TWiV 16: Virology in Saanen, HIV origins

January 18, 2009

Host: Vincent Racaniello

Guest: Jeremy Luban

Vincent and Jeremy, in Saanen, Switzerland, review the 19th Challenge in Virology meeting, and implications of a new HIV-1 sequence from 1960 for the origin of AIDS.

Click the arrow above to play, or right-click to download TWiV #16 (44 MB .mp3,  63 minutes)

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Links for this episode:

  • NY Times article on Offit vaccine book.
  • Nature paper on new 1960 HIV-1 sequence.
  • Massive polio immunization in Pakistan.
  • PLoS paper on T cell responses to HERVs in HIV-1 infection.

Science blog of the weekEye on DNA by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Science podcast pick of the weekPersiflager’s Infectious Disease Podcast
Science book of the weekMicrobe Hunters by by Paul de Kruif

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5 comments on “TWiV 16: Virology in Saanen, HIV origins

  1. Hi Vincent,

    Regarding the comments on vaccination and autism the scientific consensus seems to be that increase in autism is because of increased diagnosis because doctors know what to look for now. The vaccination causing autism conspiracy was started by a guy called Andrew Wakefield who did a 'study' (scare quotes) that supposedly showed a link between MMR and autism. Since then his study has been torn to shreds. The guy doesn't want to admit the science was poor and he was wrong so he has turned into a media whore. We know that if your science is good then you don't have to resort to media sensationalism.

    Here is a search for autism on one of my favourite blog Neurologica http://www.theness.com/neurologicablog/?s=autism.

    • profvrr Feb 1, 2009

      Hi Steven,

      Thanks for the comments and links. I agree that increased diagnosis is
      responsible for the rise. A number of studies of different types have
      also failed to draw a connection between vaccines and autism.
      Unfortunately the loud ones like Wakefield and Jenny what's her name
      are the ones heard by the public. They are believed, not the
      scientists. Not trusted? Not understood? Probably both.

      Is there any reason not to immunize your child? Absolutely not. You
      only risk return of infectious diseases such as measles, which is what
      is happening in UK, Switzerland, and other developed countries in
      Europe.

  2. Neuropsychological Performance 10 Years After Immunization in Infancy With Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/conte….

    “CONCLUSIONS. Given the large number of statistical comparisons performed, the few associations found between thimerosal exposure and neuropsychological development might be attributable to chance. The associations found, although statistically significant, were based on small differences in mean test scores, and their clinical relevance remains to be determined.”

  3. Hi Steven,

    Thanks for the comments and links. I agree that increased diagnosis is
    responsible for the rise. A number of studies of different types have
    also failed to draw a connection between vaccines and autism.
    Unfortunately the loud ones like Wakefield and Jenny what's her name
    are the ones heard by the public. They are believed, not the
    scientists. Not trusted? Not understood? Probably both.

    Is there any reason not to immunize your child? Absolutely not. You
    only risk return of infectious diseases such as measles, which is what
    is happening in UK, Switzerland, and other developed countries in
    Europe.

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