From Synthetic Genomes to Designer Vaccines | PLOS Synthetic Biology Community

0000-0002-8715-2896 From Synthetic Genomes to Designer Vaccines   Posted February 5, 2018 by post-info Guest post by Markus Schmidt In 2010 scientists from the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) announced the creation of the first

Health Canada Says a Nosode Is Not a Vaccine… But You Can Buy It Anyway (For Fun?)

Health Canada is finally making (baby) steps toward better informing the public when it comes to homeopathy.

As readers of the blog should know by now, homeopathy is based on really silly, counterfactual beliefs that, if true, would lead to a complete rewrite of biology and chemistry textbooks.

Despite this, Health Canada routinely approves homeopathic remedies for sale in Canada.

On July 31, 2015, it introduced “label changes” for certain homeopathic preparations.

Labels on nosodes, which are homeopathic preparations of heavily diluted infectious pus and spit sold as natural alternatives to vaccines, will have to mention this: “This product is neither a vaccine nor an alternative to vaccination. This product has not been proven to prevent infection. Health Canada does not recommend its use in children and advises that your child receive all routine vaccinations.” The change is effective January 1, 2016.

Secondly, “Health Canada is no longer allowing companies to make specific health claims on homeopathic products for cough, cold, and flu for children 12 and under, unless those claims are supported by scientific evidence.” This simply means that these products, like most natural health products, will have to resort to vague claims such as “helps with” and “can be used as part of”.

While this is a step in the right direction, I feel the need to point out that these useless preparations will still carry a Health Canada product number and will continue to be sold in Canada.

Health Canada does not recommend the use of nosodes in children but continues to allow for their sale. Just like cigarettes.

Should I testify in German court about how there is no such thing as the measles virus?

I could use some help from the crowd. I got this email a few minutes ago. Am wondering what people think about this? Should I testify in German court about how there is no such thing as the measles virus?
Dear Prof. Eisen,

my name is Dr. Stefan Lanka from Germany and in 1987, as a jung student of biology I isolated the first so called giant virus out of the sea, the Ectocaropus siliculosus virus with its circular 335 kbp dsDNA genome.

Would you be so kind as to help me in my issues?

In searching the origins of viruses, me, my professors and others realised that so called human viruses never were isolated and typical molecules of cells used in the protocols to "isolate" them were mistaken as viral.

Since then I successfully did research what are the real causes of so called human viral diseases.

In a court case on the existance of the so called measles virus, a jung medical doctor claimed that in six publications there is the scientific proof of the existance of the measles virus.

In reading the six papers you will realise that in these papers (and others) there is no such thing as a measles virus.

My question: Would you act as a referee in this court case in Germany?

If yes, here you will find the six papers:







Thanks a lot!

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Stefan Lanka

Read: Vermont’s Pro-Vaccine Position

The State of Vermont officially says “no” to philosophical objections to vaccination:

“Like most states, Vermont currently offers parents an exemption for medical conditions and one for religious beliefs. It has been one of about twenty states that allow for philosophical exemptions, and the majority of exemptions in Vermont have been for philosophical reasons.”

Vermont’s Governor has signed a piece of legislation that removes philosophical exemptions from its vaccination law.

You can read Michael Specter’s short article in The New Yorker here.

A parent choosing to exempt their child from vaccination for philosophical reasons is not unlike a company choosing to exempt themselves from carbon-cutting measures. It’s saying, “We don’t believe in the science; we believe in freedom for all no matter the consequences; and we will carry on being a danger to the world because of our scientific illiteracy.”

Vermont is taking a step in the right direction. Let’s see who follows.

Nepal after the recent earthquakes: reconstruction and vaccine-preventable enteric diseases

In the wake of the recent devastating earthquakes, PLOS Medicine Consulting Editor Lorenz von Seidlein visited Nepal to assess outbreak risks. Lorenz travelled with Anuj Bhattachan, International Vaccine Institute, Seoul, Korea and guidance from Deepak C. Bajracharya and Shyam Raj Upreti  … Continue reading »

The post Nepal after the recent earthquakes: reconstruction and vaccine-preventable enteric diseases appeared first on PLOS Blogs Network.

More than One Way to Vaccinate a Cat

No, this isn’t about cat vaccinations, but you should make sure all your pets’ shots are up to date, too. It is what we like to call, in the business, word play (technically, the term is “god-awful, hacky word play”).

With the focus placed on vaccinations by the measles screwing with Disneyland, there has been a lot of pessimistic coverage of the research showing that there is not a single, magic bullet, public service message (out of an exhaustive set of four options) that will convince everyone to vaccinate.

Over at Science News, Bethany Brookshire has an excellent post discussing the many ways to persuade people to vaccinate and why certain strategies are more likely to work for some, but not for others.

Research has begun to examine why people fear vaccines, and what can be done about it…But in all of the research, one thing is clear: There is not a single, foolproof way to convey that the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the harms.

-Bethany Brookshire at Science News

In the conclusion, Bethany raises the critical point that our public health approaches to vacccination have actually been pretty effective. Vaccination rates remain high, even if they have slumped a bit recently.

We may be at the limits of what can be achieved through public service messaging and need to focus on one-on-one interactions, while keeping the public pro-vaccination message strong.

Luckily, parents who adamantly refuse to vaccinate are in the minority. Unluckily, as the Disneyland outbreak shows, that tiny minority is still needed to keep infectious diseases from rising again. “The reality is that most people do get vaccinated, “Wilson says. “Maybe it’s 90 percent, but you need 95 or 100 percent. It’s challenging to get 100 percent of the population to agree to something. It’s not that there’s a disastrous failure of messaging. It’s that the threshold for success is so high.”

-Bethany Brookshire at Science News

Having been in many men’s restrooms, I can state confidently that we are doing a better job on vaccination than we are on hand washing.

Filed under: Follies of the Human Condition, This Mortal Coil Tagged: Bethany Brookshire, Linkonomicon, Vaccination, vaccines


At current levels, not only does the rate of unvaccincated individuals in the population matter, but their distribution, including which vaccines they are missing (ie, clusters are bad).

Filed under: This Mortal Coil Tagged: Vaccination, vaccines

Watch: How Vaccines Work

Screen Shot 2015-02-08 at 6.21.15 PMScreen Shot 2015-02-08 at 6.20.19 PM







The Patient Education Office of the McGill University Health Centre has just released a video to educate the public on the importance of vaccination. And who guides us through the mechanism of action of one of our most effective public health measures? Dr. Christopher Labos… in cartoon form.

If you like the video, please send it to your friends and family. You don’t need a Ph.D. to understand it; this is meant to be understood by the population at large.

And damn you, Dr. Labos, for getting drawn before me. I’m calling Matt Groening.

Remembering The Pre-Vaccine Era: The Diseases of Childhood

Many of us of a certain age have vivid memories of the “diseases of childhood.” We remember missing weeks of school, sky-high fevers, spots and pox, cheeks so puffed from mumps that eating was impossible, for days. Our mothers, for … Continue reading »

The post Remembering The Pre-Vaccine Era: The Diseases of Childhood appeared first on PLOS Blogs Network.