Category Archives: Ancestry

Spain‘s ‘stolen baby‘ finds out she was adopted

The first person recognised by a Spanish court as one of the country‘s “stolen babies”, who were snatched from their mothers during the Franco dictatorship, has found her biological family following a DNA test.

Oregon Man’s Manslaughter Conviction Overturned Due To Undisclosed DNA Evidence

It was the year 2000 in the Oregon coast town of Coquille when 15-year-old Leah Freeman went missing and was soon after found dead.
The case went cold for almost a decade before Nicholas McGuffin, Freeman’s boyfriend at the time of her death, was indicted for her murder, without any evidence connecting him to the crime.

Buried Secrets: The DNA journey for a 91-year-old man to find his mother for the very first time

MOODY, Texas — Phil Ratliff will tell you he’s had a good life. All 91 years of it.
But there was that one bad day.

DNA testing shows Tom Hanks and Mister Rogers are 6th cousins

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (WSET) — Tom Hanks recently found out that he’s related to the man he is portraying in an upcoming movie.
Hanks and Fred Rogers are sixth cousins according to Ancestry.com, CNN reports.

Why screening DNA for ‘designer babies’ probably won’t work

Picking embryos based on genetics might not give prospective parents the “designer baby” they’re after.
DNA predictions of height or IQ might help would-be parents select an embryo that would grow into a child who is, at most, only about three centimeters taller or about three IQ points smarter than an average embryo from the couple, researchers report November 21 in Cell. But offspring predicted by their DNA to be the tallest among siblings were actually the tallest in only seven of 28 real families, the study found. And in five of those families, the child predicted to be tallest was actually shorter than the average for the family.

Estate of executed man has no standing to obtain DNA testing, judge rules

A Memphis judge on Monday tossed a petition to obtain DNA testing in the case of a man executed 13 years ago.
Judge Paula Skahan ruled the estate of Sedley Alley did not have standing to petition for the DNA. The Associated Press, the Memphis Commercial Appeal and the New York Times have coverage.

No Nuclear DNA in Rootless Hair: Myth or Fact?

Hair shafts, particularly rootless ones (telogen hair), are common exhibits found in crime scenes. They can be deposited either normally due to shedding or by force due to hair plucking. Based on the American Academy of Dermatology, the normal rate of shed hair per day is 50 to100 strands [1]. However due to the structure and the composition of hair, it was believed for decades that shed telogen hair has no nuclear DNA.

The truth about the NYPD and DNA: Keep open vital database invaluable in solving crimes

In the past six years, the NYPD has made New York a safer and fairer city in numerous ways, scaling back on arrests by 45% and targeting our investigative resources with far greater precision than in the past. Restricting or prohibiting the use of DNA and photo-recognition technologies would force investigators to fall back on less reliable and accurate means of identification, including eyewitnesses, who are less successful than technology at identifying people accurately.

DNA holds promise in finding fugitive Lester Eubanks but FBI rules, privacy questions loom

The Marshals have been trying to gain approvals to compare his biological son’s DNA against samples of DNA collected from unsolved crime scene evidence around the country in hopes that it will yield a match and offer hints to Eubanks’ new identity or recent location.

New DNA investigation technique helps solve 2 SoCal cold cases

BURBANK, Calif. (KABC) — Authorities are pursuing a first-of-its-kind case in Los Angeles County – a murder prosecution using evidence from a commercial genealogy database.

Colombia adoptees find family decades after volcano tragedy

BOGOTA, Colombia — Jenifer de la Rosa was just a week old when Colombia’s Nevado del Ruiz volcano exploded, unleashing a wall of mud that buried an entire town and left 25,000 dead.
In the chaotic aftermath of the 1985 disaster the infant was handed over to a Red Cross worker and eventually adopted by a Spanish couple.
Now a documentary filmmaker, she’s been on a quest to answer one question that has haunted her: What happened to her biological family?

In France, it’s illegal for consumers to order a DNA spit kit. Activists are fighting over lifting the ban

The French ban on direct-to-consumer genetic testing is part of the country’s bioethics laws, which legislators are supposed to revise every seven years. When those discussions got under way earlier this year, some geneticists expected the National Assembly to relax the rules about commercial DNA analysis. It didn’t. Now, Jovanovic-Floricourt and the other genetics enthusiasts in her education and advocacy group, DNA Pass, are agitating more and more to get some of these tests legalized, contacting lawmakers, chatting up scientists, promising a more vociferous campaign than they’ve waged before.

Bode Technology Names New Director of Forensic Genealogy

Bode Technology (Bode), a leading provider of forensic DNA services, welcomed their new Director of Forensic Genealogy, Melinde Lutz Byrne, to the organization. Byrne’s team will strengthen efforts in expanding Bode’s Forensic Genealogy Service (FGS) to ultimately provide investigative leads to law enforcement through proven genealogy and DNA analysis methods.

The Australian peering into the mind of America’s worst serial killer

There have been several advances in DNA technology over Williamson’s career, but she says a recent “gamechanger” has been the growth of genetic genealogy services used to trace family trees. They allow investigators to identify criminals among the relatives of those who upload their DNA profiles.
Joseph DeAngelo, the so-called Golden State Killer, was arrested in April 2018 after police used public genealogy databases to link him to DNA from the crime scenes.
While there are obvious privacy concerns about the practice, Williamson says it is invaluable in solving crimes and providing justice to victims’ families.
“There are 240,000 unsolved homicides in this country and that is too many,” she says. “Everyone’s story deserves an ending.”

One-legged skeleton found under Russian dance floor is Napoleon’s ‘lost general’, DNA tests confirm

More than 200 years after he died of his battlefield wounds in Russia, one of Napoleon Bonaparte’s favourite generals has been formally identified thanks to DNA tests on a one-legged skeleton found under a dance floor.
His heirs are now calling for him to receive a state funeral in his native France.