I’m taking a geno-journey. I’m a bit late to the game but I caught a rerun of the National Geographic documentary Journey of Man on PBS earlier this week, which sparked my interest in Spencer Wells‘ Genographic Project. In the 2003 documentary, geneticist Wells traces our DNA to a single man who lived in Africa around 60,000 years ago. In 2005, the Genographic Project was launched to collect DNA samples from people across the globe.
The project traces human migration through DNA, and is keenly interested in collecting samples from indigenous people in remote areas before the world’s genetic codes are completely scrambled. For $100, you can discover your own genetic history over thousands of generations. Though Pigspittle isn’t as remote as, say, the Arctic Circle, I signed up. Soon I’ll receive a kit from National Geographic that will enable me to take my own DNA sample and submit it to one of the Genographic Project centers. Two months later, the results will reveal which path my ancestors took from Africa. I suspect it was one sidetracked by excessive drinking, stumbling into Roman bacchanalia and winding up in England with a massive hangover just in time for the demise of all those fun pagan rites.
AGGCAT…Speaking of DNA, Stephen Colbert recently presented a Special Report—DNA: Could It Happen to You?—and featured a very special Prescott Education Films documentary called “DNA: Spiral Staircase to You.” Watch and learn. (Incidentally, Spencer Wells happens to appear on this very episode of the Colbert Report.)