LibraryLady
3 years ago1,000+ Views
Rare Diseases: How Social Media Helped Solve a Mystery
This fascinating article goes into great detail about how Matt and Cristina Might sought if not a cure, at least a name for their son Bertrand's medical symptoms. They ferried him to several specialists, and finally enrolled him in a genetic sequencing study, which revealed he had an extremely rare genetic disorder. The Mights were informed that because their son's disease was so rare, little research would be likely, as no research institution or pharmaceutical company could justify the expense. So Matt Might took to social media to find other children with Bertrand's genetic anomaly. Matt, a computer scientist, already wrote a popular blog about computer programming. He posted an entry titled "Hunting Down My Son's Killer," and detailed their search. The post went viral, and soon, he was contacted by other families who were curious if their children's symptoms matched Bertrand's. I summarized the article here because I think it could be a fascinating introduction to the positive power of social media. This article was published in The New Yorker, so the language is a bit challenging for middle schoolers (and there's at least one use of an expletive that could be a problem.) In high school, or perhaps excerpted for a 7th or 8th grade class,it could generate powerful discussions of some uses of social media beyond sharing selfies!
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@timeturnerjones, the new Common Core Standards push close reading of informational text, and have increased the expected reading levels across grades. I could see a high school teacher using articles from The New Yorker now.
3 years ago·Reply
@LibraryLady That's crazy! I guess things have changed a bit in the past few years--but it's great to see students being ready to take in harder and harder literature at younger ages. Especially contemporary, creative nonfiction.
3 years ago·Reply
@LibraryLady I have even give a piece or two (excerpts, of course) to my middle school students! There's always a way to incorporate more advanced reading in small ways.
3 years ago·Reply
@greggr, it's a bit like lifting weights. You don't go in the gym the first day and bench press 200 pounds (well, I couldn't!) So start with more rigorous reading, but shorter pieces. Then build up the reading muscle:)
3 years ago·Reply
@greggr Exactly :) Small to big, but you've gotta keep growing!
3 years ago·Reply
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