The Deadline has passed! There are a total of over 700 submissions for OpenLab 2009. Thank you all for submitting your and other people's blog posts. I at least opened every one of them, and already read many of them and the overall quality looks very high. SciCurious is ready (here is her post), judges are ready, and the judging process is about to begin. And while you are waiting for results, you can read all the submitted entries right here! And once you are done reading them all, you can go back to the 2006, 2007 and 2008 editions and read them as well. And keep checking in every now and then....nobody knows exactly on which date the final winners will be announced - whenever we are happy with it and ready. 10 days of science: Astronomical art: Representing Planet Earth 2020 Science: Hooked on science - ten things that inspired me to become a scientist A Blog Around The Clock: On Being a Nurse- a guest postWhy social insects do not suffer from ill effects of rotating and night … [Read more...] about The Final and Complete List of All Entries Submitted for The Open Laboratory 2009
Laughing for no reason autism
I realize that it's a cliché to say so, but some clichés are true. Time really does fly. It's hard to believe that a year ago California—and, by proxy, the rest of the country—was in the throes of a major political war over the bill SB 277. SB 277, you will recall, was a bill introduced into the California Assembly in the wake of the Disneyland Measles outbreak in early 2015 that eliminated non-medical exemptions to school vaccine mandates beginning with the 2016-2017 school year. Ultimately, SB 277 passed and was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown last July. It was an uncommon victory for science and public health, and already appears to be having a positive effect on vaccine uptake in kindergarten children. Unfortunately but not unexpectedly, to say that the proposal and passage of SB 277 into law drove the antivaccine movement into even greater fits of crazy in response is to put it mildly. It became a common trope on antivaccine websites and blogs to see … [Read more...] about After SB 277, medical exemptions for sale, courtesy of Dr. Bob Sears and other antivaccine quacks
Over the last two Mondays, I've been writing about an unproven cancer therapy that I hadn't really heard much about before. The cancer treatment is called Rigvir; it is manufactured in Latvia and marketed primarily through a Latvian entity called the International Virotherapy Center (IVC). To recap, Rigvir is an unmodified Echovirus, specifically ECHO-7, that, according to the IVC, seeks out cancer cells, replicates in them, and thus lyses the cancer cells (causes their membranes to break, spilling out the cancer cells contents, thus killing the cell), hence the term "oncolytic virus." Somehow, mysteriously Rigvir was approved by the Latvian equivalent of the FDA in 2004 for the treatment of malignant melanoma despite what appears to have been grossly inadequate supporting evidence and then even more mysteriously placed on the Latvian Health Ministry's list of reimbursable medications in 2011. I suspect that the reason that I didn't look into Rigvir earlier was probably because its use … [Read more...] about A conversation with a Rigvir flack
Well, I've finally seen it. The things I do for my readers, the pain to which I subject myself by watching neuron-apotosing levels of pseudoscience, misinformation, and lies as antivaccine propaganda, in order to deconstruct them for your amusement and, I hope, education! Yes, I've finally seen Andrew Wakefield and Del Bigtree's "documentary" VAXXED: From Cover-up to Catastrophe. Now, having watched Wakefield and Bigtree's "masterpiece," I can quite confidently say that it's every bit as accurate and balanced a picture of vaccine benefits and risks as Eric Merola's two movies about the quack Stanislaw Burzynski and his Second Opinion: Laetrile at Sloan-Kettering are about cancer and cancer research, The Beautiful Truth is about the Gerson protocol for cancer, Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days is about diet and diabetes, Expelled! No Intelligence Allowed is about evolution, and The Greater Good is about...vaccines! Of course, based on what I knew of the story, saw of the VAXXED … [Read more...] about In which Andrew Wakefield and Del Bigtree’s antivaccine documentary VAXXED is reviewed…with Insolence!
I don't review books that often. The reason is simple. My posts for this blog sometimes take as much as a several hours to write (particularly my more "epic" ones that surpass 5,000 words), and I usually don't have the time to add several more hours to the task by reading an entire book. Also, by the time I've read a book I might want to review, weeks—or even months—have often passed, and a review is no longer of much interest to our readers anyway. Today, I'm making an exception for a book hot off the presses. The main reason is curiosity, because the book is about a topic that I've blogged about many times here, and I really wanted to find out more about what was going on. I didn't expect to find out what really happened, because I knew from the beginning that the book, Vaccine Whistleblower: Exposing Research Fraud at the CDC by an antivaccine lawyer named Kevin Barry, would be highly biased. However, as I found out a few weeks ago, the book promised four complete … [Read more...] about Kevin Barry, you magnificent bastard, I read your antivaccine book!