Echt, ersatz, or fake? “HIV” “virions” budding from a cell! Electron micrographed!
Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/07/19
AIDS Rethinkers and HIV Skeptics enjoy pointing out that genuine (“echt”) virions of HIV have never been obtained directly from an “HIV-positive” person nor from an AIDS patient, not even in “late-stage” “HIV disease” when those “HIV” virions supposedly reign supreme in massive amounts. The attempted answers that HIV/AIDS groupies come up with tend toward the pitiful.
One of them suggested I look at the NIH website that offers specimens of HIV for researchers to use:
“Is there any reason why you don’t want your readers to know that numerous isolates of HIV are available free of charge at http://www.aidsreagent.org and http://www.nibsc.ac.uk/spotlight/aidsreagent?”
The reason I don’t choose to publicize this, of course, is that these so-called “isolates” are the same old extracts, from cultures in which all sorts of stuff has been mixed together, obtained by taking “bands” of material characterized only by having a density of 1.16 g/ml; and those bands have been shown by electron microscopy to be a motley mixture of all sorts of things (Bess et al., “Microvesicles are a source of contaminating cellular proteins found in purified HIV-1 preparations”, Virology 230  134-44; Gluschankof et al., “Cell membrane vesicles are a major contaminant of gradient-enriched human immunodeficiency virus type-1 preparations”, ibid., 230: 125-33). No direct isolation of pure virions from “HIV-positive” people or AIDS patients here.
Others have pointed to electron micrographs of apparently pure “HIV” virions published by Layne et al., Virology 189  695-714, perhaps overlooking that paper’s title: “Factors underlying spontaneous inactivation and susceptibility to neutralization of human immunodeficiency virus”. These researchers had synthesized “a molecular clone” of “HIV”. In other words, they put together what they thought an “HIV” genome is and what “HIV” proteins are and created particles of which between 1 in 10,000 and 1 in 10,000,000 were “infectious” — which means only that they could be reproduced by the same culturing process, not that they were capable of actually infecting a human being. Those Frankenstein virions self-destructed with a half-life of 30-40 hours. Anyway, synthesizing isn’t the point; one day we’ll also re-create a woolly mammoth by putting our idea of its genome into a suitable elephant’s egg, or something of the sort, but that won’t make it an echt mammoth. Cloned “HIV” is no substitute for direct isolation of virions from “HIV-positive” people or AIDS patients. If virions have never been found in AIDS patients or “HIV-positive” people, how can we ever know for sure that they actually exist there?
Imagine that you take big magnets and continually sweep them through the junkyards where former automobiles rest. You’ll always bring out the same sorts of certain bits: gears, levers, shock-absorber parts, etc. They’re not all EXACTLY identical, but they have a family resemblance to one another, no matter where the junkyard is; even in other countries, there’ll still be a family resemblance, though it may be of a somewhat different “strain”. You concentrate on what seem to be the universally shared elements, and claim that they come from automobiles that actually exist in those yards in functioning form. Your magnets, goes the claim, are actually detecting intact cars.
Louis Hissink, who has an interesting website that features some unpopular views about cosmology, ancient history, and economics, alerted me to yet another remarkable claim: a series of colored transmission electron micrographs on the National Geographic web-site showing an “HIV” virion actually budding from a cell!
I was surprised that one of the HIV/AIDS groupies had not already dumbfounded me with this conclusive evidence of the veritable existence of echt “HIV”. But then I remembered some of what I used to know about electron microscopy: specimens to be examined by that technique are ultra-thin sections of material “fixed” in some manner to withstand the nearly absolute vacuum that allows electron beams to serve as the “light” source to illuminate the specimen. You can’t do electron microscopy in situ, in vivo. Ergo, those 4 pictures cannot be an echt sequence. Moreover, the odds would be impossibly against capturing such a sequence by preparing a series of specimens: how lucky would you have to be to catch the “budding virus” at just the right moments?
I sent an inquiry to the National Geographic website and was referred to Photo Researchers, who are credited for these images. They responded:
“The photo you listed is represented by our stock agency here in the US. The copyright owner is actually based in Germany and they have many agents selling the piece worldwide.
The only sales we have here in the US have been the Nat. Geo. you linked to and a sale to ‘Junior Scholastic’ back in 2006. Due to the vast distribution of the image there is the distinct possibility that this image has been used in a wide variety of places.”
“These are certainly TEM’s [transmission electron micrographs]… but with a few caveats. First, they have been (obviously) colorized from the original B/W. Second, this is not a true sequence in that we are not seeing the same virus particle. And third, the cell was repeated in the bottom two frames to create the effect of a sequence.
So I guess in the end they can be considered ‘computer manipulated’ but the base images (virus particles and cell) are true TEM in origin.”
There you have the sort of utterly misleading stuff that’s propagated about HIV/AIDS — no doubt with the best intentions in the world — by people and groups like National Geographic that see themselves as disseminating useful and educational material. In actual fact, images of this sort make the public at large believe that “HIV” has been proven to exist. Just Google “HIV” for “Images” and you can be regaled with a cornucopia of beautifully colored computer-graphic art-work that has no verifiable basis in reality.