“It immediately looked right.”
It’s been 60 years since the double helix structure of DNA, the key to life itself, was first revealed to the world. The BBC’s “Science in Action” walks the listener along the journey of this discovery with some of the scientific giants of the time. The delight is still there in those voices. So wonderful.
Also clears up some of the debate over the credit of Crick and Watson. Their approaches to modeling and sense of beauty moved the idea forward… through actual base pairing cut-outs!
(h/t Krista Tippett)
I fear the copious media coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court’s handling of same-sex marriage might drowned out a pivotal case the Court is hearing right now. At stake is who owns the stuff of which we are made.
“A patent isn’t a reward for effort. A patent is a reward for invention. And Myriad didn’t invent anything. The gene exists in the body. All Myriad did is find it.”
But, it may not be as simple as that. Research companies want to be compensated for their efforts. They want to ensure that their work is protected from other profiteers. But, to what extent? Can human genes themselves be patented, or the mechanisms behind them? What is the right of companies like Myriad Genetics to be rewarded for their efforts that contributes to better clinical care and our social good? What are the ethical and moral responsibilities of these companies to put patients first and not keep them from their own genetic information?
Big questions with huge decisions that will impact us and our children.
A Stolen Child of the “Disappeared” Reunites with Father
Colleen Scheck, senior producer, + Trent Gilliss, online editor
“At times I wondered what the hell I was living for. I had to find a way to continue, thinking about everyday things, hoping for this moment of happiness. Hugging him that first time, it was as if I filled a hole in my soul.” —Abel Madariaga
I discovered this remarkable story while I was looking for a way in to writing about our multimedia production pairing portraits of the children of Argentina’s Disappeared with the poetry of Alicia Partnoy, one of the disappeared who returned. After 32 years and the help of the Argentinian human rights group Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo (Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo), Francisco Madariaga Quintela learned his true identity and met his father, Abel Madariaga, for the first time in late February.
A DNA test revealed that his biological parents are Silvia Quintela — a surgeon who was kidnapped in 1997 while pregnant with Francisco — and her husband, Abel, who fled the country and lived in exile in Sweden until his return in 1983. He then became the secretary of the Abuelas association and the first male member of the very group Francisco approached just a couple months ago. Silvia is still missing and disappeared shortly after delivering Francisco while imprisoned in military torture torture camp.
Francisco Madariaga Quintela is warmly welcomed by members of the human rights association Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo during a press conference in Buenos Aires on February 23, 2010. (photo: Daniel Garcia/AFP/Getty Images)
The reports in English are limited but these heartbreaking images of Francisco, Abel, and members of the Abuelas help tell the story. I only wish I spoke Spanish so I could learn more about the experience of this reunited father and son. As I look at the pictures of other children of the disappeared from our slide show, I also wish for more hopeful moments like this one.
Top photo: Abel Madariaga embraces his son Francisco Madariaga Quintela as he wipes a tear during a press conference in Buenos Aires on February 23, 2010. (photo: Daniel Garcia/AFP/Getty Images)