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Bad Science

What Is Bad Science?

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If you have not already done so, please see the article, "What Is Good Science" first.

There are tons of bad science reports out there these days.  It really isn't science, but many people consider it science, so we will cal it "Bad Science".

Bad science generally has a bad start.

What is a bad start?

  • Basic assumptions that cannot be verified, and/or are simply unreasonable.
  • Conclusion written before doing any studying. (Often this is fraud-science)
  • "I thought up this idea so it must be true." (Ego-centric-science)
  • Not bothering to consider what else has been done on the subject. (Lazy-science)

 

Let's look at some faulty basic assumptions.

  • Looking at minutia will answer the big questions.
  • If the math is correct, then the theory must be correct.
  • Using initial conditions which cannot be realistically determined.
  • This is so simple that a very small data set is sufficient.
  • The impossible is possible given enough time.
  • There may be alternate universes with alternate rules, that make this possible.
  • A celebrity said it, so it must be true.
  • A computer can be programmed to simulate this.

 

Looking at minutia and missing the big picture, lets consider an example.

I recently read a discussion about DNA proving or disproving that the Book of Mormon is a true history.  It was a fascinating discussion, in which both sides claimed victory, but that's not what got me.   They were so involved discussing the details of DNA and heredity science, and how to analyze paternity using DNA, that they totally missed looking at the big picture which totally invalidated all of their arguments on both sides.  You see, both of them were trying to compare the current DNA of native Americans with current DNA of the Jews.  This is because the Book of Mormon says that people who came from Jerusalem to America about 600 AD are the ancestors of native Americans.

But because they jumped so quickly into the debate about DNA, they missed that they couldn't get the answer to the question from DNA.  If they would have read the Book of Mormon more carefully they would have realized that Lehi (the leader of the group from Jerusalem) did not claim to be Jewish.  In fact he very plainly said that he is a descendant of Joseph (Judah's brother).

Brothers can have very similar DNA, but Joseph and Judah were brothers from the same father, but different mothers, and the DNA being used for the discussion was mitochondrial DNA passed down through the mothers.  So Joseph and Judah had different mothers, hence different DNA.  Then Joseph and Judah married women from different parts of the world.

The ancestry of Lehi went back to Joseph through the paternal line, but we have no idea at all of the maternal line divergences since Joseph and Judah.  Hence, the whole discussion was worthless for either side.  They were trying to compare things that had no relevance.

Looking at minutia very often has this problem.  The big picture is missed, and so much time and effort is wasted.  But the saddest part is that neither side ever backed up to see the big picture and realize that the time was wasted.  They each think that they proved their point.

This is actually a very major problem for today's scientists in general, because of all the specialization.  Of course specialization is necessary in our technological world today, because nobody can know everything.  But we need to keep administrators who oversee specialists and keep them on track by looking at the big picture.  Some people need to be trained as big picture people, and not specialists.

It appears that our best science researchers today are those who have a decent understanding of basic principles in a wide range of subjects, and know how to think critically about the data created by specialists, and combine the various ideas into a reasonable whole picture.

Organizations looking to further scientific discovery should hire 'integrators' who can analyze and integrate knowledge from many sources into accurate big pictures of reality.

 

Correct math does not prove that a theory is correct.

There are many mathematical formulas which can be written and solved that don't have anything to do with the reality of the world around us.  Mathematics can project multiple universes, but can not make them real.  Math proved that the Wright brothers could not create a flying machine.

Math proved relativity, but still nobody can actually explain it or demonstrate it, and some scientists are now proposing that it is totally wrong.  Still others are saying that the formulas simply need to be redone and refined a bit.

The problem actually lies in the fact that modern math is a figment of imagination.  There are so many imaginary constructs in math, it is a bit surprising that people expect math to represent reality.  Remember when it used to never work to divide by zero?

Now, don't get me wrong.  Of course math is a necessary tool to be used in analyzing data.  But math must remain a tool and not become the master.   It is a measuring and comparing tool.  It is not a building block.

I can take 3 apples and add them to 5 apples, and math will tell me that I have 8 apples in my bag.  But I can't multiply 8 by 3 and suddenly have 24 apples in my bag. Even though I did the math correctly, it did not change the reality of my bag containing 8 apples.

While it may be possible to put 24 apples into my bag, doing the math does not make it so.  Possibility does not equal probability.

 

Using initial conditions that cannot be known. (Falsifying assumptions)

A common mistake is making what we call falsifying assumptions that are not based in reality.

Consider, for instance, carbon dating.  To make carbon dating work we must assume that an object had a certain amount of carbon in it at the time of it's creation.  But since we have no way of knowing how much carbon it had at the time of it's creation, we assume that it has the same amount of carbon in it that a similar object created today would have.  We then look at the rate of decay of carbon (assuming that carbon always decays at the rate that it is decaying at now) and calculate how old the object must be by how much carbon it still contains.

So two major assumptions here; every similar object is created under the same circumstances, and rate of decay is always constant.  If either one of these assumptions is incorrect, then carbon dating doesn't work.

I think that it is pretty obvious to any thinking individual that the first assumption is erroneous.  We are currently involved in a very well know discussion about changes in carbon in our atmosphere.  If honest, we have to admit that we have no idea what carbon levels were in the past, nor what they will be in the future.

And for those following science, it is also obvious that the second assumption also fails, decay rates are not always constant, but also can vary depending on various environmental factors.  In fact multiple samples from the same object have different levels of carbon.

The interesting thing is that our society, despite knowing these things, continues to use carbon dating.  The excuse is that we need some kind of measurement to work with.  But, we still pretend like it is accurate, ignoring the reality of it's failure.  Then we also ignore that every theory that relies on carbon dating is also a failure, because it is based on faulty assumptions.  A house of cards, if you will.

Some have become so reliant on carbon dating, that they even try to defend the accuracy, claiming it to be very accurate.  They have even built complex mathematical models to magically math away the possible errors.

All radiometric dating has the same problems, but they use "Concordia curves" to magic away the discrepancies.  Much like Ptolemy's epicycles, they work mathematically, but have no relation to reality.

 

Keep it simple with a small data set.

Many studies get cited these days that have such a small data set, that they are totally unreliable.  Some are designed that way on purpose.  A small data set is easy to control and analyze, but due to statistical randomization it can be totally useless for drawing meaningful conclusions.  Six people can not realistically represent 6 billion, or even 6 thousand.  For instance if I grab 6 people from the edge of a crowd of 6000, it is likely they will have more things in common that the rest of the crowd (that is why they were together).  So I can't poll them and assume that the rest of the 6000 are the same.  But the bigger chunk of people that I grab, the more reliable my generalizations about the crowd can become.

The worst case of small data sets, which is actually quite common, goes something like this.  "My mother's cousin's boyfriend had cancer, and he sat on the toilet for 14 days and his cancer was cured."

Now, while that may be a true statement, it does not prove the sometimes implied conclusion that if we all sat on toilets for 2 weeks at a time we would all be cancer free.

Now, I made that a bit nonsensical to make the point, but I hope that you recognize that no matter what you replace the toilet-sitting with it doesn't change the fact that this is very bad science.

Because something happened with one person, it does not mean that it will happen with all.  There are way too many variables and differences between people to make such claims.

OK, what if it happened with 2  people?  OK, that is interesting, and it does make one wonder how the two might be connected, but it doesn't show causation.  What about 3 people, or 4 people, or 5 people?  Well, the more people that it happens with the more interesting it becomes.  But, because there are so many variables that could contribute to the outcome that we haven't discussed at all, we can make no conclusion.  However as the number of people that this is happening with continues to grow, and as we begin to ask questions about other factors involved we may start to come to some useful ideas that may help to fight cancer.

To continue with this (fictional) model: As we look into this toilet-sitting more, we begin to get more details.

  • Well he didn't actually sit on the toilet non-stop all the time, but he did have a bowel movement three times a day.
  • He and the lady next door both were drinking about a gallon of water everyday.
  • The first 100 people found doing this, that had success, were also using a teaspoon or two of real salt in their water every day.
  • Most of the first 1000 people that went into remission were also taking about 20 grams of ascorbate with their water and salt each day.
  • 80% of the first successful 10,000 people were also eating lots of fresh whole foods.
  • Out of 100,000 successful toilet sitters 75 percent had stopped the use of all vegetable oils and started using coconut oil.

So as we learn more and get more people involved in a study, it becomes more meaningful and perhaps predictive of what could happen for many other people.

But if you have just a very small sample, it could just all be coincidence.  The bigger the sample the more probable the connection.

 

The impossible is possible given enough time.

This one isn't actually science at all.  It is just speculation that something might be possible given enough time.  If something proves impossible, just say that it takes much longer.  After all, maybe laws of physics change over time.  Again not scientific, just fantasy.

This is the pit that evolution of species has fallen into.  As it has become more and more obvious that biologically one species can not turn into another (requiring more and more miracles) those wishing to stick with the theory keep adding longer and longer time periods.  At first evolutionists said that evolution of species took thousands of years, then tens of thousands, then hundreds of thousands, then millions, and so forth.  The idea that you can take an impossibility and throw it in a time machine and it will become a probability is just wishful thinking.

The alternate universe theories are just more of the same thing.  Fanciful imagination, not science.

 

Some celebrity said so.

Are you kidding me?!!!  It still shocks me that people give credence to something just because some celebrity said it.

 

Computer simulation science.

This is one of our big problems these days.  For some reason people got this weird idea that if you can simulate something on a computer then you must be able to do it in real life.  Didn't they ever watch cartoons on television?

Computers are great tools for crunching data and analyzing it, but just like with mathematics, it must remain a tool, and be based in reality.

Because computers can make computations so much faster than people, that doesn't mean they are smart.  Computer's have this major flaw called GIGO.  It stands for 'Garbage In, Garbage Out'.  A computer's output can only be as accurate as it's input.  In fact computers actually compound errors very rapidly.  One little mistake, or one little thing left out, can create chaos very quickly.

Since all computer input comes from people originally, there are nearly always mistakes or omissions.  People enter their assumptions and expectations into computers.  A computer therefore cannot create truth.  It can be used to analyze and help to graph data, but the validity of that data is not assured or improved simply because it was passed through a computer.

An obvious case in point; all of the predictions of global warming disasters have been backed up by computer simulations.  All the predicted disasters (and even the symptoms associated with those disasters) are failing to materialize in the real world.  We don't even understand weather enough to predict the next 12 hours, but it was assumed that computer models (with incomplete information) could predict it over the next 50 years?  Now that is a new kind of idiocy.

If you don't even know what variables are involved, or how many, can you write a mathematical equation to solve what the weather will be tomorrow?  It's silly.  It might be a fun exercise, but anyone knows that it would be totally worthless in regard to reality.

Now, if you want to look at past trends, a computer is great for analyzing data.  But as far as projecting those trends into the future you have to make assumptions and predictions.  Everyone knows that the further into the future you look, the hazier it becomes, and it becomes so very quickly.  So compare the output of any forward looking program to the next minute, hour, or day.  If it isn't accurate in the short term , it will only get worse in the long term.

 

Fraud Science

There is a lot of fraud-science these days.  Companies use studies to make money and politicians use them to gain power.  Now don't assume that just because a study comes from a company or a government entity that it must be fraud.  But do beware of the possibility.  Be more diligent about checking the facts and making sure that they match the conclusions.  They often do not match.

Often data is falsified, or shifted, or thrown out, because the original data didn't say what the authors wanted it to say.  For example a well know film pretended to put one graph over another to show how well they matched up.  But they cheated.  They shifted the time scale on one graph so that they could make it appear to match the other.  It was a lie, but they got the reaction from the audience that they wanted.

Unfortunately this kind of stuff goes on more than you would hope.

It is also not uncommon to read through a study and look at the data and then be surprised by the conclusion.  The data often does not match the conclusion, or was not gathered in such a way as to allow the stated conclusion to be verified.  These are the studies where they wrote the conclusion first.

 

Ego-centric Science

This is another form of fraud actually, but it is self-deception.  The author is so sure of his basic premise that he interprets all data to mean what he wants it to mean, even though an outside observer might come to a totally different conclusion.  We all have to be careful of this one, because it is human nature to be a bit egotistical.  We think that the ideas we think up must have some validity simply because they are ours.  We talk ourselves into being right before looking at the observations, and so naturally interpret what we see as what we expected to see.  This is why peer review is a good idea.

However, peer review problems also arise due to the same ego problem.  Peer review would ideally be people with the same basic understandings of science that we have looking over our research to make sure that it was done well and makes sense. As well as perhaps giving us some constructive criticism and catching mistakes before the research is published.  Peer review used to actually include repeating the experiments to make sure that the outcomes were not just flukes or anomalies.

Today however most peer review is simply a journal editor reading over your paper and deciding if he agrees with it or not.  This leads to the editors ego getting in the way sometimes.  He gets lots of papers to look over, so he does it as quickly as he can.  Many editors fall into the trap of thinking that man has already discovered most of what he needs to know, so any paper that is out of line with what the editor thinks to be true is not a well done paper.  While this saves the editor time, it often overlooks and discards new and innovative ideas that may be based on very solid observation and analysis.  This has a tendency to solidify old ideas and discard new ideas.  Not a great paradigm for science and it's future.

 

Lazy science

Lazy science comes from the guy who just says, "I'm curious about this so I'll do this little experiment."  A great start, but if he does no research to see what else has been discovered  about the subject, it can be like the experimenting blind man.  While coming at an idea from a fresh prospective is always a good idea, if one remains blind to the other realities around him it gives a very incomplete picture.

This narrowness of vision can cause major problems.  For instance a man who has had no exposure to smoking, suddenly comes across another who is smoking outside on a cold fall day.  He decides to experiment and finds that indeed smoking can make him feel warmer on cold days.  He soon begins to tell everyone that they need to smoke on cold days to stay comfortable, and that constant smoking is the best, because then you are always warm.

Has he discovered truth?  Yes.  So, what is the problem?  There is a huge part of the picture that he hasn't been exposed to, and so he is heading downhill fast towards a miserable death.

This is a constant problem for science, and why we always need to be looking around, and asking more questions.  Science can be a great boon to us, but also a huge stumbling block if just used casually.

 

Bad science can cause bad problems, but a little diligence can turn it into a great blessing.

If you are not willing to do lots of studying yourself, then find those who like to do it, and who you feel you can trust, and communicate with them on a regular basis to stay apprised of what they are learning.  You will be glad that you did.  It can save you lots of heart ache in the future.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 November 2010 20:40
 

Diet and Alzheimer's brain changes

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Eating a diet low in saturated fat “could help stave off Alzheimer's disease”, according to The Daily Telegraph.

This is another case of bad conclusion by newspaper reporter.  The research shows no such thing!  It didn't study Alzheimer's disease, and it didn't compare a low saturated fats diet to a high saturated fats diet.  Also it was a very short term study and used a very small sample size and can therefore not be conclusive in anyway.  It gave conflicting and ambiguous results.

In my opinion it was a badly designed study.  By combining two major dietary differences it practically guaranteed that the results would be inconclusive.  However if you compare it with well designed studies you can see that the high glycemic index diet should have been bad, so since it wasn't as bad as it could have been perhaps the saturated fat was good and helped to balance out the bad of the high glycemic index diet.

It is sad that reporters like to report what they believe no matter what the facts say.

At least the researchers stated a conclusion that made sense.  “Diet may be a powerful environmental factor that modulates Alzheimer’s disease risk”.

The Daily Telegraph reported this study uncritically, although its coverage did feature quotes highlighting its limitations.

What kind of research was this?

This double-blind randomised controlled trial looked at the effects of specific diets on cognition and various markers for Alzheimer’s disease, both in healthy people and in people with mild cognitive impairment. The researchers say that, to their knowledge, no study has looked at the effects of a dietary intervention on Alzheimer’s-related proteins in the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord (called cerebrospinal fluid or CSF).

The researchers say that recent reviews of observational studies have suggested that increased saturated fat intake is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease or cognitive impairment, and that increasing monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fat intake is associated with reduced risk. However, they say that trials testing the effects of specific fatty acids in people with Alzheimer’s disease have been disappointing. Therefore, they wanted to test the effects of a “whole diet” intervention that did not just change one dietary factor, but instead controlled the levels of multiple components of the diet.

In other words, they recognized that the party line of "saturated fats are bad" simply isn't backed up by the research.  So they decided to mix the saturated fats with something that they know is very bad (sugar) so they could show that their already arrived at conclusion is correct.

More research is needed to study the effects of diet on Alzheimer’s risk.

In the mean time, be sure to eat plenty of good fats (coconut oil, raw butter, avocadoes, raw milk and eggs, nuts, etc) , and eliminate added sugar products from your diet, since we know that these habits lead to improvements in health.

 

 

Links To The Headlines

Low fat diet 'could stave off Alzheimer's'. The Daily Telegraph, June 14 2011

 

 

Links To Science

Bayer-Carter JL, Green PS, Montine TJ et al. Diet Intervention and Cerebrospinal Fluid Biomarkers in Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment. Archives of Neurology, Vol. 68 No. 6, June 2011

 

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Last Updated on Saturday, 23 July 2011 17:05
 

Looking for genetic links for migraine

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Here is a report that helps to point out how little we actually understand about genetics.  Read carefully and you will notice that the genetic environment is much more complex and unknown than most people have been led to believe.

Notice how the researchers speculate on the what the genes may be involved in, and guess that they could be involved in migraine headaches.  We really have no idea.  What we do know is that environment (circumstances) has much more power than genetics in affecting the body.  Living a healthy life style can actually change your genes and how they are used by the body.

The Daily Mail reported on “the genetic clue that may explain why women get more migraines”. The newspaper said that three genes had been linked to migraines and that they were “more likely to trigger migraines in women, helping to explain why they are three times more likely to suffer”.

The research was a large genetics study that looked at variations in DNA between people who experienced migraines and those who did not. Researchers compared the DNA of nearly 9,000 people who experienced migraines with 32,000 people who did not. They identified three regions of DNA that seemed to be associated with migraines. However, only two of these were specifically associated with migraines, rather than headaches in general.

Though one region was more strongly associated with migraines in women than men, the researchers say this association “would not explain the higher prevalence of migraine in women than men”.

Further research is needed to see how the genes that are close to these regions of DNA play a role in migraines. These study findings have no current implications for the prevention or treatment of migraines.

Links To The Headlines

The genetic clue that may explain why women get more migrainesDaily Mail, June 13 2011

Breakthrough on migrainesDaily Express, June 13 2011

 

Links To Science

Chasman DI, Schürks M, Anttila V et alGenome-wide association study reveals three susceptibility loci for common migraine in the general population. Nature Genetics, June 12 2011 (published online)

 

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Straight Forward Weight Loss : Learn now - The Diet Solution Program Click Here!
Have a great day!
Last Updated on Saturday, 23 July 2011 17:31
 

More false hopes for vaccines

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More false hopes for vaccines are being discussed all the time.  All this hope is built on fairy dust.  It totally ignores that there really are no reliable studies that show that vaccines are effective in eliminating or even controlling diseases.

Many claims about the effectiveness of vaccines have been reported for many years, but there is still not any real evidence of it.  The studies that claim to vindicate the use of vaccines, are not even designed to do so.  They fear doing an actual study that will prove vaccines don't work, so they only do studies that compare one vaccine with another, instead of using a control group with no vaccines.

The truth is that vaccines always compromise and weaken the immune system.  The nature of the foreign chemicals injected into the body guarantees it.

News stories have extensively covered the possibility of a vaccine that could offer “new hope in the war on meningitis”. The Daily Mail said that the “first vaccine against deadly meningitis B will be available within months”, and The Independent said that the vaccine will offer “80% protection against the main causes of meningitis”.

The news stories come in response to a series of articles on vaccines published in the medical journal The Lancet. The articles discussed the likely developments in vaccine biology and discovery expected over the coming years. The series follows a pledge from the charitable Gates Foundation in 2010 that called for a new “decade of vaccines” to help protect the vulnerable against disease and suffering. The foundation estimates that if vaccine coverage could be increased to 90% worldwide, then the lives of 7.6 million children younger than 5 years old could be saved between 2010 and 2019. To address this new opportunity after the pledge, The Lancet brought together leading scientists working in vaccine development to lay out the hopes for the decade. The series did not specifically look at a new vaccine for meningitis, as some newspaper coverage may have implied.

There are several bacterial causes of meningitis. In the UK, the most common form is meningococcal meningitis, which is caused by a bacterium called Neisseria meningitidis. There are several strains of this infection, known as A, B, C etc. The current meningococcal vaccine in the UK is against the C strain of Neisseria meningitidis and has been widely offered to teenagers and young adults in the UK since that late 1990s. However, it offers no protection against other meningococcal strains, including strain B, which is more common.

That is the excuse used when it becomes obvious that vaccines are not working.

Here is how they claim that vaccines work.

The body’s defense mechanisms use special types of proteins, called antibodies, to recognise substances or molecules that are foreign to the body. These are known as antigens. When antibodies bind to an antigen, they trigger an immune response. Once an antigen has been encountered, the body is able to swiftly produce the necessary antibodies if it is encountered again in the future. This allows a quicker, more effective immune response. Vaccines prime the body with a dose of the antigen, which does not cause disease but allows the body to develop antibodies and therefore allow greater production should the person come into contact with the microorganism in the future.

The antigens on the surface of the B strain of meningococcal bacteria that causes meningitis can vary. This means that a vaccine may only target a proportion of these bacteria. This has traditionally made development of a meningitis B vaccine difficult. One of the papers in the series mentions that a current potential vaccine against meningitis B in development consists of three antigens that are present in several strains of meningitis B.

Other vaccines that supposedly offer protection against other bacterial causes of meningitis include the pneumococcal vaccine given as part of routine childhood immunizations. This is designed to give protection against the common strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae (the second most common cause of life-threatening bacterial meningitis in the UK). Another such vaccine is the haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccination, also given as part of child immunisations.

The problem is that vaccines are totally unlike a natural disease.  Even though they may contain a similar chemical to the molecule involved in a particular disease, they are not the same thing at all, the body is not that easily fooled.  Also diseases generally enter the body through the digestive tract where they are caught and recognized by a healthy immune system.  Injection bypasses much of that process.
The fact that they now make boosters for vaccines is an obvious admission that vaccines do not do what they claim.  If they did there would be no reason to get a booster shot ever.  Getting a real disease can lead to lifelong immunity from that disease.  Vaccines never do.
They simply do not work.
The past 30 years are said to have witnessed “an unprecedented increase in new vaccine development”. Vaccines are now said to protect against an increased range of diseases, with fewer vaccinations now needed and an improved level of vaccine purity and safety. New discoveries in the biology of vaccine development are being made all the time, which promise vaccines for different diseases and which work in different ways. Over the coming years, it is expected that vaccines will be given to specific population groups, such as children, pregnant women or elderly people. There is also hope for vaccines outside the area of infectious disease, such as vaccines that protect against cancer and autoimmune disease.

One paper discusses how progress and changes in vaccine development occurred from the 1980s to the present day. These changes included the use of different approaches to vaccine design (such as using killed microorganisms, live attenuated microorganisms, purified components of organisms, and conjugated subunits [sugar chain components]), as well as improvements in safety of vaccines against smallpox, polio, measles and whole-cell diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough.

The authors say that targets for new or more effective vaccines include meningococcal B, respiratory syncytial virus (the cause of bronchiolitis in babies), new influenza and pneumococcal vaccines, and “lifestyle vaccines” that protect against HIV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases. It is also hoped that vaccines may be developed for a wider range of medical uses, such as to prevent cancers and Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, they say vaccines and vaccination strategies will need to be developed to provide protection for very young babies, either through direct vaccination or through expanded vaccination programmes for pregnant women.

The researchers also highlight that the ease of modern international travel makes the threat of new pandemic infections more pressing, and that rapidly emerging new infections will require the development of new processes to control them.

One paper discusses how, in the past, vaccines were largely developed by scientists identifying the antigens or components of the microbe that cause the immune response. However, as bacteria and other disease-causing organisms evolve, vaccine development faces more challenges as microbes are becoming highly variable. This means that it is not easy to develop a single vaccine that will be effective against all strains of a single microbe. This is also the case with natural immunity developed after infection. The person may be immune if they encounter the exact same microbe again, but high microbe diversity means that naturally acquired immunity is often ineffective.

Also, there are great challenges in generating vaccines to protect the people who are most vulnerable because of their age or underlying diseases. Therefore, future vaccine development faces wider challenges, including considering the role of genetics and environmental factors affecting individuals. This, in turn, may lead to “more personalised approaches” to developing new safe and effective vaccines, such as for use in people with specific genetic characteristics.

One article also focuses on the challenges of delivering vaccines on a large scale, such as vaccines against pandemic and seasonal flu. The authors say that, to ensure effective vaccines are delivered requires complex production methods, meticulous quality control and reliable distribution. Ensuring that people have access to and take the vaccines also requires collaboration between manufacturers, regulatory authorities and national and international public health services.

Important factors to consider include the scalability of immunisation programmes, the time taken for the first dose to become available after a pandemic is declared, and regulations and manufacturing requirements, such as distribution and flexibility. Manufacturing is made more complex by the need for different vaccine formulations for different countries and age groups. For vaccines where supply is insufficient to meet demand, prioritisation of target groups has often been used in the past to increase the effect of these vaccines.

One of the articles discusses how social attitudes may not be in line with public health goals in the development of vaccines and immunisation programmes. For example, parents may worry about the use of new vaccines in their children.

Over the years, newspaper headlines have occasionally associated mass vaccination with individual fatalities or illness. The authors say that, at times, sensationalist reporting has provided an ungrounded and incorrect view of the situation, “inflaming public attitudes about the vaccine’s safety”.

Particular examples include the high-profile death of a 14-year-old who had recently received the HPV vaccine against cervical cancer, a pregnant Thai woman who had received the H1N1 flu vaccine and suffered a miscarriage, and the deaths of four children in Japan who had recently received vaccinations against pneumonia and meningitis. In these cases, they say there was no reliable evidence to back up public concerns. The editorial says that “with a more sceptical and questioning media, a more responsive way forward may be, for example, to anticipate public concerns by reporting background rates of possible adverse effects so that, if they do occur, the public (and media) are neither surprised nor alarmed”.

The series of articles says that the public needs to regain confidence in immunisation and trust the organisations responsible for the research, development and implementation of vaccines. One series paper discusses technologies that are being developed for the assessment of vaccine safety, with the aim of rapidly identifying potential safety issues. The authors say that the success of such measures will rely on effective implementation of vaccination programmes, in addition to improving public awareness about benefits and risks in a way that encourages confidence in vaccines.

Note that in all of this we are supposed to blindly trust the companies who make and sell the vaccines, even though common sense would say that injecting foreign chemicals into the body always causes an immune reaction (specifically a negative reaction, weakening the system.)  And in spite of the reality of NO REAL STUDY on the health of vaccinated people versus non-vaccinated people who would otherwise be in the same demographic (living similar lifestyles, with vaccination being the only difference).

History also tells us that when vaccines have been introduced, the diseases that they were intended for were already nearing the end of their life-cycle.  Vaccine makers claimed victory even though in many cases disease incidents jumped up immediately following vaccination introduction, before continuing the downward trend they were already experiencing.

For instance, most people have been told that vaccines brought about the end of Polio.  There is no truth in that assertion.  Polio had already peaked long before the vaccinations were introduced, and was well on the way it's way to the end of it's natural life-cycle.  Vaccination caused a spike in reported cases (It gave some people polio).  Then shortly after the vaccine was introduced, the way that we report polio was redefined, basically bringing the reported cases down to zero.  We still actually have polio today (defining it as it was before the introduction of the vaccine).  We have just redefined it as different diseases.

Misinformation is the way to sell vaccines!

If you really want a healthy immune system, then do things that help to build a healthy immune system.  Avoid toxins.  Eat a variety of good whole natural foods.  Drink plenty of clean water daily.  Get regular exercise.  Get a good nights rest each night.  Be happy with a gratitude attitude!

 

Links To The Headlines

Vaccine offers '80 per cent protection' against main cause of meningitis. The Independent, June 10 2011

First vaccine against deadly meningitis B will be available 'within months'. Daily Mail, June 10 2011

Meningitis vaccine could save thousands of lives. The Daily Telegraph, June 10 2011

New jab gives hope in war on meningitis. Daily Express, June 10 2011

 

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Last Updated on Saturday, 23 July 2011 17:42
 

Nicotine 'obesity drug' needs more study

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“Smokers will soon be able to stub out their habit – without having to worry about piling on the pounds,” reported the Daily Mirror. It said that “scientists have discovered how nicotine suppresses the appetite and could develop drugs to help people quit without putting on weight”.

This research involved a series of complex scientific experiments in mice. The researchers wanted to investigate how nicotine causes the brain to send signals to the body to suppress appetite. They found that nicotine activates a group of nerve cells in an area of the brain called the hypothalamus (the small part of the brain that regulates hormones and automatic processes in the body). These nerve cells activate other receptors in the body that play a role in regulating appetite.

These findings give us a better understand of how nicotine may affect appetite, but it is important to note that this research was in animals. While there may be similar processes in humans and mice, nicotine may not affect human appetite in exactly the same way. Further studies will be needed to understand the effects in humans, and a new treatment to help smokers quit but avoid gaining weight is a long way off.

The scientific research was conducted by researchers at Yale University School of Medicine and other academic institutions in the US. Funding was provided by grants from the National Institutes of Health and other sources. The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal Science.

In general, the news stories accurately represented this research. However, it is too early to say that “the key to helping smokers stay slim” has been found, or that this will pave the way for new drugs to counter the problem of weight gain.

In the mean time, go ahead and quit smoking.  Avoid the weight gain by choosing healthy habits to replace the smoking habits.

Did you know that eating more green leafy vegetables actually helps to cut down on cravings caused by most addictions.  Getting good fats like coconut oil in the diet also help.  And if you choose whole natural foods it naturally helps to keep the weight in check.

Links To The Headlines

SYou can quit smoking and stay slim say scientistsDaily Mirror, June 10 2011

Nicotine treatment 'could control obesity'. BBC News, June 10 2011

Found, the key to helping smokers stay slim once they quit. Daily Mail, June 10 2011

Links To Science

Mineur YS, Abizaid A, Rao Y et alNicotine Decreases Food Intake Through Activation of POMC Neurons. Science: 332; 1330-1332

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Straight Forward Weight Loss : Learn now - The Diet Solution Program Click Here!
Last Updated on Saturday, 23 July 2011 17:47
 
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