About us

Shannon Halligan:

I decided at a very young age that I wanted to be a journalist. I think it was because I was naturally curious and inherently I had a desire to know things first and share it with the world! Was that genetics? Possibly. Or maybe it was more nurture in that whole “nature vs. nuture” thing. Anyways, I went to school to become a broadcast journalist (Go Orange!) and then worked as a general assignment reporter in Massachusetts and Kansas City. Now, I’m back in my hometown of Chicago reporting on breaking news. In my free-time, I often spend hours working on building my family tree. (Some might say obsessively). It’s because of that interest that I looked to DNA testing to help broaden my search. What I found was remarkable! And also very confusing. So I set out to try and make sense of all of it (and roped Nick in to help). Hopefully we can help make sense of it for those (like us) who want to know more about the wide world of genetics.

Nick Sloan:

I have been a journalist in Kansas City for more than 10 years, with a wide variety of experience on various platforms. I originally covered education and local government for The Kansas City Kansan. During this time, I won two Kansas Press Association awards for reporting on those topics. I also covered high school sports and state politics/government.
In March 2015, I moved on and started working as a digital editor and assignment editor at 41 Action News, the NBC affiliate in Kansas City. In May 2016, I moved on to work as a digital assignment editor at KCTV5, the CBS affiliate in Kansas City.
Like Shannon, I’m not a scientist, but I became interested in DNA for a variety of reasons: Family history, my effort to lose weight and my struggles with mental illness. Is there a fat gene? Can genes really determine what type of shape you’re in? How linked are genetics and depression? Are Michael Jordan and LeBron James great basketball players because they practiced harder than others or genetics?  I’m curious in trying to answer these questions and more.