Indigenous people around the world would be asked to supply a cheek swab to help geneticists answer the question of how humanity spread from Africa, the National Geographic Society and IBM said Wednesday.
They hope to sample 100,000 people or more and look for ancient clues buried in living DNA to calculate who came from where and when.
And for US$100, anyone who wants to can supply his or her own cheek swab for a personalized analysis and perhaps to contribute to the research.
“We all came out of Africa, but how did we get to where we are today?” asked geneticist and anthropologist Spencer Wells.
Experts in related fields such as population genetics, archeology, evolution science, linguistics and paleontology will help in the five-year project.
Fossils provide some clues about where people settled as they evolved and moved from Africa to colonize every continent except Antarctica. But mysteries remain, for example, about how people first got to Australia 50,000 to 60,000 years ago, or when and from where the first humans arrived in the Americas.
Linguistics and DNA provide many clues, but the so-called Genographic Project will aim to systematically look at all peoples on all continents. Full Article...