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British Embassy Paris Press Release
 
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 6:51 pm    Post subject: British Embassy Paris Press Release Reply with quote

A genetic Domesday Book for the UK (02/05/07)


An epic study, the biggest genetic survey of the UK ever undertaken, is
reaching its final stages.


DNA samples are being taken from 3500 Britons to trace their genetic
heritage during the People of the British Isles project
Run by scientists at Oxford University's Department of Clinical
Pharmacology and supported by the Wellcome Trust, the People of the
British Isles study is, in effect, drawing a map of Britain's genetic
heritage.

Genetic structure of the UK
Led by cancer and population geneticist, Professor Walter Bodmer, the
team has been deciphering the genetic structure of the UK.

DNA samples are being taken from over 3500 volunteers all over the UK
and preliminary findings reveal the biological traces of successive
waves of colonisers Celts, Saxons and Vikings.

The samples come from volunteers living in rural areas whose four
grandparents were born in the same location, within a radius of about
30 miles.

Understanding inherited illness
The purpose of the study is two-fold: the findings will not only be
used to create a genetic history, but will also generate vital
information that will help us understand the inherited susceptibility
to a wide range of diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer's and heart
disease in various parts of the country.

Eventually the researchers hope that they will have the means to
identify people at risk of getting common illnesses.

Celtic gene strong in south west and south Wales
It seems that the Celtic gene is immensely strong in Devon, Cornwall
and Pembrokeshire in Wales, which leads Professor Bodmer and his team
to believe that current inhabitants of those areas can trace their
ancestry to the Celts and hunter-gatherers who came to Britain when we
were still joined to mainland Europe.


Volunteers in East Anglia who took part in the People of the British
Isles project were found to have mainly Anglo-Saxon genes. (c)
Britainonview
East Anglian Anglo-Saxon gene dominant
In East Anglia, on the other hand, the dominant gene is Anglo-Saxon. It
comes, it is thought, from Danish Vikings, who originated from the same
area of northern Europe as the Anglo-Saxons. They are, according to the
study, "probably essentially the same people genetically and it is only
their culture that was different".

Two kinds of Vikings
One interesting upshot of the study is confirmation that there are two
different kinds of Vikings: the Danes who invaded the eastern parts of
Britain and the Norsemen who came from what is now Norway.

The latter found their way predominantly to the Orkney Islands,
although the current population is much more mixed with equal numbers
of Celtic genes.

Male Y chromosome
This can be partly determined, says Professor Bodmer, by studying the Y
male chromosome, which is only passed down the male line, and is
relatively common in both Orkney and Scandinavian males, though not in
most of the rest of the UK.

On the other hand, Orkney women's mitrochondrial DNA, which is passed
only down the female line, appears to be very similar to the rest of
the UK. It therefore seems a logical conclusion that "the influx to the
islands was male who settled and married Orkney women who were there
already".

North east surprise
In the north east of Britain very few Viking genes were discovered,
much to the surprise of many of the volunteers. The possible
explanation, thinks the team, is the likelihood that the area was
invaded by Danish Vikings who had Anglo-Saxon rather than Norse Viking
genes.

Once this genetic map is complete, the team will be able to compare it
with Scandinavia, Northern Germany and Holland since, as they point
out, "these are the countries that may have had a genetic influence on
the British Isles. Thus we may think of Denmark and Northern Germany as
the home of the Anglo-Saxons, and Scandinavia as the home of the
Vikings."
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Surely there is a less cumbersome way for the police to build up a citizen DNA database.
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 Random Information. 
 For many Cornish people and Cornwall, the Duchy, as shown by the Officers of the Duchy of Cornwall in 1855 in its dispute with the Crown over the ownership of the Cornish Foreshore, has quite a different significance, based on the original Acts and Charters of its creation. Cornwall itself in this framework is described, de jure, as a Duchy (as opposed to an ordinary county), and the Duchy estates are distinguished from the Duchy itself, having themselves been annexed and united to "the aforesaid Duchy". The Duke of Cornwall may even be described as Cornwall's head of state.  


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