SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Your posterity can now know where you lived throughout your life based on their DNA. That may sound like something from a science fiction novel, but Ancestry DNA scientists at RootsTech said they have made this groundbreaking discovery.
In the past, DNA could only tell us where we came from 500 to 1,000 years ago. But Ancestry researchers took 700,000 DNA samples and discovered more recent history.
From the samples, researchers identified clusters of people more related to each other by DNA. Then they found out what those groupings meant by looking at the subjects’ family tree. The clusters corresponded to known settlements, migratory patterns, and even geography.
Scientist Ross Curtis knew this was a big breakthrough when he saw the plots of data on a map.
“We had no idea this was even possible… That there would be these really subtle gene flow migrations in the United States, meaning that there were, you know, people who… tended to move together, stay together and that that was imprinted on the genetics,” Curtis said.
Ancestry is now beta testing and will release the product in the spring. First customers must get their DNA tested by spitting into a tube and sending it back through the mail.
The Nature Communications journal published Ancestry’s research and findings last week.
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