Bad Astronomy

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

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

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.

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.