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SXSW Interactive 2015

Your Life in Big Data: Ancestry and Geneology

Our DNA provides clues about our ancestors across thousands of generations. We explore in depth the personal genomics of ancestry and genealogy. Homo sapiens has evolved and expanded over the last ~100,000 years, and populations across the globe have built diverse empires. As our ancestors migrated out of their African origin ~50,000 years ago, they rapidly diverged to create the variability that we see today in eye, hair, and skin color, etc. These patterns of diversity are observable through fossils and our current DNA. We can use ancient DNA to determine whether our ancestors interbred with Neanderthals, identify the most likely ancestors of our adopted relatives, and pinpoint the origins of our mixed ancestry. Understanding our ancestry is also crucial for improving health outcomes. For example, Latinos have a vastly increased risk of Type II Diabetes because of their DNA. We interactively explore tools that infer genetic histories crucial to understanding our personal health. This workshop will be two and a half hours long.

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  1. What can my DNA tell me about my ancestors?
  2. Did my ancestors interbreed with Neanderthals?
  3. Where do my mixed ancestry relatives come from?
  4. Is my adopted relative from a remote village in Spain?
  5. What are my population-specific disease risks?



Alicia Martin, PhD Candidate, Stanford University

Meta Information:

  • Tags: genetics
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Workshop
  • Track: Health and Medtech
  • Level: Beginner
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