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Kingsley Hall: RD Laing’s experiment in anti-psychiatry

“In 1965, the psychiatrist opened a residential treatment centre that aimed to revolutionise the treatment of mental illness. Five decades on, those who lived and spent time there look back on an era of drama and discovery.”  (Guardian.co.uk).

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‘Three people, one baby’

“A public consultation has been launched to discuss the ethics of using three people to create one baby. The technique could be used to prevent debilitating and fatal “mitochondrial” diseases, which are passed down only from mother to child.

However, the resulting baby would contain genetic information from three people – two parents and a donor woman.

Ministers could change the law to make the technique legal after the results of the consultation are known.

About one in 200 children are born with faulty mitochondria – the tiny power stations which provide energy to every cell in the body. Most show little or no symptoms, but in the severest cases the cells of the body are starved of energy. It can lead to muscle weakness, blindness, heart failure and in some cases can be fatal. Mitochondria are passed on from the mother’s egg to the child – the father does not pass on mitochondria through his sperm. The idea to prevent this is to add a healthy woman’s mitochondria into the mix.

Two main techniques have been shown to work in the laboratory, by using a donor embryo or a donor egg…” (BBC News)

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Here It Is: The Best Word Ever

Best Word Ever

“What is the best word ever? Not the funniest word or the most erudite word or the most whimsical word … but The Best Word, full stop. What if, you know, the scallawag could eke out a thingamajig that would help him select the least milquetoast morsel from our linguistic smorgasbord?” (The Atlantic)