About the NGS Genographic Project (as it pertains to the Pike DNA Project)

The information below pertained to phase one of the Genographic Project, which is now complete. For information on the second phase, click here.
In April 2005, the National Geographic Society launched the Genographic Project. This is a 5-year project that aims to use genetic testing to track human migration on an anthropological timescale. To view a media interview with Spencer Wells about the Genographic Project click here and then click on the "Launch" button.

An 8-minute video about the project can also be viewed here.

The DNA testing for public participants of the Genographic Project is being performed by FamilyTreeDNA, which is the company that the Pike DNA Project is recommending for its members. Because of the affiliation between the Genographic Project and FamilyTreeDNA, there are mechanisms for people who do their first DNA test with one of them to later transfer their test results into the other's database (without the need to provide another DNA sample).

This ability to transfer information presents newcomers to the Pike DNA Project with a choice as to whether to start their genetic testing as a member of the Genographic Project or as a member of the Pike Surname DNA Project. Each choice has its benefits and drawbacks. It warrants mention that nobody is required to join the Genographic Project. But given that its existence does present a choice, and also knowing that some people will want to join it as well as the Pike DNA Project, I thought that it would be best to describe the pros and cons of the two ways to get started, so that people can make up their own minds about how to proceed.

First, let's describe what would happen if you choose to start out with the Genographic Project:

Now, suppose that you decide not to start out with the Genographic Project, but instead get tested right away as part of the Pike DNA Surname Project:

Here's a summary of some of the pros and cons:

Concerning costs, to end up with results for 37 markers, you can either pay $149 by signing up directly with the Pike DNA Project, or if you go through the Genographic Project first then you would pay $99.95 plus an upgrade fee of $99 for a total of $198.95. So if your only interest is genealogy, then ignoring the Genographic Project is the more economical option.

At this point it warrants re-iterating that joining the Genographic Project is not a requirement, but those intent on joining it anyway will probably want to start out with it first in order to get a copy of the brochure and DVD, even though this may slow down getting a full set of test results (i.e. more than just 12 markers).

This might be a lot to absorb, especially for newcomers to the realm of genetic genealogy. By all means, if you have any questions, email David and/or Stuart at dapike@mun.ca or cocostu@spamex.com.

A few words should probably also be said about haplogroups. In this regard, please review the questions and answers on the "Technical Questions" page for the Pike DNA Project.

Last Modified: Thursday, 23 August 2012, 12:50:58 NDT