Under the five-year study, called "Genographic Project," researchers at 10 centers around the world will collect and analyze more than 100,000 DNA samples from indigenous populations. In addition, the general public can participate by purchasing a $99.95 kit and sending in cheek swabs. The project is led by Spencer Wells, National Geographic's explorer-in-residence.
The aim of the study is to reveal details about the history of human migration. The results will be available in a public database, although individual results will be stored anonymously.
IBM scientists at IBM's
Funding for the project comes from the Waitt Family Foundation. The sale of the participation kits will help fund future field research and a project to support education and cultural preservation among participating indigenous groups.