Respectful Insolence

I guess this is in effect part two of yesterday’s post. Regular daily readers (and you are a regular daily reader, aren’t you?) will remember that yesterday I commented on the recent uptick in anti-Gardasil vaccine rhetoric coming from the antivaccine crank blog Age of Autism and other sources, in the process deconstructing speculation masquerading as a case report allegedly indicting the quadrivalent HPV vaccine as a potential cause of premature ovarian failure in a 16 year old Australian girl. The article was so bad and so biased that I couldn’t believe BMJ Case Reports published it in the form it did. It’s almost enough to make me take back all those nice things I said about the BMJ in the wake of its publication of Brian Deer’s expose of Andrew Wakefield’s fraud, but in reality the publication of one bad piece of antivaccine propaganda doesn’t invalidate all the good the BMJ did by commissioning Brian Deer to lay the results of his investigation on the line.

You’ll also recall that I noted another article that’s popping up on antivaccine websites. Not content with trying to scare parents and girls with stories of Gardasil robbing young women of their womanhood, antivaccinationists now want to scare parents with stories of Gardasil robbing girls of their lives. So it was that the antivaccine propaganda blog touting an article by the latest scientists to have drunk the pseudoscience Kool Aid that is antivax, Lucija Tomljenovic and Christopher A. Shaw. AoA was joined by the rabidly anti-Gardasil antivaccine group (IN)SANE Vax, Inc., the blog for the antivaccine movie The Greater Good, Gaia Health, and others. That’s no surprise, because we’ve met Dr. Shaw before. He was a key player in that particular bit of propaganda, likening vaccines to part of a toxic soup of chemicals that contributes to autism. We’ve also met Tomljenovic before. Along with Shaw as her co-author, she wrote one of the silliest attempts at blaming vaccines for autism that I’ve seen in a long time (and I’ve seen many, many very silly attempts to blame vaccines for autism over the years). Basically, Tomljenovic and Shaw tried to “prove” that the rising autism prevalence is due to the use of aluminum adjuvants in vaccines and failed utterly, hilariously confusing correlation with causation in a textbook example of how not to draw inferences from statistical data.

Finally, we’ve also met Shaw before when he testified before an investigative committee looking into the death of an 18-year-old woman named Jasmine Renata in New Zealand. Basically, Jasmine’s mother was convinced that her daughter had died because of the HPV vaccine rather than a much more plausible and likely cause, an undiagnosed heart conduction defect. He claimed that he found HPV DNA associated with aluminum in Jasmine’s brain, which would be a real pharmacokinetic and stoichiometric feat if true given the tiny amount of HPV DNA found in the HPV vaccine. It’s such a small amount that it takes a remarkably sensitive (and possibly nonspecific) nested quantitative real time PCR technique promoted by a discredited pathologist named Sin Hang Lee working with (IN)SANE Vax to detect it. So annoyed was Dr. Shaw at my criticism of his testimony that he even briefly showed up in the comments of this post.

All of this brings us to the latest spew by Tomljenovic and Shaw, which was published in a journal I had never heard of, Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs, and entitled Death after quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination: Causal or coincidental? Guess which side Tomljenovic and Shaw want to persuade you to accept as the correct side of this question? (Hint: It ain’t the science-based side.)

Basically, this article consists of two case reports. Case 1 is very clearly Jasmine Renata, whose case I discussed in depth about three months ago. The case description matches almost exactly:

A 19-year-old female without a relevant medical history and taking no drugs expired in her sleep, approximately 6 months after her third and final qHPV vaccine booster and following exacerbation of initial vaccination-related symptoms. She had last been seen alive by her parents the previous evening. Her symptoms started after the first qHPV injection when she developed warts on her hand that persisted throughout the vaccination period. In addition, she suffered from unexplained fatigue, muscle weakness, tachycardia, chest pain, tingling in extremities, irritability, mental confusion and periods of amnesia (memory lapses). The autopsy was unremarkable and failed to determine the exact cause of death. Internal examination revealed some minor changes involving the gallbladder and the uterine cervix (both of which on further examination by microbiological studies and histology revealed no significant disease). After a full autopsy no major abnormality was found anatomically, microbiologically or toxicologically that might have been regarded as a potential cause of death. Histological analysis of the brain hippocampus, cerebellum and watershed cortex allegedly revealed no evidence of neuronal loss or neuroinflammatory changes. However, the autopsy report did not specify which immune antibodies and stains were used for histological investigations.

Case 2 is very almost certainly another cause célèbre in the antivaccine movement, Annabelle Morin of Quebec, who died in 2008 and whose parents are suing Merck for her death after apparently encountered Joe Mercola’s fear mongering about Gardasil online. The clinical history presented sounds very much like Morin’s:

A 14-year-old female with a previous history of migraines and oral contraceptive use developed more severe migraines, speech problems, dizziness, weakness, inability to walk, depressed consciousness, confusion, amnesia and vomiting 14 days after receiving her first qHPV vaccine injection. These symptoms gradually resolved. However, 15 days after her second qHPV vaccine booster she was found unconscious in her bathtub by her mother 30 minutes after she had entered the bathroom to have a shower. Emergency help was summoned and arrived quickly. Resuscitation efforts were attempted. The paramedic noted that the patient was found without a pulse. Upon arrival at the hospital and approximately 30 minutes later, the patient suffered cardiac arrest. Resuscitation was terminated approximately 40 minutes later and the patient was pronounced dead.

Given the resemblance, it must be Annabelle they’re writing about here.

The first thing I noticed here s that Shaw’s story seems to be…evolving. What do I mean? Simple. Go back and look at what he said about Jasmine originally. He claimed that he found HPV DNA in her blood and spleen after her death, saying to the inquest into Jasmine Renata’s death:

He said it was not the result of a natural HPV infection, most likely the DNA was bound to aluminium which was also found in Jasmine.

“The HPV gene is foreign DNA and its detection six months after injection is not normal,’’ he told the inquest.

He said the DNA may cause a reaction that could lead to lethal shock although it was not known if it caused her death but it needed further investigation.

He said it was not known if it was the cause of death but it needed further investigation.

So let’s see. Originally, Shaw was saying that somehow the aluminum adjuvant in the HPV vaccine somehow complexed with HPV DNA from the vaccine in order to work its evil effects. He said this even though, as I explained above, the amount of HPV DNA in a dose of Gardasil is so small that it takes ridiculously sensitive PCR techniques to detect it, and, even then, I’m not entirely convinced that what Lee found really was HPV DNA and not a contaminant. We’re probably talking nanogram, if not picogram, quantities of DNA. It defies basic chemistry and plausibility to propose that such a minuscule amount of DNA not packaged in a virus or other delivery vector could cause such a reaction. It makes one wonder, it does. Did Shaw realize that his original story didn’t pass the smell test? Did he realize that molecular biologists were rolling in the floor with laughter or snorting at him with contempt over this explanation? Did he actually take my post to heart? Think of it. His manuscript is listed as having originally been submitted on September 13, 2012 and accepted for publication on October 2, with a publication date of October 4. While noting that that’s a mighty fast turnaround time (which makes me wonder about the quality of the peer review for this journal), I also note that it’s also over a month after my post. Sure, I could have an overinflated sense of my own importance. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been accused of that. But, still, I wonder.

Whatever the reasons, Tomljenovic and Shaw are now claiming something somewhat different but only marginally more plausible. I’m not a neuroscientist, nor am I a pathologist, but one thing I can’t help but note is that neither Tomljenovic and Shaw are pathologists, either. In particular, neither of them are neuropathologists. If there’s one thing I know about neuropathology, it’s that it’s tricky. It’s not trivial to get antibodies to work properly on brain tissue, nor is it a trivial matter to interpret. None of this seems to have induced our not-so-dynamic duo to have recruited a neuropathologist to assist them with interpretation of the immunohistochemical stains of the brain sections. Were I a reviewer for this paper, I would have recommended not publishing it without a neuropathologist as an author. None of this keeps the authors from boldly proclaiming that neuroinflammation caused by the HPV-16L1 antigen is strongly implicated as the cause of these girls’ deaths through an autoimmune vasculitis due to the deposition of HPV-16L1

Not so fast, there pardner.

The first thing to consider is the biological plausibility of the HPV-16L1 protein somehow depositing in the brain vasculature in order to be able to cause an immune reaction. Each dose of Gardasil contains approximately 20 μg HPV-16L1 protein, which is injected locally intramuscularly. While this is clearly not difficult to detect the way the trace DNA left over in Gardasil is, it’s still by no means a lot of protein. Yet, according to our not-so-dynamic duo, this tiny amount of protein caused this:

In both cases, the autopsy revealed no anatomical, microbiological nor toxicological findings that might have explained the death of the individuals. In contrast, our IHC analysis showed evidence of an autoimmune vasculitis potentially triggered by the cross-reactive HPV-16L1 antibodies binding to the wall of cerebral blood vessels in all examined brain samples. We also detected the presence of HPV-16L1 particles within the cerebral vasculature with some HPV-16L1 particles adhering to the blood vessel walls. HPV-18L1 antibodies did not bind to cerebral blood vessels nor any other neural tissues. IHC also showed increased T-cell signalling and marked activation of the classical antibody-dependent complement pathway in cerebral vascular tissues from both cases. This pattern of complement activation in the absence of an active brain infection indicates an abnormal triggering of the immune response in which the immune attack is directed towards self-tissue.

Here’s the thing. The autopsy didn’t show any abnormalities in Jasmine’s brain that could account for her death. The same was true of Annabelle. If these girls had an immune-based vasculitis, it should have been visible as severe inflammation in the brain tissues on normal H&E sections (sections stained with the usual blue and pink dye and no special immunohistochemical stains). Then, the IHC would reveal the potential cause. For instance, in Case 1, Tomljenovic and Shaw note that the pathologist found no signs of neuronal loss or neuroinflammatory changes but that it wasn’t reported which antibodies were used. More than likely the answer is none; routine sections would just be H&E, with IHC reserved for cases in which an abnormality was noted on H&E. In Case 2, Tomljenovic and Shaw bemoaned how the pathologist didn’t use any specific antibodies for inflammatory markers but rather noted changes consistent with terminal ischemic-hypoxic encephalopathy. What that means is that the pathologist thought that the changes he observed were consistent with the brain’s having suffered a significant period of time with low blood flow, rendering it ischemic, something that could have happened if the girl had a very low blood pressure for a while before she died.

So what we have is a non-pathologist, who clearly doesn’t know how to interpret common pathological findings, throwing every inflammation-related antibody in the book at the brain section and then concluding that there is some sort of neuroinflammation because he sees staining in the blood vessels in the brain. There’s one huge problem, though, and Tomljenovic and Shaw basically admit it:

The obvious limitations of our study are that the tissues examined represent two individuals against which there were no control samples. For this reason, we could not obtain a quantitative measure of immunoreactivity. We aim in the future to further corroborate our findings by examining brain tissues from other cases of sudden and unexplained death following HPV vaccination, as well as control brain tissue from age-matched individuals who clearly died from nonvaccination related causes. Nonetheless, the marked resemblance in immunostaining patterns for all immunohistological markers in brain tissue specimens in the present two cases (i.e., compare Figures 1-4), as well as the similarity between their symptoms and those noted on VAERS reports related to post-HPV vaccination vasculopathies (some of which were medically ascertained cases; Tables 2 and 3), strongly support our present conclusions.

Uh, no they don’t. Tomljenovic and Shaw’s findings could just as well be nonspecific immunostaining. Not only didn’t they examine sections of age-matched normal brains as controls (the very minimum they could have done), but, as far as I can tell from this paper, they neglected to do some very basic controls for any IHC experiment. Specifically, I don’t see any reference to a “no primary antibody” control or an isotype control. In the absence of such controls, there is no compelling evidence that the staining that Tomljenovic and Shaw are reporting is anything other than due to nonspecific interactions between the antibody and cellular structures. This is a lot more common than one might think. Many are the physicians and scientists who have tried to do IHC for a research project and found that it’s nowhere near as cookbook as the antibody and reagent manufacturers would like you to think from their protocols. It’s one reason why IHC is often referred to as an art as much as a science. it often takes a lot of trial and error to get it right, even with commercial antibodies with seemingly well-defined protocols from the manufacturer.

Another thing they could have done to convince skeptics like me is something called an adsorption control Basically, that means incubating the primary antibody with the antigen it’s supposed to detect. If the interaction being observed is specific, then adsorbing it this way should eliminate the staining, because the specific antibody will complex with the antigen. Finally, there should be a positive control. For HPV proteins, this would mean perhaps cervical cancer lesions known to be due to HPV infection. I will admit that a lot of investigators don’t report all of these controls, but they usually report at least a couple of them, usually the isotype control and the no primary antibody control. In particular, for a novel or unusual finding (such as the finding of HPV-16L1 in the neurovasculature), more controls need to be done. Also, reviewers will give a skilled pathologist a bit more of the benefit of the doubt if he doesn’t present all controls, because, well, he’s a pathologist and does this sort of thing every day for a living in real patient samples. Tomljenovic and Shaw don’t rate that sort of benefit of the doubt. They should show their work, but do not. If I had to guess, what we’re seing in their IHC sections is nonspecific staining.

That having been said, I’m not a pathologist, either, although I’ve done a fair amount of IHC in my laboratory. The difference, of course, is that I’m not diagnosing patients. In any case, as Dirty Harry once said, “A man’s got to know his limitations.” I know mine. I know that I could be wrong. So I’d love it if any of my readers are pathologists, particularly neuropathologists, could comment. In particular, the choice of antibodies by Tomljenovic and Shaw seems to include antibodies that are mainly used for research and not routinely used in clinical specimens for actual diagnosis, which means even more that, even if what we’re seeing is not nonspecific, its significance is unclear. Still, given the tiny amount of HPV-16L1 in each Gardasil dose, I’d bet that the finding of this protein in the neurovasculature of these girls is almost certainly nonspecific staining.

Basically, Tomljenovic and Shaw have become the latest not-so-dynamic antivaccine duo trying to lend scientific credibility to quack antivaccine views. They’ve clearly been co-opted by the antivaccine movement and have become true believers, so much so that Shaw is in danger of throwing away whatever scientific credibility Shaw once had. I hope they like their new friends. If they continue on this path, they’ll soon be replacing their scientific colleagues for a bunch of cranks, just the way Andrew Wakefield, Mark and David Geier, and Dr. Sing Han Lee have. Soon all they’ll be good for is giving aid and comfort to antivaccine cranks by churning out crap studies that can be cited over and over and over again by antivaccinationists. Oh, joy.

Comments

  1. #1 Dr Trousers
    October 31, 2012

    Groan. Number 1) Always use a control and look at it first before you look at the section. Number 2) Background staining anyone?

  2. #2 MikeMa
    October 31, 2012

    Orac, you keep referring to this pair and others as ‘not so dynamic’ duos. While clearly true, the bar for ‘dynamic’ at AoA, GR and other sites and venues is so low that breathing is barely all that’s required. Mouth breathing of course.

  3. #3 sophia8
    October 31, 2012

    Boys are getting the HPV shot now, aren’t they? So where are the reports of boys falling mysteriously ill and dying after getting the vaccine?
    Clearly, us girls are so much weaker and frailer than the big, tough boys….

  4. #4 MikeMa
    October 31, 2012

    @sophia,
    The push to have boys get the HPV vaccine is relatively recent and the uptake has been slow so far I think. But you wait for the future headline:, “Boy Falls from Tree – Gardasil to Blame”.

    It doesn’t have to make sense or follow any scientific reasoning, just spread fear.

  5. #5 herr doktor bimler
    October 31, 2012

    a journal I had never heard of, Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs

    The first issue of the latest pay-to-print addition to the portfolio of a notorious zero-standards Open Access scam? Your ignorance is forgivable.

  6. #6 Michael Finfer, MD
    Edison, NJ
    October 31, 2012

    I am a pathologist. I don’t know any respectable pathologists who would throw antibodies at normal-looking tissue. That’s just asking for trouble. I could not provide specific comments about these cases without reviewing all the slides, including positive and negative controls, if they indeed exist. If this group did do these stains on normal-appearing tissue as it seems, I would tend to regard the results as spurious without a great deal of additional data, including large numbers of patients with a similar history.

    I would add, however, that in clinical practice, nobody does adsorption controls, but we are working mostly in relatively familiar situations in which we know what to expect, and we can recognize most of the artifacts. An adsorption control might be useful in a setting like this, and, I would expect it to show that the staining that they reported is non-specific.

  7. #7 Darwy
    Røde grøde med fløde
    October 31, 2012

    HDB has the right of it; there’s a slew of open access crap journals popping up lately – who claim to have peer review, but I think that just means “I opened the .pdf and saw words there”.

  8. #8 Dangerous Bacon
    October 31, 2012

    T. Bruce (a pathologist) commented on the pseudo-findings of cerebral vasculitis in another thread and I (also a pathologist, who works with immunohistochemistry on a daily basis) agreed with him that the conclusions of the paper’s authors about the brain histopathology were bunk, in particular the following:.

    “our IHC analysis showed evidence of an autoimmune vasculitis”

    No, it did not. The diagnosis of vasculitis requires at a minimum evidence of destructive inflammation involving blood vessel walls. From one of my pathology texts: “Vasculitis…is used to describe vessel injury manifested by varying degrees of endothelial degeneration and necrosis.” Mostly when this process is suspected clinically we get skin biopsies aimed at confirming it, and it can be tricky to make the diagnosis. Seeing inflammatory cells involving the vasculature is not enough; you need evidence of blood vessel damage. These people couldn’t even cite the presence of inflammatory cells, therefore their “evidence of an autoimmune vasculitis” is nonexistent.

    If it’s true that they didn’t use proper positive and negative controls on their IHC stains, even those are worthless. I just had a tumor case with a clear pattern of staining, but I did not release the results until I had repeated the test twice more to get the negative control working properly.

    This paper should not even have been accepted in the Journal of Irreproducible Results.

  9. #9 johnV
    October 31, 2012

    “Histological analysis of the brain hippocampus, cerebellum and watershed cortex allegedly revealed no evidence of neuronal loss or neuroinflammatory changes. ”

    Wait so are they accusing the person administering the autopsy of being incompetent or corrupt?

  10. #10 Composer99
    http://composer99.blogspot.ca
    October 31, 2012

    I suspect there will never be quite the same degree of anti-vax outrage over HPV vaccine for boys as there is for girls.

  11. #11 palindrom
    October 31, 2012

    I’m often amazed at how quickly this blog can bring in heavy artillery, this time in the form of Dr. Finfer and Dr. D. Bacon. Thanks for sharing your expertise!

  12. #12 Orac
    October 31, 2012

    I would add, however, that in clinical practice, nobody does adsorption controls, but we are working mostly in relatively familiar situations in which we know what to expect, and we can recognize most of the artifacts. An adsorption control might be useful in a setting like this, and, I would expect it to show that the staining that they reported is non-specific.

    Of course, I didn’t mean that they necessarily should have done this for all the antibodies. They should, however, done it for the antibody against HPV-16L1, given that finding staining for this protein in the cerebral vasculature was a very unusual and implausible finding that almost certainly represented nonspecific staining. In any case, this is not normal clinical practice. It’s a research paper proposing a very controversial and biochemically implausible finding. Not doing such controls calls Tomljenovic and Shaw’s work into question right away. I also know that many papers publishing IHC results don’t actually show their isotype and no primary antibody controls, but they usually at least mention in the methods that their controls worked properly.

  13. #13 qwerty
    October 31, 2012

    From a technical standpoint, it’s particularly interesting (read suspicious) that nearly all of the positive tissue staining they report is in the endothelial cells of the brain. In the world of immunohistochemistry, it’s well known that endothelial cells always exhibit a high degree of non-specific background staining (due to high levels of nitric oxide production). One way to address this is with a quenching step using hydrogen peroxide (which the authors report doing in the methods), but I can tell you from personal experience that this rarely gets rid of the problem…which is precisely why you MUST show the appropriate controls (no primary antibody control and substrate only control).

  14. #14 Orac
    October 31, 2012

    No, it did not. The diagnosis of vasculitis requires at a minimum evidence of destructive inflammation involving blood vessel walls. From one of my pathology texts: “Vasculitis…is used to describe vessel injury manifested by varying degrees of endothelial degeneration and necrosis.” Mostly when this process is suspected clinically we get skin biopsies aimed at confirming it, and it can be tricky to make the diagnosis. Seeing inflammatory cells involving the vasculature is not enough; you need evidence of blood vessel damage. These people couldn’t even cite the presence of inflammatory cells, therefore their “evidence of an autoimmune vasculitis” is nonexistent.

    Even though I’m not a pathologist, that’s what I thought too. Vasculitis is a histological finding that should be easily visible on routine H&E sections if it’s significant enough to cause or contribute to the death of otherwise healthy young women. No histological findings of vasculitis = no clinically significant vasculitis. The lack of finding immune cells such as neutrophils is particularly telling, as it’s hard to have real inflammation without finding inflammatory immune cells in the specimen. Or at least that’s what I thought, and our pathology colleagues seem to be confirming this observation. In other words, if there are no abnormalities on routine H&E sections, there is no reason to do all these special stains that Tomljenovic and Shaw did that a pathologist would find convincing. In reality, the reason that Tomljenovic and Shaw did all these stains appears to be because they thought there was an autoimmune vasculitis (even though qualified pathologists didn’t see evidence of it), thought that this nonexistent autoimmune vasculitis must be due to cross reactivity between antibodies against HPV-16L raised by vaccination with HPV vaccine, and sought to find IHC staining that they could shoehorn into their dubious hypothesis.

  15. #15 Orac
    October 31, 2012

    From a technical standpoint, it’s particularly interesting (read suspicious) that nearly all of the positive tissue staining they report is in the endothelial cells of the brain.

    I wondered about this too. If there was that much inflammation, the inflammatory changes and the antigens against which Tomljenovic and Shaw stained should show up in more than just the cerebral endothelium. That raised a red flag for me, too. Perhaps I should have mentioned it in my post more prominently. I’ve also done some staining against endothelial cells in my lab and have seen first hand how often they exhibit nonspecific staining that can sometimes fool even experienced technicians.

  16. #16 Dingo199
    October 31, 2012

    Just a humble physician, with no pretensions to pathology, but from what I know I too would expect to see systemic changes outside the CNS.

    For me the clincher is that the clinical presentation is categorically not one of cerebral vasculitis. You don’t see someone walk into the shower only to be found dead 30 minutes later, and conclude the COD was “cerebral vasculitis”. Even the most hyperacute clinical presentation would see someone developing confusion and neurological symptoms progressing to coma and death over days (not minutes). Typically vasculitis is associated with a subacute , intermittently progressive presentation with neurological features developing over several weeks.

    In addition, cerebral vasculitis severe enough to cause death should be accompanied by quite florid pathology, visible at the naked-eye macroscopic level and typified by huge great wodges of fibrinoid necrosis with occlusion and infarction of multiple affected vessels.

    Why does this report remind me of the type of paper produced by Mohammed Al-Bayati (he of Eliza-Jane Scovill and Christine Maggiore “they did not die of AIDS but drug reactions” fame?). Because it is the same process – start with a concept and twist the facts (or invent some) to confirm your predetermined diagnosis.

  17. #17 Krebiozen
    October 31, 2012

    No controls, no plausible mechanism, no replication of the research that supposedly supports their shaggy dog story of a hypothesis, and conclusions that are wildly inconsistent with the autopsy findings. Execrable, and the amount of damage it will cause is inestimable. A quick Google search shows it has spread like wildfire across the net, presented as incontrovertible evidence that Gardasil kills.

    I think this paper is far more dangerous than Gardasil: some people will be dissuaded from getting vaccinated against HPV because of it, and some will contract HPV and either get cancer and die, or spread HPV to others who will die as a result.

  18. #18 TBruce
    October 31, 2012

    I’m late to the party, but I just want to add my agreement with my fellow pathologists about the total lack of histologic evidence of vasculitis, and the incompetent use and interpretation of the immunostains. As a graduate of UBC, I find this to be extremely painful.
    BTW, Shaw has already gotten the “brave anti-establishment rebel with a breakthrough” treatment from the Vancouver throwaway press.

  19. #19 THS
    October 31, 2012

    If not acceptable to even the Journal of Irreproducibe Results, how about the Journal of Dangerous Nonsense?
    Yes, this blog beings in the heavy artillery which I also appreciate. These are busy people who deal with real medical problems. It’s a shame that this sort of talent has to be brought to bear on shysters who will simply turn around and make up other nonsense and delude unhappy people. So far as boys getting the HPV vaccine, it’s just a matter of time before other crazy allegations emerge around ill or dead young men.

  20. #20 Denice Walter
    October 31, 2012

    OT- but is stooping low by alt media ever TRULY OT @ RI?
    I ask you sincerely.

    In the wake of a devastating hurricane that has impacted tens of millions of people, causing death and destruction:
    Anne Dachel writes about ‘hurricane autisim’
    and, never to be outdone, Mike Adams ( Natural News) has over the past few days offered his ideas about ‘preparedness’, including how to behave when the looters come.

  21. #21 lilady
    October 31, 2012

    There you go, Orac. Twenty comments and three are from pathologists…in sharp contrast to the many blogs on the anti-vaccine websites about Gardisil *deaths*, which have zero comments from pathologists.

  22. #22 Karl Withakay
    http://blog.cordialdeconstruction.com
    October 31, 2012

    “We’re probably talking nanogram, if not picogram, quantities of DNA”

    That’s almost a homeopathic amount of DNA. Wouldn’t that make it beneficial according to homeopathic principles? :)

  23. #23 THS
    October 31, 2012

    Hard to believe it could be even nanogram amounts of DNA. If any, could be sub-pg. My guess. Nanogram amounts would be very easily detected. My guess, too, there are specs on DNA content in that vaccine. Homeopathic most likely.

  24. #24 lilady
    October 31, 2012

    Has anyone located the lawsuit, in French or English, regarding the death of Annabelle Morin *associated with Gardasil vaccine*?

    The lawsuit should list her mother Linda Morin as a plaintiff suing Merck Frosst Canada & Company.

  25. #25 dandover
    October 31, 2012

    @Karl

    That’s almost a homeopathic amount of DNA. Wouldn’t that make it beneficial according to homeopathic principles?

    No, no. You’re forgetting one of the most important parts. It must be succussed. Succussion is essential. You gotta’ bang that stuff with a horsehair filled paddle. Or something. See, we sciency types never can get anything right. Sheesh!

  26. #26 Jay Chaplin
    UW Seattle
    October 31, 2012

    Even the students in my undergrad classes can get that simple, first lesson of labwork: if there aren’t both positive and negative controls then it isn’t an experiment. Shaw is notorious for and persistent in ignoring necessary controls. He asserts that there’s aluminum based on Morin staining but doesn’t do the controls to rule out crossreaction with iron, he measures small behavioral changes but doesn’t blind the evaluator to which treatment group the mice are in, he routinely does IHC with non-specific/non-standard/non-validated stains and has not once done appropriate positive and negative controls nor does he score intensity but simply reports presence. I’d fail a first year premed student for that kind of research ethic.

  27. #27 Karl Withakay
    http://blog.cordialdeconstruction.com
    October 31, 2012

    @dandover,

    You can’t prove that it wasn’t successed! Therefore by the rules of woo-logic and argument, I can claim that is was successed.

  28. #28 Ron Law
    Auckland, New Zealand
    October 31, 2012

    David, in the interests of objectivity, when you say, “He claimed that he found HPV DNA in her blood and spleen after her death, saying to the inquest into Jasmine Renata’s death:

    He said it was not the result of a natural HPV infection, most likely the DNA was bound to aluminium which was also found in Jasmine.

    “The HPV gene is foreign DNA and its detection six months after injection is not normal,’’ he told the inquest.

    He said the DNA may cause a reaction that could lead to lethal shock although it was not known if it caused her death but it needed further investigation.

    He said it was not known if it was the cause of death but it needed further investigation.”

    Don’t you mean, “reported as saying…”?

  29. #29 herr doktor bimler
    October 31, 2012

    A quick Google search shows it has spread like wildfire across the net, presented as incontrovertible evidence that Gardasil kills.

    More accurately, I think, it was spread. This isn’t a case of anti-vax bloggers idly reading one another’s blogs, encountering the paper, and thinking “That’s worth repeating”. Someone at SaneVax will have e-mailed it to everyone on the mailing list, to ensure that the shouting is synchronised.

    You don’t see someone walk into the shower only to be found dead 30 minutes later, and conclude the COD was “cerebral vasculitis”.

    The summary of the pathology report for Case 2 mentions cerebellar herniation, i.e. the girl’s brain had suddenly swollen to the extent that the pressure was pushing it cerebellum-first down through the foramen magnum. Whatever happened to her, it sounds acute.

    there’s a slew of open access crap journals popping up lately – who claim to have peer review, but I think that just means “I opened the .pdf and saw words there”.

    Some disrespectful derision of the OMICS-journal scam here (already blogpimped on a previous thread, whence it attracted a gratifying number of visitors of RI-readers, but I’m going to advertise it again).

  30. #30 Narad
    October 31, 2012

    Don’t you mean, “reported as saying…”?

    You’re not supposed to bring cane toads into New Zealand, Ron.

  31. #31 Jay Chaplin
    UW Seattle
    October 31, 2012

    Oh, Ron Law, your inability to understand dose relationships is as bad as Shaws… Yes, naked DNA can cause shock due to triggering Toll Like Receptor 9. The amount needed depends on the route of administration, with responses far more severe to iv dosing than im or ip. To generate shock with an iv dose of unmethylated naked bacterial DNA you need at least 400 micrograms for a mouse with a 20 gram body weight. If you scale that up to human size, even though we are less responsive to TLR9 shock and yeast DNA (from producing HPV vaccine) is much less potent than bacterial DNA, that’s 1.8 grams of DNA that’s required. 1.8 grams! That’s over 200 million times the amount of DNA a regular cheap PCR reaction can detect – and those always come up negative when used to detect DNA in Gardasil preps.

    Yeah, sure, the inactive, fragmented, yeast-based DNA with the wrong codon bias that can’t be translated to protein in human cells that’s far less than 1/200 millionth of the amount required to cause shock is doing something. Sure.

    And, for the record, binding DNA to aluminum makes it degrade faster. That’s been known since 1971. Dimwits.

  32. #32 herr doktor bimler
    October 31, 2012

    We’re probably talking nanogram, if not picogram, quantities of DNA.

    Ah, but this is DNA bound to aluminium hydroxide particles, in a way that preserves it from degradation within the body — even after six months, and even during digestion of the particles by phagocytes — while enhancing its properties as an antigen. Once inside a phagocyte, the AlO / DNA complex takes over the cell and causes it to migrate through the lymphatic system up into the brain, overcoming the blood/brain barrier and allowing the aluminium to concentrate there.

    That was the original story, anyway. I can see why the authors have abandoned it in preference for the straight toxic-protein-in-the-vaccine account.

    Of course there is now the problem that the amount of HPV-16L1 in an injection is NOTHING compared to the amount of the stuff mass-produced by a wart (being a building-block of the HPV capsid), yet warts are not killing people by neuroinflammation.

  33. #33 Orac
    October 31, 2012

    Don’t you mean, “reported as saying…”?

    Ah, pedantry! One wonders what Ron’s point is, one does. It couldn’t be to try to imply that somehow Dr. Shaw was misquoted when he referred to HPV DNA, could it?

  34. #34 Orac
    October 31, 2012

    Of course there is now the problem that the amount of HPV-16L1 in an injection is NOTHING compared to the amount of the stuff mass-produced by a wart (being a building-block of the HPV capsid), yet warts are not killing people by neuroinflammation.

    Excellent point that I should have mentioned…

  35. #35 Ron Law
    October 31, 2012

    Jay Chaplin, mees thinks you’ve got me mixed up with someone else… I haven’t made any comments to warrant such an outburst…

  36. #36 Ron Law
    October 31, 2012

    David, my point is that when one takes the accuracy/science hi-ground one needs to be accurate. Having read the transcripts of what was actually said I am only to aware that what was reported does not often align with what was said… unless you are saying that relying on anecdote is ok… in which case you are into woo country.

  37. #37 brian
    October 31, 2012

    And, for the record, binding DNA to aluminum makes it degrade faster. That’s been known since 1971.

    Jay, could you point me towards a reference for that? Thanks.

  38. #38 Ron Law
    October 31, 2012

    HDB… “Ah, but this is DNA bound to aluminium hydroxide particles…”

    I wasn’t aware aluminium hydroxide was in gardasil… as for so-called amorphous aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate, what exactly is it? It’s certainly not a chemical in any science text book with a chemical formula. I note even Merck refer to it as “Merck aluminum adjuvant. MAA is an
    amorphous aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate adjuvant.
    The term “MAA” is used interchangeably herein with the
    tenn “AAHS.””

    I have yet to find an expert who can tell me what it actually is and there is no chemical formula for it… that being the case it seems to me that it is a novel compound that has not been formally approved.

    It certainly isn’t aluminium hydroxide as you’ve said… nor aluminium phosphate as New Zealand’s so-called expert at IMAC (Helen Petousis-Harris) told me.

    HP-H’s email said, “Amorphous aluminium hydroxyphosphate and aluminium hydroxyphosphate sulfate are still commonly referred to as aluminium phosphate. From what I can gather there have been changes to terminology over the past 20 years as studies have explored the structure of adjuvants and re-characterised them based on morphology. Historically, aluminium adjuvants have been often referred to as either aluminium phosphate or aluminium hydroxide depending on the level of phosphate present. Precipitation in a buffered solution involves anions and amorphous adjuvant and is dependent on the precipitating conditions and in turn dependent on the desired isoelectric point which is antigen dependent.

    The chemical formula of aluminium phosphate vaccine adjuvant is Al(PO)4

    Aluminium phosphate is aluminium hydroxide in which some hydroxyls have been substituted for phosphate. This is what gives amorphous aluminium hydroxyphosphate Al(OH)x(PO4)y. The degree of phosphate substitution depends on the reactants and method of preparation. If the starting source of aluminium is potassium aluminium sulphate and when there are phosphate anions present during the precipitation process then amorphous aluminium hydroxysulfate will become amorphous aluminium hydroxyphosphate sulfate, as some of the phosphate anions substitute some of the hydroxyls.
    There is no fixed ratio of hydroxyl to phosphate (not stoichiometric).”

    What a hoot… “The chemical formula of aluminium phosphate vaccine adjuvant is Al(PO)4″

    Al(PO)4 must be another non-approved novel ingredient used in vaccines.

  39. #39 Krebiozen
    October 31, 2012

    Ron,

    I haven’t made any comments to warrant such an outburst…

    A brief perusal of your performance here is quite sufficient to refute that.

  40. #40 Grant
    http://sciblogs.co.nz/code-for-life/2012/08/09/dodgy-experts-in-the-coroners-inquest-into-jasmine-renatas-death/
    October 31, 2012

    Orac,

    Regards warts: it’s one of the elements that have been bothering me – Jasmine Renata had repeated treatment for warts.

  41. #41 Orac
    October 31, 2012

    David, my point is that when one takes the accuracy/science hi-ground one needs to be accurate. Having read the transcripts of what was actually said I am only to aware that what was reported does not often align with what was said… unless you are saying that relying on anecdote is ok… in which case you are into woo country.

    In other words, you’re concern trolling and have no real point to make worth paying attention to. Thanks for clearing that up.

  42. #42 herr doktor bimler
    October 31, 2012

    It certainly isn’t aluminium hydroxide as you’ve said

    Please notice that Dr Shaw’s theories are the subject here, not the real world. And Dr Shaw did specify “aluminium hydroxide”, over and over, back when he was promoting the aluminium adjuvant as the reason why vaccines were EVUL.

    He has now abandoned all his previous clinical observations in favour of a new theory about proteins, keeping only the conclusions.

    Dr Sin Hang Lee claims that the magic inert / active DNA is bound to aluminium hydroxyphosphate sulfate, and the specs for Gardasil say “amorphous aluminium hydroxyphosphate sulfate”.

  43. #43 Narad
    October 31, 2012

    as for so-called amorphous aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate, what exactly is it? It’s certainly not a chemical in any science text book with a chemical formula.

    F*cking glass, how does it work?

  44. #44 Jay Chaplin
    UW Seattle
    October 31, 2012

    Ron, you are a clucking whoron. You are describing the aluminum hydroxyphosphate gel in first year chemistry terms. Real life isn’t like that. There is no such thing as Al(PO)4 as aluminum phosphate absorbs moisture form the air and proceeds to a mixed hydroxide/phosphate gel not unlike that formed intentionally by Merck. Even if you could keep such a thing dry in the lab under a dessicator it would be Al2(PO4)3 you twit, you have balanced neither the charges nor the atoms. You are here to parrot concerns you understand nothing about yet you pretend to be able to understand experts and speak of taking the scientific high ground – you deserve nothing more than scorn.

  45. #45 Krebiozen
    October 31, 2012

    Ron,
    I have read your last comment about AAHS several times, and it still makes no sense. It’s clear what AAHS is, though the precise proportion of hydroxide to phosphate to sulfate is a proprietary secret. Maybe this will help:

    Merck Aluminum Adjuvant (AAHS) is a proprietary aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate formulation that is both physically and functionally distinct from traditional aluminum phosphate and aluminum hydroxide adjuvants. At a macromolecular level, AAHS is structurally related to aluminum phosphate as it forms an amorphous mesh‑like structure. AAHS bears a nearly zero charge at neutral pH (Caulfield et al., 2007).

    Caulfield et al. add:

    Amorphous aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate adjuvant (AAHS) [...] is prepared by precipitation of alum with sodium hydroxide.
    So we know its chemical makeup (within limits as it is a proprietary formula), its structure, its electrochemical characteristics, how it compares to other aluminum adjuvants and how it is prepared. Caulfield even has an electron micrograph of it compared with AlOH and AlPO. Vaccines containing AAHS have gone through, and have passed, stringent safety studies. What else do we need to know?

  46. #46 Krebiozen
    October 31, 2012

    Damn, blockquote fail and “AlPO” should be “AlPO4″.

  47. #47 herr doktor bimler
    October 31, 2012

    I can understand that RLaw is seizing the opportunity to make scary noises (theremin music playing in the background) about the unknown, untested properties of anything related to Merck and vaccines.

    Let us also keep one eye on the original topic, i.e. the shifting nature of Dr Shaw’s position —

    (1) Aluminium hydroxide causes encephalopathy in mice, therefore vaccines = evil.
    (2) Tests reveal HPV DNA in brain samples, transported there by DNA binding to aluminium-hydroxide nanoparticles which are swallowed by phagocytes — subsequently migrating to the brain because that’s what possessed phagocytes do — therefore vaccines = evil.
    (3) Tests now reveal HPV proteins in brain samples, therefore vaccines = evil.

  48. #48 Krebiozen
    October 31, 2012

    HDB,
    I find it hard to resist pointing out that even Ron’s attempted distractions fail when subjected to the slightest scrutiny.

  49. #49 Richard Smith
    October 31, 2012

    Clear evidence that AlPO is perfectly safe: people have been feeding it to their dogs for years!

  50. #50 Krebiozen
    October 31, 2012

    Richard Smith, didn’t you call yourself Blackheart last time you came trolling here?

  51. #51 brian
    October 31, 2012

    Krebozian, I believe that Richard Smith also poses as “ASD Researcher” since that implies some sort of credibility.

  52. #52 flip
    October 31, 2012

    Oboy, that went so completely over my head.

    Now if only I had time to go away and learn all the terminology.

  53. #53 bad poet
    October 31, 2012

    Long ago, and anecdotally, I had multiple Pap tests leading to a diagnosis of CIN III. I had a laser conization. This was back when doctors didn’t tell patients much, if anything. I got very good at “assuming the position” for 1/month the first year, 1/3 months the 2nd year thereafter, 1/6 months the next 3 years thereafter, then once annually. Everything’s ok now, and I had a chat with my doctor about Thin Prep when it first came out. She agreed. I personally would recommend both boys and girls get Gardasil – boys spread HPV without knowing, girls don’t know they have HPV unless they can get Pap tests (which many dislike or can’t afford)

  54. #54 bad poet
    October 31, 2012

    (Argh, phone submitted comment before I finished) …and both can get cancer from HPV. There is a small amount of risk – as with anything else in life – but getting vaccinated far outweighs the potential of getting cancer, IMO.

  55. #55 Pareidolius
    Sonoma County, Heart of the Axis of Me-Ville™
    October 31, 2012

    I suspect that sexist thinking that sexually active boys are “sewing their wild oats” and sexually active girls are “sluts” fuels the fevered furor of the anti-vaxx crowd. HPV doesn’t (chemically) ask “are you a slut?” It only asks “are you human?”

  56. #56 flip
    October 31, 2012

    @Ron Law

    Any chance you can give us a date for when you’ll release your super secret documents that prove vaccines are bad?

  57. #57 lilady
    Still somewhere in the northeast and still have my electric power
    October 31, 2012

    @ brian:

    John Richard Smith a.k.a. Blackheart a.k.a. ASD Researcher finally *gave it up* here…

    http://lacrossetribune.com/news/opinion/michael-winfrey-former-doctor-was-not-invited-to-uw-l/article_77a7ee6a-13ea-11e2-9389-001a4bcf887a.html

    @ Pareidolius: Where have you been? We’ve missed you!

    Update on Sandy: My daughter’s childhood chum finally checked in. She lost her home on one of the barrier islands and she is back on the mainland with her young son. They stopped by “trick-or-treating”.

  58. #58 THS
    November 1, 2012

    I doubt the any real test showed any such thing as HPV DNA in the brain or any other organ. Seems to be a lot of hand-waving and unwarranted assertions regarding fanciful mechanisms around aluminum. It’s certainly possible to run “ultrasensitive” PCR until you get a shaky result that is proclaimed to be positive by “experts” with conflicts of interest and uncertain intent. There is ample precedent in forensics. Consider Amanda Knox & R.S. in Italy last year. The “evidence” submitted by the prosecution was in fact nonexistent – utterly discredited. The press didn’t get it, suggested that it was “not clear”. Same thing likely with these bogus brain. blood.spleen results – my assertion without seeing the lab notebooks & data. Again, what is the established spec for DNA content (from any source) in the HPV vaccine? HPV DNA at some level might well be nearly ubiquitous where there lots of people. Or where there are labs using it to develop & standardize their tests. More likely that than implausible physiology.

  59. #59 herr doktor bimler
    November 1, 2012

    In effect, this Tomljenovic-Shaw paper is a complete retraction of Shaw’s testimony to the NZ inquest into Ms Renata’s death (i.e. the DNA / aluminium theory is no longer operative). Has anyone else notified the coroner? He might want to invite Dr Shaw for another telephone session to update his testimony.

  60. #60 Krebiozen
    November 1, 2012

    THS,

    Again, what is the established spec for DNA content (from any source) in the HPV vaccine?

    Good point. The anti-Gardasil crew spin it as if vaccines and everything else should be squeakily clean of scary non-human DNA. In fact we are not only swimming in a sea of foreign DNA, it is inside us, inside our cells, in our food, everywhere. As I understand it the difficulty with PCR isn’t so much detecting DNA as avoiding contamination, and being sure you have actually detected what you are looking for.

    Food from plants and animals that we and our ancestors have been eating for billions of years is loaded with non-human DNA, so we must have evolved some very effective defenses against it. It would be simply astonishing if a tiny fragment of non-human DNA could somehow hitch a ride into someone’s brain inside phagocytes and wreak havoc. No wonder T & S have abandoned their DNA hypothesis in favor of their marginally less implausible HPV protein scenario.

    That reminds me, a recent BBC documentary about the viral infection of a cell is worth catching if you get the opportunity. It shows just how sophisticated a virus’s infection mechanisms have to be to get its DNA inside the cell, inside the nucleus and for it to then have any effect. It’s voiced by David Tennant and has some of the most amazing CGI I have ever seen. I’m sure it will be shown on PBS in the US at some point if it hasn’t already.

    By the way, it isn’t normal to find phagocytes in the brain, as I known from examining CSF which is normally crystal clear. The slightest hint of cloudiness indicates the presence of white blood cells which suggests infection. T & S seem to be suggesting that Gardasil routinely causes some sort of brain infection that allows phagocytes, carrying their deadly cargo of HPV proteins attached to aluminum adjuvant particles, into the brain.

    This is a testable hypothesis, though I don’t think a study that involves doing lumbar punctures on young women who have been administered Gardasil compared with vaccine-free controls would or should get past an IRB. There must be less invasive ways of testing this that might put an end to this speculation.

  61. #61 Grant
    http://sciblogs.co.nz/code-for-life/
    November 1, 2012

    Krebiozen,

    Long story, short, nested PCR requires good quality control. (I would say more, but let’s not be boring…!)

    K: “There must be less invasive ways of testing this that might put an end to this speculation.”

    While there are bound to be things researchers might do, I’m a bit leery of his being “obliged” to check out “concerns” that have little merit – it’ll generally be an enormous waste of research dollars and time. (Public health types might argue that ending the speculation has value – true, but can’t cheaper and more general means, like education, address this?) We’ve already see this for, say, vaccines-cause-autism and more recently XMRV-causes-CFS. That last, at least, had some science (even if botched) triggering it, but it’s clear the latter paper at least was really aimed at assuaging public fears, i.e. the researchers themselves had earlier established what was the case.

  62. #62 Krebiozen
    November 1, 2012

    Grant,

    I’m a bit leery of his being “obliged” to check out “concerns” that have little merit – it’ll generally be an enormous waste of research dollars and time.

    Having given it a little more thought, I’m sure you’re right. In any case, whatever study was done, the goalposts would undoubtedly simply shift.

  63. #63 Summer Kennedy
    GA
    November 2, 2012

    I don’t understand any of this. What I do understand is how sick my daughter is after receiving 2 Gardasil vaccines. This is a dark place to be. Doctors don’t believe it, there are no cures, there is only hopelessness and desperation. I am not anti-vax and I don’t understand why that would even matter. When children are sick people care, doctors care, the medical community cares unless it is a Gardasil injury then everything is different. Why is this happening to us? Why won’t anyone help us? Why does anything related to Gardasil and injury seem to disappear from the internet. Can someone help us? Someone smart like the ones arguing this topic now. Does anyone care, is anyone listening? Please help my daughter, I love her, and I can’t help her.

  64. #64 Julian Frost
    NOYDB
    November 3, 2012

    @Summer Kennedy:

    What I do understand is how sick my daughter is after receiving 2 Gardasil vaccines.

    That doesn’t mean the Gardasil caused your daughter’s problems.

    When children are sick people care, doctors care, the medical community cares unless it is a Gardasil injury then everything is different.

    What evidence do you have that Gardasil caused your daughter’s problems? Forgive our scepticism, but anti-vaxxers have consistently blamed problems on vaccines even when there is no way the vaccines could have caused the problem.

  65. #65 herr doktor bimler
    November 3, 2012

    I am not anti-vax

    If you are blaming Gardasil for your daughter’s illness without any evidence other than “My daughter is ill and she has received two doses of Gardasil”, then yes, you are anti-vax.

  66. #66 Shay
    November 3, 2012

    Nearly everything in Summer Kennedy’s post, above, raises my bullshot flag.

  67. #67 lilady
    November 3, 2012
  68. #68 AlexaF
    USA
    November 3, 2012

    Gardasil is sheer poison! It has affected boys too so no boys are not immune to its effects. The adjuvents are toxic,the dna included in the vaccine is dangerous, not to mention several of the other ingredients. More deaths from this vaccine then all other reported ever on VAERS. Many have been affected immediatly after the shot. Some of us USED to believe that vaccines were ok and doctors knew best, but we learned the hardest way possible- by hurting our children -that this is all about money for big pharma. So keep your ranting those of you employed by these companies, the rest of us are not fooled. Just please don’t subject your children to it, take it yourselves first and then determine if you want to give these miracle vaccines to your kids.

  69. #69 Antaeus Feldspar
    November 4, 2012

    Gardasil is sheer poison!

    Citation needed. (That’s shorthand for “simply asserting something to be true doesn’t make it true; if you’re going to make a claim, you need to back it up with reasons we should believe that claim.”)

    It has affected boys too so no boys are not immune to its effects.

    Citation needed.

    The adjuvents are toxic,

    Citation needed. Daaang, I think I’m gonna have to shorthand this shorthand. I’ll just say “CN” each time.

    the dna included in the vaccine is dangerous, not to mention several of the other ingredients.

    CN, CN.

    More deaths from this vaccine then all other reported ever on VAERS.

    And those who understand how VAERS works understand that, even if this were true, it would not mean what you think it does. VAERS casts a VERY wide net to try and identify hypotheses of vaccine-caused damage which MIGHT merit further investigation. An inevitable consequence of casting such a wide net is that it accepts reports where the facts are dubious – even reports where the submitter knows them to be false. Google “VAERS Incredible Hulk” if you don’t understand why “it was reported in VAERS” is not a good indicator that something actually happened as described.

    Many have been affected immediatly after the shot.

    Now, if you could substantiate this claim, you might actually start convincing people. A close temporal relationship between vaccine administration and adverse effects, in a large enough population, would definitely hint at a cause-effect relationship.

    However, there’s very good reasons why we cannot simply say “AlexaF says it’s so; it must be so!!”

    First off is that we know that people’s memories are significantly affected by what they believe to be so. If you ask someone who watched a black car slam into a blue car how fast the blue car slammed into the black car, they will most likely remember the blue car slamming into the black car, even though what they saw was the opposite. A fair number of them, if asked how fast the ambulance arrived, will give you a time estimate even though no ambulance ever arrived. If it’s possible to tamper with someone’s memory to this extent simply by asking questions in a leading way, parents who are exposed to a vigorous narrative of “Gardasil produces adverse effects in your boys and girls” will certainly misremember weeks and even months between the shot and whatever misfortune befell their child as “immediately,” and they will forget other events with possibly more relevance.

    Second is that, frankly, sometimes the “misremembering” is intentional. The classic example is of course disgraced former doctor Andrew Wakefield, whose Lancet study turned out to have blatantly tampered with timelines to create an appearance of a temporal link when there wasn’t one.

    So, again, CN. We need actual data, not just your assurance of what we should conclude from the data.

    Some of us USED to believe that vaccines were ok and doctors knew best, but we learned the hardest way possible- by hurting our children -that this is all about money for big pharma.

    I’m quite sorry for whatever happened to your child, but if you think merely having something happen to your child automatically tells you who did it, and why, you’re quite mistaken. That was the mistake made in the Salem Witch Trials. Or do you believe the parents who thought they “learned the hardest way possible” that old Goodwife Proctor was a witch who had afflicted their children to please her master Satan were CORRECT in that belief?

    So keep your ranting those of you employed by these companies, the rest of us are not fooled.

    ah, the Pharma Shill Gambit.

    Just please don’t subject your children to it, take it yourselves first and then determine if you want to give these miracle vaccines to your kids.

    Your concern for our children is appreciated, but your suggestion shows very little understanding of what vaccine adverse effects are really like. Take a vaccine, one of the first developed to fight rotavirus, which actually was found to cause a rare bowel complication in about 1 in 100,000 infants. Even if it was possible for that complication to happen to an adult who took the vaccine, do you really think “well, I took a 1/100,000 chance of something bad happening to me, and it didn’t, so that means it won’t happen to you either, Junior” makes sense? No. Actual surveillance programs are needed to detect such adverse effects, and by “actual surveillance programs” we don’t mean VAERS, because VAERS is only one component of such a system.

  70. #70 lilady
    November 4, 2012

    I’m not going to be as compassionate to Alexa F., as Antaeus Feldspar is.

    What you have stated about Gardasil and other vaccines Alexa F. is straight from the anti-vaccine playbook….full of assertions without any “proof”, full of accusations (*Big Pharma*) shills, lacking in any citations from anywhere, except the crap you read on anti-vaccine websites…which leads me to believe you are “full of it”.

  71. #71 Chris
    Neither here nor there...
    November 4, 2012

    AlexaF:

    More deaths from this vaccine then all other reported ever on VAERS.

    What must you read and understand before using the VAERS database from its official portal at http://vaers.hhs.gov/data/index ? Explain why it says “I have read and understand the preceding statement.” before clicking on the button.

  72. #72 Scottynuke
    November 4, 2012

    Shorter, even less compassionate response to AlexaF’s copypasta:

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    Oh, and Citation Needed. :-)

  73. #73 Narad
    November 4, 2012

    More deaths from this vaccine then all other reported ever on VAERS.

    Wow, you didn’t even actually look. I’m impressed.

  74. #74 Darwy
    Røde grøde med fløde
    November 4, 2012

    Sounds like a typical anti-vax rant, without citations.

    The usual

    *yawn*

  75. #75 herr doktor bimler
    November 4, 2012

    More deaths from this vaccine then all other reported ever on VAERS.

    Gosh, it is as AlexaF feels free to fabricate complete bullsh1t without taking 30 seconds to check.* Always a good way to show off one’s concern for the truth.

    * E.g. the VAERS figures for pertussis.

  76. #76 Shay
    November 4, 2012

    Alexa, honey, most of the posters here (not all, but most) are medical professionals, scientists or researchers. Charging in, yelling “VACCINES KILL” and charging out is the equivalent of bringing a pea-shooter to a gunfight.

  77. #77 Bronze Dog
    November 4, 2012

    And those of us who aren’t medical professionals aren’t electric monks. We don’t believe something just because we’re told to. We expect valid logic and good scientific evidence. Cookie-cutter red herrings, ad hominem fallacies, and so on don’t get a lot of purchase, here.

  78. #78 TBruce
    November 4, 2012

    It has affected boys too so no boys are not immune to its effects.

    …so (deleting the double negative) boys are immune to its effects? Just checking.

  79. #79 Antaeus Feldspar
    November 4, 2012

    I’m sure we were supposed to read it as:

    It has affected boys too; so, no, boys are not immune to its effects.

    Still factually challenged, but grammatically it can pass.

  80. #80 Marry Me, Mindy
    November 4, 2012

    Does anyone know where the claim that there is more VAERS deaths with gardisal than anyrthing else originates?

    I know Alexa didn’t come up with it on her own, but wonder where she read it.

  81. #81 lilady
    November 4, 2012

    (Courtesy of AoA) SaneVax lists the latest *victim* of Gardasil vaccine…

    http://sanevax.org/mickayla-from-maine/

    Yup, I check Maine’s Registered Nurses current licensing site and Mickayla’s mother, Jessica Dussault has a Registered Nursing license. So….why doesn’t she know that Mickayla’s case of shingles is NOT associated with the HPV vaccine?

    Scroll down on the blog to see the link, provided by the moderator to *treat* Gardasil-associated-vaccine-injuries:

    Rebecca Carley, MD?

    Dr. Sin Hang Lee?

  82. #82 herr doktor bimler
    November 4, 2012

    Does anyone know where the claim that there is more VAERS deaths with gardisal than anyrthing else originates?

    That question is best addressed to a proctologist.

  83. #83 Narad
    November 4, 2012

    I know Alexa didn’t come up with it on her own, but wonder where she read it.

    I suspect that Alexa travels in L33T circles.

  84. #84 Narad
    November 4, 2012

    (But the claim does appear on “Mamapedia,” dating it back over two years.)

  85. #85 lilady
    November 4, 2012

    Naughty, naughty doctor bimler, but true.

    The ability to play “Trivial Pursuit” and pull totally useless factoids and an immense store of minutiae from *one’s* brain out of the nether region of *one’s* anatomy, comes in handy, when viewing “Jeopardy” on American TV, with friends.

    Totally O/T…my daughter who resides in a suburb of NYC, just had her electricity restored, after 7 days of “roughing it”, following hurricane Sandy,

    She is soooo OCD that she is cleaning her house now. I dread receiving my telephone bill, because my friends have been using my land line to contact their relatives in distant places.

  86. #86 Darwy
    Røde grøde med fløde
    November 5, 2012

    Wasn’t Carley’s license pretty much revoked since she refused to take the psych test?

  87. #87 Grant
    http://sciblogs.co.nz/code-for-life/2012/10/17/a-vaccine-discussion-forum/
    November 5, 2012

    Summer Kennedy,

    My sympathies with whatever is troubling your daughter. (I don’t know how to put this properly as you haven’t said what’s up – in what way is she sick?)

    You wrote: “When children are sick people care, doctors care, the medical community cares unless it is a Gardasil injury then everything is different.”

    I can sympathise that you might be upset about what is the trouble with your daughter, that isn’t really fair on doctors. They do care, but they have to look at the more likely and more reasonable reasons first. Things that are exceptionally unlikely will always be considered with caution. Take for example the cases Orac has written about: if a heart condition is more likely, then that will be considered ahead of something that is quite unlikely (Gardasil).

    “Why does anything related to Gardasil and injury seem to disappear from the internet.”

    This assumes there was something there first, that was then removed. It’s more likely there was never anything there to start with. (I suspect someone else is trying to sell a conspiracy on you. If so, best to ignore them.)

    “Someone smart like the ones arguing this topic now. Does anyone care, is anyone listening? Please help my daughter, I love her, and I can’t help her.“

    You could try tell people what is the case, bit hard for anyone to be able to help without that, but really you’ll be best to talk to your doctors — even with qualified people, it’s hard to learn accurately the information and circumstances needed to help on-line (another reason to avoid the various “concern” groups that instantly suggest “solutions”).

    (My location has a link to an introduction to New Zealand vaccine discussion forum in case you live over our way.)

  88. #88 Krebiozen
    November 5, 2012

    My Big Pharma contract (that’s a joke, in case anyone takes me seriously) obliges me to point out VAERS is not the only vaccine safety system in place to monitor vaccine safety.

    In addition to VAERS, CDC has two other systems in place to monitor the safety of all licensed vaccines. The Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) Project is a collaborative effort between CDC and eight managed care organizations that monitors vaccine safety and addresses the gaps in scientific knowledge about rare and serious side effects following immunization. The Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment (CISA) Network is a collaboration with six academic centers in the United States to conduct clinical research on vaccine-associated adverse events.[...]
    Because VAERS data are subject to many limitations of passive reporting systems, FDA and CDC also utilize additional surveillance tools. This includes the CDC’s VSD which incorporates eight large Managed Care Organizations, and now has health records linked to over 450,000 doses of Gardasil, and focuses on several potential risks: thrombotic events (blood clots), seizures, syncope, appendicitis, anaphylaxis, and GBS. Thus far, the VSD studies have not found safety signals or concerns for any of these events. The manufacturer has also committed to conduct a large postmarketing study to further assess the vaccine’s safety.

    I would also mention VSD’s Rapid Cycle Analysis project which monitors more than 8.8 million people annually, representing nearly 3% of the United States population.
    That’s in addition to monitoring and safety studies carried out in other countries where Gardasil and similar vaccines are in use.

  89. #89 flip
    November 5, 2012

    How does a *nurse* not know the difference between shingles and HPV?

  90. #90 Chris
    Neither here nor there...
    November 5, 2012

    Darwy:

    Wasn’t Carley’s license pretty much revoked since she refused to take the psych test?

    No, she was examined by a few psychiatrists. This was after she accused her ex-husband of satanic rituals that abused her son, then at one time while she was visiting her son she refused to stop discussing certain things to him, started to scream, throw herself against a plate-glass window and was taken to a hospital, where she screamed obscenities and then soiled herself. It is all explained here. The woman has some serious mental health issues.

  91. #91 lilady
    November 5, 2012

    @ flip: Shamefully, the registered nurse who claims her daughter was injured by gardasil vaccine, claims that her daughter’s case of shingles was caused by the vaccine. Shingles is caused by a reactivation of the herpes zoster virus from an earlier case of chicken pox. “Chicken pox the gift that keeps on giving”.

    http://www.cdc.gov/shingles/about/overview.html

    @ Darwy: I had the *pleasure* of speaking with Dr. Carley several times when I worked as a public health nurse. I was the *lucky* nurse she reached via telephone and she used to call me quite frequently on my direct telephone number. It was an *experience* that I hadn’t had experienced since nurse’s training rotations at in-patient psych wards.

  92. #92 lilady
    November 5, 2012

    @ Krebiozen:

    Here’s how the CDC’s post licensing of vaccines’ safety profiles resulted in the removal of Rotashield vaccine…within 13 months of licensing and distribution.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2094741/

    “….These events demonstrate very clearly that postmarketing surveillance is an essential component of vaccine program implementation. Data obtained before licensure did not reveal an excess risk of intussusception following vaccination with rotavirus vaccine. However, postlicensure surveillance showed quite convincingly that rotavirus vaccine administration was associated with an increased risk of intussusception, particularly in the week following administration of the first dose. These events also demonstrate the power of active surveillance systems; Preliminary data from active systems in Minnesota and the Northern California Kaiser Permanente Health Maintenance Organization suggested an increased risk of intussusception following RRV-TV. Further accumulation and analysis of the data both from the VAERS and from the various postmarketing surveillance systems led the expert committees to withdraw their recommendations concerning the use of this vaccine….”

    Wouldn’t you think that with so many deaths and serious adverse events being *reported* by parents and *other interested parties* via VAERS reports, that Gardasil vaccine would have been removed from the marketplace…years ago?

  93. #93 Darwy
    Røde grøde med fløde
    November 5, 2012

    @Chris

    Yeah – the court document says her license was yanked for 5 years, and she needed to be evaluated.

    I thought I read that she refused the evaluation, and thus has not had her license reinstated.

  94. #95 Chris
    Neither here nor there...
    November 5, 2012

    Darwy, that would make sense. If she has not shown to have recovered then she would not get her license reinstated. The link provided by lilady shows that it was revoked.

  95. #96 Darwy
    Røde grøde med fløde
    November 5, 2012

    @Chris & Lilady

    Yeah, it’s on the last page of Lilady’s link, “…the Respondent fails to acknowledge her impairment or the need to obtain treatment”

    She’s definitely not someone I”d want anywhere near my family.

  96. #97 lilady
    November 7, 2012

    The media director of AoA, has alerted her crowd about Emily Willingham’s latest post. Emily has posted about Jenny McCarthy’s latest snake oil for autism *treatment/cure/recovery*; saunas. I’ve posted there, several times:

    http://blogs.forbes.com/emilywillingham/

  97. #98 Julian Frost
    NOYDB
    November 8, 2012

    Well, saunas are very nice (I prefer a steam room after swimming lengths) so I suppose that would relax an autistic, but a “cure”?

  98. #99 lilady
    November 8, 2012

    @ Julian Frost: I’m having some *fun* on Emily Willingham’s blog….directing some comments at two mothers who claim “vaccine-induced-autism”.

    One of them stated that her child required *treatment* for heavy metal toxicity. The other mother stated, “Number one, I unfortunately posses binders and binders of information and lab reports regarding oxidative stress, mitochondrial disease and enchephalopathy and know more about it than I ever wanted to.”

    I just couldn’t resist posting back at these two mothers. :-)

  99. #100 Grant
    http://sciblogs.co.nz/code-for-life/
    November 8, 2012

    lilady – added my small contribution.

    On a tangent – do baths calm or relax some autistic kids? (Not saunas here – don’t confuse the two!) I’m reminded of Temple Grandin’s ‘comforting’ devices – being largely submerged in water would be similar.

  100. #101 Julian Frost
    NOYDB
    November 8, 2012

    @Grant:

    do baths calm or relax some autistic kids?..I’m reminded of Temple Grandin’s ‘comforting’ devices – being largely submerged in water would be similar.

    In my experience, yes. As a child I found skinny dipping particularly enjoyable. I also like swimming in general.

  101. #102 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    November 8, 2012

    @ flip: Shamefully, the registered nurse who claims her daughter was injured by gardasil vaccine, claims that her daughter’s case of shingles was caused by the vaccine. Shingles is caused by a reactivation of the herpes zoster virus from an earlier case of chicken pox. “Chicken pox the gift that keeps on giving”.

    @ lilady, a correction here. The varicella vaccine strain can and does cause shingles although at a lower rate than wild-type. http://www.vaccineinformation.org/varicel/qandavax.asp

  102. #103 lilady
    November 8, 2012

    @ Grant: You sure did post on Emily Willingham’s blog. :-)

    My son was not “keen” about water play, he would shake his head “no”, whenever I held him in a heated indoor wheelchair-ramped therapeutic pool.

  103. #104 Julian Frost
    NOYDB
    November 8, 2012

    @lilady: I couldn’t help noticing that those two mothers both pulled a “Brave Sir Robin” after you challenged them.

  104. #105 lilady
    November 8, 2012

    @ Science Mom: Thanks for the clarification. The nurse claimed that her daughter’s shingles was associated with Gardasil vaccine!

    I’m reading some excellent reports about the Herpes Zoster vaccine and the decreased incidence of postherpetic neuralgia…

    http://www.cfp.ca/content/57/10/1127.full

    @ Julian Frost: I think Emily Willingham is a superb journalist and strongly believe in supporting her efforts, whenever the bot alerts her groupies.

    http://www.cfp.ca/content/57/10/1127.full

  105. #106 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    November 8, 2012

    The nurse claimed that her daughter’s shingles was associated with Gardasil vaccine!

    Okey dokey then; I guess by that “logic” Hurricane Sandy was caused by strategic military intervention.

  106. #107 Shay
    on the far side of the building from the transmitters
    November 8, 2012

    Science Mom — everyone knows that Hurricane Sandy was deliberately engineered through the use of HAARP in order to give the President a chance to look good just before Election Day.

    (You’ve got to do a better job of keeping up with the crazies, hon).

  107. #108 lilady
    Digging out from the post-election day blizzard
    November 8, 2012

    So Shay, how do you explain the eight inches of snow that fell one day after election day?

    My poor stately evergreen trees…and my poor pocketbook to restore and replace some of them. :-)

  108. #109 Shay
    November 8, 2012

    @lilady

    Mitt Romney’s revenge.

  109. #110 lilady
    November 8, 2012

    @ Shay: That’s what I get for my pro-Obamacare posts on RI and other science blogs.

  110. #111 Grant
    http://sciblogs.co.nz/code-for-life/
    November 9, 2012

    @ lilady – bailing from Emily’s blog – that Alain guy is concern trolling a tad much, eh?

    (Over our way a colleague has reported in getting an anti-vaccine organisation’s charitable tax status revoked. The sods are still calling themselves charitable on their Facebook page and website.)

  111. #112 herr doktor bimler
    November 9, 2012

    I am informed that ordinary saunas are completely passe amongst exercise addicts, and all the trendy sports trainers are advising *cryosaunas* instead — i.e. exposing you to air at liquid-nitrogen temperatures just long enough to fool your body into thinking it’s dying without actually causing frostbite. Like saunas, you feel so much better when you stop.

    So my money is on the cryosauna as the next big thing in DAN autism therapy.

  112. #113 Julian Frost
    NOYDB
    November 9, 2012

    @hdb: cryosaunas?!?! Once upon a time, people would have a hot shower, then turn the hot water off so that they were given a blast of cold water at the end. This went out of fashion when it was discovered that it could induce an angina attack. And people are now exposing themselves to liquid nitrogen temperatures deliberately?!
    I wish I could laugh at you for joking about cryosaunas and DAN therapy, but I know too much now to think you’re joking.

  113. #114 JGC
    November 9, 2012

    Deliberate exposure to liquid nitrogen temperatures? Hopefully they wear good eye protection–liquid nitrogen vapor alone is cold enough to cause serious eye damage on exposure.

  114. #115 Edith Prickly
    November 9, 2012

    @HDB – after removing my forehead from my desk, I of course had to Google “cryosaunas” and found this story about a runner who froze his socks to his feet: http://runningmagazine.ca/2011/08/sections/training/blogs/cryosaunas-and-surprise-frostbite/

  115. #116 lilady
    November 9, 2012

    @ Grant: Thanks for your participation on Emily’s blog. There is another poster there, who has taken *Alain* to task for his provocative remarks and his pseudoscience.

    I just posted again about heavy metal “toxicities”, DAN! practitioners and the Google U graduate, Jenny McCarthy.

  116. #117 Krebiozen
    November 9, 2012

    JGC,

    Deliberate exposure to liquid nitrogen temperatures?

    It does seem insane, but there are even places serving cocktails with liquid nitrogen added. A recent story in the UK press told of a girl whose stomach had to be removed after drinking one.

  117. #118 Beamup
    November 9, 2012

    Good grief. You can do some seemingly crazy-dangerous stuff with liquid nitrogen if you know what you’re doing (the leidenfrost effect really helps if you’re fast enough), but “some” and “if you know what you’re doing” are key phrases there. Random folks doing cryosaunas is ludicrous.

  118. #119 Shay
    November 9, 2012

    Beamup, this is a crown that includes supporters of bleach enemas. Why would they jib at messing about with liquid nitrogen?

  119. #120 herr doktor bimler
    November 9, 2012

    The final words comprising Edith Prickly’s link say it all… “Surprise frostbite”. No-one could have predicted it!

    Here we go, from the Vancouver Cryolab:

    Cryotherapy simply means “Cold Treatment”, therefore it can be used in many applications and medical procedures.
    The Cryosauna is pumped with environmentally friendly gas nitrogen ( nitrogen composes 78.09% of the atmosphere), and is cooled to a temperature of approx.−110 °C. The patient is protected from acute frostbite with socks and spends up to 3 minutes in the Cryosauna.
    The sauna works by cooling the entire skin surface of the body in order to develop defensive reflexes and reactions such as stimulation of blood circulation, endocrine system, the immune system and the central nervous system. Such stimulation makes the therapy beneficial to a range of conditions. During the cooling effect your brain will trigger a spontaneous release of endorphins and adrenaline into your blood stream.
    Post treatment you will feel a tingling sensation over your skins surface together with a analgesic effect, your capillaries will expand to around four times there natural diameter. This enables your white blood cells to access and heal your injuries up to 50% faster then the natural process. Therapy triggers the release of endorphins which also induce analgesia (immediate pain relief).

    It seems to have sprouted in sports medicine, which lends itself to quackery (what with the toxic combination of money, desperation and magical thinking). Now being promoted for a larger audience.

  120. #121 Beamup
    November 9, 2012

    I didn’t say I was surprised. Just distressed at the great potential for harm.

  121. #122 Grant
    November 9, 2012

    hkb, I recall stories about the ABs using that ‘treatment’.

  122. #123 Chemmomo
    Where I cool down only the body part that's actually injured
    November 9, 2012

    Did anyone else read

    During the cooling effect your brain will trigger a spontaneous release of endorphins and adrenaline into your blood stream

    from herr doktor bimler’s link above and think, yes, that’s your brain telling you get out of cold as soon as possible!

  123. #124 lilady
    November 9, 2012

    “During the cooling effect your brain will trigger a spontaneous release of endorphins and adrenaline into your blood stream”

    Oh, similar to Ice Cream Headache a.k.a. Brain Freeze, eh?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice-cream_headache

  124. #125 herr doktor bimler
    November 9, 2012

    your brain will trigger a spontaneous release of endorphins and adrenaline into your blood stream

    That’s what they told me at Madame Whiplash’s House of Discipline.

  125. #126 Denice Walter
    November 9, 2012

    @ herr doktor bimler:

    Please tell that your comment above is an example of your extremely vivid – and highly entertaining- imagination and not a true confession. Please tell me this.

  126. #127 herr doktor bimler
    November 9, 2012

    It was for research!

  127. #128 Shay
    November 10, 2012

    Well, as long as you didn’t inhale, then that’s ok.

  128. #129 alison
    pinned down by cats & dog
    November 10, 2012

    If this thread had a ‘like’ button I would apply that to the preceding exchange btw DW & hdb. Just about snorted my Bailey’s & milk all over the poodle :)

  129. #130 Grant
    November 10, 2012

    hkb & alison:

    Tell me Madame Whiplash and the House of Discipline isn’t an oblique reference to a relative’s house :-)

    (hehe, looking for alternative meanings…)

  130. #131 lilady
    November 10, 2012

    Stop questioning herr doktor bimler’s motives. What other unusual research have you participated in, herr doktor bimler?

    (I asking for a friend)

  131. #132 lilady
    Slumming again at AoA
    November 10, 2012

    J. B. Handley is baaaack..

    http://www.ageofautism.com/2012/11/every-child-by-two-frozen-caveman-pharma-front-group.html

    He explains (in a very convoluted manner), why he has returned to AoA. Bottom line….he’s organizing a defense of Jenny McCarthy, who has been hired by the Chicago Sun-Times for a daily blog on “family, parenting & dating”.

  132. #133 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    November 10, 2012

    I see Handley is still the low brow slob he always has been in spite of his visible absence from the cesspool. How sweet of him to come out in defence of Jenny McCarthy. She’s a “tough” girl, can’t she do some of the heavy lifting herself?

  133. #134 Narad
    November 10, 2012

    He explains (in a very convoluted manner), why he has returned to AoA.

    It’s quite ironic that he leads with chortling over lack of Web engagement, given that McCarthy’s Splash “blog” was utterly moribund for the week or so that I could even arse myself to bother glancing at the inanity. Looks like “Me So Horny” has been the high point, with 36 comments.

  134. #135 lilady
    November 10, 2012

    J. B. Handley sees the his protegee’s *credentials* as journalist/blogger are being questioned by Emily Willingham on her Forbes blog:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/emilywillingham/2012/10/22/jenny-mccarthy-is-a-newspaper-columnist/

    Emily also posted about Jenny’s hawking of saunas for autism *treatment*:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/emilywillingham/2012/11/05/we-can-now-add-forced-sweating-to-the-faux-autism-treatment-list/#post_comments

    (Click to expand comments) the ever-persistent “Alain” has posted about fecal transplants and *estebenes* and I have commented on DIY fecal transplants.

  135. #136 lilady
    November 10, 2012

    @ Narad:

    “Looks like “Me So Horny” has been the high point, with 36 comments.”

    And, “Me So Unimpressed” with Jenny.

  136. #137 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    November 10, 2012

    Looks like “Me So Horny” has been the high point, with 36 comments.

    On one hand, such a topic is about her speed but on the other, invoking Jar Jar Binks is a cry of desperation.

  137. #138 Narad
    November 10, 2012

    On one hand, such a topic is about her speed but on the other, invoking Jar Jar Binks is a cry of desperation.

    You don’t even want to see her Twitter output. (Oh, admit it. No, wait, don’t do it.)

  138. #139 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    November 10, 2012

    You don’t even want to see her Twitter output. (Oh, admit it. No, wait, don’t do it.)

    I can’t say you didn’t warn me. Very classy lady she is.

  139. #140 lilady
    November 11, 2012

    @ Narad: Jenny’s full of “class”…all low.

  140. #141 Alain
    November 11, 2012

    that Alain guy is concern trolling a tad much, eh?

    Me???? or someone posing as me. I haven’t been on Emily’s blog since last tuesday (I’ve been to Montreal since then).

    Alain

  141. #142 Alain
    November 11, 2012

    I see Handley is still the low brow slob he always has been in spite of his visible absence from the cesspool. How sweet of him to come out in defence of Jenny McCarthy. She’s a “tough” girl, can’t she do some of the heavy lifting herself?

    maybe he want to date her?

    Alain

    p.s. disregard previous comment, that Alain is posting under his full name.

  142. #143 lilady
    November 11, 2012

    @ Alain…We *knew* it was not you. :-)

    J.B. and Jenny do have a history…I never heard any whisper of impropriety, though.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_Rescue

    Hope you enjoyed your trip to Montreal…we missed you.

  143. #144 Narad
    November 11, 2012

    Very classy lady she is.

    One, I suppose, should be grateful that she only pitches infrared saunas rather than providing demos.

  144. #145 Alain
    November 11, 2012

    Regarding my trip to Montreal, here goes:

    Thuesday evening: road trip to Montreal.

    Wednesday: interview for clinical trial as well as many questionnaires to fill out.

    Thursday: I’ve been accepted into the clinical trial and I have more questionnaire to fill out. During the evening, I go to a party of beer brewer around Laval.

    Friday: I visit my ex-employer in St-Leonard (borough of Montreal).

    Saturday: I go give back the key to my cousin’s apartment and then, go to the Longueuil subway for the lift with my friend and we hit the road back to Sherbrooke.

    Alain

  145. #146 Alain
    November 11, 2012

    Regarding the clinical trial, it’s a trial of propanolol (a beta-blocker) being tried for case of PTSD and I’ll blog about it tomorrow.

    Alain

  146. #147 lilady
    November 11, 2012

    @ Narad: Here’s the infrared sauna on the Generation Rescue “store” page. She’s not demonstrating it…but look at her “Love Lust and Faking It” tell-all book.

    http://www.generationrescue.org/store/

    Alain, sounds like you had a nice trip to Montreal. I haven’t been to Canada in a few years, but I love all of Canada, including the Gaspe Peninsula, the Canadian Rockies, Vancouver, and Vancouver Island.

  147. #148 Alain
    November 11, 2012

    @ lilady,

    It was indeed a nice trip but am pleased to be back home; I just don’t sleep as well elsewhere (except in an hotel room).

    Alain

  148. #149 lilady
    November 11, 2012

    Alain…You drove to Montreal and you didn’t take a pillow from home? Whenever dear hubby and I travel to Quebec and Ontario, I take my own thick pillow…it’s a back saver. Other “road trips” (fly and rental car) I don’t have that option.

  149. #150 Alain
    November 11, 2012

    @ lilady, I don’t have my driver’s licence (blame perception problem as well as being to cautious) so I can’t drive but there’s a facebook page where we advertise lift from Sherbrooke to Montreal as well as those needing such lift (for usually, 10$) which I use.

    Alain

  150. #151 lilady
    November 11, 2012

    Sounds like a great deal Alain.

    Good night, catch you later. :-)

  151. #152 lilady
    November 11, 2012

    Anne Dachel has alerted her groupies about Andrew Solomon’s new book and his interview on MSNBC.

    Again, she and another anti-vaxxer post about their autistic childrens’ “vaccine injuries”…just below a small chapter in the book about a young man born with dwarfism and the medical and social challenges faced by him and his loving devoted parents. I despise Dachel and her cronies who post their grievances about their children in a pathetic attempt to cheapen other people experiences with raising a child with a disabling disorder. (Naturally, I posted back at Dachel)

    http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/49596692/ns/today-books/%20#.UJ-wXIZMmTb

  152. #153 Jen
    November 11, 2012

    LMFAO!!! “Must you always notify your groupies to come and post on these blogs?” Lilady you obviously live for that stuff, “slumming” non-stop, transposing conversations…thanks for the laugh.

  153. #154 lilady
    Posting here...not on AoA
    November 11, 2012

    Feel free to post on that link I provided Jen. I’m sure the folks at MSNBC would be interested in your *expertise*…because you work as aide in a classroom.

  154. #155 Lizard Queen
    November 11, 2012

    Orac, Thank-you for that great post. I’m really happy to see that you addressed this terrible terrible paper.

  155. #156 Edith Prickly
    November 11, 2012

    @ Narad: Jenny’s full of “class”…all low.

    One might say she puts the ‘ass’ in class.

  156. #157 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    November 11, 2012

    LMFAO!!! “Must you always notify your groupies to come and post on these blogs?” Lilady you obviously live for that stuff, “slumming” non-stop, transposing conversations…thanks for the laugh.

    What’s the matter Jen? Resent that your Dachelbot friend gets her arse handed to her and isn’t allowed to hijack topics? She’s a troll and it really is shameful how she craps all over the internet. I thought it was a lovely and inspirational story; it’s obvious you people can’t find hope and happiness anywhere.

  157. #158 James
    November 11, 2012

    The Dachelbot and her minions recognize that any story that involves a disabled child succeeding without 1) blaming someone for the disability or 2) use of a quack treatment, is a deadly threat to the AoA mission. Hence the desperate attacks on parents like those in the article lilady mentions

  158. #159 lilady
    November 11, 2012

    Ms. Dachel keeps posting of the Ho-Po, where a few of the regular posters there refer to her as “the bot”. It’s pretty bad when you are the butt of jokes and you don’t garner any respect on the Ho-Po.

    The interesting thing is that I think I met the young man when he was much younger, who is featured in Mr. Solomon’s book. I found that he and his parents present an inspiring example of what kids and their parents share, when faced with extremely disabling physical limitations.

  159. #160 lilady
    November 13, 2012

    Jen, posting as “jened”, and her colleagues from AoA are busy posting at the Ho-Po. There’s good news from Paul Raeburn, the Ho-Po science blogger. Jenny McCarthy will not be posting about vaccines or autism on her Chicago Sun-Times blog…

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-raeburn/chicago-suntimes-says-new_b_2038226.html

    Here’s Jenny’s *latest* tell-all book revelation about her sex life, while on drugs…

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/09/jenny-mccarthy-ecstasy-sex-with-tree-on-ecstasy_n_2101654.html

    Jenny McCarthy full of class…all low.

  160. #161 Narad
    November 13, 2012

    It’s pretty bad when you are the butt of jokes and you don’t garner any respect on the Ho-Po.

    The Dachelbot doesn’t care; send in Meleck as cannon fodder, whatever, a few one-offs will pop in if anybody notices, and then the wind-ups if it drags out. The goal is advertising, not engagement.

  161. #162 lilady
    November 14, 2012

    The “Boy Wonder-Ace Reporter” is baaack on AoA. This time he’s got a post up about Orac. Deranged epidemiologist wannabe claims that Orac has acknowledged that Thimerosal caused autism…and its removal has resulted in lower rates of ASD diagnoses:

    http://www.ageofautism.com/2012/11/dr-david-gorski-admits-thimerosal-might-cause-autism.html#comments

  162. #163 lilady
    November 15, 2012

    Oh joy! The Thinking Mom’s Revolution has published a book about moms (and dads) who have *recovered* their autistic children…

    http://thinkingmomsrevolution.com/we-are-honored-to-announce/

    Stay away from the video…unless you want to see “bimbos dressed in *posh* clothing”. Meow.

  163. #164 Narad
    November 15, 2012

    In a minor yet amusing development, the c*nn*b*s tr*ll is going after the Dachelbot in FB comments on an entirely forgettable examiner-dot-com piece that seems to believe that Scientific American has one consonant too many and publishes original research.

  164. [...] in nearly three weeks. That’s right! The last time I did a vaccine post was when I examined a particularly egregiously bad paper from a couple of scientists who have drunk deeply of the antivaccine Kool Aid and as a result are [...]

  165. #166 Ron Law
    November 27, 2012

    herr plonker said November 3, 2012

    “Quote”, I am not anti-vax

    HP… “If you are blaming Gardasil for your daughter’s illness without any evidence other than “My daughter is ill and she has received two doses of Gardasil”, then yes, you are anti-vax.”

    This is what irritates me the most… every person I’ve ever read about who was concerned about he wellbeing of their children after a vaccination was, by definition, pro-vaccine.

    Because they want answers does not make them anti-vax. It makes them a normal, caring parent!

  166. #167 Julian Frost
    NOYDB
    November 27, 2012

    @Ron Law:

    This is what irritates me the most… every person I’ve ever read about who was concerned about he wellbeing of their children after a vaccination was, by definition, pro-vaccine.

    Because they want answers does not make them anti-vax. It makes them a normal, caring parent!

    Nice strawman, Ron. As you well know, these people don’t want answers. They’ve made up their minds that vaccinesdidit and disregard any evidence to the contrary. That’s hardly pro-vaccine.

  167. #168 ChrisP
    November 27, 2012

    Like your mates over at the Immunisation Awareness Society eh Ron?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/7916140/Charity-group-deregistered-for-lobbying

    Their “pro-vaccine” activities were shown to be a fraud, because they are anti-vaccine lobbyists.

  168. #169 Grant
    November 27, 2012

    ChrisP,

    If you’re interested there’s more on Darcy’s blog (he’s the guy who gathered the material and filed the complaint):

    http://sciblogs.co.nz/skepticon/2012/11/07/anti-vaccine-charity-no-more/

  169. #170 Grant
    http://sciblogs.co.nz/code-for-life/2012/09/02/bad-science-baking-soda-fungi-cancer-nuclear-fallout-rosacea-and-hilary-butler/
    November 27, 2012

    Ron,

    Contrast:

    You: “[…] who was concerned about [t]he wellbeing of their children after a vaccination was, by definition, pro-vaccine.”

    Herr doktor bimler: “[…] without any evidence other than “My daughter is ill and she has received two doses of Gardasil”, then yes, you are anti-vax.”

    HDB wrote in present tense, you in past.

    The person was — past tense — someone who vaccinated their child but they are — present tense — being anti-vaccine if they single out the vaccine as the only cause uncritically.

    A key problem is people uncritically blaming the one cause, pinning it on “the vaccine” without considering all possible causes. It’s made worse by people encouraging people to do that, rather than encourage them to look at all possible reasons as the medical community tries to.

    One recent example I encountered on an anti-vax page was a mother whose child was unable to eat most diary products. Most likely her daughter was lactose intolerant – a genetic condition but she was blaming the vaccine, a conclusion being encouraged by that group’s followers’ nonsense and wild claims. I ignored the anti-vax arguments and encouraged her to get her child tested for lactose intolerance and related conditions. (The anti-vax crowd persisted in trying to pin it on the vaccine.)

  170. #171 Grant
    http://sciblogs.co.nz/code-for-life/2012/09/02/bad-science-baking-soda-fungi-cancer-nuclear-fallout-rosacea-and-hilary-butler/
    November 27, 2012

    Excuse the tag error, the quotes should read:

    You: “[…] who was concerned about [t]he wellbeing of their children after a vaccination was, by definition, pro-vaccine.”

    Herr doktor bimler: “[…] without any evidence other than “My daughter is ill and she has received two doses of Gardasil”, then yes, you are anti-vax.”

  171. #172 Politicalguineapig
    November 27, 2012

    Grant: One recent example I encountered on an anti-vax page was a mother whose child was unable to eat most diary products. Most likely her daughter was lactose intolerant – a genetic condition but she was blaming the vaccine, a conclusion being encouraged by that group’s followers’ nonsense and wild claims. I ignored the anti-vax arguments and encouraged her to get her child tested for lactose intolerance and related conditions. (The anti-vax crowd persisted in trying to pin it on the vaccine.)

    Interesting. From personal experience, lactose intolerances manifest pretty suddenly, so a young harried mother might be prone to blame something, anything for the allergy, especially if it manifested after the vaccine.(Not my experience, but after twenty years, my sister can’t drink milk or enjoy ice cream anymore.)

  172. #173 W. Kevin Vicklund
    November 27, 2012

    *pedantry*

    Lactose intolerance and milk allergy aren’t the same thing.

    */pedantry*

    My mom is allergic to milk, but not lactose intolerant. My sister is lactose intolerant, but not allergic. As for me, I’m neither allergic nor lactose intolerate – but shouldn’t have most dairy products anyway, because of allergies and intolerances to the other stuff in the dairy products (cultures in cheese and yoghurt, carrageenan in ice cream and whipping cream). Weird, eh?

  173. #174 JGC
    November 27, 2012

    “Because they want answers does not make them anti-vax. It makes them a normal, caring parent!”
    >>The problem isn’t that they want answers, its the fact that reject the answers once given, because they falsify their preferred and predetermined conclusion vaccines are neither safe nor effective.

    That’s what makes them anti-vax.

  174. #175 Grant
    November 27, 2012

    Kevin,

    “Lactose intolerance and milk allergy aren’t the same thing.”

    Yes, I’m aware of that ;-) It’s why I wrote “tested for lactose intolerance and related conditions”.

    One issue is that you can’t nail this from one of several possibilities from a verbal description of the symptoms alone, like you get on-line.

    There was also the matter of trying to keep it simple for a mother who is (appears to be) firmly anti-vax while trying to suggest how she might help her daughter amidst loud anti-vax claims the vaccine does this, the vaccine does that. I chose to ignore all of the anti-vax claims (including the mother’s) and not complicate matters with the allergies, temporary intolerance, etc., as these should naturally follow from the testing.

  175. #176 W. Kevin Vicklund
    November 27, 2012

    *psst, Grant, read Politicalguineapig’s comment*

  176. #177 Grant
    November 27, 2012

    *psst, Kevin, if you want a comment to refer to a particular person, best to address it to that person* ;-)

    Otherwise the OP of that topic will likely, and not entirely unreasonably, assume it’s meant for them :-)

    Sorry, I am just being silly (and I know it!), but you get it, right?

  177. #178 Krebiozen
    November 27, 2012

    As has been mentioned here before, lactose intolerance is perfectly normal; it is production of lactase in mature mammals and even in humans that is statistically unusual. Baby mammals can digest lactose while they are dependent on suckling, an ability they normally lose later.

    Lactose ‘intolerance’ is an example of neoteny, the retention of juvenile traits that is sometimes an evolutionary advantage. Only a relatively small number of humans with pastoral cattle-herding ancestors, such as the Masai and northern Europeans, have the ability to digest lactose, which is one reason fermented milk products, which have less lactose (because bacteria have converted it to lactic acid which curdles the milk), are so popular.

  178. #179 Politicalguineapig
    November 27, 2012

    Kevin: Thanks, I didn’t know that. As I mentioned, I’m a layperson when it comes to medical terms; so I’m prone to misusing certain terms. As for allergies.. I know a woman who’s allergic to chicken, her sister is allergic to grass, and I knew two girls who were allergic to chocolate. So yours is odd, but it’s not the weirdest one I know.

  179. #180 Grant
    November 27, 2012

    Krebiozen,

    Incidentally, lactose tolerance appears to have arisen independently in different populations, with different genetic changes seen. In North Africa it’s linked to camel milk rather than cow’s milk. Same theme in other populations.

    http://sciblogs.co.nz/code-for-life/2010/02/16/tracking-disease-and-human-migration-through-genetics/

  180. #181 lilady
    November 27, 2012

    About lactose intolerance. I “learned” eons ago in college, that there is a higher propensity for lactose intolerance in people whose heritage is Mediterranean, African or Asian. There is also a correlation with the aging person whose ability to manufacture the lactase enzyme decreases over time:

    http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/187249-overview

    (Watch for the anecdote): When my son was released from the hospital on a milk-based formula tube feedings, he developed a dreadful rash on his scalp. He did not have the usual primary symptoms associated with lactose intolerance.

    After locating 100 % cotton clothing for him and handwashing his clothes in mild soap water, his doctor decided to switch his formula to soy-based. Within a few weeks the horrific rash “disappeared”. His pediatrician was an “old-timer” and within a few months we re-introduced dairy into his diet…without any GI problems or the reappearance of the rash…and without lactase supplements.

  181. #182 Grant
    http://sciblogs.co.nz/code-for-life/2012/10/17/a-vaccine-discussion-forum/
    November 27, 2012

    lilady,

    You last paragraph is something I wanted to introduce to the anti-vax mother I was talking to, but let it go as I felt the “crowd” might dump on me and spoil helping her out. It’s a bit of a pain that the anti-vax followers make it very hard to help parents.

    (Later Erwin Alber — in magnificent piece of silliness — “banned” me for politely suggesting a NZ reader try asking the NZ vaccine discussion forum at IMAC. From his “damnation” letter to me it seems Erwin has a gut reaction seeing the letters ‘IMAC’. I tried to point out that was between him and IMAC, nothing to do with me and that he could have just posted a reply expressing his opinion, but, “of course” he wasn’t up to it.)

  182. #183 lilady
    November 27, 2012

    @ Grant: You did notice that I posted my last two paragraphs as “anecdotal”.

    Meanwhile, I have been posting at CIA Parker and an assortment of trolls and their sockies at the “Shot of Prevention” blog:

    http://shotofprevention.com/2012/11/20/the-chicken-pox-vaccine-and-shedding-concerns/#comment-17810

    dingo 199 has also posted at the SOP blog and provided us with a great link to a new Aussie informational booklet about vaccines (I’ve bookmarked his links).:

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/children-face-risks-in-pockets-of-resistance-to-vaccination/story-e6freuy9-1226524484777

    http://www.science.org.au/policy/immunisation.html

  183. #184 Krebiozen
    November 27, 2012

    Grant,

    I find tracking human migrations through genes and language fascinating. I was assuming there was just one gene involved in lactose tolerance, so it’s interesting to find there are more.

    BTW my daughter couldn’t tolerate milk as a baby so we gave her soy milk instead (with all that yummy aluminum) but she can tolerate cow’s milk perfectly well as an adult. We never bothered to check if it was milk protein allergy or lactose intolerance; since both require avoiding milk there seemed little point.

  184. #185 lilady
    November 27, 2012

    @ Grant & Krebiozen: I’m stuck in the moderation hopper…again. (2+ links seems to trigger that).

    Krebiozen’s (anecdotal) information about his daughter’s lactose intolerance seems to mirror what my baby son experienced.

  185. #186 Chris
    Neither here nor there...
    November 27, 2012

    Ah, yes, the Shotofprevention thread where I am just harassing meanie with a bad attitude!

    First I was accused of not being patriotic because I did not think an article on veterans over sixty years old applied to a twenty-something woman, and now I am a meanie for explaining that memory is not perfect and one can never know if they had a disease or not as a child.

    At least I have a backbone, unlike some whiny folks there. I wonder if he ever read the Vaccine Information Sheet on the varicella vaccine link that I posted.

    By the way, lactose intolerance also hits families with Scandinavian descent. That includes my sister, my daughter and my mother-in-law (the Viking comes from both sides for my kids).

  186. #187 Grant
    November 27, 2012

    lilady,

    I saw the anecdote reference – I was referring to the temporary nature of the intolerance, as distinguished from life-long.

  187. #188 Grant
    November 27, 2012

    Krebiozen,

    “there was just one gene involved in lactose tolerance” — in this case different allele, rather than a different gene. Nitpicky, nitpicky… :-)

    I’ve even written about that ! —

    http://sciblogs.co.nz/code-for-life/2009/11/19/note-to-science-communicators—alleles-not-disease-genes/

    (I feel as I’ve gotten to that stage that about half the time I’ve already written something about whatever I want to say. Dangerous, perhaps?)

  188. #189 Denice Walter
    November 27, 2012

    @ Krebiozen:

    I’ll bet you’ve looked over work by Bryan Sykes, Oppenheimer and more recent stuff about SE Europe..

    Didn’t Bono have his sequences- and probable pathways of ancestral migrations- done?
    IIRC he had both the northern and southern ( middle eastern) paths.

    I often wonder about myself- I don’t look like I’m from anywhere- rather schematic actually- but white as a sheet.

  189. #190 herr doktor bimler
    November 27, 2012

    This is what irritates me the most… every person I’ve ever read about who was concerned about he wellbeing of their children after a vaccination was, by definition, pro-vaccine.
    Because they want answers does not make them anti-vax. It makes them a normal, caring parent!

    Let me offer a simple analogy, RLaw. If a family member were to fall ill, and my first response an accusation that “The Jews are responsible”, that would not mean “I want answers”. It would not make me a normal, caring parent. It would mean I was anti-semitic.

    This is what irritates me the most…
    I can live with that.

  190. #191 lilady
    November 28, 2012

    @ Chris: If you’re a *meanie*…what am I?

    Remember, I labeled my son’s lactose intolerance as “anecdotal”. The doc and I “assumed” that he might have that “allele”, even though he didn’t have the GI symptoms associated with lactose intolerance, after we eliminated the chance of allergy to detergents used to wash his clothes. Krebiozen’s daughter seems to have had the same difficulty with milk in infancy.

    My kids are one-quarter Scandinavian, one-quarter Italian and one-half Slavic heritage with no lactose intolerance ever being reported in any of our relatives.

  191. #192 Krebiozen
    November 28, 2012

    Grant,
    You are quite right, of course, it’s all the same gene, MCM6, with two polymorphisms, giving rise to two alleles. I think. I really need a refresher course in genetics.

  192. #193 Krebiozen
    November 28, 2012

    lilady,

    Remember, I labeled my son’s lactose intolerance as “anecdotal”.

    My daughter’s milk intolerance is anecdotal too, of course. I don’t remember how many times we tried her on cow’s milk with explosive and unpleasant consequences (or were they?) before we concluded she couldn’t tolerate it. It could have been coincidence, but a family history of dairy intolerance and a couple of occasions later on when she was given cow’s milk by accident, with the same consequences, make me think that is unlikely but by no means impossible. Substituting soy for cow didn’t put her at risk*, especially since she was mostly fed on breast milk before weaning, so a pragmatic approach seemed sensible. Since I now know breast milk contains considerably more lactose than cow’s milk, I do wonder what was really going on.

    * I wasn’t aware of the huge amounts of aluminum in soy formula at the time, not that they would have concerned me, but they didn’t cause any problems.

  193. #194 laevern
    November 29, 2012

    gardasil “all HPV Vaccines”

    hpv and acquired immunity

    all vaccines have an established acquired immunity before a vaccine is made

    a small piece of this acquired immunity is in the vaccine

  194. #195 laevern
    November 29, 2012

    Gardasil all HPV Vaccines

    How does a vaccine work when acquired immunity has not been established
    As in that is how vaccines work, Acquired immunity was seen and documented in man or animal and a vaccine was made that had this immunity in it ,

  195. #196 laevern
    November 29, 2012

    Playing Games with Gardasil

    By JULIA CALAGIOVANNI
    November 5, 2011

    In America alone, human papilloma virus, or HPV, causes approximately 12,000 cases of cervical cancer each year; a third of those women will die from the cancer. The Gardasil vaccine, approved by the FDA in 2006, effectively protects against the most common and dangerous strains of HPV. A vaccine that can almost certainly prevent a deadly cancer should be heralded as a medical miracle, yet it has somehow become a controversial moral battleground. The Gardasil vaccination is not a moral issue, but a serious matter of public health. As happens all too often with issues of sexual health, the two are being confused—with potentially deadly consequences.

    The vaccine is painful, complicated to administer, and relatively expensive compared to other vaccines. But it’s also, many say, a “magic bullet” against cervical cancer and genital warts. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease, and is now estimated to infect approximately 75 to 80 percent of males and females in the United States at some point in their lives. It has been called “the STD of a new generation.” Gardasil – the first treatment of its kind – should be the treatment of a new generation. The FDA has, since its initial approval of Gardasil, recommended vaccination for women ages 11 to 26. But the FDA raised eyebrows in October when it announced that young men between the ages of 11 and 21 should also receive the vaccine.

    Vaccination rates in young men are incredibly low – 1% compared to about 34% in young women. The FDA’s new recommendation should, logically, raise these rates, especially since insurance companies typically use its recommendations to determine their guidelines for what procedures to cover. Obviously, it is far too soon to see any effect. But a procedural milestone may not translate into a significant movement to vaccinate males. The fact remains that some parents, reluctant to have their daughters vaccinated, are even more resistant to the idea of having their sons receive the vaccine.

    The issue of sexuality in teens and young adults is never an easy one to broach, and the question of vaccination forces parents to confront their child’s emerging sexuality. After the vaccine’s initial approval, television commercials appeared with spunky teenage girls declaring that they wanted to be “one less” case of HPV. Grammatical objections to that sentence aside, the premise—that an individual action could put a dent in a public health problem—is valid. But the publicity campaign stirred up controversy and concerns that the vaccine would make young women more “promiscuous.” Strong evidence exists to the contrary: a 2009 University of Manchester study found that, among young women who had received the vaccine, 79% said that it had reminded them of the risks of sexual contact and 93% said that it showed they were serious about their own health.

    A vaccine is always a preventive measure, a choice to protect against a known health threat. Gardasil is proven to be both effective and safe, disproving two common myths about vaccines. And regardless of whether or not a patient is already sexually active, vaccination is the prudent choice for their health and the health of their partners. Parents are responsible for the health of their minor children; it may be uncomfortable for a parent to think of their child’s eventual decision to become sexually active, but evading the topic—and the vaccine—can have serious future health consequences.

    HPV is a not only a devastating virus but a difficult one to prevent against—it can still be transmitted if a condom is used, and it is more difficult to detect in males, which means it may not be picked up on a standard STD test. These complications mean that the need for vaccination is even more pressing. The health consequences for infected women—potentially deadly cancer—as compared to those for the majority of men— genital warts—are clearly much more grave. This only reflects a larger trend, in which women consistently bear greater responsibility and face greater societal judgment for the effects of their sexual activity. They are reduced to the virgin/whore binary; they are expected to consider their contraceptive needs–and often face a situation where a partner refuses to use birth control; they are left to navigate decisions around pregnancy and/or abortion; they represent a disproportionate demographic of single parents. The misconception that the precautions needed for safe, responsible sex are solely a woman’s responsibility is both ignorant and dangerous.

    HPV infection in females results mostly from vaginal sex with infected males. Yes, a young woman who has received the vaccine will be protected. But the responsibility should not be solely hers. Men must take responsibility for their own health and the potential consequences of their sexual choices—including the impact on present, past and future partners.

    The widespread concern about “promiscuity” has not been at the forefront of the debate over male Gardasil vaccination. Instead, more pragmatic—and less moralistic—concerns such as the vaccine’s cost-effectiveness for males have emerged. Yet these, too, simply mask moral objections to young people’s sexual agency while perpetuating the expectation that women alone should assume responsibility for the consequences of heterosexual sexual activity.

    Outside of the heteronormative framework, it is important to note that the FDA’s recommendation is particularly relevant to the health of men who have sex with other men. Heterosexual men will generally only contract genital warts if infected with HPV. The types of sexual activity that put a young man most at risk for HPV-related cancer— oral and anal sex—are more common among men who have sex with other men. Not only do some parents not want to think about their sons having sex, but the idea of homosexual activity makes them even more squeamish. Again, neglecting the health needs of a certain subset of the population will not make these needs go away; the problem will still need to be confronted, but delaying action will mean the situation will be much more dire medically and costly financially.

    The Gardasil debate is complex and frustrating; It is yet another example of ideology prevailing over sound science and wise public health policy. This has been painfully obvious in Mississippi’s current “personhood” debate, recent moves to defund Planned Parenthood clinics, and the continued teaching of abstinence-only sex education. These policies do not achieve the intended goals—to impose an idealized sexual morality. They simply make it more difficult to navigate the health care system and receive proper treatment and services. It is difficult to think of the incredible number of HPV infections that could have been avoided had the ideal of widespread vaccination been achieved. Every unvaccinated person puts themselves and their partners at risk for disease that could have been avoided. Every person who is “one less” person infected would represent an important advancement in public health, and the triumph of modern science over outdated ideologies.

    Julia Calagiovanni is a freshman in Yale College. She is a staff writer for Broad Recognition.
    Comments (1)

    Gardasil all HPV Vaccines

    How does a vaccine work when acquired immunity has not been established
    As in that is how vaccines work, Acquired immunity was seen and documented in man or animal and a vaccine was made that had this immunity in it ,

    The Vaccine has an immunity in it, to work small pox cow pox chicken pox
    ect
    the vaccine for small pox and chicken pox has this immunity cell structure so the body can learn the immunity

    HPV a Wart No NO no, a man or animal in history has not developed the immunity, never get anouther Wart {external, internal}

    warts plantar what ever
    their all a wart

  196. #197 laevern
    November 29, 2012

    they are lieing

    No MSDS
    nothing in government has the legal authority to make legal a product
    with no msds
    The product jumped through all the testing

    Merck are lieing and pretending to be somehow that authority

    Pharmacutical companys have not done this before
    and then try to force mandate an untested vaccine
    a vaccine that, science in making vaccines does not support Gardasil or any HPV Vaccines

    Their is some pilot project i noticed

    Terrorists
    computer program
    Animated computer program to look like people and
    get them to say what they would like to say
    News government
    ect
    To make Gardasil look legal
    you have noticed
    its a lot bigger
    Criminal intelligences

  197. #198 flip
    November 30, 2012

    Mmmm…. word salad…

    Wait, is this a sock puppet? Is Thingy back?

  198. #199 Krebiozen
    November 30, 2012

    Even Thingy wasn’t quite that deranged.

  199. #200 Narad
    November 30, 2012

    It appears to have been posting the exact same stuff hither and yon since early 2011.

  200. #201 lilady
    November 30, 2012

    Hi laevern: I invite you to go back and haunt Age of Autism…they are very “accepting” of posters who are deranged and inhabit an alternative reality.

    http://www.ageofautism.com/2012/02/request-to-secretary-sebelius-to-rescind-fda-gardasil-approval.html

  201. #202 JGC
    November 30, 2012

    lavern, you’re confusing ‘acquired immunity” with “antigens”: Acquired immunity isn’t an physical entity which can be divided into discrete pieces and included in a vaccine–it’s antibody mediated protection against infection resulting from exposure to antigenic molecules (which are physical entities, and which can and are included in vaccine preparations).

    Sigh–I’m wasting my time here, aren’t I?

  202. #203 AdamG
    November 30, 2012

    Animated computer program to look like people and get them to say what they would like to say

    I want to hear more about this part…bring on the animated computer program people!

  203. #204 Narad
    November 30, 2012

    Sigh–I’m wasting my time here, aren’t I?

    I think it’s probably a write-only device.

  204. #205 herr doktor bimler
    November 30, 2012

    Animated computer program to look like people and
    get them to say what they would like to say

    Next thing you know, the program is commenting on blog posts.

  205. #206 flip
    November 30, 2012

    @Krebiozen

    Even Thingy wasn’t quite that deranged.

    I don’t know, I found both extremely hard to follow. … Er, more than usual for cranks anyway.

  206. #207 Ron Law
    December 1, 2012

    Krebiozen
    November 27, 2012

    “As has been mentioned here before, lactose intolerance is perfectly normal; it is production of lactase in mature mammals and even in humans that is statistically unusual. Baby mammals can digest lactose while they are dependent on suckling, an ability they normally lose later. ”

    Where did you get this from? The Internet? Can you please provide a medical reference to support this claim?

  207. #208 AdamG
    December 1, 2012

    Where did you get this from? The Internet? Can you please provide a medical reference to support this claim?

    Uh, Ron, you are way out of the loop on this one. Seriously. This is Human Biology 101. Check it out:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=lactase+persistence

    My particular favorite is:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=lactase%20persistence%20pritchard

    An excellent paper all around.

  208. #209 Militant Agnostic
    December 1, 2012

    Somewhat OT, but this week the Calgary Separate (Catholic) School Board acquired a spine andchange ctheir previous position on the HPV vaccine. They decided to offer it to their female in students in defiance of Bishop Fred “punish the sluts with cancer” Henry.

    A small victory for reason over institutionalized misogyny.

  209. #210 Grant
    http://sciblogs.co.nz/code-for-life/2010/02/16/tracking-disease-and-human-migration-through-genetics/
    December 1, 2012

    Ron,

    You might want to make clear which one of the statements in Krebiozen’s paragraph you are disputing – there are several statements in the paragraph that you quoted.

    Hope you can forgive me for trotting out what is essentially high school human biology. (I’ll give other mammals a miss here.) The historical ‘normal’ in evolutionary terms is for adults to be lactose intolerant, with infants losing their production of lactase as they grow older.

    Some populations that developed pastoral culture and the use of milk products preferentially retained alleles that enabled the persistence of the production of lactase in adults. Evidence indicates this arose independently in different populations, through different alleles.

    Lactase persistence is probably a better term to lactose tolerance, as it reflects what is taking place. For good or bad the better-known term is lactose intolerance and ‘Western’ people at least tend to think in terms of that. It has the effect of making the lactose intolerance in adults out to be the ‘defect’, but in many ways that’s an Eurocentricism reflecting that northern European adults tend to have lactase persistence.

    (As an aside Ötzi, the famous ice mummy, is likely to have been lactose intolerant.)

    The frequency of the alleles favouring lactase persistence (i.e. in adults) varies in populations from different parts of the world. South East Asians, for example, are typically lactose intolerant as adults whereas northern Europeans are typically have lactase persistence as adults, Africans tend to be lactose intolerant as adults with the exception of some populations in North Africa and so on.

    I could go on, but you’ll find plenty of explanations of the evolution of lactose tolerance, etc. on-line. (I earlier referred to an article I wrote briefly gives a gloss of one study investigating the emergence of lactose tolerance in North Africa.) The wikipedia entry on lactose intolerance wouldn’t be a bad starting point, but there are many others.

  210. #211 Krebiozen
    December 1, 2012

    Ron,

    Where did you get this from? The Internet?

    It was part of my education in biomedical sciences years before I picked up my first modem. I’m surprised you didn’t know this; there must be plenty of lactose intolerant people in NZ and lactose intolerance is an important cause of diarrhea and malabsorption. I can recall covering it in classes about steatorrhea, fecal fats, tropical sprue and giardia.

    Can you please provide a medical reference to support this claim?

    AdamG has kindly answered your question, but here’s a quote from one of the citations he linked to that makes it even clearer:

    Most people are born with the ability to digest lactose, the major carbohydrate in milk and the main source of nutrition until weaning. Approximately 75% of the world’s population loses this ability at some point, while others can digest lactose into adulthood.

    My point was that it is those of us from ethnic groups in which most people continue to produce lactase into adulthood that regard lactose intolerance as abnormal. If you look at humanity as a whole, most humans (75% according to that paper) greatly reduce lactase production in adulthood, so you could argue that it is being able to digest lactose in adulthood that is abnormal, and ‘lactose intolerance’ is an ethnocentric term ;-)

    I’m sure you are aware that all other mammals are all lactose intolerant in adulthood. There are references in this paper (PDF) if you are interested:

    In all animals (with the exception of certain species of Pinnipedia and the tribal groups mentioned above), the enzyme lactase first appears in late gestation, is most active in the perinatal period, and by the age of full weaning decreases to about 10% of its original level.

    Pinnipedia, to save you consulting Wikipedia as I had to, are seals which do not produce lactose in their milk and neither require nor produce lactase, even before weaning.

    Conclusion? So don’t share your milkshake with a seal, as the consequences may be very messy.

  211. #212 Krebiozen
    December 1, 2012

    Grant,
    That comment wasn’t there a few minutes ago it seems great minds think alike :-)

    AdamG,
    Interesting paper you linked to (Pritchard) – I studied the anthropology of East Africa so I’m quite familiar with those ethnic groups.

  212. #213 sheepmilker
    About to go to the barn
    December 1, 2012

    Completely OT, but how often can you mention one of your pet topics?

    Many alties, and indeed members of the general public, have been told that goat or sheep milk is lower in lactose than cow milk (cow milk of course being the work of the devil). They aren’t, all of those animals’ lactose levels are within 10% of each other, hardly clinically significant.

  213. #214 herr doktor bimler
    December 1, 2012

    don’t share your milkshake with a seal, as the consequences may be very messy.

    “It was just a milkshake!” said the penguin indignantly.

  214. #215 Krebiozen
    December 1, 2012

    “It was just a milkshake!” said the penguin indignantly.

    “Don’t you know he’s lactose intolerant?” replied the walrus, mopping up the seemingly endless eruptions of foul fishy-smelling fluid. “And what are you doing in this hemisphere anyway?”

  215. #216 Shay
    the place where bad jokes go to die
    December 1, 2012

    A penguin is driving around town when all of a sudden his car begins to stall on him. He takes it to the nearest dealership and asks for help. The mechanic gives his car a quick once over, and says to him ” “Well, it looks like you’ve blown a seal.”

    To which the penguin nervously replies, “It’s just a milk shake.”

  216. #217 Krebiozen
    December 1, 2012

    I knew that punchline sounded familiar.

  217. #218 Narad
    December 1, 2012

    And here I thought it was some sort of Wellerism.

  218. #219 Krebiozen
    December 2, 2012

    “And here I thought it was some sort of Wellerism,” said the penguin to the walrus, wiping away his milkshake mustache.

  219. #220 Grant
    December 2, 2012

    I was thinking it was more in the line of:

    “The time has come”, the Walrus said, “to talk of many things. Of shoes, and ships, and seal vomit. Of cabbages and kings.”

    (original: sealing wax.)

  220. #221 Ron Law
    December 9, 2012

    Krebiozen
    November 27, 2012

    “As has been mentioned here before, lactose intolerance is perfectly normal; it is production of lactase in mature mammals and even in humans that is statistically unusual. Baby mammals can digest lactose while they are dependent on suckling, an ability they normally lose later. ”

    This is rubbish. Lactase persistance is commonplace around the world, especially in folk of european decent. There are large areas of Africans and Asians who have reduced lactase production, but to say that production of lactase in human adults is statistically unusual highlights ignorance… especially in communities of Euro decent.

    The frequency of lactase persistence is high in northern European populations (>90% in Swedes and Danes), decreases in frequency across southern Europe and the Middle East (~50% in Spanish, French and pastoralist Arab populations) and is low in non-pastoralist Asian and African populations (~1% in Chinese, ~5%-20% in West African agriculturalists)1-3. Notably, lactase persistence is common in pastoralist populations from Africa (~90% in Tutsi, ~50% in Fulani)1,3…. from AdamG’s good reference.

    Lactase activity is high and vital during infancy, but in most mammals, including most humans, lactase activity declines after the weaning phase. In other healthy humans, lactase activity persists at a high level throughout adult life, enabling them to digest lactose as adults…

    Lactase activity declines post weaning… absolutely… but adults don’t drink a 100% milk diet.

    If Krebiozen’s statement was correct there would be very little milk commerce… yoghurts and cheese products developed in part because these products have reduced levels of lactose and are more easily digested by lactase deficient individuals… they also enable storage/preservation of milk products.

  221. [...] traces of HPV DNA from the plasmids used to make the HPV vaccine, it is, as I described before on multiple occasions, incredibly unlikely that such tiny amounts of DNA could cause problems because, as I explained, [...]

The site is currently under maintenance and will be back shortly. New comments have been disabled during this time, please check back soon.