HIV sequence from virus

Todd Miller - Pharmacology tmiller at
Mon Jun 12 08:26:22 EST 1995

In article <Pine.SOL.3.91.950608215843.13823A-100000 at corona>,
Patrick O'Neil  <patrick at corona> wrote:
>On 8 Jun 1995, Todd Miller - Pharmacology wrote:
>> sequence data derived from particles, and when this is considered
>> along with the absence of EM's of pure HIV, I have to doubt it's
>> existence.  Why isn't this data available?  All you thousands of
>> scientists working on this and no one can provide me this info.
>As I mentioned previously, by this logic there are other viruses to 
>doubt, not just HIV so I still wonder why HIV specifically is the 

HIV happens to be the cause of spending of billions of dollars and
the cause for concern (probably exaggerated) among almost all of
society.  Not too many other viruses have reached the celebrity
status HIV has.  I hope this answers your question.
>Be that as it may, I have not forgotten you nor have I blown you off, 
>that is, I can now divert attention to a hunt for purified virion EM shots.

Thanks, I appreciate any information you can dig up.  I haven't had
much luck.
>Curious about one thing:  Why is it, if HIV is imaginary, that consistent
>DNA can be reverse transcribed from infected cells, and that the cDNA
>contains all the elements of any retrovirus.  Same organization, and so
>on, as with HTLV, MLV, SIV, FIV, etc?  Yet the repeatedly identifiable
>cDNA (or even RNA) is not *identical* to these other swarms, indicating a
>separate subspecies?  Are all the other retroviruses also phantasms?  Or
>would you classify the HIV virus as an HTLV variant, which amounts to
>nothing but a label change, not a denial of existence.  The bottom line
>would be a retrovirus (of course, HIV was previously labeled HTLV III, I
>believe).  You cannot lay it off as an artifact of RT-PCR because errors
>in the process would be largely random and so you would not find a
>consistent, blatant PCR error that could be interpreted consistently as an
>independent virus species (in case you think that a mere transposon is
>being pulled).  At best, you could expect a consistent number of point
>mutations standard for RT-PCR to be eliminated as simple background noise. 

My interest in this started with the articles by Stephan Lanka and
Valendar Turner.  Both of these were categorically ridiculed by many
on this forum.  I am trying to confirm their claims that the evidence
that confirms HIV is a "virus", as we define the term, is weak.  So
far, I think I have confirmed these claims since I have found neither
an EM of HIV from a sucrose gradient nor sequence obtained directly
from a part of the life cycle other than the proviral stage.  I have
outlined a protocol to do this and no one has responded as to its

Let me ask the following to help in understanding my question.  Is
there any evidence that all the work done on "HIV" in tissue culture
is anything more than transfection (as opposed to infection) studies?
I noticed in the LAV cloning paper from 1985? Nature that oligo dT
was used to prime (apparently) free nucleic acids banding at the
position of viral particles from the sucrose gradient.  Is viral RNA
polyadenylated?  Why should free nucleic acids co-banding with viral
particles in a density gradient have anything to do with the virus?
At any rate, this oligo dT primed material was then cloned and used
to fish out the "HIV" provirus from a genomic library.  Why should
this probe have worked at all?

I hope someone can answer these questions because I find this situation
very strange.



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