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At Cold Spring Harbor Labs, Socks Are Optional With the Birkenstocks

COLD SPRING HARBOR, NY, May 8 - Following is an abbreviated list of select facts about, and observations from, the opening plenary of Cold Spring Harbor Lab's 2002 Genome Sequencing & Biology meeting, which kicked off here yesterday and runs through Saturday.


Number of registrants: about 500


Number of abstracts presented: about 300


Number of countries represented: 25


Number of Hawaiian shirts worn by men: 13

Worn by women: zero


Number of Apple Mac computers available for attendees: five


Number of PCs: one


Number of men with ponytails: 18


Number of tie-dyed shirts: 22

With Birkenstock sandals, add 10

With socks, add 5


Number of jokes in which Craig Venter was the butt: three


Number of jokes in which Eric Lander was the butt: one


Number of Ensembl Gene Sweepstake bets: 165


Lowest speculation: 27,462 genes


Highest speculation: 153,478 genes


Number of novel words: one--'schmoosh,' uttered by Devin Locke from Case Western

University and used to describe what happens in a region of genes when there is so much collapse that distinguishing how they settle becomes difficult.

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