What the papers say: Kihnu in New York Times, gene bank-based studies

Estonian newspapers (picture is illustrative).
Estonian newspapers (picture is illustrative). Source: Arvo Meeks/Valgamaalane/Scanpix

In addition to several other major current events, on Friday, Oct. 4, the papers in Estonia also covered topics such as the island of Kihnu being featured in The New York Times, a 12th grader taking over as school director for the day, and clinical studies already underway utilizing Estonia's growing gene bank.

New York Times highlights life in Kihnu

In a feature article including many photos, The New York Times, opening with the question, "What would life be like without men?" explores the traditional, women-run and -centric culture on the remote Western Estonian island of Kihnu, regional paper Pärnu Postimees writes (link in Estonian).

The story focuses on the history, everyday life and problems of the island, whose cultural space is included in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The island's women have traditionally had to manage any- and everything that comes up, from fixing a tractor to leading church services, but the island's unique way of life is under threat as its population dwindles in the face, among other things, of a lack of jobs.

Click here to read the full story in The Times.

12th grader tries out school director role

Oct. 5 is World Teachers' Day, and the holiday was celebrated locally by many schools on Friday. At Kadrina Upper Secondary School in Lääne-Viru County, many students and teachers switched roles, and 12th grader Kaisa Nele Hendla ended up taking on the role of school director, regional paper Virumaa Teataja writes (link in Estonian).

While Kaisa Nele sat and did work in the school director's office, director Arvo Pani and his colleagues spent the day solving math problems, studying and folding paper. Other teachers and students had switched roles as well, giving each side an opportunity to better understand the efforts of the other.

"Let them enjoy it," Kaisa Nele said about the teachers, noting that the important thing was that the latter felt that this was their day.

Shell found in Põltsamaa Municipality

An explosive shell was found in the village of Kuningamäe in Jõgeva County's Põltsamaa Municipality, regional paper Tartu Postimees writes (link in Estonian).

The 76-millimeter shell was discovered in the course of excavation work. 

Deminers from a Southern Estonian bomb squad defused the shell.

Studies already underway using Estonian gene bank

By the end of 2019, 200,000 people will have joined the Estonian Genome Center Gene Bank, accounting for 15 percent of the Estonian population, writes daily Postimees (link in Estonian).

The paper noted that this gathering of genetic samples is the first step toward preventive personalized medicine, and two clinical studies have already been launched on the basis of Estonia's growing gene bank.

The goal of the two studies is to develop a model for the timely detection of breast cancer based on genetic predisposition and a risk-based prevention plan for cardiovascular disease. Likewise in development is a solution that will provide doctors prescribing medicine with information regarding interactions between specific drugs and a patient's personal genetic information, allowing doctors to prescribe more suitable drugs.

Relandscaping Tallinn's War of Independence monument

Central Tallinn City District Elder Vladimir Svet (Centre) has written to the Ministry of Finance, recommending that the area surrounding the War of Independence Victory Column be totally relandscaped, daily Õhtuleht writes (link in Estonian).

State real estate management company Riigi Kinnisvara AS (RKAS) claimed it has not received a single complaint about the state of the landscaping, but Svet has claimed the opposite.

"Due to insufficient maintenance, the landscaping has lost its beauty and in no way supports a presentable Victory Column," the city district elder said.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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