If you aren’t yet familiar with Living DNA, you’re probably going to start hearing their name a lot more often. On October 26, Living DNA began a groundbreaking 5-year science project, with the goal of creating a single worldwide family tree based on people’s DNA. So how exactly are they planning to achieve this goal?
To tackle this task, Living DNA plans to build on their proprietary technology they developed during their ‘Peopling of the British Isles’ study they conducted in 2015, paired with academic research from US institutions, to test hundreds of millions of genetic combinations from around the world.Through artificial intelligence and machine learning, tens of thousands of computers will work together to identify distinctive and shared patterns in people’s DNA. Overtime, this should allow them to produce what they hope to be the most detailed genetic map of the world, which enables people to explore both their modern ancestry and ancient migration patterns.
The project is open to anyone interested in helping to build the tree, by visiting www.livingdna.com/onefamily. Those who have already done a DNA test with another company are able to upload their results and take part for free. If you’ve not already had a DNA test done, you can purchase one here from Living DNA and begin building your tree now. Existing Living DNA members will also have the opportunity to join the project for free.
One major advancement between this studies and others is that for the first time scientists will be able to explore regional differences of DNA within a country, by analyzing combinations of DNA from people with four grandparents who were born within 50 miles of each other. Any new Living DNA testers that have four grandparents born within 50 miles of one another will receive a special discount, as their results will help the company create in-country regional mapping.
In the press release, David Nicholson, founder and managing director at Living DNA, commented:
“When we think about family, most of us just think about our close relatives. But despite how different we might seem on the surface, within our DNA lies the fact that we are all connected to one another. This project will bring to life how everyone is unique yet we are also part of one global family.”
Dr. Bart Lambert from the University of York, who is assisting Living DNA with the project, added:
“Living DNA’s One Family One World project is exciting, ambitious and timely. It draws on the latest scientific insights and cutting-edge technology to map DNA results from around the world and allows users to explore their ancestry in completely new ways. In a time of growing division, One Family One World highlights what we all have in common.”
We look forward to following this project as it advances. If you take part in the , we’d love to hear from you!