Back in 2003 I wrote this post about how DNA can reveal people to have very different genetic backgrounds than what their ethnicity might otherwise tell them. Today the New York Times offers some more stories. Genia Stevens provides a short summary:
A group of college students in Pennsylvania recently took a DNA test and were quite surprised by the results. One Black student realized he’s 52 per cent African and 48 per cent European, even though both his parents are Black. Of the 100 students tested, half of them were white. Each of the white students said they wanted to find out they were something other than white — just to piss off their parents.
Now, thanks to a program being run by Spencer Wells and National Geographic you can find out your own genetic ancestry. (Each kit is $107.) My geneticist friend, Fred Gentz, offers some background:
His new project is to blitz the whole world for DNA … and come up with a definitive mapping of human migrations. His results so far indicate that humans left Africa 60,000 years ago and migrated throughout the world.
That date is somewhat controversial, but hopefully this data will help clear things up.
Mike drew my attention to the excellent Atlas of Human History offered on the web site. Well worth a look!