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•• Voisset C, Weiss RA, Griffiths DJ: Human RNA “rumor” viruses: the search for novel human retroviruses in chronic disease. Microbiol Mol Biol Rev 2008, 72:157–196. This is a cautionary tale of the inference of retroviruses in human disease and the difficulties of proving cause and effect. Will XMRV become another rumor, or be conformed as causing human disease?