Was intrigued to read this posting about a DNA talk by Rick Kittles last Thursday. Seems to suggest that 60 Minutes will be running a piece on genetic genealogy -- possibly one focusing specifically on African Ancestry tests.
I see that Tony Burroughs was there pointing out a reality of this particular test, but the audience didn't want to hear it. I know what he's talking about and appreciated that African American Lives (on PBS) shared this reality, too.
Here's what folks need to be aware of. Africa is the cradle of mankind, so we've had longer to migrate around this continent than any place else. So the notion that one's genetic signature will exist only in one place in Africa is slightly optimistic. On African American Lives, this was seen when celebrity after celebrity had genetic matches in several locations in Africa. So while the test represents a giant step forward in terms of what was available previously for learning about African origins -- that is, virtually nothing -- it should be taken more as an indication than an absolute.
I'm obviously a major fan of genetic genealogy in general, but it does concern me when it borders on being oversold. I always fear a backlash down the road, so I don't be a downer to anyone -- but I think it would be great if everyone ordering a test understood in advance exactly what it can and can't do.