Thursday, April 30, 2009

AntiAntiVax - Information At Your Fingertips

Thanks to the Bad Astronomy Blog, I found this site, which is a perfect repository of quick information debunking all the anti-vaxers nonsense:


If you need to argue with anybody who does not believe in vaccinations, this site is a goldmine of information.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

News From The Autism Battlefield

Good news from the battlefront with Autism: it seems that the scientists found another piece to this puzzle.

The original research paper is a bit hard to read, but it is well worth it, if you care about Autism and the whole vaccine debate:
Common genetic variants on 5p14.1 associate with autism spectrum disorders

Somewhat more digestible version in popular news, from the BBC site:
Genes 'have key role in autism'

Scientists knew for a long time that Autism is most likely NOT caused by vaccines (all those studies... and more studies), but some environmental factors (unknown so far) could still play a role. However, it the genes that make us more susceptible, and the evidence is beginning to surface.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Kaboom... Goes My Brain...

My brain just exploded... thank god it happened inside of my skull, so I still have some gray matter left. Just read this:

Jenny McCarthy's Autism Crusade: Healing, Hope... And Controversy

The author is a doctor... "a licensed acupuncturist, certified clinical nutritionist, and a homeopath. She has a Master’s Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine and a Doctorate in Homeopathic Medicine"... ouch!!!

The Huffington Post is barely holding on to the "bottom", but the grip is slipping.

There is some hope: Vaccine Denial = Scientific Illiteracy

Back To Vaccines

This topic just keeps coming back this year, and I beginning to feel more and more passionate about it, especially when I hear the news that children are becoming seriously sick, or are dying, because they are not receiving their recommended shots.

I'm following the Science-Based Medicine Blog almost every day, since its contributors are top notch professionals in their fields. There are two worthy articles posted today that give you an amazing overview of the topic:

14 Studies Later* - this one is by Mark Crislip, who's a great authority on infectious diseases (and has a great podcast Quackcast). He gives you a first hand analysis of the whole debate, and the validity if the recent studies that show absolutely no connection between vaccines (and specifically MMR), mercury and autism.

J.B. Handley, Generation Rescue, and attacks on critics - great post, as always, by David Gorsky.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

As I Was Saying...

Just yesterday, I was blogging about The Huffington Post, as I saw a great post about it on the Science-Based Medicine, and what do you know... today, it serves us the best piece of science dong we could collectively imagine: a commentary by no other than Jim Carrey (yes, the actor) on a science-related issue:

The Judgment on Vaccines Is In???

This is as good as it gets: a person, who has no clue about science, take a stand on science topic and thinks he knows best!!!

We just have to keep it in mind, not to use The Huffington Post as anything but entertainment, since they don't do real news and facts for sure.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pseudoscience in the New Media

The so called "new media" has been grabbing my attention for some time now. First, there were blogs (just like this one), then social sites, and now it's the never ending stream of information from our smart phones, Twitter, RSS and such...
However, the controls are gone, there is no "time to press" anymore, since every piece of information is instantly available, not only on the Net, but in the palms of our hands. How bad it can get? Well, take one of the most popular blog/news sites on the Internet: The Huffington Post. You can hear about it everywhere: on the Internet, in the print media, TV, you name it. It has an aura of authority, if not by the fact that it is cited in a vast number of places on a regular basis. But, is it really a reliable source of news?
Politically, it has it's own "color", but that can be good, or bad, depending on where you stand in the political spectrum. From the scientific point of view, there are no opinions, only facts, which can be either correct, or not (and that's easily verifiable). It is this arena that sites like The Huffington Post fail miserably. As I am no authority on scientific matters, I refer you to the recent post on the Science-Based Medicine blog:

Pseudoscience In Medical News at the Huffington Post

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

More on vaccines.

I guess, I have been writing about vaccines more than anything else, but the news just keep coming. If you want to know more about some of the recent, and really good studies that still fail to link vaccines and autism (no surprise there), check the latest post on the Science-Based Medicine blog:

More On Fourteen Studies

Monday, April 6, 2009

Larry King... get some facts and a backbone.

Well, along Oprah, Larry King must be the king (pun intended) of misinformation and (more, and more often) just pure stupidity. I know it's all about the ratings and the $$$, but come on, CNN, don't sink any lower, the bottom can't be far away. I'm not sure who goes to CNN for real news anymore, since they have been selling off to ratings for a while, but it is time to dump Larry. His handling of the facts (easily verifiable ones too!!!) puts him in a really bad spot.

Last Friday, he had Jenny McCarthy (and her boyfriend, Jim Carrey) on again, and they spilled their dumbness, like last year. It was hard to watch!!! There is a nice writeup about it on the Science Based Medicine Blog:

Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends: The Jenny and Jim antivaccine propaganda tour has begun

It's good to see that Ms. McCarthy has a real body count attached to her stupidity:

Let's hope it helps!!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

One cool game...

If you like physics and astronomy, you'd love this on-line game:

Star Formation: The Game

It sure is fun.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Do we want our children to get sick... some of the parents do!

Here is an interesting tidbit from our favorite "mom", Jenny McCarthy:

TIME: Your collaborator recommends that parents accept only the haemophilus
influenzae type B (HIB) and tetanus vaccine for newborns and then think about
the rest. Not polio? What about the polio clusters in unvaccinated communities
like the Amish in the U.S.? What about the 2004 outbreak that swept across
Africa and Southeast Asia after a single province in northern Nigeria banned
JM: I do believe sadly it's going to take some diseases coming
back to realize that we need to change and develop vaccines that are safe. If
the vaccine companies are not listening to us, it's their f___ing fault that the
diseases are coming back. They're making a product that's s___. If you give us a
safe vaccine, we'll use it. It shouldn't be polio versus autism.

Here is the entire interview:
Jenny McCarthy Talks About Autism and Vaccines

Ok... can you be any dumber?

Read a blog entry about this topic on the Science Based Medicine blog:
In Jenny McCarthy's own words

In a related news, some of those diseases are really coming back as drop our herd immunity:
State issues measles alert after suspected cases at Children's Hospital