Having a weblog is almost as cool as being a reporter or a Congressional staffer: express a casual opinion based on the slightest trace of knowledge, and lots of smart, well-informed people rush to educate you.
Medicinal chemist Derek Lowe has two thoughtful posts on the thimerosal-autism issue, making what sounds to an amateur like a pretty solid, but (as Lowe clearly says) not airtight case that there’s unlikely to be a link. Of course, with a disease of largely unknown etiology, it’s very hard to be sure based on mechanism alone whether something will or won’t trigger it.
I’m still betting on the epidemiology to tell us the story: either the rate of autism goes down sharply in the cohorts not exposed to thimerosal, or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, start looking for another cause of the surge in incidence. The classification problem should be manageable by counting only the really profound cases.
Earlier posts on this here and here and here.
[Subsequent post here.]