FROM THE PROJECT DIRECTOR, Dr. Spencer Wells
Welcome! I'd like to tell you a little more about the Genographic Project and what to expect if you decide to take part in this real-time research effort.
We're collaborating with indigenous and traditional peoples around the world to learn more about where we came from and how we got to where we live today. But participation is not restricted to indigenous and traditional peoples; we're also inviting the general public to join us on the journey. Together we can tell the story of us all.
About the Test
With a simple and painless cheek swab you can sample your own DNA and submit it to the lab. We run ONE test per participation kit. We will test either your mitochondrial DNA, which is passed down each generation from mother to child and reveals your direct maternal ancestry; or your Y chromosome (males only), which is passed down from father to son and reveals your direct paternal ancestry. You choose which test you would like administered.
What to Expect
Your results will reveal your deep ancestry along a single line of direct descent (paternal or maternal) and show the migration paths they followed thousands of years ago. Your results will also place you on a particular branch of the human family tree. Some anthropological stories are more detailed than others, depending upon the lineage you belong to. For example, if you are of African descent, your results will show the initial movements of your ancestors on the African continent, but will not reflect most of the migrations that have occurred within the past 10,000 years. Your individual results may confirm your expectations of what you believe your deep ancestry to be, or you may be surprised to learn a new story about your genetic background.
You will not receive a percentage breakdown of your genetic background by ethnicity, race, or geographic origin. Nor will you receive confirmation of an association with a particular tribe or ethnic group.
Furthermore, this is not a genealogy study. You will not learn about your great-grandparents or other recent relatives, and your DNA trail will not necessarily lead to your present-day location. Rather, your results will reveal the anthropological story of your direct maternal or paternal ancestors—where they lived and how they migrated around the world many thousands of years ago. (View a sample results page.)
A Real-Time Research Project
Remember, your initial results are just the beginning. They are based on current science and may become more detailed and refined as the ongoing field research yields new information. Be sure to visit this Web site often to follow along as we post new findings and automatically update your results.