Got 3 Minutes? Here's Everything You Need To Know About Vaccines And Their Controversy.

In the spirit of brevity, this animation does simplify things. We filled in the gaps with our own fact-checking below the video. Let us know what you think!

We checked out every fact in this video. Some, like the history and timeline, are not controversial and weren't worth listing here. We hope that's OK. Here are the rest:

At 0:29: "...1979, smallpox is eradicated globally."


0:45: "Globally, the number of polio cases decreases from 350,000 to just 187 in 2012." (Note: That count is through November 2012. Unfortunately, polio was on the rise in 2013. WHO figures showed 416 cases in 2013.)

1:51: "More recently, groups have claimed that toxins within vaccines cause autism. But many studies involving hundreds of thousands of children all strongly point out no correlation between vaccines and autism." The CDC has an index of these studies. In addition, here's a list of key studies:

  • The marquee study showing a link between the MMR vaccine and autism was a 1998 Lancet article. It was retracted.
  • From a 1999 Lancet study: "Our analyses do not support a causal association between MMR vaccine and autism. If such an association occurs, it is so rare that it could not be identified in this large regional sample."
  • A 2001 JAMA study (PDF) drew on a sample of 10,000 kindergartners born between 1980 and 1994 to show that there's been a 373% increase in autism diagnoses when the MMR vaccine coverage increased from 72% to 82%. This led the study authors to write, "These data do not suggest an association between MMR immunization among young children and an increase in autism occurrence."
  • A 2002 NEJM study followed all children born in Denmark 1991-1998 (537,000 kids). Study authors: "This study provides strong evidence against the hypothesis that MMR vaccination causes autism."
  • A 2012 systematic review of 64 studies including 14.7 million children showed that "exposure to the MMR vaccine was unlikely to be associated with autism, asthma, leukaemia, hay fever, type 1 diabetes, gait disturbance, Crohn's disease, demyelinating diseases, bacterial or viral infections."

1:59: "In 2009, the U.S. Court of [Federal] Claims ruled thimerosol-containing vaccines do not cause autism." Even if they did, according to the CDC, there has been no thimerosol in infant vaccines since 2003.

2:17: "The CDC announced the eradication of measles in 2000, but in 2011, 220 Americans became infected, the largest number in 15 years. Two-thirds of them had never received the measles vaccination."

More

Image by Brent Connelly from Pixabay and sixthformpoet / Twitter

Twitter user Matt, who goes by the name @SixthFormPoet, shared a dark love story on Twitter that's been read by nearly 600,000 people. It starts in a graveyard and feels like it could be the premise for a Tim Burton film.

While it's hard to verify whether the story is true, Matt insists that it's real, so we'll believe him.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

"Clay's tallest story" is one we should all stop to listen to, no matter how much we think we know about mental health. What starts off as a forgettable fishing video quickly turns into a powerful metaphor about mental health.

What would you do if an unexpected gust of wind pushed your boat out to sea? You'd call for help. It's so obvious, why would anyone think differently? But when it comes to our mental health, things often appear so much more unnecessarily complicated. Thanks for the reminder, Clay!


Clay’s Tallest Story www.youtube.com

Heroes
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Approximately 10% of the population is left-handed, and the balance between lefties and righties has been the same for almost 5,000 years. People used to believe that left-handed people were evil or unlucky. The word "sinister" is even derived from the Latin word for "left."

In modern times, the bias against lefties for being different is more benign – spiral notebooks are a torture device, and ink gets on their hands like a scarlet letter. Now, a new study conducted at the University of Oxford and published in Brain is giving left-handers some good news. While left-handers have been struggling with tools meant for right-handers all these years, it turns out, they actually possess superior verbal skills.

Researchers looked at the DNA of 400,000 people in the U.K. from a volunteer bank. Of those 400,000 people, 38,332 were southpaws. Scientists were able to find the differences in genes between lefties and righties, and that these genetic variants resulted in a difference in brain structure, too. "It tells us for the first time that handedness has a genetic component," Gwenaëlle Douaud, joint senior author of the study and a fellow at Oxford's Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging, told the BBC.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Pete the Plant is a maidenhair fern living in the Rainforest Life exhibit at the London Zoo, but Pete the Plant isn't like other plants. Pete the Plant is also a budding photographer. Scientists in the Zoological Society of London's (ZSL) conservation tech unit has been teaching the plant how to take selfies.

The ZSL held a competition in partnership with Open Plant, Cambridge University, and the Arribada Initiative for the design of a fuel cell powered by plants. Plant E in the Netherlands produced the winning design. The prototype cell creates electricity from the waste from the plant's roots. The electricity will be used to charge a battery that's attached to a camera. Once Pete the Plant grows strong enough, it will then use the camera to take a selfie. Not too bad for a plant.

"As plants grow, they naturally deposit biomatter into the soil they're planted in, which bacteria in the soil feeds on – this creates energy that can be harnessed by fuel cells and used to power a wide range of conservation tools," Al Davies, ZSL's conservation technology specialist, explains.

RELATED: This plant might be the answer to water pollution we've been searching for

Keep Reading Show less
Innovation