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DNA Testing – Vanity Fair, The Africa Issue

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DNA testing was put under the microscope in a recent feature in America’s ultimate lifestyle magazine, Vanity Fair. The magazine had an African theme as the guest editor for the edition was Bono, who used the publication to highlight the African plight. One feature looked at ancestry and how DNA testing can unveil our human make-up.

Out of Africa

Scientists believe Homo Sapiens emerged from Africa around 50,000 years ago. Population geneticist, Spencer Wells is director of the Genographic Project. In Vanity Fair, Wells says that humanity ‘owes’ Africa, because Africa is humanity’s first home. DNA tests mean previously unknowable data is now widely available about our ancestry. Wells has charted DNA shared by over six billion people.

African Migration in DNA

As part of the African issue, Bono and the magazine’s famous editor, Graydon Carter, underwent DNA testing. Genetic research confirms the African origins of every human on earth. Graydon Carter’s DNA test revealed his maternal ancestors were part of the second wave of migration out of Africa into the Middle East 50,000 years ago. For Bono, his African links also show his maternal ancestors were part of this second wave of African migration.

Out of Africa

If you think you know who you are and who you descended from DNA testing could unveil some unusual surprises. Even if you know your Grandmother came from Italy and your Grandfather from Spain, or you are half Irish and half Chinese, if you dig deeper, Spencer Wells says, we are all African under the skin. In prehistoric times, the human race evolved from the African continent. And simple DNA swabs and DNA tests can prove it.

DNA Testing Revealing Roots

DNA testing is so revealing about our history because it traces millions of generations – back to the very beginnings of life on earth. If you go back to the very beginning, we share DNA with bacteria and butterflies. And, as Wells wrote: “It turns out that every person alive today can trace his or her ancestry back to Africa. Everyone’s DNA tells a story of a journey from an African homeland to wherever you live. You may be from Cambodia or County Cork, but you are carrying a map inside your genome that describes the wanderings of your ancestors as they moved from the savannas of Africa to wherever your family came from most recently.”

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