Understanding the Mental Toll of Adult Estrangement

For many adults, the idea of being estranged from their family can be a difficult concept to comprehend. Not only can it be emotionally devastating, but it can also have a lasting impact on one’s mental health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, adult estrangement is a reality that many people face, and it can be hard to […]

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Why Do Adult Children Estrange From Parents

The estrangement between parents and their adult children is a complex and multifaceted issue that can be difficult to measure accurately. However, some studies have provided estimates of the prevalence of estrangement. According to a 2015 UK charity Stand Alone survey, 7% of British adults reported being estranged from a family member. This included parents, […]

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We’re analysing DNA from ancient and modern humans to create a ‘family tree of everyone’

Did you know that it’s now possible to sequence all of your DNA for about the cost of a smartphone? This will reveal your unique genetic makeup and can be used to work out the similarities and differences between yourself and other people around the world at a genetic level.

But how can you make sense of this information, and what does your genetic variation tell you?

In our research group at Oxford University’s Big Data Institute, we think the key to understanding this is held in our ancestry, and in particular in the genetic genealogy that relates us all. This describes how you and everyone else have inherited different parts of your genome from different ancestors. Suppose we could learn this genealogy and decipher where and when they lived. In that case, we could uncover all of the history written in our genes – how our ancestors moved around the world and the evolutionary processes that created us all.

This sounds like a Herculean task. Without the genomes of everyone who ever lived, what could we possibly know about people who lived thousands or hundreds of thousands of years ago?

We’ve approached this task by devising a series of elegant computer algorithms which take genetic similarities and differences in a dataset of many individuals and accurately reconstruct relationships among them.


Why I Do Genealogy

We are the chosen. My feelings are in each family; one seems called to find the ancestors. To put flesh on their bones and make them live again, to tell the family story, and to feel that somehow, they know and approve. To me, doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts but breathing […]

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Donald Hoffman

My Life | My Story | My Family

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