Time Magazine has a new article of interest to genealogists: "Can DNA Reveal Your Roots?" by Anita Hamilton examines the use of DNA for genealogy research. She writes, "More than 100,000 Americans, including such celebrities as Oprah and Spike Lee, have sought to do the same by taking genealogical DNA tests now offered by commercial labs. Starting at $95 and using a sample of cells swabbed from inside the cheek, the tests can answer questions ranging from whether you have Native American or African ancestry to whether you are related to someone with the same last name.
"While the test results can pack an emotional wallop that brings many to tears --especially adoptees, descendants of slaves, and others who previously had little knowledge of their roots -- skeptics have raised questions about their accuracy."
To be sure, many DNA tests claim to prove African tribes of origin, such as the study done for Oprah Winfrey. However, Bruce Jackson, a geneticist at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell and co-director of the African-American DNA Roots Project, a nonprofit research group that is digging into the genetic history of American blacks, claims that such results are rubbish. "I think it is a disgraceful thing to try to tell an African American that you can match them to any group in Africa now," says Jackson. "Every ethnic group in Africa is a mix that we don't understand yet."
You can read the entire article on Time's web site at: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1079508,00.html