• Asturian researchers meet the team of National Geographic's Genographic Project

    April 17, 2013

    The researchers in charge of National Geographic's Genographic Project, which aims at reconstructing the history of human migration, met this morning scientists from the University of Oviedo who have been working in similar research projects related to the genome, genetics and paleontology.

    From left to right, Spencer Wells, David Soria, Rafael Valdés ,Glynnis Breen, Carlos López-Otín (back), Víctor Quesada (back), Eva García Vázquez, Antonio Fernández Pardiñas, Xosé Antón Puente, Marco de la Rasilla, David Santamaría y Nieves Roqueñí.

    Researchers from the University of Oviedo have taken part in a meeting with the team of the Genographic project, an initiative promoted by National Geographic that studies the history of worldwide migration through the DNA. Spencer Wells, Director of the Project, has been invited to Asturias by the Niemeyer Center and has shown an interest in the research conducted by the teams of Carlos López-Otín, Eva García Vázquez y Marco de la Rasilla. Wells, a genetist and explorer, introduced the project by National Geographic to the scientists, in which more than 550.000 people around the world have taken part since its beginnings in 2005.

    Wells, who will give a conference at the Niemeyer Center at 20:00 tomorrow, praised this research as "a great opportunity for the citizenship, and the more people participate in it, the better will the result be". The Genographic Project, which will reveal the process of migration out of Africa of our ancestors, is a milestone in non-profit research. The scientists who work on this project have traveled all around the world in order to collaborate with thousands of indigenous tribes whose genetic makeup is particularly significant to the tracing of migration routes, even in Spain.

    David Soria, a member of Wells' team, explained that the Genographic Project announced last year the most in-depth analysis to date of the genetic patterns of the Basque population, and determined that the singular makeup of their genes predates even the introduction of agriculture to the Iberian Peninsula. Recently, the Genographic Project launched Geno 2.0, a new kit for taking DNA samples that uses advanced technology to display more relevant information.