Q:Have you any opinions on whether vaccines contribute to autism?
They don’t, and that’s not an opinion, that’s a fact.
The dude who promoted that shitty claim has since lost his medical accreditation. Since then not a single study has found any correlation between vaccines and higher autism rates.
OK, everyone keeps talking about Dr Wakefield losing his medical accreditation (that is, he was struck off the register in the UK which is the equivalent to losing your license in the US - it is illegal for him to practice medicine in the United Kingdom now), but they don’t really go into detail about why. The Wikipedia article has an enormous wealth of knowledge and I would recommend reading it to get a proper overview, but here’s the TL;DR:
Andrew Wakefield (and colleagues) took 12 autistic children, 8 of whom presented with “behavioural symptoms” after being given the MMR vaccination, the onset of these symptoms reportedly occurring within 2 weeks of the vaccination.
Now, already a scientist reading this is probably scoffing at the statistical irrelevance of such a study - but note that Wakefield fully admitted that no link had been proven. He simply wished to use the study to block the triple vaccine until further research could be conducted - sounds pretty noble, right?
But the issue is his motivation. He wanted to give his patients three separate single-virus injections over the course of three years, instead of administering a single triple-virus injection in one shot. He manufactured his “research” in order to stir up controversy surrounding the triple shot virus, so that it would be blocked and he could go back to what he was familiar with (which was by this point deprecated due to obsolescence).
A bias of this magnitude was enough for his hospital to ask him to leave, which he said was because his results were “unpopular”, but the fact of the matter was that there was an undeclared conflict of interest in the results.
So far, we’ve got some guy who’s trying to push an agenda and is being a bit of a dick about it, and lost his job over it. Pretty bad, but not exactly the next Stalin. It gets worse.
The 12 kids from the study were subjected to invasive medical procedures - a colonoscopy and a lumbar puncture (the latter of which is an excruciatingly painful injection into the spine with an enormous needle, as anybody who’s watched House will tell you) each.
It gets worse.
He was in the process of applying for a patent for the single-virus Measles injection before his campaign against the MMR injection began.
He unsuccessfully sued for libel when Channel 4 brought this all to light, along with allegations of a third-party paying Wakefield over £400,000 to build a case against the MMR vaccine, which may or may not also be true.
Nobody has been able to reproduce his results in the 16 years since all this began.
Many people have conducted much larger studies and found no link whatsoever between autism and the MMR vaccination.
The stupidest thing about the entire debacle is that Wakefield was fucking pro-vax and probably still is to this day. He just wanted people to use his (patented) vaccine instead of the MMR triple vaccine which was vastly superior, so he invented a problem with the MMR vaccine in order to put people off it, inadvertently putting people off not just the MMR vaccine but also other vaccines that are entirely unrelated to the MMR vaccine. There’s a sort of sad irony in that, I think.
Yep, all of this. In case any of you were interested on what exactly went down in the Wakefield case…. this is the whole shitty package.
There it is. And now children (and adults) are DYING because of this bastard’s greed and recklessness.
I struggle to find words to convey the badness of both the situation and the man. Truly it’s an awful thing when a medical professional goes rogue.
A dog fitted with two front prosthetic legs runs at Milagros Caninos rescue shelter in Mexico City. According to Milagros Caninos founder Patricia Ruiz, members of a drug gang chopped off the dog’s paws to practice cutting fingers off kidnapped people. [Image: Tomas Bravo/Reuters]
E.T. Was Basically A Medical Catastrophe
A case report in the British Medical Journal (available here for those with access) has studied the famous 1982 temporary stranding of a young alien life form in suburban southern California. After an in-depth analysis of gross anatomy and the E.T.’s forced hospitalization, the so-called “alien botanist” is determined to be essentially a medical catastrophe, presenting multiple severe pathologies and medical maladies.
Who approved this guy for spaceflight?
A list of anatomical abnormalities:
- Possible Perthe’s disease (incorrect formation of the femur)
- Lower limb lymphoedema (swelling of the stubby legs)
- Centripetal adiposity, possible metabolic syndrome (he’s basically chubby)
- Congenital dextrocardia (not only does his heart glow, it’s completely out of order)
- Functional acetaldehyde dehydrogenase deficiency (extreme intoxication and disorientation after merely one can of beer)
- Complete absence of genitalia
- Clubbed digits (the odd swelling at the tip of his remarkably luminous fingertip)
After entering a state of shock and delrium, perhaps from malnutrition due to a diet consisting solely of beer and Reese’s Pieces, he entered cardiac arrest and failed to respond to resuscitation. His body was placed in the freezer room quickly enough to prevent brain damage from lack of oxygen, however.
This preservation of brain function was key as ”ET made an exceptional functional recovery, balancing in the basket of Elliott’s bicycle and performing feats of telekinesis en route to the site of his eventual departure.”
Perhaps if extraterrestrial travelers will carry more complete medical history or medical ID bracelets, better treatment may be applied in future cases.
After having jaw, teeth, tongue and nerve tissue replaced, face transplant recipient regains speech
Fifteen years ago, Richard Lee Norris was shot in the face in a gun accident. He lost his nose, lips and most of the movement in his mouth.
He was horribly disfigured, and he spent most of the next decade and a half in hiding, venturing out only occasionally at night in a cap and a surgical mask.
Today, after receiving the most comprehensive face transplant to date, he says he’s able to walk past people without a second look. (University of Maryland Medical Center / Getty images)
holy shit modern medicine
Building from a 2010 finding that comatose, “locked in” patients could respond to doctors and “communicate” by scanning their brain activity using fMRI, a comatose Canadian man has let his doctors know he is not in pain.
Scott Routley has been in a coma for 12 years, but thanks to scans of certain brain activity when he is asked questions, doctors are confident there is a living, aware mind at work in the vegetative patient before them. fMRI is difficult to draw a bunch of precise conclusions from, but they were able to tell that he was hearing them, responding to questions, and not in distress.
It’s sad to imagine what that must feel like, to be aware, but trapped in an unresponsive body. Bot it’s so wonderful to think how this may affect quality of life for comatose patients in the future.
Science is pretty wonderful.
A spider on the wall said hello to me. And for some reason it didn’t seem too surprising that a spider should say hello. We had a conversation about analytic philosophy, a rather technical conversation.
"The Impact On Science Will Be Terrible": Sandy’s Effect On NYU Hospital Is Worse Than You Think
An executive at another New York City hospital, who asked to remain anonymous, just shared with us the following:I just spoke to a friend at NYU medical campus and she is just shocked at the surroundings. The research labs lost ALL their mice (1000s) and most of their research samples. The labs are destroyed, the smell is apparently intense. The hospital is empty—and they’re devastated.Beyond the obvious impact on patient care—and I just heard Bellevue is now evacuating all the patients they didn’t already—this has a domino effect for patients at other hospitals: Can we all expand to accommodate more than our own patient loads?—the impact on the science will be terrible. It is a sad sad day for science.Shit.
Type 1 diabetes is at best a huge nuisance and at worst a constant threat of death for up to 3 million Americans whose pancreases don’t produce insulin. Technology has improved the life of some diabetics, with insulin pumps replacing manual injections and glucose monitors that keep constant watch of diabetics’ blood-sugar levels, reducing the need for finger-pricks. Yet diabetics are still required to frequently monitor and adjust their insulin levels.
Now one company, Animas Corp., has completed the first successful human trial of a made-for-market artificial pancreas that takes care of everything automatically.