Quickies

Quickies: Transgender Choruses, the Fallibility of DNA Testing, and How Technology is Helping People with Disabilities

  • The False Promise of DNA Testing – The science of DNA testing is only as reliable as the humans who operating the sample collection and testing equipment, as more people are finding out.
  • For People With Disabilities New Technology Can Be Life Changing – “One of the products generated at a tomglobal.org hackathon was on display at the I/O conference. It’s a special sensor device for people in wheelchairs who face the problem of ‘pressure sores.’ It was developed by Paul Herzlich and some of his colleagues. Herzlich works in the legal department at Google and he uses a wheelchair.”
  • Don’t call electroconvulsive therapy ‘shock therapy’ – “Contrary to its presentation in the media, ECT isn’t medically or clinically controversial. Experts recognize its importance as a life-saving measure for individuals with severe psychiatric illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and catatonia. Thousands of studies conducted over the past 50 years have demonstrated ECT’s safety and effectiveness.”
  • Transgender Choruses Harness The (Changing) Power Of Voices – “Just like in other cities, people brought years of musical experience. Many of them had given up on the idea they’d ever perform again, either because they lacked confidence in their new voices or they felt unwelcome in traditional church choirs or other community choruses. Deaton reached out to arrangers from gay choruses to help put songs in the right keys and registers.”
  • Ethics and the Eye of the Beholder – “The allegations against Pogge are an increasingly open secret in the international philosophy community, an overwhelmingly male field in which, many women say, pervasive sexual harassment is an impediment to success. But for the first time, confidential documents obtained by BuzzFeed News reveal the extent of the claims against Pogge.”
  • What I learned from being the only woman at a startup – “I never faced the overt sexism or harassment that many women at male-dominated startups suffer through. My experience was far more subtle and, in some ways, complicated.”
  • Three Stereotypes Black Women are Still Fighting – “The beauty of MTV’s Decoded Series is how well-done they all are. Although the topics themselves may not seem that complex to some (listing the stereotypes that plague Black women is certainly not new) the videos are an excellent resource across audiences. They simultaneously serve as both a primer and a more detailed summary of historical context. In short, they’re useful and entertaining, and avoid being reductive despite MTV’s mainstream audience.”

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Mary

Mary

Mary Brock is a scientist who works on drugs you've hopefully never heard of. She enjoys cooking to Blue Grass music, messing with her cats, and hosting the Boston Skeptics' Book Club. She was born in the South but loves living in New England (despite the lack of chocolate chip pizza). Mary does not use Twitter and don't even try to follow her, because she is always looking over her shoulder.

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