In 2005, the National Geographic embarked on a mission to chart the roots of the human family tree by tracing the lines created by DNA and genealogy results. Through anthropological and DNA research many scientists have come to believe that humans are all descendants from Africa. This study is known as ‘The Human Genographic Project.’ The project is still active in its sixth year and is bridging the gaps between different ethnicities by following genetic and human migration patterns.
The terms African Eve or Mitochondrial Eve and Y-Chromosomal Adam have been coined to represent the most recent common ancestor (MRCA). It is believed that all humans can trace either their paternal lines or maternal lines from these two primal ancestors. The Genographic Project traces the small mutations that occur within the Y chromosomal DNA of males and the mitochondrial DNA of females—these genetic marker are indicators of you and your lineage.
The tests are not-for-profit and are currently funded by the National Geographic and IBM. As of April 2011 400,000 people have on their own accord, purchased and participated in the test. Many volunteers are finding results that they never expected. Many African Americans are learning that their ancestors trace back to Europe while many Europeans are finding their lineage trace back to Africa.
The Genographic Project has also been testing indigenous communities in remote places of the world. Because these communities tend to be closed off from the rest of the world much of their genetic history has stayed intact. “ If the Genographic Project usually targets populations that have so far escaped the melting pots, it’s precisely because those pots are such a rich confusion of genes,” said Dr. Spencer Wells, project director. Proceeds of the Genographic Project also go to a Legacy Fund that preserves indigenous culture and traditions.
DNA is the key to connecting everything and anything. Because this is a nonprofit effort, the results are not as in depth as some other tests. With Ancestral Origins™, Genetic Testing Laboratories can provide more detailed results. Get closer to learning more about your roots and past!
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