Sunday, March 26, 2006

Miscellaneous Mercury Nonsense

A few things that aren't big enough for a full posting but are interesting enough.

Geiers' Testosterone-Mercury Binding Model Full of Sheet:

My fond compliments to the University librarians who located and delivered to my desk the article that is the sole published report of a complex forming between testosterone and mercury:

Cooper A, Gopalakrishna EM, Norton DA. The crystal structure and absolute configuration of the 2:1 complex between testosterone and mercuric chloride. Acta Crystallogr B. 1968 Jul 15;24(7):935-41.

My favorite part of the article has to be the authors description of how the crystal was made:

"...by dissolving equimolar amounts of testosterone and mercuric chloride in minimal hot benzene."

For those not facile with chemistry-speak, the authors took equal numbers of molecules of testosterone and mercuric chloride and dissolved the mixture in the minimal amount of hot benzene that it took to dissolve the mixture.

This is not a condition even remotely similar to anything found in living tissue - of any vertebrate species. In other words, it isn't likely to happen in autistic children unless you dissolve them in hot benzene.


The Geiers' Seek Data Post Hoc to Support Recent Assertions made about Autism Statistics:

Apparently, the recent JPandS article by the dynamic duo has been "outed" by none other than Joseph of "Autism - Natural Variation" . It seems that G&G didn't check to be sure that their data was what they thought it was but just went ahead and fit it to their hypothesis anyway.

Now that they've been "outed" (again), they are frantically seeking new data from the California DDS to shore up their foundering conclusions. Joseph, who has been in contact with the editors of JPandS, feels that a retraction is in the offing. Personally, I think that the chances of JPandS asking the Geiers for a retraction is slim, at best - it's not their style. However, stranger things have happened.


Legitimate Clinical Laboratory Provides Reference Range for Lead after "Provocation" with DMSA or EDTA:

LabCorp, a legitimate clinical laboratory company headquartered in Burlington, North Carolina, has extensive experience in occupational testing. They are no fly-by-night company, having over 1000 testing facilities nationwide and 35 primary laboratories. Their reference values for urinary lead just happen to include values for people after taking DMSA or EDTA for chelation. Unfortunately, they do not have similar values for mercury, but a quick look at the lead values may give some idea of what those might be.

LabCorp's reference values for "environmental exposure" to lead is 0 - 50 mcg/day, which is a bit higher than most labs. Their reference range for testing done after chelation with EDTA (1 gram IV) or DMSA (2 grams PO) is 0 - 600 mcg/day. Now, since DMSA is a much better chelator for mercury than it is for lead, even if we stick to the 1:12 ratio that LabCorp has found for lead, we should still be erring well on the side of calling someone "mercury- toxic" when they are not.

So, if 0 - 15 mcg/day is within the "normal" range for urine mercury without chelating, then the upper limit of the reference range after chelation should no less than 180 mcg/day. Most likely, the upper limit after chelation will be significantly higher than that, given the amounts of mercury DMSA pushes out of the kidneys (and DMPS is even better at getting mercury out of the kidneys).

I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who has had themselves or their children tested for mercury after DMSA or DMPS (don't tell me if you've given your children EDTA, I'd just have to call Child Protective Services). No names, please! But urine mercury values would be most welcome.


Prometheus

10 Comments:

Blogger Orac said...

"Joseph, who has been in contact with the editors of JPandS, feels that a retraction is in the offing. Personally, I think that the chances of JPandS asking the Geiers for a retraction is slim, at best - it's not their style. However, stranger things have happened."

I tend to agree. Joseph's being a hopeless idealist, which is admirable but unfortnately led him to be wrong about this. There's no way JP&S is going to issue a retraction, I'm afraid. The AAPS, the organization that publishes it, is firmly antivaccination. (The latest issue included three articles supporting the foul claim that many cases of Shaken Baby Syndrome are in actuality due to vaccines.) It is also more of a political than scientific journal.

26 March, 2006 19:43  
Blogger Bartholomew Cubbins said...

Re: minimal hot benzene

So how does that change the title and therefore my interpretation of what I feel that paper could be about given my careful reading of that title?

Endnote + Pubmed = Easy and Erroneous Citations

The big question being, were they stupid enough to actually base an entire theory on some journal article's title, or did they know the truth and think that no one would check up on it?

To the Vultures: welcome to the place where people know your name, read your sheet, and out it for the sheet that it is.

26 March, 2006 19:59  
Blogger Prometheus said...

Master Cubbins,

Considering that the PubMed/MedLine listing did not include an abstract (the paper is from 1968, after all), I have a sneaking suspicion that G&G did not actually go to the effort of getting and reading the paper.

Had they been a bit more savvy, they might have realized that Acta Crystallogr B is probably about crystallography (go figure!) and that the conditions under which testosterone crystallizes are not likely to be physiologic. The phrase "crystal structure" in the title should have been a big warning to anyone expecting to extrapolate that data (i.e. the data contained in the title) to non-crystalline autistic humans.

From what I've seen of their work, the Geiers should go on the road as a comedy routine at scientific conferences - the "Laurel and Hardy" or "Abbott and Costello" of science.


Prometheus

26 March, 2006 21:05  
Blogger Bartholomew Cubbins said...

Agreed except that L/H and A/C were talented. I still laugh outloud thinking about he "cats-up"/ketchup gag (L/H) and the classic Who's on first routine.

27 March, 2006 13:01  
Blogger notmercury said...

In other words, it isn't likely to happen in autistic children unless you dissolve them in hot benzene.

Don't give them any ideas! :-)

28 March, 2006 17:35  
Blogger clone3g said...

Prometheus,
Big thank you for reporting on the testosterone mercury synthesis - materials and methods and please thank the overworked and under appreciated university librarians as well.

It brings a big smile to my face each time I think about the fantasy world the Geiers inhabit where this might be a plausible reaction.

Well, I'm off to charge up the flux capacitor in my Delorean.

30 March, 2006 15:37  
Blogger ebohlman said...

You've just found the cause of autism, and a lot of big corporations are going to pay! It's been all over the news that soft drinks contain benzene. So clearly Big Pharma and Big Junk Food have been conspiring to cause autism, knowing that the benzene in the soft drinks causes the mercury in the vaccines (including the MMR) to combine with testosterone in boys and make them autistic! Why are they doing this? Because they're being controlled by radical feminists who want all males to be sexually unavailable so women will have to turn to each other for sex! We all know that if you glance at Baron-Cohen's writings without really understanding what the words he uses mean, you'll learn that autism is an extreme form of masculinity, so the feminazis are trying to turn masculinity into an extreme parody of itself in order to destroy Western Civilization. Why didn't I think of this before? Because I hadn't yet seen, and bought, and drank the bottle of Essence of Fever Swamp sitting in the window at my local health food store. And because I didn't have the kind of special insight that comes only on one specific day every year (the one that comes two weeks to the day before Americans have to deal with the one governmental agency they hate even more than the FDA).

01 April, 2006 17:05  
Blogger Joseph said...

I tend to agree. Joseph's being a hopeless idealist, which is admirable but unfortnately led him to be wrong about this. There's no way JP&S is going to issue a retraction, I'm afraid.

Maybe, we'll see. As soon as the new data comes in, I plan to write a lengthy second public letter to JPANDS demanding to know when they will publish the unescapable retraction. Last I heard, CDDS has the data, but is just waiting for payment.

03 April, 2006 10:35  
Blogger Prometheus said...

Joseph,

I hope that you can convince JPandS to ask for a retraction - I have my doubts that they will have the guts to do it, but I think that you're doing exactly what it takes to convince them to do the right thing.

My only concern is that JPandS has so little experience with responsible journalism that they will not know what to do.

I don't personally see you as a "hopeless idealist", just someone who has a lot more hope and energy than I do at this point. You go, guy! (did I get that right?)

After all, if nobody ever complains, then the editors of JPandS will think that they're doing a good job (they're not, for the record). If you can get them to show a little spine - or even a notocord - I'll see if I can persuade Autism diva to award you four tiaras with oak leaf clusters!


Prometheus

03 April, 2006 16:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Prometheus,
I noticed this morning that Med Hypothesis accepts comments on papers published there. Maybe you should write this material up and submit it to them. That way you might force the Geiers to respond to your comments.

http://authors.elsevier.com/JournalDetail.html?PubID=623059&Precis=&popup=

05 April, 2006 08:46  

<< Home