5 things to read instead of… telling stories
Storytelling is a tradition for October in the northern hemisphere. The nights are getting longer, the days darker, and every instinct tells us to huddle indoors, protected from the elements, entertaining each other with scary stories. But as Theranos have found out in the past year, too many stories can come back to haunt you.
Jonathan Gottschall writes for the Harvard Business Review on how businesses are flocking to harness the power of storytelling to build their brands and inspire consumer loyalty. But what happens when the story told is dishonest? Gottschall delves into the mythos of Theranos, and asks how we can build a culture of honest storytelling for business.
How can gene editing be used to take on Duchenne muscular dystrophy? Antonia Regalado looks at the story of 24 year old Benjamin Dupree, a young man who has outlived many people with the condition, and asks whether CRISPR-based therapies could be used to save his life.
Dr Vivian Lee is upending the traditional model of healthcare, by asking patients what they want from their care. “A father with a bad knee might answer that he wants to dance at his daughter’s wedding. A woman with back pain might simply want to regain focus at work,” writes Casey Ross, for STAT News. “It sounds so simple. But it’s a radical step in a health care system that traditionally defines success by technical benchmarks and government quality metrics — not by the patient’s own goals.”
The US presidential campaign is grinding into the final, bitter stretch, and amid the insults and accusations flying between both nominee camps on social media, one Twitter account has been providing a spark of scientific joy. @ScientistTrump showcases a fictional “Donald Trump PhD” who does the biggest, best science anywhere in the world.
And one from us…
The more we think about it, the more we get depressed at the prospect of a TV crime procedural drama set “five minutes” in the future and will explore a “next generation of terror” in the form of DNA hacking, J-Lo or no J-Lo. To quote FLG Managing Ed Carl Smith:
“CRISPR is at the heart of a pretty sensitive ethical and moral debate about the essence of what it is to be human… I could be being extremely unfair and assuming the worst from this show. It might be highly intelligent, informative, and give the public a well balanced understanding of the impact new biotechnology may have on humankind. But supposing it becomes a huge hit, and manages to frighten the public about some of this great tech that could have phenomenal positive applications?”