Razib Khan One-stop-shopping for all of my content

April 18, 2012

The billion SNPs of Alba?

Filed under: Human Genetics,Scotland — Razib Khan @ 6:33 am


A man of astonishing multitudes?

Daniel MacArthur points me to one of the funniest historical genetic popular write-ups I’ve seen in years. Study reveals ‘extraordinary’ DNA of people in Scotland:

Researchers believe that Scotland’s location could be a factor in the “astonishing and unique” origins of people from the country.

In a statement, Dr Wilson and Mr Moffat said: “Perhaps geography, Scotland’s place at the farthest north-western end of the European peninsula, is the reason for great diversity.

“For many thousands of years, migrants could move no further west. Scotland was the end of many journeys.”

I am aware that modern Scotland does emerge from a rather patchwork ethno-cultural background. That is, it is the fusion of Gaels (the Scots), Picts, the Norse, the Strathclyde Britons, and of course the German speaking Anglo-Saxon populations migrating up from Northumbria. But the “astonishing and unique” genetic heritage of the Scots seems as plausible as the culinary delights of haggis. From what I recall genetic diversity drops off as you go north and west in Europe because the effective population drops (less gene flow with surrounding populations because there are fewer surrounding populations). ...

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