Published  08/03/2007

DNA Hiccup

In the past two decades, remarkable scientific progress has been made by exploring and, to a degree, cracking the universal genetic codes of the human race. Ironically now, two African countries have been confident enough to track those emigrants whom they claim are linked to their own tribes. One such case has been that of a genuine approach by the smaller African state of Guinea Bissau. The African American actress, Whoopi Goldberg, a Hollywood celebrity, was found to be descended from two tribes in Guinea Bissau, something endorsed by the Guinea Bissau tourist industry. This small nation, located between Gambia and Guinea, was not slow to recognise the potential gain in tourist terms. But, generally, it is still notoriously difficult to be more than 85% certain, such are the complexities of private databases.

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