Shastry V. Mallady

First such centre in India and is among the 10 labs worldwide

MADURAI: Man’s origin and his migration across continents is always a mystery, owing to lack of a clear scientific investigation. But, a deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) test could unravel the ‘journey of man’ and throw light on some ‘dark secrets’ such as where the actual origin was — Asia or Africa?

A sophisticated facility called ‘Genographic Laboratory’ has been established at Madurai Kamaraj University here. This is the first such centre in India and is among the 10 laboratories worldwide mandated to study the chromosomes of 15,000 people. It will decipher the migration pattern of human beings in this country to correlate them with cultural evolution in a global context.

According to Rm. Pitchappan, Regional Project Director, the state-of the-art laboratory has been set up at a cost of Rs.1 crore, with the total project outlay for Madurai being Rs.4.5 crore. “The five-year project will involve an extensive study of the human genome,” Prof. Pitchappan, who is also Professor Emeritus at School of Biological Sciences, told The Hindu on Friday. The Registrar, I. Singaram said that the laboratory was yet another stupendous attempt by the School of Biological Sciences.

Sam C. Bose, Civil Surgeon and Member, Institutional Ethical Committee, MKU, said that many global myths on racial superiority could be broken through the findings.