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Guest Spencer Wells

So, where are you from? It's a question everyone asks, but very few of us can confidently answer.

It's one reason why genealogy is believed to be the fastest-growing hobby in North America - second only to gardening. Despite our interest in ancestry, there's still a lot we don't know about our collective family tree. Spencer Wells is out to change that. He's the director of The Genographic Project, a study launched by IBM and National Geographic back in 2005.

Spencer and an international team of geneticists have been collecting DNA samples from around the world, in an effort to learn more about the history of humanity and global migration patterns. One thing genealogists agree on is that humans came from a common group of ancestors that originated in Africa 120,000 years ago.

About 60,000 years ago, groups started to splinter off and migrate all over the world. First - across Asia's southern coastline, then to the Middle East, and finally to Europe, the Arctic Circle and the Americas. With every move, mutations occurred within the group's genetic makeup, which led to humans adopting different shapes, sizes, colours and ultimately, cultures. Spencer and his team have collected more than 500,000 DNA samples so far - including George's! And what better way for him to learn about his ancestral history, than on national television...


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