Scientists Make World’s Biggest Family Tree Linking 27 million People

This image visualises inferred human ancestral lineages over time and space. Each line represents an ancestor-descendant relationship in our ‘inferred genealogy of modern and ancient genomes’. The width of a line corresponds to how many times the relationship is observed, and lines are coloured on the basis of the estimated age of the ancestor

The world’s biggest family tree linking around 27 million people has been created by scientists. The genetic model combines thousands of modern and prehistoric genomes, providing new insight into key events in human history.

The breakthrough is a major step towards mapping the entirety of human relationships, with a single lineage that traces the ancestry of all people on Earth. The family tree also has widespread implications for medical research, identifying genetic predictors of disease.

“We have basically built a huge family tree, a genealogy for all of humanity that models as exactly as we can the history that generated all the genetic variation we find in humans today. This genealogy allows us to see how every person’s genetic sequence relates to every other, along all the points of the genome,” says principal author Dr. Yan Wong in a university release.

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SOURCE: CBS42, by via Nexstar Media Wire