As hard as it is to believe after over ten years of existence and over 5,000 posts on SBM, every so often, something reminds me that I've missed paper that cries out for some not-so-Respectful Insolence. So it was a couple of weeks ago, when I saw a familiar name in a news story that wasn't about vaccines. You might recall a news story last month when a shadowy group with ties to radical antiabortion groups, the Center for Medical Progress, led by a man named David Daleiden, ran a highly questionable "sting" operation (complete with fake IDs) to "prove" that Planned Parenthood was selling aborted fetuses for medical research.
While reading news stories about Daleiden and CMP, I came across a familiar name, a name that many of us who discuss antivaccine misinformation are familiar with. I'm referring to Theresa Deisher, founder of the Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute. It turns out that Deisher helped to prepare Daleiden for his role as a biomedical representative that he assumed in order to deceive representatives of Planned Parenthood. She taught him how to talk the talk and walk the walk, so to speak, so that he was convincing as a representative of a biomedical research firm, as I discussed at the time. What I missed at the time, even though it had been published, was an utterly crappy new paper that Deisher published recently and that's making its way around the antivaccine Twitterverse and Facebook world like a bird turd across a windshield by windshield wipers.
I now rectify my oversight.
Fear mongering about fetal DNA in vaccines
I've already discussed how there are only two cell lines derived from aborted fetuses decades ago used to grow virus to make specific vaccines and how even the Catholic Church finds this morally acceptable, or at least morally tolerable, given the great good vaccines do and the distant relationship to what it views as the evil of abortion. However, even so, before I get to Deisher's most recent paper, it's worth reviewing her background a bit, as well as what she has been claiming. I first "met" Deisher online in 2009, which is when I first encountered her particular variant of the claim that the fetal cells used to make certain vaccines somehow "contaminated" the vaccine in such a way as to cause autism when injected into babies. Here's a sample published, appropriately enough, on Whale.to:
The earliest aborted fetal cell-produced vaccines such as Meruvax (rubella) and MMR II do not even inform consumers that the vaccines contain contaminating DNA from the cell used to produce them. Furthermore, it is unconscionable that the public-health risk of injecting our children with residual contaminating human aborted fetal DNA has been ignored.
How could the contaminating aborted fetal DNA create problems? It creates the potential for autoimmune responses and/or inappropriate insertion into our own genomes through a process called recombination. There are groups researching the potential link between this DNA and autoimmune diseases such as juvenile (type I) diabetes, multiple sclerosis and lupus. Our organization, Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute, is focused on studying the quantity, characteristics and genomic recombination of the aborted fetal DNA found in many of our vaccines.
Deisher isn't the only one who's been making this claim. For instance, I discussed a similar claim made by Helen Ratajczak, who specified that homologous recombination of fetal DNA in various vaccines with the DNA in babies' brains results in altered proteins on the surface of neurons, provoking an autoimmune reaction. Homologous recombination is a process by which DNA strands with the same or very similar sequences can break and recombine.
This is an incredibly implausible hypothesis. If the fetal DNA did undergo homologous recombination, it would still be human DNA making human proteins. The body recognizes a cell as foreign or "altered" through the expression of its cell surface proteins. Consequently, the only likely currently known mechanism by which homologous recombination of human DNA from vaccines might conceivably result in such an autoimmunity phenomenon would be if the DNA from the vaccine somehow resulted in the expression of a foreign or altered protein on the cell surface that the immune system could recognize as foreign. That would mean either integrating into the gene for a cell surface protein or producing a cell surface protein itself. While not impossible, that's pretty darned unlikely to happen on a scale that would affect more than a single cell, a few at most. To recap: To do what Ratajczak and Deisher claim, human DNA from vaccines would have to:
- Find its way to the brain in significant quantities.
- Make it into the neurons in the brain in significant quantities.
- Make it into the nucleus of the neurons in significant quantities.
- Undergo homologous recombination at a detectable level, resulting in either the alteration of a cell surface protein or the expression of a foreign cell surface protein that the immune system can recognize.
- Undergo homologous recombination in many neurons in such a way that results in the neurons having cell surface protein(s) altered sufficiently to be recognized as foreign.
- That's leaving aside the issue of whether autoimmunity in the brain or chronic brain inflammation is even a cause of autism, which is by no means settled by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, quite the opposite. It's not at all clear whether the markers of inflammation sometimes reported in the brains of autistic children are a cause, a consequence, or merely an epiphenomenon of autism.
In other words, this hypothesis is incredibly implausible on the basis of what we know about molecular biology and human biology. It's not quite homeopathy-level implausible, but nonetheless incredibly implausible. Worse, Dr. Deisher should know this, given that she is actually a molecular biologist. Indeed, she has a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Physiology—egad, that's the same field I have my PhD in!—from Stanford University and worked for 20 years in the biotech industry for companies like Amgen Genentech, Repligen, ZymoGenetics, and Immunex. Then something happened, though, and Deisher left the conventional biotech industry to found the Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute and AVM Biotechnology, the latter of which is described as the "premier pro-life biotech company worldwide, certifying that it does not use morally illicit material in any process." SCPI is described as having been "founded to promote consumer awareness about the widespread use of electively aborted fetal material in drug discovery, development and commercialization" and having a corporate mission to "stop human trafficking and exploitation in biomedical research and commercial products."
To this end, over the last six or seven years, Deisher has been publishing a stream of papers purporting to show that (1) vaccines manufactured using virus grown in cell lines derived from human fetuses correlate with autism diagnoses and (2) that there is fetal DNA in these vaccines that can recombine with infant DNA to cause autism. In trying to prove (1), Deisher has used the typical inept—or just plain bad—epidemiological techniques that have been used by antivaccinationists of all stripes since time immemorial (or at least since the 1980s). In particular, she is enamored of "change point" analyses to try to show that the rate of increase in autism prevalence changed at certain points when new vaccines were introduced. Unfortunately, she does a very bad job of doing actual change point analyses, as mathematician Mark Chu-Carroll has pointed out. Unfortunately, there's more of the same in this paper, as you will see. As for demonstrating the presence of that evil fetal DNA, Deisher has been known to be—shall we say?—less than rigorous in her molecular biology techniques. Think of this paper, a sequel to Deisher's previous work, as akin to the sequel to a bad superhero movie: Bigger, faster, louder, but just as dumb.
No, actually, it's even dumber.
Change points and dubious correlations
So now let's take a look at Deisher's paper, published in Issues in Law and Medicine and entitled "Epidemiologic and Molecular Relationship Between Vaccine Manufacture and Autism Spectrum Disorder Prevalence." Helpfully, for those of you who don't want to take my word for how embarrassingly bad this paper is and want to find problems with it that I either missed or ran out of time and space to discuss, Deisher has helpfully included a link to the PDF of her full paper on her website.
I always judge where the authors are coming from on a paper by their introduction. If their introduction is a balanced, reasonable discussion of the state of the evidence regarding their hypothesis citing good scientific papers, chances are that the paper will at least be reasonable, even if I end up not agreeing with its conclusions. However, if the introduction is biased and cites pseudoscientific papers, well, you know the rest of the paper is likely to be bad. Guess which category Deisher's introduction falls under:
A worldwide autism epidemic is copiously established by the number of peer reviewed articles on the subject, including the observations from numerous institutions that de novo genetic insertions and mutations are excessive in children with autism.1 Autism disorder (AD), a subset of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a neurological and developmental disorder whose symptoms usually appear within the first three years of life.2 The autism epidemic obviously creates significant public health burden and demands critical assessment of environmental factors that may trigger this epidemic. A previous publication from our group focused on overlooked, universally introduced environmental factors, including human fetal and retroviral contaminants in childhood vaccines, advancing paternal age and changes in diagnostic criteria. As the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires, discovery of potential environmental triggers for autism requires statistical assessment to identify birth year change points for autism spectrum disorder prevalence. Iterative fitting algorithms identified 1980.8, 1988.4 and 1996.5 as "changepoint" years for the United States AD prevalence,3 in substantiation of a report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that identified a 1988 worldwide AD change point.4
Note first, that there really isn't a "worldwide autism epidemic." Note also that Deisher's previous papers she cites about "changepoint" years supposedly not related to changes in the DSM criteria for diagnosing autism and autism spectrum disorders are very bad papers that have been thoroughly deconstructed elsewhere. For instance, her 2010 paper used a highly dubious "changepoint analysis" that was statistically invalid and based on a whole lot of assumptions. Worse, it used two different data sets, and one of the change points just happened to show up at a year where the data switched over, as Mark Chu-Carroll points out:
So… Let's summarize the problems here.
- They're using an iterative line-matching technique which is, at best, questionable.
- They're applying it to a dataset that is orders of magnitude too small to be able to generate a meaningful result for a single slope change, but they use it to identify three different slope changes.
- They use mixed datasets that measure different things in different ways, without any sort of meta-analysis to reconcile them.
- One of the supposed changes occurs at the point of changeover in the datasets.
- When one of their datasets shows a decrease in the slope, but another shows an increase, they arbitrarily choose the one that shows an increase.
You get the idea. Basically, as Mark described back then, you can always find "changepoints" if you iteratively partition the data into smaller and smaller sets, and, of course, mixing datasets the way Deisher did is a no-no. The main paper supporting this work is nonsense. So is Deisher's 2014 paper, which suffers from the same problems. So already you know that where Deisher is coming from in this article is suspect. So what does she do wrong this time?
The basic hypothesis she is testing is whether, in the wake of the "Wakefield scare" that occurred after the 1998 publication of Andrew Wakefield's now-retracted Lancet case series claiming to link the MMR vaccine to bowel problems in autistic children and that was later used to link the MMR to autism itself, which resulted in greatly decreased uptake of MMR, there was a similar decline in the rate of autism. That's the epidemiological part. The other part of her paper consists of cell culture experiments purporting to show that the evil demon fetal DNA can recombine with human DNA. Let's deal with the epidemiology first.
Lying with graphs
The most curious thing I noticed here was that Deisher combined data from three countries, Norway, Sweden, and the UK. Why these three countries? For instance, why not just the UK or, more specifically, England and Wales, where the impact of the Wakefield MMR scare was the most profound? Why not other European countries, such as France (which suffered some pretty severe measles outbreaks due to low MMR uptake as long as 13 years after Wakefield's paper was published)? Moreover, in just the UK itself, even as far out as 2008-2009, there was wide variation by region in MMR uptake. In any case, using population data aggregated from three countries (even using country-level population data) is a great way to produce the ecological fallacy in a big way. It's a problem we've seen before in papers claiming to link vaccines to autism and infant mortality.
But let's concede this design to Deisher for a moment and assume that these three countries were in fact the most appropriate to choose to look at this "natural" experiment in which MMR uptake declined, allowing us to see whether there was a decline in autism prevalence in the birth years affected by the "Wakefield scare." Note that in the analysis the decline in MMR uptake begins in the birth year before 1998 because children don't receive all their MMR vaccines in their birth year. Of course, one problem that leaps out here is what, exactly, does Deisher mean by "MMR coverage"? Does she mean having received no doses of MMR? Not having received all the recommended doses of MMR? It's not at all clear, and it's very difficult to check what the heck she is talking about without actually contacting the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, the National Board of Health and Welfare in Sweden, and Public Health England, which are the data sources for MMR coverage reported in the paper. In other words, anyone wanting to check Deisher's work either has to contact her or replicate her requests for these data.
How the data for each country are aggregated becomes problematic as well, mainly because it is unclear how Deisher did it. Did she, for example, weight the MMR uptakes by population when averaging them? I hope she did at least that much, but we have no way of knowing whether she did. What about autism prevalence? There are wide variations in reported autism prevalence between nations in different years. For instance Table 1 shows a prevalence of 0.29% in Norway and 0.038% in Sweden for birth year 2003. That's a 7.6-fold difference! Yet, in Figure 1, the point plotted for the same birth year is around 0.17% or so. Given that the mean of 0.038 and 0.29% is 0.164%, it makes me wonder if Deisher just averaged the prevalences without taking population into account. The population of Sweden was nearly twice that of Norway in 2003 (8.96 million compared to 4.56 million), so it makes a difference.
Now let's take a look at the graph in Figure 1:
If you want to see dishonesty in the use of scales on axes, here you have it. Notice how the curve for autism prevalence has a y-axis (left) has a range from 0 to 0.6%. Now notice the y-axis (right) for MMR coverage. Notice anything? That's right, the MMR coverage axis only ranges from 86% to 95%, thus making small absolute changes in MMR uptake look enormous. Indeed, if the MMR uptake y-axis were presented from 0 to 100%, the curve would go nearly flat. Don't believe me? Check out a re-normalized graph, courtesy of Matt Carey:
Wow. That's different, isn't it?
It's a classic deceptive technique all too commonly used with graphs, which is why I call this lying with graphs. Indeed, if we were to take these graphs at face value, a 10% drop in MMR uptake resulted in a 60% drop in autism prevalence. That's some powerful fetal DNA! If this model held (at least in a linear fashion), there'd have been no autism if MMR uptake fell below 75%. In any case, if this association were real, MMR uptake should account for less than 100% of autism prevalence, but that's not what this graph shows. It's utter nonsense. In fact, I'm embarrassed for Deisher. As someone with a PhD in the same field as Deisher, I'm ashamed that someone like her has a doctorate in the same as I do.
But it's worse than that.
Look even more closely. For birth years 1995 and 1996, there are only data shown from the UK. Looking at Figure 1, I see that the graph appears to show those numbers from the UK for those two birth years. I kid you not. Look for yourself. For 1995, the prevalence graphed appears visually to be around 0.28%. The number reported in Table 1 is 0.274, pretty similar. I bet Deisher used 0.274% for that point. For 1996, the number graphed appears on a visual basis to be around 0.21% or 0.22%. The number reported in Table 1 is 0.219%, again suspiciously similar. We can do this same exercise for other birth years not represented by other countries, for instance 2007, which only has data from Sweden, listing a prevalence there of 0.52%. Now let's look at the graph again. Yep, the point for birth year 2007 sure looks to be a little more than 0.50% and could well be 0.52%.
In other words, we have a graph showing a conglomeration of MMR uptakes that are not defined and whose provenance we can't examine without a great deal of work, being correlated with figures from three countries that are incomplete and don't contain values for each birth year presented on the graph. For years where there are values for more than one country, it appears that Deisher just did an arithmetic mean (as she appears to have done for birth year 2003) without correcting for population differences between the countries, and for years where she only has one country's worth of data she just uses that on the graph. Then, to top it all off, Deisher deceptively fiddles with the Y-axis to make small differences in MMR uptake look enormous. Next, she says that both "MMR and AD/ASD data are normalized to the maximum coverage/prevalence during the time period of this analysis."
I'm still scratching my head over what all this is supposed to mean. For instance, how do you normalize to get an autism prevalence of 0.12% in Sweden in birth year 1998? What was the maximum autism prevalence normalized to? The same problem occurs for MMR uptake. What do these values between 87% and 94% MMR uptake mean? How do you normalize to get them? What was the highest uptake normalized to? The whole thing is a mess so ridiculous that it can only be due to gross incompetence on an epic scale or deliberate deception coupled with utter contempt for the antivaccine audience who is expected to eat this crappy science up. Take your pick.
But what about the cell culture?
I almost left this section out because after the epic nonsense in the epidemiology part of this study, I almost—almost!—don't care about all the cell culture studies presented because they really don't have any relevance to anything claimed by Deisher in her epidemiology. After all, Deisher is trying to argue that there was a correlation between a decline in MMR uptake and a decline in autism prevalence. So Deisher found some human double- and single-stranded DNA in vaccines, specifically Meruvax II and Havrix. Most of the DNA was short (around 215 base pairs), but the DNA from Havrix did not migrate through an agarose gel, suggesting that it is at least several thousand base pairs long. So far, this is not a huge deal.
Next up, Deisher examined whether human Cot1 DNA could be taken up by cells. Cot1 DNA is DNA from human placenta consisting of fragments measuring 50 to 300 bp in length, enriched in repetitive sequences, such as Alu and Kpn family members. The common use for Cot1 DNA is as an agent to block nonspecific hybridization in microarray experiments and the suppression of repetitive sequences. If you don't know what that means, don't worry. Suffice to say that this is DNA with highly repetitive sequences different from the presumably more or less random fragments of DNA from the cell lines used to make the vaccines. In any case, Deisher labeled this DNA and incubated it with human cell lines at a concentration of 500-750 ng of DNA per 107 cells. Basically, the DNA was added to the media and the cells gently shaken over 24 to 48 hours before cells were examined for uptake of labeled DNA, and—lo and behold!—Deisher found DNA uptake in some of the cell lines.
Here's the problem. This is a highly artificial experiment. For one thing, 750 ng of DNA is a lot of DNA, and it's being put into only a few milliliters of medium and ten million cells, which is not a huge number either. Compare this to the amount of DNA found in each vaccine. The most DNA found by Deisher in any vaccine was 276 ng single-stranded and 36 ng double-stranded DNA per vial. This is injected into muscle. Also remember that the Cot1 DNA is double-stranded. In other words, Deisher's experiment isn't even remotely relevant to real life! Basically, she ramped up the concentration of DNA per number of cells to a level that has no direct relevance to physiology, marveled when she found that these cells, when flooded with DNA, actually do take up some of it, and is now claiming that her experiment indicates a grave problem that desperately needs to be studied:
In summary, vaccines manufactured in human fetal cell lines contain unacceptably high levels of fetal DNA fragment contaminants. Human DNA fragments of similar length and epigenetic signature spontaneously integrate into the genome of primitive cell lines, a process that can be augmented in the setting of inflammation. The human genome naturally contains regions that are susceptible to double strand break formation and DNA insertional mutagenesis, regions that are particularly concentrated within the exons of genes that have been shown to be causative or associated with ASD phenotype. The 'Wakefield Scare' created a natural experiment that indicates a causal relationship between fetal cell-line manufactured vaccines and ASD prevalence. Our paper calls for additional study and investigation of this potential relationship.
Deisher's study shows nothing of the sort. She found some cellular DNA uptake using a very high concentration of DNA and also observed found some integration of that DNA in the chromosomes of cultured cells. Of course, Alu and Kpn repeats are very common in the genome; so by choosing Cot1 DNA Deisher virtually guaranteed there would be a lot of sites where any DNA that got into the nucleus could pair with and undergo homologous recombination. Her experiment is not at all analogous to what DNA from a vaccine would do, if it could even get past the blood-brain barrier and obtain access to the infant's neurons.
The bottom line
Theresa Deisher is a puzzling and sad case. A real molecular biologist who did real research for various biotech and pharmaceutical companies, apparently competently, for 20 years, she suddenly embraced antivaccine pseudoscience, apparently based on her embrace of fundamentalist Catholicism. Complicating this story is that Deisher's son Henry Streuli developed an aggressive Burkitt's lymphoma, which recently claimed his life. Henry's long struggle with what ultimately turned out to be a fatal cancer for him appears to have led Deisher to think that vaccines cause childhood cancers in addition to autism. (She started linking fetal DNA in vaccines to autism in 2009; Henry was diagnosed with Burkitt's lymphoma in 2014.) Although conservative Catholicism appears to be what first led Deisher to embrace her pseudoscientific hypothesis about fetal DNA in vaccines and autism, the tragic death of her child less than a month and a half ago is unlikely to do anything but cement in her mind the evils of vaccines made using fetal cell lines.
As much sympathy as I might feel for Deisher's having to watch her 14 year old son battle and ultimately succumb to cancer at far too young an age, given how she has become the foremost promoter of the pseudoscientific antivaccine talking point linking fetal DNA in vaccines, I can't hold back deconstructing her pseudoscience, weak arguments, and demonization of vaccines because I feel sorry for her. Nor can I fail to note that her original idea that fetal cell DNA in vaccines causes autism was almost certainly religiously motivated and developed long before her son developed cancer. As a (highly) lapsed Catholic myself, I can understand how people believe abortion is wrong. What I can't understand is how one can use that moral belief to demonize something that even her own Catholic Church finds morally acceptable, or at least morally tolerable. Finally, what I really can't tolerate is science this bad, particularly from someone who used to be, from all accounts, a decent scientist.
DNA from human placenta consisting of fragments measuring 50 to 300 bp in length, enriched in repetitive sequences, such as Alu and Kpn family members
Ah, so DNA known to cause "Homologous Recombinaltion Tiniker" in vitro and in vivo, turns out to cause Homologous Recombinaltion Tiniker in Deisher's experiment. Well done!
AVM Biotechnology [...] is described as the “premier pro-life biotech company worldwide, certifying that it does not use morally illicit material in any process.”
Sounds like AVM aims to fill a niche which will not exist until the Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute succeeds in suppressing existing vaccines.
AVM Biotechnology […] is described as the “premier pro-life biotech company worldwide, certifying that it does not use morally illicit material in any process.”
I'd love to hear their definition of morally illicit material.
I remember doing an investigation into conflict mineral-free personal computing while in university, but our team drawing blank (then state-of-the-art phones, laptops and computers).
But maybe they're using only the latest brand-specific processors in a custom setup with components lead-soldered by hand...
How the data for each country are aggregated becomes problematic as well, mainly because it is unclear how Deisher did it.
I can sort of see why Deisher felt obliged to merge data from the three countries. Otherwise she has three separate time series, with 6, 5 and 3 data points, trying to create a significant correlation from which to infer causality, HA HA HA.
But even after averaging the countries, she only has nine data points -- and I keep recounting them, but they never add up to more than 9 -- which is not going to yield a significant vaccination-rate / autism correlation, no matter how smooth the line she interpolates between the points in the hope of making them look more substantial.
In the meantime she has created this abhorrent Frankenstein Monster of a data set where the values for 1995 and 1996 are sourced only from the US, 2007 comes just from Sweden, 2002 comes just from Norway, and the other years mix and match the different sources -- although they are clearly working on different baselines and are not comparable without some attempt to correct and compensate.
Why would you do that, Dr Deisher? Why would you do such a stupid thing? Why would the journal publish it?
Though we know the answer to that last question... the journal published the article because it's a theocratic pukefunnel which exists solely to pimp out that kind of unpublishable-elsewhere propaganda.
Once again, the need to believe stomps on the truth.
Deisher is now added to the list of people who's referenced names mean I can safely call bullshit whenever they are used to defend an (indefensible) ant-vax position.
Being Norwegian I just wanted to have a look at the Norwegian sources for the numbers on autism prevalence - and it turned up som quite interesting things.
First, the 1999 prevalence (0,14%) seems to come from the paper by Isaksen et.al., however it clearly states that thier number " is based on 31015 children born between 1 January 1996 and 31 December 2002" - so the 1999 figure for Norway is really some kind of average of those years.
The rest of the numbers from Norway (2000-2003) seem to come from a study by Suren et.al., but their study doesn't end in 2003, in fact it continues all the way up to 2008 (with partial data from 2009), and the prevalence after 2003 is of course all lower :
2004 - 0.15%
2005 - 0.15%
2006 - 0.12%
2007 - 0.08%
2008 - 0.13%
I wonder why she felt those last figures were irrelevant....
The Isaksen paper: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1090379812000189
The Suren paper: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3749377/
For years where there are values for more than one country, it appears that Deisher just did an arithmetic mean (as she appears to have done for birth year 2003) without correcting for population differences between the countries
The UK has a population an order of magnitude larger than Norway and Sweden combined. In years where there are data from all three countries, and assuming that the data sets are equally reliable, using the UK data alone would be more accurate than taking an unweighted arithmetic mean of the three.
As for why those three countries, I will guess that this is a case of torturing the data until they confessed. If they used data from France or Germany (both comparable in population to the UK), I suspect that they would not get the desired result.
It's also painfully obvious that Figure 1 came from a plot in an Excel spreadsheet. Friends don't let friends publish data graphs from Excel spreadsheets. The author obviously used the "smooth curve connecting the points" option in plotting, which makes it look more authoritative to the layman by showing wiggles in the graph which are not in the data at all. Which is yet another way of lying with graphs.
On April 21st, 1834, the Roman poet GG Belli wrote the sonnet "Er linnesto".
He gives word to a Roman Christian fundie of the time, who praises Pope Leo XII's decision to abolish compulsory vaccination against smallpox.
The last verses report fundie's words against pro-vaccine people of the time (translated):
"... they take away from the child the good luck to steal paradise ".
In a malignant note, Belli comments that was a favorite saying of Cardinal Severoli.
May be there is a track between those times and today.
I would have to wonder where she got UK MMR uptake from, or how she used what she got.
The MMR scare in the UK, with falling immunisation levels in England, until 2004. Then it recovered. The standard figures are at age 2. Maybe she picked some weird age group that created a lag to try to manufacture a correlation.
Now, England isn't the UK, but I believe she was using Public Health England data, and even if she wasn't, the media scare in the UK reached its zenith in 2001 - with thousands of reports - and continued through the next years.
Here is a graph from the Health Protection Agency, as was:
Here is an earlier graph, making much the same point:
Maybe now I get it - she says she's added Norway and Sweden to the UK, so her data is essentially uncheckable.
The Wakefield scare had hardly any impact in Norway and Sweden, as anybody who followed it would know. Curiously, it has subsequently been covered much more in those countries - suprisingly recently.
At the level I know about, which is the Wakefield scare, this stuff is just garbage. If it's not fraudulent, it's so incompetent and motivated that, if this journal had any integrity, it would withdraw it straight away.
But I shouldn't think it has.
After just reading Orac's friend's article at SBM about the whistleblower book at SBM and the article above all I can ask is:
doesn't this research seem to be clouded by the investigators' emotional states? In addition, enablers like Hooker and Barry seem appear to be compromised as well.
Perhaps that's a direction for research: are anti-vaccine researchers more likely to have emotional problems than average people? Do you have to be a bit off of your game/ rocker to even get involved in this stuff? I'm being serious.
But I'd like to sincerely thank Orac and his friend for providing me with juicy reading material that lured me away from watching the markets which I have been doing for the last 16 hours or so.
Come to think of it, bad research and markets have much in common because
- if you throw enough crap at a wall, some of it will stick and
- even a dead cat will bounce of you throw it from a high enough place.
It ain't the material displaying results, it's your own action upon it
extra ATSBM and SEEM
ProTip: turn off the smoothing function in Excel. It makes you look like an amateur.
Connect the dots.
Connect the dots.
I detest connect-the-dots plots unless it is reasonable go to any point on the lines connecting the dots and get implicit meaningful values from that point. Consider a plot with number of month (1-12) on the X axis and days in the month on Y. These are discrete values and there is absolutely nothing meaningful between the points. Month 2.5 does not have 29.5 days, as would be implied from the midpoint of a line connecting the points for February and Mach. This is perhaps an extreme example, but I've seen the dot-to-dot method abundantly applied where the lines mean nothing.
Theresa Deisher sounds like the kind of Catholic who makes her priest groan in dread whenever she shows up at the rectory.
ProTip: turn off the smoothing function in Excel. It makes you look like an amateur.
Connect the dots.
I was taking a sip of coffee as I read your comment.
You almost owed me a new keyboard. (Fortunately, I was able to turn my head in time.)
Hello. Based on this ground-breaking study, I am worried that I am getting too much DNA in my diet. I am interested in going-DNA free. Any suggestions? Please hurry as I'm pretty sure I can feel the DNA recombining inside my innards as we speak!
Dr. Chim Richalds - you're in luck, I'm running a special on my certified DNA free meals. Begin with a heaping bowlful of Quarry Cereal. It's not grown - it's mined!
Act now, my DNA-free meals are going viral.
This thread is full of win!
" I am interested in going-DNA free. Any suggestions? Please hurry as I’m pretty sure I can feel the DNA recombining inside my innards as we speak!"
"Dr. Chim Richalds – you’re in luck, I’m running a special on my certified DNA free meals. Begin with a heaping bowlful of Quarry Cereal. It’s not grown – it’s mined!"
I think I'm reading this blog as much for the comments as for Orac's articles. Both are equally entertaining.
@ #16, #17, #18
You guys are just going to give the the autism cure marketers ideas.
They might also come out with "good DNA supplements" to or some sort of "DNA unrecombining" miracle cure.
Out of curiosity though, if one accepted Deisher's research, would that mean that autism isn't "curable".
Wouldn't that disappoint the AoA, TMR, etc. crowd ... at least until they received the Big Pharma payout that I suspect many have spent years hoping for.
More anti-vax fol de rol..
- AoA features an article by Kennedy about Thorsen.Heh
-Gary Null (PRN) welcomes Kevin Barry, author of the book Orac's friend reviewed today, on the former's show. It should be put on the website in a few hours ( at 40 minutes in).
Barry seems a nervous speaker.
That makes sense.
@M O'B #17
Have you considered adding authentic, home-bakedforged Discworld-style dwarf bread to your product line? You could target two markets at once: DNA-free food faddists and Terry Pratchett fans.
Does ScienceBlogs have a corporate office we could picket until they give us an edit function?
I detest connect-the-dots plots unless it is reasonable go to any point on the lines connecting the dots and get implicit meaningful values from that point. Consider a plot with number of month (1-12) on the X axis and days in the month on Y. These are discrete values and there is absolutely nothing meaningful between the points. Month 2.5 does not have 29.5 days, as would be implied from the midpoint of a line connecting the points for February and Mach. This is perhaps an extreme example, but I’ve seen the dot-to-dot method abundantly applied where the lines mean nothing.
As opposed to imposing an arbitrary smooth function in those regions?
Connect the dots to see where the next one is in relation to the last. It helps guide the eye, that is all.
my certified DNA free meals.
The idea has a retro appeal.
The Wakefield scare had hardly any impact in Norway and Sweden, as anybody who followed it would know
I was thinking along similar lines... why should the tabloid-fueled MMR scare in the UK have any effect at all on vaccine uptake in Scandinavia?
The idea has a retro appeal.
It just occurred to me, red blood cells contain no DNA, and you never hear of vampires developing autism.
DarkScholar82: "Theresa Deisher sounds like the kind of Catholic who makes her priest groan in dread whenever she shows up at the rectory."
Exactly, you hit the nail on the head. She recently spoke at our local skeptics meetup. I witnessed in person her more than an hour long anti-vaccine tirade where she will not take an kind of correction.
Vitimin and mineral supplements, amino acids, and glucose, along with water, of course. What's missing? Aside from something to relieve what I suspect would be a very bad case of constipation after a week or so.
It sounds double-plus ungood to me, but is it possible?
Typo: "any kind of correction."
One thing I remember was that she said the UK changed its manufacturing of the MMR in 1988, when in fact that is when they introduced for the first time.
She blames varicella vaccine for the autism rise starting in 1994... it was introduced in 1995. Also she claims the Japanese version is from animal cells. Which is weird because I thought the USA was using the varicella vaccine that was developed in Japan. She also claimed that the varicella vaccine was so "dirty" it cannot be adjuvanted.
Which is also odd, because she went on claiming that researchers in at Univ. of British Columbia (Chris Shaw) proved that aluminum is bad.
I keep pointing this out to people, but it's worth repeating.
I am not a mathematician. I am a computer scientist, who happens to love writing about math.
I consider an important distinction, because while I'm proud to be a really good computer scientist/SW engineer, I'd make a lousy mathematician. I can just barely grasp a lot of higher math in order to write about it; I could never actually do stuff at that level.
What you ask for is already here (sans rocks of course).
As much as it's convenience appeals to me, I find the conditions it is used under to be abusive.
She spoke at your meet-up?
Not with her but with the fact that you lured a woo there.
"I am worried that I am getting too much DNA in my diet. I am interested in going-DNA free."
DNA is fine, if it's the right kind of DNA. I can sell you a very expensive food processor that, when supplied with our custom mix of natural enzymes, will remove all the junk DNA from your meals.
Denice Walter: "Not with her but with the fact that you lured a woo there."
The main organizer knew someone, and he has a habit of asking those we disagree with to come and talk. We've had creationists, psychics, a naturopath and others.
You all are in luck. My soon to be introduce line of DNA free food stuffs is Certified VIRUS free and the best part.........it is most definitely GMO free to boot.
I could not get Organic certification though. They kept insisting that I would have to incorporate some actual living things (like Uckkk!!) to make it organic.
Coming to a health food store near you soon.
@ #16, #17, #18 You guys are just going to give the the autism cure marketers ideas.
Honestly, having already burned out their children's intestines with rectal bleach, I don't think feeding them sand will make much of a difference.
Being born in the UK (though not a citizen) I decided to do what The Curious Ape did for the Norwegian data in #5.
First off, it's hardly population level data. Just look at the titles. The Latif paper is Diagnostic trends in autistic spectrum disorders in the South Wales valleys. The Lingam paper is Prevalence of autism and parentally reported triggers in
a north east London population.
Here's where the real dishonesty is though: the drop in 1999 corresponds to the end of the Lingam data which only had data for children up to birth year of 1998. I think this is evidence that she is being willfully dishonezt and not just incompetent. It's not like there aren't good, actually representative, studies of autism prevalence in the UK (hp://m.bmjopen.bmj.com/content/3/10/e003219.full). Of course Deisher couldn't use a study that concluded:
Following a fivefold increase in the annual incidence rates of autism during the 1990s in the UK, the incidence and prevalence rates in 8-year-old children reached a plateau in the early 2000s and remained steady through 2010.
The whole thing reeks of torturing the data at literally every step, from choosing the data sources all the way to how the results are presented. Issues in Law and Medicine should be ashamed. I would think this paper warrants a retraction.
There's a good comment on Deisher's paper on PubMed by a Kenneth Rochel de Camargo. He starts:
One would expect that after the Wakefield debate editors would be doubly cautious before publishing something that hypothesises a link between vaccines and autism. Unfortunately, this article shows it is not the case.
For shame Issues in Law and Medicine, for shame.
In case anyone is wondering that misspelling of dishonest as dishonezt in #40 was intentional. Dishonezty is like dishonesty just more hip and now, like pseudoscience is compared to boring old science. Honestly ;)
Quick clarification to #40:
...the drop in autism prevalence in the UK in 1999 shown in Deisher's table 1, corresponds...
Nothing provides better clarification than a good run on.
"Dishonezty is like dishonesty just more hip and now, like pseudoscience is compared to boring old science"
For shizzy, yo.
I appreciated the comment nonetheless. :)
NaT - I think that such a product would be an abomination, suitable only for emergency situations or livestock feed.
The products in your link seem to have either soy or rice flour, which I believe would have DNA in them. Sure, it started as a joke, but I'm wondering if a DNA free diet is possible.
She also claimed that the varicella vaccine was so “dirty” it cannot be adjuvanted.
Someone who claims to be developing vaccines might want to actually learn about them a bit. The Varicella vaccine is a modified live, no adjuvant required.
Science Mom: "Someone who claims to be developing vaccines..."
Yeah, I don't see doing much development of anything. I got the feeling she envisions herself as a Wakefield type maverick. She came off to me as a delusional diva.
Yes, I drifted off the subject of DNA contents. I was thinking of commercial ingredient diets. I remembered their existence because of the appalling reason they are being used.
The closet thing I can think of for a non-DNA diet is total parenteral nutrition. However, there you need dextrose and lipids. I I don't know how far dextrose is removed from DNA when it is synthesized but I'm guessing lipids are filled with it.
^ Or in other words, you could tell me anything you wanted about DNA and TPNs and and I wouldn't know the difference.
Isn't it cute how Deisher used one study from England and one from Wales and called the results the UK? I'm wondering where the Northern Ireland study is.
Not a Troll@47
According to Wikipedia, glucose is usually synthesized from starch so I guess it's feasible that there could be trace amounts of plant DNA. I'd bet that all the essential nutrients could be synthesized without any precursors coming from a plant or animal but it would probably be very cost prohibitive. If we're going to get this idea off the ground we'd best do it in true alt-med fashion; by lying through our teeth.
"...we’d best do it in true alt-med fashion; by lying through our teeth."
Tears in my eyes laughing so hard. Made my night, and probably woke the neighbors.
capnkrunch: "I’m wondering where the Northern Ireland study is."
Or the Scotland study.
As a journal editor, I wonder if the editor who let this piece of garbage through the peer-reviewed system ever checks to see if the results of his/her decisions are mentioned in blogs such as this one. Oh, but wait. It's not a real journal. It doesn't have a regular publication schedule, just an occasional issue when someone bothers to submit to it, and an impact factor of 0.67.
Why am I not surprised? But then the AV contingent will latch onto anything that fits their world view. If you told them that vaccines cause your head to look like a cow's head, they'd be all over it.
And even worse, there is a second article by Deisher:
Sociological Environmental Causes Are Insufficient to Explain Autism Changepoints of Incidence
By Deisher, Theresa A.; Doan, Ngoc V.
Oh, and the "journal" page has pop-up ads. Pitiful.
I have trouble understanding how someone educated and employed as a scientist at respectable institutions produce this kind of biased and slipshod work. Her companies are in my backyard and it turns out we have mutual connections on LinkedIn. I'm curious to know what my colleagues think of this work.
Sian, from the lack of comment from former co-workers noted in a 2011 Seattle Met article, I suspect they were all raised by parents who said "who you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."
I only had to deal with her speaking for almost an hour and a half (and I had to leave while she was still going strong). Over the past few months I have been recording the old "Almost Live" programs on my DVR. Nancy Guppy* had a character who was a host to a morning talk show that started with her saying "I am right, and you are wrong!" She would listen to her "guest" for about three words and then go in a tirade on how they were wrong. Sadly no one has posted any of those skits on YouTube. Deisher reminded me so much of that character.
* I look at her Almost Live skits after learning her husband is a psychotherapist.
Aargh, dropped to many words when I cleaned up a sentence:
* I look at her Almost Live skits differently after learning her husband is a psychotherapist.
I don't know if we really need "homologous recombination of fetal DNA" to create autoimmunity.
MMR and Varicella have human lung cells/proteins. Throw in some adjuvants (Kids receive up to 5 vaccines in one sitting, some with adjuvants). Mix in some epitope spreading. Looks like we have a far better recipe for autoimmunity.
And we do not even need proteins of human origin. Bovine milk contains folate receptor (FR) proteins. Develop FR antibodies and you have autoantibodies to human FR. DTaP is conveniently contaminated with milk (and adjuvanted with aluminum salts/pertussis toxin) to help achieve that.
Even if Deisher is dead wrong, it looks like we have plenty to clean up in our vaccines.
And don't forget, an intramuscular shot tears through skin, muscle, nerve tissue to provide plenty of target proteins for autoantibody development.
What are you even trying to say here? That there is an epidemic of auto-immune diseases caused by vaccines? Do you have numbers to post? A study? Anything?
"And don’t forget, an intramuscular shot tears through skin, muscle, nerve tissue to provide plenty of target proteins for autoantibody development."
I get more cuts and tears in a week of work than I would get from the thin needle from a vaccine. Even if cuts and tears could somehow provoke autoimmunity like you say, people would be 100 times more likely to get it from just going about on their daily lives than getting vaccinated.
What you say about folate receptor autoantibodies is just further proof you don't know what the hell you are talking about,but if you did know what you were talking about,you would not be an antivaxer.
Go read Dr.Ramaekers original articles from 2003-2008.FRAs were first found in women who had babies with neural tube defects.In the original studies,the mothers were the ones tested,not the babies.
You have the milk part right,but FRAs have nothing to do with vaccines.They are not acquired postnatally.Mothers pass FRAs onto their babies in the womb.The mothers test positive for FRAs too.FRAs originate in the human gut/intestines.They do not come from vaccines.Mercola,Natural News,and the rest are lying to you when they tell you they do.
A surprising number of children with autism and FRAs were never vaccinated.Parents are stunned when there unvaccinated autistic children test positive for FRAs.Their whole world view falls apart.The same parents become very worried about having another child with autism/FRAs,because this is a birth defect with a strong inheritance pattern.In addition to being born with a severe form of this disorder myself,I have been in the Facebook CFD/FRA group with other families for three years.I know more about this stuff than you,or any other antivax keyboard warrior ever will.
An alternative view on why there *might* be an increase in prevalence of autism in the UK from the late '90s into the early '00s is that in many areas there was an expansion of community CAMHS (that'll be the folk who carry out the assessments and provide the diagnoses) during that time, as well as improvements in our education and experience around autism and assessment, refinement of the tools for assessment, increased communication with the education system around autism and...and...and...
But, of course, that might be too simple.
1.) The socially awkward Rock Eater in The Never Ending Story does nothing to convince me of the benefits of going DNA free.
2.) I always wonder why Deischer et. al. wastes so much time and money on this stuff. If I were truly concerned about making a difference, I would spend all my resources actually trying to develop an alternative line of vaccines. All these little arguments are beside the point if there's no alternative other than bringing back the diseases.
Interestingly that's similar to what the Lingam study said:
This levelling off, together with the reducing age at diagnosis, suggests that the earlier recorded rise in prevalence was not a real increase but was likely due to factors such as increased recognition, a greater willingness on the part of educationalists and families to accept the diagnostic label, and better recording systems.
Obviously its the vaccines though. You can make the data say whatever you feel like when you use a Build Your Own Dataset(TM) kit. Sigh.
Right? What's really ironic is that for diseases that we have a realistic chance of eliminating, AV propaganda is actually counterproductive. Get 95% or so coverage for a few generations and the vaccine becomes uneccessary. Leave pockets of disease around and Big Pharma gets to keep profiting off the vaccines.
I talked to one person who worked with her this morning, and they seemed surprised by the change in her research focus. Apparently she worked hard and expected a lot out of the people she worked with, but when I mentioned this paper the reaction I got was utter confusion.
Thank you, Sian. Something seems to have happened over the years.
There is video on YouTube of her speaking in California at an anti-SB277 rally. If you and others who knew her over a decade ago watch, you may see that she has changed quite a bit.
"I always wonder why Deischer et. al. wastes so much time and money on this stuff. If I were truly concerned about making a difference, I would spend all my resources actually trying to develop an alternative line of vaccines."
That's like saying Ralph Nader should have started an alternative line of (safe) automobiles.
Today automobiles are crash tested by manufacturers. They are crash tested by the government. They are crash tested by the independent IIHS. People can research and choose the safest automobile among competitors.
With vaccines you have none of that. People get vaccinated with whatever is stocked at their hospital. It is a MYTH that all vaccines are the same in terms of safety. Without people researching and choosing vaccine vendors, there is NO incentive for vendors to make safer vaccines.
APV, were ignorance bliss, you'd be rapturous.
People get vaccinated with whatever is stocked at their hospital. It is a MYTH that all vaccines are the same in terms of safety.
Nobody here denies that.
Without people researching and choosing vaccine vendors, there is NO incentive for vendors to make safer vaccines.
A vaccine for rotavirus was withdrawn after post release analysis revealed a possible increased risk of intussuception (I may have misspelled that). Once polio dropped below certain levels in areas, the oral polio vaccine was replaced by the injectable vaccine in those areas. Smallpox vaccine was removed from the schedule when smallpox went extinct. We have qualified people reviewing this matter.
Roger Kulp #60,
"They are not acquired postnatally."
It is postnatal:
"The onset of the disorder during the first 3 to 6 months of life after the switch to bovine milk would suggest a delayed or disrupted synergy between the adaptive and innate immune systems in the gut."
How can you rule out milk contaminated vaccines causing FRA?
Intramuscular injection is the most effective method of creating antibodies to injected proteins. And vaccines also have adjuvants. That is why most vaccines are administered intramuscular. Frequent cuts/bruises are a small risk factor for autoimmunity. Skin/muscle/nerve/lung tissue being injected into muscles, along with adjuvants is a big risk factor.
Nerve tissue antibodies:
Lung tissue antibodies:
Muscle tissue antibodies:
@APV: you certainly have a bee in your bonnet. Give it a rest. You are wrong. Vaccines do not cause allergies.
How can you rule out milk contaminated vaccines causing FRA?
Epidemiology is your friend.
"We have qualified people reviewing this matter."
Why are the same qualified people being ignored here:
“Efforts should continue to identify less allergenic
substitutes for gelatin currently used by vaccine manufacturers.”.
And gelatin in vaccines is still making kids sick today:
Roger Kulp #60,
Babies get antibodies from Mom for a few months. They CANNOT synthesize their own antibodies from Mom's antibodies. If they could, vaccines would be UNNECESSARY!
So, if Mom provided FR antibodies, it would stop in a few months. For the baby to synthesize its own antibodies, you need vaccines or disease. So just like DTaP helping the baby make pertussis antibodies, the milk contamination in DTaP helps the baby make FR antibodies.
No new physics required. It is quite simple.
Why should those efforts continue, and why is gelatin in vaccines making some kids sick today? Because some children may have become sensitized to gelatin prior to receiving the vaccine and react adversely, not because there's reason to beleive the vaccine may cause them to develop an allergy to gelatin.
For example, from your second linked website <blod for emphasis):
Immediately after these immunizations in our pediatrician s office, he complained of his throat hurting, was sneezing, drooling , threw up and had red, itchy skin and trouble breathing. He was taken by ambulance to the ER, and treated with shots including epinephrine. In the past, he has had drooling and vomiting after eating a piece of protein chocolate bar and when taking his gummy vitamins, and complained of his throat hurting after eating marshmallows.
Forgive me if this has come up before regarding Deisher's theory - but wouldn't a logical extension of her beliefs require banning blood donation from anyone with an ASD?
Think of it - various blood products likely contain DNA (i.e. from white blood cells), which even if present in Trace Amounts could zip right on up to the brain, intermingle with and replace neuronal DNA, and pass its mutations on to not only the transfusion recipient, but to his/her children as well (since it heads down to the gonads too)!!!
Beyond a blood donation ban, we obviously can't have anyone with an ASD involved in food handling either (skin cells slough off, you know, and, uh, secretions).
ASD leper colonies, anyone?
"..present in Trace Amounts..."
"... heads down to the gonads too.."
" .. and, uh, secretions..."
Heh. Hilarious as, usual.
Thank you, I aim to sleaze.
On the general topic of "scientists gone bad", I was reading about the career of J. Marvin Herndon -- previously a crank geophysicist, albeit one with friends who published his work in PNAS, who has gone completely calenture-hatstand and is all about the Chemtrail Holocaust.
That trail of inquiry led quickly to Catherine Frompovich: erstwhile antivax campaigner and baby-killer apologist, who turns out to have progressed to the chemtrails herself. Also to Morgellons Syndrome -- the fibres are stamped with NASA codes. And the great implanting of RFID microchips in every citizen in 2017.
I wonder if her colleagues at VacTruth and SaneVax are still keen to be seen with her.
1. Yes, the kids were sensitized to gelatin prior to receiving the vaccine. The CDC/FDA doctors want gelatin removed from vaccines to avoid the risk of serious reactions in these kids.
2. "not because there’s reason to beleive the vaccine may cause them to develop an allergy to gelatin."
“In the preliminary results investigating the immunogenicity of gelatin in DTaP, a trace amount of gelatin in DTaP was immunogenic.11 We examined 165 paired sera obtained before the first dose of DTaP and 1 month after the third dose of DTaP. Of 165 paired sera, 62 were obtained from the recipients of gelatin-free DTaP, and IgE antibodies to gelatin developed in none. In 103 recipients of gelatin-containing DTaP, IgE antibodies to gelatin developed in 2 recipients.”
So gelatin (and any other food protein contaminating vaccines) are dangerous for both reason. They sensitize healthy kids to food proteins. And they cause adverse reactions to such sensitized kids.
Japan removed gelatin from vaccines in 2000.
Removal of gelatin from live vaccines and DTaP—an ultimate
solution for vaccine-related gelatin allergy
MI Dawn #70,
"Vaccines do not cause allergies."
I believe I may have mentioned this before, but hey, it's not like you don't repeat yourself incessantly, so...
I would be in serious trouble, were I to become a zombie (beyond the obvious troubles inherent in become a zombie in the first place, of course), as I received thrice-weekly intramuscular injections of human growth hormone for several years while (not very quickly) growing (not very high) up. Not synthetic stuff, either, but genuine "cadaverous extract." Pureed pituitary, dehydrated, then later reconstituted before being injected into my lower-lower back.
Some (well, okay, just me) speculate that all those injections of brain extracts have left me a smartass (or, a smart ass). But also, clearly such a constant exposure through such a dangerous delivery location as intramuscular injection must have left me with a terrible allergy to brains. I'm fortunate enough to not find myself in possession of any great desire to eat brains of any sort, let alone human; I'm even more fortunate that this awful affliction has not caused my body to reject my own brain. At least, I don't think it has...
@APV: I certainly hope they controlled for food exposures between the vaccines. After all, it's certainly not possible the children were exposed to gelatin in ANY OTHER WAY, is it? And oh, horrors...2 children developed IgE antibodies. Did they develop ALLERGIES?
Richard Smith #81,
Anaphylaxis to growth hormone
If it did not happen to you, you cannot conclude it does not happen to anyone ...
That's why they had two groups. One receiving gelatin-containing DTaP and other gelatin-free DTaP.
"We examined 165 paired sera obtained before the first dose of DTaP and 1 month after the third dose of DTaP. Of 165 paired sera, 62 were obtained from the recipients of gelatin-free DTaP, and IgE antibodies to gelatin developed in none. In 103 recipients of gelatin-containing DTaP, IgE antibodies to gelatin developed in 2 recipients. Later, when they received measles vaccine, one developed urticaria 20 minutes after measles vaccination, but the other did not. "
So one had a reaction to gelatin in the measles vaccine.
"And oh, horrors…2 children developed IgE antibodies."
So, 2 of out 103 patients developing gelatin allergy is acceptable?
Anaphylaxis to vaccine contaminants occurs in about 1 in a million doses. THERE ARE PROMINENT WARNINGS ON ALL VACCINE PACKAGE INSERTS ABOUT ANAPHYLAXIS.
2 out of 103 develop allergy ANEW from vaccine contaminants and THERE'S NOT A WORD ABOUT IT IN THE PACKAGE INSERT. Can you explain why?
Dear APV: again, IgE is NOT the same as an allergy. Please take some immunology classes before going on.
You also seemed to misunderstand my comment about controls. Did they validate that none of the children in EITHER group had no exposure to gelatin in ANY OTHER FORM? No one slipped one of the babies a spoonful of Jello? The baby wasn't given a chicken leg to suck on, or a bone?
And yes, 1 child out of 103 developed urticaria after the measles vaccine. Was this proven to be due to the gelatin in the vaccine? Was the child ever skin tested to see if the urticaria was gelatin related?
A-a-a-and you know that one or both of those allergies to growth hormone was actually introduced by prior injections of growth hormone how, exactly?
Bobby was two years old, and had never eaten peanuts. Then he got a vaccination and, several months later, ate his first peanut and had an allergic reaction! Clearly, it wasn't that he'd been born with a sensitivity to peanuts that only showed up the first time he ate a peanut, the vaccine caused his allergy!
Similarly, a person can't possibly have an oversensitivity to otherwise normal substances (ie, growth hormone) suddenly introduced in a relatively large amount in an unusual location (ie, random cluster of muscle fibers); no, every human body is a precisely-developed and perfectly-running machine, each operating according to the exact same specifications, so such an allergic reaction must indeed have been introduced by those wicked, wicked injections.
So, at 3 time a week, let's say 45 weeks out of the year, for about six years, that's 3 x 45 x 6 = 810 injections, not counting the various exposures during all the testing at the hospital. Yeah, maybe I dodged a bullet over 800 times, or maybe the bullet would have been fired a lot earlier, before I was born, and I just never developed that oversensitivity. I just didn't dodge whatever bullet stopped my pituitary from growing past 1/4 normal size.
I have posted a link to this article in the past that explains FRAs very elegantly.Here it is again.I would suggest you take some time to try and understand it.
Autoantibodies against the folate receptor (FR) were first described in mothers with a neural-tube-defect pregnancy and provided an explanation for folate deficiency in the developing embryo resulting from autoantibodies blocking folate uptake via the FR.The finding of FR autoantibodies in children with CFD syndrome and the low level of 5MTHF in CSF suggested a similar mechanism by which binding of the autoantibodies to the FR on the choroid plexus would block folate transport into the CSF.6 In the CFD syndrome, the clinical manifestations typically occur after the switch to bovine milk. One likely mechanism for autoantibody production could be that exposure to soluble FR from milk elicits an immune response. Because of the structural homology with human FR, the autoantibodies cross-react with the FR on the epithelial cells of the choroid plexus, block folate transport, and ultimately produce the CFD syndrome.
In CFD patients with autoantibodies against FR, oral folinic acid treatment leads to substantial clinical improvement, especially if the treatment is started early in the disorder. Avoidance of milk downregulates these autoantibodies, and re-exposure to milk is followed by an increase in the autoantibody titer. Milk contains substantial amounts of FR and seems to present the triggering antigen for the autoantibody response. This indicates that the gastrointestinal tract is a likely route of exposure to the antigen and that a compromised immune barrier in this system can be considered as the potential cause of the autoimmune response. The familial occurrence of CFD in some siblings, such as that observed in three brothers, suggests a genetic component to this disorder. An autoimmune response against FR may result from genetically dictated errors during early thymic negative selection of autoreactive T-cells (CD4+ T helper cells and regulatory T cells) that fail to undergo apoptosis or do not remain in a state of anergy toward the FR antigen.Further research in families could identify the specific genetic components involved.14 After ingestion of milk, immunogenic peptides could cross a damaged intestinal barrier and activate peripheral macrophages, B cells, and T cells. We were unable to obtain detailed histories of early infancy to identify food allergies or allergy to milk or other conditions that may have triggered an inflammatory response and compromised the integrity of the intestinal barriers. The onset of the disorder during the first 3 to 6 months of life after the switch to bovine milk would suggest a delayed or disrupted synergy between the adaptive and innate immune systems in the gut.
Science.You keep citing the stuff,but you don't know what any of it means.You cannot bend science to fit your own preconceived ideas about vaccines.
Richard Smith #86,
Basic immunology fact: you cannot be born with an allergy mediated by the adaptive immune system. IgE mediated allergies are part of the adaptive immune system. You HAVE to be sensitized BEFORE you can have a reaction.
So, yes, you CANNOT be born with a sensitivity to peanuts.
So Bobby's sensitization is most likely to have occurred due to an injection/vaccine.
Another basic immunology fact: If you could be born with the ability to synthesize antibodies to peanuts, you could be born with the ability to synthesize antibodies to all diseases your Mom suffered. Vaccinations would NEVER have been invented!
Richard Smith #86, MI Dawn #85,
Randomized Trial of Peanut Consumption in Infants at Risk for Peanut Allergy
This study shows that the group of children who AVOIDED peanuts (in diet) developed more cases of peanut allergy than the group that ate peanuts.
How did children who avoided eating peanuts get sensitized?
Vaccines are the most likely cause of exposure.
The study are demonstrates again that eating peanuts INDUCES TOLERANCE, NOT ALLERGY. Same for gelatin and all food proteins. Such oral tolerance has been known for more than a hundred years.
“The phenomenon of oral tolerance was first described by Wells and Osborne in 1911.5,6 They used guinea pigs to show that inclusion of egg white, purified egg allergens, or oats in the diet rendered the animals hyporesponsive to sensitization and anaphylaxis to those proteins. ”
FOOD PROTEIN CONTAMINATED VACCINES CAUSE THE DEVELOPMENT OF FOOD ALLERGIES.
Straight from the horse's mouth.
"Adverse events on our list thought to be due to IgE-mediated hypersensitivity reactions
Antigens in the vaccines that the committee is charged with reviewing do not typically elicit an immediate hypersensitivity reaction (e.g., hepatitis B surface antigen, toxoids, gelatin, ovalbumin, casamino acids).
However, as will be discussed in subsequent chapters, the above-mentioned antigens do occasionally induce IgE-mediated sensitization in some individuals and subsequent hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylaxis."
Anybody want to argue with that?
It's been my understanding for quite some time now that in spite of amateurish observations of the ongoing "conflict" between the scientific community and the communities of those who subscribe to more conservative religions, it's quite possible, and also quite often the case that good scientists can adhere to these aforementioned beliefs quite happily, with the implementation of a certain degree of understanding of the mutual exclusivity between the observable universe and belief or disbelief in things that cannot be tested.
In respect to this, you have put yourself on the level of Deisher in terms of your disregard for authenticity, and have muddled this delicate relationship between faith and fact. To attack the woman for her slanted research is one thing, but whipping out the drawling, old "motivated by fervor" explanation should be beneath such an otherwise insightful writer. The pro-life movement resembles a sizable proportion of folks who simply find abortion, and the use of its products, distasteful. It's not an uncommon sentiment, and certainly not one exclusively held by the "religiously motivated." In the case of Deisher, religion may have indeed played a role, but you seem to downplay the immense grief and subsequent erratic behavior that can be caused by the loss of offspring, and instead opt to put religion on the hotplate.
What's more, you take a very tired and - forgive me - naive approach to invalidating the concerns of the pro-choice group by simply brushing them off with "the Catholic Church said it's okay." The Catholic Church itself is hardly a universal moral paradigm, and even its members - such as yourself - seem to understand this. When you take an institution like the Church, which is politically active beyond the means of a simple church, and try to apply its ever-changing public policies to the dismissal of a popular moral stance that is common to many faiths, and even some faith-less, you are making an extremely amateur fallacious appeal to authority. If, as you have implied, Deisher's stance on vaccinations is in direct contrast to those of the Catholic Church's, what could there possibly be said about her motivation stemming from Catholicism?
As scientists, is essential that we occupy, albeit admittedly difficultly so, a very finite area of perspective that can be described as skepticism. By belittling the sentiments of the very people you should be trying to convince, and lowering yourself by using childish insults such as "stupid," you are only measuring your own angst in front of your audience, and reprising your role as a scientist.
I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, an "anti-vaxxer," but your article has caused me to garner greater than usual sympathy for them. Perhaps if you had any at all in the first place, I wouldn't have felt the need to comment.
Sure, APV. I'll bite. Since I don't have time to read the whole book, I'll just give you the conclusion from the abstract:
The committee finds that evidence convincingly supports a causal relationship between some vaccines and some adverse events—such as MMR, varicella zoster, influenza, hepatitis B, meningococcal, and tetanus-containing vaccines linked to anaphylaxis. Additionally, evidence favors rejection of five vaccine-adverse event relationships, including MMR vaccine and autism and inactivated influenza vaccine and asthma episodes. However, for the majority of cases (135 vaccine-adverse event pairs), the evidence was inadequate to accept or reject a causal relationship. Overall, the committee concludes that few health problems are caused by or clearly associated with vaccines.
No one denies that vaccines can have adverse effects. But you are talking about allergies. Read the last sentence:
Overall, the committee concludes that few health problems are caused by or clearly associated with vaccines.
Vaccines are the most likely cause of exposure.
Except of course that there are no peanuts or peanut products in vaccines.
I vacillate in being judgmental about people. I can appreciate Orac's feelings of sympathy for Deisher, based on her pain at watching her son succumb to cancer. I might even 'forgive' the pseudo-scientific paper on that basis. But the fact she coached David Daleiden brings out my inner Javert, or maybe Dredd. We're talking about a major blow to public health here, with the demonization and pending de-funding of Planned Parenthood. I can't believe Deisher didn't know she was getting in bed with a James O'Keefe wanna-be propagandist who was intending to attack PP by utterly unscrupulous methods, including outrageous distortions and outright lies. I find it hard to believe placing one's own grief over the common good in this way, and adopting the unassailable diva act Chris witnessed, is justified by any 'mainstream' Catholic theology... But I'm hardly an expert on Catholicism, so I'll just declare it repugnant from my good ol' 'secular humanist' perspective.
MI Dawn #92,
"Since I don’t have time to read the whole book"
I'll make it easy for you. It is a free download, pl. see:
Document Pg. 65 (pdf pg. 94 ) and Pg.277 (pdf pg. 306).
"But you are talking about allergies. Read the last sentence:
Overall, the committee concludes that few health problems are caused by or clearly associated with vaccines."
The committee is also talking about allergies. Yes, some of the few problems that they have clearly associated with vaccines is the development of allergy (sensitization) to antigens in vaccines and anaphylaxis.
"Except of course that there are no peanuts or peanut products in vaccines."
Vegetable oil is a source for excipients used in vaccines. It could be peanut oil. YOU have to point us to the regulation BANNING the use of peanut oil in excipients. Otherwise, your statement has no basis.
Was perusing APV's site and found this gem:
Any intramuscular vaccine/injection needle will tear off muscle tissue and deposit it along with the vaccine contents. One muscle protein is tropomyosin. Tropomyosin is found in the brain and intestines also. A person can develop sensitization to this tropomyosin protein, resulting in the immune system attacking the body’s tissues that contain tropomyosin. In other words, an autoimmune disorder results. When the immune system attacks the intestines, the result is ulcerative colitis. Likewise, autoimmune brain disorders are also possible.
Yup, depositing muscle tissue into the muscle tissue results in ulcerative colitis. F***ing brilliant.
Vinu Arumugham (APV):
Vegetable oil is a source for excipients used in vaccines. It could be peanut oil.
Don't be a coward, Vinu. It "could" be peanut oil?
It is a matter of public record that you have specifically stated as a fact (not merely your own assumption) that vaccine makers are manufacturing vaccines with peanut proteins in them. Strangely, you refuse to name which companies are doing this, and which vaccines have these peanut proteins in them. Why is that?
You have stated that Avantor Corporation used peanut oil in one of their Polysorbate 80 products, and that Avantor concealed that information on the product's datasheet.
According to you, Avantor is currently producing Polysorbate 80 from sesame oil, but they are covering up that fact and omitting that information from their product datasheet.
You also stated that Millipore's Polysorbate 80 has maize and wheat in it and you cited their datasheet as your proof, even though the datasheet says the opposite.
So don't be a coward, Vinu.
Stand behind your claims.
Be direct; have some integrity for a change.
Just simply say, "Vaccine makers produce vaccines with peanut oil proteins in them."
If you have the courage. Which I doubt.
APV...and I could be Marlene Dietrich.*
Seriously are you grasping at straws that desperately? There's no regulation banning peanut oil from aspirin, Pepto-Bismol or A&D ointment, either.
(*Why not? I have blonde hair, I speak German, and I also do a spot-on rendition of 'Lili Marlene.')
" There’s no regulation banning peanut oil from aspirin, Pepto-Bismol or A&D ointment, either."
If Polysorbate 80 is used in aspirin, pepto-bismol or A&D, they could have peanut oil too. What's your point?
"depositing muscle tissue into the muscle tissue results in ulcerative colitis."
You are not gently moving muscle tissue from one place to another. It is torn and the proteins released along with antigens in vaccines and adjuvants. The muscle is the most optimal location for antibody production. The IOM has concluded that antigens in vaccines cause IgE-mediated sensitization. Taking into account epitope spreading, autoantibody synthesis to muscle proteins is easily possible.
Perhaps you can tell us why it does not happen?
No, they couldn't, because there's no peanut oil in Polysorbate 80. No 'could,' no 'maybe,' no 'what if.' This peanut oil has rung up the curtain and joined the choir invisibule.
"No, they couldn’t, because there’s no peanut oil in Polysorbate 80. "
APV, Because you know we can't prove a negative, please specify what degree of purity from peanut proteins would be proof enough for you, so the discussion might actually get somewhere.
" Because you know we can’t prove a negative, please specify what degree of purity from peanut proteins would be proof enough for you, so the discussion might actually get somewhere."
Fantastic question! Your line of thinking is exactly the same as mine. What level of peanut protein is safe to inject into a human infant without causing peanut allergy? I'll be happy with that level of purity in injectable excpients. Too much to ask? And of course the same comment applies to ALL food proteins. You see, it is a basic matter of common sense. No PhD needed. But I guess that is too much to expect from the FDA/CDC ...
That is why I have repeatedly asked people to post studies that have determined safe levels of injected proteins. If such studies exist, specifications can be written and enforced for safe levels of food proteins in injectable products.
APV @103 -- don't have to. You're the one making the claim and so far you are the only person who thinks you've found a smoking gun.
Everyone else realizes you've got, at best, a wet slingshot.
We don't have to worry about the possibility of peanut oil in polysorbate 80 used in vaccines causing problems because the pixie dust found in every batch of polysorbate 80 renders it completely non-allergenic.
What's that you say, APV--there's no pixie dust in polysorbate 80?
The Polysorbate 80 datasheet refers to peanut. It does not refer to pixie dust. Explain that.
Fantastic question! Your line of thinking is exactly the same as mine.
I hope not. I prefer to think of myself as more varied in my interests.
What level of peanut protein is safe to inject into a human infant without causing peanut allergy? I’ll be happy with that level of purity in injectable excpients.
Given that you've stretched the issue over how many thousand comments in total, I want scout the issue a little more.
What institution(s) would you accept such a study from? Even if they found it safe as is, with regard to peanut proteins ?
It does not refer to pixie dust. Explain that.
They don't want you to know about it!
Alternately, if polysorbate 80 doesn't contain pixie dust because the datasheet doesn't mention it, by your own reasoning it didn't contain peanuts when the datasheet didn't mention it, either. Hope you aren't afraid of heights, because your petard has hoisted you pretty high.
@Richard Smith (#111): Nice! (I love people who use those properly and SPELL them properly.)