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How DNA is revealing Latin America’s lost histories, and how to make a molecule from just two atoms

Geneticists and anthropologists studying historical records and modern-day genomes are finding traces of previously unknown migrants to Latin America in the 16th and 17th centuries, when Asians, Africans, and Europeans first met indigenous Latin Americans. Sarah Crespi talks with contributing correspondent Lizzie Wade about what she learned on the topic at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists’s annual meeting in Austin. Sarah also interviews Kang-Keun Ni about her research using optical tweezers to bring two atoms—one cesium and one sodium—together into a single molecule. Such precise control of molecule formation is allowing new observations of these basic processes and is opening the door to creating new molecules for quantum computing. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Juan Fernando Ibarra; Music: Jeffrey Cook] 

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