Genetic genealogy's all gone Genghis Khan

GRAEME MCRANOR -- 24 Hours-Vancouver

, Last Updated: 1:51 PM ET

If all you want for Christmas is to find out whether or not you're related to Marie Antoinette, Jesse James or Niall of the Nine Hostages, add the DNA Ancestry Project to your wish list.

The project, which was initiated here in Vancouver and is the first retail product of its kind in the world, uses genetic genealogy to trace the path of a person's ancestors.

Dr. June Wong, president and CEO of Genetrack Biolabs Inc., says the project has attracted international interest, (more than 350.000 people have already signed up), and she'll even be heading to Africa with NBC's Al Roker to pay a visit to his ancestral tribe.

Of course, America's Most Loved Weatherman isn't the only one from a tribe in Africa.

"We all have roots in Africa," Wong says, "whether you want to believe it or not."

From Africa, ancestral roots can then be traced using "markers." And since these markers mutate every few thousand years, they literally leave a trail. It's this trail that allows participants to discover where their ancestors lived centuries ago.

The kits are available at the Bay in Vancouver and at www.DNAAncestryProject.com. Each kit contains two mouth swabs, instructions and a CD-ROM that helps match up your DNA with that of your ancestors. Swab the inside of your mouth, send it to the lab, then kick back and wait for the keys to your past (results are posted online within three weeks).

Finally, test results we can all look forward to.


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