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'The Panic Virus' shows how media, skeptics helped flawed autism study gain acceptance

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TheMightyFavog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-11 01:08 PM
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'The Panic Virus' shows how media, skeptics helped flawed autism study gain acceptance
http://host.madison.com/wsj/entertainment/arts_and_theatre/books/article_d95983b0-8c45-5572-810e-c2595e605498.html

Were wired, like our primitive ancestors were, to think of every rustle at our feet as a threat. But unlike our ancestors, we can go online, where strangers tell us, Hey, I heard that noise, too.

We find patterns in our fears, even when science says the threats are random, suggests Seth Mnookin. Enabled by the media, he says, we start to believe what is false.

The emotional debate over whether childhood vaccines can cause autism is one way our hard-wired response to our environment, combined with todays hyper-democratization of data, has led us astray, Mnookin writes in his new book, The Panic Virus, A True Story of Medicine, Science and Fear.


(snip)

The book doesnt only discredit Dr. Andrew Wakefield, the British gastroenterologist whose study in 1998 in the medical journal The Lancet linked the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine with autism in a study of a dozen children. Co-authors renounced the work, other researchers found no link and the journal retracted the study, but many parents remain convinced they know why their children have autism, a mysterious developmental disorder.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-11 01:11 PM
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