US vs. UK: I’m beginning to think the revolution wasn’t such a great idea

Two households, both alike in dignity,
On fair Earth, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.

(From that great classic play, Romeo and Juliet and an Unnamed Egg Donor)

Let’s compare the scientific relevance of the British House of Lords and the Republican party of the United States.

There are currently concerns about nuclear transfer procedures in human fertility treatments — you may have heard some of the noise in the news about babies with three parents. Cases of mitochondrial disease are passed on from mothers to all of their children, but one way around it is to use donor mitochondria, so woman #1 provides the cytoplasm for a healthy egg, woman #2 provides the nuclear DNA, and a man provides the sperm that fertilizes the genetic material provided by woman #2. That’s three parents, one child.

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History ruins all the fun

I was prepared for an amusing story — let’s all laugh at the dumb rednecks! — in this tale of Americans getting outraged because someone in Puerto Rico won the powerball lottery (apparently, that money is supposed to go to real Americans.) I knew that Puerto Rico was a US territory and that the residents were US citizens, so I am clearly superior to those goofs, but then the author answered with a history lesson about Puerto Rico. I did not know most of this stuff.

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How to become a non-person

The behavior of the University of Minnesota keeps sinking to new lows. In the case of Dan Markingson, they recruited a mentally ill young man into an experimental pharmaceutical treatment, his condition worsened, and he committed suicide. He was a person who needed help, not to be roped into the position of a guinea pig, but you know there is big money behind clinical trials sponsored by pharmaceutical companies (but not enough, apparently, to cover adequate monitoring and care for test subjects).

My university has made a statement about another test patient.

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What’s right with Minneapolis?

The Atlantic takes a look at Minneapolis, which is an outlier in several ways: it’s doing relatively well economically (it’s no Detroit), but at the same time, it’s managed to avoid extreme disparities — there’s affordable housing without the overpriced real estate at the top (it’s no San Francisco, in a good way). How do they do it?

Among other factors, it’s all about…wealth redistribution.

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