1. Point-and-shoot Pulitzer
Darnella Frazier, the teen who filmed the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis last year, was honoured with a special citation by the Pulitzer board, which awards annual prizes in journalism, letters, drama and music. Her video clip played a major role in igniting a protest movement against police violence. It also became a crucial piece of evidence at the murder trial of the officer, Derek Chauvin. The award committee said Frazier’s recording highlighted "the crucial role of citizens in journalists’ quest for truth and justice".
2. Architectural news
In a first for a digital news site, BuzzFeed News won a Pulitzer for an investigation into long-term detention and incarceration of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, China. Its four-part series titled "Built to Last" was pieced together by a reporter, an architect and a programmer and was supported by outside funding. The BuzzFeed team used publicly available satellite images — which architect Alison Killing analysed — and conducted dozens of interviews with former detainees. They found that China had built more than 260 prisons and tenement camps for mass detention since 2017 — despite Beijing’s claims that it had set all Uyghur detainees free.
3. New twists in our code
Scientists say they have finally sequenced the full human genome, which is made up of nearly 3.06-billion letters. Humans have 46 chromosomes, in 23 pairs, that represent tens of thousands of individual genes. Each gene consists of base pairs and there are billions of them. The scientists posted a preprint online last week for review. Sequencing the genome can help humans understand their genetic code. And it can be used to make better, more customised medicines — including the kind of medicine that powered the first Covid vaccines. A previous announcement in 2000 that the human genome was "complete" overstated that project’s achievement.
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