Thursday, November 10, 2011

Link Roundup: What I've Been Reading

I'm working on a post that has surprised me with how long it's taken to write; it's a researchy post, but it's only dealing with one article, and the experiment that article describes is a fairly simple one. I thought I'd be able to knock it off in a day or two, but instead I find I keep having to provide more and more background information about the methods the researchers used, and the enzyme they're studying, and the physiological processes that enzyme participates in.

(This experience has led me to reflect on the particular nature of the language used in the "Methods" sections of biomedical research articles; it's clear as day if you know what they're talking about, but it's a sort of shorthand, with as much precise meaning as possible crammed into the smallest possible space, which makes it all but impenetrable to someone not versed in those techniques. I think I might have to post about that, too ...)

Anyway, while I've been working on that I've also been reading blogs, and this is what's impressed me recently:

s. e. smith has written an indispensable post at Tiger Beatdown about Hillary Adams, the brave and resourceful young woman with cerebral palsy who filmed her abusive father (who is, horrifyingly, a family court judge) beating her back when she lived with him, and has just recently posted the footage on YouTube. s. e.'s post focuses on the elevated rates of abuse children with disabilities face, and cultural factors that allow that abuse to go on, even when people know it's going on.

Kassiane guest-posted at The Thinking Person's Guide to Autism about how important it is for caregivers to take "no" seriously and respect their charges' boundaries, physical and otherwise.

This blog post by the Dean of Health Sciences at Queen's University in Ontario mentions a paper given at a conference by recent sociology Ph.D. Elise Paradis about the use of the word "epidemic" to describe chronic, non-infectious diseases and conditions, particularly obesity. Paradis considers ways in which this terminology is misleading and stigmatizes obese people. The paper doesn't seem to be in print anywhere, but it looks like it will be soon.

Emily at The Biology Files has a list of things that have been proposed as causes or risk factors for autism. It's droll, and seeing them all side by side (even just the ones that are actively under consideration today, leaving out the ones that have been debunked) makes you marvel that there are still some people who are not autistic.

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