Vaccines have been in the news and in the public eye a lot in recent months, vaccination rates have been dropping in more affluent communities across the country and around the globe, and the outbreak of previously eradicated childhood diseases has added fuel to a fire of social controversy that has pitted the parenting community against itself. While I am not going to equivocate on the reasonableness of the debate on the merits, the benefits of vaccines are clear, I have always believed the way the scientific community conveys information is in many ways key to our problem. I invented the safe swaddle blanket AdaptiFIT and founded this company with the mission of helping parents and children, to that end I want to (from time to time) attempt to present interesting academic research in a more easily understood way. While this doesn’t really serve any specific business purpose, helping people to make good decisions in general about their children’s health does fall within that purview. For the record I am not a biologist or a medical professional, prior to launching the worlds easiest to use swaddle blanket my wife and I were archaeologist, those interested in verifying my credentials can google “arctic soap stone potter” and my name. Email me a question about that showing you read it and l will give you a coupon code for 50% off 😉
Recently researchers at the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children’s hospital medical center have been working on developing a new vaccination/treatment for RotoViruses. Despite many modern medical advances and implementation of current rotavirus vaccines RotaViruses affects the lives of around 200,000 children worldwide each year. Those affected suffer from severe diarrhea, and in infants and young children this can lead to significant morbidity and mortality rates. Clearly the world needs new high efficacy prevention techniques, but also better distribution of those new treatments.
The research at Cincinnati has potentially resulted in one such new novel treatment. Astonishingly these medical researchers have succeeded in capturing a specific protein nanoparticle derived from a norovirus (another serious ailment) and applying it create a RotaVirus antigen, this can then be used to develop candidate vaccines to protect again RotaVirus
This experiment is still in early stages and is being tested by immunizing mice instead of humans, but it has shown promise offering protection to as high as 97% of the treated mice. In addition, computer models suggest the treatment is likely to work well in human trials at a later stage of research. While certainly medical professionals are often compensated highly for their work, this type of research can take years, is often fruitless, and is poorly understood by the general public. These scientists are likely forgoing other opportunities to focus on a real problem that is causing harm to children all over the world. It is important the research like this continue. It is also important that we all take a more skeptical eye to the information found online that lacks citation. Modern data search technology has broadly taught us that popularity is the same as validity, and this concept should be challenged. If many people in your community or social circle, make unsubstantiated claims about topics related to you or your children’s health it is always worth examining the fount of that information. Popularity is neither or isn’t evidence of factualness, It is possible to know things, and anything true is fundamentally repeatable.
New Research on Rotavirus