For starters, the DNA lineages provided by Geno go way back, over 100,000 years and some ancestors (such as Mitochandrial Eve) we all have in common. It turns out they I have slightly higher amounts of Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA than average, at 2.4% and 2.3%, respectively (expected is slightly over 2.0% for Neanderthal and slightly under 2.0% for Denisovan). Caveman joke's from old college friends notwithstanding, it is interesting to see how much caveman is still in me.
From these ancient origins you can trace the movements your ancestors made across the globe. Searching for food, water, and adventure, they spanned out from Africa to the many corners of the Earth, and in some cases (like mine) spread out and then doubled back. You can see this below. The program itself provides detailed descriptions of each genetic marker and the lands/people encountered there, but summarized in various step-by-step tracings and actual heatmaps shown below. This includes both paternal and maternal lineages, and the different markers used for each.
|Image Courtesy: OpenScientist|
- 42% Mediterranean
- 37% Northern European
- 19% Southwest Asian
I've known about the Mediterranean and European components from family histories but know much less about the Southwest Asian connection. So that's something I want to look deeper into for the future.
As good as this data is, it's getting better. Just in the time between first submitting my data and writing this post, new sets of genetic markers have been traced using DNA from people joining the program. So not only are we learning about ourselves, we are helping advance knowledge for future generations. The test has also been slightly changed in that time and can be ordered directly here.
Fortunately National Geographic has us covered. Not only are they continuing research and updating user profiles as more data is available, they've also teamed up with Family Tree DNA to help people link together through their genetic information. So you can find lost (and no so lost) relatives with any additional cost. There is a bit of extra time involved though, so I can't tell you those results yet. But I will be reporting back along with information from other DNA testing, genealogy, and citizen science programs.
In the meantime, have you joined any of these programs? Have interesting results you'd like to share? Let us know in the comments below.