exPLAINers of the week: July 23-July 29

By Perfectly Plain Staff

We scour the depths of the media to bring you, our dear readers, what the best explainer pieces are each week. This week we have stopped on two pieces that examine the ethical problems with gene replacement therapy and a detailed map of the 2016 presidential election voting across the U.S. Radhika Viswanathan of Vox and the New York Times team, comprised of Matthew Bloch, Larry Buchanan, Josh Katz and Kevin Quealy, bring us these fascinating stories in an interesting and easy to understand way.

3 biological parents, 1 child, and an international controversy

By Radhika Viswanathan in Vox

Mitochondrial replacement therapy, or MRT, has made headlines for producing “three-parent babies” because it involves replacing the mitochondrial DNA of an embryo that has a risk of mitochondrial disease with healthy mitochondrial DNA from a donor, or the “third parent.”

Radhika Viswanathan is a science and health intern at Vox.com. She recently graduated from Brooklyn College and will be starting medical school at SUNY Downstate this fall.

Viswanathan’s explainer on the story of mitochondrial replacement therapy shows how ethically tricky genetic manipulation is becoming. She explains the benefits of MRT and what the problems are. It is a well-written piece that poses and tries to answer the ethical questions behind gene editing, which can lead to changes in the human population in the future.

To read full exPLAINer, click here.

Teodor Teofilov

An extremely detailed map of the 2016 election

By Matthew Bloch, Larry Buchanan, Josh Katz and Kevin Quealy in The New York Times

These gentlemen worked on a very detailed electoral map of the 2016 presidential election. They tally and show the number of votes in every precinct in the country, and they also show the difference in votes and where the closest precinct that voted the opposite way is.

Buchanan has also authored, With AR-15s, Mass Shooters Attack With the Rifle Firepower Typically Used by Infantry Troops, where he explains the dangers of an AR-15 and how it is a military weapon and many people believe the reason these weapons exist is for assault.

This explainer was thought-provoking, and highlights, down to the bare bones, how each community in this country voted. This explainer is a little different, because it doesn’t involve text, but rather uses an interactive map to make its point.

To read full exPLAINer, click here.

Pawan Naidu

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