If the thought of tracing your roots back to Africa through DNA appeals to you, you might think again.
New research suggests that it’s virtually impossible for African Americans to retrace their family origins using genetics. That’s because Africans are more genetically diverse than the inhabitants of the rest of the world combined.
The findings were published Thursday in the journal Science Express.
The work took researchers into remote African valleys and mountaintops to sample the bloodlines of more than 100 distinct populations. The conclusion:
“It may be very challenging to trace back ancestry to particular tribes or ethnic groups,” Sarah Tishkoff, a University of Pennsylvania geneticist who led the international research team, was quoted as saying in the Washington Post.
The findings cast doubt on the reliability of African American genealogies, which have become increasingly popular and commercialized.
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