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‘Leaky vaccines’ don’t affect the ability of the virus to reproduce and spread to others; they simply prevent it from causing disease. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District/Flickr

Are vaccines making viruses more dangerous?

Media coverage of a recent study involving a "leaky" vaccine raised questions about the possibility that they could make viruses more dangerous.
Hepatitis B is commonly transmitted between children, who are not aware that they are carrying the virus. Thomas Mukoya/Reuters

Hepatitis B in Africa: the challenges in controlling the scourge

Hepatitis B vaccines have been available for over 20 years but the virus is still endemic in Africa, with the continent carrying over one third of the globe's case load.
A vial of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and an information sheet are seen at Boston Children’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, February 26 2015. Brian Snyder/Reuters

Are US vaccine rates going down because public trust and social ties are eroding?

The anti-vaccination movement is not the cause of falling vaccination rates. It is a symptom of the public’s growing distrust in the government and the medical profession.
Children in particular experience a multitude of viral illnesses during their early years. MIKI Yoshihito/Flickr

Health Check: when are we most likely to catch viral diseases?

Viruses cause all kinds of infections from relatively mild cases of the flu to deadly outbreaks of Ebola. Clearly, not all viruses are equal and one of these differences is when you can infect others.
Military needs drove the development of vaccines we still use today. US troops storming beach via

How World War II spurred vaccine innovation

During World War II the US military forged partnerships with industry and academia that translated laboratory findings into working products at an unprecedented pace.
Exposing people to weak forms of anti-science arguments can help them respond when they are hit by the real thing. NIAID/Flickr

Inoculating against science denial

A small dose of a weak form of anti-science can inoculate people against the real thing, just like a vaccine.
Can Twitter fill in the gaps for social research? Twitter page via

Survey research can’t capture everyone’s opinion – but Twitter can

Understanding public opinion can help officials target messages during a health crisis. But current survey methods aren't good at generating representative samples. Can Twitter fill in the gaps?
For certain members of the community, catching flu can lead to severe illness or death. Piotr Marcinski

The 2015 flu vaccine – what’s new, who should get it and why

It’s that time of year again when scientists and doctors make predictions about the impending flu season and we must decide whether to go out and get the flu vaccine.
Studies have shown that mentioning misinformation – even in the process of combating it – can cause it to stick in listeners' minds. from

The media fuels vaccination myths – by trying to correct them

Studies show that the more familiar we become with false information, the more likely we are to later remember it as fact.
New innovations and technologies, such as the Nanopatch developed by Australian biotech Vaxxas, are instrumental to Australia’s future prosperity, and many benefit from NCRIS facilities, which are now under threat from government cuts. AIBN

Intergenerational prosperity depends on supporting research

The government believes innovation will be crucial to our future productivity, yet it is threatening cuts to research infrastructure that is instrumental to promoting innovation and new technologies.
A volunteer receives a trial Ebola vaccine at the Centre for Clinical Vaccinology and Tropical Medicine in Oxford, southern England January 16, 2015. Eddie Keogh/Reuters

It’s time to fix our outdated guidelines for human vaccine trials

Prior to the 1970s, almost all Phase I and II drug trials were conducted on prisoners. Our standards have gotten better since then, but still need revision.
Health marketing materials used to promote measles vaccine during the 1960s. CDC

How vaccines change the way we think about disease

Before the vaccine, we thought measles was a 'mild' illness. This is because vaccines drive down the number of people getting the disease while increasing our awareness of the risks.
The bacteria living in your gut have more to do with your immune system than you might think. Knorre/Shutterstock

What do the bacteria living in your gut have to do with your immune system?

Your intestines are home to many different kinds of bacteria (and some non-bacterial organisms as well). Together they’re called the “gut microbiome.” They come from the food you eat – and whatever else…

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