#5SmartReads - January 12, 2022
Hitha on toxic masculinity, why COVID tests are impossible to find, and how to breathe
In 1st, US surgeons transplant pig heart into human patient (Associated Press)
This. Is. So. COOL.
And if the organ is not rejected, it could save so many lives.
What makes this transplant different from prior attempts is that the the pig had undergone gene editing to remove the cellular sugar that caused organ rejection.
Now, I know that there are some ethical considerations to take here (is saving the life of a human greater than the life of the pig?). The NIH has issued a grant to help develop ethical and policy recommendations for xenotransplantation (animal > human organ transplants).
There’s a lot of work to do before this becomes widely used. I’m heartened that we’re working through the ethical considerations in parallel with the clinical research. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
What is toxic masculinity and how can it be addressed? (Yahoo! News)
Like most members of the Spice Girls generation, I was shook up by Bob Saget’s passing. Full House was such an important show for my family when I was growing up, and watching Danny Tanner raise his daughters and take care of his home made quite an impact on me.
I think it was even on my husband manifestation list (“I want a partner like Danny Tanner who is as particular on keeping the home clean as I am, and would listen and support our kids the way Danny did).
It got me thinking a lot about modern masculinity. Many of us grew up watching 3 girls be raised by 3 men and no one questioning their masculinity.
What happened between then and now?
This article does an excellent job of explaining what toxic masculinity is and its rise in modern times. If you’re looking for more resources to help call in men, I recommend checking out A Call to Men and The Book of Dares.
If you never watched the Star Wars prequels (I still contend that the plot was excellent, but the script/direction/Jar Jar Binks was awful), you may be tempted to skip this article.
Don’t. Because even if you know nothing about these films, George Lucas’ 20+ year old creation mirrors our current events to an eerie level.
Anyway, I think this piece is brilliant and I desperately want to be Sarah Jeong’s friend to discuss this article in greater detail.
Are you breathing correctly?
You may think you are, since you’re alive and reading this right now. But you may be surprised that inhaling from your mouth, filling your chest, or even how you breathe while wearing a mask are not as effective as they should be.
Breathing more effectively is the most simple health goal you can set and achieve. When you’re sitting at your desk or preparing a meal, pause and examine how you’re breathing. Can you engage in a few rounds of box breathing (inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 4, exhale for 4, hold for 4) to reset your breath? Can you start and end your day with this breathing technique?
I plan to.
Everyone is understandably frustrated by the rising costs and the lack of availability of COVID tests.
“Shouldn’t we have had this sorted out by now?”
“What’s taking the government so long?”
“Are they trying to kill us?”
All of these criticisms and emotions are incredibly valid, especially as we enter the 3rd year of pandemic life. I hear you. I feel you. This sucks.
I think it’s really important to understand why tests are hard to develop, and what’s taken so long. Dr. Volk - a pathologist and someone who answers this question thoughtfully and clearly - outlines the many factors that go into developing and scaling up manufacturing of COVID tests.
Definitely worthy of your time.