Stanford geneticist Joanna Mountain recounts some of the experience she brings to 23andMe in her role as Senior Director of Research: "Solving mysteries via DNA". Much of her interests are the anthropological aspects of DNA and ancestry.
Now that we know how DNA aligns with prehistoric migrations, we can trace the DNA of individuals to northern Europe or Central Asia, South America or the Near East, western Africa or Oceania. That information about where DNA is from can, in turn, answer questions about our ancestors. Were they struggling to feed their children through hunting red deer in northern Europe, harvesting shellfish in southeastern Asia, raising alpacas in the highland plateaus of western South America, or digging for tubers in eastern Africa? DNA shows that some of us have ancestors who faced the challenge of survival using several of these strategies.
A new round of "Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr" is going to begin on PBS this month, using 23andMe services as part of the program.