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Volume 5, Issue 2
Zhaxi Dorjee in Pengbuxi teaches from the Minyak primer.
Photo courtesy of the Kham Aid Foundation.
Inside the Genographic Legacy Fund
The Minyak language was once spoken by 50,000 people spread across four counties, but the inexorable forces of modernization have led Tibetan and Chinese to supplant the local language. Now, the number of Minyak speakers has dwindled to less than 12,000—and these are found almost exclusively in remote rural areas in the Sichuan Province. In December 2007, the Genographic Legacy Fund awarded a grant to the Kham Aid Foundation to launch a project with the goal of preserving and perpetuating the Minyak language in Tibet. This community-led project has increased ethnic pride among the Minyak people and improved the chances that future generations will value and pass on both their language and other unique cultural traditions.

Read more about the Minyak community and its language revitalization efforts.
 
2010 Emerging Explorer Beth Shapiro analyzes ancient DNA.
Photo courtesy of Beth Shapiro.
Did You Know?
Spencer Wells was named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2004 and then an Explorer-in-Residence in 2005. Meet the 14 new National Geographic 2010 Emerging Explorers, who were welcomed at this year's Explorers Symposium.
The Genographic Project exhibit is on display at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Check our blog for visitor information.
You can follow @NatGeoScoop on Twitter for all news and events from the National Geographic Society, including the Genographic Project.
 
Yo-Yo Ma interacts with students at the American Museum of Natural History.
Photo by Lindsay Maiorana.
Genographic Joins Forces with Yo-Yo Ma and 450 Sixth-Grade New York City Students
As part of a Genographic partnership with The Silk Road Project, Yo-Yo Ma's nonprofit arts and education organization, 450 New York City students swabbed to find out their deep ancestry. To culminate the year, Mrs. Olsen's sixth-grade class joined Genographic for an informal conversation about their results at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City in early June. As the students eagerly asked questions about their haplogroups and ancient ancestors, Yo-Yo Ma engaged in the conversation as well. See more photos and the student-inspired dance.
 
Dr. Himla Soodyall in the Franschhoek Valley in the Western Cape Province of South Africa.
Photo by Damien Schumann.
From the Field
South Africa: Hundreds of thousands of people are retracing their ancient ancestors' migration paths back to the cradle of humanity in South Africa to cheer on their home teams in the World Cup soccer games. Working with indigenous populations, the Genographic South African team continues to work to map the spectrum of DNA variation in the sub-Saharan African region. In fact, Dr. Himla Soodyall, Genographic Principal Investigator, and her team have just returned from a sampling expedition to Mthatha, the major town in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa.

Australia/Pacific Region: In early April, Dr. John Mitchell, Genographic Principal Investigator for the Australia/Pacific region, visited the North Island of New Zealand where he met with local groups interested in working with the Genographic Project. John's team is planning to return to the region in July to deliver results and visit with additional tribal populations.

India: Genographic Principal Investigator in India, Dr. Ramasamy Pitchappan, visited villages near Mumbai, including Mangaon in the Raigad District and Dhahanu in the Thane District; and the cities of Pune, Kolhapur, and Chikaldhara, in March. His team has been busy in their travels and meeting different local groups.
 
Genographic Project IBM scientists converse over the Genographic exhibit.
Photo by Lindsey Larson.
Westchester Community College Welcomes Genographic
Genographic and IBM's Dr. Ajay Royyuru spoke at Westchester Community College in Valhalla, New York, to introduce the Genographic Project to the campus community. His lecture gave an overview of the science behind the Genographic Project and then explained how computational biology is used to analyze data and solve mysteries of human migration patterns. Ajay also reflected on how Genographic results and his work on the project apply to his daily life. Read more and view additional photos from the presentation.
 
Spencer Wells' new book
Spencer's new book released on June 8, Pandora's Seed, offers a tour of human history back to a seminal event roughly 10,000 years ago when our species became farmers rather than hunter-gatherers, setting in motion a momentous chain of events that could not have been foreseen at the time. Spencer explains—using the latest genetic and anthropological data—that such a dramatic shift in lifestyle had a downside that we're only now beginning to recognize, from ill health and overpopulation to inequality and conflict. Click here to order the book.

National Geographic News Editor David Braun discusses the new book on NatGeoNewsWatch.
 
Frequently Asked Question
Q: How can my anonymous results be a part of this real-time scientific study?
A: You can share this information and maintain your anonymity by completing an optional short ethnographic survey. Click on the yellow "How You Can Help" button at the bottom of your personal results page. Your answers are automatically updated each time you click "Include My Results."

See more FAQs
 
In the News
Spencer discusses Pandora's Seed on The Daily Show.

My bright idea: Learn to want less in UK's The Guardian.

Who Am I? in Atlanta's My Fox
Support the Project
Your tax-deductible donation can help us answer key questions about our shared deep ancestry and humanity's 60,000-year odyssey around the globe.
 
 
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