Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Autism and Vaccines - Excellent Commentary at Biology in Action

On the Biology in Action site Rebecca Baker, a biology student, offers an excellent commentary on vaccines and autism "Vaccines and Autism: Many Hypotheses, But No Correlation Found" making a point with which I am in complete agreement - there is a need for more research on the issue.

On one side the commentary is a bit shallow focusing on Jenny McCarthy but not mentioning Dr. Bernadine Healy or the Poling and Banks cases ( as the mainstream media also does). BUT in exploring the other side of the debate the blog author does not give Dr. Paul Offit the free ride he gets from the mainstream media and from "autism is beautiful", Offit worshipping blogs like Left Brain/Right Brain:

Based on the radically different studies on the topic, I think that this debate has just begun. More research must be done in order to come to a definite conclusion. While reading the article I found, I had several questions. Whenever Dr. Offit was discussing one of the hypotheses, he stated that he analyzed several studies that refuted the idea. He never specified which studies he looked at. It seemed as though he did not provide enough evidence to support his findings. Also, if some children show severe reactions to the vaccines, is it not possible some kids are allergic to the vaccinations, as I am to penicillin? Because I am not convinced by both sides of the argument, more research must be conducted.

The vaccine-autism debate could use more balanced, common sense commentary like that by Ms Baker at Biology in Action.

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1 comment:

Mr. Bird said...

Thank you for replying to my student's post. This is for a non-major's course in human biology at Fairleigh Dickinson. In addition to the standard anatomy and physiology lectures, a large focus is spent on reading current issues in science and bringing critical thinking and personal experience to the class through the blog.