Friday Links – Wakefield Prosecution, Universal Flu Vaccine, Ice Sculptures

(Photo: JackVinson)

Here’s One Scientist Calling for the Trial of Andrew Wakefield
In this blog post on CNN, RealClearScience editor Alex B. Berezow writes,

Scientific fraud is a very serious matter. From a fiscal standpoint, it is essentially stealing money.

I don’t want to copy and paste the entire paragraph, so check out the full article to understand what Berezow means there. This next passage, however, needs no explanation:

The marked decrease in vaccinations which occurred in the decade following his research literally cost people their lives. When parents refused to vaccinate their children, many of them contracted diseases such as measles and pertussis (whooping cough). Some of them died.

And while we’re on the subject of vaccines:

Swine Flu Might Lead to a Universal Influenza Vaccine
Apparently, when people fell sick with H1N1 their immune systems produced all sorts of antibodies that the regular old seasonal flu viruses don’t generate.

According to the researchers, five of the types of antibodies isolated in their research would be enough to fight off all seasonal flu variations, the Spanish flu virus that killed as many as 50 million people in the pandemic of 1918, and a potentially deadly bird flu strain known as H5N1.

If you’ve ever scared yourself sleepless by reading about the possible implications of human-to-human transmission of bird flu like I have, then you understand the enormous benefits a universal vaccine would reap.

This is shaping up to be a vaccine-themed Friday Links, isn’t it? Let’s talk about another one:

Asthma and the Pneumonia Vaccination
Learn which asthmatics should get this shot, and the reasoning behind the recommendation.

U.S. Asthma Still Increasing, But More Slowly
While 8% of Americans have asthma according the newest figures, the rate of increase appears to be slowing.

Amazing Ice Art
Finally, here’s a winter-themed link to take you into the weekend.