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Sanctions Lite: It’s not only the U.S.—Britain and France, for instance, have also rejected harsher measures against Saudi Arabia, such as halting arms exports. Why are countries treading delicately when it comes to criticism of the Saudi government and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is suspected of having a hand in the killing of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi?
Ed Yong parses the most damning details about the Chinese researcher He Jiankui’s recent claim that he’d succeeded in creating CRISPR-edited twin girls:
1. He didn’t address an unmet medical need.
He focused on a gene called CCR5, which the HIV virus uses as a doorway for infiltrating human cells. To lock the virus out, several scientists have tried extracting the immune cells of HIV patients and deactivating CCR5 using gene-editing techniques before injecting the cells back into the body. Although Nana and Lulu’s father is HIV-positive, neither of the infants actually had HIV. As I’ve written before, He’s team deactivated a perfectly normal gene in an attempt to reduce the risk of a disease that neither child had—and one that can be controlled through safe-sex education or antiviral drugs. Even if you wanted to block CCR5 specifically, there are drugs out there that could do the job, many of which have been repeatedly tested in clinical trials. The rationale for using a method as extreme and untested as gene editing doesn’t hold up.
3. According to a recent study of economics Ph.D. candidates, only around this percent of the graduate students surveyed felt that their work was beneficial to society, compared with 63 percent of the entire working-age population.
Every week, the psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb answers readers’ questions in the Dear Therapist column. This week, an anonymous reader writes about struggling with jealousy over a co-worker’s promotion:
About four months ago, I was passed over for a promotion. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, a longtime goal, and when I found out, I was devastated. It precipitated a depressive episode; I have been working with my therapist since then, and have been making some progress.
While the depression itself seems to be improving, I am deeply envious of the three people who were chosen for the role. Even now, I find it difficult to be in the same room as them, let alone talk to them. I avoid contact with them as much as I can; when that is not an option, I have managed to be civil. I would hate for anyone to know I am so deeply affected by this situation. I dislike being the person so consumed by jealousy that I am unable to celebrate any of my successes or even find the will to work toward a different goal.