The Science of Sustainability

Tag: autism

Doubt and Denialism: Vaccine Myths Persist in the Face of Science

Doubt and Denialism: Vaccine Myths Persist in the Face of Science

Many people continue to doubt the evidence for climate change, evolution, and vaccine safety, even though the scientific consensus on these issues is rock solid. Among the most troubling evidence-resistant theories is the long-debunked yet persistent myth that vaccines cause autism—a completely unfounded belief–leading to general doubts about vaccine safety, with dangerous public health consequences.

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Desperately Seeking Autism Genes

Desperately Seeking Autism Genes

Autism is incredibly frustrating from a genetic point of view. Every study clearly shows that genetics plays an important role in this disease. But when these studies try to find a cause, they keep coming up short.

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New Study Suggests Autism More Tightly Linked To Environment Than Genetics

New Study Suggests Autism More Tightly Linked To Environment Than Genetics

The scientists estimate that environmental factors common to twins explains 55% of susceptibility to autism, whereas genetics accounts for only 37%.

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Autism More than Genes

Autism More than Genes

A new twin study suggests that the environment may play a bigger role in autism than scientists previously thought.

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Tonight's Down to a Science Event: "The Panic Virus"

Tonight's Down to a Science Event: "The Panic Virus"

Learn more about the origins of the debate over vaccines and autism and what the current theories are from author of The Panic Virus, Seth Mnookin, at tonight's Down to a Science.

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Health Officials to Consider Tightening Vaccine Exemptions

Health Officials to Consider Tightening Vaccine Exemptions

Concerned by the increase in the number of children who are starting kindergarten without all their vaccines, public health officials in the Bay Area will look into the possibility of tightening the system that allows parents to opt out from mandatory immunizations.

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Trust Building

Trust Building

Whooping cough has reached epidemic proportions in the state of California. And it is hard to know who to be the maddest at.

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Quest Topic in the News: The Autism-Vaccine Connection

Quest Topic in the News: The Autism-Vaccine Connection

February was a big month in the debate about the possible role of vaccines in causing autism, a subject we covered in last year's TV story, Autism: Searching for Causes and several blog posts. The claim-–that there might be a link between the immunizations children receive and the onset of autism–-has recently taken some hard hits.

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Producer's Notes: Autism: Searching for Causes

Producer's Notes: Autism: Searching for Causes

It's challenging to report on an illness such as autism, which scientists and doctors are only beginning to understand (the disease was described in the 1940s) and over which there is so much debate. There is even disagreement around the question of whether or not there has been a real increase in the number of children being diagnosed with autism in California.

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Autism: Searching for Causes

Autism: Searching for Causes

In California today, 37,000 people, mostly children, receive treatment for the most severe form of autism. This is a sevenfold increase from 15 years ago, prompting officials to call the situation a public health crisis. Northern California autism researchers are studying everything from saliva samples to carpet dust in hopes of cracking the mystery.

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Vaccines: One Small Risk for a Child, One Giant Benefit for Mankind

Vaccines: One Small Risk for a Child, One Giant Benefit for Mankind

You're as likely to be struck by lightningas to have a severe reaction to a vaccine. I was reading an article in Time last week about parents not vaccinating their children. The story was about how this phenomenon is becoming more widespread. These kinds of stories are weird to me because vaccines are pretty safe. […]

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