< link rel="DCTERMS.isreplacedby" href="http://caltechgirlsworld.mu.nu/" /> Not Exactly Rocket Science: Interesting update on the Autism story

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Interesting update on the Autism story

Medpundit Sydney Smith links to a very interesting article on the man behind the (now nearly debunked) MMR-Autism link.

This is my favorite bit:
"Dispatches alleged that, nine months before the 1998 press conference, Dr Wakefield had filed patent applications at the London Patent Office for a new, alternative single measles vaccine and several potential treatments and even "cures" for inflammatory bowel disease and autism.

Nine months later, the MMR health scare was sparked by parties to those patent applications. As one commentator who was put on the spot by [reporter Brian] Deer said, on being made aware of this, not only did these patented "inventions" represent enormous claims, they also represented the potential of big money. Enough, it was agreed, to open a new medical school.

Deer dug further to find out exactly what had been patented. Members of the scientific community to whom he showed the applications unanimously agreed that the proposed technology behind the inventions (for example, injecting measles into mice, and then, after extracting and processing white cells, injecting the result into pregnant goats and using their colostrum to create capsules for children) lacked scientific credibility."

-- folks, that means he was proposing to make measles antibodies IN GOATS and feed them to kids, rather than letting them make their own antibodies....not gonna work--

And when his graduate student's work refuted his theories, he buried it:
" When Deer asked Dr Chadwick[the former student] why he had not divulged his findings at the time, his excuse was that he thought the story would simply die. At the time he was a student, and he felt he could not argue with Dr Wakefield, who was a charismatic supervisor."

Sadly enough, this happens to grad students all too often. Luckily, not to me (yet).
And finally, Conflict of interest anyone?:
"Dr Wakefield now spends much of his time in the United States, where he is linked to a company that promotes products said to be of benefit to autistic children. He continues to address huge audiences at major conferences on autism. And he continues to refuse to be interviewed by Brian Deer"

Still preying on these desperate people. How f*cking despicable.

This dude has all the hallmarks of an irresponsible and incompetent scientist. I hope this story gets out and debunks the MMR/Autism myth once and for all.


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