Sweet Lemony Things
Have you any opinions on whether vaccines contribute to autism?
Anonymous

biologyweeps:

cjbrowne:

biologyweeps:

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. 

doctordonna10:

qthewetsprocket:

dixie-chicken:

but guys, you realize Morgan Freeman had to read those lines

…without laughing.

LOOK AT THE GUY HOLDING THE MICROPHONE

doglets:

If you are the older twin, call your little sibling a few times a day and be like “when I was your age” and then describe what you did 7 minutes ago

mathiaskohler:

LIECHTENSTEIN IS FUCKING GORGEOUS AND IF YOU THINK OTHERWISE YOU’RE WRONG

graceespooks:

graceespooks:

my grandpa is always making fun of old people he sees like he’s not 85

he goes “wow today was old folks day at olive garden” i was like yeah grandpa that’s why we brought you there at 4:30pm

inkmurder:

Skinny

brandx:

mothernaturenetwork:

12-year-old invents Braille printer using Lego setThe Braigo printer cost its inventor about $350, making it more affordable than other Braille printers that can retail for more than $2,000.

And because I seriously side-eye this Western journalism trend of never crediting and NAMING the actual inventors in the headlines (especially when they’re young POC)
this inventor’s name is Shubham Banerjee, and he is making his glorious design completely open source, publishing it online FREE of charge! Just remember this kid’s name before some crusty old white dude “innovates” his design and takes all the credit.

brandx:

mothernaturenetwork:

12-year-old invents Braille printer using Lego set
The Braigo printer cost its inventor about $350, making it more affordable than other Braille printers that can retail for more than $2,000.

And because I seriously side-eye this Western journalism trend of never crediting and NAMING the actual inventors in the headlines (especially when they’re young POC)

this inventor’s name is Shubham Banerjee, and he is making his glorious design completely open source, publishing it online FREE of charge! Just remember this kid’s name before some crusty old white dude “innovates” his design and takes all the credit.

hyperheartz:

i wish i was thinner but i also wish that i didn’t wish I was thinner