Sequencing the survivors

Hebe de Bonafini (center), the head of Argentina's Mothers of Plaza de Mayo group, whose children disappeared during the "dirty" war of 1970s, leads one of the marches in Buenos Aires's Plaza de Mayo in December 1979. Credit: AP Photo / Eduardo Di Baia" />Hebe de Bonafini (center), the head of Argentina's Mothers of Plaza de Mayo group, whose children disappeared during the "dirty" war of 1970s, leads one of the marches in Buenos Aires's Plaza de Mayo in December 1979. Credit: AP Photo / Eduardo

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob Grant is Editor in Chief of The Scientist, where he started in 2007 as a Staff Writer.

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Sep 1, 2007
<figcaption>Hebe de Bonafini (center), the head of Argentina's Mothers of Plaza de Mayo group, whose children disappeared during the " />
Hebe de Bonafini (center), the head of Argentina's Mothers of Plaza de Mayo group, whose children disappeared during the "dirty" war of 1970s, leads one of the marches in Buenos Aires's Plaza de Mayo in December 1979. Credit: AP Photo / Eduardo Di Baia

Twenty-five years ago, two Argentinean grandmothers flew thousands of kilometers to knock on the door of New York-based Argentinean geneticist Victor Penchaszadeh to ask him to reunite their broken families. A few years earlier, armed henchmen had burst into their children's homes and the homes of thousands of other Argentineans considered to be political dissidents, spiriting them away to secret detention centers. Many were never seen or heard from again.

One 1978 night, gunmen took Argentineans Claudio and Monica Logares and their 23-month-old child, Paula. Like hundreds of children either abducted with their parents or born to captive mothers, Paula grew up in the...

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