How to have a constructive conversation with vaccine skeptics

Jonathan Berman wants us to have better dialogues.

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  • In his book, "Anti-vaxxers," science educator Jonathan Berman aims to foster better conversations about vaccines.
  • While the anti-vax movement in America has grown, more Americans now say they'll get a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • In this Big Think interview, Berman explains why he's offering an ear to the anti-vax movement.
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The dangers of vaccine by press release

The recent AstraZeneca offers a cautionary tale.

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  • AstraZeneca's press release about its recent vaccine trials was filled with erroneous data.
  • A manufacturing error meant that some participants only received half of the intended dosage.
  • In the rush to produce a vaccine, science by press release is of growing concern.
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Why do some people suffer worse from COVID-19? New studies identify a genetic mutation

94 percent of men in the study have this mutation, which explains why men are more likely to die.

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  • Since the pandemic began, we've wondered why some people suffer terribly while others show no symptoms.
  • A team at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute discovered a genetic mutation responsible for the production of "auto-antibodies."
  • These findings could change treatment protocols and vaccine development moving forward.
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A key COVID-19 immune response in children has been identified

This could change how researchers approach vaccine development.

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  • The reason children suffer less from the novel coronavirus has remained mysterious.
  • Researchers identified a cytokine, IL-17A, which appears to protect children from the ravages of COVID-19.
  • This cytokine response could change how researchers approach vaccine development.
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The spread of ancient infectious diseases offers insight into COVID-19

Archaeology clues us in on the dangers of letting viruses hang around.

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  • A University of Otago researcher investigates the spread of disease in ancient Vietnam.
  • The infectious disease, yaws, has been with us for thousands of years with no known cure.
  • Using archaeology to investigate disease offers clues into modern-day pandemics.
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