Genomics

Yaniv Erlich holds a framed picture of his father as a teenager

Columbia computer scientist Yaniv Erlich has assembled the world's largest family tree to date. He and his father (pictured as a teenager) are among the 86 million genealogy profiles Erlich and his colleagues drew from in their study. (MyHeritage)

From 86 million genealogy profiles, researchers have amassed the largest, scientifically-vetted family tree to date, which at 13 million people, is slightly bigger than a nation the size of Cuba or Belgium. Published in the journal Science, the new dataset offers fresh insights into the last 500 years of marriage and migration in Europe and North America, and the role of genes in longevity.
New technology adapted to cheap DNA sequencers can rapidly identify people and cells from their DNA.

New technology adapted to cheap DNA sequencers can rapidly identify people and cells from their DNA. Here, researcher Sophie Zaaijer demonstrates from a NYC rooftop how easy DNA-authentication can be.

Researchers have developed a method to quickly and accurately identify people and cell lines from their DNA. The technology, described in the latest issue of eLife, has a wide range of applications, but its most immediate use could be to flag mislabeled or contaminated cell lines in cancer experiments.