Tuesday, April 03, 2007

DNA Stalkers

Amy Harmon of the NY Times tells us in this story that DNA research has added a whole new dimension to the study of genealogy, something I've talked about here before. Harmon tells us that this has bred a whole new group of people so obsessed with obtaining DNA confirmation of their research that they collect samples from discarded cups of possible relatives and plucking hairs from corpses.

"Seeking to expand their family trees, thousands of amateur family historians have begun asking people with the same last names to compare genes, even though most are total strangers. That is where the free drinks come in.

'I always say, never ask for DNA on a first date,” said Georgia Bopp, 65, a retired banker in Kailua, Hawaii. 'A courtship is involved.'”


"Some funeral homes now offer post-mortem DNA collection. But Linda Jonas saw no need for professional help when she tugged several hairs from her grandmother’s head as she lay in her casket.

She made sure to get the root.

'Obviously, it’s not going to hurt her,' said Ms. Jonas, a family historian in McLean, Va. 'I had a little Ziploc.'”

You can't make this stuff up!

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