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Autism’s False Prophets Questions

I’ve been having a difficult time logging into ‘Blackboard’ today to post the questions for chapter 10 of Autism’s False Prophets. Although I don’t like posting any required material here, I’d rather get it out there, so if you are in my pathology class, please spread the word to other students to check in here.

Before you start, check out this video mentioned towards the back of the chapter…

Autism’s False Prophets                                                                           Name:

Chapter 10 Questions

Science and Society

“For many parents, the advice given by heathcare professionals about vaccines is just one more opinion in a sea of opinions offered by the internet.”

-Offit, chapter 10

  1. What is the problem with Dan Burton’s assessment of what he saw at the Stop Autism Now Conference?
  1. How would you interpret the actions of policymakers at the CDC who ‘invariably give these vaccines to their own children and grandchildren’? If you have read Offit’s other book, Vaccinated, do you recall who vaccine maker, Maurice Hilleman, insisted were the first to receive the Hepatitis vaccine made from human blood?
  1. What does Offit say is even more important than reporting the source of funding for scientific investigation on? Why is this so?
  1. What is ‘the price’ of empowering parents to make medical decisions about their childrens’ healthcare?
  1. How does the ‘Scientific Method’ differ from what people often do in their day-to-day lives? How is it similar?
  1. Using the scientific method, data serves to _____________________________ the null hypothesis. What can it NOT do? Why not?
  1. Why is it evolutionarily successful to make ‘the best connections’? What flaws in logic can this leave?
  1. What quotation did Stephen Strauss, former director of NCCAM keep framed on his office wall? What is the meaning of this quotation?
  1. How many people, since 1958, have died from poisoned Halloween candy? (http://www.snopes.com/horrors/poison/halloween.asp)
 
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Posted by on May 3, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Vitamin Supplements: Vital? or Rubbish?

ImageIn class today, I was asked what I knew about vitamin supplements and whether it was a good idea to take them or not. To follow up on that conversation, I thought I would post a link to an article that addresses this question directly. This article, by Paul Offit, was published by the Atlantic magazine July 19 of this year and deals with some of the same material from his newest book, Do You Believe in Magic?

Vitamines are certainly required for healthy living, something reflected by their very name (vitamin = vital amine). The question is, how much of each of these do we need to add above and and beyond what we get from a well-balanced diet? It has been proposed that excessive doses of certain vitamins could be a panacea leading to elimination of many of life’s ailments.  From the Atlantic article…

In 1970, [Nobel Prize winning scientist, Linus] Pauling published Vitamin C and the Common Cold, urging the public to take 3,000 milligrams of vitamin C every day (about 50 times the recommended daily allowance). Pauling believed that the common cold would soon be a historical footnote. “It will take decades to eradicate the common cold completely,” he wrote, “but it can, I believe, be controlled entirely in the United States and some other countries within a few years. I look forward to witnessing this step toward a better world.” Pauling’s book became an instant best seller.

ImageThese pronouncements would have amounted to nothing coming from many other people, but Pauling was not just any other person. There’s a chance his pair of Nobel Prizes may have held some weight in people’s minds. 

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Magic Bullets

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from SAFC global

I just saw that the most recent issue of Science is highlighting a favorite topic of mine, antibody-mediated therapy and B cell biology. I’ve done work in both of these (related) fields in the past and remain an advocate of antibody-tageting of therapies using drug conjugates (e.g. trastuzumab–DM1) or initiating cell-specific effects simply by binding (e.g. anti-CD20). 

In the early 20th century, Paul Ehrlich coined the phrase “magische Kugel,” to describe antibodies as ‘magical’ proteins which could unerringly home in on targets to do a variety of things. Today, we can paint tumors with antibody conjugated with fluorescent dyes, deliver toxic chemicals to cells we wish to eliminate or simply activate / deactivate cells through targeting of receptor proteins.

I’m eager to get my hands on this issue and see what’s new (if anything) in the field and what products are currently in the pipeline of various biotech companies. 

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(I’m suddenly struck anew with the misery of not having access to Nature and other journals I’ve always had handy. I’m so glad I at least still have Science! )

 

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Neurotic sleight of hand

I can’t add anything to this.

Why Evolution Is True

Some lovely magic to end the day, from the International Magic Convention in Beijing.  The YouTube caption says this:

FISM award winner and French magic champion Yann Frisch is one of magic’s freshest talents. Yann has been creating a sensation wherever he goes with his unique take on classic magic, an absurdist take on the cups and balls. Cool, clever, stylish and oh so artful. We are proud to have one of France’s top performers at EMC.

Be sure to watch to the end; it’s only 4.5 minutes.

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Posted by on December 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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You will soon witness a miracle

On friday I had lunch at Panda – something -or-other at the mall. Along with my orange chicken and spring roll I got a fortune cookie with fortune the likes of which I have never before seen: “You will soon witness a miracle.” That’s a little off-putting. I mean, miracles only seem warranted when something really bad has happened. I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

Then, I totally forgot about it. However, last night, I was reminded of that amazingly powerful cookie when the weatherman showed the extended forecast. Rain, cool days with high temperatures that might allow some time outside. Amazing!

I’ve made so much noise here complaining about the heat and lack of rain leading to the end of the world as I saw it that I thought it was my duty to write now.

There is a change in the air. The weathervane has spun about and a cool breeze is settling across our little patch of the midwest. Mary Poppins has floated into town with her miracle-filled carpet bag stuffed chock with cool mornings, thunderstorms and the chance of a drenching rain later in the week.

With a spoon full of sugar she is attempting to nurse our lifeless grass and trees back to health. I only hope that she has magic enough to bring back the dead (I can’t recall any resurrections in the original) But I did have a dream last night that there was a hint of green grass poking through the ground in our yard, so I have my fingers crossed.

I still have a horribly dreary outlook for the region here and all the dead trees and miserably large landscaping I am imagining, but there is light at the end of the tunnel in the form of a dark stormcloud on the horizon.

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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