Julie is the author of a number of guidebooks, including 'Melbourne's Best Bush Bay and City Walks' & 'Melbourne for Dogs' (with RSPCA). Read more of her adventures at her walks blog: walksmelbourne.com
Published April 16th 2013
Do you REALLY want to know where you came from?
Ever wanted to know where you came from? And I am not just talking your grandparents. I am talking about drawing a direct line from you to the dawn of time and everywhere in between - back some 200,000 years. And along the way you can contribute to the world's scientific knowledge about the human genome and how humankind is related to each other.
Curious? The National Geographic Genography Project was launched in 2005 and to date, over half a million people in more than 140 countries have participated. Getting involved is easy, but it's not super cheap. USD$199 buys you a special DNA Kit which is sent out to you with full instructions. You take a quick a painless swab of cells from inside your cheek, and then pop it in the post for the National Geographic Scientists. A couple of weeks later, you log onto the genograph website and up comes all sorts of information: what percentage of Neanderthal you are (really!), which countries your ancestors travelled to and from, whether you have an Irish/Viking/Asian/North American Indian/Saudi etc etc heritage. Now might be the time to lay out all the family secrets: find out that actually, your family isn't from Scotland at all - maybe they arrived in Scotland via a 200,000 year old journey through Bolivia, Papua New Guinea, Ethiopia or China! The short video below explains what's involved.
An ideal gift for the person who has everything? You can feel good knowing that not only are you adding to our understanding of humanity, but that a portion of your funds from the project is also going to fund Legacy grants with the world's Indigenous peoples. What's not to like?