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  • 3 Dec 2021 8:23 AM | Anonymous

    The Promise Armenian Institute at UCLA partnered with a film foundation to create an image archive to recognize and celebrate decades of Armenian photography.

    The Promise Armenian Institute signed an official memorandum of understanding with the Armenian Film Foundation in April, said Hasmik Baghdasaryan, deputy director of the Promise Armenian Institute, in an emailed statement. This led to the creation of the Armenian Image Archive.

    The project is interested in Armenian photographic collections and photographers with photos of Armenian subjects and is not bound by a particular time period or geographical region, Baghdasaryan said.

    “The Armenian Image Archive has three goals: preservation, research, and exhibition of Armenian photographers and photography related to Armenian subject-matter,” Baghdasaryan said in the statement.

    You can read more in an article by Lori Garavartanian published in the Daily Bruin web site at:

  • 3 Dec 2021 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    How do you store information in DNA? Well, the concept isn't all that difficult to understand.

    The "traditional" method of storing digital information was as ones and zeroes. As a result, this requires a measurable amount, although a small amount, of physical space to record and store the information. Flash drives, hard drives , and other methods of storing ones and zeroes can do so in a small space but the space requirements are not zero.

    That becomes significant when storing terabytes and terabytes of information, such as in today's cloud-based data centers. Some of today's cloud-based storage facilities require computer rooms the size of a football field. Or larger. Much of that space is required to store information.

    Originally developed to analyze blood, DNA uses a different method to store our genetic information. Where hard drives use ones and zeros, DNA storage uses four chemical bases, adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C) and thymine (T). Remember elementary school science class? These compounds connect in pairs (A to T; G to C) to create rungs on a double helix ladder. It turns out that you can use DNA to convert ones and zeros into those four letters for storing complex data. Not only can you copy the method used in DNA, the result is less physical space required.

    In other words, you can pack more information into a (small) physical space by copying DNA's four chemical bases than you can when using ones and zeros.

    Microsoft, one of the pioneers of DNA storage, is making some headway, working with the University of Washington’s Molecular Information Systems Laboratory, or MISL. The company announced in a new research paper the first nanoscale DNA storage writer, which the research group expects to scale for a DNA write density of 25 x 10^6 sequences per square centimeter, or “three orders of magnitude” (1,000x) more tightly than before.

    If adopted by future data warehousing facilities, the result could be much smaller data centers, resulting in lower electricity, air conditioning, and similar requirements.

    Microsoft is one of the biggest players in cloud storage and is looking at DNA data storage to gain an advantage over the competition by using its unparalleled density, sustainability, and shelf life.

    You can read a lot more about this new technology in an article by Phillip Tracy published in the Gizmodo web site at:

  • 2 Dec 2021 1:51 PM | Anonymous

    23andMe is best known for at-home genetic tests primarily for inheritance testing. However, the company has long been planning on using their genetics expertise to develop drugs. The idea was to use its genetic database to identify and create new treatments. 23andMe now has a database filled with genetic information from approximately 11.9 million people.

    In June 2021, 23andMe went public via a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC), VG Acquisition Corp., which is backed by British billionaire Richard Branson. 23andMe raised $592 million in proceeds from the IPO and, as of September 30, had about $700 million. With that cash in hand, it plans to push faster and deeper into drug development.

    The company, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., has two immuno-oncology compounds under development. One is via a partnership with GlaxoSmithKline, which is currently in clinical studies. The second drug is expected to enter the clinic by the end of March 2022.

    The GlaxoSmithKline deal was inked in July 2018 and marked a four-year collaboration. At the time, they said they expected to progress several targets per year jointly, and would initially split evenly the development activity expenses. GSK made a $300 million equity investment in 23andMe.

    The first compound from the partnership entered the clinic in July 2020. They described it as a “potential first-in-class cancer treatment that was discovered by GSK and being co-developed by the two companies.” It was genetically validated by 23andMe using a proprietary algorithm that compared potential drug targets to data from its research platform.

    Steve Schoch, 23andMe’s chief financial officer, told the Wall Street Journal that if the two cancers drugs are effective, it will help the company show a profit for the first time. In the quarter that ended September 30, it reported a net loss of $16.5 million, compared to a net loss of $36.2 million in the same period in 2020.

    But profitability from drugs that are only entering the clinic is several years down the road. The cash from the SPAC-IPO deal will provide funds to run on until they can generate meaningful clinical data, which would allow them to raise more capital.

    “Once you have meaningful efficacy data on the biotech side of things, the ability to raise capital, and the price at which you raise capital, will change meaningfully and will become less expensive and more available,” Schoch said.

    Approximately 81% of its revenue comes from its at-home genetic tests. The rest comes from GSK for access to its research database.

    At the beginning of the month, 23andMe completed a previously announced acquisition of Lemonaid Health, which is a sign the company is moving into healthcare and pharmacy services. Lemonaid Health is an on-demand platform for medical care and online pharmacy services.

    At the time, Anne Wojcicki, chief executive officer and co-founder of 23andMe, stated, “This acquisition marks the first step in 23andMe’s journey to provide our customers with truly personalized healthcare, starting with genetics as the foundation. Lemonaid Health’s telemedicine platform and digital pharmacy will enable us to bring better healthcare to individuals in an affordable and accessible way, and ultimately empower people to take better control of their health.”

    Schoch noted, “We only advertise our direct-to-consumer business. We’ve been very, very quiet about the biotech business because [with] that one, you just have to wait until it moves.”

  • 2 Dec 2021 7:50 AM | Anonymous

    Here is a major announcement: from December 2–7, 2021, MyHeritage is offering free access to one of the company's most important historical record collections: U.S. City Directories.

    The U.S. City Directories collection contains over 561 million records in 26,000 public U.S. city directories published between 1860 and 1960. They typically include names, names of spouses, addresses, occupations, and workplaces, which makes them a rich source of information about family members in the United States — especially as an alternative to missing or destroyed census records. The MyHeritage collection is especially valuable because of its advanced indexing and multiple record consolidation, which make it much easier to find what you’re looking for and track your ancestors’ progress over time.

    This is amazing news for anyone looking to dig deeper into their roots in the United States. You are welcome to search the collection now to learn more. 

    You can read more about this limited time offer in the MyHeritage Blog at:

    Happy searching!

  • 2 Dec 2021 7:45 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA):

    Manorial and Estate Records in England and Wales are the subject of AGRA’s latest autumn/winter monthly podcast.

    Available to listen to as of the 1 December 2021, join three of AGRA’s professional genealogists – Ian Waller, Catherine Ryan and Sue Adams – as they share their valuable insights and research tips about these fascinating records, which can provide a wealth of information about ordinary people.

    In a discussion moderated by Helen Tovey, editor of Family Tree Magazine, our AGRA genealogists, with years of experience in their field and a track record of breaking down brick walls for clients, will explain and demystify these sources. Their advice will enable family and local historians to unlock these under-utilised records.

    AGRA Chair, Antony Marr, said: “Continuing the very popular AGRA podcast series, our AGRA experts can explain how to best access and use Manorial and estate records. These are an under-used but very valuable source of information about the lives of ancestors, and not often included in on-line collections.”

    AGRA’s podcasts are released on a monthly basis. Each edition tackles a different aspect of family history, and links to a section on the AGRA website with details of helpful resources and search tools.

    The podcasts are available on the AGRA website as well as on a range of podcast hosts, such as Apple.

    Topics already covered by AGRA’s professional genealogy experts, and available to listen to are:

    • House Histories. Ancestral Research, Getting Started - including understanding BMD and Census records. • Research Before 1837.
    • Military Research - including British service in India.
    • DNA Testing and Use in Conjunction with Genealogical Research.
    • Using Land Records, such as maps and tithe maps for further research.
    • Commissioning Effective Research, to ensure you get the results you want and the best value for money when using a professional genealogist.
    • Legal and Chancery Records. • Researching Welsh Ancestors.

    Further topics to be released in 2022 are:

    • January: Researching Liverpool Ancestors. Liverpool became a colourful melting pot of immigrants from Ireland and further afield, as well as having strong connections with the slave trade. It provides a rich field for family research.
    • February: Poor Law, Settlement Records, Workhouses & Asylums. Before the Welfare State the Poor Law was the only source of relief for the poor and destitute. Our experts examine how it worked and what records it produced.

  • 2 Dec 2021 7:40 AM | Anonymous

    Graham and Emma Maxwell at will be hosting another Scottish Indexes Conference on Sunday 5 December 2021. This is a free event and the schedule for the day is now available from

    Here are the presentations you can look forward to:

    • ‘Tracing Jewish families in Scotland and Central/Eastern Europe’ by Michael Tobias
    • 'Scottish Marriage: Instantly Buckled for Life’ by Chris Paton
    • ‘Ae Fond Kiss and then we sever’ by Kirsty Wilkinson
    • 'Tips for tracing your 18th century Scottish ancestors online' by Andrew Armstrong
    • ‘Dundee's Tallest Tenement’ by Jennifer Jolly
    • ‘Business Records for the Family Historian’ by Dr Irene O’Brien
    • ‘Solving Brickwalls’ by Emma Maxwell
    • Genealogy Q & A hosted by Graham and Emma Maxwell

    Click here to register on Zoom.

  • 1 Dec 2021 3:51 PM | Anonymous

    The following was written by the Ohio Genealogical Society (OGS):

    December 1, 2021—Bellville, Ohio: The Ohio Genealogical Society (OGS) announces a request for lecture proposals for the 2023 conference to be held April 26-29, 2023, at Kalahari Resort & Convention Center in Sandusky, Ohio.

    Topics being considered include: Ohio history, its records, and repositories; ethnic (African American, German, Irish, Polish, etc.); religious groups; migration into, within, and out of Ohio; origins of early Ohio settlers, and the Old Northwest Territory. Other topics of interest that will be considered include: land and military records; technology; DNA; mobile devices and apps; organization; society management and development; social media; and methodology, analysis, and problem solving in genealogical research.

    The program committee is specifically seeking new, unusual, and dynamic proposals. Interested speakers are strongly encouraged to submit multiple proposals for either one-hour general sessions, or two-hour workshops. There is no limit to the number of proposals a speaker may submit. The deadline for submission of lecture proposals is May 31, 2022.

    Submit proposals in PDF format. Each proposal must include:

    • Speaker’s name, address, telephone, and e-mail address
    • Lecture title, not to exceed ten words, and a brief, but comprehensive outline
    • Lecture summary, not to exceed twenty-five words to be used in the conference booklet • Identification of the audience level: beginner, intermediate, advanced, or all
    • Speaker biography, not to exceed twenty-five words
    • Resume of prior speaking experience

    Submit all proposals via e-mail to no later than Midnight EST May 31, 2022. Multiple proposals may be sent in one email. Please limit your emails to no more than two (2) emails. Speakers are required to use an electronic presentation program. Projectors will be provided by Kalahari Resort & Convention Center.


    Selected speakers receive an honorarium, travel compensation, conference registration, hotel, and per diem based on the number of days lectures are presented. (Sponsored speakers will only receive conference registration and syllabus materials. See more about sponsorships below.)


    Societies and businesses are encouraged to submit proposals for sponsored talks. The sponsoring organization will cover speaker’s lecture(s) honorarium. Sponsored speakers will abide by all speaker deadlines. Sponsored speakers will receive complimentary OGS conference registration and electronic syllabus materials. The deadline to submit sponsored lectures is also May 31, 2021.

    Additional information

    Camera-ready syllabus material, due February 1, 2023 is required for each general presentation and will be included in the syllabus distributed to all conference registrants.

    Invitations to speak will be issued by the end of June of 2022. Syllabus format guidelines will be sent to selected speakers at that time. The deadline for acceptance and submission of signed speaker contracts is July 15, 2022. Letters of regret will not be sent out until all invited speakers have responded.

    About the Ohio Genealogical Society

    The Ohio Genealogical Society, founded in 1959, is the premier Ohio family heritage resource and the largest state genealogical society in the United States. Our mission is to protect and share Ohio’s family history resources, developing engaging educational opportunities, and connecting genealogists. The Ohio Genealogical Society uniquely creates a network of Ohio expertise that lets genealogists discover their families, so they feel personally enriched, and confident in their results.

    Your participation as a speaker for the Ohio Genealogical Society's annual conference is greatly anticipated. We look forward to hearing from you.

    Stacey Adger
    Rebecca Plank
    2023 OGS Conference Co-Chairs

  • 1 Dec 2021 1:10 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG):

    Applications for BCG’s Paul Edward Sluby Sr. African American Scholarship

    are due 15 March 2022.

    Applications for BCG’s Paul Edward Sluby Sr. African American Scholarship

    are due 15 March 2022.

    Paul Edward Sluby Sr. (1934–2019)

    (Photograph used with the permission of Patricia Carter Sluby, PhD)

    Applications for scholarships for African Americans to participate in national genealogical institutes are due 15 March 2022, the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) announced today. This scholarship is named after the first board-certified African American genealogist, Paul Edward Sluby Sr.

    Scholarships will be awarded to up to three students who are African American, to cover up to $1,700 of the tuition, travel, and lodging expense of attending one of five premier national institutes. BCG will also waive its final application fee of $300 for scholarship recipients who submit portfolios of work to be considered for certification within three years of the announcement of an award.

    The application form and supporting material is posted on BCG’s website at

    Applicants are required to submit an essay and a sample of their genealogical research. It is anticipated that scholarship recipients will be awarded in May 2022, so that recipients can take part in institutes scheduled for 2023. Those wishing to apply should fill out the required application form and submit with supporting materials to

    The five institutes eligible for scholarships for tuition, travel, and lodging expenses (where applicable) are:

    • Genealogical Institute on Federal Records (Gen-Fed), held annually at the National Archives and other locations in Washington, DC, and College Park, Maryland in August.
    • Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, holds two separate week-long sessions in June and July.
    • Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research (IGHR), held in Athens, Georgia, in July, under the auspices of the Georgia Genealogical Society.
    • Midwest African American Genealogical Institute (MAAGI), based at the Allen County Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana, currently offered for three days in early July.
    • Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), sponsored by the Utah Genealogical Society, Salt Lake City held in January each year.

    Where a scholarship is announced after the close of registration for a particular institute, BCG will work with the institute to seek available seats for scholarship recipients in desired courses. Applicants should exhibit intermediate or higher skills that have prepared them for an in-depth learning experience. There is no age limit or income requirement.

    “The Board for Certification of Genealogists is pleased to sponsor attendance at these high-quality educational offerings,” said President LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG, CGL, FASG. “This scholarship program is designed to increase the number of under-represented communities in the ranks of Certified Genealogists®, in line with BCG’s core missions.”

    Elyse Hill, CG
    BCG News Release Coordinator

    The words Certified Genealogist and its acronym, CG, are a registered certification mark, and the designations Certified Genealogical Lecturer and its acronym, CGL, are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluation.

  • 1 Dec 2021 9:03 AM | Anonymous

    Following a recent Archive Service Accreditation Panel, the UK Archive Service Accreditation Committee is pleased to announce that Medway Archives Centre has been awarded accredited status for the first time.

    All accredited archive services must apply again for accreditation six years after their initial award to retain their accredited status. At the same panel, the following archive services were awarded accreditation for the second time:

    • Churchill Archives Centre
    • Glamorgan Archives
    • Richard Burton Archives, Swansea University,
    • University of Bradford Special Collections
    • University of the Arts Archives and Special Collections Centre
    • Wolverhampton City Archives

    By attaining accreditation, archive services demonstrate that they meet the UK standard for collections management and access to collections, showing resilience and the ability to manage changing circumstances successfully. This has been vital to granting awards during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has presented exceptional challenges to archive services across the UK.

    Archive Service Accreditation is supported by a partnership of the Archives and Records Association (UK), Archives and Records Council Wales, National Records of Scotland, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Scottish Council on Archives, The National Archives, and the Welsh Government through its Museums, Archives and Libraries Wales division.

    View the full list of accredited archive services.

    Find out more about Archive Service Accreditation and the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • 1 Dec 2021 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    According to an announcement from The National Archives (in Kew, Richmond, Surrey, England):

    "Today we can announce two regional hubs that will provide free online access to the 1921 Census of England and Wales from 6 January 2022.

    "The census will be available online via our commercial partner Findmypast and will be free to access in this way at The National Archives, in Kew.

    "In addition, visitors to the Manchester Central Library and the National Library of Wales will be able to access the 1921 Census of England and Wales via the Findmypast website for free following its publication next year.

    "Access at the Manchester Central Library, on St Peter’s Square, Manchester, will be supported by the Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society helpdesk and the Archives+ Team.

    "The publication of the 1921 Census of England and Wales is the culmination of almost three years’ work by Findmypast’s highly skilled team of conservators, technicians and transcribers.

    "It is the largest project ever completed by The National Archives and Findmypast, consisting of more than 30,000 bound volumes of original documents stored on 1.6 linear kilometres of shelving, as outlined in two special guest blogs exploring the vast digitisation and conservation project."

    The full announcement may be found at:

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