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Australian launch of global project to map how humankind populated the planet

  • 21 April, 2005 12:49

<p>MEDIA ALERT</p>
<p>AUSTRALIAN LAUNCH OF GLOBAL PROJECT TO MAP HOW HUMANKIND POPULATED THE PLANET</p>
<p>Thursday, April 21, 2005</p>
<p>A groundbreaking research initiative that will trace the migratory patterns of the human species will be launched by National Geographic and IBM today.</p>
<p>The Genographic Project is a five-year research partnership which will analyse DNA samples contributed by hundreds of thousand of people, including indigenous peoples and members of the general public, to map how earth was populated.</p>
<p>The project is led by National Geographic Explore-In-Residence Dr Spencer Wells and scientists from 10 global research centres, including Dr John Mitchell from La Trobe University, Melbourne.</p>
<p>Australian Launches</p>
<p>Please join us</p>
<p>April 21
Museum of Sydney
6:00pm – 9:00pm</p>
<p>April 22
Zargatt Restaurant, Federation Square
Melbourne
12:00pm – 3:00pm</p>
<p>Featuring:
Dr Spencer Wells
IBM chief research scientist Dr Ajay Royuurru
Australian research scientist Dr John Mitchell
Robyn Williams, scientist
Dr Simon Longstaff, ethicist
Lesley Williams, Aboriginal Community Representative
Darryl Melham MP</p>
<p>The project will:</p>
<p>Create one of the largest collections of human pollution genetic information ever assembled. Serving as an unprecedented resource for geneticists, historians and anthropologists.</p>
<p>Engage members of the public who will be able to purchase a DNA swab kit on line and access their own results using the internet and going to www.nationalgeogrpahic,com/genographic.</p>
<p>The project is expected to reveal rich details about global human migratory history and to drive new understanding about the connections and differences that make up the human species.</p>
<p>“Our DNA carries a story that is shard by everyone. Over the next five years we’ll be deciphering that story, which is now in danger of being lost as people migrate and mix to a much greater extent than they have in the past,” Dr Wells said.</p>
<p>Scientists from IBM’s Computational Biology Centre, one of the world’s foremost life sciences research facilities, will use advanced analytical technologies and data sorting techniques to interpret the samples and to discover new patterns and connections within the data they contain. IBM is also providing the core computational knowledge and infrastructure that will manage the hundreds of thousands of genotype codes being analysed by the Genographic Project.</p>
<p>Dr Spencer Wells, Dr John Mitchell and IBM’s Dr Ajay Royurru will be available for interviews on April 21 and April 22.</p>
<p>For more information, or to set up your interview time, please Pilar Martin, IBM, on 02 9397 8671 or 0401 990 229.</p>

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