Saturday, April 16, 2005

Your ancestry might surprise you.

Want to find out who ALL your ancestors are? An ambitious project got underway this week to trace the genetic roots and migratory journeys of the human species. And you can participate.

DNA samples collected from indigenous populations, whose DNA contains key genetic markers that have remained relatively unaltered over hundreds of generations, will form the backbone of the Genographic Project because they serve as reliable indicators of ancient migratory patterns.

Members of the general public can also participate by purchasing a kit (U.S. $99.95 plus shipping and handling), and allowing their own results to be included in the database. Participants will be assigned a Personal ID number, allowing their personal results to be stored securely and anonymously.

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"The more we can improve our understanding of the common origin and journey of humankind, the greater the possibility for all of us to see each other as members of the same family," said Ted Waitt, founder of the Waitt Family Foundation. "And with that awareness, we can find ways to live and work together on a global basis."
The DNA test kit can be ordered online through National Geographic.