Tagged: science and society

anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful - BioBlog

Alison Campbell Dec 02, 2019

“Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. The fight to vaccinate continues with the Nation’s health … Read More

Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue - BioBlog

Alison Campbell Nov 28, 2019

As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have a greater reach than others. On a global level … Read More

Measles deaths and antivax misinformation - BioBlog

Alison Campbell Nov 26, 2019

Today the death toll from measles in Samoa rose to 32. All but four of the dead were less than 5 years old. Absolutely terrible, heartbreaking, news. That statistic alone should be enough to give the lie to the common claim by antivaccination activists plague enthusiasts that “measles is a benign childhood disease”. Clearly, it is not. (And never … Read More

Measles infection and immune amnesia - BioBlog

Alison Campbell Jun 04, 2019

Measles infection has a couple of longer-term sequelae. One, SSPE, is thankfully rare (although for infants with measles the odds of subsequently developing SSPE are considerably higher than for other age groups). The other, “immune amnesia”, is strongly associated with having had measles, though this doesn’t stop those opposed to vaccination claiming otherwise. In 2015, Mina et al. published … Read More

Measles infection is not a cure for cancer - BioBlog

Alison Campbell Apr 30, 2019

We’re continuing to hear of new measles cases in New Zealand, most recently in this Stuff story about 4 new cases in Auckland (with the possibility that up to 1600 people may have been exposed). One of those ill with the disease is a 10-month-old child, too young to have received her first dose of the MMR vaccine. Completely predictably, … Read More

“Raw” water – an update - BioBlog

Alison Campbell Apr 26, 2019

In January last year, I wrote about the US fad for “raw” water: water supposedly as nature intended it, free of any of the treatments used in municipal water supplies. Those promoting the stuff claim it’s ever so much better for you; given the prices they charge, it’s certainly good for their bank balances I’ve just come across a … Read More

Human evolution and attention-grabbing headlines - BioBlog

Alison Campbell Jan 16, 2019

Every so often there’s a new story claiming that a study has overturned our understanding of human evolution. (Or something along those lines.) I’ve just come across another one**, & thought I’d write this post as a warning to year 13 biology students. As Carl Sagan once said, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence – something that’s lacking in this particular … Read More

Toward a green society - Guest Work

Guest Author Apr 07, 2014

Maurice Judd is an environmental chemist teaching environmental science, sustainability and interdisciplinary studies at the tertiary level.  He comments on the recent Royal Society Report: Facing the future:  toward a green economy for New Zealand. The recent expert Royal Society paper:  Facing the future: toward a green economy for New Zealand, is an excellent document and I encourage readers … Read More

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