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Lawrence Wein: Computation cracks cold cases

An expert in the fast-emerging field of forensic genetic genealogy reveals how mathematics can help catch criminals through traces of their DNA.
Image of a scientist's hand holding a pencil while looking at a DNA gel.
The proliferation of databases with DNA measurements for genealogy work creates an opportunity to find perpetrators of crimes. | Shutterstock/gopixa

This episode's guest on Stanford Engineering’s The Future of Everything podcast is Lawrence Wein, an expert in the science of catching criminals using DNA left behind years or even decades prior.

All it takes is a snippet of the killer’s DNA and for a relative of the killer to have registered their DNA with one of the many genealogy websites in operation today. Armed with those few details, genetic detectives quickly narrow in on the suspect. They’ve used it to capture some of the most reviled, previously unidentified killers on record.

Listen in as Wein joins host Russ Altman to discuss the mathematics of forensic genetic genealogy on this episode of The Future of Everything podcast.

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