The pseudo-scientific argument that vaccines cause autism is based on very poor science and questionable motives. A new study out of the Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, OH further confirms that there is no scientific basis for believing that vaccines are a causative factor in the development of autism. Unlike the “work” by the much maligned Andrew Wakefield, this study actually looks at a large enough group of children to draw meaningful conclusions. Vaccines do not cause autism, please get your children vaccinated. You are putting your child at risk, and not vaccinating your children is a major threat to public health.
The study offers a response to vaccine skeptics who have suggested that getting too many vaccines on one day or in the first two years of life may lead to autism, says Frank DeStefano, director of the Immunization Safety Office of the CDC.
To find out if that was happening, DeStefano led a team that compared the vaccine histories of about 250 children who had autism spectrum disorder with those of 750 typical kids. Specifically, the researchers looked at what scientists call antigens. An antigen is a substance in a vaccine that causes the body to produce antibodies, proteins that help fight off infections.
The team looked at medical records to see how many antigens each child received and whether that affected the risk of autism. The results, published in The Journal of Pediatrics, were unequivocal.
“The amount of antigens from vaccines received on one day of vaccination or in total during the first two years of life is not related to the development of autism spectrum disorder in children,” DeStefano says.
Although scientific evidence suggests that vaccines do not cause autism, approximately one-third of parents continue to express concern that they do; nearly 1 in 10 parents refuse or delay vaccinations because they believe it is safer than following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) schedule (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/downloads/parent-ver-sch-0-6yrs.pdf). A primary concern is the number of vaccines administered, both on a single day and cumulatively over the first 2 years of life. In a new study scheduled for publication in The Journal of Pediatrics, researchers concluded that there is no association between receiving “too many vaccines too soon” and autism.
The researchers determined the total antigen numbers by adding the number of different antigens in all vaccines each child received in one day, as well as all vaccines each child received up to 2 years of age. The authors found that the total antigens from vaccines received by age 2 years, or the maximum number received on a single day, was the same between children with and without ASD. Furthermore, when comparing antigen numbers, no relationship was found when they evaluated the sub-categories of autistic disorder and ASD with regression.
Although the current routine childhood vaccine schedule contains more vaccines than the schedule in the late 1990s, the maximum number of antigens that a child could be exposed to by 2 years of age in 2013 is 315, compared with several thousand in the late 1990s. Because different types of vaccines contain varying amounts of antigens, this research acknowledged that merely counting the number of vaccines received does not adequately account for how different vaccines and vaccine combinations stimulate the immune system. For example, the older whole cell pertussis vaccine causes the production of about 3000 different antibodies, whereas the newer acellular pertussis vaccine causes the production of 6 or fewer different antibodies.
Special Seminar Graham C. Walker (MIT): Translesion DNA Polymerases: From Cancer Chemotherapy To Bactericidal Antibiotics
Translesion DNA Polymerases: From Cancer Chemotherapy To Bactericidal Antibiotics
On Monday March 25 at 12:10pm in 1022 Life Sciences
Date: Tuesday March 12, 2013
Time: 4:10 pm – 5:00 pm
Location: Room 179, Chemistry
Title: Realizing the promise of engineered metabolism for fuel and chemical production
Speaker: Prof. Ramon Gonzalez (Departments of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering and Bioengineering, Rice University; Program Manager, DOE ARPA-E
Abstract: Biological systems are capable of performing many useful functions with potential applications in energy and chemical production, environmental remediation, pharmaceutical production, and agricultural systems. However, their full potential remains unrealized due to critical knowledge gaps in our understanding of how these systems function and in our ability to engineer and control them. Our research seeks to fill in these gaps by designing and implementing novel (metabolic) engineering strategies to optimize the performance of biological systems. In this talk, I will highlight our recent progress in these areas with special emphasis on the use of systems and synthetic biology approaches to engineer novel platforms for the efficient production of advanced
fuels and chemicals.
Host: Prof. Shota Atsumi, Dept. of Chemistry, UC Davis
Department of Statistics University of California, Davis
The fourth annual UC Davis Statistical Science Symposium onThe Analysis of Complex and Massive Data will take place at the University of California, Davis on Saturday, April 13, 2013, 9:00am – 5:00pm, UC Davis Campus, Mathematical Sciences Building, Colloquium Room 1147
This one-day event aims at providing an interdisciplinary forum to discuss recent developments in the rapidly evolving areas relating to “Big Data” and “Data Science”.
Invited speakers include:
- Owen Carmichael (Neuroscience and Computer Science, UC Davis)
- Xiaodan Fan (Statistics, Chinese University Hong Kong)
- Christopher Genovese (Statistics, Carnegie Mellon University)
- Ken Joy (Computer Science, UC Davis)
- Anna Michalak (Global Ecology, Stanford University)
- Fernando Perez (Neuroscience, UC Berkeley)
- Rachel Schutt (Johnson Research Labs and adjunct at Statistics, Columbia University)
- Xiaotong Shen (Statistics, University of Minnesota)
- Tony Tyson (Physics, UC Davis)
More details (title, abstract, schedule) will be made available at http://www.stat.ucdavis.edu/symposium2013/.
Reception after the symposium
A reception following the symposium is scheduled to begin at 6:00pm at the John Natsoulas
Gallery at 521 1st St. in downtown Davis. Registration
The registration for the event is free. Nevertheless, we ask all the participants to register at http://www.stat.ucdavis.edu/symposium2013. We hope to welcome many of you to this event.