Truly Bad Films

Sunday, February 19, 2006

National Geographic Genographic Project

I got my test kit from the National Geographic Genographic Project yesterday. The project studys non-recombined DNA in men and women. In men, they're using the Y-chromosome. In women, they're looking at mitochondrial DNA. (They have a nice graphic which demonstrates the difference between recombined DNA and non-recombined DNA. Be sure to click the radio buttons at the bottom. Their tour of Population Genetics is educationally fun too.) The National Geographic project is tracing deep ancestory to discover what paths our ancient fathers and mothers took out of Africa.

Since I got part of my DNA analyzed a couple of years ago, I've wanted to get this mitochondrial test done. In 2004 DNA Print did two tests for me. One test is called Ancestry by DNA, and then there is a more specific test call EuroDNA. I knew from family history that in order to learn that I was anything more specific than "european" I'd have to take both tests. Even though I got asked by strangers all the time what Native American tribe I was from, my parents insisted that we weren't anything but european. And they were right!

My tests showed that I'm 60% north european, 30% Italian and 10% Turkish. Since I look the part, I really identify with that 40% of my ancetry from the Italian/Balkan/Adriatic/Ottoman region of the world. It'll be interesting to find out what the mitochondria of my body show about the movement of human populations.

There are so many places you can go to get Y-chromosome or mitochondrial testing, but I think the prices of that test have been softened by the Genographic Project. Before National Geographic began subsidizing the costs of these tests, it was $400 to get it done. Any place that does it now charges more than National Geographic, which is why I chose them. The only difference between the product NG offers and the other tests is the fru-fru (booklets, "Seven Daughters" blather, crap to hang on the wall, etc.) other companies include with your test results.

So you can pay Oxford Ancestors £180.00 and let them brand you as one of their "Seven Daughters," or you can pay DNA Print $219 and frame their "Certificate of Humaness" or whatever, or you can pay National Geographic $100 and be a part of their educationally cool mission. The money you put with National Geographic helps send field agents out to collect more samples from people without computers.

When I get mine back, I'll tell you what they found.


At 8:41 AM, Anonymous keysunset said...

See, see, parents CAN be right once in a while!!! Ha ha ha! Tell my kids that!


At 3:27 PM, Blogger GG said...

Well maybe I should do one of these tests since no one in the family actually knows where we are from...though I do have at least 2 native american tribes in me...wonder if it's enough to get me outta paying tution???
then I may have to change my SN too...something like Rain falls softly on gaelgurl...yeah, I like that.


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