Adelaide Residents Explore Their Ancient Ancestry With The Genographic Project

Genographic ProjectHave you ever wanted to know where your ancient ancestors came from– dating back 60,000 years?
Now Adelaide residents, who make up one of the most diverse populations in Australiahave the opportunity to find out their deep migratory history when the University of Adelaide hosts ‘The Genographic Project: Tracing Your Family Roots,’ a special free public event.

On Friday 15 October from 7am -12noon, the public will be invited to come to the Adelaide Central Market (southwestern entrance) and participate in the Genographic Project, a worldwide survey of human genetic diversity and history–with the first 100 people having the option of a free cheek swab and genetic analysis worth over $145.

The Genographic Project– a partnership of National Geographic and IBM with field support from the Waitt Family Foundation– is a landmark global study of humankind’s collective ancient migratory journey out of Africa 60,000 years ago via information carried in our DNA. The project commenced in 2005 and to date over 360,000 people around the world have taken part to create a vast database of our human history. TheGenographic scientific team are collaborating with indigenous and traditional groups from around the world to analyse and interpret DNA samples.

The public participation test is used to test 12 genetic ‘markers’ which reveals the deep ancestral history of the paternal or maternal lineage –dating back over as many as 2,000 generations. The genetic results are kept anonymous, although participants can see their own personal results online.

Volunteers from the University of Adelaide, IBM and the Royal Institution of Australia will explain the Project and guide participants through the ‘swab’, and the results will be combined to provide not only an insight into each individual’s deep ancestry but also an overview of Adelaide’s migratory history.

“This is a great opportunity for Adelaide residents to both learn about this massive effort to understand human history and to explore their own personal ancient ancestry,” said Professor Alan Cooper, Genographic Project Principal Investigator and Director of the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA at the University of Adelaide.

The 100 free tests will be on a first-come, first-served basis and limited to one male or female member from each family. Further Genographic testing kits will be on sale for $145, and individuals can also become involved in by purchasing a kit online from

Participants will be able to access their personal results online and will also be invited back to further explore their results, and those from across Adelaide at a special public lecture at the Royal Institution of Australia at the Science Exchange, Exchange Place, Adelaide on Tuesday 7 December.

Net proceeds from the sale of the Genographic Project Public Participation Kit are used to fund the research and also to support a legacy fund that provides grants to indigenous and traditional peoples community-led language revitalization and cultural projects around the world.

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