The lab, part of the UA Arizona Research Laboratories' Human Origins Genotyping Laboratory, has already processed more than 211,000 DNA samples for people who want to know whence they came. It's a gene research factory, a "high-throughput genomics operation," in genetic jargon.
At November's annual Family Tree DNA conference in Houston, Texas, I had the great pleasure to meet Matt Kaplan, project leader for the NGS.
Looked at another way, "It's basically, a dating service for genealogists," says Kaplan. He's quick to point out that genealogy researchers only get access to data from participants who agree to release their information.
But, he says, many people do because it opens them up to getting even more information about their pasts as genealogists often connect their genetic information with others and create a more complete past.
Better yet, the "resolution" - the detail - of DNA-derived histories is increasing all the time as more people put their information into genealogical databases, says Kaplan.
Technological advances also make the information more telling. Kaplan says developments in genomics outstrip nearly every other branch of science.
At the conference, Matt explained that his real focus is lizards and that he never thought he'd be interested in human origins.
"I didn't think I'd care at all," says Kaplan. Not so. Since working on the Genographic Project, Kaplan says he has looked into his own past, finding that he came from Eastern European Jewish roots and routes.
Click here to read the rest of the story.