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Prof. Kary B. Mullis







Dr. Kary Mullis, Biochemist, 1993 Nobel Prize for Chemistry

"If there is evidence that HIV causes AIDS, there should be scientific documents which either singly or collectively demonstrate that fact, at least with a high probability. There is no such document." (Sunday Times (London) 28 nov. 1993)   more...

Kary B. Mullis

1993 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry for his invention of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method.

Background:Born: 1944 Residence: U.S.A., La Jolla, CA   

The benefits of science

"Science, like nothing else among the institutions of mankind, grows like a weed every year. Art is subject to arbitrary fashion, religion is inwardly focused and driven only to sustain itself, law shuttles between freeing us and enslaving us.

"Science consistently produces a new crop of miraculous truths and dazzling devices every year, truths and devices that enrich our lives and grow up out of the graciously willing puzzles of the unknown in an orderly but unpredictable way, out of a process of observation, hypothesis, experiment, conclusion; a process that as far as we know, was first proposed and adopted, only a few hundred years ago by a number of Europeans faced with a new world to explore and some worn out scholastic tools passed down from the ancient Greeks to explore it with. vistt his personal website


Book Excerpt By Kary Mullis Penthouse Sept. 1998

Dr. Mullis was awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. This article is excerpted from his forthcoming book, Dancing Naked in the Mind Field, to be published by Pantheon.

When I first heard in 1984 that Luc Montagnier of France's Pasteur Institute and Robert Gallo of America's National Institutes of Health had independently discovered that the retrovirus H.I.V. -- human immunodeficiency virus -- caused AIDS, I accepted it as just another scientific fact. It was a little out of my field of biochemistry, and these men were specialists in retroviruses.

Four years later I was working as a consultant at Specialty Labs in Santa Monica. Specialty was trying to develop a means of using P.C.R. [polymerase chain reaction, a D.N.A.-amplification method conceived by Mullis] to detect retroviruses in the thousands of blood donations received per day by the Red Cross. I was writing a report on our progress for the project sponsor, and I began by stating, "H.I.V. is the probable cause of AIDS."

I asked a virologist at Specialty where I could find the reference for H.I.V. being the cause of AIDS.

"You don't need a reference,"
he told me. "Everybody knows it."

"I'd like to quote a reference." I felt a little funny about not knowing the source of such an important discovery. Everyone else seemed to.

"Why don't you cite the C.D.C. report?" he suggested, giving me a copy of the Centers for Disease Control's periodic report on morbidity and mortality. I read it. It wasn't a scientific article. It simply said that an organism had been identified -- it did not say how. It requested that doctors report any patients showing certain symptoms and test them for antibodies to this organism. The report did not identify the original scientific work, but that didn't surprise me. It was intended for physicians, who didn't need to know the source of the information. Physicians assumed that if the C.D.C. was convinced, there must exist real proof somewhere that H.I.V. was the cause of AIDS.  more...


WHAT CAUSES AIDS? It's An Open Question

By Charles A. Thomas Jr., Kary B. Mullis, & Phillip E. Johnson

Reason June 1994

Most people believe they know what causes AIDS. For a decade, scientist, government officials, physicians, journalists, public-service ads, TV shows, and movies have told them that AIDS is caused by a retrovirus called HIV. This virus supposedly infects and kills the "T-cells" of the immune system, leading to an inevitably, fatal immune deficiency after an asymptomatic period that averages 10 years or so. Most people do not know-because there has been a visual media blackout on the subject-about a longstanding scientific controversy over the cause of AIDS. A controversy that has become increasingly heated as the official theory's predictions have turned out to be wrong.

Leading biochemical scientists, including University of California at Berkeley retrovirus expert Peter Duesberg and Nobel Prize winner Walter Gilbert, have been warning for years that there is no proof that HIV causes AIDS. The warnings were met first with silence, then with ridicule and contempt. In 1990, for example, Nature published a rare response from the HIV establishment, as represented by Robin A. Weiss of the Institute of Cancer Research in London and Harold W. Jaffe of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Weiss and Jaffe compared the doubters to people who think that bad air causes malaria. "We have . . . been told," they wrote, "that the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) originates from outer space, or as a genetically engineered virus for germ warfare which was tested in prisoners and spread from them. Peter H. Duesberg's proposition that HIV is not the cause of AIDS at all is, to our minds, equally absurd." Viewers of ABC's 1993 Day One special on the cause of AIDS-almost the only occasion on which network television has covered the controversy-saw Robert Gallo, the leading exponent of the HIV theory, stomp away from the microphone in a rage when asked to respond to the views of Gilbert and Duesberg.

Such displays of rage and ridicule are familiar to those who question the HIV theory of AIDS. Ever since 1984, when Gallo announced the discovery of what the newspapers call "HIV, the virus that causes AIDS," at a government press conference, the HIV theory has been the basis of all scientific work on AIDS. If the theory is mistaken, billions of dollars have been wasted-and immense harm has been done to persons who have tested positive for antibodies to HIV and therefore have been told to expect an early and painful death. The furious reactions to the suggestion that a colossal mistake may have been made are not surprising, given that the credibility of the biomedical establishment is at stake. It is time to think about the unthinkable, however, because there are at least three reasons for doubting the official theory that HIV causes AIDS.

First, after spending billions of dollars, HIV researchers are still unable to explain how HIV, a conventional retrovirus with a very simple genetic organization, damages the immune system, much less how to stop it. The present stalemate contrasts dramatically with the confidence expressed in 1984. At that time Gallo thought the virus killed cells directly by infecting them, and U.S. government officials predicted a vaccine would be available in two years. Ten years later no vaccine is in sight, and the certainty about how the virus destroys the immune system has dissolved in confusion.

Second, in the absence of any agreement about how HIV causes AIDS, the only evidence that HIV does cause AIDS is correlation. The correlation is imperfect at best, however. There are many cases of persons with all the symptoms of AIDS who do not have any HIV infection. There are also many cases of persons who have been infected by HIV for more than a decade and show no signs of illness.

Third, predictions based on the HIV theory have failed spectacularly. AIDS in the United States and Europe has not spread through the general population. Rather, it remains almost entirely confined to the original risk groups, mainly sexually promiscuous gay men and drug abusers. The number of HIV-infected Americans has remained constant for years instead of increasing rapidly as predicted, which suggests that HIV is an old virus that has been with us for centuries without causing an epidemic.

No one disputes what happens in the early stages of HIV infection. As other viruses do, HIV multiplies rapidly, and it sometimes is accompanied by a mild, flulike illness. At this stage, while the virus is present in great quantity and causing at most mild illness in the ordinary way, it does no observable damage to the immune system. On the contrary, the immune system rallies as it is supposed to do and speedily reduces the virus to negligible levels. Once this happens, the primary infection is over. If HIV does destroy the immune system, it does so years after the immune system has virtually destroyed it. By then the virus typically infects very few of the immune system' s T-cells.

Before these facts were well understood, Robert Gallo and his followers insisted that the virus does its damage by directly infecting and killing cells. In his 1991 autobiography, Gallo ridiculed HIV discoverer Luc Montagnier's view that the virus causes AIDS only in the company of as yet undiscovered "cofactors." Gallo argued that "multifactorial is multi-ignorance" and that, because being infected by HIV was "like being hit by a truck," there was no need to look for additional causes or indirect mechanisms of causation.

All that has changed. As Warner C. Greene, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, explained in the September 1993 Scientific American, researchers are increasingly abandoning the direct cell-killing theory because HIV does not infect enough cells: "Even in patients in the late stages of HIV infection with very low blood T4 cell counts, the proportion of those cells that are producing HIV is tiny-about one in 40. In the early stages of chronic infection, fewer than one in 10,000 T4 cells in blood are doing so. If the virus were killing the cells just by directly infecting them, it would almost certainly have to infect a much larger fraction at any one time."  



By Kary B. Mullis, Phillip E. Johnson & Charles A. Thomas Jr.

The San Diego Union-Tribune 15 May 1994

Every day we hear and read about "HIV, the virus that causes AIDS." Perhaps no other medical issue in history has received such sustained attention by the media, the entertainment industry, popular literature and the federal government. Therefore it is understandable that most people, as well as most physicians and medical scientists, have come to believe that the entire world is in the grips of a pandemic that is relentlessly spreading throughout every segment of society.

For more than 10 years, this apocalyptic prospect has been drummed into everyone-ever since that memorable day in April 1984 when Margaret Heckler, then secretary of health and human services, announced that "the probable cause of AIDS has been found." At that point, Robert Gallo, a research scientist at the National Institutes of Health, took the microphone and declared that AIDS was an infectious disease, that HIV was the culprit, and that medical scientists at the National Institutes of Health had come to the rescue and would soon have a vaccine for HIV and have the problem under control. They didn't.

The decision to blame AIDS on HIV was a political one- certainly not a scientific one-for at that time no scientific papers had been published, and the normal critical procedures of the scientific community had not been allowed to operate. Gallo's papers that followed did not establish a causal relationship and subsequent official inquiries demonstrated them to be flawed for other reasons as well.

Nonetheless, the prospect was seen to be so threatening that the federal government began pumping millions, then billions of dollars into AIDS research-which meant research on HIV, because "HIV was the virus that causes AIDS."

So here we are ten years later. According to the U.S. Public Health Service, more than $22 billion in tax money has been expended since 1982 and this spending continues at the rate of $6 billion per year on treatment and research. Virtually all this spending is based upon the idea that AIDS is an infectious disease and that HIV is the cause.

Therefore, seven major points will come as some surprise to the general reader: 

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