Tag: #science

Zika, Zika, Zika! (An update)

Just a quick update on Zika: A case-control study in French Polynesia has found a strong association between Zika infection and Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS). That is, the proportion of cases of GBS who had previous Zika infection (confirmed by serological analyses) was significantly larger than the proportion of people without GBS who had previous Zika ...

Books you should read: “Pandemic” by Scott Sigler

In the time that I have been involved in medical science, few books that I have read have managed to get the science of infectious disease and epidemics right. (I was a lab assistant at age 16, so I'm talking about the last 20 years.) When I was in college, the movie Outbreak came out ...

Are GMOs really Satan?

The title to this post is a rhetorical question, by the way. No, GMOs (genetically-modified organisms) are not Satan. They don't even come close. At least the traditional Satan of Bible fame and such is pure evil. He means to be evil and to bring down creation. GMOs? Not so much. But what, exactly, are ...

The real story behind “Herd Immunity”

It’s not about stopping disease altogether. It’s about stopping outbreaks. It’s about the herd, not the individual. Continue reading on Medium »

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Why I won’t be live-tweeting “The Vaccine War” from Frontline on PBS

There are not “two sides” when it comes to vaccines. Vaccines save lives. Period. Continue reading on Medium »

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The entirety of the evidence

It's been a rough few days for the antivaxxers. The measles outbreak associated with Disneyland has really put them on the spot when it comes to their refusal to vaccinated. Some say that they are protecting their freedom to do whatever they want to their children (aka their "property"). When it is explained to them ...

Is the flu vaccine only 12% effective?

Synopsis The flu vaccine has low effectiveness, but that effectiveness is still better than nothing It has higher effectiveness in some age groups, lower in others There was a mismatch between the most common H3N2 influenza strain and the vaccine, bringing the effectiveness lower We need better influenza vaccine technology... Like, now! Of Sacred Cows ...

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Precision and normal variation and stuff

One of the things that I do at one of my jobs is help nurses do triages on patients walking in to be seen. It never ceases to amaze me how many people look at their temperature and say that they "run cold" or "run hot" if their temperature is less than or greater than ...

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American Humanist Association, just as annoying as churches

It's not a secret that I'm not an atheist. In fact, in some of the circles I used to run in, it was a problem. People with scientific minds and people who were supposedly open-minded used to tell me that they found it hard to believe that such a science-oriented, evidence-relying person like myself could ...

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“Interstellar” is my generation’s space opera

My wife and I went to watch "Interstellar" on an IMAX screen yesterday, and, let me tell you... This movie is my generation's "2001: A Space Odyssey" for many reasons. Spoilers ahead, so read at your own peril. THE FIRST ACT The movie begins with us getting to know "Cooper" and his small family. His ...