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  • ANCIENT DNA

    See what scientists and researchers are learning from ancient DNA.

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    Darryl Leja, NHGRI

  • IN AND BEYOND AFRICA

    Modern humans originated in East Africa 200,000 years ago.

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  • OUR TANGLED FAMILY TIES

    Genomics has shown that ancient hominids contributed to our DNA.

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    Human Origins Program, Smithsonian Institution

  • OUR ORIGINS AND ANCESTRY

    Genomics is the newest tool for looking deep into our genomic ancestry.

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    Belen Hurle, Ph.D NHGRI

  • EXPLORING OUR ANCESTRY

    Our genomes have been changing in small ways that link our ancestors to times and places. 

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Our Genomic Journey

As you explore the exhibit, you may start to wonder about human origins and your own family’s genomic journey. Fossils and other archaeological evidence provide many clues about where humans came from, but the picture is far from complete. Genomics helps us find the missing pieces of our distant past by looking at genomic differences between people living today. These small genomic changes that were passed down connect us to our ancestors – preserving the story of their journey in our DNA.