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Dr. Quake’s machine, the Heliscope Single Molecule Sequencer, can decode or sequence a human genome in four weeks with a staff of three people. The machine is made by a company he founded, Helicos Biosciences, and costs “about $1 million, depending on how hard you bargain,” he said. –“Cost of Decoding a Genome Is Lowered,” Nicholas Wade, The New York Times
Misha holds the High Court order in one hand and grabs this reporter’s hand with the other. “What have you come here for?” she cries. “You all are impotent. You can’t change them. They will kill you too. We have to live and die by their rules,” she says. Her 26-year-old son Ved Pal, an ayurvedic practitioner, married and eloped with Sonia, 22, in March this year against the wishes of their parents. When the Banawala Khap, under whose ‘jurisdiction’ Singhwala, Sonia’s village is in heard about the marriage, they issued a decree stating that since the couple belonged to the same gotra, they were siblings and their marriage unholy. For the crime of “incest” and for dishonouring the community, the decree ordered that both be hunted down and killed. –“A Taliban Of Our Very Own,” Tarun Sehrawat, Tehelka
It’s too bad so many people are falling into poverty at a time when it’s almost illegal to be poor. You won’t be arrested for shopping in a Dollar Store, but if you are truly, deeply, in-the-streets poor, you’re well advised not to engage in any of the biological necessities of life — like sitting, sleeping, lying down or loitering. City officials boast that there is nothing discriminatory about the ordinances that afflict the destitute, most of which go back to the dawn of gentrification in the ’80s and ’90s. “If you’re lying on a sidewalk, whether you’re homeless or a millionaire, you’re in violation of the ordinance,” a city attorney in St. Petersburg, Fla., said in June, echoing Anatole France’s immortal observation that “the law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges.” –“Is It Now a Crime to Be Poor?” by Barbara Ehrenreich, The New York Times
Number of free condoms handed out by the Brazilian government in advance of Carnival this year:
The best way to measure happiness is simply to ask people how happy they are.
Following three weeks of clashes between protesters and government forces that killed at least 17 people, Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro announced a two-day extension of Carnival. “Happiness will conquer the embittered,” he said during an appearance at a recreation center.
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“American politics has often been an arena for angry minds.”