Some New York Times Reporters are Just Ignorant

ReviewerBy J.B. Handley

There’s a reporter named Gardiner Harris who writes for the New York Times. I’ve probably talked to a hundred or so reporters in my time and he is unquestionably the biggest jackass I have ever encountered. Aside from being snide, cynical, wildly biased, dismissive, and arrogant, there’s also this ditty, in a private email to me that explains it all:

“but scaring parents away from life-saving medicines is no way to improve this terrible situation. i have met parents who lost their children to vaccine-preventable diseases, and they are haunted. if you had your way, there would be far more of these haunted souls. i hope to prevent that from happening.” – Gardiner Harris

So, he’s also a vaccine zealot.


State Tobacco Cash Funneled Into Vaccines

State Tobacco Cash Funneled Into Vaccines, Biotech Drug Delivery, Cardiac Arrest, and Mental Health Research

Washington’s Life Sciences Discovery Fund just made a bunch of biomedical researchers either very happy, or highly disappointed. The 10-year, $350 million initiative, which takes money from the state tobacco settlement, chose to pump almost $19 million into four grant proposals that explore development of new vaccines, improved ways to treat cardiac arrest, rural mental health, and how to better deliver biotech drugs into cells.

This was a big round of grants for the fund. Before today, the quasi-state agency had divvied out 17 grants to researchers worth a combined $32 million. I got an update on the strategy of the program, and it’s progress thus far, in September during an interview with executive director Lee Huntsman. A total of 29 grant applications were sent in, and 10 of them were closely scrutinized through interviews by reviewers with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the board’s trustees. “All of them were of high scientific and technical merit,” said Lura Powell, chair of the board of trustees.

The aim of these grants, Powell said on today’s conference call, is to advance health care for Washington residents, strengthen the local economy, and promote the region’s competitiveness as a global biotech hub.

With that in mind, here’s a rundown of the newest grant recipients announced today. All of them won by a unanimous votes.


Alzheimer’s and Autism

Alzheimer’s and Autism

One of the key issues put forward by the attorneys for the families in the Omnibus Autism Proceeding was whether the measles virus could survive for years in children with autism without being eradicated by the body.

Recent research from the University of Manchester points to the continued persistence of viruses in the body where they may be responsible for the amyloid plaques which are the hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. (“Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 DNA is Located within Alzheimer’s Disease Amyloid Plaques”, The Journal of Pathology, Volume 217, issue 1, pages 131-138)  The research was also highlighted in an article in Science Daily. (“Cold Sore Virus Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease, December 7, 2008)