Journey of Man



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THE JOURNEY OF MAN, from Jeremy Bradshaw/Tigress Productions (IN THE WILD, AFRICA) will examine the latest in genetic evidence to tell the story of the great migrations of man through history. Dr. Spencer Wells, an American scientist who runs a laboratory at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics at Oxford University in England, will host the two-hour special. He will travel to Africa, Australia, Siberia, the Middle East, the Himalayas and the United States to piece together our history with clues gathered along the way: facial features, cultural artifacts, fossils and meteorological records. Astonishing research indicates that our family trees can be traced back to just one man who lived as little as 60,000 years ago. The series will synthesize the latest evidence from many different scientific fields - genetics, linguistics, anthropology and paleoclimatology - to explain our exceptional survival against all odds. Justine Kershaw is producer.

Journey of Man
Dr. Spencer Wells, a 33-year-old geneticist, has closed the door on his laboratory and is embarking on the biggest adventure of his life. His mission: to retrace the most extraordinary journey of all time, a journey that involves every man, woman and child alive today.
Join Wells in Journey 0f Man as he travels to every continent on earth, endures every terrain, from the deserts of Namibia to the frozen extremes of the Russian Arctic, and meets the key human groups that hold the genetic history of mankind in their blood -- including the African Bushmen, Australian Aborigines, Native Americans, Chukchi reindeer herders and Kyrgyz nomads. The two-hour program airs on WOUB-TV Tuesday, January 21 at 9:00 p.m.
This is a true story. Once upon a time the human family numbered only a few and inhabited one continent, Africa. Then, forced by drought and famine, this small group left their homeland and embarked on the most hazardous journey of all time. They didnÕt stop until they had reached the very ends of the earth. We are all their children.
Wells has been part of a worldwide team of scientists deciphering these details for the past 15 years. How? The team has been reading clues left behind by these ancient travellers, in the blood of everyone alive today. Humans carry tiny changes in their DNA sequence -- passed on by their ancestors, from grandparents to ancestral grandparents of 2,000 generations. They are all present in the genes of the humans of today and will be passed on to the children of tomorrow. Wells tracks these DNA changes -- the map of human history. Now at last the greatest history story ever is ready to be told for the first time.
Wells repeats the very first Journey 0f Man, made by our ancestors as they peopled the world for the first time. As Wells prepares to leave his lab on a journey to every continent on earth to walk in their footsteps and retrace their ancient travelogue, he has one problem: He doesnÕt believe itÕs possible. He has double-checked the results. He knows theyÕre correct -- heÕs not made any mistakes, but the story the data tells is impossible. The world was in the grip of a major ice age and some of the climatic extremes these people would have had to endure are beyond comprehension. To succeed, our ancestors would surely have to have been superhuman. How did they do it? How will he ever do it?
Journey 0f Man will change viewersÕ perspectives of the world and its inhabitants in its quest to answer the age old question: Where do we come from?




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