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Genetic Linkage

A Necessary Retelling of the Smallpox Vaccine Story

People once feared that small cows would emerge from the arms of vaccinated people. Ignorance about vaccines persists.
A curious confluence of events unfolded January 10. Just hours before President Obama uttered the powerful “science and reason matter” in his farewell address, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announced that the incoming president had tapped him to head a committee on vaccine safety.

RFK Jr. is not a pediatric immunologist nor an epidemiologist, but a vocal "vaccine skeptic". Although the PEOTUS dialed back on the purported appointment shortly after social media erupted, a tweet from March 28, 2014 clarifies the new president’s analysis of the history and science of vaccines:

Healthy young child goes to doctor, gets pumped with massive shot of many vaccines, doesn’t feel good and changes – AUTISM. Many such cases!  Read More 
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The Crud: Viral or Bacterial?

A flu virus. (Credit: CDC)
My immune system is still on hyperdrive from what may have been the flu three weeks ago. I qualify my self-diagnosis because I never had a test to tell whether viruses or bacteria had invaded my body.

I’ve long wondered why such diagnostics aren’t, by now, in routine use. Molecular biology was pioneered on the genetic details of bacteria and their viruses in the 1970s, and by now most of our pathogens have had their genomes sequenced.  Read More 
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