In this edition of antivaccine Whac-A-Mole, Orac discusses a large study that fails to find a link between maternal Tdap vaccination and autism in the baby. No big surprise there. So, mothers, get your Tdap to protect your baby.
Science is the most effective means of determining medical treatments that work and whose benefits outweigh their risks. Those who promote pseudoscientific or prescientific medicine, however, frequently appeal to other ways of knowing, often ancient ways of knowing from other cultures, and pointing out deficiencies in SBM to justify promoting their treatments. Do their justifications hold water?
A new study shows where in the US antivaxers are most likely to make measles great again, thanks to driving up nonmedical exemptions and driving down vaccine uptake.
With the rise of quack stem cell clinics, there has been a rise of crowdfunding campaigns to assist patients in paying for expensive stem cell treatments of unproven efficacy. Unfortunately, as a recent study shows, these crowdfunding campaigns nearly always oversell efficacy and ignore potential risks of the treatments, while making powerful emotional appeals.
Last year, the FDA announced a regulatory framework for stem cell clinics, and hopes were raised that it would finally crack down on the hundreds of quack stem cell clinics in the US. Yesterday, the FDA dropped the hammer on two clinics, seeking injunctions in federal court to stop them. Is this the beginning of a real (and long overdue) crackdown on these clinics?
Zoe O'Toole, aka "The Professor" at an antivaccine crank blog known as The Thinking Moms' Revolution, likes to think she's figured out this whole science thing. Her falling for "crooked theory," an impressively daft piece of antivaccine pseudoscience by Forrest Maready, shows her self-delusion on that score.
I've mentioned Dr. Paul Thomas before as a rising star in the antivaccine movement. A month and a half later, it occurs to me that I haven't given proper due to his co-author, Jennifer Margulis, as an equally prominent rising star in the same crank movement. Here, I rectify that oversight.
The overwhelming scientific consensus is that it is incredibly unlikely that cell phone radiation causes cancer or other health problems. That doesn't stop The Nation from constructing a conspiracy theory inn which cell phone companies are likened to tobacco companies in their campaign of denial designed to hide evidence of harm while disingenuously claiming to be neutral regarding the science and saying that scientists should determine whether radiation from cell phones is hazardous.
Yesterday, Orac discussed a widely hyped new scientific finding of a "new organ" known as the interstitium, , in which the Neil Theise and his co-authors suggested that their findings might "explain" acupuncture. Today, Orac realizes that the woo goes much, much deeper. Deepak Chopra, anyone?
Last week, the media were awash with reports of the "interstitium," which was dramatically described as a hitherto undiscovered "organ," a narrative that was definitely a triumph of PR over science that went beyond what even the investigators claimed in their paper. Worse, the investigators themselves even speculated that their discovery could "explain" acupuncture and other kinds of alternative medicine, thus providing an opening for quacks to run wild with their discovery, something I expect to see very soon.