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Antivaccine nonsense Autism Bad science Medicine Politics Pseudoscience Quackery

Thank you, Chelsea Clinton, for speaking out against Andrew Wakefield and driving antivaxers crazy

Earlier this week, Chelsea Clinton spoke out against Andrew Wakefield and in support of vaccines. Hilarity ensued as antivaxers lost their mind in rage and faux disappointment in her.

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Antivaccine nonsense Cancer Medicine Movies Pseudoscience Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking

Death by Gardasil? Not so fast… (2018 edition)

There is a type of “vaccine injury” story promoted by the antivaccine movement that is particularly pernicious, a narrative I call “death by Gardasil.” The stories, which use tenuous connections between vaccination against HPV to prevent cervical cancer and the unexpected death of a teen or young adult, are always tragic, and you can’t help but feel incredible empathy for the parents. However, none of these stories constitute compelling evidence that Gardasil kills young people. Basically, antivaxers exploit the grief of these parents and their understandable desire to find a cause for their child’s demise to demonize HPV vaccinations as dangerous and deadly.

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Autism Bioethics Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking

Another antivaccine paper bites the dust

Christopher Shaw and Lucija Tomljenovic are known for producing dubious scientific studies in the service of antivaccine pseudoscience. Last month, they published a paper purporting to show that aluminum adjuvant causes neuroinflammation in mice that was roundly criticized for poor experimental design and manipulated images. Guess what? It’s soon to be retracted.

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Antivaccine nonsense Autism Biology Medicine Pseudoscience Quackery Science Skepticism/critical thinking

Torturing more mice in the name of antivaccine pseudoscience: PubPeer versus antivaxers

Last week, I wrote about a truly execrable bit of science by Christopher Shaw and Lucija Tomljenovic purporting to show that aluminum adjuvants cause brain inflammation, which causes autism. Since then, I’ve learned that, not only is it bad science, but that there are red flags about several of the figures to raise the specter of fraud. This might not be just bad science. It might be fraudulent science. The only way to resolve this would be for the authors to release the original full resolution images of their blots.

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Antivaccine nonsense Autism Bioethics Biology Pseudoscience Skepticism/critical thinking

Torturing more mice in the name of antivaccine pseudoscience, 2017 aluminum edition

Over the last couple of days I noted a disturbance in the antivaccine force, another study claimed to be slam dunk evidence that aluminum adjuvants in vaccines cause autism. It’s not. Also, a word to antivaxers challenging Orac to look at this study: Be very careful what you wish for…