On Selling Kidneys

Shashank Bengali is the Los Angeles Times South Indian correspondent.  Some time ago he had written a story about a hospital in Mumbai that was busted because it was doing illegal kidney transplants, which he says was a sort of cautionary tale because a young man has been lured to sell a kidney. Months later Bengali received an email. Someone thought he was in the business of selling kidneys. He did not pay Continue reading “On Selling Kidneys”

DNA Testing and Errors

A recent NYT op-ed strongly alerted readers to a study that found errors in DNA testing. The National Institute of Standards and Technology gave the same sample of DNA mixtures to 105 US crime labs and 3 Canadian ones and asked them to compare it to the DNA of 3 suspects from a mock robbery. A DNA mixture is a biological sample of 2 or more individuals from which a DNA profile could be drawn. Today’s DNA testing is advanced enough that an analysis can be done even if someone has lightly touched an object. The labs correctly identified 2 of the suspects, but 74 got Continue reading “DNA Testing and Errors”

Work of the Future and Reskilling

By 2025 machines will perform half of “all work tasks”—right now it is 29%. These are 2 of the figures from a report from the World Economic Forum, the elite group that meets in Davos every January. The report informs us that between now and 2022 75 million jobs will therefore be displaced. But, and just as important, the report also says that 133 new roles (note, not jobs, roles) will be created, thus a gain of 58 million new jobs—or roles, or positions.  The reality is that while on a societal Continue reading “Work of the Future and Reskilling”

One Billion Without Toilets

This piece is about a subject we shun, open defecation, but the article it stems from touched my heart and I think it will touch yours. Andrea Bruce, now a freelance photographer was on a National Geographic assignment and her photographs on the subject of open defecation were on exhibit at a photo festival in Perpignan, France in early September. Yes open defecation sounds like a topic we don’t want to know about, yet what it means is important to anyone who cares about the welfare of Continue reading “One Billion Without Toilets”