My DNA has been processed and my genome migration route plotted. Stay tuned to this blog for a description of my ancient ancestral migration and other tantalizing tidbits. As a reminder, detailed information on the project in general can be found under the NGS Genographic website here. And you can purchase a kit and be a part of an important study on the migration of hominoids here.
Part of the study has funded and contributed DNA markers to another important project studying recent (aka 10,000 years) changes in our DNA. These changes have occurred in different population segments depending on where in the world. The full article can be found here and here is an excerpt:
For example, major changes in diet occurred as nomadic hunter-gatherers slowly shifted to a settled agricultural existence. Pritchard says this transition left a legacy of strong selection on genes associated with the processing of carbohydrates and fatty acids. The clearest example—one previously known about by researchers—is the gene that allows for the digestion of milk into adulthood.
Among Europeans, whose ancestors relied on milk products as an important food source, this gene has become widespread. In most other human populations the gene is rare.
The study also provides new evidence that mutations to better digest different food products have spread in other groups. Asian and African populations showed selection in genes affecting the metabolism of the plant sugars mannose and sucrose. All three groups also showed selection for different genes involved in the uptake, storage, and energy conversion of dietary fats.
Another previously unreported example of natural selection involves the genes that people today rely on to process most pharmaceutical products.