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The Genetic Jackpot

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Episode 11: A further discussion about genetics and weight loss

In this week’s episode, Shannon and Nick have a follow-up discussion concerning genetics, diet and weight loss. Included in the discussion is the role genes can have in weight loss, but why it’s not the only factor. Plus, Nick elaborates more on his 300-pound weight loss journey over the past six years.


Episode 10: How secure is your genetic information online?

Data breaches are all too common today, ranging from retails to credit companies. In June, we learned that MyHeritage had a data breach that impacted 92 million users. How serious was the database breach and how can you fight back and prevent the damage? In this episode, we talk to Burton Kelso, a cyber-security and technology expert out of Kansas City to discuss data breaches and possible solutions.


Episode 9: Exploring the link between weight loss, diet and genetics

How important are your genes when it comes to fitting in your jeans? In this week’s episode of Genetic Jackpot, we explore how genes can impact obesity and the food you like. We speak to Emily Brown of Genetic Garden about how your genes, diet and overall health can be connected. We also have a discussion about the obesity gene and while it may exist, it doesn’t serve as a permanent road map to your life and Nick shares his story of his 320-pound weight loss journey.


Episode 8: The backlog of thousands of untested rape kits

Statistics show that one-in-six women will be raped or sexually assaulted in their life. On average, there are over 300,000 rape cases annually in the United States. A "rape kit" is one of the first steps a victim can take in helping authorities find justice in their case. Unfortunately, there have been over 225,000 untested rape kits discovered across the country, most recently nearly 5,000 found in Missouri. Victoria Pickering from the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault...


Episode 7: Chicago news anchor's journey to Africa for answers

For many, online records and databases can serve as our primary source of research into our families following a DNA tests. Many others, unfortunately, do not have that option. WGN anchor Cortney Hall spoke to us about her journey to Senegal after a DNA test revealed she was of Senegalese Mandinka ancestry. She shares her story with us, then we chat about the unique difficulty African-Americans can face when researching their own history.


Episode 6: Helping younger generations become aware of DNA

Back when we were in high school, we learned what was known about DNA through boring textbooks and lectures. Thankfully for today’s high school students, there’s a new way to become aware of DNA. Throughout the nation, undergraduate students are traveling to high schools to help students learn and become aware of the power of DNA. They’re using interactive modules in their efforts. We spoke with Lynn Villafuerte, Assistant Director of Graduate Program Services at the University of Kansas,...


Episode 5: DNA's Role in the Golden State Killer Case

For years, authorities in California have pursued an individual believed to be responsible for at least 12 murders, more than 50 rapes and over 100 burglaries. This week, a suspect was arrested after matching crime scene DNA with genetic material that was stored by a distant relative on GEDmatch. The case has garnered compliments for crafty police work, but also generated some privacy concerns. Joining Shannon Halligan and Nick Sloan in this special episode to discuss the Golden State Killer...


Episode 4: Opening up the Pandora’s Box

A Chicago area biologist discovers he’s related to a world famous pop band from India! How a genetic genealogist helps family trees bloom.


Episode 3: Pets and DNA

One of the very few things that unite most in the world is our love for pets, whether they’re dogs, cats, fish or reptiles. Pets are becoming a larger part of our family - and now that includes the world of DNA! In Episode 3, we speak to George Sofronidis, the managing director of Orivet Genetic Pet Care. Sofronidis speaks about the growing popularity of testing your pets DNA - and how studying “man’s best friend’s” DNA could help you down the road.


To test or not to test?

Access to DNA testing has become more available across the country and many have taken advantage of it - but others have not. Shannon Halligan and Nick Sloan dive into why that’s the case and discuss their own thoughts on DNA testing.


Introduction to Genetic Jackpot

Shannon Halligan and Nick Sloan chat about their goals of the podcasts and why they're interested in DNA.