I would like to tell my grandfather's country of origin from his DNA. Can I do that?

27 February 2005

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Question

I would like to tell my grandfather's country of origin from his DNA. Can I do that?

Answer

You can tell ethnic group from DNA, but not the individual country. The only way I can think to do that is to look at his teeth, which sometimes trap geological signals. If these were laid down at the beginning of his life, you would have a fingerprint of where he came from.

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