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The secret Facebook groups for people with shocking DNA test results • The Atlantic
Sarah Zhang:
<p>not all biological parents want to be found. In conversations and correspondence with more than two dozen people for this story, I heard of DNA tests that unearthed affairs, secret pregnancies, quietly buried incidents of rape and incest, and fertility doctors using their own sperm to inseminate patients. These secrets otherwise would have—or even did—go the grave. “It’s getting harder and harder to keep secrets in our society,” says CeCe Moore, a prominent genetic genealogist who consults for the television show 'Finding Your Roots'. “If people haven’t come to that realization, they probably should.”

St. Clair told me she sees it as a generational shift. The generation whose 50-year-old secrets are now being unearthed could not have imagined a world of $99 mail-in DNA kits. But times are changing, and the culture with it. “This generation right now and maybe the next 15 years or so, there’s going to be a lot of shocking results coming out. I’d say in 20 years time it’s going to dissipate,” she predicted. By then, our expectations of privacy will have caught up with the new reality created by the rise of consumer DNA tests.

But until then, hundreds, maybe thousands, of people like St. Clair are left to piece together their family histories, containing the fallout of a DNA test however they can. The best help, many have found, is each other.

“It was better than therapy,” Dawn, 54, says of joining the DNA NPE Friends group. “I tried therapy. It didn’t work.” (The Atlantic agreed to identify by first name only the people who have not revealed their misattributed parentage to friends and family.) Therapists, friends—they all had trouble understanding why the revelation mattered so much. When Dawn told her close friends that her biological father had Italian heritage, they joked about making cannoli. “They don’t understand the gravity,” she says. She herself didn’t quite understand until it happened to her either. Dawn had spent her whole life suspecting her father was not her biological father, yet the revelation still left her unmoored. “The very foundation of who I thought I was was ripped out from under me,” she says. “Until that moment, I had no idea how much stock I had put in my family to identify to find who I was.”</p>

What had been a staple of reality TV morning shows becomes untelevised reality.
socialwarming  dna  family 
yesterday by charlesarthur
Dan Gibson: How to build synthetic DNA and send it across the internet | TED Talk
Biologist Dan Gibson edits and programs DNA, just like coders program a computer. But his "code" creates life, giving scientists the power to convert digital information into biological material like proteins and vaccines. Now he's on to a new project: "biological transportation," which holds the promise of beaming new medicines across the globe over the internet. Learn more about how this technology could change the way we respond to disease outbreaks and enable us to download personalized prescriptions in our homes.
yesterday by snivitz
How my research on DNA ancestry tests became "fake news"
I was not surprised to see our research twisted by fake news and satire websites. Conspiracy theories are meant to be just as entertaining as they are convincing. They also provide a way out of confronting reality and reckoning with facts that don’t confirm preexisting worldviews. For white nationalists and racists, if test results showed traces of African American or Jewish ancestry, either the tests did not work, or the results were planted by some ideologically motivated scientists, or the tests were part of a global war against whites. With conspiracy theories, debunking is rarely useful because the individual is often searching for an interpretation that confirms their prior beliefs.

As such, DNA conspiracy theories allow white supremacists to plan new escape routes for the traps they laid for themselves long ago. With DNA testing, the one-drop rule—a belief made law in the 1900s that one drop of African blood makes one Black—becomes transmuted genealogically into the one-percent rule, according to which to remain racially white, an individual’s results must show no sign of African or Jewish origin. Through the genealogical lens, American white nationalists consider “one hundred percent European” as good results, which in turn substantiates their “birth right” to the United States as a marker of heredity and conquest.
racism  science  fake-news  conspiracy  genealogy  dna  dna-testing 
5 days ago by jm
Refusal of new passports for children raises DNA testing fears • Financial Times
Robert Wright:
<p>The Home Office has refused to renew the British passports of at least two children in recent weeks without proof of paternity that lawyers say can be provided only through a DNA test.

In both cases, the mothers of the children were not UK citizens, but their children had already been issued British passports on account of their British fathers.

The cases suggest the Home Office is taking a particularly hard line where the right to reside in the UK of a mother depends on the UK citizenship of their child.

The revelations came after the Home Office ordered an urgent review last week into why its immigration officers have been demanding DNA tests even though guidelines state they should not be compulsory.

Letters from HM Passport Office, a department of the Home Office, were sent to the two women on June 11 and July 2.</p>

Note that this is *renewal*, not instantiation, of the passport. Seems like the "hostile environment" towards immigrants hasn't changed after all.
passport  immigration  uk  dna 
5 days ago by charlesarthur
The Yeti is a Himalayan Bear, According to DNA - The Atlantic
You might have missed this news that we now know what the Yeti is. It’s a bear.
ifttt  tumblr  science  animals  yeti  dna  tobereviewed 
6 days ago by creature
Fern's genome could be secret weapon against pesky bugs.
genomics  hcsm  dna  genome  from twitter
9 days ago by xjubeix

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