DAILY DOSE: 20 years after declaring the human genome decoded, scientists fill in the gaps; Shanghai’s Covid-19 misery continues.


20 years ago, researchers celebrated decoding the human genome. Unfortunately, there was some fine print. Vast stretches of DNA remained in the shadows. Recent efforts around the world have finally thrown some light on the genomes dark spots. Per the Associated Press, “Scientists say they have finally assembled the full genetic blueprint for human life, adding the missing pieces to a puzzle nearly completed two decades ago. An international team described the first-ever sequencing of a complete human genome – the set of instructions to build and sustain a human being – in research published Thursday in the journal Science. The previous effort, celebrated across the world, was incomplete because DNA sequencing technologies of the day weren’t able to read certain parts of it. Even after updates, it was missing about 8% of the genome. ‘Some of the genes that make us uniquely human were actually in this ‘dark matter of the genome’ and they were totally missed,’ said Evan Eichler, a University of Washington researcher who participated in the current effort and the original Human Genome Project. ‘It took 20-plus years, but we finally got it done.’” https://bit.ly/35vwuy1


As predicted, the eight-day lockdown in Shanghai represents a bit of fake advertising. Those days were only to make testing easier. As more cases are found, the lockdown gets stricter and longer. Per Reuters, “China’s commercial hub of Shanghai ground to halt on Friday after the government locked down most of the city’s 26 million residents to stop the spread of COVID-19, even as official numbers put local cases falling for the second day in a row. The city government late on Thursday extended an existing lockdown in eastern districts, just as western parts of the city were shut down as scheduled. Fresh official guidance indicated that many in China’s most populous city will now be required to stay home as long as it takes to control the outbreak – instructed not to cross their doorsteps even to dispose of rubbish or walk their dogs.” That dogged insistence that the country adhere to the Zero-Covid strategy may cause problems down the line if Beijing is not careful. https://reut.rs/3K2hdUq


If you are a person with disabilities, getting around can be a challenge, even in the most advanced nations. Al-Jazeera investigated what it is like to be disabled and living in the heart and sold of India, Mumbai. Per Al-Jazeera, “People with disabilities in Mumbai face numerous obstacles when it comes to accessibility and mobility. The city’s streets are some of the busiest in the world, and overcrowding, flooding and poorly maintained infrastructure make it incredibly hard for people with disabilities to access the city’s public transport system.” Equitable access to public transport is a problem in most metropolises for persons with disabilities. https://bit.ly/3DylhcI

Thanks for reading. Let’s be careful out there.

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