Field of Science

2008 Medicine Nobel: Montagnier finally wins

If you knew little about the Nobel prizes, you could be easily forgiven for assuming that somebody must have already won the Nobel for discovering the AIDS virus. Many people probably do assume this. It just seems hard that such an important discovery has not already been recognized by the prize.

And yet, those who know the history know about the acrimonious dispute between Frenchman Luc Montagnier and American Robert Gallo about priority. The two were involved in a protracted and cantankerous debate with both camps claiming that they were the ones who discovered HIV and demonstrated its action. When I read the history, to me it was always clear that it was Montagnier whose team not only undoubtedly first isolated the virus, but actually proved that HIV causes AIDS, an absolutely crucial step in establishing the identity of a causative agent and a diagnostic step for the disease. While Gallo also played an important role in the latter, the history also indicated to me that he had engaged in some pretty cunning and disingenuous political manipulation to claim priority for the discovery.

It didn't really seem that the prize would be awarded to both of them. It may well have not been awarded to any of them. The Nobel committee usually steers clear of controversial people and topics. But it seems to have realized that it can no longer neglect the truly important people behind such an obviously groundbreaking discovery. So Luc Montaginer, along with Francois-Barre Sinoussi have finally been awarded the 2008 Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine. Barre-Sinoussi first isolated HIV. The committee clearly is trying to avoid controversy by specifically saying that the prize is for discovering HIV. Even Gallo should not have a problem conceding that it was Montagnier and Barre-Sinoussi who first saw and isolated the virus.

The other half deservedly goes to Harald Zur Hausen, discoverer of the human papilloma virus which causes cervical cancer.

I would recommend reading Virus, Montagnier's story of his life and his work.


  1. I had never thought about it, but I also would have assumed that someone had been received the award for this by now.

    Upon more thought, there is usually a significant delay between the event and the award, so it does make sense.

    Thanks for the recommendation, I will definitely check out Virus.

  2. The reason they are now finally giving a Nobel for this, is that they
    want to quiet the ever increasing number of HIV dissidents. Some of
    the Nobel committee members publicly said so themselves.

    I want to inform you of the following letter of protest that has been
    sent to each of the 2008 Nobel Prize committee members.

    To the esteemed Ladies and Gentleman of the Karolinska Institue, and
    members of the 2008 Nobel Prize Committee,

    I, and many thousands of others worldwide, in the name of Alfred
    Nobel, humbly ask that you reconsider the 2008 Nobel Prize award in
    medicine, and revoke the prestigious awards to Barre-Sinoussi and
    Montagnier until purification of a retrovirus that causes aids is
    fully and unquestionably independently established and verified to
    have a high degree of probability. After 25 years of ever increasing
    public doubt, Alfred Nobel himself would demand of you nothing less
    than the highest due diligence in this matter.

    The reasons we find for revocation are many, but to be short and
    concise, I present to you the following facts:

    Professor Bjorn Vennstrom, who was on the Nobel nominating committee,
    right after the award was given to Luc Montagnier, said in a radio
    interview that he hoped the award would silence those who claim that
    HIV does not cause AIDS. He said: "We hope this will put an end to
    conspiracy theories and others who defend ideas that are not founded
    in research.”

    Though we have difficulty understanding why a "scientist" would wish
    for anyone not to question any and everything, the only thing that
    will ever silence those who question HIV is not science by consensus
    or award, but credible science itself.

    Pr. Vennstrom's words are evidence of his bias and political and
    emotional viewpoint on this matter, and are not founded in the
    presented scientific evidences.

    By the way, Vennstrom was also postdocing from 1980-1982 in San
    Francisco with Bishop and Varmus, who became oncogene Nobelists in
    1989. But, there is as yet no evidence that "oncogenes" from human or
    animal cancers can transform normal cells to cancer cells. Yet, the
    questions- "why?" are no longer, "scientifically correct" since the
    Nobel Prize closed the case. Roma locuta causa finita. Rome has
    spoken, case closed.

    Now the Nobel committee has done just the same with HIV, which Varmus'
    committee, including Montagnier but NOT Gallo, named Human
    Immunodeficiency Virus in 1986 without proof that this virus can cause
    immunodeficiency (Science, 1986).

    Another obvious bias on the Nobel committee, is Professor Jan
    Andersson, who was interviewed as the "spokesperson" for the
    committee' selection of Luc Montagnier, immediately after the award to
    Montagnier was announced. Professor Andersson is himself an HIV
    researcher with his own grants and "science" that is also highly
    threatened by those worldwide thousands who question HIV.

    Quite obviously these two Nobel committee members were instrumental in
    urging the 2008 committee to give Luc Montagnier his award. And in
    quite obviously the committee has not demonstrated non-biased nor
    credible science as their measure in awarding the prize.

    It is crystal clear to many looking at this situation that bias,
    politics, and self interests are at stake.

    Furthermore, the award to Luc Montagnier for purifying (isolating) hiv
    is unconscienable, considering that in a 1993 interview, Montagnier
    himself said about HIV, and I quote: "I repeat, we did NOT purify".

    If perchance anyone ever does succeed in purifying isolated hiv from
    those said to be "infected", it would at minimum be required to have
    something more conclusive than Robert Gallo's presented "evidence"
    that hiv is the cause of aids, which evidence consisted of 36 out of
    72 of his "aids patients" showing reverse transcriptase (RT) activity.
    (Science 1984)

    RT is not restricted, as was formerly believed by earlier scientists,
    to be exclusive to retroviral activity. RT is known to also be caused
    by yeasts and can also be detected in other occasions as well. RT
    activity is also not any proof whatsoever of any retrovirus causing
    any disease. Furthermore, Gallo's "evidence of RT as causation" showed
    a mere 40 percent of his "aids patients" showed RT activity! 40
    percent is far removed from any high probability of disease causation.

    However, those worldwide thousands who DO question HIV as the cause of
    AIDS are indeed quite pleased that Robert Gallo has been brushed from
    Nobel history. For this, we do sincerely thank you.

    Be assured, that as soon as "we who question HIV" have credible
    independent science to back Montagnier and Gallo's claims, such as
    purified retrovirus taken directly from the blood sera of
    immunocompromised hiv positives, such as evidence of high probability
    of disease causation by such a retrovirus, we will be glad to silence
    our own questioning selves, and we will be glad to join with the
    believers of the faith that HIV is the cause of AIDS.

    Until then, I, and many thousands of others, in the name of Alfred
    Nobel, again humbly ask that you reconsider the 2008 Nobel Prize award
    for Physiology and medicine, and revoke this prestigious award until
    purification and proof of causation of a retrovirus that causes aids
    is fully and unquestionably independently established and verified. I
    remind you again that Alfred Nobel himself would demand of you nothing
    less than the highest due diligence in this matter.

    Unless you do so, the award itself becomes dishonored as a meaningless
    display of this generation's climate of unsupported scientific claims,
    based on bias, financial and political motivations, conscensus
    science, and popular belief instead of proven, verified,
    scientifically backed evidence.



  3. I agree with Michael.
    I'd like to share some other ideas with you.
    First, as somebody has noted, for who we doubt about the validity of the HIV/AIDS hypothesis is a very good point that Gallo is not considered a reference of the HIV/AIDS hypothesis any more, because now, the attention is completely focused in Montagnier, who has suddenly became (along with Barré-Sinoussi) the most important referent in the field. This is really good, because there is only one valid interlocutor in the name of "real science".
    Now, first we have to know whether Montagnier has finally purified HIV or not during these 25 years, or so. This is rather a straightforward question. If so, we can ask him, in the name of all the Universities in the world we represent (but independently), to send us the protocols of his procedures, along with all the micrographs of cultures and purified preparations he has obtained across these years.
    Second, we may ask Montagnier all the genomic secuences of the virus he has obtained during these years on the different samples of HIV he has worked on. I am a computer scientist (receiving my doctoral degree in Biology next month). My specialization is on artificial intelligence, and I can conduct a research looking for "patterns of mutations" of the virus using artificial neural networks. (I do not know how long would it take to do this, but I guess that with about 9.000 base pairs, this would not be a problem, even with large samples).
    Though I agree with sending notes to the Nobel Commitee to stop the awarding process, I think that if Montagnier is honest, he might recognize his precarious level of knowledge about this virus, and would eventually become part of our alliance, proposing more serious studies on the field himself (too idealistic? Maybe...)
    (Does anybody know the email of Montagnier?)
    Warm regards,

  4. Thanks for your informative comments, both of you. I will have to read up more on this.

  5. now common sense has finally returned to this world!


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