tables. There was only one ultracentrifuge, not only for his lab but also for the whole building where four full-fledged laboratories/groups, called institutes in the European system, operated from.

Barre was fascinated by the closeness of Corniche collaborators working very close together, not only physically because of the crowded facilities but also because of the spirituality of the environment. And when the moment came to report, there was only one isolation from only one lymph node of only one patient, the specimen sent with love from Central Africa to Corniche by one of his beloved pupils. They had submitted to a vote the idea of submitting this very meager but very solid piece of information.

Barre, in the midst of the first grain of evidence that came his way, had acted fast, taking patient Hartford to Rome once he, to his chagrin, realized that he was not going be able to do anything else for Hartford. He immediately took him to Dr. Corniche’s unit at the L’Institut Supérieur de la Salubrité in Alfort, France (French Higher Institute of Public Health).

Paggano was and still is going to spend the rest of his life presenting to dismissive, uninterested, and yawning audiences the slides copied from his laboratory notes, telling the world that he already had seventy-nine isolations in progress. But in the world of science, where the first that publishes in the most prestigious refereed journals of the trade wins, he still had not a submission for publication, hoping to verify and re-verify even further his results. Well, with reason because Paggano had just recently boo-booed and not only once but twice in other papers having to do with retroviruses.

Well, even assuming that this were true, and history was going to present evidences to make us doubt of his veracity in science as in other areas of life, risk taking is part of the game, and in poker showing one’s hand is the compulsory proof before collecting one’s bounty and asking to be paid. One plays at the table by only bluffing, but winning requires absolute proof that one’s hand is better. And how one wins, in terms of beauty, intensity,or numbers, is not the issue. It is who reports first with solid evidence,opened to the world for the world to be able to replicate one’s results.

Under the rules of this science game, Corniche won and won big. However, it did not mean that in real terms he beat Paggano. Not on the money, though, not without the intervention of the US courts and the presidents of both countries.

MW: Explain please the epilogue of this political ending of the Corniche vs. Paggano episode.

TM: Well, it is a very long legalistic story, but, in summary, Paggano had to eventually share his earnings; and one still wonders how Paggano, a public servant as Carmine Barre was, was able to pocket royalty moneys for himself, with Corniche’s institution. Paggano had used Corniche’s virus for his experiments and mostly for his development of the first diagnostic tests. That would have been peculiar, but it became palpably fraudulent since the origin of the viruses was always assumed to be his, Paggano’s, own. It took molecular biology, “detectivism”, to prove him wrong and very wrong at that. Even more amazingly, Paggano had used Corniche’s HIV isolates to produce the famous, now infamous, and beautiful electronographs (electron microscope pictures) that illustrated “his” papers.

MW: You had your contribution to Pagano´s success, didn’t you?

TM: Yes, if you want to kindly call it that way. And Paggano himself narrated it somewhere in an attempt to give credit to a good, I hope, piece of advice. Paggano narrates how advice by his colleague and adversary had been essential in his being able to culture the viral agent of HAIDS, the HIV. “The telephone conversation had gone occurred more or less in the following way (Carmine Barre knowing who his interlocutor was and how he was had recorded the call):

Hi Carmine how are you, I have a question for you and since you like to answer tough questions, here it is for you. Why is it that every time I try to culture HIV on its favorite substrate, lymphocytes, the culture stops almost immediately?

Well, Carmine Barre answered in his most professorial tone, that one that made people so mad since he had this tendency to be always right in the deep analytical subjects; well, he said, don’t’ you think you have a problem in trying to preserve the culture substrate when by definition it is being attacked by the virus?

There was silence on the other side of the line.

How do I culture something that destroys the substrates it-requires/grows-in-itself? Well I use a substrate that it extremely similar to the original one but which it differs from by a very particular element of difference. It grows faster than the original and it is abnormally resistant while at the same time having eternal or at least abnormally long life. I am talking about a cell as a substrate then it closest but still different replicate is a tumoral, or malignant, cell. And since I am talking about a tissue that is an extended tissue or floating tissue (the blood) about one particular type of cells (white blood cells) and a specific subtype (lymphocytes) then I get cells from a malignant tumor of that particular type of cell or tissue a leukemia or a lymphoma.

In my case I went to the most recognized repository of tissues and cells (a “library“), the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC), and I looked for malignant T lymphocytes obtained from a feline patient condemned to death while dying of a lymphoma.

And that was it, the rest is history.


Larvatus Prodeo,©

The Interview

{(The disappearance and Cartesian reappearance of Dr. Carmine Barre.
{(A work of “faction,” yes, factual fiction.)


T. Manning©
TManning Writer and Co©
117 Burlington Ave.
Greer SC