Plague by Kent Heckenlively JD and Judy Mikovits PhD
Plague by Kent Heckenlively JD and Judy Mikovits PhD is a hard to put down book about a very talented scientists’ work with the xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV).
XMRV is possibly the 3rd retrovirus to be discovered that infects humans after HIV and HTLV. XMRV has been indicated as having a possible role in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Autism and some prostate cancers.
The science is fascinating but this book is so much more. It describes the search and discovery in very complex science in a completely accessible way for the non-scientist while also telling the story of the politics and corruption that unfortunately is a reality in modern day scientific discovery. This book reads like a great legal thriller with careers being destroyed, jail time served, and very dirty political connections.
We often think of science, especially the health sciences, to be all about finding facts and saving lives. However, science is not untouched by politics, corruption, and crime which is extremely destructive and simply appalling. This part of the story has much wider implications than the retroviruses and disease written about in this book. The potential of corruption to completely undermine scientific endeavors is a critically important issue. The other broad implications coming from this book deal with the possible unforeseen unleashing of and / or creating new retroviruses with potential to cause disease through xenotransplantation or using animal tissues to create vaccinations and transplant tissues.
The XMRV virus potentially infects up to 21 million Americans causing devastating disease in over 1 million of them and yet the science has been so badly sidetracked and undermined by the darker side of human behavior.
This is a very important and informative book worth your reading time! So as usual Hit The Books, They Don’t Hit Back!