Genetic Genealogy in the News: A 10,000 Word Article at MATTER

dnastock.jpgPublished today at MATTER is “Uprooted,” an in-depth look at genetic genealogy and DNA testing.  The article contains numerous quotes from several names you’ll recognize, including CeCe Moore and me.  Much of the story focuses on genealogist Cheryl Whittle and her roller-coaster quest to find her biological roots using DNA testing. From the preview of the roughly 10,000 word article:

In Issue 11 of MATTER, award-winning writer Virginia Hughes tells Cheryl’s story, and describes how the twin revolutions of the internet and DNA testing have turned genealogy into a privacy minefield. After all, your genetic code is as personal as it gets — yet thanks to the web, you are no longer the only person who gets to control it.”

You can buy the full article for .99 cents at MATTER.  You can also get the full article by subscribing to MATTER for 0.99 cents per month.


MATTER is an online platform that “commissions, crafts and publishes unmissable journalism about science, technology and the ideas shaping our future.”  The service got its start from a Kickstarter campaign in early 2012 that raised more than $140,000.  MATTER is also on Twitter.

Virginia Hughes

Virginia Hughes is a freelance journalist based in Brooklyn, New York that has been widely published.  She is the author of a popular blog hosted by National Geographic, Phenomena: Only Human, where she writes about a wide variety of science subjects.  Hughes is also active on Twitter.

Hughes writes frequently on DNA testing and its impact on society.  See, e.g.:

2 Responses

  1. CeCe Moore 30 September 2013 / 1:46 pm

    HI Blaine,
    I am very glad that both your and Cheryl’s portrayals were positive in this article, however it appears that Ms. Hughes wanted to sensationalize the “risks” of DNA testing and decided to use me and an unsuspecting young woman to do so. Perhaps she didn’t realize that using me was a poor choice since everyone in the genetic genealogy community as well as the scientific community surrounding us knows that I would never say those words in that context. She mischaracterized both my words and the tone of our communications. As I told her numerous times, in every case I have ever been involved with, the outcome has been a positive one with the individuals affected expressing that their lives had been enriched – not harmed – through knowing the truth.
    Further, I feel it was extremely unethical to include the story of “Terry” without her permission. In that too, Ms. Hughes chose to give it her own spin by presenting only the most negative aspects and leaving out all of “Terry’s” positive comments.
    I was wrong to expect better from Ms. Hughes.

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