Dawkins & Wong on genetic geneology.

I came across this video on youtube, recently uploaded by the BBC, of Richard Dawkins and his associate Yan Wong (authors of the magnificent ‘The Ancestor’s Tale’ of 2004) discussing the use of mitochondrial DNA and y-chromosomes to trace family lines. For anyone who hasn’t looked into it, it’s pretty interesting stuff. Essentially, your mitochondrial DNA is always, and always has been, passed down your maternal line which allows scientists to ascertain where your maternal ancestors were in the world and at roughly what times based upon differences in the DNA. The same is true of the y-chromosome and any given male’s paternal line. If you or anyone you know is interested in learning more about your genetic history I would recommend National Geographic’s Genographic Project (https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/genographic/index.html). They are running an open genetic history study at the moment that anyone can take part in, it isn’t free but it is much cheaper than most private genetic lineage tests.

The video of Dawkins & Wong:


~ by confusedious on April 28, 2011.

One Response to “Dawkins & Wong on genetic geneology.”

  1. The genographic project is on my wish list, has been for several years. Last time I checked, it was about $100. One of these days..

    I believe mitochondrial DNA goes back 100,000 years if I’m remembering correctly. I’m writing a series of paleo-history. I’m to Homo erectus’ life. I’m looking forward to the 100k threshold when I can tie my cast of characters into current man.

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