We received our swab sample kits for the Genographic Project in the mail. Have to avoid liquids, especially warm liquids, for an hour before collecting the first inner-cheek sample. Eight hours later, same procedure. We will probably collect our DNA in the morning.
The fine print reiterates that everything is anonymously tabulated, then the actual cells are discarded. So, unless some freak accident happens, no clones of us will be created ten years from now. Sounds like a Hollywood B movie plot though, I should do a treatment.
I thought these amusing, from the extensive FAQ:
Are any pharmaceutical or insurance companies involved in the Genographic Project? No. The Genographic Project is supported by private foundations in conjunction with National Geographic and IBM, the project’s lead partner.
Is the Genographic Project bio-prospecting? No. the Genographic Project research centers will release the resulting genetic data (on an anonymous and aggregate basis) into the public domain to promote further research. The genetic data will be treated as discoveries, rather than inventions, and will not be patented.
Is the Genographic Project linked to any medical research? No. The samples collected from the indigenous groups as well as the samples submitted by the general public via the Public Participation Kits will be analyzed for historical and anthropological data.
From the Beeb:
“There are still many questions we haven’t answered. Was there any interbreeding with Neanderthals as modern humans moved into Europe? Did any of the migrations to the Americas come across the Pacific – or even the Atlantic?”
These and other unanswered questions form the research goals of the project. They include:
• Who are the oldest populations in Africa – and therefore the world?
•Did Alexander the Great’s armies leave a genetic trail?
• Who were the first people to colonise India?
• Is it possible to obtain intact DNA from the remains of Homo erectus and other extinct hominids?
• How has colonialism affected genetic patterns in Africa?
• Was there any admixture with Homo erectus as modern humans spread throughout South-East Asia?
• Is there any relationship between Australian Aboriginal genetic patterns and their oral histories?
• What are the origins of differences between human groups?
A total of 10 DNA collection centres located around the world will focus on obtaining samples from indigenous peoples. The genetic markers in the blood of these groups have remained relatively unchanged for generations.
update: results here