Tech Ramblings…

By Dr. T

— Out of the African desert, into the fire – A journey of my ancestors…

As I mentioned in my previous post, “8 sons of adam, 7 daughters of eve” (pingback link), I’ve found a new found passion, about tracing my genetic lineage. It would be interesting to note where my ancestors travelled enroute to where I am right now. Where I can find major clusters of distant cousins in present times and how far back can I connect with them through the same mother (mitochondria DNA – mDNA) or same father (Y-chrom).

What is more exciting to explore, is the idea of me belonging to a Mongolian trible (maybe Genghis Khan), the Ottoman Empire (maybe Suleman the Great – after which my surname is :)), or any other major civilizations of the past. Also, which geographical locations my distant cousins are living in modern times…

“The study and research presented in this book “Seven daughters of Eve”, is being done by Oxford Ancestors . Consequently, the author,  Bryan Sikes is a professor at Oxford and is one of the leading figures of this project. A reading of this book will give a more detailed explanation of the significance of mDNA being passed from its prestine state to all children from their mother (which is used to measure the time elasped between any number of mutations between the mother and her offspring upto 50,000 years later). This also allows to cluster together relatively similar sequences of DNA through reading mutations and connecting the dots to relate one person to another.

For example, if my DNA sequence is ACAAGATGCCATTGTC.

then through this technique, we can compare this dna to a cluster of other available DNA pools and see where there are similar patterns in mutation. For example

mine: ACAAGATGCCATTGTC
person 1: ACAAGATGCCATTGTG (end G)
person 2: ACAAGATGCCATTGCT (end CT)

can be my distant or near cousins in these times based on this study (this is just a rouge example, the actual test is more complex).

I mentioned in my previous post (“8 sons, seven daughters…”) that my father in-law sent his DNA to DNA Heritage and the results that came back were more than interesting. It turns out that there are major clusters (probability of major pools of highest percentage of DNA sequence matching) that correspond to his sequence and are populated in regions of:

“North Africa–> Scandanavia –> Persia –> India (Gujrat)”.

This means that this is the route that his ancestors used to get to where he is right now. Some people stayed back and populated these areas, others moved on, ultimately reaching Polynesia and Australia. This conforms to age old anthropological belief and archeological evidence that man came out of Africa in various waves over the past 50,000 years. And this is one route that is believed to have been taken by the common ancestors of all men.

An observation of how similar we all are, yet we make distinction of color, face, and appearance. Just what mutation can do over time :).

I’m going to order the DNA analysis kit in the coming days. More on my genetic lineage once I have this information :).

 — Tashfeen.

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August 26, 2006 - Posted by | The Human genographic Project

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