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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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