Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Genographic Project 2.0

Dr. Spencer Wells
National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Spencer Wells and team designed Geno 2.0 based on the new technologies and insights that emerged since the launch of the Genographic Project in 2005. Using an exclusive, custom-built genotyping chip, we test nearly 150,000 DNA markers that have been specifically selected to provide unprecedented ancestry-related information.”
That sounds amazing. Like out of this world technology that I’d love to get my hands on. But the packet costs two hundred dollars and you have to be eighteen or older to purchase. I’m not eighteen. I really want to learn about my ancestry and where I come from. I know I have ancestors from Italy, Germany, Norway, and God knows where else. So I’m assuming that it’s safe to say that I’m mostly of European descent, which makes sense because Italy, Germany, and Norway are in Europe.

The package that you purchase to become part of the project
I don’t want to learn about my ancestors for the sake of knowing. I want to know their names, where they lived, why the migrated the way they did, why they came to Ellis Island (if any of them did). I want to know everything that there is possible to know. It is something that I think about a lot of the time. If I took this test (which is a long cotton q-tip with cheek spit) hypothetically, the results would be surprising. But that is why I want to do this. I want the surprises.

This test would give me the basic answers that I’m looking for: Where do my ancestors come from? Of course, I would need to find out all my other questions at some other place because the cheek spit test doesn’t tell you names, it just tells you where. But for each location that your ancestors belong
ed to, it’ll tell you the percentage. So for example, you could have 25% ancestry from Africa or 6% from Mexico or any percentage from ANYWHERE. That percentage is called your “genome” and with percentages, once you add them up, they’ll equal one hundred, hopefully.

Learning about my ancestry is a secret passion that I have. And hopefully one day I’ll be able to purchase that package, and my parents will each purchase a packet too. Then I’d embark on a journey of nothing like ever before.
What you'd view on your computer once you get the results back


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