Reconstructing History: DNA Genealogy
A group of researches has set out to reconstruct virtually every human being on the planets ancestral makeup – sounds like quite a project, huh? The truth is we all carry genetic informations – records so to speak – from distinct groups of people who have lived throughout history at various places around the world. With advances in genealogy testing and DNA analysis, scientists can now locate these records and use it to build an interesting catalogue of human evolution across the major regions of the globe.
Genetic scientists Garrett Hellenthal and Simon Myers have set out make history with this arduous quest to help both the scientific community and potentially ordinary people understand where and how they got to their present location. “The results suggest DNA is indeed a powerful means of reconstructing history, which then might be used to identify the genetic legacies of historically well-attested events…” they said in joint email “…and highlight surprising events with a less clear historical context.”
Mapping human evolution
Genetic scientists are using DNA to develop a map which displays their findings from extensive testing of both living and ancient people’s biological material. The word ancestry map as it’s known is available online and provides fascinating glimpses into the movements of human groups over the history of time. Using land bridges in many instances that are not currently available, major groups moved from such distinct places as present day Russia to North America. These maps tell more than just the direction our early ancestors took to find more hospitable environments, but also is the basis for our unique genetic composition.
The term genetic admixture is gaining traction in the scientific community to explain what results when two people of distinct genetic groups conceive a child together. Historically, contrary to what many people might think, groups of genetically different people have integrated for thousands of years. Typical genetic mixing occurs when a group of people have migrated to another region where indigenous people already reside. The resulting offspring then form a new and unique genetic group consisting of a mix of both.
Even as far forward as today your DNA can reveal not simply with which groups your ancestors mix, but potentially when this mixture of genetic material occurred. The science of genealogy through DNA testing does have its limits however. In cases where there is substantial genetic group mixing – such as many locations in Europe and Central Asia, geneticists cannot determine when the actually mixing took place – only that it is in fact present in the DNA sample. Despite this, ancestry testing can indeed reveal a lot about people’s genetic ancestry, providing them with information they cannot have access to in any other way. Interested in ancestry and genealogy testing, visit this page.
In the computerized times in which we live, software developers are kicking in support to help track genetic movements and mixing. The software known as “Globetrotter” is able to analyze, track and display historical mixing events as old as 4,500 years.
Perhaps more interesting than getting information on movements we mostly understand, tracking this data has led to certain questions which cannot easily be answered. For instance the presence of data indicating that early French people – very early in fact, between 785-1,385 years ago, and Northern African groups mixed at such an early date cannot be completely explained. In those times travel between the two regions would not be something easily realized or explainable.
As geneticists continue to unearth the secrets to how we came to be where we are, it is hoped that showing this common bond between all humans – regardless of color or nationality, will lead to some better understanding between all inhabitants of this unique planet. Interested in unearthing your family roots, here is some more information about how to go about this.