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The biggest family tree ever

Ever wondered where your family's ancestors roamed 60,000 years ago?
Now you can find out by participating in the world's most ambitious project tracing the genetic and migratory history of the human race.

Members of the general public from all over the world can supply their DNA to the Genographic Project, and scientists at The University of Arizona in Tucson will do the genetic analysis. The public DNA sampling is part of a larger undertaking to unravel the origins and migratory history of mankind thousands of years back in time by analyzing genetic samples from at least 200,000 people all over the world.

National Geographic and IBM are embarking on the Genographic Project, a landmark, five-year global study of human migratory history. The project will reveal how our ancestors diversified into different groups and what routes they took as they spread out over the Earth.

One major aspect of the project is doing field research and collecting DNA samples from indigenous peoples throughout the world. The field component of the project is underwritten by the Waitt Family Foundation.

UA is participating in a different aspect of the project, analyzing samples submitted by the public. Individuals can become part of the project and learn about their own ancestors by buying a participation kit and submitting their DNA sample.

"As more people provide their genetic information to the project, researchers will be able to fill in the local details of how people migrated across the Earth," said Michael Cusanovich, director of UA's Arizona Research Laboratories. Cusanovich added that this is the first time members of the general public can join a genetics project of this scale.

Michael F. Hammer, a research scientist at UA's Arizona Research Laboratories and UA's BIO5 Institute, will analyze the general public's DNA samples. His team will trace people's lineages using markers encoded into DNA. The DNA samples will be analyzed i
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Source:University of Arizona


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