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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Today in the News (12 May 09)

Vaccines:
Hopefully the swine flu breakout in 1976 taught us a few things. People are planning and taking note. The reason this is included here is that there should hopefully be a vaccine in time for the fall flu season that will hopefully deal with this. I am a bit disapointed in the media hype this has generated in that they are sort of "forgetting" to report on how many people die from seasonal flu each year. Those numbers don't seem to be as important as the very few swine flu related deaths so far. Although, as a rational thinker, I had to doe a double facepalm at the comment by hsro601... While this webiste is attempting to educate people, there are still some that say things that are so monumentally stupid that they just leave you staring at them (or their comments) in disbelief.

In our ever increasing knowledge of health and medecine, it seems that a vaccine may be developed to prevent the recurrence of Brain Cancer. Now this isn't meant as a vaccine that everyone should be put on a schedule for, but it is encouraging that we are making strides in this area. And if someone has suffered brain cancer, I doubt that they will let the anti-vax pro-disease movement frighten them with all their unsubstantiated claims!

Autism:
Just found out about an educational series for parents of children on the autism spectrum. It starts in a couple of days, but there may be repeats or the material may become available online in the future. It's a 14 week program at $5 a session at the Packard Children's Hospital in Palo Alto, CA.

Here is another hopeful article about educating autistic children. The thing to note is that in no instance did the article mention any causes of autism (but rest assured it's not vaccines).

Evolution:
Since evolution is basicaly about our (and every other creature's) genes, I found this book review interesting. Especially again how inter related som many subjects are. People who deny evolution are in essence denying pretty much everything that we know about this planet and its inhabitants.

In the field of evolution, particularly mammals, we are tracking down a few things about what makes a mammal a mammal. I wonder what sort of things we'll be able to predict with this information? You know, actually apply science!

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