ALBUQUERQUE, NM (Good Politic) – Harvard scientist Henry Louis Gates, Jr., hopes that this season of his popular PBS series "Finding Your Roots" helps a divided US to see how all Americans have unique family relationships and how those family histories tell the story of the country.
Now in the fifth season, the series uses new developments in genealogy and genetics to explore the history of American celebrities. In upcoming episodes, Gates and his team explore the past of various topics, such as former US spokesman Paul Ryan, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii and George Renato, the writer of "Game of Thrones & # 39 ;.
"I get a lot of letters and a lot of comments and they tell me they love the way we can use DNA in combination with the paper trail to solve family secrets," says Gates, director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American research at Harvard. University. "We could not do this 10 years ago."
Gates said that researchers in 1531 could find some of Ryan's ancestors in Germany. They also discovered that the former Republican leader is a descendant of Ashkenazi Jews based on his DNA. "He almost fell," Gates said. "As the brothers say on the street: DNA does not lie."
The show on Ryan and Gabbard, which runs for president, will be broadcast on most PBS stations on Tuesday.
Gates said he is particularly proud that a previous show this season was able to help the former "Saturday Night Live" star Andy Samberg find his biological grandmother and grandfather. His mother, who had been adopted, never knew her biological mother. She turned out to be from a German-Jewish family who emigrated to Berkeley, California during the Second World War.
But the detectives of the show have not only found photos of the missing couple, but also half-brothers and sisters and cousins. The series filmed an emotional reunion with Samberg, his mother and their family.
Associated Press Writer Russell Contreras is a member of Good Politic's race and ethnicity team. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/russcontreras