Study: No added risk in booster

  • Updated: April 14, 2012 - 4:33 PM

 

A large new study has ruled out concerns that children 4 and older are at greater risk of seizures after getting a common measles-containing vaccine called MMRV. The vaccine -- which combines the shot for measles, mumps and rubella, or MMR, with the vaccine for varicella, or chickenpox -- is given to children in two steps, first as toddlers and then between 4 and 6.

Several years ago, scientists found that 1-year-olds who were given the MMRV vaccine had double the risk of a febrile seizure, a brief convulsion touched off by a fever, compared with those who were given the MMR and chickenpox shots separately but on the same day.

But the new study, financed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and published in the journal Pediatrics, found that that was not the case. Looking at more than 150,000 children who were vaccinated from 2000 to 2008, the researchers found that there was no increased risk of febrile seizures in older children who were given either the combined MMRV shot or the MMR and chickenpox vaccines separately.

PENGUIN COUNT NEARLY DOUBLES

Scientists almost doubled estimated emperor penguin numbers by using satellite imagery powerful enough to distinguish the birds from shadows on the ice and their poop stains, findings that may help track climate change.

It was the first comprehensive survey of a species from space, said Peter Fretwell, lead author of a paper published in the PLoS One journal. Researchers led by the British Antarctic Survey found about 238,000 breeding pairs in the southern continent, the report said. That compares with a two-decade old estimate of 135,000 to 175,000 pairs.

"Current research suggests that emperor penguin colonies will be seriously affected by climate change," said Phil Trathan, a co-author of the paper. "An accurate continent-wide census that can be easily repeated on a regular basis will help us monitor more accurately the impacts of future change on this iconic species."

SEEM TALLER WITH A GUN?

The weapon may not make the man, but it makes him loom larger, said a study by a team of researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles. The study, released in the journal PLoS ONE and part of a larger project to understand decision-making in potentially violent situations, shows that a person holding a gun seems taller and more muscular in the viewer's mind than a person holding a tool or other object.

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