Milestones Feb. 4, 2002

RESIGNING. J. CRAIG VENTER, 55, brash maverick scientist who raced to decipher the human genome and goaded competitors to do the same; as president of Celera Genomics, the firm he helped found in 1998. Conflict over the future of Celera, as it moves from selling gene information to developing drugs, sparked the departure.

RECOVERING. MARGARET THATCHER, 76, first female British Prime Minister; from a minor stroke suffered in Portugal.

RELEASED. NGAWANG CHOEPHEL, 34, Tibetan music scholar who served six years of an 18-year prison term on charges of spying and opposing Chinese rule over Tibet; in Sichuan province. The Fulbright...

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