Since We Last Spoke

Updates to past Pacific Standard print stories.
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Updates to past Pacific Standard print stories.
(ILLUSTRATION: MARK MCGINNIS)

(ILLUSTRATION: MARK MCGINNIS)

DREAMING OF GINI
South Africa’s Mail & Guardian reports that a recalculation of the Gini coefficient—written about in Lisa Margonelli’s “The Formula(January/February 2013)—has led to a rethinking of how unequal Africa’s biggest economy really is. The nation has a high Gini number relative to other advanced and emerging economies—that’s bad. But government social spending knocks that figure down substantially—that’s good. Financial guru Tiaan Claasens told the paper that the government’s housing subsidy program wasn’t figured into that recalculation, and that as it continues to expand, “the Gini coefficient will only get better.”

SMALL STEPS FOR HUNTINGTON’S
In “Fifty-Fifty” (January/February 2013), writer Mona Gable wrestled with the implications of being tested for the degenerative disease Huntington’s. In the journal The Lancet Neurology, researchers at University College London’s Institute of Neurology have identified new brain tests for predicting how (or if) Huntington’s is progressing for people who are “gene positive” but aren’t showing symptoms. (Gable was tested after her brother died of the disease; she wasn’t gene positive.) Researcher Sarah Tabrizi said that by knowing the score earlier, people—such as Gable’s brother—“have the most to gain by initiating treatment early to delay the start of these overt symptoms and give them a high quality of life for a longer period of time.”

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