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This Genealogy Database Helped Solve Dozens Of Crimes. But Its New Privacy Rules Will Restrict Access By Cops.

GEDmatch’s revamped genetic privacy policy could set off legal battles that go all the way to the US Supreme Court.

Peter Aldhous • 2 hours ago

Genetic Genealogy Helped Finally Crack The 1996 Murder Of 18-Year-Old Angie Dodge

The arrest in a notorious cold case follows the imprisonment of another man for two decades, and a false DNA lead that briefly implicated a New Orleans filmmaker.

Peter Aldhous • 2 days ago

The Arrest Of A Teen On An Assault Charge Has Sparked New Privacy Fears About DNA Sleuthing

Critics fear we’re on a slippery slope of genetic genealogy being used to investigate less serious crimes. “We’re right here on the precipice, sliding down,” one expert said.

Peter Aldhous • 4 days ago

Can You Work Out How To Spend Your Money To Slow Global Warming?

It’s easy to feel helpless in the face of climate change, but how you spend your money can make a difference.

Peter Aldhous • 23 days ago

How Much Do You Know About Climate Change?

When Yale University quizzed US adults on the facts, most of them got a failing grade. How do you compare?

Peter Aldhous • 23 days ago

Here And Now: These Maps Show How Climate Change Has Already Transformed The Earth

Our planet is in the grip of rapid climate change. Explore how your city has already changed.

Peter Aldhous • 27 days ago

We Tried To Find 10 BuzzFeed Employees Just Like Cops Did For The Golden State Killer

The Golden State Killer case has triggered a boom in “genetic genealogy” for solving crimes. But how hard is it to find people by sleuthing in their family trees?

Peter Aldhous • One month ago

The Golden State Killer Case Has Spawned A New Forensic Science Industry

One company has already solved more than 30 cold cases through genetic genealogy. Now the biggest forensic DNA firm in the US is getting involved.

Peter Aldhous • 3 months ago

One Of The Biggest At-Home DNA Testing Companies Is Working With The FBI

The move is sure to raise privacy concerns as law enforcement gains the ability to match DNA from crime scenes to a vast library of possible relatives.

Salvador Hernandez • 3 months ago

He Denied Sexual Harassment Allegations In An Academic Journal. Now Two Universities Have Found Against Him.

William Jacoby set off a storm of protest last year when he used the journal he edited to rebut allegations of sexual harassment.

Peter Aldhous • 4 months ago

The Cities Where The Cops See No Hate

The victims were beaten or threatened with deadly weapons. They were taunted with racist or anti-gay abuse. Yet the police decided these weren’t hate crimes.

Peter Aldhous • 5 months ago

Is Your Home At Risk From Wildfire? Check These Maps.

We don’t know exactly when and where wildfires will strike, but almost two decades of fire history show the areas at highest risk.

Peter Aldhous • 5 months ago

Why California Can’t Chainsaw Its Way Out Of A Raging Inferno

“This is a home ignition problem much more than a wildland management problem,” one fire ecologist said.

Peter Aldhous • 6 months ago

Is Your Home At Risk Of Flooding From Rising Seas By 2050? Check This Map.

Homeowners in these areas will need to get used to flooding year after year.

Zahra Hirji • 6 months ago

A Star Neuroscientist Allegedly Drugged And Sexually Assaulted A Grad Student At A Scientific Meeting

Vanderbilt University placed David Sweatt on leave in August, after the allegation surfaced on Twitter. Records obtained by BuzzFeed News show that the school was warned he was a “potential safety threat” in 2017.

Peter Aldhous • 6 months ago

How Russia’s Online Trolls Engaged Unsuspecting American Voters — And Sometimes Duped The Media

By impersonating US activists on the left and right, Russia’s online trolls got Americans’ eyeballs on their content. But we still don’t know whether the Kremlin’s meddling changed anyone’s real-world behavior.

Peter Aldhous • 6 months ago

Documents Show That Arizona State Investigated A Slew Of Allegations Against Physicist Lawrence Krauss

“It is inconceivable how a faculty member in the course of carrying out his work responsibilities could believe that the conduct would ever be appropriate,” the university’s provost wrote.

Peter Aldhous • 6 months ago

Celebrity Physicist Lawrence Krauss Will Retire From Arizona State In Wake Of Harassment Investigation

In February, BuzzFeed News revealed a decadelong history of allegations against the famous physicist.

Peter Aldhous • 6 months ago

The Method That Snared The Golden State Killer Suspect Could Find More Than Half Of Americans From Their DNA, Scientists Say

The researchers want genetic testing companies to “sign” the DNA profiles they produce with a secure code — limiting access to databases by cops.

Peter Aldhous • 7 months ago

Here’s Where Hurricane Michael’s Storm Surge May Hit Hardest

Experts predict potentially life-threatening storm surges — as high as 12 feet — in parts of the Florida Panhandle.

Zahra Hirji • 7 months ago