05 July 2012

People of the British Isles Project

Debbie Kennett has posted a blog item worth reading on the People of the British Isles Project at the Royal Society's Summer Science Exhibition. The exhibition website gives a tantalizing glimpse of a British genetic map produced by the project. See it at http://sse.royalsociety.org/2012/exhibits/genetic-maps/.

If I understand correctly the results are preliminary. Debbie cautions about premature interpretation. It would be wise to await a published, and peer reviewed, version. However, those with deep roots in Devon, Cornwall, Anglesey or the Shetland Islands would seem to have a distinctive genetic profile in this data set. Quite how distinct isn't clear. Those of us with deep roots in Southern and Eastern England have a profile very similar to that of Northern France, Belgium the Netherlands and Germany. Northern Ireland and much of Scotland share a similar genetic profile.

Interesting times for genetic genealogy if not as profound as finding the Higgs Boson.

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