Facts, not Fantasy

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Today in the News (27 Jul 09)

Evolution:
After Dinosaurs, Mammals Rise But Their Genomes Get Smaller. Evidence buried in the chromosomes of animals and plants strongly suggests only one group -- mammals -- have seen their genomes shrink after the dinosaurs' extinction. What's more, that trend continues today, say Indiana University Bloomington scientists in the first issue of a new journal, Genome Biology and Evolution. The scientists' finding might seem counter-intuitive, given that the last 65 million years have seen mammals expand in diversity and number, not to mention dominance in a wide variety of ecological roles. But it is precisely their success in numbers that could have led to the contraction of their genomes.

When Did Humans Return After Last Ice Age? The Cheddar Gorge in Somerset was one of the first sites to be inhabited by humans when they returned to Britain near the end of the last Ice Age. According to new radio carbon dating by Oxford University researchers, outlined in the latest issue of Quaternary Science Review, humans were living in Gough's Cave 14,700 years ago. A number of stone artefacts as well as human and animal bones from excavations, spread over more than 100 years, shed further light on the nature as well as the timing of people to the cave.


Vaccines:
The government in the United States is hoping to avoid the mistakes of the 1970s with the swine flu, and are looking for as many volunteers as possible for clinical trials. What is interesting is that there seems to be no shortage of volunteers. The thing that tickles my irony bone though is that the flu vaccines is one of the few that may actually contain Thimerosal!

Although, with the WHO saying that H1N1 is "unstoppable" may have lent some urgency to trials. Of course, I foresee that there WILL be complications from this reactive strategy of the world. Sure, they won't be autism, but facts like that won't stop the anti-vax pro-disease crowd from furthering their agenda and spreading their lies.

Autism:
And in the ever more confusing world of medical studies, the idea of autistic children having digestive disorders is running into some contrary evidence. Unlike the studies attempting to link autism to vaccines (ALL properly conducted studies found NO such link), these studies are a bit harder to control. There may be more to the issues at hand here, just because of the numerous types of disorders classified as autism, the wide variance in people's diets, and even something as simple as physiological makeup. Not an open and shut case here, so it should merit more studies.

Sorry this is an older story, but I just found it by accident. Studies have also begun to show that there are physical and behavioral signs of autism much earlier than had been known before, another reason to doubt the possibility of a link between autism and vaccines. The reason I linked that article is because it links to WebMD's page on "What causes Autism?" Here is their reply:

What causes autism?

Autism tends to run in families, so experts think it may be something that you inherit. Scientists are trying to find out exactly which genes may be responsible for passing down autism in families.

Other studies are looking at whether autism can be caused by other medical problems or by something in your child’s surroundings.

Some people think that childhood vaccines cause autism, especially the measles-mumps-rubella, or MMR, vaccine. But studies have not shown this to be true. It’s important to make sure that your child gets all childhood vaccines. They help keep your child from getting serious diseases that can cause harm or even death.


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