Chronic fatigue researcher arrested

RENO, Nev., Nov. 22 (UPI) -- A Nevada researcher whose findings on chronic fatigue syndrome were discredited is accused of theft and conspiracy by her former employer, prosecutors said.

Judy Mikovits was arrested last week in California on charges of possession of stolen property and conspiracy on an arrest warrant issued by University of Nevada at Reno police, the Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday.


She was fired from her job at Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease in Reno in September. Her former employer filed a lawsuit alleging she had wrongfully taken proprietary data from the institute, the newspaper said.

Mikovits was hired as director of research in 2006, shortly before her team announced they had found evidence of a retrovirus called XMRV more often in the blood of patients diagnosed with CFS. The research was published online in the journal Science in 2009.

Researchers have since questioned the findings and a study published in September showed that the WPI could not reliably find evidence of XMRV in the blood of patients, the Tribune said. The journal Science said it was investigating allegations of data manipulation.

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