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In> infectious diseases during the four years of the study. The In> problem is that you don't believe them. I do. They report here In> nothing out of the ordinary, and their level of In> documentation for that is fine. Their level of documentation is one sentence. That's not satisfactory by any stretch of the imagination. Their are _comparing_ a control group with a study group, therefore they need to relate all relevant information about both. In this case, relevant means diseases and treatments. These authors give no information about the control group, except for the one sentence. In> That depends on the level you want to look at. Both HIV and In> FIV (and SIV) are typical 9 gene lentiviruses, more similar to In> each other in gene organization than are (say) the human In> retroviruses HIV and HTLV-1 are to each other. FIV and HIV In> stare protein homology, and a Mg-dependent RT enzyme (unlike HTLV In> and many other retroviruses). At the level of the sequence, In> homology again depends on where you look. FIV is a typical gag In> pol env retrovirus, and in these viruses, the pol genes (coding In> for functional enzymes) are best conserved between viruses. The In> FIV RT enzyme gene has about 41 to 45% correspondence to the RT In> gene of the HIV. In addition, FIV and HIV are visually identic- In> al-- again not a property shared even by the various human In> retroviruses. You're going to have to explain what you mean about sharing protein homology. That's too vague. There's mRNAs, tRNAs, etc etc.. Everything you've said about FIV above also applies to non- pathogenic (non-disease causing) retroviruses: 1. all of them are gag-pol env 2. others need the Mg cation 3. they all have 9 or 10 kilobases of information 45% correspondence. Well there you go, there's no point in comparing the two. FIV isn't a good model for human HIV. In> Martinez >>The authors admit that they don't know how long In> [FIV] takes to produce death in cats. As the reader, the only In> thing we can assume is, those cats are still alive.<< In> Sure they are. Why not? The 14 control cats sham treated In> with saline were not seen to develop any illnesses during the In> study. By contrast, the 19 experimentally FIV-infected cats In> developed (in two cases) lymphoma (causing death) "Causing death"? The paper doesn't say that they died. You are _assuming_ they did, just like you _assume_ the authors conducted their experiment properly. I will remind you that the first death ever to occur in HIV-positive lab chimpanzees only happened a few months ago (1996), after more than a decade of experimentation. I wouldn't _assume_ anything. In> Actually, if these were HIV infected people with all these In> symptoms, their lifestyles and AZT use would be getting blamed by In> the skeptics. And when they got AIDS-associated lymphoma, that In> would be blamed on poppers and AZT also. Or on something else. In> Since human "experiments" of nature cannot ever be well-controll- In> ed, you can always find something (some action) to blame any In> illness on. Likewise with animals, even in the laboratory. And sometimes, especially in the laboratory. In> But let's take a look at what we've learned from the cats. In> The FIV virus, remember, was originally isolated from a private In> colony of pet cats in San Francisco which were dying of immune In> failure. It wasn't just pulled out the blue sky. You can pull a retrovirus out of any vertebrate on this planet earth. We all have them.