What Genetic Thread Do These Six Strangers Have in Common?

Genetic sequencing has introduced new ways of thinking about human diversity. And this, in turn, has opened up a conversation about the long, tangled, and often brutal history that all of us ultimately share.

You are utterly unique. You have your own fingerprints, your own way of walking, and your own way of talking. Even the shape of your ears and the pattern of your retinas are specific to you. But some traits are more than skin-deep, and it’s possible you have something big in common with total strangers.

These six people may not look the same, but they all share a similar genetic ancestry, according to results from the National Geographic Geno 2.0 DNA Ancestry Kit. Using DNA from a saliva sample, the test shows a person's geographic origins and traces where that person's ancestors migrated hundreds and even thousands of years ago.

The test revealed that these people are each roughly 32 percent northern European, 28 percent Mediterranean, 21 percent sub-Saharan African, and 14 percent southwest Asian. With some help from the National Geographic Society's Genographic Project, the strangers were able to learn about each other.

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