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Friday, January 30, 2015

The Invisible History of the Human Race: How DNA and History Shape our Identities and our Futures

            Here is a recent history on DNA research and how it impacts the understanding of our human past and our future. The book is written by Christine Kenneally, an international journalist and native Australian. Beginning with her own family background and continuing with those of several other individuals, Kenneally describes how information about one’s heritage is obtained. Sources include personal family records, genealogical records from various genealogical societies and the Library for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), and more. But when these records are unattainable or incomplete, what can be done? This is where the examination and classification of human DNA can fill in the gaps.

            Other important uses for the use of DNA research and classification:
n  tracing human migration from its beginning in Africa throughout the world
n  tracing humanity’s history through its cultural, not racial, background
n  predicting occurrence of genetic diseases and developing ways to prevent it

            Kenneally’s journalistic background is on display through her use of interviews and her investigation of the workings of institutions such as, the LDS Library, the Human Genome Project, and several genetic genealogy companies.
            This is an interesting approach to the study of humanity: past, present and future.

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