Jefferson Lab Hosts Upcoming Science Lectures on DNA and Chocolate

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Jefferson Lab will host a public lecture on March 29 titled DNA: The Strand That Connects Us All presented by Matt Kaplan from the Human Origins Genotyping Laboratory, Phoenix, Ariz.
Kaplan will discuss how the methods and discoveries of human population genetics studies are applied for personal genealogical reconstruction and anthropological testing. Kaplan will start with a short general review of human genetics and the biology behind DNA testing. He will discuss the anthropological results from the Genographic Project, a landmark study supported by the National Geographic Society, and the genotyping laboratory's newest project, the DNA Shoah Project. With this project, researchers are building a database of genetic material from Holocaust survivors and their immediate descendants in hopes of reuniting families fractured by the Holocaust.

On April 19, Jefferson Lab will host Andy McShea, chief operating officer and head scientist for Theo Chocolate, Seattle, Wash. In his lecture, titled The Science of Chocolate, McShea will explore the chemistry of chocolate, and how this chemistry relates to the flavor and effects of chocolate on the human body and why, even after 3,400 years of cocoa consumption, chocolate remains somewhat of a mystery.

Both events will start at 7 p.m., last about an hour and include a question-and-answer period at the end. They will take place in Jefferson Lab's CEBAF Center auditorium, located at 12000 Jefferson Ave., Newport News. They are free and open to anyone interested in learning more about science.

For security purposes, enter at Jefferson Lab's main entrance (Onnes Drive.). Attendees under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Everyone over 16 is asked to carry a valid photo ID. Security guards may perform ID, parcel and vehicle checks. For directions and additional information about Jefferson Lab public lectures, visit, or contact Christine Wheeler, e-mail or call 757-269-7560.

These lectures are part of Jefferson Lab's spring and fall Science Series. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Jefferson Lab is one of 10 national research laboratories funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. It is managed and operated for the DOE by Jefferson Science Associates, LLC.

A live videostream of these lectures may be viewed online at:

Select past lectures are available for viewing from the Science Series Video Archive at:


Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, manages and operates the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, or Jefferson Lab, for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. JSA is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Southeastern Universities Research Association, Inc. (SURA).

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit