The Journey of Man

by Song Hankin, April 2015

1200 words

4 pages


a. Spenser Wells is a well-known genetic and anthropologist, the author of the book “The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey”. Spenser Wells became the student of the Texas University and defended the doctoral dissertation in Harvard. He was the first to master a new field - the genetics of the human population. As a result, the geneticists had a possibility to track the principles of migration of ancient human tribes by the cells’ scrapes behind a cheek or by a blood drop of modern people.

The book says about the genetic information, transferred to us from our African ancestors. The genetic Spenser Wells speaks of the fact that the gene geography project uses the parts of the information in order to reveal how we, people, are interconnected with each other in the whole variety.

“The methods we use to infer our African origins are the same ones we then use to trace humanity’s global journey. It is the journey itself that is the main focus, and for this reason most of the details of our hominid ancestors have been left out” (Wells: 2004).

According to Wells, the genetic information (genome) of the person is identical by 99.8 % at all people. The remained 0.2 % defines the unique identity of the person (a color of eyes, hair, predisposition to diseases, etc.) and DNA sites, the role of which is not clear. The casual changes (mutations) in these sites can be handed down, being fixed at the descendants of a person at whom they occurred. On the average such casual mutations occur in 50 genomes in generation. Two persons, who have similar mutations, most likely, have the general ancestors. Thus, the hereditary line is built. Studying these features at a large number of various groups of people, it is possible to reconstruct the genetic linkages between them up to the beginning - the first people who lived in Africa.

The scientists transferred these genetic marks on the world map - and received the contours of early movements of people on the planet. The markers allow tracking the chronology of the gene evolution and, having compared with the historical information about the movements of people, to understand, how the mankind was moving on a planet. At present the blood of each person on the Earth contains a droplet of this long human history. All people are the African cousins divided, mostly, by only two thousand generations who moved from the “black” continent. All of us began with a dark skin and dark eyes. When they moved to a more frigid climate, they became gradually lighter and lighter in order to absorb the sunlight actively and to synthesize vitamin D. Spenser Wells - the author of a well-known genographic project - is the attempt to reveal the forefathers of the human mankind from the starting point.

The researchers analyzed over 100 thousand samples of DNA received from the native populations all over the world, including the Australian natives. IBM was responsible for the technological party of the …

Download will start in 20 seconds


Note that all papers are meant for inspiration and reference purposes only! Do not copy papers in full or in part. Papers are provided by other students, who hold the copyright for the content of those papers. All papers were submitted to TurnItIn and will show up as plagiarism if you try to submit any part of them as your own work. Assignment Lab can not guarantee the quality of the user generated content such as sample papers above.