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Y Chromosomes Rewrite British History
Nature ^ | 6-19-2003 | Hannah Hoag

Posted on 06/24/2003 10:33:30 AM PDT by blam

Y chromosomes rewrite British history

Anglo-Saxons' genetic stamp weaker than historians suspected

19 June 2003
HANNAH HOAG

Some Scottish men's Y's are remarkably similar to those of southern England. © GettyImages

A new survey of Y chromosomes in the British Isles suggests that the Anglo-Saxons failed to leave as much of a genetic stamp on the UK as history books imply1.

Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Danes, Vikings and Normans invaded Britain repeatedly between 50 BC and AD 1050. Many historians ascribe much of the British ancestry to the Anglo-Saxons because their written legacy overshadows that of the Celts.

But the Y chromosomes of the regions tell a different story. "The Celts weren't pushed to the fringes of Scotland and Wales; a lot of them remained in England and central Ireland," says study team member David Goldstein, of University College London. This is surprising: the Anglo-Saxons reputedly colonized southern England heavily.

The Anglo-Saxons and Danes left their mark in central and eastern England, and mainland Scotland, the survey says, and the biological traces of Norwegian invaders show up in the northern British Isles, including Orkney.

Similar studies, including one by the same team, have looked at differences in mitochondrial DNA, which we inherit from our mothers. They found little regional variation because females tended to move to their husbands.

But the Y chromosome shows sharper differences from one geographic region to the next, says geneticist Luca Cavalli-Sforza, of Stanford University, California. "The Y chromosome has a lower mutation rate than mitrochondrial DNA."

Goldstein's team collected DNA samples from more than 1,700 men living in towns across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. They took a further 400 DNA samples from continental Europeans, including Germans and Basques. Only men whose paternal grandfathers had dwelt within 20 miles of their current home were eligible.

The Y chromosomes of men from Wales and Ireland resemble those of the Basques. Some believe that the Basques, from the border of France and Spain, are the original Europeans.

The new survey is an example of how archaeologists, prehistorians and geneticists are beginning to collaborate, comments Chris Tyler-Smith of the University of Oxford, UK, who tracks human evolution using the Y chromosome. "It would be nice to see the whole world surveyed in this kind of detail, but it's expensive and there are other priorities."

References Capelli, C. et al. A Y chromosome census of the British Isles. Current Biology, 13, 979 - 984, (2003). |Article|

© Nature News Service / Macmillan Magazines Ltd 2003


TOPICS: News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: ancienthistory; archaeology; basques; british; caledonia; celts; chromosomes; cymru; cymry; genetics; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; helixmakemineadouble; history; iberia; ireland; pcelts; pictish; picts; qcelts; rewrite; romanempire; scotland; scotlandyet; spain; uk; unitedkingdom; wales; welsh; y
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Maybe I'm not a WASP afterall.
1 posted on 06/24/2003 10:33:30 AM PDT by blam
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To: blam
I find this science totally fascinating. I really hope that with time it will become easier and more widespread (meaning cheaper) to obtain, exchange and compare DNA data, the way we now exchange genealogy files.

2 posted on 06/24/2003 10:37:39 AM PDT by ElkGroveDan (Fighting for Freedom and Having Fun)
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To: RightWhale; JudyB1938
If you want to read something really different, read this:

Arthur, America And The Comet

3 posted on 06/24/2003 10:40:32 AM PDT by blam
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To: blam
I find this science totally fascinating. I really hope that with time it will become easier and more widespread (meaning cheaper) to obtain, exchange and compare DNA data, the way we now exchange genealogy files.

4 posted on 06/24/2003 10:40:44 AM PDT by ElkGroveDan (Fighting for Freedom and Having Fun)
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To: ElkGroveDan
btt
5 posted on 06/24/2003 10:40:56 AM PDT by MattinNJ (It ain't right. Says so in the scriptures.)
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To: ElkGroveDan
One of the things special about the Y chromosome is that it is passed from father to son unmodified. The mother does not have any Y chromosome information to contribute. Because of that you can trace father linage very far into the past, assuming of course you can get DNA samples.
6 posted on 06/24/2003 10:41:10 AM PDT by Reeses
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To: ElkGroveDan
Yep! "It would be nice to see the whole world surveyed in this kind of detail, but it's expensive and there are other priorities." Probably sooner than later, it should become cheap and reach completion as a matter of course. I'm excited! ;^)
7 posted on 06/24/2003 10:42:00 AM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: blam
Well, I guess it's a pretty decent confirmation of the demonstrated human ability to tell when somebody "looks English." There's that sort of longish facial structure, and something about the mouth (not just bad teeth).

Churchill made an off-hand remark about that physical characteristic in his "History of the English-Speaking People."

8 posted on 06/24/2003 10:46:38 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: blam
Maybe my ex had it right when she called me a Basquard...
9 posted on 06/24/2003 10:47:39 AM PDT by trebb
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To: blam
Neat! BTTT
10 posted on 06/24/2003 10:48:56 AM PDT by Constitution Day (Have *you* taunted a liberal today?)
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To: ElkGroveDan
"I really hope that with time it will become easier and more widespread (meaning cheaper) to obtain, exchange and compare DNA data, the way we now exchange genealogy files. "

I agree. In fact, I think there is a tremendous business opportunity here. The person/business who has the largest DNA 'library' and a cheap/fast comparsion method will be worth millions, IMO.
The volume part of the business will be comparing individuals and selling geneology lineages. As you obtain more and more samples, previously unknown human migratory patterns will emerge and that information can be sold.

You could in effect rewrite human prehistory. Researchers would come to you for specific information contained in your 'library.'

11 posted on 06/24/2003 10:51:47 AM PDT by blam
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To: r9etb
"Churchill made an off-hand remark about that physical characteristic in his "History of the English-Speaking People."

Yup. Read that years ago and could never figure out who were the 'long faced' people he referred to.(?)

12 posted on 06/24/2003 10:55:24 AM PDT by blam
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To: trebb
"Maybe my ex had it right when she called me a Basquard..."

Are they related to the sumbitches? (We could be related, lol)

13 posted on 06/24/2003 10:57:52 AM PDT by blam
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To: VadeRetro; PatrickHenry; Swordmaker
The Y chromosomes of men from Wales and Ireland resemble those of the Basques. Some believe that the Basques, from the border of France and Spain, are the original Europeans.

Any bets on the subject of Ray Capt's next opus?

Heck, it might even be 36 pages of scholarship (including covers).


"In a hidden library in a forgotten catacomb beneath an abandoned rectory behind Westminster Abbey, lies an ancient Gaelic scroll inscribed in Hebrew cuneiform..."

14 posted on 06/24/2003 10:58:01 AM PDT by Sabertooth
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To: blam
Goldstein's team collected DNA samples from more than 1,700 men living in towns across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales

That doesn't sound like a very large sample. There must be at least 50,000 settlements in the UK. Seems like a pretty tenuous basis to start rewriting history.

15 posted on 06/24/2003 11:00:40 AM PDT by alnitak ("That kid's about as sharp as a pound of wet liver" - Foghorn Leghorn)
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To: r9etb
...ability to tell when somebody "looks English." There's that sort of longish facial structure,...

Like "Mr. Bean".

16 posted on 06/24/2003 11:01:47 AM PDT by elbucko
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To: Sabertooth
"Any bets on the subject of Ray Capt's next opus? "

Yup. Don't be suprised to see some ideas discussed on FR contained in the book.

The English and Welsh Are Races Apart

17 posted on 06/24/2003 11:04:16 AM PDT by blam
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To: r9etb
I think "horse-faced" is more descriptive somehow.
18 posted on 06/24/2003 11:07:36 AM PDT by LibertyAndJusticeForAll
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To: Reeses
Ancestry Of Europeans Traced To Middle East
19 posted on 06/24/2003 11:08:35 AM PDT by blam
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To: blam
could never figure out who were the 'long faced' people he referred to.(?)

I have an old copy of Life's Picture History of World War II wherein there's a picture of a British air raid warden during the blitz (looked, but couldn't find it on-line). He'd be your quintessential "long faced person."

20 posted on 06/24/2003 11:08:43 AM PDT by r9etb
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