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Friday 15th December
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Additional information from DNAPrint reminds us that conquering armies, such as those of the Romans, added variety to the gene pools of vanquished countries.

In the UK one school of thought says that, despite invasions, the genetic makeup of the indigenous population is similar to that of hunters who followed animal herds to Britain at the end of the last Ice Age. However, some DNA tests show interesting results. For example, research in the UK looking at the relationship between the Y-chromosome and surnames, reported finding African DNA in a group of men whose families had lived in Yorkshire for generations.

The first Africans recorded to have lived in Britain were recruited by the Romans for a garrison which guarded Hadrian's Wall, a fortification marking the northern boundary of Roman Britain. Over a thousand years later West African slaves were brought to the country during the slave trade.

A DNAPrint spokesperson also mentioned a personal test which provides another insight into DNA test revelations. The results [of a person of Southern Italian descent] also showed Sub-Saharan African percentages (6%). However a percentage of 10% Native American ancestry was more surprising. Apparently some Italians and a percentage of inhabitants in Greece, Turkey and the Middle East have Native American genetic markers in their DNA.

The ancestry of Native Americans, who have taken tests, is shown to be derived from Central Asia, for example, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Southwest Siberia. Migrants from these regions, possibly around thirty thousand years ago, did not just move towards the Bering land bridge to North America, some also migrated to Europe and the Middle East. To avoid crossing the Ural Mountains between Asia and Europe, people travelled through Turkey, Greece and Italy.

Today, the use of DNA testing to explore ancestry has only been used for a few years. It will be interesting to see how future use of these techniques will influence the way we view ourselves and the world. (2007)


Thanks to DNAPrint Genomics Inc. in Sarasota, Florida, USA for providing the DNA test results. Visit www.ancestrybydna.com for more information.

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