Anti-Vaccine body count

anti-vaccine body count

The United States Anti-Vaccination Movement is composed of a variety of individuals ranging from former doctors who should know better, to semi-celebrities who have no medical training, to anti-government conspiracy theorists who distrust anything that the government says. They all hold onto the mistaken belief that autism is caused by receiving childhood vaccines.

Most anti-vaccination believers claim that the compound Thimerosal led to an increase in autism cases. The Measles/Mumps/Rubella vaccine is their usual target. However, Thimerosal was never used as a preservative in the Measles/Mumps/Rubella vaccine. No vaccine licensed since 1999 has contained Thimerosal as a preservative, except a few multi-dose container vaccines such as some (but not all) HIB and Influenza vaccines. Autism has not declined since 1999, thereby disproving this connection. However, this has not stopped anti-vaccination believers from claiming that it was the MMR vaccine itself that caused autism or that it was vaccines in general that caused autism. All of these ideas have been disproven in multiple scientific and legal examinations of the evidence. The primary scientific reason for the increase in autism diagnoses is due to more disorders being included in the Autism Spectrum and doctors getting better at diagnosing the characteristics of autism…

The Anti-Vaccination Movement has a body count attached to its name. This website publishes the total number of vaccine preventable illnesses and vaccine preventable deaths that have happened in the United States since this 2007 increase in speaking out against vaccines.

“Is the United States Anti-Vaccination Movement directly responsible for every vaccine preventable illness and every vaccine preventable death listed here? No. However, the United States Anti-Vaccination Movement may be indirectly responsible for at least some of these illnesses and deaths and even one vaccine preventable illness or vaccine preventable death is too many.”


EU to ban fipronil to protect honeybees

A widely used insect nerve agent that harms bees will be banned from use on corn and sunflowers in Europe from the end of 2013, after member states overwhelmingly backed the proposal in a vote on Tuesday. However, the UK once again failed to back measures to restrict pesticide use.

Fipronil is used in more than 70 countries and on more than 100 different crops, but in May the European Food Safety Authority labelled it a “high acute risk” to honeybees. A similar assessment by the EFSA on three other neonicotinoid insecticides, based on increasing scientific evidence of harm, also preceded the suspension of their use in the European Union in April…

Bees and other pollinators are essential in the growing of three-quarters of the world’s crops, but have seen serious declines in recent decades due to habitat loss, disease and pesticide use. In Tuesday’s vote, only the UK, Slovakia and the Czech Republic abstained and only Spain – the biggest user of fipronil – and Romania voted against. The UK was also one of eight of the 27 EU member states that unsuccessfully opposed the EC neonicotinoid ban…

Paul de Zylva, of Friends of the Earth, welcomed the “leadership” of the European commission but added: “Yet again the UK’s pesticide testing regime has proven to be unfit for purpose. It’s disappointing to see the UK government abstaining from another cut and dried opportunity to protect bees.”

Yes, you guessed it. Fipronil still legal in the GOUSA? You betcha.

Everyplace in this article where you see the initials UK you can substitute US.

Speeding tsunami seen on Sun’s surface

Two satellites have seen “tsunami” spreading on the surface of the Sun after a release of matter into space called a coronal mass ejection (CME).

These tsunami of heightened magnetic field and hot, ionised gas race across the Sun at about 400km per second…

And thanks to data from Hinode, one of the two satellites, researchers may have cracked a 70-year-old mystery as to why the Sun’s surrounding corona is so much hotter than its surface.

The Japanese satellite Hinode has been studying the Sun since 2006, joined in Earth orbit by the Solar Dynamics Observatory in 2010.

Both satellites look at ultraviolet light from the Sun – colours we cannot see but that give hints as to both the chemical makeup and the extreme physical conditions at and near the Sun’s roiling, turbulent surface.

David Long of University College London and colleagues finally spotted what are known as EIT waves after a CME. Like a tsunami emanating from the point of a seismic event, EIT waves are shock waves that carry magnetic fields and hot, ionised “plasma”…

The SDO satellite was able to capture the ultraviolet light emitted as the wave spread out. From that, the team was able to determine the wave’s speed – some 400km per second – and its rough temperature, over a million degrees.

Meanwhile the Hinode satellite returned a high-resolution map of the density of the Sun’s surface every 45 seconds.

Using both data sets, the team was able to determine the strength of the magnetic field in the “quiet corona” – a tricky measurement of the Sun in its typical, quiescent state…

The temperature at the Sun’s core is some 15,000,000C, but its surface is below 6,000C. Yet the corona is known to be at a temperature in excess of 1,000,000C.

How the energy gets into the corona to keep up these temperatures has baffled astronomers for more than half a century.

One idea was that waves of magnetic energy rise from below the Sun’s surface, depositing energy into the corona higher up. But what remained unclear was whether the energy was lost on its journey.

Hinode observations of the polar coronal hole have allowed the pair to peek into this interim height and determine how the energy is coupled up from the surface into the corona.

In a preprint on the Arxiv server they show that enough energy is carried by these waves to keep the corona at its searing temperatures.

The energies, temperatures, processes in play in solar dynamics is beyond my science amateur’s easy understanding. But, I get to see how this has been acquired and analyzed – and it begins to fill in one more blank on our knowledge of the solar system and the star at its center. Bravo!