For Scientists

Through research grants and shared access to the data, the Genographic Project encourages a broad and global effort to study the genetic origins and diversity of humanity.

Photo: A colorful replica of a strand of DNA

The Genographic Project, launched in 2005, uses cutting-edge genetic technology to decipher an age-old question: Where do we come from? Over the past several years, a team of international researchers has collaborated with more than 75,000 indigenous and traditional participants in the project. Coupled with our more than 450,000 public participants, these samples are yielding unprecedented insight into our shared migratory history.

Picture of Spencer Wells and a colleague walking through a market with a local leader in Chad

The Genographic Project scientific consortium is charting a more comprehensive map of the early stages of human history by carefully comparing the DNA from world populations that have been genetically and geographically stable for hundreds or thousands of years. Ongoing research grants leverage the knowledge gained from the first phase of the Genographic Project to answer remaining questions on the genetic diversity of humanity.

Genetic technology is progressing at an extraordinary pace. Using information and knowledge gleaned from the analysis of the data in the first phase of the Genographic Project as well as the existing sample collection, the Genographic Project is entering a new phase. An advanced, new, custom-designed genotyping chip will allow us to delve deeper to discover new genetic patterns and migratory paths.

And, through a novel interactive feature of the Geno 2.0 public participation experience, participants will have the option to join in the search for new information about their own ancestry, as well as add to their migration paths and read the stories of people who share their ancestry, on our website. Working together, our global scientific team and the broader community of genetic genealogy enthusiasts are charting a new direction in citizen science collaboration.

Picture of equipment for DNA analysis in the laboratories of Family Tree DNA in Houston, Texas

When participants in the project choose to make their results available for scientific research, those results become part of the database that can be accessed by approved researchers. Access to the DNA Analysis Repository (DAR) will be made available later this year for scientists. Check this page regularly for more information.


Photographs by: David Evans (Spencer Wells and colleagues), Family Tree DNA (genetic testing equipment)