TGI Friday! Our regular round-up of research abstracts, 6 January 2012

January 6, 2012

Our weekly roundup of research paper abstracts that have not already appeared on the website

PLoS One. 2011;6(8):e23484. Epub 18 August 2011

DNA extraction columns contaminated with murine sequences.

Erlwein O, Robinson MJ, Dustan S, Weber J, Kaye S, McClure MO.
Jefferiss Research Trust Laboratories, Section of Infectious Diseases, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom.


Sequences of the novel gammaretrovirus, xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) have been described in human prostate cancer tissue, although the amounts of DNA are low. Furthermore, XMRV sequences and polytropic (p) murine leukemia viruses (MLVs) have been reported in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). In assessing the prevalence of XMRV in prostate cancer tissue samples we discovered that eluates from naïve DNA purification columns, when subjected to PCR with primers designed to detect genomic mouse DNA contamination, occasionally gave rise to amplification products. Further PCR analysis, using primers to detect XMRV, revealed sequences derived from XMRV and pMLVs from mouse and human DNA and DNA of unspecified origin. Thus, DNA purification columns can present problems when used to detect minute amounts of DNA targets by highly sensitive amplification techniques.

PMCID: PMC3158089

Rehabil Psychol. 2011 Aug;56(3):212-8.

The effect of homework compliance on treatment outcomes for participants with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome.

Hlavaty LE, Brown MM, Jason LA.
Center for Community Research, DePaul University, Chicago, IL 60614, USA.


PURPOSE: This study examined the relationship between level of treatment engagement through completion of homework on treatment outcomes within nonpharmacological interventions for participants with ME/CFS.

METHOD: A sample of 82 participants with ME/CFS was randomly assigned to one of four nonpharmacological interventions. Each intervention involved 13 sessions over the course of 6 months. Change scores were computed for self-report measures taken at baseline and 12-month follow-up. Homework compliance was calculated as the percentage of completed assignments across the total number of sessions and grouped into three categories: minimum (0-25%), moderate (25.1-75%), or maximum (75.1-100%).

RESULTS: Findings revealed that after controlling for treatment condition, those who completed a maximum amount of homework had greater improvement on a number of self-report outcome measures involving role, social, and mental health functioning. There were no differential improvements in physical and fatigue functioning based on level of homework compliance.

IMPLICATIONS: Findings from this study suggest homework compliance can have a positive influence on some aspects of physical, social, and mental health functioning in participants with ME/CFS. It should be emphasized that these interventions do not cure this illness. The lack of significant changes in physical functioning and fatigue levels suggests a need for more multidisciplinary treatment approaches that can elicit improvement in these areas.

1 thought on “TGI Friday! Our regular round-up of research abstracts, 6 January 2012”

  1. I’m surprised at Leonard Jason being involved with such a dodgy ‘study’.

    Surely, it isn’t a case of more homework producing better health, but the children whose health improved the most were able to do more homework than the rest.

    Am I missing something?

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