Lecture by Professor Erika Hagelberg: Is there such a thing as a Jewish genome?

New developments in DNA technology are having a huge impact on industry, medical science and forensic identification. They have also opened new opportunities for research in archaeology and human evolution, as we have seen in the recent identification of the skeleton of Richard III, and the advances in Neanderthal genetics. The technology is also aiding a growing industry in genetic genealogies, where human identity is defined in terms of patterns of DNA variants, obtained easily and cheaply from commercial companies, and giving rise to controversial notions, like that of a Jewish genome. In this talk Professor Hagelberg will describe the opportunities offered by human evolutionary genetics, as well as some of the limitations and more troubling aspects of research on genetic genealogies. Erika Hagelberg’s father came to the UK on a Kindertransport in 1939, aged 13. She studied biochemistry in London and gained a PhD at Cambridge. Her main field of research is the analysis of DNA from archaeological bones, and she has worked on several high-profile cases, including the identification of the skeletal remains of Joseph Mengele and of the Romanov family. She is professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Oslo, and Cheney Fellow in the Arts at the University of Leeds. In partnership with The Second Generation Network.

Contact email: info@wienerlibrary.co.uk

Venue of event: The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide, 29 Russell Square, London, WC1B 5DP

Date and time: Tue 12 Apr 2016, 6.30pm-8pm

Website Address: http://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=242

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