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Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Genographic Project

A few months ago, I sent a DNA sample in to the "Genographic Project," a DNA analysis program sponsored by National Geographic.  After about six weeks, I got my results which were somewhat surprising.  Prior to this, I knew that the majority of my recent ancestors came from various locations in the British Isles.  However, the project compared my DNA with what is referred to as "reference populations."  The two that aligned most closely with me were 'Danish' and 'Greek.'  The former would make sense as my ancestors were probably part of the Anglo-Saxon migrations into Britain 1,500 years ago.  But, the Greek was strange and I still don't understand how the percentages led to that conclusion.  Ultimately, these results don't mean that I'm from those areas absolutely; they only mean my DNA aligns well with the current populations in those locations.  Following is a breakdown of my percentages:

44%--Northern European
38%--Mediterranean
16%--Southwest Asian

The first category refers to the earliest inhabitants of Europe.  The second refers to those who came in later migrations after agriculture became prevalent in the Middle East.  The third is a result of ancient migrations where common DNA is still shared after all these millennia.

Another interesting result, 2.4% of my DNA is Neanderthal and 2.7% is Denisovan, a kind of Asian Neanderthal.  Supposedly, all individuals with origins outside of Africa will have comparable percentages of these.

Anyway, I will try to post some screenshots of my results once I figure out how to do this.

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