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Deep Ancestry: The Genographic Project Hardcover – 23 Nov 2006


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic Books (23 Nov. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0792262158
  • ISBN-13: 978-0792262152
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.5 x 20.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,099,140 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"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" "From the Trade Paperback edition."

About 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 combines 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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57 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME on 17 Sept. 2007
Format: Hardcover
The human diaspora from Africa that populated the world has been the subject of several recent studies. At first, these books were bulwarks against the tide of "Multi-regionalism" - the idea that an early version of our ancestral species evolved into Homo sapiens at different times and places. Genetic research, including that of the author, has shown that we're all descended from a small African population. Placing our origins on one continent simplifies the task of analysis of tracking our movements. In this book, Wells explains how the examination works and what it reveals of our ancestry.

The tool is "markers" on the genome. For females it was the DNA in mitochondria, the cell's "powerhouse". For males, it is changes on the Y chromosome, that molecular structure triggering a shift from the default embryo condition. The author demonstrates how these indicators are detected and how they allow us to track our ancestry back in time. The markers designate genetic "borders" between groups of people who share a common ancestor in the deep past. The groups are called "haplotypes" - for which Wells, at least in the case of Europe, uses the term "clan". There are seven of these clans - designated by letter labels such as "R", "J" or "N" - descended from male originators. The approach is reminiscent of Bryan Sykes "Seven Daughters of Eve" [2001], except Wells follows the male lineage where Sykes used mitochondrial DNA to source female origins. Both authors focus on the European records as being more complete and readily available. Wells also finds but five female lines as opposed to Sykes' seven.

Wells discusses how genetic "clocks" can postulate a rate of mutation over a long span of time to roughly determine the age of the haplogroup.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Ms. N. Findlay on 15 July 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is perfect for anyone interested in genetics and the origin of humans. It explains all terminolgy simply then expands upon it thus even if you have little or no knowledge of genetics or biology you can read and enjoy it.

The book while concentrating on the scientific information gathered by the project also explores the personnal discoveries individuals have made by entering the project and the subsequent DNA analysis, making it far more interesting a text than ones which consist of only science.

The author's enthusiasm for the project leaps off the page. I read this book in 24 hours and absolutely couldn't put it down. Would highly recommend to anyone.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dr. K. Sarda on 29 Dec. 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If there ever was one single book to read that sets out our origins - then this has to be it. The book is welll written and sets out the arguments with a great deal of clarity. A must read for those that still believe in racial superriorityand hopefully they will learn a few things and realise colour is truly skin deep. A good book for me is one that raises more questions, makes me think and sets me on a further learning journey. This book did all of that.

Krishna Sarda
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Both these books go together. Indeed Depp Ancestry is a must because it caterlogues all the Haplogroups and shows how they are connected. This as a bit out of date but still an essential tome to help anyone understand better. So I have it as I read books by the wonderful Stephen Oppenheimer and Bryan Sykes as well. Thank to you all you wonderful scientists. I have not stopped studying the journey of man since I began in ernest quite a few years ago now. There is still so much to learn. Keep an open mind. Do not get angry. This is YOUR history from the deep past 20,000 to 150,000 years ago starting in Africa. Cynthia Allen McLaglen
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