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23andMe Provides the Science Behind PBS Series "Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr." With Its Personal Genome Service®
Date:4/9/2012

ho are also in 23andMe's growing database, which now includes more than 150,000 individuals.

23andMe's technology incorporates more than 750 maternal lineages and over 500 different paternal lineages, curated by 23andMe scientists so that customers can trace the global origins of their paternal or maternal lines.

"DNA is a powerful tool that can supplement paper records and family stories," stated 23andMe's Senior Director of Research, Joanna Mountain, PhD and consultant to Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. "DNA can provide information that's been lost, missing, or hidden from memories, oral traditions and written records."

Not only did Finding Your Roots participants find out if their DNA connects them to a select group of other celebrities and historical figures, including Marie Antoinette, Thomas Jefferson, Jesse James and others who are regularly featured in 23andMe's reports, but using proprietary technology, Finding Your Roots participants also found out how they were connected to each other. In as few as two or three hops, family connections are made across cousins and continents. The connections were sometimes direct family relations but more often each pair of celebrities was connected through one, two, or three others — cousins, related to the celebrities through common ancestors.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Finding Your Roots host, author of 14 books and the director of Harvard's W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, found that genetic science reveals that racial and ethnic dividing lines are not as sharp as many assume. 

As a cultural historian Gates reflected:

"One of the triumphs of American democracy is that the diversity of our people can be reflected and explored through genealogy and genetics.  Through the use of 23andMe's Relative Finder tool that uses autosomal analysis, we have actua
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