Will the H.P.V. Vaccine Work?

With so many essential questions unanswered, there is good reason to be cautious about introducing large-scale HPV vaccination. Instead, we should concentrate on getting answers.

What's the Latest Development?


In the relatively new global initiative to vaccinate young girls against the human papillomavirus (H.P.V.), the world's most common sexually-transmitted disease which can also cause cervical cancer, big questions remain about the vaccine's effectiveness. While there are more than 100 different types of H.P.V., at least 15 of which cause cancer, the vaccine protects only against the two most important cancer-causing strains, HPV-16 and HPV-18. Cervical cancer currently causes 250,000 deaths annually. 

What's the Big Idea?

While clinical trials of an H.P.V. vaccine predict success in reducing rates of cervical cancer, real data on the vaccine's effectiveness, and potential downsides, will not be available for decades to come. In the mean time, large questions loom: "How long does the vaccine provide protection without a booster? Does it affect natural immunity against H.P.V., and with what consequences? Can we really be sure that the vaccine protects preadolescent girls when proper clinical trials have been carried out only in women aged 16 to 24?"

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
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Why are so many objects in space shaped like discs?

It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?

Videos
  • Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
  • Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
  • Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.

This is the best (and simplest) world map of religions

Both panoramic and detailed, this infographic manages to show both the size and distribution of world religions.

(c) CLO / Carrie Osgood
Strange Maps
  • At a glance, this map shows both the size and distribution of world religions.
  • See how religions mix at both national and regional level.
  • There's one country in the Americas without a Christian majority – which?
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Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash
Mind & Brain

Do human beings have a magnetic sense? Biologists know other animals do. They think it helps creatures including bees, turtles and birds navigate through the world.

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