Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Genographic Project


I have learned of a new project, the Genographic Project. I am going to participate and have my DNA analyzed. I encourage everyone to become involved. You can learn about yourself and where your ancient ancestors came from.

1. What is the Genographic Project?

National Geographic and IBM are embarking on a landmark five-year study that will assemble the world's largest collection of DNA samples to map how humankind populated the planet.
The Genographic Project will use sophisticated computer analysis of DNA contributed by hundreds of thousands of people—including indigenous populations and the general public—to reveal man's migratory history and to better understand the connections and differences that make up the human race.

The Genographic Project has three core components:Field Research—The core of the project is the collection of blood samples from indigenous populations, whose DNA contains key genetic markers that have remained relatively unaltered over hundreds of generations making them reliable indicators of ancient migratory patterns. Dr. Wells and a group of 10 scientists from prominent international institutions will conduct the field and laboratory research. One additional research center will focus on analyzing DNA from ancient remains. The Waitt Family Foundation is funding this component of the Genographic Project. An international advisory board will oversee the selection of indigenous populations for testing as well as adherence to strict sampling and research protocols.

Public Participation and Awareness Campaign—The general public can take part in the project by purchasing a Genographic Project Public Participation Kit and submitting their own cheek swab sample, allowing them to track the overall progress of the project as well as learn their own migratory history. These personal results are stored anonymously to protect the privacy of participants. National Geographic will regularly update the public and the scientific community on project findings, including through the website and through National Geographic's many other media platforms worldwide.

Genographic Legacy Project—Proceeds from the sale of the Genographic Public Participation Kits help fund future field research and a legacy project, which will build on National Geographic's 117-year-long focus on world cultures. The legacy project will support education and cultural preservation projects among participating indigenous groups.
The 10 research centers are located around the world and will represent their respective regions. The centers are located in Australia (Australia/Pacific), Brazil (South America), China (East/Southeast Asia), France (Western/Central Europe), India, Lebanon (Middle East/North Africa), Russia (North Eurasia), South Africa (Sub-Saharan Africa), the United Kingdom (Western/Central Europe), and the United States (North America).

2. What makes this project so different?

Most of what we know about anthropological genetics is based on DNA samples donated by approximately 10,000 indigenous people from around the world. While this has given us a broad view of the patterns of human migration, it represents but a small sample of humanity's genetic diversity. Over the next five years, The Genographic Project will attempt to collect and analyze DNA blood samples from over 100,000 indigenous people making it the world's largest study of its kind in the field of anthropological genetics. The resulting data will map world migratory patterns dating back some 150,000 years and will fill in the huge gaps in our knowledge of humankind's migratory history. This data will eventually comprise the largest database of its kind.
In addition to the field research component, the Genographic Project is reaching out to the public. The general public around the world will be invited to participate in the study by purchasing a Genographic Public Participation Kit. By sending in a simple cheek swab sample, a participant can learn about his or her own deep ancestry while contributing to the overall Project.
Link

5 Comments:

Blogger Ginnie said...

Very, very interesting!

6:31 PM  
Blogger christina said...

Wow, that sounds great. But aren't you scared they might try to clone you? Ha ha,only kidding. It will be interesting to see if this will bring up any religious controversy among fundamentalists and such as to where people REALLY came from and who their ancestors were.

12:14 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Yep, I'm with Christina. They'll clone you and there'll be a little James running around and they might be mean to him and not hug him enough. The thought of that worries me.

10:38 PM  
Blogger katie w. said...

Howdy! Very interesting indeed! I'm also thinking about taking part in this project. How long did it take until the "DNA testing set" was sent to you? How about the German customs? Did you have to pay alot extra? And last but not least, do you know when you'll be told about the results? It'd be great to hear about your experiences. Greetings, Katie

12:41 PM  
Blogger James said...

I hate to admit it, but I have not ordered it yet. I really want to and I don't know why I haven't yet..thanks for the reminder.

10:02 PM  

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