Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Finding the roots of modern humans

Finding the roots of modern humans
(CNN) -- "Genographic" is not showing up in many dictionaries yet. But two global institutions, IBM and the National Geographic Society, hope the idea it conveys becomes well known in every corner of the planet.

The Genographic Project, launching Wednesday, is a five-year genetic anthropology study designed to chart the migratory history of humans, and help fill in the blanks of how and where people moved to populate the planet.

Population geneticist Dr. Spencer Wells, an explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society, is director of the project.

"Genetics, I think, resoundingly has answered the question of where we ultimately came from, we came out of Africa. And we came out quite recently, within the last 50 or 60 thousand years," Wells said.

"But the question of how we migrated around the planet, how we populated the world, in effect, is still an open one."

Fun stuff?

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