Article: A new tool hopes to uncover the lost ancestry of enslaved African Americans

History, Open Data
Isaac Granger Jefferson, Virginia (c. 1845)

A new tool hopes to uncover the lost ancestry of enslaved African Americans

I would give everything I own for the chance to interview Mary Jen Burton Jessie. My mother’s grandmother was born in 1875 near Aiken, South Carolina, 12 years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Without ever seeing a picture or drawing of her, I visualize a stocky build, prominent cheekbones, rounded shoulders. All physical trademarks courtesy of my maternal side.

And if I thought my mother Eloise got carried away by birthing 10 children, Mary Jen one-upped her. The 11 surviving children she and Henry Jessie created are half the leaves on part of my family tree I’ve been able to pluck and prune together since joining back in 2018.

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Article: Biologists launch ‘open-source movement’

Access, Document, Open Decision-Support, Research

Biologists launch ‘open-source movement’

An initiative is being established this week with a US$1-million grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, to make research tools more readily available to biologists who could not otherwise afford them.

The Biological Innovation for Open Society (BIOS) initiative will seek to make information and technologies such as plant-breeding tools freely available. It will also provide scientists with better information about what they can access and, its founders hope, establish an international community of interested researchers.

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