Category Archives: Ancestry

New forensic technologies help solve five missing persons cases

Ireland- THE STATE’S FORENSIC lab handled a record number of cases requiring DNA analysis last year and its new technologies helped solve five historic missing persons cases.

Adoption and Sperm and Egg Donations Are No Longer Anonymous

For over a century parents had the option of placing a child for adoption anonymously – meaning that the child and adoptive family had little or no information about the biological parents, and few, if any, means to contact each other in the future. But the advent of widespread direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing and the creation of ‘family matching’ databases has forever torn off the seal of confidential adoptions.

Revolutionary War hero Casimir Pulaski might have been a woman or intersex

Casimir Pulaski, hero of the Revolutionary War and pride of the Polish-American community, may need a new pronoun — he may have been a she, or even a they.
Researchers who used DNA to identify Pulaski’s bones are convinced the gallant Pole who died fighting for America’s freedom was either a biological woman who lived as a man, or potentially was intersex, meaning a person whose body doesn’t fit the standard definitions of male or female.

A DNA testing site turned this woman from an only child to one of 30 siblings

ATLANTA –Shauna Harrison knows that every morning she could wake up to learn she has a new sibling.
In the past two years, she has already gone from living her life as an only child to discovering through a DNA testing service that she is one of 30 people that share the same biological father.

Jack the Ripper identified by DNA evidence, forensic scientists claim

Researchers say they have finally unmasked Jack the Ripper, the infamous serial killer who terrorized London in the late 1800s.
A forensic investigation published in Journal of Forensic Sciences has identified the killer as Aaron Kosminski, a 23-year-old Polish barber and prime suspect at the time.

DNA leads to arrest 34 years after Navy recruit’s slaying

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) – Detectives investigating the 3-decade-old slaying of a Navy recruit used genealogical research involving DNA to track down and arrest a suspect who was a one-time Navy training classmate of the victim, authorities in Florida said Thursday.

Study of old slave quarters in Maryland leads to scientific breakthrough

The study of a 200-year-old clay tobacco pipe discovered in the slave quarters of an old Maryland plantation, has led to a scientific breakthrough.
The object was found at Belvoir, an 18th-century manor house off Generals Highway in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.

Surprising DNA found in ancient people from southern Europe

Since the beginning of human migration, the Iberian Peninsula—home of modern-day Spain and Portugal—has been a place where the cultures of Africa, Europe, and the Mediterranean have mingled.
In a new paper in the journal Science, a group of 111 population geneticists and archaeologists charted 8,000 years of genetics in the region. They paint a picture that shows plenty of genetic complexity, but that also hints at a single mysterious migration about 4,500 years ago that completely shook up ancient Iberians’ DNA.

Genealogy And New DNA Evidence Leads To Arrest Over Abandoned Baby’s Death In 1981

Now, thanks to new genealogy databases and consumer DNA tests, this tragic case is reaching a close. The boy’s alleged mother, a 57-year-old named Theresa Rose Bentaas, was arrested on the morning of Friday, March 8 and faces charges of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and first-degree manslaughter.

DNA testing company will now let users opt out of helping the FBI

At-home DNA testing site FamilyTreeDNA — which was widely criticized for working with the FBI without telling its customers — will now offer users the option to prevent law enforcement from accessing their data.

Belgian Nanoelectronics Firm Imec Developing Solid State Nanopore Technology for DNA Analysis

Requires Registraion- SAN FRANCISCO (GenomeWeb) – Imec, a nanoelectronics and digital technology company based in Belgium, is harnessing its expertise in semiconductor manufacturing in order to move into the solid-state nanopore single-molecule sensing and DNA sequencing field.

Delaware’s DOJ reviewing criminal cases involving hair evidence

Delaware’s Department of Justice is reviewing criminal cases that predate DNA evidence.
Before the FBI started analyzing the DNA in hair evidence to make criminal convictions in the year 2000, it often relied on the practice of microscopic hair comparison. That method has since been deemed highly unreliable by the National Academy of Sciences.

The Technology 202: Consumers advocates want Washington to tackle ‘Wild West’ of DNA test kits

A consumer advocacy group leader says it’s time for Washington lawmakers to set some rules in the “Wild West” of at-home DNA testing kits.
Following a report that Family Tree DNA gave the FBI access to its vast genetic database, Sally Greenberg, the executive director of the National Consumers League, says Congress must make sure people are aware of the broad privacy implications of using these common services. Most people who buy DNA kits think they’re learning about their ancestors or relatives, Greenberg says, and they don’t know that companies often have sweeping terms of service agreements that allow them to share customer genetic data with law enforcement or other companies.

Is DNA Left on Envelopes Fair Game for Testing?

Stray genetic material could be co-opted for secret paternity tests, celebrity DNA profiles, and other questionable uses.

China drafts rules on biotech after gene-editing scandal

BEIJING — China has unveiled draft regulations on gene editing and other potentially risky biomedical technologies after a Chinese scientist’s claim of helping to create gene-edited babies roiled the global science community.
Under the proposed measures released Tuesday, technology involving gene editing, gene transfer and gene regulation would be categorized as “high-risk” and managed by the health department of the State Council, China’s Cabinet.