The Genome Project – Update

On August 9, 2011, I posted about my experience with the National Geographic Magazine Genome Project.  The project began a study of mitochondrial DNA lines. Mitochondrial DNA is a genetic component traceable through females with only one mutation every 10,000 years or so.  This has nothing to do with genealogy — only the mitochondrial derivation, succession and movement of one’s maternal (mother’s mother’s mother’s etc.) ancestors going back 30,000 years or more.

One year for Christmas, I received the National Geographic genomic kit to study my “roots.” I chose to trace the genomic origins on my mother’s side – a family that is all Swedish.  I needed to send a sample of my DNA in the self-addressed envelope.  So I vigorously attacked the inside of my cheek with a scraper for about a minute (twice – 8 hours apart) and sent the swabs to National Geographic’s laboratory.  It’s all anonymous.  I only recorded a number.  No names.  No family history.  About three months later, I got the results online. 

My mother’s ancestral line began perhaps 30,000 years ago in East Africa. We are in a subgroup called “Haplogroup K.”  This group migrated from Africa – through the Middle East – and ended up in Central Europe. One small line ended up in Sweden. Curiously more than one third of all Ashkenazi Jews (in Central Europe) are of Haplogroup K.  The Genome Project kit is now in Generation 2.0.  And it now costs $199.95.  More than 700,000 have participated in this groundbreaking study.  If you are looking for a special Christmas or holiday gift, this might be just the ticket.  Check out –


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