17 June 2007

DNA: Ancestral tourism swabbing

One of my favorite DNA blogs is "Eye on DNA" by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei, who always has interesting takes on this subject, and great graphics.

A recent posting offered a new twist on adding samples to databases:

Sound the bagpipes! Scotland wants to distribute free DIY DNA kits as part of their efforts to drum up tourism. Dr. John Gow, director of the Centre for Forensic Investigation at Glasgow Caledonian University:

"It is our intention to have DNA swabbing kits in all the tourist information offices and hotel lobbies across the UK, so people can go and pick up a kit for a few pounds then post it off to us and we will do the DNA tests for them.

"We are also hoping that during Tartan Week in New York and at international highland gatherings, the genealogy companies will take along our test kits and distribute them.

"Participants would not only find out which clan they belong to, they will also be contributing to a DNA database of Scottish and Irish clan groups. VisitScotland believes that DNA testing will be a draw for ancestral tourists who might want to “walk in the footsteps of their ancestors.”

What a great idea!

Imagine how our Jewish DNA databases would increase if Israel would sign on to something like this?

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