A "professor" who isn't talks science about vaccines that isn't

One of the great things about having achieved some notoriety as a blogger is that readers send me links to articles that the believe will be interesting to me. They usually come in waves. For instance, after anything having to do with Stanislaw Burzynski, “right to try,” particularly egregious antivaccine idiocy, and the like hits the news, I can be sure that well-meaning readers will send me or Tweet at me about the same article several times. (So don’t take it personally if I don’t respond; I get hundreds of e-mails a day.) Sometimes they’re wrong and its something that I have no interest in, but that’s just the price to be paid for being such an amazingly popular blogger. I know, I know. I’m basically a microcelebrity, if not a nanocelebrity. But to me, even eleven years on, that’s amazingly popular because I never expected when I started this whole crazy thing that I’d ever get more than a few hundred readers, if that.

In any case, when a reader sends me a link to something entitled Scientific Proof: Vaccines DO Cause Autism, it is, as I told that reader, not unlike waving a cape in front of a bull. Actually, it’s not, at least not most of the time, because so many antivaccine blogs post articles with similar titles. I could probably write about nothing but articles claiming to have the “scientific proof” that vaccines cause autism and still be able to produce at least three posts a week. However, when an article entitled Scientific Proof: Vaccines DO Cause Autism is posted on the Drinking Thinking Moms’ Revolution (TMR) and is as hilariously off base as this one is, well, it really is like waving the proverbial cape in front of the proverbial bull. At the very least, I know I’m in for potential fun and frustration deconstructing one of the Drinking Thinking Mom’s attempts to fancy herself an expert immunologist and neuroscientist. Basically, TMR is a wine loving, vaccine hating, coffee klatch of mommy warriors for whom the terms Dunning-Kruger effect and arrogance of ignorance were coined, and, believe me, the Dunning-Kruger is very strong here.

This time around, it’s Drinking Thinking Mom in whom the Dunning-Kruger is arguably the strongest, the one who calls herself “The Professor” or “Professor TMR” and uses as her avatar a photo of a teacher writing on the blackboard wearing a very short dress that shows off her black stockings and garters. I must confess that I never understood the choices, but, then, every regular at TMR likes to choose a ‘nym like Professor TMR, Dragon Slayer, Sugah, Blaze, Goddess, or Killah. You get the idea. Maybe it’s just because I’m a clueless middle-aged white male, and maybe I shouldn’t care, but it’s still odd to me. Oh, well. I chose as my ‘nym and avatar an all-knowing computer from an obscure late 1970s British science fiction television show. So I guess I can hardly talk.

Be that as it may, we’ve met the Professor before, and she is magnificent at laying down the Dunning-Kruger. Of course, that’s not a good thing, and unfortunately she’s just as magnificent here. First off, she seems very unhappy about a famous Tweet Hillary Clinton made trolling antivaccine activists:

The Professor’s reaction:

This is it: The Changepoint.

Can you feel it? The last 30 years have led inexorably to this moment when, for the first time in history, all the candidates remaining in the race for the presidency of the United States feel the need to clarify their stance on the use of vaccines – repeatedly and conflictingly. How did we get to the point where vaccines have become such a highly charged, controversial issue? After all, if vaccines are truly as safe as “they” say they are, wouldn’t anyone want a “get out of sickness free” card?

The truth? Of course they would. If vaccines were a truly “free” way to avoid illness, there would be no controversy, plain and simple. Everyone would be on board. That’s why vaccines have generally enjoyed the largely unquestioned popularity they have for as long as they have. Everyone wants to believe in magic. The problem is that, as the number of recommended vaccines and vaccine doses has climbed in the last 30 years along with their concomitant serious adverse events, it has become glaringly obvious that such avoidance of illness through the help of a hypodermic needle is anything but “free” for a large and growing segment of the population who are now living with chronic, often debilitating, illness.

I do so love how antivaccinationists conflate two different things, as the Professor is doing here. Vaccines are not “controversial.” At least, they aren’t controversial in the way antivaccinationists think they are. Hillary Clinton was correct about this. Despite many attempts over two decades to find a link involving hundreds of thousands of patients, no link between vaccines and autism has been found. To a high degree of precision and to the best of science’s ability to determine, vaccines do not cause autism, which is exactly the opposite of what the Professor is trying to argue. So where does the controversy come in? Simple. It involves questions of how far society should go to mandate vaccinations for children; i.e., how to balance the public good against individual rights to refuse. Society has clearly struck a balance in which it requires that children be vaccinated in order to be allowed to attend school and day care. It’s a reasonable compromise. Now, the controversy is over whether nonmedical exemptions (a.k.a. religious or personal belief exemptions) should be permitted. That controversy only exists because antivaccine views have led to an increase in nonmedical exemptions in many states, leading to pockets of low vaccine uptake, leading to degradation of herd immunity, and leading to outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.

I’m not sure if this is an intentional or unintentional strategy in the Professor’s case, but antivaccine activists often try to conflate the political controversy over vaccine mandates with a scientific controversy. They then go on to argue that the reason there is a political controversy is because there is a scientific controversy over the safety and efficacy of vaccines. However, that “scientific controversy” is nothing more than a manufactroversy. Antivaccine “scientists” do their damnedest to generate “science” implicating vaccines in everything from autism to autoimmune diseases to sudden infant death syndrome to just about any chronic disease or condition that you can imagine.

This leads Professor TMR to do what antivaccinationists do so well, play the victim:

You all know in your heart of hearts it’s true. The mocking of CNN’s Elizabeth Cohen, her “journalistic” colleagues, and the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Special Masters notwithstanding, there can be no other explanation for why the “myth” has persisted. The mainstream media would have you believe that everyone who believes that vaccines cause autism (at least one-third of American parents of children under 18 at last count) is a superstitious, anti-science nutcase. But if you actually dig deeper and investigate this claim, you will find that often the “all vaccines are magic” crowd is actively discouraging the sharing of science and factual information while at the same time disseminating a great deal of – what shall we call it? Misinformation? – justifying themselves with “you can’t handle the truth.” Those of us who think that vaccines come with some very serious risks that mean that everyone should be thinking long and deeply before taking any vaccine, on the other hand, actively share as much scientific and factual information as possible, while at the same time encouraging you to do further independent study on the subject. We want you to understand that large, epidemiological studies are easy to manipulate. (There’s a reason for Disraeili’s saying, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”) We want you to look at who is funding the science, and ask yourself what questions didn’t they ask or answer? We want you to be aware of what the editors of the most prestigious medical journals and the Cochrane Collaboration (the least biased international repository for medical science) have to say about corporate corruption of science and the failure of peer review.

One can’t help but note that the Cochrane Collaboration houses within its organization at least one high-placed scientist who is profoundly skeptical of the influenza vaccine and has said things about it that border on antivaccine. Yes, I’m referring to Tom Jefferson. Heck, he’s even appeared on the Gary Null Show. I also see a lot of projection here. Professor TMR calls us the “all vaccine is magic” crowd, but that is more true of antivaccine loons like her. The difference is that she thinks all vaccines are black magic that causes autism and all manner of health problems. As for manipulating epidemiological studies, Professor TMR’s claim shows that she’s clearly never been involved in an epidemiological study. They are not nearly as easy to manipulate as she thinks. Protocols have to be approved by scientific review boards (SRBs) and then institutional review boards (IRBs), the purpose of the latter of which is to protect human subjects. Has Professor TMR ever served on an IRB? Clearly not, or she would know that SRBs and IRBs pore over the plans for study design, data collection, and statistical analysis. They look for any issues that might compromise the study. Truly, the ignorance of our “Professor” is breathtaking.

But our good “Professor” is only getting started. Here’s the part where she fancies herself an immunologist. Hilariously, she references a post on TMR by Twilight (here we go with the ‘nyms again) that is notable for throwing around a bunch of immunology terms, cites a bunch of studies relating neuroinflammation and autism, and concludes that just because there’s evidence that neuroinflammation is seen in autism that vaccines must be a cause. Seriously, it’s that simple. Or should I say, that simplistic? It might be fun to deconstruct the issues with that post in more detail, but not here. For purposes of this post, I just find it quite amusing that Professor TMR would cite such a source. Even more hilariously, Professor TMR invokes Vaccine Papers. Regular readers know that whoever is behind that execrable site has on occasion shown up in the comments here. I might just finally have to do a post about that website.

Professor TMR concludes with an analogy that shows just how little she understands science:

After our blog on Autism and the Immune System, Lisa Stephenson of Autism Revolution for Medical Intervention requested that we stop pursuing the link between vaccines and autism and suggested that by doing so we were sacrificing “all our children for the sake of the ones who have vaccine-induced autism.” I heartily disagree and will illustrate it with an analogy. Say that you have read the research linking smoking and lung cancer. You know it implicates smoking in a big way, but the tobacco companies are running successful interference, and you see people all around you who don’t know about the link and are subsequently developing lung cancer. Do you keep quiet about it because there are some people who develop lung cancer, like my own father, who have never smoked a day in their lives and you might be “sacrificing” those people “for the sake of the ones who have smoking-induced lung cancer”? Of course not! You speak up and inform people what their choices and actions may lead to and in the process help benefit the individuals, their families, society at large by enabling them to avoid the physical, social, and economic costs of serious illness. Then, if they still choose to smoke, at least they’re doing it with their eyes open.

Comparing vaccine manufacturers to tobacco companies is a favorite trope of antivaccinationists. Never mind that the real analogy would place antivaccine propagandists in the place of tobacco companies. They are the ones using the same techniques of spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt (a.k.a. FUD) about vaccines in the same way that tobacco companies spread FUD about the science showing that cigarettes cause cancer. Now here’s why Professor TMR’s analogy is so brain dead. Smoking increases the risk of lung cancer by as much as ten-fold, and the epidemiological evidence that it does so is bulletproof. In contrast, there is no solid evidence that vaccines cause autism and mountains of evidence that it doesn’t. The analogy is ridiculous on so many levels.

In the end, Dunning-Kruger triumphs.

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Interleukin-2 is not a cell SquirellElite.

Interleukin-2 is not a cell SquirellElite.

IL-2 cells is immunologist's shorthand for "IL-2 - producing cell".

By Helianthus (not verified) on 29 Sep 2016 #permalink

Thanks, Helianthus.

I never took a microbiology course, so please forgive me if I fumbled the terminology. That doesn't change the results of the study I cited.

I wonder why they don't try to figure out how vaccines might produce an increase in the growth of midi-chlorians in people with the right genetic mutation.

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 29 Sep 2016 #permalink

@ squirrelelite

You're welcome, and I'm not much of an immunologist myself. I have a few colleagues who are, so I'm able to recognize the patois :-)

By Helianthus (not verified) on 29 Sep 2016 #permalink

#83 NONE of those responses refute that IL-6 damages Purkinje cells and this is implicated in autism, and the Shaw and Tomljenovic comment is an ad homimen attack that fails to address the facts.
#87 once again, YOU, and not me, allege that the IL-6 theory is false and therefore YOU, and not me, need to bring up evidence that backs up your claim
#88 is that the best you can do? Yersinia pestis is necessary for Bubonic Plague but will not cause symptoms in everyone; IL-6 is necessary for Purkinje cell damage but will not cause it in everyone. Again, the "necessary and sufficient " applies to logic but not so much to biological organisms.
#89 aren't we done with ad hominem attacks yet, or do you consider this "science"?
#90 thanks
#91 the experiments are clear although the mechanisms may not be. We now now that IL-6 triggers IL-17a which seems to cause the real damage.
#92 Good. Please cite the evidence.
#93 thanks
#94 you know very well the vaccinepapers uses ONLY published peer reviewed research. The experiments cited by vaccinepapers--from extensive published peer-reviewed literature-- prove the mechanism exist. Vaccinepapers' point is that the medical literature is corrupt on the vaccine-autism link, so you can't assume that it isn't corrupt to prove vaccinepapers wrong. You must refute the arguments.
#96,96 aren't we talking about IL-6 and also IL-17a?

OK I made some minor spelling errors but I trust you can work through them.

At least Szilard is making an effort to present something resembling evidence.

However, it seems to be on the level of "X can cause Y, therefore we can infer that Y leads to Z resulting in WQXR".

Neither of these studies involved vaccination or were looking at autism or autism-like symptoms. The mouse study was supposed to relate to chronic aluminum administration (in a setting where the experimental mice were killed after 16 hours). I was amused by the fact that the pig study abstract discussed foot and mouth disease (a form of which (foot-in-mouth disease) heavily afflicts antivaxers.

Really guys, it is pitifully insufficient to do the Toxin thing and wave one's hands about Aluminum and Mercury being Bad, without having a relevant model that simulates exposure levels from vaccines, (in the context of what normal environmental exposures to these Toxins are). We would also need relevance to autism incidence.

End result - a lame exercise in connect-the-dots using ghostly and non-existent dots.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 30 Sep 2016 #permalink

IL-6 can cause damage to Purkinje cells by itself; it's a cytokine activated by an immune response. Damage to Purkinje cells is the closest thing that we have to a biomarker for autism. Experiments with mice and with monkeys show that the mechanism is sound. Case studies show that inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) can (but note, JustaTech, NOT ALWAYS) cause autism. We now understand more about the mechanism for this, and it stands to reason that a brain inflammation triggered by ANYTHING at all will cause a cytokine surge that may be damaging. Does anyone disagree with any of this? I trust not: we know that severe infections may lead to brain damage in some percentage of cases. The mechanism has been outlined as the IL-6 cascade. Why would vaccine adverse reactions be "immune" from triggering this same IL-6 cascade? In fact they are not: vaccines are DESIGNED to provoke an immune response, and in some people that immune response is overwhelming. That is the theory. To take it down you have to take a step and show how it is false.

Logic is one of the foundations of science. Please use it and refrain from insults and ad hominem attacks, if you can.

The reason we don't allow ad hominem attacks in logic is because if we did, then ANYONE could refute ANY argument by simply making accusations against the speaker's character. That why we always attack the argument, not the man or what is said about the man.

@Don:

#87 once again, YOU, and not me, allege that the IL-6 theory is false and therefore YOU, and not me, need to bring up evidence that backs up your claim

You are the one making the claim. So YOU are the one who must stump up the evidence.

#91 the experiments are clear although the mechanisms may not be. We now now that IL-6 triggers IL-17a which seems to cause the real damage.

"Seems to" is not good enough.
@Szilard, I looked at several of the links you posted.
Neuron loss in cerebellar cortex of rats exposed to mercury vapor: a stereological study.
Mercury vapour, not thimerosal. Pure mercury in vapour form. Not relevant.
Page 447 of "Protein metal Interactions": You have either reached a page that is unavailable for viewing or reached your viewing limit for this book.
"IL-6 production following vaccination in pigs--an additional immune response parameter for assessing FMD vaccine efficacy?"
The title ends with a question mark. Also...
"...quantifying the levels of IL-6 in serum could provide additional means of qualifying whether a vaccine will afford clinical protection or not in pigs..."
Could. And it's in pigs.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 30 Sep 2016 #permalink

"YOU, and not me, allege that the IL-6 theory is false and therefore YOU, and not me, need to bring up evidence that backs up your claim"

OK, Don, how about this...
You think the IL-6 theory is valid, but in order to convince us it is correct, YOU need to bring up the evidence that backs up your claim. Better now?

"Damage to Purkinje cells is the closest thing that we have to a biomarker for autism."
Nope. Purkinje damage is not a "biomarker", it supposedly represents the putative pathological damage that occurs with autism. If anything, IL-6 would be a biomarker (but it fails on account it is not specific for autism, being elevated in the face of all manner of immune activation triggers).
To clarify for you, myocardial necrosis is not a "biomarker" for a heart attack. Something like troponin would be though.

And please, why you are explaining why IL-6 is so specific for autism, can you tell us why the IL-6 which is produced by other inflammatory triggers (such as natural infection at far higher levels than it is by vaccines) is "harmless" and does not cause autism?

Surely someone has noticed Don is Dan Steinberg (the "we" of Vaccinepapers) and Szilard is either also Dan Steinberg or his bff Feklesworth.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 30 Sep 2016 #permalink

I assure you I'm not Dan Steinberg, nor am I associated with vaccinepapers in any way except for being an occasional commentator there.

All the evidence for support of IL-6 is on the vaccinepapers site. I don't need to rehash the argument, but YOU do need to point to one shred of evidence, on any website, that refutes the argument. I'm not asking you to recite the argument: just point us to one. And please don't refer to scienceblogs because so far as I can tell this is psuedoscience blogs.

Dingo you are correct and I am wrong: IL-6 isn't a biomarker. The corrected sentence should read: "Damage to Purkinje cells is the closest thing that we have to a physiological marker for autism."
If you'd bothered to read vaccinepapers you'd know that there are cases where severe infections have led to autism; not all cases of infection cause autism, and not all cases of severe vaccine reaction cause autism.

The mechanism of IL-6 and autism causation is well-established; please refute the actual science. I've asked this repeatedly but aside from some speculations and distraction no one has pointed to any science that refutes this.

If you want absolute certainty in science I doubt we'll get it: IL-17a "seems to" be the causative agent is an accurate statement of what the experiments show. Or, more accurately, the relevant experiment shows that IL-17a causes damage to Purkinje cells. That "seems" to be a good indication. Science is always refutable so "seems" is an honest way to express our knowledge.

I understand that scienceblogs uses little word tricks and insults and anything it can to trip things up, and this is because it apparently doesn't understand the science and prefers to argue from authority rather than from evidence. Perhaps you should change the name to "anything-but-the-science blogs"?

Tell me, Don, are you aware that not everything printed on the Internet is true?

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 30 Sep 2016 #permalink

Perhaps "Don" doesn't understand that ASDs are heterogeneous aetiologies and infection* =/= vaccination.

*wild type v. Live viral vaccination.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 30 Sep 2016 #permalink
“We”? Anyway, if Dan Steinberg’s site has educated you so well, why don’t you cough up the citations rather than shilling for his site?
#91 the experiments are clear although the mechanisms may not be. We now now that IL-6 triggers IL-17a which seems to cause the real damage.

That is not an answer to the question, making this all the more ironic:

#92 Good. Please cite the evidence.

Surely someone has noticed Don is Dan Steinberg

No, Mr. Vapor Genie is nowhere near that incoherent.

@Narad, I'll take your word for it but Don bears the same whiney petulance that Dan Steinberg employs.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 30 Sep 2016 #permalink

#94 you know very well the vaccinepapers uses pirates ONLY published peer reviewed research.

FTFY.

"The mechanism of IL-6 and autism causation is well-established; please refute the actual science."

What "actual science"? There's no such thing.

Now you must prove me wrong, without resorting to ad hominems and innuendo. Failure to do so means I am right (according to your own rules).*

Conclusive proof that the IL-6 autism theory is bogus can be found here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZI8wzVp2fM

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 30 Sep 2016 #permalink

^ And also doesn't pay any mind to the quality of research coughGeierShawTomlejenoviccough.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 30 Sep 2016 #permalink

Let me make this easy for you since you're having a great deal of difficulty. ALL of the evidence on vaccinepapers is from published, peer-reviewed research. All you need to do is show published peer-reviewed research that shows any of the following:
1. IL-6 doesn't damage Purkinje cells
2. Purkinje cell damage does not lead ( in a significant number of cases) to autistic symptoms
3. IL-6 is not released in immune responses
4. Vaccines don't provoke an immune response
5. The immune response elicited by vaccines does not in some cases cause cytokine surges that include IL-6 surges
6. The IL-6 released by some vaccine reactions is insufficient to damage Purkinje cells.

While you're at it, prove that
1. The developing brain is not more susceptible to damage than the developed brain.

YOU are saying the theory is trash. NONE of you knows this (you all proceeding by speculation and by argument from authority.) NONE of you can prove the theory is false, yet you insist it's false without scientific evidence. Heaven help us if this is "science." I've had undergrads who could do far better than this.

...there are cases where severe infections have led to autism; not all cases of infection cause autism, and not all cases of severe vaccine reaction cause autism.

Are all cases of autism caused by infection or vaccine reactions?

If infection can cause autism, how can we know that all autism isn't caused by infection?

@Dangerous Bacon
Really? A video of a cute puppy is your idea of science?
You people are wasting my time.
@science mom back to our ad hominen arguments again, are we? The actual arguments too tough for you? I'm trying to help you the best I can but I've never seen such a lame bunch pretending to argue science.

Don I don't believe you grasp how this works; the onus is on you to make your case. It's not ours to disprove your abuse and ignorance of the scientific literature.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 30 Sep 2016 #permalink

I finally bit...

Couldn't find anything much about IL-6 and "autism" not published by Wei...

One of Wei's papers reproduced on Vaccinepapers is full of weasel words: like "may" and "could" and "probably" in describing the supposed mechanism for maternal immune activation giving rise to brain IL-6 and how that then leads to autism...With some added leaps from behaviours observed in mice to autism which lack credibility...

That isn't evidence which requires refuting, but kite flying which requires something to support it rather than conjecture.

Really if anyone needs a lecture on how science works you could start with Wei et alia...

Now, if someone has replicated Wei's "findings" and can publish without having to resort to using "may" and "could" and "probably" and " might" quite so many times and come up with something more credilble than equating mouse behaviour with autism I might start to think that there is something to this.

Care to point me to anything like that?

Not at all Don. You are just out of your league and not interesting nor educated enough to have a discussion with.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 30 Sep 2016 #permalink

"YOU are saying the theory is trash. NONE of you knows this (you all proceeding by speculation and by argument from authority.) NONE of you can prove the theory is false, yet you insist it’s false without scientific evidence. Heaven help us if this is “science.” I’ve had undergrads who could do far better than this."

As I pointed out above, even Wei doesn't think it's that great, as nothing is suggested other than "may" probably" "could" "might"...

I did better than that as an under-grad...

Don: "NONE of you can prove the theory is false, yet you insist it’s false without scientific evidence. Heaven help us if this is “science.” I’ve had undergrads who could do far better than this."

Well, first off you need to prove it is true. But you seem to be skipping a big step. You are trying to stuff a "theory" of how vaccines cause autism, but skipped proving that autism is associated with vaccines.

So far several large epidemiological studies in several countries around this have shown there is no casual association between vaccines and autism.

Oh, dear G-d, this is too good: Stephanie Seneff has chimed in at AoA. Except:

My recent research together with Anthony Samsel leads us to believe that glyphosate is making its way into proteins by mistake in place of the amino acid glycine. If this is so, then the measles virus in the MMR vaccine could be incorporating glyphosate into its hemagglutinin protein and, through molecular mimicry, this could lead to an autoimmune attack on the myelin sheath, which sounds like what your son is suffering from.

Let that sink in.

^ "Excerpt"

One constant source of enjoyment whilst I intrepidly trudge through the muck of the deepest Altie swamps is when anti-vaxxers or woo-meisters portray themselves as immunologists, physiologists or psychologists by - basically- free associating concepts they picked up when rifling through textbooks or scientific articles, which they really don't understand and then, assembling said concepts together into a Rube Goldberg-like contraption to adroitly explain away the axe they have to grind against SBM.

TMR's Prof ( Zoey O'Toole) is becoming rather adept at this artform whose practtiioners include AoA's Teresa Conrick Adriana Gamondes ( who adds oddly aggressively ugly graphics as well) and Master Craftsman, Gary Null. Adams is merely a tyro.

So, is it performance art or an entirely new species of self-expression? I wonder.

Some resemble the political creativity projects which we've seen so much of, of late.

So I ask, quite earnestly, my sceptical brothers and sisters, wouldn't we do better - in order to irritate woo-meisters, anti-vaxxers hel-bent on avoiding toxins and Natural Health Mavens like the Food Babe- to, rather than argue with them ( which gets nowhere fast) to discuss the many intricacies of

Bad Food (tm)

yes, if you live in the UK or US ( or Canada or AUS), you can find many examples of horrendously unhealthy- but delicious-
temptations right in your local grocery or- if you are really lucky- already in your pantry/ larder.

How about Foamy Chocolate bars? (which I buy for an Irish person)

Caramel coated anything? Salted caramel coated anything?

or, or ,or
dare I say it, Breakfast Toaster cakes ( I can't even mention their name)?

I truly relish Cheap Linzer Tart cookies from the Indian store.

Someone I know ( Not Me) buys chocolate coated chocolate roll-ups frosted with very cheap fake buttercream icing.

Need I say more?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 30 Sep 2016 #permalink

Ooh. I heard Samsel speak at prn.fm.
Yiii.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 30 Sep 2016 #permalink

I don't believe she's living on the same planet as the rest of us.....not even the most outrageous sci-fi novelist could take her rants seriously.

Here is a compelling theory.

First of all, it is known that stress* induces neuroinflammation.

"Often exposure to a stressor results in pro-inflammatory responses in the brain and periphery. These responses are mediated by a variety of inflammatory molecules including neuropeptides, cytokines, and stress hormones among others."

https://www.karger.com/ProdukteDB/Katalogteile/isbn3_318/_023/_10/34396…

Parents who are exposed to frightening misinformation from antivaxers are subjected to stress, and it is reasonable to assume that infants are secondarily affected, setting up a cascade of inflammatory cytokines and other mediators which induce neuroinflammation. Neuroinflammation has been linked with autism.

Thus: antivaxers cause autism.

Now, before Don says this theory is trash, he will need to disprove it. The onus is on him.

*since playing with cute puppies relieves stress and thus prevents neuroinflammation, parents can greatly lower risk factors for autism by introducing puppies to the household as early as possible (and eliminate stress by ignoring antivaxers).

http://dogtime.com/trending/16765-puppy-room-to-help-stressed-out-colle…

I have produced two references to back my theory, which is two more than Don has come up with.

I win.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 30 Sep 2016 #permalink

Dangerous Bacon I'm not disputing your theory-- that sounds wonderful! You still haven't refuted mine, which you dispute.
@Murmur then you aren't paying attention: many papers have been published linking immune activation and autism, and by more than Wei.
@Chris the proof is laid out in vaccine papers; as I've mentioned you need not explain the counter-proof to me, you need only point me to published research that falsifies the mechanisms involved. Once again, you want to argue by the assumption that mainstream vaccine literature is correct, while the point of vaccinepapers is that it is not: you cannot prove vaccinepapers is wrong by assuming mainstream vaccine science is correct but rather you have to tackle the arguments directly.
@science mom: is THAT your idea of a scientific debate? All I'm asking for is published science that refutes the mechanism of IL-6 and Purkinje cell damage, the association of Purkinje cell damage with autistic symptoms, and the proof that vaccines don't provoke the immune system sufficiently to cause a cytokine surge. Since this supposedly a "science" blog I had assumed that all of you already had the evidence at hand and would convince me in short order, but I see instead an awful lot of stumbling around and oh yes, still relying on ad hominem arguments.

And thanks for the Seneff link.

I've laid out the steps for you to refute vaccinepapers theory so this should be ridiculously easy for you, and since this is a "science" blog I naturally expect you to show the science. Why is this so hard? I even showed you a potentially easy way to do this but still you are all stumbling around and complaining about me demanding proof that you've refuted vaccinepapers theory. Am I supposed to take it on faith that you've found the science that refutes the immune activation theory of autism causation? Are you promising to show me in the future? Are you appealing to authority: the authorities say it can't be true so therefore it isn't?

I would like to see some science and logic for a change; please focus. I have a funny feeling I'll only get insults and ad hominem attacks or silly appeals to puppies.

Don: "@Chris the proof is laid out in vaccine papers"

Prove it. Post the one definitive paper that shows vaccines cause autism. Not a paper that speculates on how it could cause autism... but the statistical significant study that shows autism is caused by vaccines.

Post the specific vaccine or vaccines, make sure that the increases in autism are coincident to the introduction of that vaccine, and the definitive data in humans to show autism increased with the use of that vaccine. Make sure that all of the autism cases were diagnosed with the same DSM.

For example: if you want to make a claim that the MMR caused autism, make sure you include data from 1971 on, and that all the autism cases would qualify under the DSM used in the 1970s, the DSM II (this includes all kids born after 1990).

If you want to claim the DTP caused autism, then start with data from when it was introduced. That would be the 1940s. If you claim it was the DTaP, then that data should start in 1998.

As I said, be specific. Give us proof positive by posting the PMID here. Do not make us slog through the morass of cherry picked papers on rodents and petri dishes.

Poor Don, still can't distinguish wild-type infection fom vaccination. Which is the wrong-headed leap you are making here. That was a big hint for you Don.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 30 Sep 2016 #permalink

From the "You keep using that word..." department:

fallacious ad hominem arguments
using ad hominem attacks
resorting to ad hominem attacks
the Shaw and Tomljenovic comment is an ad homimen attack
aren’t we done with ad hominem attacks yet
refrain from insults and ad hominem attacks, if you can
we don’t allow ad hominem attacks in logic
back to our ad hominen arguments again, are we?
still relying on ad hominem arguments.
I’ll only get insults and ad hominem attacks

"Argumentum ad hominem" has a meaning. Let me explain. If I were to write in a comment, "Don is a time-wasting nimrod and all-round numptie, therefore his argument is invalid", that would be Argumentum ad hominem. Here some people have merely insulted you, for entertainment, and because it seems an appropriate response to your sense of entitlement.

Do you see the difference?

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 30 Sep 2016 #permalink

So, wait, we are all supposed to go visit the Vaccine Papers and believe it all because we were told to by a guy who:

1. Can't tell the difference between a wild pathogen and a vaccine.

2. Does not know the difference between "ad homenem" and insult.

Okay. No wonder he can't figure out that before you try to find out how a vaccine causes autism, you need to determine if it causes autism (and the data on the latter is "no, they don't cause autism").

By the way, Shaw and Tomljenovic are just incompetent, and trying to get the answers to satisfy those that are funding their research: the Dwoskin Family Foundation. The folks who paid for a "Vaccine Conference" on their property in Jamaica. It included several people with dubious research.

Also, the above paragraph is neither an ad hominem nor an insult: it is just stating a historical fact:
http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com/2013/08/a-snapshot-of-deep-pockets-of-…

Oh, rats... I left out a tiny bit of HTML.

@ Chris there is no one paper that "proves" as you well know, but the mechanism and logic are in place that show how immune activation, including from vaccines (there is no difference between an immune activation from vaccines vs live virus EXCEPT for the degree, which in some vaccine cases can be severe) can cause autism. If you're arguing from science rather than from conjecture then you have to refute the mechanism.

Ad hominen is saying that Shaw and Geier, for example, are "junk" without showing that their arguments are junk.

Insulting for entertainment? I thought this was science blogs and you'd put forward science? You all seem to have a very, very difficult time with this, and I'm surprised at how easy it is to trip you up on the "science," which you can't provide to refute vaccinepapers' points.

Please, try to do better, use science and logic, not insults.

but the mechanism and logic are in place that show how immune activation, including from vaccines (there is no difference between an immune activation from vaccines vs live virus EXCEPT for the degree, which in some vaccine cases can be severe) can cause autism.

Bless Don's heart. No wonder you're having so much trouble with this. Short answer is: not even close you fail immunology 101.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 30 Sep 2016 #permalink

Good grief!
Don, here's an analogy: If we imagine the amount of inflammation caused by the immune system to be a flame
vaccine = match
wild-type infection = forest fire

You would be well-served by reading some immunology text books (which say nothing about autism) to get a solid background. It is a confusing and difficult subject, and the more you learn the more you are amazed that anyone is alive. I would recommend Janeway's "Immunobiology", 7th edition.

By JustaTech (not verified) on 30 Sep 2016 #permalink

By the way Don immunology is a scientific discipline.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 30 Sep 2016 #permalink

Since Don will invariably bleat about insults. Please solve your own problem by explaining to us science Luddites what the difference is between a pertussis infection and DTaP. You can even use complex terms like virulence factors and complement e.g.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 30 Sep 2016 #permalink

@science mom please show how vaccines DO NOT elicit an immune response and then I'll believe you know what you're talking about. I never said it was the same degree of response but in some cases the reaction to a vaccine can be severe.
@Chris you do understand that alleging that I don't understand the difference between wild virus and vaccine, etc., and therefore shouldn't be believed is itself an ad hominem argument that attacks the speaker rather than the argument? You have a very hard time understanding the nature of ad hominem attack and perhaps should review this. A short review is: always focus on the argument, never focus on the man or any alleged or real "sins" of the man.

Do I hear some of you alleging that vaccines do NOT provoke an immune response? Naturally, you have science to prove this? Or must I listen to more insults instead?

#108:

And please don’t refer to scienceblogs because so far as I can tell this is psuedoscience blogs.

#139:

I thought this was science blogs and you’d put forward science?

My sincerity detector is showing no response.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 30 Sep 2016 #permalink

Don @144:
Vaccines cause an immune response (that is the point of vaccines).
Vaccines cause *less* of an immune response than the pathogen they are protecting against (that is the point of vaccines).
Wild-type infection causes *more* inflammation and immune activation than vaccines.

Therefore: if immunization with a vaccine causes release of sufficient IL-6 to damage the brain, then *any* wild-type infection will cause release of *more* IL-6, so *any* wild-type infection should be more likely to cause autism than any vaccine.

Logic!

By JustaTech (not verified) on 30 Sep 2016 #permalink

Don: "@science mom please show how vaccines DO NOT elicit an immune response..."

Aw, how cute. That is kind of the point of a vaccine, except to get a tiny immune response instead of a full blown one from the actual wild pathogen. You don't seem to understand the vaccines are given to educate the immune system in preparation for an assault by the full wild disease.

Don, please tell us which vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule causes more harm than the actual disease with supporting PMID from reputable qualified researchers.

please show how vaccines DO NOT elicit an immune response and then I’ll believe you know what you’re talking about

Please explain germinal centers and how they relate to polysaccharide vaccines, and then I'll believe you know what you're talking about.

I’m surprised at how easy it is to trip you up on the “science,”

I do commend you, Don, for chancing upon an appropriate use of scare quotes.

Do I hear some of you alleging that vaccines do NOT provoke an immune response? Naturally, you have science to prove this? Or must I listen to more insults instead?

Insults, definitely insults because no one ever said anything remotely resembling that. Our new resident immunology-ignorant tone-troll doesn't appear to be able to describe differential responses. Don't you think you should have pondered that before demanding your sophomoric hypothesis be disproved?

By Science Mom (not verified) on 30 Sep 2016 #permalink

Do I hear some of you alleging that vaccines do NOT provoke an immune response?

Possibly he does, but no-one here is responsible for Don's voices.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 30 Sep 2016 #permalink

@JustaTech correct. But not everyone gets a severe infection, whereas nearly all children receive vaccines and some have severe reactions. What is the tradeoff? Good question, but we'll never find out if we ignore the effects. Your fault, though, is assuming that a vaccine reaction is ALWAYS LESS than a disease reaction, in all cases.
@Chris you're evading the question. We're not arguing whether harms from vaccines are more or less than harms from vaccines, although that's an excellent question. We're arguing whether the immune activation/autism mechanism is valid.
@Narad scare quotes because I'm not seeing much science here but rather evasions and poor use of logic.
@science mom please see #140. I admit I'm getting tired of repeating myself.

OK, fine, so we agree that vaccines elicit immune response. Now are you going to argue that vaccines NEVER elicit an immune response severe enough to induce a cytokine surge that includes IL-6? And that if some instances a cytokine surge occurs then this NEVER affects Purkinje cells in developing brains?

Do I have to hold your hands through this whole thing and make your arguments for you?

Do I have to hold your hands through this whole thing and make your arguments for you?
Good grief I wish you would already and explain how wild-type disease differs from that of vaccination in terms of immunologic response. It's as if you don't know how.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 30 Sep 2016 #permalink

Don -

So far as you know, I ask 2 very sincere questions back at 118, and I have not yet called you an idiot. Do you not understand the questions, do you not know the answer, or is there some other reason you are ignoring them?

^blockquote fail.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 30 Sep 2016 #permalink

Don, just provide evidence that 1) IL-6 production via vaccination is "severe" (whatever that means), that 2) it damages developing brains, and that 3) this effect is clinically significant.

Truly I have seldom seen such lame attempts to connect vague and theoretical dots. You sound like that comedienne whose tag line was "It could happen!"

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 30 Sep 2016 #permalink

Don: "We’re not arguing whether harms from vaccines are more or less than harms from vaccines, although that’s an excellent question."

No, deer. That is the question I am asking you.

"We’re arguing whether the immune activation/autism mechanism is valid."

No, you are the one stuck on that bit. It is kind of a foolish speculation because you have absolutely evidence that vaccines cause autism. Therefor it is silly to speculate on "immune activation" in relationship to vaccines. You are on step D, but have skipped steps A, B, C and D.

Seriously, if vaccines caused autism through some magical immune activation, then why would the even greater immune responses from the diseases not be a cause of autism? Why just autism, how about blindness, deafness, paralysis, encephalitis, pneumonia, etc --- which are all much more probable with the diseases?

So answer my question, which vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule causes more harm than the diseases?

Oh, Don, here are a collection of reasons why your question is silly:
Vaccines are not associated with autism: An evidence-based meta-analysis of case-control and cohort studies (a pdf of the uncorrected proof)

So unless you have real verifiable proof that any vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule causes autism (see times span/DSM criteria above): your whinging about "immune activation/autism mechanism" is ridiculous.

Oops: "but have skipped steps A, B and C."

Do I have to hold your hands through this whole thing and make your arguments for you?

By all means. Do not mention the giant DMCA target, you do it on your lonesome. Show your work.

Oh, Don, here are a collection of reasons why your question is silly:

Well, yes, but Squirrelelite made that point back at comment 94. Don's conceptual hairball leads to the prediction that autism rates will be higher in a vaccinated than in an otherwise-matched unvaccinated group; the prediction is contradicted by published studies; the conceptual hairball is falsified.

Don responded by ignoring the comment and repeating his insistence that it's everyone's job to prove him wrong. Of course he also informed us that "the medical literature is corrupt", leaving him free to ignore published studies (except the ones cherry-picked for their value in propping up his narrative).

I admit I’m getting tired of repeating myself.

But not tired enough to stop.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 30 Sep 2016 #permalink

Heh, I missed this one:

IL-6 production depends on severity of inflammation (cytokine surge.)

Thanks, herr doktor bimmler! And thanks to Chris anyway for providing the text in pdf.

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 30 Sep 2016 #permalink

Thanks to you all for pulling it together! Now will Don ever figure it out?

*Sigh*

Don must have some superior search engine to the well-known one I used: a search on "IL-6 and autism" only produced papers by Wei and links to some of those on Vaccinepapers...

Give me another name, Don. Please...

And I note you avoid my point about equating mouse behaviour with autism lacking credibility or usefulness. Give me something which involves actual autism in actual bairns...

Oh, before you try to lecture me on that latter point, I should remind you (apologies to regular readers for needing to trot this out again) that assessing bairns for possible autism was a good chunk of what I did in the latter part of my career and I had the professional acquaintance of one of the co-authors of one of the better autism assessment tools, an internationally recognised expert in the field.

On another note, Wei-Wei has co-authored some excellent papers on urinary frequency.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 01 Oct 2016 #permalink

#154 re #118: answers are "probably not" and "that's unlikely."
@Dangerous Bacon #156
1) In severe vaccine reactions we might assume that the inflammation produces cytokines including IL-6. This is logical assumption: inflammation produces cytokines. If this is not the case, then prove it. For 2) and 3) see vaccinepapers where the evidence is laid out in peer-reviewed publications. If inflammation from a severe vaccine reaction is akin to any severe inflammation (no reason why it is not) then 2) and 3) are well-established in the literature.

Don: "1) In severe vaccine reactions we might assume that the inflammation produces cytokines..."

Please post the PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers that any vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule causes more immune responses and harm than the disease. Again, just post the PMID here and do not make us slog through the Vaccine Papers website.

Don: "3) are well-established in the literature."

That should make it easy for you to post the pertinent PMID that the vaccine reaction is worse than the inflammation from the disease. Now post them here.

This is logical assumption: inflammation produces cytokines.

You're really unclear on this whole "immune system" thingamabob, aren't you? Quick: what produces inflammation?

2) and 3) are well-established in the literature

Which you are unable to cite on your own for some reason.

Don #167

If this is not the case, then prove it

I assert pink unicorns exist. If you disagree: prove it!

By Peter Dugdale (not verified) on 01 Oct 2016 #permalink

Let's return to the beginning, since all this inflammation talk, while amusing from a chew-toy level, is orthogonal to vaccines:

Perhaps Orac can explain how IL-6, a cytokine activated by immune response, does NOT cause autism.

Which cells traffic in IL-6, Don? What is their basic role?

^ P.S. Where's Sarah A.?

"That should make it easy for you to post the pertinent PMID that the vaccine reaction is worse than the inflammation from the disease."

Of course that's an easy assumption - like the idea that vaccine Toxins (excipients that may or may not be in the final product at minute levels) are assumed to be far worse than bacterial and viral toxins proven to be at present at high serum levels during active infection.*

It's gotta be the vaccines, it's just gotta. Now prove that wrong.

*that is, if one acknowledges that viral and bacterial toxins exist as opposed to being a false flag factoid invented by the CDC and its minions.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 01 Oct 2016 #permalink

BTW, Don, does exercise also "damage" Purkinje cells? Remember, you've already, ah, informed everyone that "cytokines such as IL-6 are carried by the blood and can originate anywhere and then be carried to the brain."

does exercise also “damage” Purkinje cells?

I for one do not intend to take the risk.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 01 Oct 2016 #permalink

Where is Sarah H?

Why can't I post some of my links here?

There is plenty of evidence to indicate that Aluminum translocates to the brain and causes oxidative damage. In 2013 Zakir Khan et al injected rodents IM with rhodamine labeled aluminum hydroxide nanoparticles. They subsequently killed the mice and examined the tissues. The amount of Rho-Al containing cells in the brain was about 600x higher¹ [fig8e] after 90 days than during the first hour after injection. Khan et al also injected rats with an standard vaccine and found higher Aluminum brain concentration¹ by using particle-induced X-ray emission [fig1].
Myeong Kim et al in 2015 assessed many different parameters in mice injected with aluminum and mice cells incubated with aluminum in vitro.² They found a dose-dependent increase of caspase-3/7 [fig2], oxoguanine [fig3], β-amyloid [fig4], ect. They also found a decrease in rat-learning [fig4]and AMPK [fig6], a very important metabolic enzyme. And this being a modern study, it is replete with brillinant morin and rhodamine stained photomicrographs that allow you to visualize the Aluminum nanoparticles directly. Here is the conclusion from the paper:

In conclusion, the present study postulates that nano-alumina are responsible for inducing toxic effects and decreasing cell viability by producing ROS in vitro, which can reach the brain and accumulate in exposed animals, inducing oxidative stress and neurodegeneration.

Aluminum certainly causes learning problems, oxidataive stress, and the deranged proteins associated with Alzheimer's disease. This is beyond debate.

Hi Lewis,

You've quoted a paper as evidence of the harm Al causes from a vaccine. Yet that paper concerned:

" Nano-alumina peripherally administered to ICR female mice for three weeks increased brain aluminium and ROS production

By Jay (not verified) on 01 Oct 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Lewis (not verified)

I cannot post the first reference, this website will not let me. I will just spell out the title: ¹Slow CCL2-dependent translocation of biopersistent particles from muscle to brain

My post was cut in half, my apologies.

The for three weeks was meant to be in bold.

"¹Slow CCL2-dependent translocation of biopersistent particles from muscle to brain"

It's worth reading Todd's page on Aluminium, there is, quoting off the top of my head, like 350 mg of AL in the human body already, spreading 50 mg* really slowly around the body, with a fair chunk being excreted in the urine and bile salts, doesn't seem a big deal.

*The amount in a vaccine

Where is Sarah H?

Bye, Fucklesworth.

"The for three weeks was meant to be in bold."

And the sentence to follow was: what vaccine is given for three weeks?

This is one of the dangers of cherry picking, that the guy from vaccine papers seems oblivious to.

So, Lewis is the new sock puppet, eh?

Why can’t I post some of my links here?

I am going to guess "cut-&-paste incompetence".

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 01 Oct 2016 #permalink

So, Lewis is the new sock puppet, eh?

Depending on the value of "new," but Travis J. Schwochert deliberately gives himself away. The point is anyone's guess.

Oh, and Travis is also talking to himself as "Jay."

Oh, and Travis is also talking to himself as “Jay.”

One might wonder whether Bob has been retired.

^ "Bob Don"

No Herr Bimler. This website does not allow you to post certain URL's. Google the paper and try posting the URL yourself. You will find that it is not allowed.

@Jay
You can plainly see that injecting insoluble aluminum nanoparticles is a big deal.

Perhaps the soluble molecular aluminum introduced through diet isn't especially damaging, but these papers have shown that insoluble aggregates to translocate into the brain.

Strange, but true.

Johnny, I leapt to the same conclusion, with considerable confidence of a safe landing, even before I read his first comment.

This website does not allow you to post certain URL’s

Why don't you trivially obfuscate one so that everyone can check?

Google the paper and try posting the URL yourself. You will find that it is not allowed.

Since the paper in question has already received its quota of ridicule three weeks ago (on Page 2 of this comment thread, several Fendlesworth instantiations ago), I do not share your enthusiasm for pimping out the Exley-Gherardi axis of grifters.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 01 Oct 2016 #permalink

I followed Gilbert's link and found this paper: Brain IL-6 elevation causes neuronal circuitry imbalances and mediates autism-like behaviors
They were able to create mice that over-expressed IL-6 by injecting them with a gene. These mice did worse opn the Morris water maze just like in another article that I had posted earlier. They also scored worse on various exploratory tests.
They also found an altered ratio of exitatory and inhibitory brain synapse proteins. Here is the concluding remarks:

In summary, our study supports a critical role of IL-6 elevation in modulating autism-like behaviors through impairments on synapse formation, dendritic spine development, as well as on neuronal circuit balance. These findings suggest that manipulation of IL-6 may be a promising avenue for therapeutic interventions.

These researches do not act like the IL-6/Autism connection is controversial at all. They basically state that this is a well-known relationship:

Although elevation of IL-6 is a repeated finding in autism, the exact mechanism by which an IL-6 increase may contribute to the pathogenesis of autism remains undefined.

This is interesting, as it shows that IL-6 itself may have a causal role.

Aluminum causes a 30X increase in IL-6 levels. Aluminum is found in vaccines.

Intramuscular Al + macrophage transport + lactoferrin transport ⇒ Al in brain ⇒ oxidative damage + IL-6 formation + β-amyloid ⇒ Autism + Alzheimer's Diesease

Now that we can all admit that vaccines cause autism, we need to start educating people on this!

Aluminum causes a 30X increase in IL-6 levels. Aluminum is found in vaccines.

It also makes up 8% of the Earth's crust by mass. Perhaps we should all stop eating food grown in the dirt. Or breathing air with any dust in it.

Failure to anticipate the ff ligature was kind of cute.

JP, all of these studies examine the toxicokinetics if intravenous and intramuscular Aluminum nanoparticles. This is completely different than enteral absorbtion, which for Aluminum, is only around .05%.

Abundant? Yes. But our bodies have evolved to highly minimize it's absorption. When it is injected, the adsorption is 100%, and it is in an insoluble form.

These particles are consumed my macrophages and are transported to various organs, including the brain. Perhaps you should read this as well if you think that IV aluminum is safe: Aluminum Neurotoxicity in Preterm Infants Receiving Intravenous-Feeding Solutions

JP, why do you hate?

That is still Wei, lewis. She asked for another name. There is a rich field to choose from.

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Perhaps you should read this as well if you think that IV aluminum is safe: Aluminum Neurotoxicity in Preterm Infants Receiving Intravenous-Feeding Solutions

Oh, man, I needed a solid five-minute laughing fit. You are dearly missed, Krebiozen.

Perhaps you should read this as well if you think that IV aluminum is safe: Aluminum Neurotoxicity in Preterm Infants Receiving Intravenous-Feeding Solutions

Putting the problems with this study aside, this is just like IM vaccination how Travis the Window Washer?

By Science Mom (not verified) on 01 Oct 2016 #permalink

Putting the problems with this study aside

I didn't bother with whether there were any. The whole issue is that aluminum contamination in parenteral nutrition is precisely what demonstrates that the toxokinetics of aluminum from vaccinations is a non-starter. At this rate, Travis is going to need prosthetic feet before long.

I get the feeling that most people here are ALCOA shareholders.

I cannot imagine any other reason why thy cannot admit that aluminum is an insidious neurotoxin in vaccine-delivered dosages.

If you were to read the studies that I have posted, you would know that IM-injected aluminum transports to the brain at an even higher rate that IV-injected aluminum.

Who do you people work for? ALCOA? Eli Lilly? Merck?

How much are they paying you?

@Lewis: Two things.
1) Sockpuppeting is a bannable offence on this blog. Your style is identical to "Szilard", who posted on this thread earlier.
2) Here's the very first sentence from the article you posted above. I've bolded the relevant points.

Aluminum toxicity occurs in adults and children with renal insufficiency who are treated by dialysis with aluminum-contaminated solutions or oral phosphate-binding agents that contain aluminum.

"Renal insufficiency" and "aluminium contaminated solutions". That doesn't strike me as good evidence that the minuscule quantities of aluminium salts in vaccines constitute a danger to healthy people with proper renal function.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 01 Oct 2016 #permalink

Was that the study that showed how intramuscular administered tagged aluminum nanoparticles are engulfed by macrophages and travel to the brain?

This seems like an effective mechanism to bypass the kidneys, yes?

That doesn’t strike me as good evidence that the minuscule quantities of aluminium salts in vaccines constitute a danger to healthy people with proper renal function.

Keep in mind that aluminum is routinely injected in unhealthy pre-term infants with improper renal function.

There's more in my carefully managed Post-It filing system, but allow me to leave this here for the time being.

It has a descent path, but cooking is more important than framing at the moment.

@Lewis: No. It was "Aluminum Neurotoxicity in Preterm Infants Receiving Intravenous-Feeding Solutions".

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 01 Oct 2016 #permalink

I had a read through "Brain IL-6 elevation causes neuronal circuitry imbalances and mediates autism-like behaviors". Aluminium isn't mentioned in that one either.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 01 Oct 2016 #permalink

Who do you people work for? ALCOA? Eli Lilly? Merck?

Far be it for me to criticise someone else's sense of humour, but this "Aluminati Parody" thing does not do it for me.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 01 Oct 2016 #permalink

You are dearly missed, Krebiozen.

Oh so much seconded.

Was that the study that showed how intramuscular administered tagged aluminum nanoparticles are engulfed by macrophages and travel to the brain?

Um, no.
Someone* quoted a study showing that macrophages are engulfing Aluminium particles.
If the article is about nanoparticles, newflash, aluminium salts in vaccines are not nanoparticles. There are much, much smaller than that. No, even if they precipitate on site.

Then the same someone pointed out, in the same article or another one, that macrophages are moving across an in vitro model of the blood brain barrier, due to inflammation-released cytokines.
Interesting, but in this in vitro model the macrophages have nowhere else to go but across the barrier. I would be more interested by a whole-animal study, just to be sure there is really a tropism toward the brain affecting the macrophages all the way to the limbs. Actually, since the aluminium salts would trigger a local inflammation on the vaccine injection site, by that logic the macrophages should be moving toward the injection site, not away from it.
Also, unless you have a strong and/or permanent brain inflammation, the macrophages are not going to stay. And if you have a strong inflammation of your brain tissues, you have bigger and more pressing issues than aluminium.

Finally, and more importantly, that someone conjectured that aluminium ions are going to magically stay inside the macrophage during its transit from the vaccine injection site to the brain, and then these ions are going to exit en masse inside the brain and stay there. Something about the cell membrane being leaky to metal ions was mentioned.
Short answer: [citation needed], en masse, too.
Longer answer, points of contention:
To repeat, dissolved salts are not nanoparticles.
If the macrophage's membrane is that "leaky", I would expect the macrophages to disperse the aluminium ions all around the organism before reaching the brain, effectively diluting their concentration - ad their toxicity - and facilitating their elimination by liver and kidneys.
My understanding of the cell membrane is that it is not particularly "leaky" toward hydrophile substances, among which I would count small ionized salts. The usual membrane potential would actually limit the exit of positively-charged molecules.
I could be wrong on these points, but as I said, more [citation needed].

Keep in mind that aluminum is routinely injected in unhealthy pre-term infants with improper renal function.

In this case we should observe a strong correlation between whatever your aluminium is doing and pre-term infants.
I haven't heard that autistic people are more in need of renal dialysis than anyone else.

Also, which aluminium injection are you talking about? Per the CDC schedule, only HepB is given at birth. For other vaccines, injection is for 2-month old babies. Renal functions had have time to develop, by this time.
I should know, I was a jaundiced preemy.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 01 Oct 2016 #permalink

Far be it for me to criticise someone else’s sense of humour, but this “Aluminati Parody” thing does not do it for me.

I, for one, am disappointed that Weyerhaeuser seems to be out of the loop.

Actually, since the aluminium salts would trigger a local inflammation on the vaccine injection site, by that logic the macrophages should be moving toward the injection site, not away from it.

The Deuce you say.

"Oh, and Travis is also talking to himself as “Jay.”"

Um, no he's not. I'm me, totally not someone else. Hope that clears that up ;)

@ Lewis

Whilst I'm digging up non biased Al figures. Could you address my other point of you using a study involving three weeks of Aluminium exposure in a vaccine argument?

At this point it's worth noting that you and Vaccine Papers have been shown, three times now, misappropriating genuine bits of research and twisting it to suit your purpose. Then claiming you have "proof".

@Helianthis says

newflash, aluminium salts in vaccines are not nanoparticles. There are much, much smaller than that.

Much smaller? How about much bigger. Here is a quote from Aluminum hydroxide nanoparticles show a stronger vaccine adjuvant activity than traditional aluminum hydroxide microparticles:

When dispersed in an aqueous solution, aluminum hydroxide forms particulates of 1-20μm. There is increasing evidence that nanoparticles around or less than 200nm as vaccine or antigen carriers have a more potent adjuvant activity than large microparticles.

So aluminum hydroxide adjuvant particles are on the scale of microparticles. Looks like Helianthis is talking out of his ass again. And he says:

To repeat, dissolved salts are not nanoparticles.
If the macrophage’s membrane is that “leaky”, I would expect the macrophages to disperse the aluminium ions all around the organism before reaching the brain, effectively diluting their concentration – ad their toxicity – and facilitating their elimination by liver and kidneys.

The solubility of aluminum hydroxide is 0.0001 g/100 mL. These are not "dissolved salts".

It has been proven. Just take a look at some of the studies listed here.

This site will not let you post the link for Slow CCL2-dependent translocation of biopersistent particles from muscle to brain directly. Try it and find out.

ORAC has this as an verboten link.

This site will not let you post the link for Slow CCL2-dependent translocation of biopersistent particles from muscle to brain directly. Try it and find out.

ORAC has this as a verboten link.

@ Lewis

Looks like I put in a Milligram amount as a Microgram amount.
Can't get hold of a reference for your 30-50 mg amount, but let's say it's right:

"The FDA study found that the maximum amount of aluminum an infant could be exposed to over the first year of life would be 4.225 milligrams (mg), based on the recommended schedule of vaccines."
"limit the amount of aluminum in the recommended individual dose of biological products, including vaccines, to not more than 0.85-1.25 mg"

That's looking like my point still stands, a relatively small amount, slowly spread around is not a problem.

@ Lewis

With regards to the Slow CCL2 spread paper, please bear in mind that they are using a dose to "represents an equivalent 6.8 human doses in the youngest animal "

Also in the results regarding moving into the brain "This occurs at an extremely low rate in normal mice"

Here's the conclusion of that paper.

Nanomaterials can be transported by monocyte-lineage cells...and...may use CCL2-dependent mechanisms to penetrate the brain. This occurs at a very low rate in normal conditions explaining good overall tolerance of alum...However, continuously escalating doses of this poorly biodegradable adjuvant in the population may become insidiously unsafe, especially in the case of overimmunization or immature/altered blood brain barrier or high constitutive CCL-2 production.

I've highlighted some relevant words. That's a lot of conjecture and "may", and not very hard evidence.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 02 Oct 2016 #permalink

This site will not let you post the link for Slow CCL2-dependent translocation of biopersistent particles from muscle to brain directly. Try it and find out.

Kind of hard to try it when you keep refusing to provide an obfuscated version.

Much smaller? How about much bigger.

Oh, look, somebody can't read. There's a surprise.

You are dearly missed, Krebiozen.

Does anyone know what happened to him?

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 02 Oct 2016 #permalink

Jay:
"Can’t get hold of a reference for your 30-50 mg amount, but let’s say it’s right:"

As you noted earlier, Todd at Harpocrates-Speaks has the details:
"At birth, it is estimated that infants already have a total body burden of aluminum of about 384 µg."

Julian:
Here’s the conclusion of that paper.

You're giving that exercise in bogus deck-stacking more credit than it deserves. Gherardi and his cohorts did everything they could to ensure they got the result they wanted (or rather, that the Dwoskin foundation wanted), and called the whole travesty an "experiment". Weird Al-Rho particles and "fluorescent latex beads" instead of actual aluminium adjuvants... massive doses... Even the mutant mice they used had been bred for leaky blood-brain barriers or elevated CLL2.

http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com/2015/02/demystifying-vaccine-ingredien…

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 02 Oct 2016 #permalink

You’re giving that exercise in bogus deck-stacking more credit than it deserves. Gherardi and his cohorts did everything they could to ensure they got the result they wanted (or rather, that the Dwoskin foundation wanted), and called the whole travesty an “experiment”. Weird Al-Rho particles and “fluorescent latex beads” instead of actual aluminium adjuvants… massive doses… Even the mutant mice they used had been bred for leaky blood-brain barriers or elevated CLL2.

Silly me, assuming that the authors were acting in good faith.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 02 Oct 2016 #permalink

Silly me, assuming that the authors were acting in good faith.

Silly you! The authors announce straight out of the blocks that this was goal-directed "research", the goal being to validate a factitious syndrome:

On the grounds of preliminary investigations in 252 patients with alum-associated ASIA [...], we designed mouse experiments to assess biodistribution...

Note that Gherardi has abandoned his claim to priority, and is using Shoenfeld's term for the made-up syndrome -- 'ASIA" -- rather than his own title "MMF". Perhaps this was a condition of funding

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 02 Oct 2016 #permalink

It's also worth noting that the mutant mdx mice used to achieve the desired effect (by way of their leaky BBB) were originally bred for muscular dystrophy research. They lack dystrophin. Their muscles break down spontaneously, with elevated macrophage activity.
No-one could have predicted that the contents of an intramuscular injection would show up in macrophages!

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 02 Oct 2016 #permalink

@ Julian Frost:

I wish I knew.
He was/ is a fabulously brilliant commenter and ( probably) person. I think he said something about getting a position in high tech- which I hope is why he's not around- too busy.
He said he had surgery for a sinus condition which sounded brutal ( both the condition and the surgery).

I think I also knew him using another 'nym but I haven't seen that either.

If you're here , Kreb, COME ON OUT.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 02 Oct 2016 #permalink

@Herr Bimler

...and called the whole travesty an “experiment”. Weird Al-Rho particles and “fluorescent latex beads” instead of actual aluminium adjuvants… massive doses…

The Aluminum Rhodamine particles around the gadolinium core were probably used to test the integrity of the nanoparticles; as long as they found, with fluorescence and PIXE, the Rhodamine, Aluminum, and the Gadolinium together, then they know that that the particle arrived unchanged. This isn't "weird", this is solid science. The reason they used Gadolinium is that it has a very high ionization cross section [fig62]¹ at a narrow window of 30eV. This means that it provides a high resolution when used with particle-induced X-ray emission. This element is also highly paramagnetic, should the decide to use magnetic resonance to visualize it.

The fluorescent latex beads were a bit weird however.

...instead of actual aluminium adjuvants…

They did use actual vaccines for part of the experiment. Perhaps you should gloss over the paper a little more thoroughly next time?

… massive doses…

Hmm. 6.8 human doses is a massive dose? Someone should tell the 2-month-old infants that. According to the CDC, it is recommended² that they receive 6 doses at that time.

¹Ionization cross sections for low energy electron
transport

²http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/imz/child-adolescent.html

Could you get on to that "verboten link" business, Fυcklesworth?

Hmm. 6.8 human doses is a massive dose? Someone should tell the 2-month-old infants that. According to the CDC, it is recommended² that they receive 6 doses at that time.

Not all contain aluminium adjuvants and most are put together in combination vaccines. Try again Travis.

Could you get on to that “verboten link” business, Fυcklesworth?

Don't hold you breath (rhetorical); Travis just passes over inconvenient comments to his performance art.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 02 Oct 2016 #permalink

So much for the moronic performance art repeating that the link was "verboten." One might note, however, that – unlike a good deal of Dan Steinberg's "Vaccine Papers" site – that the paper was open-access in the first place.

This isn't even pathetic, Travis.

The BioMed Central link is still forbidden. Try for yourself.

I still am not allowed to post the link that you just posted.

This seems very strange, but it's true.

"Their muscles break down spontaneously ..."
Regardless of any inherent propensity to disintegration, I suspect my muscles would be remarkably unhappy and inflamed upon receiving an injection of 30 mL at one site, which is the approximate equivalent of what the mice were subjected to. I would certainly suffer from badly inflamed knuckles from applying then abruptly and forcefully to the jaw or other facial bits of may assailant.

^ my assailant

The BioMed Central link is still forbidden. Try for yourself.

As opposed to the one that you were bitching about in the first place? Oh, wait, there's no telling what that was.

Doug, while you could allometrically extrapolate a volume from mice to humans for an IV injection, extrapolating a subcutaneous or IM injection seems unwise.

The space between cells does not significantly change depending on the size of the animal.

The 36μg injection that the mouse received shouldn't be equated to a 30mL injection that you would receive.

Plus your math seems incorrect. It was previously noted that the mice received 6.8 human dose equivalents. This would equate to about 3.4mL to 6.8mL for you [.5mL-1mL/dose].

In the Al-Rho branch of the experiment, the split the dose into two separate muscles:

. A total volume of 40 μL (20 μL in each TA muscle) was injected

They could have done the same thing for the vaccine experiment.

Here is a naughty paper:

adjuvants were found to inflict by themselves an illness of autoimmune nature, defined as 'the adjuvant diseases'. The debatable question of silicone as an adjuvant and connective tissue diseases, as well as the Gulf War syndrome and macrophagic myofaciitis which followed multiple injections of aluminium-based vaccines, are presented here...Perhaps future adjuvants occupying other putative receptors will be employed to bypass the TLR signaling pathway completely in order to circumvent common side effects of adjuvant-activated TLRs such as local inflammation and the general malaise felt because of the costly whole-body immune response to antigen.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19880572

Of course, If one is a cat then being given an aluminum adjuvanted vaccine might give you a VAS (vaccine-associated sarcoma).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaccine-associated_sarcoma

^Oh lookie Travis, you have a fellow traveller equally ignorant of crap science.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 02 Oct 2016 #permalink

The 36µg injection that the mouse received shouldn’t be equated to a 30mL injection that you would receive

Do play along, here. You will accept some rounding, won't you, unlike the photon per fortnight Fendlesworth?

"35 g mice (the mean weight.." receive 36 µl (that's microlitres, approximately equal to micrograms, if you aren't anal about density that isn't one, to some moderate number of insignificant digits) injection, divided between two sites. So let's say (with Rounding!) 1 microlitre per gramme of mouskie. 1 microliter per gram for a 60 000 gram smelly human, as cited, worketh out, without resort to abacus, to 60 000 microlitres, or 60 millilitres. Divvy by zwei, macht 30 cubic centimetres per site. Probably pushed in a few hundred milliseconds, at most (you have actually done injections, haven't you?- ever tried to blast 30 mL out of a syringe in a small fraction of a second? need a honkin' big needle and a damned strong thumb, and a tolerance for rending flesh).

36? 40? What's consistency? What was the volume of injection in the control meeses?

What happened to the Purkinje routine?

You don't seem to deal well with being pantsed, Travis.

Do play along, here. You will accept some rounding, won’t you, unlike the photon per fortnight Fendlesworth?

Ahem.

Well Doug, you calculation seems reasonable, but...

However, conversion between species based on mg/m2 is not supported for drugs administered by topical, nasal, subcutaneous, or intramuscular routes as well as proteins administered parenterally with molecular weight >100,000 Daltons.

You cannot use allometry for intramuscular and subcutaneous injections because the cell size and intracellular matrix does not appreciable change among different sized animals.

A simple practice guide for dose conversion between animals and human

Ahem.
Indeed. I'm yankin' the chain.

A simple practice guide for dose conversion between animals and human

Oh how cute Travis actually learned something from our "conversations". So Travis, when are you going to back away from some of those studies you are so fond of defending or are you just going to hope no one notices?

By Science Mom (not verified) on 02 Oct 2016 #permalink

Lewis,
Once again, pull up your innumerable socks and try to keep up:
I'm referring simply to the volume injected into a tiny muscle wrapped in fascia. When the dolts that wrote the paper are concerned with inflammatory response, it is absurd not to consider actual physical damage to muscle cause by an injection that is, in relative terms, nearly an order of magnitude greater than the accepted maximum volume for an IM injection. How do you think an adult human would respond to rapid intramuscular injection of 30 ml of something as innocuous as isotonic saline? If you'd like to try it on yourself, please send a stamped, self-addressed large envelope and I'll send you a 30 ml syringe, a 16 gauge needle and a 30 ml bottle of genuine Hospira (a Pfizer company) Sodium Chloride for Injection.
That control I mentioned was ...?

You cannot use allometry for intramuscular and subcutaneous injections because the cell size and intracellular matrix does not appreciable change among different sized animals.

Forgot to include this specific thing:
This is exactly my point. They crammed a relatively extraordinarily large amount of fluid into a tiny muscle, with no place for it to go other than the normally minuscule intercellular space. It will physically damage the muscle. It was probably extremely painful. Muscle damage tends not to go unnoticed by normal physiological processes.
I've been aware of the relative size of mammalian muscle cells for 5+ decades - since long before Google hung out its shingle.

Doug, how is 18μg or 36μg of liquid a relatively large amount for a mouse?

You cannot use allometry to determine that.

@SquirellElite
I am concerned about insoluble aluminum nanoparticles and/or microparticles being transported, through the lymphatic system, to the spleen and brain of children.

Perhaps there should be a moratorium of aluminum hydroxide adjuvants until someone can do primate studies on this phenomenon. Allometric scaling will be less of an issue here, and our physiology is closer to monkeys in innumerable ways besides.

Calcium Phosphate has long been the #2 adjuvant and should be used instead.

You cannot use allometry to determine that.

Impressively, though, one apparently can make this kind of shіt up.

Now, Travis, this whole relationship seems pretty asymmetric. Given that you're plainly desperate for attention, why don't you tell everyone a bit about yourself?

Perhaps there should be a moratorium of aluminum hydroxide adjuvants until someone can do primate studies on this phenomenon.

Hey, you're a primate. Maybe you could hit up GoFundMe for a pilot project.

You cannot use allometry to determine that.

This word salad needs more dressing.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 02 Oct 2016 #permalink

I am concerned about insoluble aluminum nanoparticles and/or microparticles being transported, through the lymphatic system, to the spleen and brain of children.

Nano micro what's the diff right Travis? Travis, what is the order of aluminium salts deposition again?

By Science Mom (not verified) on 02 Oct 2016 #permalink

@Lewus,

I'm more concerned about protecting my grandson from the real effects of diseases like blindness, deafness, sterility, and even death than worrying about the specific mechanism for the side effect the 5 shots he recieved.

Specifically, he was a bit more restive and clingy the next day when we took care of him and didn't want to take a nap. The next day he was fine and back to normal.

Alert and paying attention.

The lighrs are still on.

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 02 Oct 2016 #permalink

Did anyone actually read the study?

Aluminum is a neurotoxin, and it's in vaccines. Doesn't this bother anyone else?

@Sciencemom
The size of the adjuvant particles was estimated to be 1μg to 20μg, but there are likely smaller ones as well. I am being generous with the range of sizes, since there seems to be a paucity of data on the subject.

I still haven't heard a good critique on the study. Don and Robert Harris was right, all you get here is hyperbole and name-calling.

If there was really something wrong with the study, then why are you @ssholes diverting the conversation towards the messenger? The only person that doesn't use 5-th grade bully tactics is SquirrellElite.

why are you @ssholes diverting the conversation towards the messenger

It is hard to imagine why time-wasting bullsh1t-artist sock-puppets should incur such discourteous reactions.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 02 Oct 2016 #permalink

Here's a little experiment:
You'll need two 3 cc syringes with, say, 25 gauge needles, and a bottle of normal saline.
Draw up 3 ml of saline in each syringe. Inject the contents of one syringe into your vastus lateralis. Inject the contents of the other into your levator palpebrae superioris - your choice of sides. If you're squeamish about stabbing yourself about the eye, or your aim is dubious (since you'd need to use a mirror, this would not be surprising), you might consider a larger target, such as one of the thenar group, which is a lot more handy, so to speak. Let us know how long it takes for your bits to return to normal function. While you're waiting, ponder on the simple issue of ratio of muscle size to injection volume.
Who was it said "a nod's as good as a wink"?

I still haven’t heard a good critique on the study.

Did you want one? Did it occur to you to ask for one? Or is it just something that you feel entitled to?

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 02 Oct 2016 #permalink

The size of the adjuvant particles was estimated to be 1μg to 20μg, but there are likely smaller ones as well. I am being generous with the range of sizes, since there seems to be a paucity of data on the subject.

Current aluminium adjuvants are microparticles, not nano as Gherardi used.

I still haven’t heard a good critique on the study. Don and Robert Harris was right, all you get here is hyperbole and name-calling.

Hahaha. Would you like all of your vile comments dredged up? All your little sockies aren't going to protect you Schwochert.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 02 Oct 2016 #permalink

The reason they used Gadolinium is that it has a very high ionization cross section

Hey, Travis, what's an inverse femtobarn?

I am concerned about insoluble aluminum nanoparticles and/or microparticles being transported, through the lymphatic system, to the spleen and brain of children.

I suppose lymph drainage into your head (and I do mean your) could explain a number of things here.

Do you trolls get paid for each individual post? Or do you get a salary?

@SquirellElite

Aren't you worried about the neurotoxins in vaccines?

Did you know that they could easily be reformulated to be much safer?

Nobody else even read the study.

So Lewis, you haven't rebbutted my points on:

A: Using a paper that described a three week dose of Aluminium.

B: Using a paper that used a dose five times higher than used in a human.

C: You are complaining that Al salts cause inflamation, yet that is precisely why they are used as adjuvants.

Instead you are namecalling us shills and complaining about us being meanie to you. You are one of the biggest hipocrites I have ever met...

By Jay (not verified) on 02 Oct 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Lewis (not verified)

What was the study we havent read?

Do you trolls get paid for each individual post? Or do you get a salary?

I receive beer discounts. I am given to believe that Denise is paid in gin.

insoluble aluminum nanoparticles and/or microparticles being transported, through the lymphatic system, to the spleen

See, commenting at RI is therapeutic in itself, my spleen is completely vented.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 02 Oct 2016 #permalink

"I receive beer discounts."

Herr Bim, I wonder if the Pharma Shill Gambiteers have ever wondered, at the sheer cost of having a team of experts on hand over a weekend?

Oh and cheers for the Todd info, just couldn't find it cause I was on my phone.

Nobody else even read the study.

False Travis. I have read the study and commented at length on it on Harpocrates Speaks. I along with others have commented on the short-comings of the "study" here; you just don't like being told you believe rubbish.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 03 Oct 2016 #permalink

@ Gilbert

That first paper isn't naughty really, just a call for more adjuvants. What you are witnessing is Big Pharma and Science continually improving. What's the bet that once people start using the new adjuvants, the new ones will also be accused of causing every unexplained illness under the sun.

Nice try with the FUD with feline sarcomas, this might cheer you up:

"Feline injection-site sarcomas (FISS) have been known since the early 1990s. After an initial correlation with rabies and feline leukaemia virus vaccination, subsequent studies have demonstrated that an abnormal reaction of feline tissues to chronic inflammation was mainly responsible for the disease. "

Feline injection-site sarcoma: past, present and future perspectives. Martano M1, Morello E, Buracco P.

I can't speak for the other Pharma Trolls, but I receive a salary as well as payments for every post.

Some days there are relatively few eye-rollingly stupid woo posts to respond to, other times they blanket the Internet. I need a steady infusion of $$$ to cover my expenses (you have no idea how much coffee one must consume to stay awake while shilling at all those different sites) and per-post payments may not be enough.

Let's not forget bonuses, too. After a good year you want more than just an invitation to Lord Draconis Zeneca's Reptiloid Solstice Party.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 03 Oct 2016 #permalink

@ herr doktor bimler:

I receive gin, money, shoes and -occasionally- the latest fashion a few months early
What can I say? My uncle Lagerfeld - that major league lizard- loves me a lot.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 03 Oct 2016 #permalink

@ Jay:

Right. They leave that out.

And it's interesting how anti-vaxxers bring up FISS without mentioning that's it's quite rare.

They make it sound like it's common and *proves* vaccines are dangerous.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 03 Oct 2016 #permalink

I wasn't intending to leave anything out Denice Walter.

abnormal reaction of feline tissues to chronic inflammation was mainly responsible for the disease.

That's right. And it is the aluminum in those particular shots causing the inflammation. But, of course, that is the job of an adjuvant; It's just that aluminum is a rather poisonous one.

Hmmm. I wonder if it's like cheap corn-adjuvanted beer. I wonder if *real* shots have enought *goody* in them to not require the adjuvant.

That’s right. And it is the aluminum in those particular shots causing the inflammation. But, of course, that is the job of an adjuvant; It’s just that aluminum is a rather poisonous one.

An adjuvant isn't "poison" because it's doing what it's supposed to do; stimulate an immune reaction. It is the act of inflammation, not specifically the adjuvant.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 03 Oct 2016 #permalink

Do you trolls get paid for each individual post?

IIRC, this is repetitive of one of Travis J. Schwochert's other sockpuppets, which is pretty low grade trolling, indeed.

Since the arguing and bickering has settled down, I'd like to introduce myself into the thread.
My name is Aled, and i'm a medical student at the Cardiff University School of medicine.
The reason I'm here, and my interest in this discussion, is that I'm doing a thesis on Digital disruption, information gathering by patients, within the framework of conventional doctor/patient care.
I have got to say that the contributors here promoting conventional science/medicine, specifically the benefits of vaccines, are doing a pretty poor job of it.
Some here I believed are just trolls, who were not adding much to the debate on vaccines.
If someone opposes a particular area of medicine, in this case I think it was Don, then it's not difficult to refute such contrarian claims.
Someone in reply, and I think that was someone called gaist, said that you cannot disprove a negative. That's not an appropriate method of arguing, when you have all the scientific facts behind you. Also, it was a silly reply, to what would have been an easy point to put down with some scientific fact checking.
My concern with this blog, is that Laypeople come here seeking information about medicine, in this case vaccines, but are left annoyed, even disgusted at the level of discourse here. People come to forums like this to better inform themselves, and it is contingent on the medical contributors on this blog to have a rational, informative and polite debate.
i must say, this has got to be the worst website/forum on medical science I have come across.
Everyone here should left their game.

If this is the worst website on medical science you've come across, you sure must not have come across very many, and I mean that.

I'd also say that you're incredibly naive if you think that it's easy to refute antivaccine misinformation. Seriously. Show us how it's done if we're so bad at it. Refute the misinformation Don's been laying down. Show us a better way, rather than just sniping from the sidelines.

@Aled: You appear to be quite young and inexperienced in reading about anti-vaccine tropes. We, on the other hand, have been reading and responding to many of them for years. And we get tired of repeatedly saying the same things, just to be called "phama shills", "sheeple", and worse. So yes, we do tend to be curt with those who pull the same old stuff we've dealt with, especially those who are "JAQ"ing off.

For the laypeople who come here who are curious and have real questions, we handle them gently and point them toward sites with polite information - CDC, Harpocrates Speakes, Science-Based Medicine. Orac's blog *is* called Respectful Insolence for a reason. He gives honest information, but with insolence. You want kid gloves? Look elsewhere.

And tone-trolling tends to be frowned on here, too.

Yes, I rather suspect Aled is quite naive.

Someone in reply, and I think that was someone called gaist, said that you cannot disprove a negative.

I did?

Here's my comment:

That means, show me one shred of scientific evidence that refutes the theory as it’s explained on vaccinepapers.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the difficulties of proving a negative, so what level and type of evidence would you find sufficient? What one shred would you accept? And what would it prove?"

**

That's me quoting Don (#70 on page 3). I perhaps should have included his previous sentence too: "Orac said the theory of immune activation was junk. I said “prove it.”".

Don did reply to me, but I'm still unsure what "single shred" of evidence would refute the whole theory. Maybe you could explain it to me in Don's stead.

People come to forums like this to better inform themselves, and it is contingent on the medical contributors on this blog to have a rational, informative and polite debate.

"Contingent on"? When you are instructing anonymous commenters to dance for your entertainment, it may help to use English.
Or Welsh, I can cope with that. But not gibberish.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 10 Oct 2016 #permalink

You want kid gloves? Look elsewhere.

Evidently "starting his own blog" is not an option.
Do all med students radiate this sense of entitlement?

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 10 Oct 2016 #permalink

Hello, Aled. I'm a Laypeople. I'm still here, and neither annoyed nor disgusted. I learn things all the time and am better informed for being here, so no worries.

"Do all med students radiate this sense of entitlement?"

I don't sense entitlement, nor should it be considered inappropriate for a first-year med student to be critical of "medical contributors".*

Hopefully his repeated references to "conventional medicine" are not a symptom of someone inclined to woo.

*Aled seems unaware that a number of regular contributors here are "laypeople" of varying educational status, who have in common keen bullcrap detection skills.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 10 Oct 2016 #permalink

Speaking of Welsh people, has anyone heard from elbuerto recently?

By JustaTech (not verified) on 10 Oct 2016 #permalink

And we get tired of repeatedly saying the same things, just to be called “phama shills”, “sheeple”, and worse.

And yet, ya'll do have a tendency to negligently carry pharma's water against cannabis and kratom. In one month since the kratom ban in Alabama, opiod deaths increased from 57 in may to 111 in june -- Just in one county. This is just the start. Here lies the answer to addiction and ya'll just piss it away. We understand that, as word of the plant spreads, big pharma stands to loose billions a year on antidepressants, analgesics, and pharma answers to their initiated addiction such as Suboxone and buprenorphine.

Ohh, but I just want to get high (something that doesn't happen with kratom more than with the coffee of which kratom is a member of that family -- Rubiaceae).

Pharma shills, indeed.

For all yall's trotting out the travesty of vaccine preventable disease -- What is the number of deaths there compared to the 129 a day dying of (mostly) prescription and illicit overdose?

nor should it be considered inappropriate for a first-year med student to be critical of “medical contributors”.

I consider it inappropriate buffoonishly stupid for anyone to turn up at a blog complaining that commenters are not commenting properly and insisting that they write the kind of comments that he (or she) expects.

I understood elburto to hail from the North-East (judging from her lexicon of pejoratives). She did warn people that she was phasing out internet involvement.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 10 Oct 2016 #permalink

HDB: Good to know! Around here I worry sometimes.

As for the medical student, I wonder if they would be so disapproving of our collective approach after a few dozen rounds with our sea-slug-like troll SN.

By JustaTech (not verified) on 10 Oct 2016 #permalink

I understood elburto to hail from the North-East (judging from her lexicon of pejoratives).

It was stated explicitly.

Why, oh why, do I look at AoA? The Dachelbot is now plumping for another SBS denialist. They also seem to be in some group-grope frenzy involving G—le and IANA or something,* but I couldn't take too much of this idiocy. (Travis, however, it seems, is largely failing to garner much attention.)

* Net neutrality also sent some of them spiraling into oblivion, as I recall.

The Dachelbot is now plumping for another SBS denialist.

Meehan: " I served as an associate editor for the Journal of Ocular Immunology. "

There is no such journal.
Imagine my shock to learn that Meehan is a nutriceutical grifter.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 10 Oct 2016 #permalink

Well, ORAC is true to his word -- There is to be no discussion of breaking addiction, depression, and anxiety on this site.

Kratom, pharma shills.

By sullenbode (not verified) on 10 Oct 2016 #permalink

Oh. And most importantly that it is efficatious is for pain. Why do pharma shills want people to be in pain? Do ya'll take bitcoin for helping to relieve that? NO? Kratom, bitches.

By sullenbode (not verified) on 10 Oct 2016 #permalink

sullenbode: You are aware that you don't actually own this website?

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 10 Oct 2016 #permalink

[Orac note: This is Aled again. I don't know why he switched his posting name to Health blair. I made an exception to my usual rule about banning anyone who uses a sock puppet because I don't think he's intentionally trying to deceive, but, man oh man, is he doubling down!]

My God.
I wasn't expecting that.
You are criticising me?
"Naive," "tone trolling," "sense of entitlement" and even accused of poor spelling.
Well I went back to read what I wrote, and the only spelling mistake I found was in my last statement; "Everyone here should left their game." When it should have read, "Everyone here should lift their game."
But instead someone found a spelling mistake that did not exist, but missed that one.
Regarding tone trolling, I was not aware of this phrase, so I googled it.
It's somebody who complains about the tone of the debate, and the words used in that debate, on a blog or forum. That may be true to some degree in my case, but it's hardly a problem, considering the context I was using.
And of course you missed the other aspect of my comment (apart from the tone), was that was the CONTENT of my comments.
All I was saying, in a nutshell, was that everybody here should raise the level of debate, away from non sequiturs and ad hominem attacks, and stick to a civil debate around medical science. That's all. Nothing more nothing less.
But then I get accused of all these words I've mentioned above, in quotation marks.
And somebody was not happy for mre using the word "conventional medicine."
My God, what phrase would have me use??
Even doctors need to use the phrase, to differentiate themselves from natural/alternative/complimentary medicine., Yet somehow I was criticised for using that phrase, conventional medicine.
I don't get it, remember I'm on your side.
Some admonished me, suggesting it was not easy to argue with the anti-vaccine people.
That is complete rubbish. Remember, you have all the science on your side.
Which brings me to another point.
Why is this forum/blog predominantly discussing vaccines??
Why aren't the contributors here (including the Doctor who posts articles on this forum), discussing other aspects of medical science, such as the recent advancements in cancer research??
In closing, I will just say that this forum is the strangest, and weirdest forum/blog on medical science I've ever come across.
And herr doktor bimler, what the hell esoteric nonsense are you talking about???
I would suggest that it's the over 50s here who are naive.
And I would hope that none here actually work at the coalface of medical/patient care, because God help the doctor-patient relationships if anyone here were to have direct contact with patients, given the appalling attitudes of some here.
But never mind, I won't be back, I have many other forum/blogs to visit on the Internet.
However, I will bookmark this forum, and will include it in my thesis, because this blog/Forum has got be the strangest I have ever encountered.

By Heath blair (not verified) on 11 Oct 2016 #permalink

Nice flounce, Health blair, Aled, or whoever you are, I predict that you will not stick to it.

Yes, I do have direct contact with patients, and I have some nice evaluations about my doctor-patient relationship. Sometimes my patients even mention my blog.

As for some of your complaints, perhaps the most clueless is this: "Why aren’t the contributors here (including the Doctor who posts articles on this forum), discussing other aspects of medical science, such as the recent advancements in cancer research??" First off, whenever someone asks "Why don't you blog about what I think you should blog about?" (which, let's face it, is exactly what you are asking), I usually tell them because I blog about what interests me and bugger off (to borrow a British expression). However, the fact that you would even write that means that you haven't bothered to venture beyond the comments of this one post, because vaccines are not the only topic here, by far. Just a few recent examples:

All of these were posted within the last five weeks or so and show up on the front page of this blog, no need to click the "More Posts" link. If you had bothered to make a minimal effort to look at the front page and scroll down, you would have seen them. Seriously. As a senior surgeon, let me give you some advice, trained physician and scientist to trainee: If you're going to criticize something (e.g., this blog) as being only about one thing (e.g., vaccines) and discussing about other topics (e.g., the latest cancer research), you really should actually verify that your criticism is accurate. You clearly didn't bother, and this blog is far more than the comments section of a single post. Seriously, to echo your criticism right back at you, I really do hope, for your future patients' sake, that you aren't as lazy and careless studying your medical textbooks as you have been in your criticisms of this blog, because god help your patients if that's the case.

Aled: "Regarding tone trolling, I was not aware of this phrase, so I googled it.
It’s somebody who complains about the tone of the debate, and the words used in that debate, on a blog or forum. That may be true to some degree in my case, but it’s hardly a problem, considering the context I was using."

I'm afraid your google-fu is substandard. Tone trolling (a.k.a. concern trolling) is a focus on the perceived civility of a discussion to the exclusion of content, and is thus a distraction technique. At best it's a pompous assertion of the superiority of the tone troller. At worst (and this is quite common) it's an act of deception by a poster who sympathizes with a point of view but can't/won't defend it, and instead attacks the other side for violations of "tone".

Think of it as a form of digital disruption.

Aled: "And somebody was not happy for (me) using the word “conventional medicine.”
My God, what phrase would have me use??"

Try "evidence-based medicine". I gather from your comments that you fancy yourself to be a cutting edge doctor-to-be, and I assure you that requiring good evidence and reproducible research is as cutting edge as it gets in medicine.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 11 Oct 2016 #permalink

All I was saying, in a nutshell, was that everybody here should raise the level of debate, away from non sequiturs and ad hominem attacks, and stick to a civil debate around medical science. That’s all. Nothing more nothing less.

And this differs from tone trolling how?

However, I will bookmark this forum, and will include it in my thesis, because this blog/Forum has got be the strangest I have ever encountered.

Obviously, this must be your first day on the internet. Welcome, youngling. Carry on and you will be amazed.

Some random medical student: "All I was saying, in a nutshell, was that everybody here should raise the level of debate, away from non sequiturs and ad hominem attacks, and stick to a civil debate around medical science. That’s all. Nothing more nothing less."

My, you are not asking for much are you? You just want to control what other people do.

I knew someone like that in college. He just knew he was going to get into medical school. The problem was that he liked to control people, and that included making sure they believed his branch of religion and behaved in a certain way, especially if they were female. He actually got himself some followers.

So at his medical school interviews he said he wanted to become a doctor in order to control people to help them. Well that did not go well. He did not get into medical school, because apparently they prefer to train doctors that actually listen to their patients. Last time I saw him he was walking down the street with some of his followers: all women wearing long skirts.

Good luck in your studies. Sorry I can't be there to see how well you do on oral exams and challenges. It is so much fun to be standing in the front of the room as one or a few people pepper you with questions as you try to defend your answers.

@ Chris:

Right.
And who is it that determines exactly what 'civil 'is?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 11 Oct 2016 #permalink

Obviously, this must be your first day on the internet. Welcome, youngling. Carry on and you will be amazed.

This guy clearly hasn't done much Internet surfing if he thinks this is one of the weirdest places on the Internet. I could post a few links to truly weird sites, but I'm afraid it might crack his fragile eggshell mind. (And, before Aled, of he comes back, complains that that's an insult, he should do a little googling on "Jim Morrison" and "fragile eggshell mind" and he'll realize I was making a Doors allusion.)

I suspect he wouldn't get it, Orac. Heck, I'm nearly forty, and I didn't get the reference.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 11 Oct 2016 #permalink

I always knew it was from JM but had to search out the exact place.

Obviously, not where he says, " Land Ho!"

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 11 Oct 2016 #permalink

The classic sign of tone trolling: Focusing like a laser on the faults of their "own side", while completely ignoring everyone else.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 11 Oct 2016 #permalink

I'm just wondering why Heath Blair made a 'nym from the surnames of two of the worst Prime Ministers in British history (and they're up a against some pretty stiff opposition for that title).

If it isn't a pseudonym then he has my profound sympathies.

I suspect he wouldn’t get it, Orac. Heck, I’m nearly forty, and I didn’t get the reference.

Well, the song did come out five years before you were born. :-)

Not necessarily, O Esteemed One. I love 50s music and especially Buddy Holly. I don't have to have seen or met him!

And herr doktor bimler, what the hell esoteric nonsense are you talking about???

It varies from day to day.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 11 Oct 2016 #permalink

Heath Blair made a ‘nym from the surnames of two of the worst Prime Ministers in British history

Was Heath really that bad? You could argue that he created the conditions for Thatcher (through Conservative frustration with his own general approach of appeasement compromise and consensus). Is that what you had in mind?

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 11 Oct 2016 #permalink

Herr Doktor.
You make my case for me. Doing my homework by candlelight did colour my political views somewhat; as did walking to school.past piles of rotting refuse which hadn't been collected for weeks.

@Peebs

Listen to Me is my favourite Buddy Holly song!

He certainly has some incredible music.

By James Crawford (not verified) on 11 Oct 2016 #permalink

@ORAC

Did you know that Jim Morrison's dad was an Admiral associated with the Gulf of Tonkin Affair?

This has led some to speculate that he was an agent of the US War Complex used to distract the growing anti-war movement and placate them with drugs.

Sounds far out, but Dave McGowan has written a book on the issue. I am not entirely convinced in the Case of Jim Morrison, but it is not hard for me to imagine that certain musical artists are used for propaganda purposes.

I still like the Doors. Love Street is a terrific!

By James Crawford (not verified) on 11 Oct 2016 #permalink

Seeing as though this blog is about a contest of quotes, I'll join in.

"...I don’t think he’s intentionally trying to deceive..."

No, that's correct, as I said, I'm going to use this blog/forum in my thesis, and as such, I need to use my real name, and not an alias.

"Yes, I do have direct contact with patients..."

I wasn't referring to you Orac, in regards to medical knowledge/ability, and patient care, I was referring to the other members of this forum.

"Try “evidence-based medicine”. I gather from your comments that you fancy yourself to be a cutting edge doctor-to-be..."

Someone by the name of Dangerous Bacon, doesn't like me to use the term; "conventional medicine." I don't use "evidence-based medicine," because it's so 1980s/90s.
Conventional medicine is appropriate today, to differentiate it from all the other alternatives.
But hey, you can say whatever you like.
I'm not going to take somebody seriously, who has a name like Dangerous Bacon.

And someone still believes I am "tone trolling."
Ok, I'll make it simple for the simpletons here; The discussions here should be more science-based than anything else.
Ok, you got it now?

And the best for last.

"This guy clearly hasn’t done much Internet surfing if he thinks this is one of the weirdest places on the Internet."

I don't mind you, or anyone else disagreeing with me, but to misquote me, and then make your argument around that misquote, is pathetic and childish.
And I'm being accused of being naive, and a "youngster."

This is what I said; "I will just say that this forum is the strangest, and weirdest forum/blog on medical science I’ve ever come across."

Did you see me use the words, "medical science"?

Orac, again you misquote me; ..."the fact that you would even write that means that you haven’t bothered to venture beyond the comments of this one post, because vaccines are not the only topic here, by far..."

And this is what I said; "Why is this forum/blog predominantly discussing vaccines??"
Again, you see the word "predominately "?
I think that's a fair description, considering the talk around vaccines that has dominated this forum/blog in recent times.
And when you Google "Orac," guess which word Google's predictive text suggests the next?
That's right, vaccines.
From what I gather, you're quite well-known in discussing vaccines.

The more I stay here, the more I think this site is stranger and stranger.
This site seem to have some characteristics of a cult.
I'm not sure how to place this into my thesis, but it's so bad it's good (if you know what I mean), so I will find some way of working into my thesis.

By Heath blair (not verified) on 11 Oct 2016 #permalink

I just knew Heath wouldn't stick to the flounce, and I was right! Let's see what's eating him now.

And someone still believes I am “tone trolling.”
Ok, I’ll make it simple for the simpletons here; The discussions here should be more science-based than anything else.
Ok, you got it now?

You know, if you'd actually bothered to read some of the links to recent posts here that I provided yesterday, you'd know that there's a hell of a lot of science-based discussions here. Again, you are lazy and careless, and I really hope you aren't that lazy and careless in your studies, for the sake of your future patients. Also, given that you have no problem calling my readers "simpletons," you just lost whatever moral high ground you thought you had to complain about the tone here. Basically, you're no better than you perceive the commenters here to be. Clearly, your concerns about "civility" are not nearly as principled as you like to portray them, given how easily you abandon them when mildly tweaked. Yes, I'm calling you a hypocrite, straight out.

This is what I said; “I will just say that this forum is the strangest, and weirdest forum/blog on medical science I’ve ever come across.”

Did you see me use the words, “medical science”?

I did, and my comment still stands. If you truly think this is the "strangest, weirdest blog on medical science" I repeat: You really haven't gotten out much and are not very familiar with the medical blogosphere. You need to get out more, as it is clear to me that you are quite naive and have little experience.

And this is what I said; “Why is this forum/blog predominantly discussing vaccines??”
Again, you see the word “predominately “?
I think that’s a fair description, considering the talk around vaccines that has dominated this forum/blog in recent times.

Vaccines are a major topic here, yes. They've been a major topic here for the nearly 12 years of this blog's existence. But the predominant topic? I'm not so sure about that. Whatever the case (and I'm not going to go back and count what percentage of my posts are primarily about vaccines, given that there are thousands of posts dating back to 2006, when this blog first moved to Scieneblogs. You're giving annoyingly legalistic, hair-splitting answers, anyway. You want to think that vaccines are the "predominant" topic here, that's fine. I make no apologies for that, if it's true.

And when you Google “Orac,” guess which word Google’s predictive text suggests the next?
That’s right, vaccines.
From what I gather, you’re quite well-known in discussing vaccines.

That's funny. I don't get "orac vaccines" when I type "Orac" into Google. I get terms like "Oracle," "orac definition," "orac scale," and "orac blog." (Yes, I'm "famous enough" that that last one sometimes shows up.) Heck, even when I just typed "orac v" in an attempt to force Google to show a predictive phrase of "orac vaccines," I didn't get it. I got "orac value" first. then "orac vitamin." And that's even though I'm using a whose browser is full of cookies from websites about vaccines and past blog entries, which means Google knows I've searched for vaccine-related topics before.

As for why I write about vaccines a lot, whether predominantly or not, it's because the topic interests me, and I don't give a rodent's posterior whether you approve or not or think I'm "qualified" or not. In fact, I very much resent when someone like you tells me with self-righteous puffery what he thinks I "should" be blogging about. Basically, it's not your call. I write about what interests me, and for anyone who tells me what I should and shouldn't be writing about I have one message: "Piss off."

"And I would hope that none here actually work at the coalface of medical/patient care, because God help the doctor-patient relationships if anyone here were to have direct contact with patients, given the appalling attitudes of some here."

I spent 30 years at that coalface and was very good at the talking to patients lark.

Equating how I might choose to respond to jumped up, patronising gits of medical students or other varieties of eejit on the internet with how I spoke to my patients face to face is not exactly helpful or accurate. And I hope you don't try talking to any other health professional face to face like that or you could really find yourself in difficulties...

*Wanders off muttering about how many junior doctors my sister and I bailed out or prevented from making huuuuuge cock ups over the years*

Heath blair,

I don’t mind you, or anyone else disagreeing with me, but to misquote me, and then make your argument around that misquote, is pathetic and childish.

#86:
"Someone in reply, and I think that was someone called gaist, said that you cannot disprove a negative. That’s not an appropriate method of arguing, when you have all the scientific facts behind you. Also, it was a silly reply, to what would have been an easy point to put down with some scientific fact checking."

And while we're on the subject of misquotations, is "to disprove a negative some sort of curious English phrase that means "to prove a negative?

Because to me, the two seem quite different, and disproving a negative seems easy* - if someone claims there has never ever been a vaccine trial involving a placebo, it's trivially easy to disprove that.

Whereas proving a negative seems to involve lot more kerfuffle.

This might be just me, what with English as a second third language and all that...

* in principle, at least. Getting in contacts with it's people and finding the time in Flying Spaghetti Monster's busy schedule for an appearance for such trivial reason as proving something to heathen crowds seems a chore.

@Heath blair:

The term is "youngling".

If you're going to do a thesis on the internet, you had better up your quote game.
Also, you had better get familiar with Star Wars memes. Just sayin'.

@Heath Blair

Hi, Heath. I'm one of those laypeople that comes here for the science and stay for the entertaining (and well-informed) commentary. I also write one of those "polite" blogs mentioned by MI Dawn.

Can I give you some tips?
1) When you come into a new blog, before you start laying about with criticisms, make sure you read, extensively, previous posts and comments. You might find that some of your critiques are, in fact, false or unsubstantiated.

2) Every blog has a focus that interests the author. Likewise, they have a certain style. The topics and writing style will either attract or deter people from reading. And that's okay. There is no pleasing everyone, nor is there reason to attempt such a Sisyphean task. If you do not like the topics or style, look elsewhere. The internet's a big place.

3) You complain about "ad hominem" attacks, etc., yet you don't appear to have read very extensively (see tip #1 above). If you had, you would see that the tougher language generally comes out selectively. When a new commenter seems to be interested in legitimate discussion and debate, willing to learn, then they are treated respectfully. Their questions are answered with due diligence. The gloves tend to come off when people reveal that they are not at all interested in honest discussion, but are rather only interested in trolling or otherwise hammering their pet ideas into everyone else.

4) The comment section is not the main article. Orac's posts may have something of an edge to them from time to time, but tend to be quite full of good, science-based information on a wide range of medical topics. Granted, many of those topics cover the fringes of medical science, such as alternative medicine and other medical mythologies. But the science is there. It is merely seasoned with insolence. The comments, as with any similarly unmoderated/lightly moderated forum, can get a bit spicy. This should not come as a surprise. And it's Orac's light touch with the comments section that makes for some interesting conversations, as well as a lot of teachable moments. Yes, the regulars can get a bit snarky, but they, like Orac, stick to the science, even if their comments are also peppered with insolence. Which brings us to...

5) Welcome to the internet! You'll need to develop a thicker skin if the rather mild response to your initial post, where you waltzed in here and told everyone else how they should talk/write. You followed that criticism by clutching your pearls ("You criticize me?") and engaging in the very insults and attacks you so decried in the commentariat here. For example:

"And I would hope that none here actually work at the coalface of medical/patient care, because God help the doctor-patient relationships if anyone here were to have direct contact with patients, given the appalling attitudes of some here."

and later

"I’m not going to take somebody seriously, who has a name like Dangerous Bacon."

That last one is the epitome of an adhominem attack.

If you want to be treated respectfully, perhaps you should start by not telling people what to do, insulting them, and then acting all surprised when people question you.

I appreciate that you think that discussions of medical science ought to be civil, respectful, and devoid of personal affronts. And there are forums out there that deliver that (indeed, there's another blog out there that does just that, for which Orac also writes - but I'm sure you knew that with all the research you've clearly done on this blog). I also appreciate that you think that arguments should stick to the science, and that that should be enough. However, that is neither for everyone, nor is it realistic. And yes, it may pain you to hear this, but you are naive for thinking that. I, too, once believed that the only thing needed was the science, and all would be convinced. And then I gained more experience. I gathered more data, as it were, and realized that my initial hypothesis was wrong.

I urge you to stick around. Read more. Don't take things personally. If you can't get past the style to see the content, then this blog probably isn't for you, and I wish you well on your search for something that's a better fit.

@Todd W: the Other Blog can get pretty spicy, too, as you know...I don't get over there all the time, but I've seen some uh....insolence....from the commentors over there. If Heath is insulted by insolent responses, he should go to a safe place like AOA. We all know that the comments there are all agreeable. ;)

And Heath: I was a healthcare provider for many years. I've changed direction and now do health insurance. But my patients always found me a good listener.

Someone by the name of Dangerous Bacon, doesn’t like me to use the term; “conventional medicine.” I don’t use “evidence-based medicine,” because it’s so 1980s/90s.
Conventional medicine is appropriate today, to differentiate it from all the other alternatives.

How about medicine vs. quackery? Or, to quote the great Philosopher Minchin -

And try as I like,
A small crack appears
In my diplomacy-dike.
By definition, I begin
Alternative Medicine, I continue,
Has either not been proved to work,
Or been proved not to work.
Do you know what they call alternative medicine
That's been proved to work?
Medicine.

Like Todd, I too am a lay person, except I come for the entertainment (and snark) and stay for the science and learning.

One thing I've learned is that, among the anti-vaxers and quack contingent, science means nothing to them. All studies that don't support them are flawed, and all basic science that disproves their silly ideas is waved away with 'But quantum....'.

If all our host and the minions wrote was snark and insolence, it would get really boring really fast. Look around and you will see that snark and insolence is backed up by science and citations. But there are times you just have to call an idiot an idiot, and a quack a quack. Around here, you find out why they are quacks and idiots.

Aled/Heath Blair: "I’m not sure how to place this into my thesis, but it’s so bad it’s good (if you know what I mean), so I will find some way of working into my thesis."

I gather Orac is now supposed to be deathly afraid that an obscure med student thesis will be critical of his blog. While I doubt that's the case, one hopes this thesis will reflect the quality of information available to patients from such sources, rather than the writer's selective pique over "tone".

"Someone by the name of Dangerous Bacon, doesn’t like me to use the term; “conventional medicine.”

I didn't say you shouldn't use it, only that I hoped your fondness for the term didn't indicate a predilection towards woo. In case you haven't learned it yet, EBM remains a highly viable and widely-used concept in today's medical care.

"I’m not going to take somebody seriously, who has a name like Dangerous Bacon."

I'll take you seriously, even with a handle like "Heath Blair". Though Disraeli Chamberlain would have been more entertaining.

"This site seem to have some characteristics of a cult."

How original.

This is a classic rejoinder from frustrated alties (of whom our Heath may or may not be one). "Your science is just religion har har har" comes up frequently from those who quaintly believe it is the deadliest of insults (it's puzzling that they seemingly despise religion so much*). A certain dim bulb has even written a lengthy online screed detailing his conviction that Science Based Medicine is a cult, based on his experience touting pseudoscience there and not getting a sympathetic response.

I must go now, for I have better things to do with my time.**

*even stranger in Heath's case, seeing that "My God" is one of his favorite exclamations.
**thought I'd get that one in before Heath does.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 12 Oct 2016 #permalink

@MI Dawn

the Other Blog can get pretty spicy, too, as you know

Oh, I know, but comments are kept in check a bit more there than here. Heck, even poster presentations at science conferences can get rather heated.

“I’m not going to take somebody seriously, who has a name like Dangerous Bacon.”

See, DB, you need to include "Herr Doktor" in your nym, to remind everyone of your Teutonic pedantry and humourlessness. Then people would take you seriously, the way they do me.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 12 Oct 2016 #permalink

I don't have the energy to really do up the hilarity in this last entry, as the sadists at the local university hospital only schedule extended EEGs for first thing in the morning.* Nonetheless:

And when you Google “Orac,” guess which word Google’s predictive text suggests the next?
That’s right, vaccines.

O RLY?

* I'm sure three hours' worth of data on my being asleep will be a fascinating read for the attending.
==

I don't have the energy to really do up the hilarity in this last entry, as the sadists at the local university hospital only schedule extended EEGs for first thing in the morning.* Nonetheless:

And when you Google “Orac,” guess which word Google’s predictive text suggests the next?
That’s right, vaccines.

O RLY?

* I'm sure three hours' worth of data on my being asleep will be a fascinating read for the attending.

^ Sorry, the cat is very clever with the keyboard.

Alternative Medicine, I continue,
Has either not been proved to work,
Or been proved not to work.

And then there is another catagory; Plants which are known to work but are scheduled under the Controlled Substances Act so that there can be "no studies to show" -- Allthewhile, protecting from competition drug companies who produce patented, poisonous analogs of the active components of those very same plants.

Gilbert.... this is the voice of Christmas Future and Halloween Present - Gilbert... move to Oregon...Gilbert, you'll like it there...

By JustaTech (not verified) on 12 Oct 2016 #permalink

I gather Orac is now supposed to be deathly afraid that an obscure med student thesis will be critical of his blog.

And a thesis from a medical student in Australia, to boot. :-)

The discussions here should be more science-based than anything else.

Neil Gaiman had some advice for "Game of Thrones" fans who want G.R.R. Martin to get a wriggle on and finish the next tome in the series:

George R.R. Martin is not your bitch.

This is a useful thing to know, perhaps a useful thing to point out when you find yourself thinking that possibly George is, indeed, your bitch, and should be out there typing what you want to read right now.

http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2009/05/entitlement-issues.html

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 12 Oct 2016 #permalink

I'm not a member of the vaccine cult. I was attacked for merely suggesting that people should have a choice.

Apparently, letting people deny vaccines would be "unethical". It would also be "irresponsible" since they would somehow pose a threat to fully-vaccinated people who should be immunized by the pro-vaccine paradigm.

So they admit that vaccines are not 100% effective to resolve this apparent paradox, which totally destroys the herd-immunity paradigm; which says that ~95% of people need to be immune.

This is impossible, since vaccines are not this effective. Herd-immunity must be abolished as something achievable, or their insistence that unvaccinated people pose a risk to the vaccinated must be discarded.

They can't have it both ways.

You need very high efficacy for herd-immunity; so high that the unvaccinated would pose very little risk to the vaccinated.

The truth is that vaccines are not very effective at all and increase infections in some cases. Read this short article by a Medical Doctor who is very critical of vaccines. http://drsuzanne.net/dr-suzanne-humphries-vaccines-vaccination/

Some people even speculate that aluminum and mercury (mercury, duh) could cause harm.

By James Crawford (not verified) on 12 Oct 2016 #permalink

@James Crawford:

I was attacked for merely suggesting that people should have a choice.

Stop lying. You were attacked because you were rude, patronising and blatantly ignorant in your comment.
http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2016/06/22/antivaxers-go-to-washingto….

Apparently, letting people deny vaccines would be “unethical”.

The efficacy of vaccination has been proven, contrary to your pig-ignorant assertions. Letting people deny vaccines to their children puts the children at risk of diseases that can disable and kill.

It would also be “irresponsible” since they would somehow pose a threat to fully-vaccinated people who should be immunized by the pro-vaccine paradigm. children too young to be vaccinated and children who are immunocompromised.

FTFY.

So they admit that vaccines are not 100% effective to resolve this apparent paradox, which totally destroys the herd-immunity paradigm; which says that ~95% of people need to be immune.

Wrong, dunderhead. They factor for the level of vaccine efficacy when calculating herd immunity levels.

The truth is that vaccines are not very effective at all and increase infections in some cases.

Let's see. Smallpox: driven to extinction in the wild by vaccination. Polio: from causing thousands of deaths and cases of paralysis each year several decades ago to being endemic in only three countries. Rinderpest: driven to extinction by vaccines. Measles: recently declared no longer endemic to the Americas, thanks to vaccines.

Read this short article by a Medical Doctor who is very critical of vaccines. [Link to Suzanne Humphries]

Dr Suzanne Humphries has been discussed here before. If you are relying on her, you've lost already.

Some people even speculate that aluminum and mercury (mercury, duh) could cause harm.

Mercury compounds are not the same as mercury, in the same way that table salt is not the same as sodium and chlorine. As for aluminium, there is more in a banana than in the entire vaccine schedule.
You probably imagine you're oh so smart. In reality, you're just spouting ignorant antivaccine tropes that the commenters here have seen and refuted literally thousands of times before.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 12 Oct 2016 #permalink

Being yet another Fucklesworth sock didn't help much, either.

James Crawford @144: Herd immunity can also be achieved through contraction of the disease. The difference is the quantity of suffering and death (Much, much less with vaccines).

Also, even having a disease and surviving does not guarantee long-lasting immunity.

So, no, you are incorrect. Please take a few classes and try again.

If you aren't a sock. If you're a sock, well, either you'll fall through the wormhole in the dryer or you'll get turned into one of Alton Brown's yeast puppets.

By JustaTech (not verified) on 13 Oct 2016 #permalink

"And a thesis from a medical student in Australia, to boot."

That's weird.
You trying to doxs me are you?
Haven't you got better things to do?
If you really want to know, I have a proxy ISP.
I can't miss an episode of Neighbours.

http://tenplay.com.au/channel-eleven/neighbours

And to the person who thinks they were so smart, in suggesting that I got it wrong, when it comes to Googling the words; "Orac," and waiting to see what predictive text Google throws up.
Obviously, that person doesn't realise that the Google algorithms work differently in other countries.
To whoever that person was, who's looking stupid now?

But what's the big deal anyway?
I was only passing opinion about Orac's proclivity towards vaccines.
And you attack me like a bunch of piranhas.
I wonder what you would have said if I was anti-vaccine??

By Heath blair (not verified) on 24 Oct 2016 #permalink

Oh, dear. It also appears that I missed a Fendelsworth sock puppet, Mr. Harris. I now rectify that oversight.

But anyway, the reason I came back to this weirdo "medical" blog, is that I've been asking around about a certain Dr Gorski.
And I discovered you've done something back in the 1980s, that could be regarded as unconventional.
Would you like to dox yourself now??

By Heath blair (not verified) on 24 Oct 2016 #permalink

Given that I busy studying in college and medical school back in the 1980s, I can't imagine what you found that I did back then that was "unconventional." In fact, if there's one thing I regret about my life it's that in my youth I was very, very conventional—to a fault, actually.

As for your comment about "doxxing" myself, all I can say is: Geez you're pretty clueless. Here's a hint. You can find my name right here on this very blog if you just bother to look a little, and my real identity is about the worst kept secret in the skeptical blogosphere.

"Haven’t you got better things to do?"

"Well, do you...punk?"

Sorry, just trying to imagine Dirty Harry confronting a tone troll in an online forum. :)

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 24 Oct 2016 #permalink

"Obviously, that person doesn’t realise that the Google algorithms work differently in other countries.
To whoever that person was, who’s looking stupid now?"

Not particularly, I was in Cardiff on the day you mentioned Google results, first thing that came up was "Orac values" for anti oxidants. At the bottom, "Orac from Blake 7".

And to the person who thinks they were so smart, in suggesting that I got it wrong, when it comes to Googling the words; “Orac,” and waiting to see what predictive text Google throws up.
Obviously, that person doesn’t realise that the Google algorithms work differently in other countries.
To whoever that person was, who’s looking stupid now?

The one who can't stop digging, I suppose.

medical school, studying for exams, volunteering in clinics...you unconventional bastard

Heath blair @125:
And when you Google “Orac,” guess which word Google’s predictive text suggests the next?
Heath @149:
Obviously, that person doesn’t realise that the Google algorithms work differently in other countries.
To whoever that person was, who’s looking stupid now?

It would certainly be very stupid to invoke Google autocomplete as evidence, and to inform readers that they will all get identical results.
So who was that guy again?

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 24 Oct 2016 #permalink