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Genographic Project

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  • Genographic Project

    I read with interest at that Spencer Wells, with the cooperation of the National Georgraphic Society and IBM, has launched a 5 year study called the Genographic Project.

    This is an attempt to get the most comprehensive worldwide database of DNA samples ever developed. This sounds like a good idea.

    I wonder if data from existing DNA databases (like that at Family Tree DNA) will be included in this study??

    Timothy Peterman

  • #2
    I see on the National Geographic website that FamilyTreeDNA will be processing the samples for the Genographic Project. In the FAQ, there's a note that participants will have the opportunity to contact FTDNA for followup testing.

    My hunch is that the Genographic Project Y-DNA samples will have the 12-marker test run on them (along with a haplogroup prediction), and that the opportunity for followup testing would involve refinements to 25 or 37 markers.

    As yet there's no press release on the FTDNA website about this... I imagine/hope that there will be one soon.

    In addition to Timothy's question about whether existing FTDNA customers can elect to have their data included in this new project's database, I would add this question: will participants of the Genographic Project be informed by FTDNA at some stage about surname projects that are underway? I'm thinking that this could be a great way to recruit additional participants to surname-based DNA projects.

    - David.


    • #3
      Genographic Project

      Perhaps FTDNA should give customers the option of making their data available to researchers for various worthwhile projects. It could be done on a study-by-study basis. Those who would not wish to have their results used or sample made available for testing could simply not opt in. This could potentially make a wealth of data available to researchers that could otherwise only be obtained at significant cost.



      • #4
        I have read this latest news as well this morning! Excited to hear more. Spencer Wells has done some really interesting work already in the past and it's exciting that Family Tree will be the lab doing the work! There are many news articles on the topic today, if you just go to google's news section.


        • #5
          DNA project aims to trace human migration
          Associated Press

          WASHINGTON — Researchers are aiming to learn more about how the Earth was populated by collecting and analyzing genetic samples from 100,000 people around the globe.

          The five-year Genographic Project, being announced Wednesday, will use sophisticated laboratory and computer analysis of DNA to figure out the patterns in which people moved from one part of the world to another. It is sponsored by the National Geographic Society and IBM.

          "We're trying to figure out where we came from. It's a very simple human question," said Spencer Wells, the project's director and a population geneticist known for groundbreaking work in this field.

          Researchers plan to collect blood samples from 10,000 indigenous people — those whose ancestors inhabited a land before Europeans or other outsiders arrived — at each of 10 sites around the world. Because indigenous people trace their ancestors back to the same land over considerable time, their DNA contains "key genetic markers that have remained relatively unaltered over hundreds of generations," project scientists said. That makes their genetics reliable indicators of ancient migratory patterns.

          Most of the work that's been done so far has been based on genetic data from about 10,000 people, Wells said. That has helped establish that people came from Africa within the last 60,000 years, but little is known about what migratory routes they followed off that continent or what happened over the last 10,000 years, he said.

          Genetic fingerprints help establish the patterns, enabling scientists to trace variations in genes to their origins, he said.

          For instance, scientists are not sure how the Americas were first populated, said Ajay Royyuru, the lead scientist for IBM. The first people may have come from Siberia and eastern Asia, or they may have been Europeans migrating over a frozen north Atlantic, he said.

          "The goal of the project is to learn the journey that our ancestors traveled and hopefully answer the question of who we are and how we happened to be where we are," he said.

          The project is also inviting participation from the general public, for a fee. People may buy a kit for $99.95 (plus shipping and handling) that will allow them to scrape the matter from the inside of their cheeks and send it in. They will receive information about their own migratory history, and their data will be included in the master database. Participants will receive updates on the project and other materials as well.

          All information in the master database will be anonymous and researchers promise to keep individual identities confidential.

          Wells said he is not concerned that the database might be skewed with samples from people who can afford to pay nearly $100 to participate, saying even nonrandom data will help scientists understand migration patterns.

          Part of the proceeds will help fund the Genographic Legacy Project, which will support education and cultural preservation efforts among participating indigenous groups.

          Project organizers said the result will include scientific papers, educational programming and a public database that can serve as a resource for scientists and researchers.

          Blood samples will be collected from indigenous people by researchers based at 10 sites around the world: Shanghai, China; Moscow; Tamil Nadu, India; Beirut, Lebanon; Philadelphia; Johannesburg, South Africa; Paris; Melbourne, Australia; Minas Gerais, Brazil; Cambridge, England.

          The $40 million is being funded in part by the Waitt Family Foundation.


          • #6
            Originally posted by dapike

            In addition to Timothy's question about whether existing FTDNA customers can elect to have their data included in this new project's database, I would add this question: will participants of the Genographic Project be informed by FTDNA at some stage about surname projects that are underway? I'm thinking that this could be a great way to recruit additional participants to surname-based DNA projects.

            - David.

            the best way is to actually show people results. (something the technical people really dont care about) When was the last time someone found a unknown cousin? and when did people not poo -hoo it

            news flash genealogists want new results


            • #7
              do you notice nothing about connecting familys

              when i got my first results as a decendent of a stone mason from longford .It told me i was e3b. people said to disreguard half my matches being askenazi and just except being a neolithic farmer . i knew that wasnt it right but everyone said basicly get over it
              i have a match 1 gentic distance at 25 named garcia turns out his family story is they were jewish and converted in spain

              why are we always talking about 30,000 years ago
              why dont you post that article on a recruiting post to get genealogist to test
              good luck


              • #8
                I just became interested in the research called the Genographic Project. In my local paper it said the actual testing is being done at the University of Arizona in Tucson. The project leader here is Michael Hammer. I wonder if there will be many participants from African American community?


                • #9
                  To find out about the project visit .


                  • #10
                    $1,000,000 Question

                    Will these be more unknown origins?
                    will these people release all the info?
                    and if you should match someone in china 37/37 will everyone say so what?

                    if the answers are yes ,no, yes
                    who cares other then bennett gets well deserved money


                    • #11
                      good price!

                      I posted the following on the new genographic forum; i'll copy it here in case anyone knows the answer.
                      Hi- Unless i'm reading some of the info incorrectly, does that mean a male person will get both Y DNA and mitochondrial DNA analysis for only $99 total plus shipping?

                      That's considerably cheaper than the combo currently offered thru familytree dna site.That's not a complaint; I have been thinking about purchasing analyses for family members, and it looks like this new project would be the way to go.

                      Is there any reason for new customers to order directly via familytree dna? Maybe upgrades to 25 and 37 markers or to mtdna plus are not available by ordering thru national geographic? or maybe there's no search for cohanim marker if that's relevent? Please let us know if there's anything that buying directly thru familytreedna will provide that buying indirectly thru the currently cheaper national geographic world project would not provide.

                      thanks much.


                      • #12
                        You have to mark each $99 genographics kit as to whether you're Male or Female. I think they did this so Females wouldn't ask for Y tests, and Males wouldn't get confused about which to request... to keep it simple for the public.

                        Anyway, my understanding is that if you're a male and want the Mt test, just mark your sample as being Female. If you also want the Y test, buy another kit (another $99) and mark it as Male. Or, I've been told through correspondence, you can choose either and get the other tests (Y or Mt or further refinements) through FTDNA.

                        I've got a genographics kit. I'm going to mark it as Female for the Mt test. Then have FTDNA do the Y test.


                        • #13
                          R1b in Sicily

                          R1b in Sicily

                          If R1b is Celtic. Then how did R1b's find themselves in Sicily?

                          Are R1b's native to Sicily?

                          Or were they brought from Austria or the British Isles?

                          Or could the Normans have Celtic genes that left there mark in Sicily?

                          Two types of Normans - Celtic-Normans & Nordic-Normans

                          Two types of Sicilian Normans - Celtic-Normans & Nordic-Normans

                          I believe there are two types of Norman poplations in Sicily: R1a & R1b.

                          The question is whether R1b came from continetial European - from Spain or Austria or from the British Isles?

                          I am asking this question - due to having a name via my mother's father's side "Azzo" that means "noble" in Germanic.

                          Sicilian Peoples: The Normans

                          Here is interesting article written by Vincenzo Salerno:

                          Genetics & Anthropology in Sicily

                          I think r1b's could be result of - the influx of the "Celtic-Nordic" Normans intermarrying with the local population.

                          Nordic - most generally, refers to native inhabitants of Scandinavia, northwestern Europe and regions bordering the North Sea.

                          Normans - residual Norse civilization of medieval Normandy, amalgamated with the essentially Gallic-Celtic population already resident there. In the medieval context, the Normans were Frankish as well as Scandinavian.

                          R1a = Nordic
                          R1b = Celtic

                          There would have to be a few of us in Sicily


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by rconn2
                            I've got a genographics kit. I'm going to mark it as Female for the Mt test. Then have FTDNA do the Y test.

                            So what if they have do this selection do identify later who can and cannot later have an additional Y-DNA test? Say you your male and mark yourself as female. Later when you want to order Y_DNA test the order system says "No, your a girl!"


                            • #15
                              What if you were an XY female?

                              I have not been karyotyped, so I have no idea if I may be one of those.

                              I so want to get my father tested. But I do not know if he would be interested.