Your Family Tree Is About to Grow

All humans share genetic markers with indigenous peoples around the globe. Geneticists, like Spencer Wells, are able to map these connections as a result of small genetic mutations which occur as a gene is handed down from generation to generation. Now, in partnership with the National Geographic Society and IBM Corp, Wells has started the Genographic Project, which will solicit genetic data from millions of people, in hopes of collecting a large enough sample to link each individual to an intricate global and historical family tree. A large component of the project involves collecting blood samples from indigenous peoples, which will help create a more definitive picture of a given region's genetic profile. Wells hopes that the project will reveal the footprints of great civilizations past, and will preserve genetic history before the ever-increasing movement of people makes mapping indigenous genetic markers nearly impossible. If the Genographic endeavor succeeds, it will no doubt be a startling reminder that worldwide migrations are nothing new, and that each individual has roots all over the globe. – YaleGlobal

Your Family Tree Is About to Grow

Simon Avery
Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Click here for the original article on The Globe and Mail's website.

© Copyright 2005 Bell Globemedia Publishing Inc.

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