Guest columns

The runaway train of IVF

In November, a Chinese scientist named He Jankui (known to his associates as “JK”) claimed he had successfully produced the world’s first gene-edited human babies using “gene surgery.” The twin girls, he said, were born somewhere in China with a modified gene that makes them immune to infection from HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

From Hobbit hole to adventure

There is a common, and I’ll admit somewhat understandable, interpretation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy that sees the great work as a celebration of the virtues of the Shire, that little town where the Hobbits dwell in quiet domesticity.

Faith and levity

Shusaku Endo, the Japanese author of the classic novel, Silence (upon which Martin Scorsese based his movie) was a Catholic who didn’t always find his native land, Japan, sympathetic to his faith.

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