What This Unprecedented 13-Million-Person Family Tree Reveals
For starters, the new tree calls into question a prevailing theory for why people stopped marrying close relatives.
The information tucked away in the branching lines of family trees can help individuals answer questions about the movement of their ancestors around the world, their physical traits, and even their risk of disease.
Now, scientists have created a massive family tree of 13 million people that spans 11 generations to try and find answers to larger questions about the human population, from the heritability of long life to the ways whole families dispersed and intermarried over the past few centuries. (Recently, a new DNA map offered some surprises about Irish ancestry.)
The huge new dataset is the largest scientifically validated family tree based on publicly available information, says Yaniv Erlich, a data scientist and computational biologist at the New