Saturday, February 29, 2020

Motto of faith

“Look back and thank God. Look forward and trust God. Look around and serve God. Look within and find God.”

I don't know who wrote this but it's pretty good.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Doctor's really don't know much about vaccines

Watch

"MD's are NOT experts on vaccines! Here is Dr. Teresa Holtrop, PRESIDENT of the American Academy of Pediatrics in Michigan. She's quite smug at first thinking she'll get by with her "safe & effective" propaganda, but quickly finds she's in over her head."

Thursday, February 27, 2020

The Usual Slander against Charedim by Haaretz



Compare and contrast Haaretz's summary of the major parties in the upcoming election:

Yamina (formerly United Right), the main religious-Zionist bloc, got seven seats in the September 2019 election, but was rocked by internal divisions, which put its united future in jeopardy. They announced in extremis they would run together again in March, leaving the controversial Kahanist faction Otzma Yehudit behind.
Former justice minister Ayelet Shaked led the slate in the last contest, but she was replaced by defence minister Naftali Bennett this time around.   

In an effort to regain voters' favors, Labor, a dying powerhouse of Israeli politics, and it's junior partner, Orli Levi-Abekasis' Gesher party, united with Meretz. 
The list is a mix of both lawmakers, with two big surprises: Arab candidates, which were a major part of Meretz's ability to edge past the electoral threshold in September, were shunned; and popular rising star Stav Shaffir, formerly of Labor, and who joined an alliance with Meretz in April, was removed altogether.  

The alliance of four predominantly Arab parties broke into two separate slates for the April race — and the results were bad. The September showing was much better with the band back together. Led by the socialist Jewish-Arab Hadash-Ta'al party, and its popular leader Ayman Odeh, it managed to boost Arab participation to pick up 15 seats, becoming the third largest party in the Knesset, and even calling for heading the opposition. Arab parties have never joined governing coalitions in Israel, but Odeh endorsed the idea of supporting Kahol Lavan in the Knesset in order to get rid of Netanyahu.

United Torah Judaism represents ultra-Orthodox Jews, or Haredim, of European origin. Successive coalition governments have had to rely on support from ultra-Orthodox parties, which traditionally put their sectoral demands above larger issues like security and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. UTJ is primarily concerned with safeguarding state benefits for Haredi men who devote themselves to full-time religious study and do not serve in the conscript military or work. 

Allied with UTJ,  Shas (an acronym for Union of Sephardic Torah Observers) has like UTJ been an almost permanent fixture in successive governments and represents Haredi Jews of Middle Eastern origin. Its chairman Arye Deri, has previously served two years in prison for bribery.

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Everybody except for the Charedi parties gets a fairly pareve, neutral summary. The are trying to do this, they believe that. Even the Arab party and Likud get such treatment. But the Charedi parties are portrayed as selfish and corrupt and lazy. And the biggest insult of all in Israeli society, they don't serve in the army. Nothing nice to say about the Charedim. That's Haaretz, which is supposed to be a professional newspaper. Gives you a sense of the anti-Charedism in Israeli society.




Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Vaccine Papers: Al Adjuvant Causes Brain Inflammation and Behavioral Abnormalities

Al Adjuvant Causes Brain Inflammation and Behavioral Abnormalities; Low Dose Is More Harmful

Excerpt:

A new paper (Crepeaux et al.) by the Gherardi research group in France reports important results on the toxicity and transport of aluminum (Al) adjuvant in mice. This study is especially valuable because it looked at many outcomes: behavioral effects, immune (microglial) activation in the brain, and Al transport into the brain. The study tested dosages of 200 , 400 and 800 mcg/Kg (mcg=micrograms, mcg/Kg = micrograms per kilogram of animal body weight),  injected intramuscularly (IM). The Al adjuvant used was AlOH (brand name Alhydrogel), the most common vaccine adjuvant. It is in the tetanus, Hep A, Hep B, HiB, pneumococcal, meningococcal, and anthrax vaccines.
Remarkably, the study  found that the lowest dosage (200 mcg/Kg) was the most toxic! The 400 and 800 mcg/Kg dosages produced no statistically significant effects, but the 200 mcg/Kg dosage did.
Compare these dosages with dosages given to human infants according to the CDCs vaccine schedule in the first 6 months:
Birth (Hep B):   74 mcg/kg (250 mcg for 3.4 kg infant)
2 month:           245 mcg/kg (1225 mcg for 5 kg infant)
4 month:           150 mcg/kg (975 mcg for 6.5 kg infant)
6 month:           153 mcg/kg (1225 mcg for 8 kg infant)
...

Behavioral Effects
Significant differences in behavior were observed in open field tests in the 200 mcg/Kg group, but not in the higher dosage or control groups.


Read: Al Adjuvant Causes Brain Inflammation and Behavioral Abnormalities; Low Dose Is More Harmful


Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Dr. David Gorski on the Spanish Flu

Anti-anti vax article by Dr. David Gorski. Fair warning, he is egotistical and insulting so reading him isn't so good for the middos. But he is knowledgeable and presents the pro-vax perspective which we also try to present here.

The Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 was caused by an experimental vaccine? A conspiracy theory I hadn’t heard of before…

Excerpt:

It’s been a hundred years since the beginning of the great influenza pandemic of 1918. It was truly a monumental and horrific pandemic, lasting two years, infecting a half a billion people, and killing at least 50 million people worldwide, roughly 700,000 in the US, making it one of the deadliest pandemics in human history. Known colloquially as the “Spanish flu,” the strain of influenza responsible for the pandemic was an H1N1 virus. The CDC notes that the pandemic was so severe that from 1917 to 1918, life expectancy in the United States fell by about 12 years, to 36.6 years for men and 42.2 years for women, also noting that there were high death rates in previously healthy people, including those between the ages of 20 and 40 years old, which was unusual because influenza typically attacks the very young and the very old more than it does young adults.
Not surprisingly, such a monumental loss of life due to influenza is an “inconvenient” fact of history to antivaxers who don’t like the flu vaccine and argue that the flu is not a serious disease. Not surprisingly, they do everything they can to downplay the role of the influenza virus and blame those tens of millions of deaths on something other than the Spanish Flu. Alternatively, there are the oft-cited claims (by homeopaths) that homeopaths were much more successful at treating the flu during the pandemic than conventional doctors, a claim that is utter nonsense, but sure did pop up a lot during the last H1N1 pandemic in 2009, and that natural is better when it comes to influenza. After 2009, I thought I had heard all the Spanish Flu pandemic myths and conspiracy theories, but I was wrong.

The Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918: Not due to the influenza virus?

There is, however, one claim, one conspiracy theory, about the 1918 influenza pandemic that I had never heard before, or, if I had heard it, failed to remember it and have never blogged about it as far as I can tell. It’s a claim I learned bout when I got up earlier than usual this morning to be greeted with a post on that wretched hive of antivaccine scum and quackery, Age of Autism (AoA). It’s by Kevin Barry, a lawyer who’s helped promote the quacktastic “CDC whistleblower” conspiracy theory. Apparently now he’s running something called First Freedoms, Inc., which advertises itself as being about “human rights, civil rights, and religious freedoms,” but, upon closer inspection, appears to be mostly about “vaccine freedom,” or the “freedom” for antivaxers to refuse vaccinations for their children. If you look at its menu (and look at your peril, as the website appears to have a misconfigured security certificate that will produce an warning message in your browser—the things I do for my readers!), you’ll see that it’s about the Italian “human rights” complaint about vaccines, the “CDC whistleblower” conspiracy theory, the challenge to the law banning nonmedical exemptions to school vaccine mandates in California, and the like. In any case, Barry’s article is entitled Did A Vaccine Experiment on US Soldiers Cause “The Spanish Flu” Epidemic?
Read 

Monday, February 24, 2020

Sunday, February 23, 2020

We have no data

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) | CDC votes on and approves unanimously an adjuvanted Hepatitis B vaccine that has never been tested with application of other adjuvanted vaccines. The adjuvant is new. 


Questioner: "Is there any comment on using this vaccine at the same time with other adjuvanted vaccines?"

Person from CDC: "We have no data to make a recommendation one way or the other."

Dr. Amanda Cohn of the CDC: "So um just to sort of put this in context of other vaccines, um while pre-clinical studies were not done while using these vaccines simultaneously, our general approach to immunizations is that um they should be given, they can be given at the same time in different um limbs." 

Dr. Hunter: "Are adjuvanted, multiple adjuvanted vaccines, used in Europe or other markets?"

Dr. Ward: "Not to my knowledge."

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Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, Executive Secretary: Amanda Cohn, MD, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, CDC, Atlanta, Georgia.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Another antivaccine paper bites the dust by David Gorski

Another antivaccine paper bites the dust by David Gorski


Excerpt:

I've written on quite a few occasions about a pair of scientists beloved by the antivaccine movement. I'm referring, of course, to Christopher Shaw and Lucija Tomljenovic. Whether it is their publishing dubious "evidence" that HPV vaccines cause premature ovarian failure or even death or demonizing aluminum as a vaccine adjuvant, Shaw and Tomljenovic publish nothing but antivaccine pseudoscience that antivaxers love to cite whenever they dump some turd of a study on the medical literature.
Just last month, they dumped their latest turd of a study, in which they basically tortured mice in the name of pseudoscience. Later, after I wrote my first analysis of the study in which I described how poorly designed and executed the experiments were, I discovered that there's more than just bad science there. There's possible fraud, as circulating on PubPeer are reports of image manipulation that are quite convincing. At the time this rather obvious image manipulation was being discussed, so, too, was the possibility of retraction. After all, if there's one thing that merits pretty much an automatic retraction in science, it's manipulation of images presented as data in a scientific paper.
Not surprisingly, then, yesterday I learned from Retraction Watch that Shaw and Tomljenovic's latest paper will be retracted as well. The editor of the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry announced that the journal will be retracted:
The journal’s editor, John Dawson of the University of South Carolina, told Retraction Watch:
The paper by Shaw and co-workers is being retracted jointly by the authors and the editor.
He noted there will be a “statement accompanying the retraction of the paper.”
Shaw told us that his lab began investigating the issues raised on PubPeer “within a day” and reported its findings to both UBC and the journal soon after. He said:
Our own analysis showed some figures had been altered. We requested a retraction because we could not understand how that had happened. We felt the data had been compromised.
Shaw said that the problems mostly lie with data showing no change in gene or protein expression levels after aluminum injections — but also with some data showing changes in expression, which the paper attributed to the injections.
Next up, Shaw tries to pass the buck:
Shaw said that first author Dan Li, a former postdoc who performed the molecular biology and gene expression analysis for the study, has agreed to the retraction but not yet offered an official explanation about the data. Shaw told us:
She denied that anything had been manipulated, or that anything was amiss.
He added that when Li left the lab in 2015, she took the original data with her:
UBC policy is that original data never leave the lab. We’ve asked for them to be returned to us.
Shaw said he thinks the core data are “probably correct,” but said he plans to have the experiments re-done:
It is what it is. We’ve done everything we can on our end. We’re still having conversations with Li on where the data are and how we get them back. That’s as much as we can do at this point.
I suppose that it's possible that Shaw was duped by a postdoctoral fellow in his laboratory. When you're the head of a lab and the principal investigator of a study, you tend to come to trust those working for you. You don't want to think that one of them might be committing scientific fraud by manipulating images. On the other hand, as PI, one has to be on guard for this very thing. The PI is basically the captain of the ship, and the buck stops at his desk, and whatever other cliche you want to invoke to say that he is in charge and responsible for the integrity of the data produced by his lab.
The kindest possible interpretation is that Christopher Shaw runs a loose ship, so loose that he didn't notice that many of the bands on the images of his DNA gels and the autoradiographs of his Western blots were duplicated, flipped, and otherwise manipulated. Certainly, letting the raw data and raw images out of the lab is not good lab practice, particularly in this day and age, when pretty much all images of gels and Western blots are recorded digitally. In my lab, for instance, there is a lab shared drive, and every single image generated is stored there, so that original images used to make figures can always be recovered. PRanoid PI that I am, I even periodically copy the whole shared drive to my own computer, which in turn is regularly backed up. Key figures are preserved on cloud drives.
The worst possible interpretation is that Shaw either knew about the image manipulation (or even ordered it) or that he put so much pressure on his postdoc to produce results that she felt that she had to falsify figures to produce what he wanted. Of course, I wonder about Shaw's practices. For instance, in my discussion of the image manipulation, I noted that Shaw and Tomljenovic have at minimum engaged in self-plagiarism, recycling figures from a 2014 review article into which they dumped a little original data in their soon-to-be retracted paper. So, in terms of commonly accepted practices, we already know Shaw's rather...unconcerned. 


Friday, February 21, 2020

Was the measles outbreak a vaccine strain?

NY Measles Outbreak Hoax?!?

September 3, 2019 — New York State Department of Health purposefully failed to confirm reported cases of measles in the alleged outbreak that was said to occur from 2018 to 2019. Additionally all evidence we currently have strongly suggests that this “measles outbreak” was caused by an improperly attenuated vaccine strain of measles. Speaking in Huntington, NY at a New York Alliance for Vaccine Rights (NYAVR) gathering on August 31, 2019, Pediatrician Dr. Lawrence Palevsky made the following public statement:
“On the CDC’s website there is a very strong recommendation that anytime a state or a community deems that there’s a possible outbreak of an infectious disease, it is a requirement by the Departments of Health to evaluate those children to see what kind of infectious disease they have. The New York State Department of Health did not follow the CDC’s recommendations.” (emphasis added)
Dr Palevesky went on to say there were over 800 kids who the New York State and New York City Departments of Health said were confirmed cases of measles but according to Palevsky, “We do not have that data.” The NY & NYC Departments of Health made a conscious choice to not verify what strain of measles the infected children in New York had.
Why is this important? Dr. Palevsky explained:
“It is important for the Department of Health to alert the public that it was a vaccine strain that caused the illness because a vaccine strain illness should not be equated with a public health emergency.”
When a live vaccine is attenuated its virulence (strength) is weakened so that it should not cause the infection it is being used to vaccinate against. However, according to Dr. Palevsky, there are cases where a specific vaccine strain is not properly attenuated (weakened), meaning the virus in the vaccine is more potent than it is supposed to be. This can cause, and has caused, reactions in children injected with the vaccine and can also spread, though it cannot spread as widely as wild measles can spread.
What would be a clue that the “outbreak” was from a vaccine strain? If the outbreak is only seen in    continue reading

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Anti-anti-vaccines post

This article is from a blog written by a surgeon. He has written many posts that criticize (condemn) the "anti-vaccination movement" (I prefer to call it the questioning vaccines movement.) As is usual for anti-anti-vaccination pundits, he is rude and condescending when addressing his opponents. Sorry to expose you to that. But he does speak with technical knowledge. 

David Henry Gorski is an American surgical oncologist, professor of surgery at Wayne State University School of Medicine,[1] and a surgical oncologist at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, specializing in breast cancer surgery.[2] He is an outspoken skeptic, and a critic of alternative medicine and the anti-vaccination movement. He is the author of a blog, Respectful Insolence, and the managing editor of the website Science-Based Medicine. (Wiki)

A sad, premature death cynically exploited by antivaccinationists by David Gorski

Excerpt:

It's a story out of New Zealand about an 18-year-old woman named Jasmine Renata, who tragically died nearly three years ago of unclear causes, although what happened sounds consistent with the sort of idiopathic heart conditions that sometimes (and, fortunately, very uncommonly) cut short the lives of young people in their teens and early 20s. Now, Jasmine Renata might never have been known outside of her grieving family and friends, except for one thing. Her mother is convinced she knows the reason why Jasmine died. In brief, she has an explanation for her daughter's death that is simple, emotionally resonant, and almost certainly wrong, and that explanation is that Gardasil was the cause of her daughter's untimely death:
The mother of a teenager found dead in her bed has told an inquest that her daughter's physical and mental health deteriorated sharply when she was given the Gardasil cervical cancer vaccination.
Jasmine Renata, 18, died in September 2009 in a sleepout at her home in Upper Hutt, north of Wellington.
She had received the last of three injections of Gardasil six months earlier.
Once again, whenever I encounter a story like this, I am saddened, first of all because the life of someone so young ended so unexpectedly. It's quite understandable that a parent, faced with such a tragic loss and consumed with shock and grief, would look for an explanation and grasp at any seemingly plausible explanation she can find. In this case, Rhonda Renata has latched on to Gardasil, even though the timing doesn't even argue particularly persuasively for causation by Gardasil. In other words, while humans frequently confuse correlation with causation, in this case there doesn't even appear, on the surface at least, much evidence of correlation. Six months after the last booster shot of Gardasil is a long time. Now, nearly three years after her death, there is a coroner's inquest into Jasmine's death, and two familiar figures have entered the picture. More on that later.
By way of background, various reports suggest that Jasmine had suffered symptoms that could indicate that she had a cardiac anomaly. Sudden death among young people is rare, but when it happens, it's often due to cardiac causes, most commonly hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, coronary artery abnormalities, or the long QT syndrome (LQTS), the latter of which can cause a rapid, chaotic heartbeat and sometimes ventricular fibrillation and cardiac arrest. Since her daughter's death, Ms. Renata has steadfastly refused to have herself, her husband, or any of her family tested for gene mutations associated with sudden cardiac or tested for idiopathic heart disease because she knows of no history of heart disease in her family if you don't count the death of her daughter. While on the surface this sounds like a reasonable argument, it is not a good reason to conclude that Jasmine couldn't possibly have had an idiopathic heart condition. For example, some of the gene mutations that are associated with sudden cardiac death increase the risk of such an outcome; they don't guarantee it, and carriers might not be symptomatic or might be so mildly symptomatic that they are never worked up for a cardiac condition. More likely, Ms. Renata doesn't want to look for evidence that might disconfirm her now fixed belief that Gardasil killed her daughter, or, as she wrote two years ago:
Even though we have not yet received a final autopsy report and the pathologist has only recently begun doing tests based on my belief that the vaccine sent Jasmine's health on a downhill spiral to death. During the autopsy the pathologist did not find any health problem that could have contributed to Jasmine's death and I know in my every being that the vaccine was the cause.
In the same piece, Rhonda Renata describes a history of vague symptoms suffered by Jasmine:
During a routine visit, Jasmine's doctor persuaded her to get the Gardisil vaccine because it would help keep her safe from developing cervical cancer in the future. Jasmine received her first Gardisil vaccine in September 2008. Jasmine was always concerned about her appearance and she was quite distressed that shortly after the vaccine she noticed dry skin and warts appearing on her hands. She complained that she thought she was losing more hair than usual and that her pimples were getting worse. On the 20th of October Jasmine visited the doctor to treat her warts and dry skin. Jasmine had 4 or 5 warts frozen off. The doctor also said that her immunity was compromised so he prescribed a multivitamin as well as Locoid cream for the dry skin. The Locoid cream didn't help the dry skin.
What this means is unclear. For one thing, there appears to be no record, at least none mentioned in the press accounts that I've been able to find, of these complaints. Indeed, several press reports state that the nurse testified that she asked Jasmine whether she had had any problems after her Gardasil doses and whether she was feeling well. Jasmine reported no side effects. What we do know is that Ms. Renata somehow hooked up with an antivaccinationist named Hilary Butler, who blogs for the antivaccine crank organization the International Medical Council on Vaccination and blogs on her own at Beyond Conformity. Indeed, she has written several posts about Jasmine Renata, including Did Gardasil Kill Jasmine? It's full of conspiracy mongering, insinuations that some sort of coverup was occurring. It includes a link to the autopsy report, which showed no structural abnormalities in the heart or evidence of an inflammatory process. The report does note, however, that heart tissue had been taken and submitted to the Inherited Diseases Group in Auckland so that the "decendent's genetic structure and family can be investigated in case there is a molecular abnormality of the cardiac electrical conduction system that might result in sudden unexpected death." It was also noted that "this process usually takes many months and requires the cooperation of family members."

read A sad, premature death cynically exploited by antivaccinationists