📺 “Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.” Reporting on the Reporters | PBS

Watched "Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr." Reporting on the Reporters from PBS
With Christiane Amanpour, Ann Curry, Henry Louis Gates, Lisa Ling. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and his team uncover the family stories of journalists Christiane Amanpour, Ann Curry and Lisa Ling.

Came across this at random and it’s really fascinating. Of course it would be nice if everyone had access to such a service for a low cost…

👓 Majority of mathematicians hail from just 24 scientific ‘families’ | Nature

Read Majority of mathematicians hail from just 24 scientific ‘families’ by Davide Castelvecch (Nature)

Evolution of mathematics traced using unusually comprehensive genealogy database.

Most of the world’s mathematicians fall into just 24 scientific 'families', one of which dates back to the fifteenth century. The insight comes from an analysis of the Mathematics Genealogy Project (MGP), which aims to connect all mathematicians, living and dead, into family trees on the basis of teacher–pupil lineages, in particular who an individual's doctoral adviser was.

An interesting look back at history.

👓 The Coming Wave of Murders Solved by Genealogy | The Atlantic

Read The Coming Wave of Murders Solved by Genealogy (The Atlantic)
The same DNA analysis used to find the alleged Golden State Killer has led to the arrest of a second alleged murderer. It’ll likely lead to more.

I can see this going to the Supreme Court sooner than later on privacy related underpinning. I can’t help but recall the words of Jed Bartlett in The West Wing when he was saying in season one that privacy would be one of the most pressing issues for the Supreme Court in the coming century.

🎧 ‘The Daily’: The Hunt for the Golden State Killer | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: The Hunt for the Golden State Killer by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

Paul Holes was on the verge of retirement, having never completed his decades-long mission to catch the Golden State Killer. Then he had an idea: Upload DNA evidence to a genealogy website.

On today’s episode:

• Paul Holes, an investigator in California who helped to crack the case.

Background reading:

• A spate of murders and rapes across California in the 1970s and 1980s went unsolved for decades. Then, last week, law enforcement officials arrested Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, a former police officer.

• Investigators submitted DNA collected at a crime scene to the genealogy website GEDmatch, through which they were able to track down distant relatives of the suspect. The method has raised concerns about privacy and ethics.

A stunning story with some ingenious detective work. I worry what the potential privacy problems are off in the future, though one of the ideas here is that it actually helps protect the privacy of some individuals who are wrongly and maliciously accused and thus saves a lot of time and money.

The subtleties will be when we’re using this type of DNA evidence more frequently for lower level crimes while at the same time the technology gets increasingly cheaper to carry out.

👓 The first step in finding Golden State Killer suspect: Finding his great-great-great-grandparents on genealogy site | LA Times

Read The first step in finding Golden State Killer suspect: Finding his great-great-great-grandparents on genealogy site (latimes.com)
The clue that led investigators this week to the door of the suspected Golden State Killer came from an unexpected source: GEDmatch.com — an amateur genealogy website that’s something like the Wikipedia of DNA.