Autism, vaccines, Australia, and some good news for a change

Autism, vaccines, Australia, and some good news for a change

Autism, vaccines, Australia, and some good news for a change

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
April 30 2009 2:15 PM

Autism, vaccines, Australia, and some good news for a change

Three news items about vaccines and the antivax movement that threatens so many lives:

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

1) The Australian antivax news story has had quite the impact. Channel 7 in Oz has decided to record a forum discussing the antivax tactics and the real science of vaccinations and autism; amazingly, as Dr. Rachie reports, they don't want antivax mouthpieces like the horrid Meryl Dorrey on the show; they only want people with a science background! Imagine that.

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2) Speaking of autism, it looks like researchers have, for the very first time, found a genetic link to autism! This is fantastic news. The causes behind autism are basically unknown (though we do know what doesn't cause it: vaccines!), and this is a very good first step in unraveling this complex and terribly difficult problem.

3) The Skeptic Zone and Young Australian Skeptics have created a one-page flier decrying quacks who claim to have treatments for the swine flu or meningococcal meningitis... medicines which are homeopathic. Only one letter separates SCAM and SCUM, folks.

Here is a JPG of the flyer, and the link above goes to the PDF. Spread the word.