Genetic Twists of Fate

Author: Stanley Fields
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262289008
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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News stories report almost daily on the remarkable progress scientists are making in unraveling the genetic basis of disease and behavior. Meanwhile, new technologies are rapidly reducing the cost of reading someone's personal DNA (all six billion letters of it). Within the next ten years, hospitals may present parents with their newborn's complete DNA code along with her footprints and APGAR score. In Genetic Twists of Fate, distinguished geneticists Stanley Fields and Mark Johnston help us make sense of the genetic revolution that is upon us. Fields and Johnston tell real life stories that hinge on the inheritance of one tiny change rather than another in an individual's DNA: a mother wrongly accused of poisoning her young son when the true killer was a genetic disorder; the screen siren who could no longer remember her lines because of Alzheimer's disease; and the president who was treated with rat poison to prevent another heart attack. In an engaging and accessible style, Fields and Johnston explain what our personal DNA code is, how a few differences in its long list of DNA letters makes each of us unique, and how that code influences our appearance, our behavior, and our risk for such common diseases as diabetes or cancer.

Me Medicine vs We Medicine

Author: Donna Dickenson
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231159749
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Personalized healthcare -- or what the award-winning author Donna Dickenson calls "Me Medicine" -- is radically transforming our longstanding "one-size-fits-all" model. Technologies such as direct-to-consumer genetic testing, pharmacogenetically developed therapies in cancer care, private umbilical cord blood banking, and neurocognitive enhancement claim to cater to an individual's specific biological character, and, in some cases, these technologies have shown powerful potential. Yet in others they have produced negligible or even negative results. Whatever is behind the rise of Me Medicine, it isn't just science. So why is Me Medicine rapidly edging out We Medicine, and how has our commitment to our collective health suffered as a result? In her cogent, provocative analysis, Dickenson examines the economic and political factors fueling the Me Medicine phenomenon and explores how, over time, this paradigm shift in how we approach our health might damage our individual and collective well-being. Historically, the measures of "We Medicine," such as vaccination and investment in public-health infrastructure, have radically extended our life spans, and Dickenson argues we've lost sight of that truth in our enthusiasm for "Me Medicine." Dickenson explores how personalized medicine illustrates capitalism's protean capacity for creating new products and markets where none existed before -- and how this, rather than scientific plausibility, goes a long way toward explaining private umbilical cord blood banks and retail genetics. Drawing on the latest findings from leading scientists, social scientists, and political analysts, she critically examines four possible hypotheses driving our Me Medicine moment: a growing sense of threat; a wave of patient narcissism; corporate interests driving new niche markets; and the dominance of personal choice as a cultural value. She concludes with insights from political theory that emphasize a conception of the commons and the steps we can take to restore its value to modern biotechnology.

Making Faces

Author: Adam S. Wilkins
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674974484
Format: PDF
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Adam Wilkins draws on studies of nonhuman species, the fossil record, genetics, and molecular and developmental biology to reconstruct the evolution of the human face and its inextricable link to our species’ evolving social complexity. The neural and muscular mechanisms that allowed facial expressions also led to speech, which is unique to humans.

Empathy

Author: Jean Decety
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262016613
Format: PDF, Docs
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Recent work on empathy theory, research, and applications, by scholars from disciplines ranging from neuroscience to psychoanalysis.

The Story Within

Author: Amy Boesky
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1421410974
Format: PDF, Docs
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The contributors to The Story Within share powerful experiences of living with genetic disorders. Their stories illustrate the complexities involved in making decisions about genetic diseases: whether to be tested, who to tell, whether to have children, and whether and how to treat children medically, if treatment is available. More broadly, they consider how genetic information shapes the ways we see ourselves, the world, and our actions within it. People affected by genetic disease respond to such choices in varied and personal ways. These writers reflect that breadth of response, yet they share the desire to challenge a restricted sense of what "health" is or whose life has value. They write hoping to expand conversations about genetics and identity—to deepen debate and generate questions. They or their families are affected by Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, genetic deafness or blindness, schizophrenia, cystic fibrosis, Tay-Sachs, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, fragile X, or Fanconi anemia. All of their stories remind us that genetic health is complicated, dynamic, and above all, deeply personal. Contributors Misha Angrist, Amy Boesky, Kelly Cupo, Michael Downing, Clare Dunsford, Mara Faulkner, Christine Kehl O’Hagan, Charlie Pierce, Kate Preskenis, Emily Rapp, Jennifer Rosner, Joanna Rudnick, Anabel Stenzel (deceased), Isabel Stenzel Byrnes, Laurie Strongin, Patrick Tracey, Alice Wexler -- Alexandra Stern, University of Michigan, author of Telling Genes: The Story of Genetic Counseling in AmericaRita Charon, M.D., Ph.D., Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University, author of Narrative Medicine: Honoring the Stories of IllnessPatrick Tracey

Evil Media

Author: Matthew Fuller
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262304406
Format: PDF
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Evil Media develops a philosophy of media power that extends the concept of media beyond its tried and trusted use in the games of meaning, symbolism, and truth. It addresses the gray zones in which media exist as corporate work systems, algorithms and data structures, twenty-first century self-improvement manuals, and pharmaceutical techniques. Evil Media invites the reader to explore and understand the abstract infrastructure of the present day. From search engines to flirting strategies, from the value of institutional stupidity to the malicious minutiae of databases, this book shows how the devil is in the details. The title takes the imperative "Don't be evil" and asks, what would be done any differently in contemporary computational and networked media were that maxim reversed.Media here are about much more and much less than symbols, stories, information, or communication: media do things. They incite and provoke, twist and bend, leak and manage. In a series of provocative stratagems designed to be used, Evil Media sets its reader an ethical challenge: either remain a transparent intermediary in the networks and chains of communicative power or become oneself an active, transformative medium.

Markov Random Fields for Vision and Image Processing

Author: Andrew Blake
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262297442
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This volume demonstrates the power of the Markov random field (MRF) in vision, treating the MRF both as a tool for modeling image data and, utilizing recently developed algorithms, as a means of making inferences about images. These inferences concern underlying image and scene structure as well as solutions to such problems as image reconstruction, image segmentation, 3D vision, and object labeling. It offers key findings and state-of-the-art research on both algorithms and applications. After an introduction to the fundamental concepts used in MRFs, the book reviews some of the main algorithms for performing inference with MRFs; presents successful applications of MRFs, including segmentation, super-resolution, and image restoration, along with a comparison of various optimization methods; discusses advanced algorithmic topics; addresses limitations of the strong locality assumptions in the MRFs discussed in earlier chapters; and showcases applications that use MRFs in more complex ways, as components in bigger systems or with multiterm energy functions. The book will be an essential guide to current research on these powerful mathematical tools.

Conceptual Issues in Evolutionary Biology

Author: Elliott Sober
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262691628
Format: PDF, Kindle
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There has been considerable and lively debate in philosophy of biology over the decade since the first edition of this anthology appeared. Changes and additions in the new edition reflect the ways in which the subject has broadened and deepened on several fronts; more than half of the-chapters are new. In all, twenty-three selections take up fitness, function and teleology, adaptationism, units of selection, essentialism and population thinking, species, systematic philosophies, phylogenetic inference, reduction of Mendelian genetics to molecular biology, ethics and sociobiology, and cultural evolution and evolutionary epistemology. Elliott Sober is Hans Reichenbach Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Control and Freedom

Author: Wendy Hui Kyong Chun
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262533065
Format: PDF, ePub
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A work that bridges media archaeology and visual culture studies argues that the Internet has emerged as a mass medium by linking control with freedom and democracy.

Human Reasoning and Cognitive Science

Author: Keith Stenning
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262293536
Format: PDF
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In Human Reasoning and Cognitive Science, Keith Stenning and Michiel van Lambalgen--a cognitive scientist and a logician--argue for the indispensability of modern mathematical logic to the study of human reasoning. Logic and cognition were once closely connected, they write, but were "divorced" in the past century; the psychology of deduction went from being central to the cognitive revolution to being the subject of widespread skepticism about whether human reasoning really happens outside the academy. Stenning and van Lambalgen argue that logic and reasoning have been separated because of a series of unwarranted assumptions about logic. Stenning and van Lambalgen contend that psychology cannot ignore processes of interpretation in which people, wittingly or unwittingly, frame problems for subsequent reasoning. The authors employ a neurally implementable defeasible logic for modeling part of this framing process, and show how it can be used to guide the design of experiments and interpret results.