4.1.2022

Genetics Milestone, Cheng Lei, and the Most-Clicked Stories of March Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Friday, April 1. Trust nothing today, except this read on the murky origins of April Fools' Day.

 

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NEED TO KNOW

 

Full Human Genome Decoded

The human genome has been fully mapped, scientists announced yesterday, a milestone that comes more than two decades after the initial results from the Human Genome Project were first released. The initial release described the vast majority of the human genome but left 8% undescribed. The new data fill in those gaps (see technical overview)

 

Genes refer to specific units of molecules that, when strung together, make up a set of genetic instructions for biological organisms (watch overview). By understanding the placement and function of each gene, scientists can draw conclusions—and work on treatments—for a wide range of disorders. 

 

The Human Genome Project remains the largest collaborative biological project in human history. See a timeline of the research here

Violence Escalates in Israel

At least two people were killed and 15 injured after Israeli forces raided a Palestinian refugee camp in the West Bank yesterday. The move followed a string of three deadly attacks inside Israel that left 11 people dead within the span of a week, including a mass shooting outside Tel Aviv that killed five. The violence is some of the worst seen in the country since last spring, when tensions erupted into an 11-day conflict that left roughly 270 people dead and more than 2,000 injured.

 

Reports suggest the most recent attack was carried out by the Palestinian militant group Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, and was linked to the recent Negev Summit. The Israel-hosted talks included the US, Egypt, Morocco, Bahrain, and the UAE, and marked the next step in the so-called Abraham Accords, struck under the Trump administration. 

 

See background on the long-running conflict here.

Cheng Lei in Limbo 

The criminal trial of TV anchor Cheng Lei ended behind closed doors yesterday in Beijing, with Australian diplomats being denied entrance to the proceedings. Cheng, a dual Australian-Chinese citizen, disappeared in August 2020 while working for a Chinese state media outlet and was formally arrested in February 2021 on charges of espionage. Little is known about the details of her alleged offense. The court deferred its verdict, leaving her fate unclear—Cheng is likely facing up to 10 years in prison.

 

The news comes during a time of tension between the two countries, which disagree on political issues and trade restrictions. Cheng’s detention came after Australia raided Chinese journalists in 2020, causing speculation her arrest was politically motivated. Chinese officials routinely detain journalists, with at least 127 currently in custody.  

 

In China, courts often close trials in cases where state secrets are involved, and verdicts can be deferred for months or years. The country has a conviction rate of more than 99%.

In partnership with StartEngine

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You try to invest your money on apps like Robinhood to grow your portfolio and personal wealth ... but all the companies you invest in are already public, meaning the serious gains have already been made. What if you could invest in startups at an earlier stage, like VCs do?

 

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Access a new type of retail investing for as little as $500 with StartEngine today.

 

Regulation A+ Offering Via Startengine Crowdfunding, Inc. Investment Is Speculative, Illiquid, And Involves A High Degree Of Risk, Including The Possible Loss Of Your Entire Investment.  See The Offering Circular And Related Risks.

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IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with CARIUMA

> Grammy Awards air Sunday (8 pm ET, CBS) after being postponed since January amid omicron spike (More) | See predictions for top categories (More)

 

> Caitlyn Jenner tapped as contributor by Fox News (More) | Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), one of the year's biggest video game conferences, canceled for 2022 (More)

 

> NCAA women's Final Four tips off tonight on ESPN with Louisville vs. South Carolina (7 pm ET) and UConn vs. Stanford (9:30 pm ET) (More) | Men's Final Four begins tomorrow on TBS with Villanova against Kansas (6 pm ET) and rivalry matchup of Duke and North Carolina (8:50 pm ET) (More)

From our partners: 15,000 customers with five-star reviews don't lie. Finally back in stock after clearing a 34,000-person waitlist, CARIUMA's OCA Canvas shoes are perfect for dressing up or down as spring rolls around. And speaking of spring: Now's your chance to check out some of CARIUMA's all-new spring and summer colors and their latest limited edition collaborations. Enjoy a rare offer for 15% off, exclusive for 1440 readers today.

Science & Technology

> National Institutes of Health begins large-scale study of the efficacy of a second COVID-19 booster shot in adults (More) | US patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19 fall to near 12,000, the lowest since early in the pandemic (More)

 

> Fish can conceptualize simple arithmetic, researchers find; study mimicked an approach that found similar results with honeybees (More)

 

> Scent analysis reveals contents of 3,400-year-old jars found in Egyptian tombs; shows occupants were buried with fruit, fish, beeswax, and more (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets fall (S&P 500 -1.6%, Dow -1.6%, Nasdaq -1.5%) to end worst quarter in two years (More)

 

> President Joe Biden announces the US will release 180 million barrels of government oil reserves in effort to reduce gas prices (More)

 

> US corporate profits reach new all-time annual high of $2.8T, up 25% over 2020 (More) | US consumer spending slows in February amid higher inflation (More

Politics & World Affairs

> Russian troops withdraw from Ukraine's Chernobyl nuclear plant; may have suffered radiation exposure after digging trenches in the plant's exclusion zone (More) | See updates on the war here (More, w/map)

 

> Southern storms leave at least two people dead, more than 180,000 without power across the US Southeast; March nears records for cumulative preliminary tornado reports (More)

 

> Defense rests in case against four men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D); closing arguments to begin today (More)

IN-DEPTH

 

Cell Change

Nautilus | Lina Zeldovich. Can a new therapeutic help cancer cells regain their true identity? (Read)

Why People Are Acting So Weird

Atlantic | Olga Khazan. Stress, isolation, alcohol, and more—a number of factors have contributed to contagious rudeness rippling through postpandemic America. (Read, paywall)

The Balloons That Ate Cleveland

Cautionary Tales | Tim Harford. (Podcast) An attempt by Cleveland to top the Magic Kingdom's world record goes horribly wrong. (Listen)

CROWDFUNDING IN CROWDFUNDING

 

In partnership with StartEngine

 

In the past three years, StartEngine has flourished as an equity crowdfunding platform that allows everyday investors to invest in up-and-coming companies not available on the public markets. It’s grown its user base twofold2 and its revenue fivefold.1 Wow, wouldn’t it be nice if you could buy a stake in that company while it’s still private?

 

You’re in luck. With contributions from "Shark Tank’s" Kevin “Mr. Wonderful” O’Leary and Activision cofounder Howard Marks, StartEngine has already raised $59M in its past five funding rounds—but you can have a piece of the pie for as little as $500 today.

Please support our sponsors!

ETCETERA—BEST OF MARCH 2022

 

Editor's note: More than 5 million monthly clicks can't be wrong. Here are the most popular stories we ran in March. Enjoy!

 

(3/7/22) Giant invasive spiders to spread across Georgia.

 

(3/31/22) America's most stressful states.

 

(3/2/22) ... and the most sinful states.

 

(3/30/22) Y'all got the wrong Will Smith.

 

(3/16/22) America's most popular dog breeds.

 

(3/8/22) The states with the highest property taxes.

 

(3/1/22) Bulldog gives birth to a green puppy.

 

(3/3/22) A painful two minutes on "Wheel of Fortune."

 

(3/16/22) Is daylight saving time about to become permanent?

 

(3/10/22) Photos of the sunken Endurance

 

(3/14/22) The best memes of 2022 (so far).

 

(3/30/22) Visualizing how many people have ever lived.

 

(3/11/22) Why workers are quitting.

 

(3/29/22) Introducing Dr. Taylor Swift.

 

(3/21/22) Clickbait: Researchers pinpoint the world's most boring person.

 

Historybook: Actress Debbie Reynolds born (1932); Apple Computer founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak ... and don't forget Ronald Wayne (1976); Iran officially becomes an Islamic republic after the Shah is overthrown (1979); Singer Marvin Gaye shot and killed by his father (1984).

 

"If you cannot find peace within yourself, you will never find it anywhere else."

- Marvin Gaye

Disclaimers:

Regulation A+ Offering Via Startengine Crowdfunding, Inc.  No Broker-Dealer Or Other Intermediary Is Involved In This Offering With The Exception Of Florida, Where Dalmore Group Llc Is Participating As A Broker-Dealer Of Record.  Startengine Is Not Currently Accepting Investments From Washington, New Jersey Or Texas. Investment Is Speculative, Illiquid, And Involves A High Degree Of Risk, Including The Possible Loss Of Your Entire Investment.  For More Information Please See The Offering Circular And Risk Related To This Offering.

 

[1] Based On Preliminary Unaudited Internal Information; Final Data May Vary Significantly.

[2] Number Of Users Are Determined By Counting Investor Profiles With Unique Email Addresses Which Are Active And Have Been Confirmed.

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