Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Where are you from?

Now this sounds like a fun idea. Back when I was growing up, the only thing I could get in the mail was a package of dehydrated sea monkeys. Now, with a swab of the cheek, I can get a DNA family history.

From Kevin Kelly’s Cool Tools:
About half a dozen companies offer a paid service to test your genes, taken from cells in the cheek, and provide a rough analysis of where you fall in the 100,000-year migration of humans across the globe. These outfits only sequence a very few points in your DNA, called markers. In general the more markers they check, the better. If you are willing, you can then submit your genetic marker results to the rapidly growing database of other folks who have tested their DNA.

Coming from your basic German/Irish immigrant mix, I doubt my genetic history would be that interesting. My wife is a bit more interesting - English on one side and native Hawaiian on the other. And the Hawaiian should branch off to at least the Phillipines and Portugal. Meaning our daughter’s tree would include all our markers and could circle the globe. Cool tool indeed.

Mr. Kelly recommends the From Kevin Kelly’s Genographic Project kit from National Geographic. For $100, sure beats dead sea monkeys.

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