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SCI/TECH: National Geo & IBM Trace Human Migration via Genes

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posted on Apr, 13 2005 @ 08:22 AM
They will attempt to get DNA samples from over 100,000 indigenous tribes across the world. Each person who volunteers to offer a cheek swab will be rewarded $100. Their goal is to learn how humans spread themselves from Africa to the rest of the globe. They hope this will fill in the holes to some of the questions that fossils alone could answer. For example, they hope to discover more about how people first came to Australia over 50,000 years ago.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Indigenous people around the world will 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 on 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

"We all came out of Africa, but how did we get to where we are today?" asked geneticist and anthropologist Spencer Wells.

"What we are aiming for is the story of everybody."

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.

Teams in China, Russia, India, Lebanon, Brazil, South Africa, Paris, Britain and Australia have signed on to help.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

This research should help reinforce the theory that man originated from Africa alone. There have been several attempts to link mankinds origins to other places like China, South America, the middle east, and Asia. It should be very interesting to see how the differences (ie. facial features, skin tone, body size, etc.) in humans originated.

Related News Links:

Related Discussion Threads:
The origin of humans....

[edit on 13-4-2005 by mpeake]

posted on Apr, 13 2005 @ 08:26 AM
I do not know if someone has told you this yet but thereis a thread on this already

posted on Apr, 13 2005 @ 08:27 AM
Please keep us informed on this project. I know it will be quite some time before any results come out but I would love to learn more about this. Great post.

posted on Apr, 13 2005 @ 08:47 AM
Discover Magazine had an article on this a few months back in December 04. Scientists were collecting samples across China and Europe tracing the migration of early man through markers on the Y chromosome. The men carried some marker that was constant that women didn't have. The sexual exploits of Gengis Khan and the spread of his genetic material was a big find.

Here's a link:

Here's a quote:

The X and Y chromosomes carry the genes that determine sex. Men have one X, inherited from their mothers, and one Y, inherited from their fathers. Only 5 percent of the Y chromosome’s DNA mingles with the X chromosome. The Y thus provides an unadulterated record of inheritance from father to son over generations. By analyzing Y chromosome samples from around the world, geneticists infer how and when humans originated in Africa and how they colonized the globe.


To each donor or group of donors, Wells gave what he calls his blood speech, explaining DNA, the purpose of the expedition, their role in it, and then asking for “informed consent.” On the television version of The Journey of Man, for which Wells traveled the world in 2002, retracing some of his earlier steps, he visits a man in southeastern Kazakhstan whose blood had been sampled on the 1998 expedition and who has turned out to have an important Y chromosome marker called M45. At a festive dinner, Wells gives him the blood speech again and concludes with a toast: “To your very important blood, which has brought us together.” The man seems happy and relieved: As Wells candidly explains, he thought Wells had come back to tell him he had cancer.

Scenes like that demonstrate that truly informed consent can be an elusive goal in anthropological genetics, and yet it seems clear that Wells has done no harm to the man and has done our knowledge of the past a lot of good. M45 is an important branching point on the human family tree. One branch leads to M173, which is a mutation shared by most people of Western European descent. The other branch leads to M3, which is shared by most Native Americans. European and Native American men also have M45, but in Central Asia there are men, like Wells’s Kazakh dinner companion, who have M45 but neither of the two later mutations—they have a large range of different ones instead. That indicates Central Asia is where M45 originated and where both Europeans and Native Americans originated, from a single source.
By counting the number of mutations that have happened since M45, Wells and his colleagues estimate that M45 is about 35,000 to 40,000 years old. The European marker, M173, happened roughly 30,000 years ago, which is when the first cave paintings appeared in France. M3 is present only in Native Americans, and so it must have happened after humans first crossed the Bering Strait and arrived in the Americas. Archaeologists have long debated the timing of that momentous event; most favor a date of around 13,000 or 14,000 years ago, but a few have held out for one as early as 30,000 years ago.

For what it's worth, I've noticed that ATS threads seem to follow this magazine. I'll read about it, then 2 or 3 mos later there's a thread on it and several other articles in the same issue. Interesting reading!

posted on Apr, 13 2005 @ 09:03 AM

I do not know if someone has told you this yet but thereis a thread on this already

Duplicate topics in ATS and ATSNN is allowed.

posted on Apr, 13 2005 @ 11:35 AM
Sorry, I looked for a similiar thread this morning when I posted this, but couldn't find one. It must have been posted when I was putting this one together. Oh well, this being my first ATSNN submission, I'm allowed one mistake right?

posted on Apr, 14 2005 @ 05:20 AM
I reiterate. mpeake, you did not make a mistake. Members are allowed to post duplicate threads on ATSNN that exist on ATS and vice-versa. The moderators, and I think even SkepticOverlord, have made this clear before. Carry on as you were.

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