Cataloging Humanity

In the same vein as my last post, from the bbc, an article about attempting to catalog human DNA, so as to trace the paths of human migration across the world and through history. It’s an interesting concept, and is estimated to take about $40 million US to perform. It’s being sponsored by IBM, National Geographic, and the Waitt Family Foundation (Ted Waitt being the founder of Gateway Computers).

There’s some resistence by some aboriginal groups to having their DNA collected in this manner, the article mentions previous incidents when they cooperated with scientists, but then quickly moves on to the contributions fo the various corporations. They don’t make mention of the potential for these sorts of studies to be twisted toward supporting who ‘arrived’ first or more ‘evolved’ and other arguments in this vein.

What does IBM get (beyond public relations) for supporting this sort of research? It seems like an unusual thing for them to sponsor, and I wonder if they have any input or contributions other than purely techinical.

2 Responses to “Cataloging Humanity”

  1. Jean-Sebastien says:

    Well… I guess IBM is probably trying to expand their span to bioinformatic, that is quite “HOT”
    at the moment.

  2. jennifer says:

    If the objective of the project is to track human migration through history with DNA, then indisputably, there will be not question of who “was here or there first”. History implies a timeseries with various events happening along that timeseries.