Episode 8: The backlog of thousands of untested rape kits

Statistics show that one-in-six women will be raped or sexually assaulted in their life.

On average, there are over 300,000 rape cases annually in the United States.

A “rape kit” is one of the first steps a victim can take in helping authorities find justice in their case. Unfortunately, there have been over 225,000 untested rape kits discovered across the country, most recently nearly 5,000 found in Missouri.

Victoria Pickering from the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault organization in Kansas City joins us to discuss the importance of the kits and how so many of them have been untested.

Episode 7: Chicago news anchor’s journey to Africa for answers

downloadFor many, online records and databases can serve as our primary source of research into our families following a DNA tests.

Many others, unfortunately, do not have that option. WGN anchor Cortney Hall spoke to us about her journey to Senegal after a DNA test revealed she was of Senegalese Mandinka ancestry.

She shares her story with us, then we chat about the unique difficulty African-Americans can face when researching their own history.

Episode 6: Helping younger generations become aware of DNA

3330fa0a364d9ef1722def2e693bd088Back when we were in high school, we learned what was known about DNA through boring textbooks and lectures. Thankfully for today’s high school students, there’s a new way to become aware of DNA.

Throughout the nation, undergraduate students are traveling to high schools to help students learn and become aware of the power of DNA.

They’re using interactive modules in their efforts.

We spoke with Lynn Villafuerte, Assistant Director of Graduate Program Services at the University of Kansas, about this and the future of DNA.

Episode 5: DNA’s Role in the Golden State Killer Case

220px-Original_Night_Stalker-East_Area_RapistFor years, authorities in California have pursued an individual believed to be responsible for at least 12 murders, more than 50 rapes and over 100 burglaries.

This week, a suspect was arrested after matching crime scene DNA with genetic material that was stored by a distant relative on GEDmatch.

The case has garnered compliments for crafty police work, but also generated some privacy concerns.

Joining Shannon Halligan and Nick Sloan in this special episode to discuss the Golden State Killer case is Michael Tabman, a retired agent from the FBI and security consultant.

Episode 4: Opening up the “Pandora’s Box”

205362_317911191636887_2008363276_nA Chicago area biologist discovers he’s related to a world famous pop band from India! We were joined in this episode by Robert Sliwinski of DNA Explorers to talk more about this.

DNA testing can be simple….but it can also lead to complicated results.

“Here’s the thing, it is a Pandora’s Box, you may learn something you don’t want to know.”

Have you opened your box?

Let us know if you made any discoveries (good or bad) after DNA testing!

Episode 3: Pets and DNA

One of the very few things that unite most in the world is our love for pets, whether they’re dogs, cats, fish or reptiles.

Pets are becoming a larger part of our family – and now that includes the world of DNA!

In Episode 3, we speak to George Sofronidis, the managing director of Orivet Genetic Pet Care. Sofronidis speaks about the growing popularity of testing your pets DNA – and how studying “man’s best friend’s” DNA could help you down the road.

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Episode 2: To test or not to test?

Access to DNA testing has become more available across the country and many have taken advantage of it – but others have not. Shannon Halligan and Nick Sloan dive into why that’s the case and discuss their own thoughts on DNA testing.