"It's better to light a candle than curse the darkness"

“Latex causes autism”: a “Brave (but dead) Maverick Hypothesis“? [Part 1]

December 1st, 2011

Let the Nonsense begin!:

Before May of this year, I was in blissfiul ignorance of the “hypothesis” that latex - specifically, latex in vaccines (of course) - was the cause (or a cause) of regressive autism. But then Orac (of the Respectful Insolence ‘blog) posted a short notice (here) of a press release for the book Vaccine Delivery and Autism (The Latex Connection), by Dochiak and Dunn. It was a small post, with only a minimum of “respectful insolence” added, since the premise of the book seemed laughable enough.  The press release described the authors thusly:

“Michael J. Dochniak and Denise H. Dunn are leading experts in the etiology of allergy-induced regressive autism and have previously authored a book for Nova Science, entitled ‘Allergies and Autism.’ Dochniak is a scientific researcher in the field of Hevea brasiliensis natural-latex induced autism. Dunn is an early childhood educator who works closely with autistic children and adults, and has been teaching for more than 15 years.”

Fortunately, it wasn’t too hard to check on Mr. Dochniak’s credentials as a “scientific researcher in the field of Hevea brasiliensis natural-latex-induced autism”. In reality, he has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and psychology (both awarded in 1985) and has published - apart from the two books - one article in Medical Hypotheses.  That article - needless to say - had no data. In fact, Mr. Dochniak’s only “research” into autism has been in the library and on the Internet, although he has written a few articles on latex for adhesive and sealant trade newsletters and is on a number of patents and patent applications, including one for a “Method to affect the development of autism spectrum disorders” (#20070034214).  

 A day after the post, the lead author, Mr. Michael Dochniak, appeared in the comment thread and - as they say - hilarity ensued.

 

Covert Operations:

Right from the start, Mr. Dochniak was very cagey about the data supporting his “hypothesis”, initially just repeating his assertion and referring us to his book. Below are a few typical examples of his reponses:

 ”Refuse vaccines that have latex warnings. Read the book and you’ll understand why.” (here)

“The mechanism of how immune responses to the Hev-b proteins, and cross-reactivity therefrom, affect the incidence of allergy-induced regressive autism is described in the Nova Science book ‘Allergies and Autism’. The mechanism of how vaccines cause allergy-induced regressive autism is described in the book ‘Vaccine Delivery and Autism - The Latex Connection’.” (here)

“Here’s a brief mechanism: Hyper-adaptive immunity (IgE) - neurotrophin over-expression (NGF) - neural growth and pruning (atypical neural-connectivity)- behaviors (regressive autism). See my books for hypothesis, references, and supporting scientific data.” (here)

“Answers to all of these questions can be found in the books ‘Allergies and Autism’ and ‘Vaccine Delivery and Autism - The Latex Connection’. ‘Vaccine Delivery and Autism - The Latex Connection’ is now at $9.95 through Amazon. “ (here)

 

A glimpse behind the curtain:

I could go on (as Mr. Dochniak did), but I think you see the pattern.  This comment thread - which eventually reached over one thousand comments before Orac closed it in November - went on and on, with people asking Mr. Dochniak to provide some support for his claims and Mr. Dochniak responding with insults, poor attempts at verse and repeated calls to “Read my book!” well into August, when he posted the following:

“In the spirit of the null hypothesis, I’ve worked with a Biotechnology Company in an effort to remove the antigenic proteins from NRL to provide a safer natural-rubber. Briefly, the null hypothesis is satified when the global natural-rubber industry exclusively uses ultra-low protein NRL (i.e., Hevea brasiliensis)and the allergy-induced regressive autism rate continues to increase in future generations. “

For those not familiar with the concept of the “null hypothesis”, it is a tool used when evaluating whether a piece of data supports a hypothesis. The “null hypothesis” is basically the logical inverse of the hypothesis, so that if the hypothesis is “A causes B” , the appropriate null hypothesis would be “A does not cause B”, which would include “A is unrelated to B”, “A and B are both caused by C”, “B causes A”, etc.  If a bit of data is consistent with the hypothesis AND not consistent with the null hypothesis, that data can be said to support the hypothesis. If that bit of data is consistent with both the hypothesis and the null hypothesis, it does not support the hypothesis.

Seen in the light of what a null hypothesis actually is, Mr. Dochniak’s statement seems confused. What he apparently means to say is that he is agitating to have vaccine stoppers made of “ultra-low protein NRL” (in which he has some sort of interest) and, if that is done and the autism prevalence continues to rise, then his hypothesis will be disproven. This is true, but it has nothing to do with the null hypothesis.

The null hypothesis is “latex doesn’t cause autism” - a hypothesis that would be supported if all vaccine stoppers were changed to non-latex-based polymers and the autism prevalence rose or remained unchanged. Clearly, Mr. Dochniak needs to brush up on scientific methods a bit, but this brief glimpse into his thought processes illuminates a lot of his mistakes.

Finally, on 26 August, over three months after first being asked to “show his work”, Mr. Dochniak posted a short excerpt from his book. I won’t repeat it in its entirety, but here are some salient quotes, along with my comments:

“In speculation, genetic material in dry natural rubber, including plasmids and transposons, could leach into the vaccine’s aqueous-solution [sic].”

While some amount of DNA might persist in dry natural rubber, the RNA in that material would degrade within minutes (if not faster). (I mention this because of later assertions Mr. Dochniak makes.)

“For example, according to the cellular origin hypothesis or vagrancy hypothesis, viruses can evolve from bits of DNA or RNA that “escape” from the genes. The escaped DNA or RNA could come from plasmids that are pieces of naked DNA or RNA that can move between cells or transposons, which are molecules of DNA that replicate and move around to different positions within the genes of the cell. Once called “jumping genes,” transposons are examples of mobile genetic elements and could be the evolution of some viruses.”

This may be how viruses originated, but there are no data supporting this hypothesis (i.e. nobody has yet observed virus evolve from cellular DNA or RNA). There are other virus origins hypotheses that are equally plausible and don’t involve a cellular origin of viruses and, in fact, explain the multiple genome types of viruses much better.

“It is known that both DNA and RNA can be extracted from HDNR [Hevea brasiliensis dry natural rubber]. For example, research has shown that expression of Hevein genes in natural latex has been detected. (Reference 5)”

Looking up Mr. Dochniak’s “reference 5″, we find that the researchers discuss extracting DNA and RNA from the living plant and the gene - the hevein gene - was expressed “in the latex”, meaning in the cells that make the latex, since genes are only expressed in cells (in the environment). To repeat, the mRNA is retained within the plant cells (unless they are disrupted) and lasts only a few minutes (at most) outside the cell.

“A study that evaluated particulate ribonucleoprotein components of HDNR showed that a significant proportion of the particulate RNA is found in the rubber layer. (Reference 6)”

Reference 6 - from 1962 (!) - is about extracting ribosomal RNA (then known as “particulate RNA”) from (and I quote from the article, which is avilable free on-line): “… fresh centrifuged latex in a freeze-dried condition…” This is a way to preserve RNA, which is why they treated their specimen in this fashion. It is not - so far as I know - part of the rubber manufacturing process to keep the latex in a freeze-dried state.

“Messenger RNA (mRNA) is a molecule of RNA encoding a chemical “blueprint” for a protein product. mRNA is transcribed from a DNA template, and carries coding information to the sites of protein synthesis.”

True, but irrelevant, since mRNA would not survive the rubber manufacturing process.

“In continuation, a study has shown that the latex allergen Hev-b 5 transcript is widely distributed after subcutaneous injection in BALB/c mice of their DNA vaccine.”

Again, the authors of the study (Mr. Dochniak’s  ”reference 7″) describe their process a bit more. From the paper:

“We placed the gene encoding the potent Hevea latex allergen Hev b 5 in a mammalian expression vector and injected this DNA vaccine subcutaneously into BALB/c mice.” [emphasis added]

While I might quibble about whether or not an expression vector (a virus or plasmid that has been modified to carry a foreign gene into a cell) is a “vaccine”, their purpose was to have the animals’ cells express the protein and, thus, act as in situ “allergy shots”.

The process of making an expression vector is not trivial, as I would know, having made quite a few in my time. It is highly improbable that this would happen in nature and even more improbable that it would happen repeatedly or rountinely, as Mr. Dochniak asserts.

In my reading of this excerpt, I found that Mr. Dochniak made a number of errors:

[1] He assumes that since mRNA can be found in fresh latex, that it is found in processed rubber (it isn’t).

[2] He speculates - wildly - that bits of H. brasiliensis DNA (or RNA) will somehow develop into a virus, although this phenomenon has never before been observed.

[3] He confuses a DNA vector genetically engineered to carry a gene into mammalian cells with currently used vaccines (none of which use this technique).

[4] He speculates that H. brasiliensis DNA leached from rubber stoppers in vaccine vials will somehow “evolve” into a virus or plasmid that carries the latex protein genes into the recipient and inserts it into their genome, absent any data showing that this can happen at all, let alone thousands of times. Alternately, he may be speculating that the vaccine-strain viruses (in live-virus vaccines) are capable of acting as expression vectors, something that has also never been demonstrated.

 

The search begins:

 Intrigued by Mr. Dochniak’s enthusiasm for his hypothesis in the face of very significant flaws, I had - in May - asked the library to find a copy of his latest book. Unfortunately, not even the Library of Congress had a copy, but they were able - by July - to find a copy of his first book, which Mr. Dochniak has described thusly:

 “The first book entitled ‘Allergies and Autism’ was published through Nova Science Publishers and the target audience is Scholars.”

I have to admit that I lacked the patience to get very far into this “Scholarly” tome, as it was riddled with obvious factual errors and unsupported assertions. Apparently, I am not a “Scholar” (capitalised), but merely a scholar (lower case).  I managed to read between  fifty and seventy pages before my two-week inter-library loan period was up.  This made me even less interested in reading his most recent book.

As Summer faded into Fall, Mr. Dochniak continued a fact-free defense of his “latex-in-vaccines-causes-autism” hypothesis, puntuated by exhortations to “Read my book!” and snippets of abominable verse. He seemed (and seems) incapable of understanding that the well-accepted existence of latex allergy does not support his “latex-causes-autism” hypothesis. Nor could he seem to grasp that while world-wide latex production (and, presumably, consumption) is increasing, the use of latex in medicine (in syringes, medication stoppers, gloves, appliances, etc.) has been dropping since the mid 1990’s. His argument appears to mirror the “too many, too soon” slogan of other anti-vaccination organisers in that he attributes the rise in “latex-related regressive autism” to the increasing number of vaccines, the difference being that (presumably) he feels eliminating latex from vaccine vial stoppers would solve the problem.

Finally, in November Orac felt that over one thousand comments on a six-month-old post was enough and he closed comments. He then opened a new thread under new post ( “Welcome back, my friends, to the thread that never ends…” ) and the argument has continued to the present day.

Initially, I wasn’t interested in reading Mr. Dochniak’s book because I felt it would be a waste of my time. Then, after he pointedly refused to defend his claims, I looked for the book through the library, not wanting to boost his sales by even a single book - that’s when I got and read (part of) his earlier “Scholarly” work. Realising that Mr. Dochniak’s writing isn’t even amusingly nonsensical, I continued to refuse to read his book because I had evidence that it would be a massive waste of time.

More recently, however, my curiosity began to get the better of me. Could it be possible that his new book was worse than the first? It was rather like the early researchers looking for absolute zero - I started wondering if there was a level of bad pseudo-science below the one I’d already experienced.

 

I give in to temptation:

Eventually, curiosity got the better of me and I ordered the book. After I warned Mr. Dochniak to expect a review of his latest book, he made some rather feeble attempts to “frame” the issue in a favorable way. The first was:

“Hevea brasiliensis natural-rubber (i.e., natural latex) is a monumental medical-disaster. Soon, we’ll read in the blog ‘Photon in the Darkness’ if Prometheus has the courage to confront it.”

This appears to be an effort - a futile effort - to set the stage for claiming that I “lack the courage” to acknowledge the brilliance of his iconoclastic arguments in the all-too-likely event that I find his latest opus wanting in scientific rigor. When I “called” him on that, he tried a delaying action:

“I recall that you’ve disclosed reading part of the Nova Science book ‘Allergies and Autism’. In the book, the authors discuss how the timing, frequency, intensity, and types of exposure to H. brasiliensis natural latex affects the incidence of allergy-induced regressive autism. Comorbid factors including viral insult and bacterial insult (including vaccinations) may affect adaptive-immunity responsiveness to hevea-allergen exposure. Prometheus, I recommend you re-visit this book before diving into the book ‘Vaccine Delivery and Autism - The latex connection’.”

So, after six months of telling us that all the support for his hypothesis was in his latest book, Mr. Dochniak is now trying to say that if I don’t read his first book, I won’t understand the arguments he makes in his second book. Amazing! Well, I’ll just have to take that chance, since there is no point to using one error-riddled poorly written text to interpret another.  If I have any questions, I’ll pose them on this ‘blog and see if Mr. Dochniak will answer them.

So, I have “The Book” and I’ve managed to read it cover to cover. I can say with confidence that I’ve probably put more time into researching the material (including the citations) than Mr. Dochniak and Ms. Dunn did when they wrote it, but that is getting ahead of the story.

 

To begin at the beginning:

When I received the book, it had the date it was printed stamped on the last page - and it was the date I had placed my order with an on-line bookstore. Obviously, there are no extra copies collecting dust on warehouse shelves. The cover shows a gloved hand (latex gloves, presumably) holding a 6 mL syringe with what appears to be a 1.5 inch 22 ga. hypodermic needle. The syringe appears to be filled with air. Considering that this book is supposed to be about vaccines (it’s in the title), the use of such a monster syringe seems to be for the gratuitous “scare” value. Since vaccines are typically given in volumes of 0.5 mL, a 1 mL tuberculin syringe is typically used, or a 1 mL pre-filled syringe-needle unit, not a whacking great 6 mL syringe and oversized 22 ga needle. But it makes for a more impressive and “eye-catching” cover.

Unless you realise what the authors are trying to do.

Normally, when I review a book or an article (or even a student assignment), I don’t comment on the typography or format, as those are generally trivial and irrelevant issues. However, in this book, these factors lead to significant problems in readability.

Only the “large-print” format was available when I ordered this book - and since the book was a print-to-order text, it’s likely that the “large-print” version is the only version available. The page size is relatively small (9 in by 6 in) and the font is about 12 points and appears to be Century Gothic. This is a problem because Century Gothic is a relatively wide font and with a large font size on a small page (and with full justification), it gets to be a challenge to read. I understand that Century Gothic is a popular font because it takes significantly less ink to print than, for example, Arial or Times Roman, which will marginally increase the authors’ profit. However, the combination of font type, font size, page size and justification made some parts of the book needlessly hard to read.

A second curiousity, although less of a hindrance to readability, is that every chapter is headed by a piece of verse, ranging in style from Greenwich Village beat-era coffee house to soft rap, printed in two fonts. I suspect that the two fonts represent the contributions of the two authors, but there is no way to know. At any rate, the verses tangentially refers to the subject of the book - how latex in vaccines causes autism - and are unvaryingly atrocious. Here is a representative example - not the “best” but not the worst:

“Natural latex pacifier oh-so-green, but are you really all that clean?
Soothing pacifier - lips to place, but are you really all that safe?
Suck, bite and chew
Latex allergies may impair
[new font begins]
Harmful proteins alway there
Natural latex pacifier oh-so green
You’re not healthy
You’re not clean”

Also at the head of several chapters and scattered throughout the book are Chinese ideograms (with translations that I took at face value) that are somehow relevant to the subject material. The image quality of some of the ideograms is poor, as though they were enlarged from much smaller images. Apart from implying some connection with “the wisdom of the Orient”, I see no function for the ideograms.

At or near the end of each chapter is a pithy aphorism - most of them from Mr. Dochniak, cited as though by a third person. Some examples include:

“Hevea-allergens catalyze the sale of allergy medication. - Michael J. Dochniak” [Ch. 3]
“The Hevea-allergens are terroristic proteins. - Michael J. Dochniak” [Ch. 4]
“Children are not immune from the vaccine learning curve. -Michael J. Dochniak” [Ch. 13]

There is also the inevitable quotation from Arthur Schopenhauer [Ch. 8]:

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

Apparently, Mr. Dochniak didn’t know about the three stages of pseudoscience:

“All pseudoscience passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, its promoters claim to be the victims of inflexible dogma and/or a conspiracy to “suppress ‘The Truth’. Third, it is printed in self-published books.” Prometheus (2011)

Well, here I am at the end of my allotted time and I’ve only just started on the book itself. I guess you’ll all have to wait patiently for Part 2.

‘Til then,

 

Prometheus

Filed under: Autism Science, Critical Thinking, Help for the bewildered, Recent publications

37 Responses to ““Latex causes autism”: a “Brave (but dead) Maverick Hypothesis“? [Part 1]”

  1. Narad Says:

    Apparently not actually Schopenhauer, BTW, if you recall the time Jeff Shallit popped in at RI.

  2. Laurentius Rex Says:

    But does he not know, that latex, if applied properly as a prophylactic prevents autism, and everything else too :)

  3. Prometheus Says:

    Narad,

    That right - I’d forgotten about that. Most sources attribute that quote to Schopenhauer, which is why he gets the credit.

    Prometheus

  4. Andrew Says:

    “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

    Schopenhauer left out the fourth stage - “Then quacks and cranks profit from arguing that ridicule was the right answer after all.” Vaccines, evolution, and germ theory all have passed through to the fourth stage.

  5. Science Mom Says:

    Well now you’ve done it Prometheus; it takes three times to invoke Beetlejuice, only once for Dochniak. I owe you a debt of gratitude for throwing yourself on this grenade. Between your undying curiosity and Dochniak’s questionable stability, I no longer feel compelled to write about him myself. You’ve more than covered anything I could have said.

    I would like to add that Dochniak’s offer of providing a book free of charge to any of us that requests it, came with a dubious caveat; he wants his “opponent’s” address in exchange. He refused to provide a .pdf of his book. I’m looking forward to the next instalment(s).

    At least he can’t demand that you, “read/buy his book” because, well you did.

  6. Prometheus Says:

    Science Mom,

    I thought announcing the post on Orac’s ‘blog (a shameless promotion, I know) would have flushed Mr. Dochniak out of the weeds, but he hasn’t shown up yet.

    I’ve even relaxed the moderation parameters, so that people can have a more conversation-like discussion in the comments - but to no avail.

    On a slightly different topic, a Google search on the terms “autism” and “latex” now shows Respectful Insolence at #3 and my own little ‘blog at #6.

    I fear that my purchase may have skewed the numbers over at Amazon.com - before I placed my order, the book was running at between 5 millionth and 6 millionth in books; now it’s at 1.4 millionth.

    To put that in perspective, the current position for Dochniak’s book is just a bit lower than a specialty textbook I wrote a chapter for (back in 1996) that is selling (new) for over $300. Clearly, he’s not doing this for the money.

    Prometheus

  7. Mrs. Woo Says:

    I can’t wait for further examination of his work. The worst part is this strange curiosity that wonders if there was anything in his book that was not shared in the comment threads. There wasn’t any real information or justification for his theory in those comment threads, but I suspected within days of joining in that his book was probably mostly empty.

    Does he believe that quoting himself in his own book gives him more authority and therefore releases him from the duty to scientifically prove his claims?

    So glad you are doing this. I didn’t want him to have my address and certainly didn’t want to waste my money on it. Now at least my curiosity can be satisfied and I won’t be tempted.

  8. Daniel J. Andrews Says:

    Well, here I am at the end of my allotted time and I’ve only just started on the book itself. I guess you’ll all have to wait patiently for Part 2

    Tease. Curiosity has been tickling me too. I wanted to compare it to a self-published book Fit for Life (not the Diamond one…this one is so obscure it doesn’t even show up in a Google search). It was unintentionally hilarious, e.g. when I use the bathroom it doesn’t smell, just ask anyone who goes in after me. Spelling, grammar were something you see in a typical wing-nut rant (yes, ALL CAPITALS for random words too). It was truly a book by which to measure all other books, and has been my “absolute zero” for many years now.

  9. Todd W. Says:

    Well written, Prometheus. You have far more fortitude than I in dealing with him. Your comments over on Orac’s post were very well-written and thought out, and showed such patience that would make a buddha seem rash by comparison.

    Looking forward to part 2.

  10. Nathan Says:

    I’m waiting for the continued saga with great anticipation. Orac described the post as “amusing,” I find that to be an understatement. Nicely done.

  11. MI Dawn Says:

    Great start, and thanks for being the lab rat as far as reading MJD’s opus. One little quibble (since I don’t see lilady in the comments yet): a 22 g needle is actually a pretty fine needle, medically. As the numbers go up, the needles get thinner. Not seeing the picture, I wonder if they used a bigger size needle just for the terror factor?

  12. Karl Withakay Says:

    I hate cliffhangers!

    Now I have to wait for part 2.
    Any ETA on the squeal?

  13. Prometheus Says:

    Karl,

    I hope to have it finished by Monday (5 Dec). Unfortunately, there is so much material, I may have to go to three parts. It’s a “target-rich” environment.

    MI Dawn,

    I’m pretty familiar with needles - I’m basing my assessment on the hub colour (blue-green) and the overall “aspect ratio”. It appears to be a 22 ga (could be a 20 ga from an “off-brand” manuf.), while vaccines are usually given with a 25 ga (and usually shorter) needle.

    Prometheus

  14. lilady Says:

    A whopping 6 ml. syringe!! They are never used to give injections to humans…veterinary shots for horses…maybe.

    Perhaps MJD somehow got his hands on an industrial syringe to inject chemicals during a latex adhesive manufacturing process…that was his former work experience, wasn’t it?

    The largest amount of vaccine injected at one time would be the 1 ml. adult dose of hepatitis A vaccine. Most children and adult doses for vaccines are 0.5ml or less.

    We didn’t use pre-filled syringes at the health department. We drew up our vaccines from single dose vials. When we had large immunization clinics for a hepatitis A food-borne outbreak, we got thousands of vials of human IGG in 2 ml. vials from our State Health Department or begged and borrowed from a nearby County health department. It was “so tempting” to use a larger bore needle to draw up the thick viscous IGG out of the vial, but we stayed with a 22 gauge 5/8″ needle to draw it up and inject the patient subcutaneously. Other, non-viscous vaccines which were given S.C. were administered with a 5/8″ 23-25 gauge needle attached to a 1 ml. syringe. Most times we used 1 cc. syringes with attached 1″ 22-25 gauge needle for IM injections…but if we ran out or if the patient was quite obese, the 1.5″ syringes were used.

    The only 6 ml. (and larger) syringes that are available are medication syringes that do not have a screw-on needle. Larger syringes are available for gravity gavage tube feedings.

    I give you a lot of credit Promethius, for your willingness to read this dreck and for your “book review”.

  15. Mu Says:

    This is the internet equivalent of like setting up a .50 cal machine gun opposite the rabbit hole and putting down a carrot.
    MJD, come out to play

  16. Denice Walter Says:

    Prometheus:

    I noted on the original thread that since the mid’90s the use of latex has *declined* while the diagnoses of autism has risen: could the latex possibly have had a protective effect?(meant tongue-in-cheek, of course) For some reason Michael didn’t respond.

  17. evilDoug Says:

    http://journals.lww.com/anesthesiology/Fulltext/2011/11000/Risk_of_Latex_Allergy_from_Pharmaceutical_Vial.46.aspx
    is worth a look.

    I think you would be hard pressed to find any disposable syringe currently in production that contains latex, except perhaps for brand X stuff.

    Is there any evidence that autistic persons have higher incidence of allery to latex than the general poplulation? If such evidence is lacking, you might as well claim that Sponge Bob pyjamas cause autism.

    BD (and apparently ISO standard) hub colors are green for 21g, black for 22g and blue-green for 23g. But it hardly matters. Any of those gauges is “too big”, 1.5″ too long and 6ml too big for vaccine. Back when I was getting vaccines, the standard was a glass and metal control syringe with reusable needles - one syringe fill would do several kids, and the same syringe would be refilled again and again. Only the needle was changed for each kid.

  18. evilDoug Says:

    5 or 6ml syringes with detachable 21g needles are readily available as are 10ml with detachable 18 to 22g needles.

    Syringes 20ml, 30ml and 60ml are common - most with luer lock tips & sold without needle. See BD and Covidien medical catalogs - these are for human use.

    You want something scary looking, put a 14g 3 inch needle on a 30ml syringe.

  19. Darwy Says:

    You’re a brave, brave man Prometheus.

    I look forward to the roast on Monday - I’ll bring s’mores and whatnot for the fire!

  20. Michael J. Dochniak Says:

    A quote for my dear co-author Denise H. Dunn:

    The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift. - Albert Einstein

    MjD

  21. Prometheus Says:

    MjD:

    “Science is what we have learned about how to keep from fooling ourselves.” - Richard Feynman

    “An aphorism, even one from a genius, is trumped by the smallest bit of data.” - Prometheus

    Food for thought?

    Prometheus

  22. Mark L Says:

    MjD

    Seriously?

    That is your defense? An attempt to ridicule those who question your magnum opus by using the words and reputation of a real scientist, rather than to supply ANY evidence to support your madcap theory?

    You really are a money-grubbing, cowardly little weasel aren’t you?

    Explain how your hypothesis has ANY relevance to reality. Print the research. Publish the evidence.
    Show us the science, you intellectually stunted con-artist.

    Or is this another example from the world of woo of another of Einstein’s oft-quoted aphorisms?

    “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”

  23. Michael J. Dochniak Says:

    After many decades of use in vaccine packaging, the FDA now mandates latex-warnings on vaccines.

    Why would a medical professional give any child multiple vaccinations that have latex warnings?

    It’s obvious that children are part of the vaccine learning-curve.

    Latex warnings on vaccines = Bad Karma.

    MjD

  24. Constant Mews Says:

    Dochniak, until you actually start posting intelligent comments, something that actually has meaning, people are going to continue to regard you as an ignorant fool. The FDA put labeling on the (now diminishing) number of vaccine packages that contained latex because there are some people who are allergic.

    But natural latex does not cause autism. You have never presented a single scrap of evidence to support such a connection.

    And your inability to actually put three sentences together and discuss your claims like a rational person leaves your sanity in serious doubt.

    So. Are you going to start discussing things like an adult? Or continue to behave like a spoiled three-year old?

    Are you going to continue to lie, evade, and behave like the con-man and fraud you are?

    Your choice.

  25. Prometheus Says:

    Mr. Dochniak,

    We’ve been over all of this before.

    The FDA warnings are because of the real (but very small) risk of allergic reaction to latex leached from the vial stopper - not an covert admission from the FDA that your hypothesis has merit.

    There are no data that support your hypothesis that latex in vaccines causes autism - the “data” you have provided are equally consistent with the “null hypothesis”. I hope you remember the lessons you received on the null hypothesis, but if you’ve forgotten, there is an explanation above.

    “Vaccine learning-curve” is a nonsense phrase. Your book has a lot of these, hidden among the “copypasta” from abstracts and websites.

    “Bad Karma” is childish superstition. If you believe in “karma”, what are you doing to yours by refusing to face reality?

    You’re going to have to step up your game, Mr. Dochniak.

    Prometheus

  26. Science Mom Says:

    Are you going to continue to lie, evade, and behave like the con-man and fraud you are?

    Your choice.

    I think he demonstrated how he is going to proceed a very long time ago. Besides, his bush league skills don’t stand much of a chance against our host’s scholarship and articulation.

  27. Michael J. Dochniak Says:

    [Note: I've put Mr. Dochniak's comments in moderation to prevent another "Gish Gallop" of unsupported assertions.]

    Prometheus,

    When you write “Latex causes autism” your [sic] dumbing the subject matter. There’s clarity and understanding in the specifics,it’s about the antigenic proteins in H. brasiliensis natural rubber (natural-latex) affecting an increased incidence and prevalence of IgE-primed mast cell, and IgE-primed basophil, cross-reactivity to structurally homologous endogenous/exogenous proteins (i.e., atopy).

    Ed.: That’s rich! The fellow who PUBLISHED that IgG and IgM were part of the innate immune system accusing me of “dumbing the subject matter”. Besides, no matter the mechanism - simple or complex - the bottom line is that Mr Dochniak claims latex proteins cause “allergy-induced regressive autism”. Sorry, Mr. Dochniak, you don’t get to play the “you don’t understand the complexity of immune responses” card.

    To my knowledge, natural-latex is the only vaccine contaminant that is known to have at least 13 identified antigens (Hev-b 1-13). It is suspected that there are about 40-60 antigenic proteins therein (WHO).

    Ed.: And that is relevant because…..? The number of antigens isn’t relevant to the degree or type of immune response. If you doubt that. look up Der p 1 and Der f 1 - dust mite enzymes/allergens.

    Thus, an allergic response to natural-latex is not as trivial as you suggest.

    Ed.: Another irony meter gone…

    Allergy-induced regressive autism…

    Ed.: The correct ending to the above incomplete sentence is “…has not been shown to exist.”

    MjD

  28. Narad Says:

    “Bad Karma” is childish superstition.

    It’s also redundant. There is no good karma. Tat tvam asi. If MJD were to seriously pursue this angle, the spectacularly obvious conclusion would be the one that has been widely arrived at by others using more conventional reasoning: The entire “problem” is one of his own creation.

  29. Michael J. Dochniak Says:

    [Ed.: I was tempted to delete this comment because I thought it was from someone impersonating Mr. Dochniak. However, the IP address matched Mr. Dochniak's previous comments, so it must be from him.]

    Narad,

    KARMA (Acronym):

    Known Allergen Response and Memory b-cell Activation.

    Thus, latex warnings on vaccines is bad KARMA.

    MjD

  30. Constant Mews Says:

    So I see that Dochniak is STILL unable to formulate a coherent argument in any fashion. He lies about the connection between latex and autism basically BECAUSE HE DOESN’T UNDERSTAND THE SCIENCE.

    Did I make that clear enough? Dochniak doesn’t understand enough about biology to even formulate a testable hypothetical link between latex and autism.

    Some people are allergic to latex and….

    Nothing. He has nothing to contribute.

  31. lilady Says:

    When is MJD going to reply to my questions about his son’s history of immunizations that were given before the child’s 2nd birthday party?

    He describes an asthmatic attack that his son experienced at his own birthday party, then draws the illogical conclusion that the latex balloon the child was playing with, caused an anaphylaxis attack.

    The child was obviously treated for an asthma attack and released from the E.R. with a nebulizer…not an Epipen.

    So, time to put up or shut up MJD. Just how many vaccines drawn from vials with latex ports and administered by syringes with latex rubber plungers, did your child have prior to his 2nd birthday? I estimate your son had 3 or 4 separate DPT shots and one MMR shot via syringes with latex plungers…with the vaccines drawn up from vials with latex ports.

    While he was being treated for this “severe anaphylaxis” episode in the E.R., why didn’t he have a reaction to the shot of adrenaline administered by a nurse in his shoulder? The adrenaline was in a syringe with a latex plunger and drawn from a vial with a later port.

    I don’t expect any answers to these questions that I have posed to MJD innumerable times on the never ending R.I. blogs.

  32. Prometheus Says:

    lilady,

    Mr. Dochniak is not required to answer questions about his child’s medical history. My policy - on this ‘blog - is that people are allowed to share as much or as little of their personal lives as they wish.

    That said, it is poor form to offer up personal or family medical “narratives” as a substitute for data unless one is prepared to answer questions.

    I discount anecdotes - even medical anecdotes - because, even in the absence of intent to deceive, people often remember events that didn’t happen and forget (or disregard) events that did happen. Unless there is a contemporary record from an independent third party, there is no way to know if the “narrative” is accurate or complete.

    I’ve had family members tell me about medical emergencies in which they recalled things that did not (and, in some cases, could not) happen. The stress of the time, etc. doesn’t lend itself to accurate recall.

    Prometheus

  33. lilady Says:

    I would never ask personal questions of an author…unless the author himself provided great detail in his promotion blurb for his book, about his child’s episode in the E.R. He also offered up this episode as the impetus for his intensive research and for developing his theory of latex- allergy-induced-regressive autism.

    I suspect that MJD is ignoring these questions, not because they are too personal, but because they raise valid questions about the child’s prior exposures to latex through childhood immunizations and with the injection of adrenaline in the E.R.

  34. MI Dawn Says:

    @Prometheus: thanks for explaining how you came to the needle size conclusion. As I said, not seeing the picture, I didn’t know how you made that call, but going by the color on the hub is a pretty good indicator. I know vaccines are usually given with smaller (25-27 g) needles and certainly you don’t use a 6 cc syringe! I didn’t mean to seem to question your knowledge, just how you came to your conclusion.

    Ah joy, MJD has shown up. Still no proof, just babbling about KNOWN latex allergies. I’d be happy for him to give ONE piece of evidence for his “latex causes autism” theory. He hasn’t given ONE logical premise for his conclusion yet.

    MJD: please note: NONE of us are questioning the exiatance of latex allergies. We all know they exist, and that some people are so sensitive that it is POSSIBLE for them to react to the minimal amount of latex left on a syringe from a multi-dose vial. Therefore the FDA has put latex ALLERGY warnings on such vials. And please note that almost all vaccines that are in multi-dose vials (perhaps all…lilady, can you please double check my research?) are available in single dose vials that have no stopper, or pre-filled single-dose syringes with no latex. Therefore, it is not difficult for someone with a latex allergy - adult OR child - to avoid latex exposure in that way.

    Now, please give some evidence that exposure to latex causes autism, since that is what you claim. Thanks!

  35. lilady Says:

    Latex warnings are posted in the manufacturer’s insert. The Pink Book 2011 edition, “Appendix B-Latex in vaccine packaging”, lists all the vaccines that have latex warnings.

    The CDC Pink Book, Errata, Updates and Clarifications (June 21, 2011) website, has some additional information about latex packaging.

    Latex warnings on vaccines are placed there so that a physician can make a determination about the administration of certain vaccines for people who are allergic to latex…which seems to be the premise for MJD’s theory of latex-induced regressive autism.

    The medical and nursing professions are well-aware of the contraindications against certain immunizations for latex allergies. We are also aware of latex allergies that are associated with tubing for brain shunts, urinary catheters and latex gloves. I haven’t seen any studies that have documented latex-induced regressive autism.

  36. Matthew Cline Says:

    I don’t think that MjD is lying or being deceitful, but rather that he fully believes that if you analyze the data intuitively that it’s obvious that allergic reactions can cause autism, and that latex allergens are especially effective at doing so. It would explain a great deal about the manner in which he responds to questions and contradictory data.

  37. Padma Says:

    Wow!! He got you to buy the book!
    @Prometheus: You gotta admit- He is one hell of a salesperson.
    And, i thought being too pushy was a strict no-no in marketing.
    Is it the brilliance of self-gratification???
    Hmm…