autism/vaccines: go read Spiked

July 5, 2007

The online magazine Spiked has an issue just out on MMR and autism, with a lot of articles which are both detailed and reasonable.

autism/vaccine trials

June 20, 2007

The hot in-depth dissection of and commentary on the trial transcripts is going on over at Autism Diva‘s blog. I encourage you to check it out, though you may want to start back in the archives when the trial began.

She also links to this New Scientist article that brings to light some of the shadiness going on behind it.

more on science and autism/vaccines

June 16, 2007

The LA Times has a good article on the history of autism/vaccine research.

They raise an interesting point at the end, which is that vaccines do not “cause autism” but we can’t prove that they never cause autism in anyone ever (and don’t currently have the knowledge of etiology to say how likely it is or isn’t that they never cause autism in anyone ever). So scientists continue to look to see whether there might be a tiny, highly susceptible population.

I’m sincerely hoping that what happens is that 1) they do find such a population and 2) it is identifiable, so that 1) anti-vaccine believers might focus on a tiny effect that really happens rather than a large effect that does not, and 2) vulnerable people will be identified and prohibited from taking the vaccine and non-vulnerable people will be identified and strongly encouraged to take the vaccine and ideally will. And then all autistic and non-autistic children are that much less likely to get deadly childhood diseases.

U.S. Court of Federal Claims is an autism expert

June 12, 2007

Okay, not really. But apparently it’s being asked to decide that thimerosol causes autism.

Who cares about science (and extensive epidemiological studies finding no link)? Let the courts decide…

On a (thematically, but not morally) related link, my dad came home from a chemistry conference with a paper someone presented on a possible biomarker for autism (summary: lower levels of stuff in pee):

Scroll down to “Stercobilin: A Possible Biomarker for Autism?”

Dad says that stercobilin has [mumbo jumbo isomerish chemical-esque] to do with mercury or thimerosol or something. It makes sense to believe the extensive epidemiological studies over a hypothesized connection without further evidence, though.