By Madeleine Ennis
BELOW IS AN EMAIL FROM PROFESSOR ENNIS WHO HAS CONFIRMED SPECIFIC INSTANCES IN WHICH THE EXPERIMENTER, WAYNE TURNBULL, DID NOT FOLLOW HER EXPERIMENTAL PROTOCOLS.
From: “Madeleine Ennis”
To: “‘Homeopathic Educational Services (and Dana Ullman, MPH)'”
Subject: RE: TV homeopathic experiment fails
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2003 11:28:54 -0000
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I am quite horrified at the things that Lionel* was saying about how the histamine was made up. This does not sound like a good scientific method.
[*NOTE: This refers to Lionel Milgrom, a chemist and a homeopath, who witnessed the making of the homeopathic doses of histamine and who observed extremely sloppy procedures. This information is a part of this body of evidence that expressed concerns about this study]
Again I find it fascinating that everybody is not trying to repeat the original observations i.e the extensive work published by Sainte-Laudy and Belon but rather the small experiment that I published but I suppose that since that is in the public eye it will stay wrong for eternity.
Speaking to Wayne , he really knows very little about basophils, although he is an experienced flow cytometrist. He knew nothing about the commercially available kits looking at basophil activation (there are 2 good ones on the market) nor about the European study investing drug allergies using this methodology.
As you know, I never agreed to approve his protocol i.e. assess if the study design was adequate to assess the expected differences.
I spoke to Wayne on 25 th November in the afternoon and merely commented on differences in his protocol. I can not say what impact they would have had as I have not tested out his protocol. It differs from the one that we were following i.e. the work published by Sainte-Laudy.
He left the blood to sediment for 4 hours – this is far longer than we ever used.
He used completely different buffers including the addition of foetal calf serum.
He added in an ammonium chloride lysis step.
[NOTE: This step alone would be enough to consider this research to be junk science. Ammonium chloride would kill all of the basophils, even before any homeopathic medicine would be administered.]
He added in a passive sensitization step and said that the cells were used within 24 h for the assay (we would not leave our basophils hanging around for such a long time). They were left in the presence of 10% foetal calf serum (this is not a defined medium and could contain many things that might influence an assay).
I do not know where he got his anti-IgE from (this was not given in the protocol) and I did tell him that anti-IgE varies from supplier to supplier and indeed from batch to batch.
I had suggested that he tested all his donors using a dose response curve of anti-IgE – different donors respond differently to anti-IgE. It is common to have a bell-shaped curve. I suggested that he used donors that gave an activation of ca. 30-40%. I do not know how many donors he planned to use.
In the multi-centre study invalid data points arose e.g. if there was no basophil activation (in this case measured by counting of cells) other data were eliminated if the partner data was missing i.e. if you did not have the matching treatment or control counts.
Given the time scale involved I am not sure if he repeated the experiments with different donors or not.
By the way – if they are trying to repeat the paper that I published on the flow ctytometric method then they should have done dose response curves for the histamine and not simply pick a few dilutions to test – but that is kind of obvious.
Hope this is of some help.
Professor Madeleine Ennis
Respiratory Research Group
Department of Clinical Biochemistry
Institute of Clinical Science
The Queen’s University of Belfast
Belfast BT12 6BJ
Northern Ireland, UK