Yet another claim about vaccines and autism has been making the rounds. It claims that autism may be the result of human fetus tissue, which is present in vaccines and is incorporated into the DNA of the individual vaccinated.
The implications beyond autism are disturbing to many, especially those who oppose abortion. In any case, it seems very offputting to think about being injected with the cells of a dead fetus.
Via CBS News:
Vaccines and autism: a new scientific review
Most people will find it hard to believe that human DNA is contained in up to 23 different vaccines due to the fact a lot of the viruses are grown on aborted fetal tissue. As a result of the viruses being grown on aborted fetal tissue it is nearly impossible to separate residue from the fetuses completely from the vaccines. This adds a whole new element to the vaccination debate for those who are pro life. I don’t think many people would knowingly inject aborted fetal tissue into their children. Would you?
In a recent study by the Journal of Immunotoxicology entitled Theoretical aspects of autism: Causes–A review, the report even goes so far as to say that this can be linked to the spike in rates of autism. The basic reason the Journal points out the immune system is tricked into associating harmful viruses with human DNA. Then the immune system starts attacking human tissue in your own body. The scientist Helen Ratajczak who did the study and wrote the report says,
“Because it’s human DNA and recipients are humans, there’s homologous recombinaltion tiniker. That DNA is incorporated into the host DNA. Now it’s changed, altered self and body kills it. Where is this most expressed? The neurons of the brain. Now you have body killing the brain cells and it’s an ongoing inflammation. It doesn’t stop, it continues through the life of that individual.”
This is absolutely not a scientific review. This is just banter from a known anti-vaccine activist who likes to get media attention. Such unscientific claims are not uncommon and often are inflammatory or gut-wrenching.
There is absolutely no human tissue present in vaccines. However, even if there was, it would not cause the recipient to somehow absorb the genetic material.
Rather, the body would quickly mount an immune response to the foreign cells, which can be dramatic and, in extreme cases, even result in death. This is why powerful immune-suppresant drugs are require for organ donation.
Of course, we are exposed to the DNA of other individuals all the time. Kissing someone is likely to transfer skin cells from inside the mouth and result in ingesting some of the cells, along with their DNA. Sex involves the exchange of body fluids that are teaming with human DNA. DNA is also present in blood transfusions. Studies have found that the DNA of a blood donor can be detected in a recipient up to a week after the transfusion. However, the DNA never incorporates into the other cells of the body.
There’s also plenty of DNA and genetic material in the animal and plant material we constantly eat. Despite what many anti-gmo activists say, this DNA doesn’t affect the body of anyone who eats it. It’s mostly broken down in the digestive tract anyway, but regardless, it is not absorbed directly into living cells.
If any of this were true, it would have vast implications. It would also mean that handling blood or bodily fluids would carry additional hazards, beyond viruses or bacterial pathogens. The blood could actually modify your own genetic code. Criminals who are afraid they may have left DNA at a crime scene could just expose themselves to human tissue samples, altering their DNA and assuring that any DNA tests come up negative.
On the bright side, It would make it easy to alter the DNA of any individual, offering new treatments for genetic disease. Those who receive donated organs could have their DNA changed to that of the donor and thus avoid rejection. But, of course, none of this is real and human tissue can’t do that.
Where this seems to have come from:
Many viruses require human cells to grow in. When these viruses are needed to produce vaccines, it is common to use human sell cultures. These are simply cells that are alive in the laboratory but not part of any person. Human cells are obtained from certified cell banks.
These cultures come from a number of “lines,” meaning they are clones of a given group of cells. Many of these cell lines date back to the 1960′s and have been used to produce vaccines up to the present day. Of course, the original cells need to come from somewhere. These cells could be sourced from any number of specimens. It would be possible, for example, to draw cells from a biopsy of a healthy person and create a culture from them.
All adult cells have what is known as the Hayflick limit. It’s limit to the number of times a cell can reproduce. If adult cells were used for tissue cultures, they would have to be reharvested and new tissue cultures made on a frequent basis. Fetal cells can survive for many more generations, making them ideal for producing tissue cultures.
Some of these cell lines originated with electively aborted fetuses. Others did not. However, in no case are actual fetal cells, from the original fetus used in the production of vaccines. These are many generations away from the original cultured cells.
In fact, even the Vatican, which is strongly opposed to abortion has issued a statement saying that these vaccines are perfectly fine to use.
One should also remember that there are no human cells in the final product. The viruses are extracted from the cell culture and processed, leaving very little residual matter from the tissue culture in the final vaccine.