Deep Ancestry: Inside the Genographic Project [NOOK Book]

Overview

Travel backward through time from today's scattered billions to the handful of early humans who lived in Africa 60,000 years ago and are ancestors to us all.

In Deep Ancestry, scientist and National Geographic explorer Spencer Wells shows how tiny genetic changes add up over time into a fascinating story. Using scores of real-life examples, helpful analogies, and detailed diagrams and illustrations, he explains exactly how each and every ...
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Deep Ancestry: Inside the Genographic Project

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Overview

Travel backward through time from today's scattered billions to the handful of early humans who lived in Africa 60,000 years ago and are ancestors to us all.

In Deep Ancestry, scientist and National Geographic explorer Spencer Wells shows how tiny genetic changes add up over time into a fascinating story. Using scores of real-life examples, helpful analogies, and detailed diagrams and illustrations, he explains exactly how each and every individual's DNA contributes another piece to the jigsaw puzzle of human history. The book takes readers inside the Genographic Project—the landmark study now assembling the world's largest collection of DNA samples and employing the latest in testing technology and computer analysis to examine hundreds of thousand of genetic profiles from all over the globe—and invites us all to take part.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Genographic Project is a five-year study that will utilize the world's largest collection of DNA samples to discover patterns of early human migration. This research, which is the largest scientific endeavor since the mapping of the human genome, can place individuals within the vast epic of human origins and migration. Deep Ancestry: Inside the Genographic Project translates forbidding genetic concepts into accessible language, enabling readers to gain a grasp of the significant findings already uncovered by this landmark study. Some of the conclusions will come as revelations: Few readers know, for example, that Australia was settled before Europe or that Europe was settled from Asia, not from nearby Africa.
Library Journal
The Genographic Project is an ambitious five-year effort to map humanity's evolutionary journey from our common African origins through the study of genetic markers. Project director and geneticist Wells (The Journey of Man) uses case studies of five individuals to illustrate what can be learned from population genetics. He also provides accessible introductions to evolving, cutting-edge scientific concepts like haplogroups, mitochondrial DNA, Y chromosomes, and genetic drift. As Wells explains, the Genographic Project offers ordinary citizens the chance to participate and contribute DNA for analysis for $99.95, an exchange that includes a DVD, a cheek-swab kit, and a confidential Genographic Project ID number to retrieve results. The people behind this project seem to have learned from previous studies, which were criticized as racist. What won't be learned from these genetic analyses (traits linked to diseases) is pretty straightforward, as explained by Wells. They deliberately leave out any analysis of disease traits, medical applications, and other potentially commercial applications. We certainly have much to learn yet about populations, and this book may help. Recommended for libraries with collections in popular science. (Illustrations not seen.)-Mary Chitty, Cambridge Healthtech, Needham, MA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"In this concise and well-written work, Wells (The Journey of Man) provides an accessible introduction to genetic anthropology, the study of human history using genetic evidence. It is a remarkable journey that will appeal to readers of all backgrounds interested in exploring the science and research behind human evolution." —Publishers Weekly

"Wells ends the book with an invitation to take part in the project... This is a rare chance to not only learn about ourselves, but to contribute in a worldwide scientific experiment." —Bookpage

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426202117
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 11/20/2007
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 206,600
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Spencer Wells is an Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society and the director of the Genographic Project. After studying under genetic pioneer Luigi Cavalli-Sforza at Stanford University, he began an unusual career that mixes science, writing, and filmmaking. His acclaimed first book, The Journey of Man, combined his own DNA research with the work of archaeologists, paleoanthropologists, paleoclimatologists, and linguists to show how modern humans came to populate the planet.
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Table of Contents


Introduction     1
The Block     9
Odine's Story: The Exception     27
Margaret's Story: The Hearth     55
Phil's Story: The Ice     85
Virumandi's Story: The Beach     115
Julius's Story: The Cradle     133
Epilogue     163
Haplogroup Descriptions     175
Glossary     229
Further Reading     235
About the Author     238
Author Acknowledgments and Illustration Credits     240
Index     242
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 13 of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2007

    self-plagiarism

    Spencer Wells has written a very interesting book. The name is 'Deep Ancestry' or 'The Journey of Man'. It appears to be two titles, but an objective reader will find that essentially only one manuscript was used. In so doing he has taken plagiarism to a whole new level. Much like the parts of the genome he describes that creates near perfect copies but throws in a mutation here and there to keep life interesting, he has simply taken his first book and added some anecdotes about a few real people as examples and published it again under a new title. The two books tell exactly the same tale, although the sequence has been slightly altered in the second book to the detriment of the story. Nevertheless, the texts are so similar that in both books we can find the same little quip about the absence of living Neanderthals (book 1, p.38): ¿despite what you may think of your colleague in the office next door¿, (book 2, p.108): ¿despite what you may think of that annoying person in the office down the hall from you¿. Finally, can be mentioned that if you thought that you picked up a 246-page book for $24.00, the story (the one that was actually already told in his first book) in fact ends on page 174. The rest is an appendix that lists haplogroups. Mr. Well's first book was very well written and described a fascinating subject. My advice is to buy the paper back version of his first book for and don't waste your money on this mutation.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I couldn't put it down. It was easy to read, fascinating. Really pulled me in.

    The new science behind genetic anthropology seems like a miracle, and I have never come across such a clear and easy to understand explanation. I was so enthralled, that I decided to take part in the research project, by going online and ordering the participation kit. I highly recommend reading the book and then participating in the study to find out your deep ancestry. The revelation in the book that race is really non-existent genetically was liberating. The color of one's skin really has very little to do with our common humanity.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2008

    Good things sometimes come in small packages

    Deep Ancestry is the story of us. Or the story of how scientists are figuring out the story of us. Meant to be an introduction to the National Geographic's Genographic Project, Deep Ancestry provides a summary of the complicated genetic discoveries being made by researchers every day. Author Spencer Wells uses real life people's stories to introduce concepts like haplogroups and population genetics in order to break up the technobabble that cannot really be avoided without entirely dumbing down the ideas he's trying to convey. A good chunk of the end of the book is a detailed appendix with entries describing each haplogroup 'Y chromosome and mtDNA', including all the various markers that point the way to the groups earliest common ancestor. This section seems best suited to those who have purchased a DNA testing kit and want to research their test results.

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