FAQ: About the Project

  1. What is the Genographic Participation and DNA Ancestry Kit?
  2. What is the Genographic Project?
  3. What makes this project so different today?
  4. How do I access the raw analytical data generated from my DNA sample?

  1. What is the Genographic Participation and DNA Ancestry Kit?

    The Genographic Project is an ambitious attempt to help answer fundamental questions about where we came from and how we came to populate the earth. Building on the science from the earlier phases of the Genographic Project, Geno 2.0 Next Generation uses sophisticated, cutting-edge technology to build a more complete picture of our collective history.  Both the Geno 2.0 Next Generation kit and the Geno 2.0 Next Generation Helix co-branded kit examine a unique collection of nearly 300,000 DNA identifiers, called “markers,” that offer rich ancestry-relevant information.

  2. What is the Genographic Project?

    The Genographic Project uses advanced DNA analyses to work with indigenous communities and the general public with the goal to answer fundamental questions about where we originated and how we came to populate the Earth. The project is a multiyear, global initiative by National Geographic that uses genetics as a tool to address anthropological questions on a global scale.

    Launched in 2005, the first phase of the Genographic Project enlisted a consortium of 11 global regional scientific teams who, following regional institutional review scientific protocols, undertook sample collection and DNA analysis in their respective continental regions. In addition, more than 470,000 members of the public took part in the first phase of the project by purchasing a Genographic Project DNA Public Participation Kit to trace their own ancient ancestry. Relaunched in 2012 as Geno 2.0, the project grew to include more DNA markers and provide even more detailed ancestral results. More than 275,000 people joined Geno 2.0.
    A portion of the proceeds from the sales of the Genographic Project Public Participation Kits returns to financially support the project research. Participants can also play an active role in the historic quest to map the genetic journey of us all by choosing to contribute your own DNA to the project. Through the purchase and scientific contribution, participants support National Geographic Society’s research, conservation, and exploration projects around the globe, as well as our renowned journalism.

    The  Geno 2.0 Next Generation Public Participation Kit invites participants to take part in this next phase of the Genographic Project to learn unprecedented information about their ancestral makeup. The Geno 2.0 Next Generation analysis is enhanced to include many more ancestral regions than were available in Geno 1.0 or 2.0 and analyzes more than 300,000 DNA markers. As in past versions of the kit, participants can continue to choose to submit their data to the Genographic research database in order to more fully participate in this real-time research initiative.

  3. What makes this project so different today?

    In 2005, most of what science knew about anthropological genetics was based on DNA samples donated by approximately 10,000 indigenous and traditional people from around the world. While this provided a broad view of the patterns of human migration, it represents just a small sample of humanity’s genetic diversity.

    Today, nearly a million people have participated, from more than 140 countries. The Genographic Project is the world’s largest survey of its kind in the field of anthropological genetics, increasing the sample size by several orders of magnitude.  Driven by an ethical framework and locally accountable review boards and protocols, the resulting data is helping to map world migratory patterns dating back some 150,000 years and is filling in the gaps in our knowledge of humankind’s migratory history.

  4. How do I access the raw analytical data generated from my DNA sample?

    For Geno 1.0 and Geno 2.0 participants the raw analytical output from your DNA sample is available to you as a CSV file. Go to My Profile, select the My Results tab and scroll down to Expert Options. Because this data is sensitive, you must first agree to the terms and then you will have the option to download the file. A download link will automatically appear under the My Test Results section.

    For Geno 2.0 Next Gen Participants (but not Geno 2.0 Next Gen Helix co-branded kits) the raw analytical output from your DNA sample is available for purchase through our partner, Family Tree DNA. Go to My Profile, select the My Results tab and scroll down till you see Transfer my Results on the right hand side. Or you can click here.

    For Geno 2.0 Next Gen Helix co-branded kit Participants, we are currently exploring options to be able to make this available to you.