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Gene Findings in Autism, Blindness at Children's Hospital Top National Lists of Medical Advances in 2009
Date:12/22/2009

covering the 100 top science stories of 2009 in its Jan./Feb 2010 issue, cited the autism study in its #1 article, "Vaccine Phobia Becomes a Public Health Threat." In the context of the belief, unsupported by research, that vaccines cause autism, it noted that "scientists have made notable progress in understanding autism," and referred to the study led by Dr. Hakonarson. The same article quoted nationally known vaccine expert and author, Paul Offit, M.D., chief of Infectious Diseases at Children's Hospital, noting that current research is evolving quickly in uncovering the true causes of autism.

The same issue of Discover also lauded the LCA gene therapy clinical trial as an example of the "remarkable turnaround" in the fortunes of gene therapy in an article titled, "The Age of Genetic Medicine Begins."

The weekly journal, Science, took a similar approach in its brief news article in its Dec. 18 issue, "Gene Therapy Returns." It pointed out that children in the LCA trial "gained enough vision to play sports and stop using learning aids at school." Science has an annual news feature, Breakthrough of the Year (this year the discovery of the fossil, Ardipithecus ramidus, a human ancestor) and the multiple successes of gene therapy were counted among the runners-up.

Finally, Time magazine cited the autism gene study among its top 10 medical breakthroughs, published on the magazine's website on Dec. 8. Under "New Research in Autism," Time noted that the study represented a possible genetic clue to the recent rise in ASD cases reported in the U.S.

About The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation's first pediatric hospital. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals and pioneering major research initiatives, Child
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SOURCE The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
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