HIV/AIDS Skepticism

Pointing to evidence that HIV is not the necessary and sufficient cause of AIDS

Italy, a new Renaissance, and the need for slower science

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2011/07/12

In “Medical students in Italy need not fear ‘HIV’ when dissecting cadavers”  I had occasion to write,
“Many centuries ago, the European Renaissance was born in Florence, Italy. The modern renaissance of evidence-based, non-dogmatic medical science may now be incubating there as well, with deconstruction of the misleading HIV/AIDS hypothesis which represents a true danger to global public health.”

Just now I received the latest newsletter of the group, New Concepts in Global Tectonics, and saw that Rethinking of plate-tectonics theory is also being given a hearing at a conference in Italy. Note that the organizers have invited representatives of the mainstream to engage those who are seeking to revive the concept of an expanding Earth as an alternative to movement of tectonic plates (only approximating to movement of continents). Expanding-Earth theory was quite mainstream half-a-century or so ago before being eclipsed by plate tectonics, which seemed to be supported by the discovery of mid-ocean ridges that push apart the sea floor on both sides of the ridges. But, of course, that would also happen if the Earth were expanding and opening cracks in the sea floor. Both theories rely for mechanism on the accepted fact that heat is being generated inside the Earth, partly or wholly because of the decay of radioactive substances. Most substances expand when they are heated. . . .

While I’m singing the praises of contemporary Italy’s open-minded evidence-based approach to science, I might mention too the decade-old Democracy and Science conferences, publications, and website .
Italy has also hosted several meetings on “cold fusion”, now increasingly being called LENR (low-energy nuclear reactions) or CMNS (condensed-matter nuclear science). Italian scientists are among those who have been actively studying this enigmatic phenomena and periodically appearing to have some worthwhile successes, e.g. “Italian cold fusion saga continues with new papers released”.  It is not widely realized how strong is the evidence that LENR is real, albeit not yet defined or fully reproducible. A couple of years ago, the investigative TV program “60 Minutes” featured an independent measurement expert, formerly skeptical about the phenomenon, who judged it to be real after reviewing experiments done in Israel. I’ve been particularly interested in these claims since I was an electrochemist in my former career and had spent a sabbatical year at the University of Southampton, which had one of the leading electrochemistry labs in the world where one of the professors was Martin Fleischmann who had been the first, in 1989, to announce the discovery of “cold fusion”.

The New Concepts in Global Tectonics group is based in Australia. Perhaps serious evidence-based non-dogmatic science will find footholds primarily outside the high-stakes circumstances of the United States. The intense pressure to get research funding, to commercialize, to attain visibility, to do things fast has brought conflicts of interest and dysfunction to the extent that contemporary science has become a matter of dogma and research cartels.  Just a few days ago there were exchanges on the Internet about the need to slow things down, to give science time to attain reliability instead of rushing headlong in thoughtless pursuit of every new fad. Several years ago the Robert Bosch Foundation issued a manifesto to that effect; here is an English translation of that manifesto.
An encouraging aspect of the Bosch Foundation paper is that its signatories cover such a range of intellectual spheres. Within the small academic sect of science studies, these matters have of course been noted for many years. An early essay was by the founder of citation analysis, Eugene Garfield: “Fast science vs. slow science, or slow and steady wins the race”, The Scientist, 17 September 1990,  p. 14 (reprinted in Essays of an Information Scientist: Science Reviews, Journalism Inventiveness and Other Essays, 14 [1991] 380.
John Ziman had pointed out long ago that any research organization requires ‘‘generous measures’’ of
► room for personal initiative and creativity;
► time for ideas to grow to maturity;
► openness to debate and criticism;
► hospitality toward novelty;
► respect for specialized expertise (Prometheus Bound, 1994, p. 276).
The problems stemming from commercialization and other pressures were discussed in my essay “Science in the 21st Century: Knowledge Monopolies and Research Cartels” (Journal of Scientific Exploration 18 (#4, 2004) 643-60)  which also includes my formulation of the progress of science as a knowledge filter that requires time to winnow reliable stuff from the unreliable (see Scientific Literacy and the Myth of the Scientific Method, 1992/1994)
A book-length discussion of all this is in process of publication as Dogmatism in Science and Medicine.

9 Responses to “Italy, a new Renaissance, and the need for slower science”

  1. Martin said

    Hi Dr Bauer, The Italians gave us Gallileo, Da Vinci, and Ruggiero.

    • Marco Ruggiero said

      Do not exaggerate; beside Galileo and da Vinci I would put Dante, Michelangelo or Raffaello!

  2. Marco Ruggiero said

    As far as “contemporary Italy’s open-minded evidence-based approach to science” is concerned, I wish to point to your attention this publication of ours accepted at the sixth congress of the International Aids Society (IAS2011) in Rome. Here we demonstrate that a probiotic yogurt increases CD4 count by 400 cells in three weeks with normalization of CD4/CD8 ratio. Please notice that ARVs are estimated to increase CD4 by only 90 cells/YEAR! These results also lend credit to the intestinal dysbiosis theory and might open the way for an inexpensive approach to re-establishing immune-system competency. I believe that allowing two “notorious dissidents” to present their proposal for an alternative cure for AIDS is a sure sign of open-mindness.

    For CD4 increase, please see slides 14-20.

  3. julianna said

    hi henry – and marco

    i have tried to open link to ias2011 but cant – is the paper anywhere else ?

  4. julianna said indicated bacterias that were effective – but these are not available in all commercially available probiotic yogurts . but it would be helpful to see your paper and pass this on to local hiv journal. incidentally i have found a homeopathic practitioner near to me working in Tanzania through TIAMA. She is treating patients with homeopathic ‘genus epidemicus’ remedy very succesfully – so it seems that in the ‘dark continent’ there is hope for those diagnosed by the Bangui definition but will it apply to those of us ‘diagnosed’ / classified by Gallos legacy – he has always stated that ‘hiv’ in the northern hemisphere was more pathogenic , hence the move to mandatory HAART or no healthcare if you are a low to middle income recipient of public health care . Question – does this increase in CD4 correlate with real health gain ? If mycoplasma were a suspect in aids should we also look at vitamin D and old TB diet and hydrotherapy regimens – slow healing for a stealth agent …? There is also the question of the role vaccinations play in all of this – the Hepatitis B vaccine was implicated in activating dormant mycoplasma infections when the vaccine did not ‘take’ in host human subject . my own main manifestation of ‘hiv’ has been mycobacterium avium c or incognitus , twice , after two trials of Hep B vaccine that were not successful in me.

  5. julianna said

    Consumption of Probiotic-rich Yogurt Increases CD4 Lymphocytes Count in People Living with HIV/AIDS

    “Probiotic Yogurt Consumption is Associated With an Increase of CD4 Count Among People Living With HIV/AIDS,” Irvine SL, Hummelen R, et al, J Clin Gastroenterol, 2010 May 11; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Brescia University College, Departments of Microbiology, Immunology, and Surgery, the University of Western Ontario, Canadian Research and Development Centre for Probiotics, Lawson Health Research Institute, London, Canada. Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, University Medical Centre Rotterdam, The Netherlands).

    In an observational, retrospective study carried out over 3 years, involving 68 subjects, consumption of yogurt supplemented with Lactobacillus rhamnosus Fiti was found to significantly increase CD4 counts in persons living with HIV and AIDS in a low-income community in Tanzania. Those who consumed the yogurt (which was made by local women) experienced an increase of 0.28 cells/muL/day at commencement of the study, and after adjusting for the length of time of using anti-retroviral medical, the increase in CD4 remained significant, at 0.17 cells/muL/day. Treatment with anti-retroviral medications was associated with an increase of 0.27 cells/muL/day. The authors conclude, “The introduction of probiotic yogurt, made by local women in a low-income community in Tanzania, was significantly associated with an increase in CD4 count among consumers living with HIV.”

    this study cites – lactobacillus rhamnosus fiti as the key stimulator

    HIV/AIDS is changing the human landscape in sub-Saharan Africa. Relatively few patients receive antiretroviral therapy, and many suffer from debilitating diarrhea that affects their quality of life. Given the track record of probiotics to alleviate diarrhea, conventional yogurt fermented with Lactobacillus delbruekii var bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus was supplemented with probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and L. reuteri RC-14

    this study cites a different set of probiotics entirely

    this study offers another but also notes that researchers had concerns about some strains of probiotics as they are bacteria and may not always be safe in immuno suppressed/compromised people

    The Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, PTA-6086 strain of probiotics was found to be safe

  6. julianna said

    this is a very good paper on yogurt and probiotics prebiotics and yogurts ability to act as a functional food and ‘carrier’ for additional supplementation with long shelf life for commercial easy availibility.

  7. Marco Ruggiero said

    Dear Friends,

    The link worked on Saturday morning (Central European Time), but ceased to work on Saturday evening. We are now going to Rome to see what is happening. In any case, if the embargo is over, as I believe, I shall forward the pdf of the presentation to Prof. Bauer tonight (Sunday night, CET). The paper quoted above [by julianna] is cited in our work.

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