Can DNA Prove We Are All Related?

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Our connection to one another runs deeper than any of us imagined.  Many faces, many differences, yet all of us are connected. Our story can be told through our DNA. It tells us where our ancestors began and traces the journey of our genes over thousands of years, bringing us to where we are today.

Dr. Spencer Wells, the Indiana Jones of genetics, has traveled the globe collecting DNA samples.  Dr. Wells was the keynote speaker at the Friday morning session of RootsTech. A population geneticist, Dr. Wells became interested in his ancestry when he began asking his parents about his name. “I wanted to know who I am. Where Did Rush Spencer Wells, IV come from? He became interested in ancient history after seeing a King Tut exhibit that toured the U.S.   Combine that with a love of science and Dr. Wells is now answering questions that explain the incredible patterns of human diversity. His focus now is with National Geographic’s Genographic Project.

Since its launch in 2005, National Geographic’s Genographic Project has used advanced DNA analysis and worked with indigenous communities to help answer fundamental questions about where humans originated and how we came to populate the Earth. Now, cutting-edge technology is enabling the Genographic Project to shine a powerful new light on our collective past. By participating in the latest phase of this real-time scientific project, you can learn more about yourself than you ever thought possible. You will also help support the Genographic Legacy Fund, which works to conserve and revitalize indigenous cultures around the world.

Are we all related to each other as a species? If we do spring from a common source, how did we get to all corners of the earth? You can join with National Geographic’s geno project by clicking her on their online webpage to learn more about it and order a DNA kit.

There are currently over 653,000 participants in this project. It is estimated that it will hit 2 million sometime this year.  This rapid increase is due to a few factors: DNA has become part of the national consciousness; people are getting more comfortable sharing their most private information on social media sites like Facebook and others; and finally, word of mouth has caused a “viral spread” of this project.

This is fascinating stuff.  Get involved and add your own chapter to the human story.

 

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