Daily Dose: Mandatory vaccinations are effective except when they aren’t

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An editorial in Nature tackles the needlessly complicated topic of vaccination policy. Much of the uncertainty among public health officials lies in how stringently they should insist on children being vaccinated. According to the piece, mandating vaccinations only works in so-called rich countries while low- to middle-income countries fare significantly less better. If anything, the less well-off become victims to penalties they cannot afford to pay. Obviously, this helps nobody. The solution, they say, lies somewhere in between. https://go.nature.com/2JUO13P

There’s scams-a-plenty in the science world. A recent article on one of our favorite websites, Retraction Watch, tells the story of a Russian company that makes it their business to ensure all of their clients have their names on published journal articles. Of course, there’s a fee involved, starting at a very reasonable $500. That’s chump change for scientists eager to pad their CVs. Apparently this company is very successful and proud of their work. No shame in their game. http://bit.ly/2JW6ehv

Trying to pin down the recent concept of “fake news” can be tricky. That’s why a recent European study’s alternative approach to analyzing questionable news and political discourse makes for interesting reading. According to the authors, “we offer a definition of “junk news” that refers to deliberately produced misleading, deceptive, and incorrect propaganda purporting to be real news.” They conclude that users across Europe shared questionable news and that citizens no longer received information from “traditional sources of political information including political parties and government agencies.” http://bit.ly/2JVop6W

Non-political causes of conflict between nations can often go under appreciated. Wars are often fought over limited resources or the need to expand sources of fuel or food. Hunger wars are not unheard of. Add to that the effects of climate change, and clearly a country’s national security hinges on much more than keeping migrants at bay. http://bit.ly/2K0SNN1

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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