Current topics in archaeology, cultural heritage & historic preservation

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

60,000 Years of Family Migration: The Genographic Project


Wouldn't it be cool if you could know where your ancestors came from 60,000 years ago!? Kind of makes a trip on the Mayflower seem insignificant...

Now, through the wonders of DNA analysis, you can actually track the journey your ancient forefathers (and/or mothers) took across the globe.

National Geographic, IBM, and the Waite Family Foundation have made this possible by creating The Genographic Project. A 5-year undertaking that promises to reveal the secrets of human migration across the earth by studying the DNA of indigenous people and ordinary folks like you and me.

I've signed up to participate in The Genographic Project and I'm going to post information on the process...and my personal results...on this blog.

So let's get started!

February 5, 2010: I go to the Project website to order my Genographic Participation Kit. The kit costs $115.90 ($99.95 plus $15.95 shipping if you're in the U.S.) Not cheap, but I really want to know my family's migration pathway and they are going to test my actual DNA which I know is pretty expensive.

February 12, 2010: My Participation Kit arrives!

...and Lexie the Cat is so fascinated I thought we were going to have to send in her DNA!
February 15, 2010: DNA sampling commences! Basically you take that small plastic stick and scrap it around inside your cheek...hey, we've all seen this is pretty easy. Then you drop the business end of the stick into a little tube of fluid and screw it closed...then you do it all again creating a second sample

February 17, 2010:
I sign the Consent Form, put it and the samples in the padded envelope that comes with the kit...and drop it in the mail.

Now all we have to do is wait a few weeks for the results...a map that shows the actual migration path of my ancestors as they traveled out of Africa (I assume) and, over the centuries, find their way to North America. Stay tuned!

You don't have to spend a hundred bucks or donate your DNA to be part of the Genographic Project...just click the DONATE button below and give what you can to this worthy effort. (Of course, I have NO financial interest in the project!)

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