Cervical cancer vaccine and politics as ususal

As mentioned in the comments to this post, there is a brewing controversy over upcoming guidelines outlining who should receive the “cervical cancer vaccine,” a vaccine against the human papilloma virus (HPV). Briefly, the HPV vaccine is a highly effective (100% in a 2-year clinical trial) vaccine which is targeted against two specific serotypes of […]

More academic journals discussing ID

(And not in a supportive way). PZ and Orac discussed a recent New England Journal of Medicine editorial critical of intelligent design. Though the article had several shortcomings, it’s always a bonus to see other scientists treating ID as a valid threat (not in the scientific sphere, of course, but in the “hearts and minds” […]

New vaccine recommendations coming

Doctors recommend hepatitis shot for kids Hepatitis A is a virus that causes (obviously) hepatitis, as well as jaundice, fatigue, nausea, fever, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. It’s often spread fecal-orally; that is, you put something in your mouth that has fecal contamination. (Just makes you want to run to the bathroom and brush your […]

“God is to engineering what Michael Brown is to hurricane relief”

That’s my new favorite anti-ID quote, spoken by Mark Blumberg, at the University of Iowa Freethinkers’ panel discussion on intelligent design last evening. Dr. Blumberg was discussing what a piss-poor design the human vertebral column is, and concluded his talk with the comment above. The other speakers, Scott Robinson and Evan Fales, also did a […]

What the hell is going on with Tularemia? or, a Rant about public health problems

It’s situations like this that really irk me. I mentioned the tularemia detection in DC here almost 2 weeks ago, already annoyed that there hadn’t been more information about it. There has been some discussion on the ProMed list, but it’s hardly been a blip in the mainstream media. Yesterday, there was an article in […]

Intelligently designed avian flu?

Ah, how rare is it that my interest in stomping creationists and my interest in infectious disease collide. But I guess that when there’s a topic as hot as avian influenza, it’s inevitable that even the folks at the DI will sit up and take notice, as Casey Luskin has in this post: Avian Flu: […]

Intro to prions at Panda’s Thumb

Andrea Bottaro has an excellent review of prion genetics over at Panda’s Thumb. Prions are, of course, the transmissible agents that cause diseases such as kuru and Creutzfeldt-Jakob in humans, and related disease such as “mad cow” disease, scrapie, and chronic wasting disease in animals. Though there was initially much controversy about these agents in […]

Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink

In the October issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, James Hughes and Jeffrey Koplan discuss the problem of safe water. Hazardous drinking water and poor sanitation is something that gets brought up when there’s a disaster (like Katrina, or the tsunami earlier this year), but many people don’t realize that a large portion of the earth’s […]