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Open Thread, 1/13/2014
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What’s going on? Been real busy personally.

• Tags: Miscellaneous, Open Thread 
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  1. Gene doping: Sport’s biggest battle?

    Uzbekistan Plunges Into Gene Pool To Spot Future Olympians

  2. I saw “Her” with J. Phoenix, Dir. by Spike Jonze – VERY thought provoking. i can recommend it for sure. it really gets your mind thinking during the movie: what does it mean to be human?

    here’s my hedgehog Stumpy eating dinner:

  3. “What’s going on” is a new anti-science hysteria is sweeping the country and the science communication community is dropping the ball as far as I can see. Would love to know of any popular science bloggers or educators tackling this issue especially those currently vocally upset about anti-GMO activism, man made global warming deniers, religion vs evolution….

    I am speaking of course about the Jahi McMath situation. I have recently become obsessed with the case and wouldn’t even know where to begin as far as links- try #jahimcmath on twitter for starters. Lots of links there to overviews and court documents. The only blogger I can find covering it consistently and intelligently is DocBastard, a trauma surgeon who I had not previously not even heard of.

    The poor girl has been deceased for over a month yet the family has somehow managed to collect her from the morgue and has transferred her to an unnamed facility (no attempts by the press to find out where) where she has been given a feeding tube and according to the family’s lawyer is “improving”, her classmates are praying for her (in a public school yet!)…all kinds of misconceptions are flying around about brain death vs brain damaged, the hospital is being vilified, rumors are circulating wildly that hospitals want to “kill” children in order to harvest their organs, I could go on and on. It is total lunacy. Not too different from the lunacy that put those childcare workers in jail for decades as you recently noted (in fact many are predicting this case will be precedent setting).

    But what I can’t get over, besides the shocking irresponsibility of the press, is the silence of the science blogging and tweeting community which is normally so concerned with science literacy. Is it fear of being called racist? Any ideas?

  4. Excellent summation of Jahi McMath saga here, with links to court documents:

  5. Finally got around to ordering my 23andme kits for myself, my SO, and our daughter.
    Razib, did you use the assisted sample collection kit for your daughter? How did it go? How old was she?

  6. WRT to genetic privacy and the state. The state of Minnesota has been ordered to destroy infant blood samples:

    The state of Minnesota has agreed to destroy more than 1 million infant blood samples and pay nearly $1 million in court costs under a legal settlement announced Monday that continues to wind down a long-running privacy lawsuit over a newborn blood-screening program. […]

    The Health Department had fought a losing battle for nearly a decade to retain its old genetic testing arrangement, by which it retained newborn blood spots for research unless parents specifically opted out of the program in writing. Two administrative law rulings sided against the department, and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty vetoed a bill that would have given the department clear legal authority to continue its practices.

  7. OMG Uzbekistan. /headdesk. Guarantee you all the kids who are found to be potential athletes are the ones who paid the biggest bribe to the doctor doing the test.

    (I taught high school there for a couple of years. ‘Gifted’ students were admitted to the university the same way. By bribes, I mean, not testing, of any kind.)

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