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March 1, 2015: Photographing a Revolution, Collecting Subway Bacteria and More

This week on National Geographic Weekend, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they swab New York’s subways for bacteria, plan the perfect surf getaway, photograph a revolution, study the world’s most important fish, meet a glow in the dark shark, leave and return to a beloved homeland, learn the best way to eat a banana, and plan for sea level rise.

Using Ancient DNA to Uncover the Hidden History of Patagonia

How far will Genographic Project scientists go to help reveal where we came from? Geographically-speaking the answer may be Puerto Williams, the southern tip of Chile.

December 21, 2014: Reviving the Mammoth, Traveling From Canada to Tibet With 2 Kids and 0 Airplanes

This week on National Geographic Weekend, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they search for enlightenment at a Buddhist monastery with their families, search for pain at high altitude, sacrifice children and llamas in Peru, recreate the mammoth, don’t finish a bucket list, rap about the wilderness, improve our IQ, figure out how to avoid avalanches in the backcountry, and photograph Europe’s large carnivores.

Genomic Discovery Unearths New Theories on Plant Evolution

Norm Wickett, Ph.D. Conservation Scientist, Genomics and Bioinformatics Chicago Botanic Garden I have always been fascinated by natural history and evolution. As a conservation scientist in genomics and bioinformatics at the Chicago Botanic Garden, I work to understand how plants – aquatic and terrestrial – all fit together in the biological tree of life. We…

The Genographic Project unveils the ancient ancestry of New Zealand, the world’s last settled islands

The Genographic Project results are in from 100 Kiwis (or New Zealanders). The results were revealed to an excited crowd of participants, which included New Zealand’s own Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae. Background Earlier this year, a team from National Geographic’s Genographic Project was invited by the Allan Wilson Centre to North Island, New Zealand to shed…

Genographic Project DNA Results Reveal Details of Puerto Rican History

DNA analysis of living inhabitants of Puerto Rico sheds light on the island’s colonial history.

July 6, 2014 Show: Tracing Evolution Through Ape DNA and Chasing the Ebola Virus

As West Africa struggles with the largest known outbreak of Ebola, Dr. Peter Piot shares how he helped discover and describe the virus’ first known outbreak in 1976 Zaire. Also, geneticist Gil McVean studies the rates of genetic mutation in chimpanzee DNA compared to that of humans to try to determine the date of our last common ancestor.

Study Reveals Biological Identities of Bigfoot, Yeti, Bolstering Case Against Them

The yeti, Bigfoot, and their kind are literally a load of bull—plus several other mammals, according to the first peer-reviewed scientific study of the shaggy humanoid creatures.

The Human Family Tree Grows New Branches on Arbor and DNA Day

The Genographic Project, in partnership with Family Tree DNA, announces a new evolutionary tree. Did you know that this year, April 25th is both DNA Day and Arbor Day? In order to join in on the festivities and mark this calendric coincidence, National Geographic’s Genographic Project and Family Tree DNA are announcing the joint creation…

Chickens and Dogs and Bears, Oh My (DNA)

Why did the chicken cross the road? We may never know. But since it did, and it carried its DNA, we can now say something about both chicken and human migration. Yes, using DNA to trace migration and history is not limited to just humans. A new paper on polar and brown bear DNA suggests…

Ancient DNA from Montana Skeleton Holds Clues to Native American Ancestry

DNA from the skeleton of an ancient boy from Montana may just hold clues revealing who the first Native Americans were and where they came from. A recent paper in the journal Nature details the results from the 12,500-year-old infant boy’s genome. The boy, nicknamed Anzick-1 in reference to the owner of the land where…

How Rare Am I? Genographic Project Results Demonstrate Our Extended Family Tree

Most participants of National Geographic’s Genographic Project can recite their haplogroup as readily as their mother’s maiden name. Yet outside consumer genetics, the word haplogroup is still unknown. Your haplogroup, or genetic branch of the human family tree, tells you about your deep ancestry—often thousands of years ago—and shows you the possible paths of migration…

DNA From Ancient Site in Spain Reshapes Human Family Tree

Six weeks ago I suggested that 2013 was already the breakthrough year for molecular anthropology, but 2013 is ending with yet another highlight. Yesterday, Nature published a stop-you-in-your tracks piece that scrambles the scientific picture of our ancient relatives.  The world-leading Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany successfully sequenced the mitochondrial genome…

Ötzi the Iceman Leads a Wave of Genetics Buzz

The popularity of recent news reports on the DNA of the mummy Ötzi remind us that genetic breakthroughs are reaching far beyond white-lab-coat laboratories. Will 2013 be remembered as the year that genetics went main stream?

The Genographic Project Explores the Ancient History of Guam

The name Micronesia, meaning small islands, describes the region well since most of these are small atolls, less than 80 square miles. I’m among the beautiful Marianas islands of western Micronesia, more specifically in Guam to meet the Chamorro people, and to see if together we could unlock some of the mysteries hidden in their DNA.…