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Significant Digits For Thursday, March 22, 2018

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.

Far less than 1 percent

The FDA this month granted 23andMe permission to sell consumers tests for three variants of the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. Those variants have been linked to an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer. But such tests probably aren’t the best way to understand cancer risk. Way less than 1 percent of the general population has those variants, and only 5 to 10 percent of breast cancer cases and 10 to 15 percent of ovarian cancer cases occur in people with them. [FiveThirtyEight]


66 colleges

That’s the number of postsecondary schools that closed in the 2015-16 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. In general, the college market is looking negative, which makes those institutions a prime target for acquisition from outside investors. Take, for instance, Westminster Choir College, a music school in New Jersey affiliated with Rider University. Beijing Kaiwen Education Technology Co. bought it for $40 million in February. (The transaction is pending, though, and not everyone is happy about it.) [Bloomberg]


7.8 million visitors

According to comScore, that was the number of individual visitors to Breitbart, the alt-right news source formerly helmed by President Trump’s former advisor Steve Bannon, in February. Whether or not comScore’s figures are perfectly capturing Breitbart’s audience, that figure is down significantly from October, when the site had 15 million unique visitors. [POLITICO]


37 million houses and apartments

That’s the estimated number of homes in the United States still coated in lead paint. The way the U.S. contends with lead tends to focus on blood testing and case management over … removing lead from homes. [Undark]


$2.46 billion

Vivendi will sell its 27 percent stake in Ubisoft Entertainment, a French game maker, for $2.46 billion. The Guillemot family, which founded Ubisoft, will become its top shareholder, joined by Tencent Holdings and the Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan. The deal will allow Ubisoft to ward off a full acquisition attempt from Vivendi, and Tencent will give Ubisoft a foothold in the lucrative Chinese market. [Bloomberg]


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If you see a significant digit in the wild, send it to @WaltHickey.

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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