Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gene study sheds new light on origins of British men

Date:
August 25, 2011
Source:
University of Edinburgh
Summary:
New genetic evidence reveals that most British men are not descended from immigrant farmers who migrated east 5,000-10,000 years ago -- contrary to previous research. Instead, scientists say that most European men can trace their lineage to people -- most likely hunter-gatherers -- who had settled in Europe long before that time.

Changing of the Guards ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London, UK.
Credit: iStockphoto/Birute Vijeikiene

New genetic evidence reveals that most British men are not descended from immigrant farmers who migrated east 5,000-10,000 years ago -- contrary to previous research.

Related Articles


Instead, scientists from the Universities of Oxford and Edinburgh say that most European men can trace their lineage to people -- most likely hunter-gatherers -- who had settled in Europe long before that time.

The latest study, based on the most common genetic lineage in European males, aims to correct an analysis of genetic data, published last year. It had reported that most British men came from people who migrated west, with the spread of agriculture, from the Near East.

More than 100 million European men have a set of genes called R-M269, including about three-quarters of British men. A key question in understanding the peopling of Europe is when this group spread out across Europe.

Researchers say their work shows that the set of genes chosen to estimate the age of this group of men vary the outcome enormously. They add that the previously reported east-west pattern is not found in their larger and more comprehensive dataset. This, the Oxford-Edinburgh team says, leaves little evidence for a farmer-led dispersal of this major group.

According to Dr Cristian Capelli, the Oxford geneticist who led the research, the study "resets" the debate on the peopling of Europe. He says, "Our works overturns the recent claims of European Y chromosomes being brought into the continent by farmers."

Co-author, Dr Jim Wilson of the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Population Health Sciences, adds that the paper shows for the first time that certain properties of the genes studied strongly influence the accuracy of the date estimate.

"Estimating a date at which an ancestral lineage originated is an interesting application of genetics, but unfortunately it is beset with difficulties and it is very difficult to provide good dates. Many people assume that the more genes the more accurate the dates, but this is not the case: some genetic markers are more suited to dating than others."

The study also reports multiple subgroups of the R-M269 group that are very common in different parts of Europe, consistent with expansion of these different groups in each place.

The study is published online in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Edinburgh. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. G. B. J. Busby, F. Brisighelli, P. Sanchez-Diz, E. Ramos-Luis, C. Martinez-Cadenas, M. G. Thomas, D. G. Bradley, L. Gusmao, B. Winney, W. Bodmer, M. Vennemann, V. Coia, F. Scarnicci, S. Tofanelli, G. Vona, R. Ploski, C. Vecchiotti, T. Zemunik, I. Rudan, S. Karachanak, D. Toncheva, P. Anagnostou, G. Ferri, C. Rapone, T. Hervig, T. Moen, J. F. Wilson, C. Capelli. The peopling of Europe and the cautionary tale of Y chromosome lineage R-M269. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2011; DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2011.1044

Cite This Page:

University of Edinburgh. "Gene study sheds new light on origins of British men." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110824214601.htm>.
University of Edinburgh. (2011, August 25). Gene study sheds new light on origins of British men. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110824214601.htm
University of Edinburgh. "Gene study sheds new light on origins of British men." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110824214601.htm (accessed April 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Wound-Healing Laser Soon to Be a Reality Israeli Scientist

Wound-Healing Laser Soon to Be a Reality Israeli Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Apr. 1, 2015) Israeli scientists says laser bonding of tissue allows much faster healing and less scarring. Amy Pollock has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone have been busy fighting the menace created by the deadly Ebola virus, but illicit drug lords have taken advantage of the situation to advance the drug trade. Duration: 01:12 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The Indian government declared victory over leprosy in 2005, but the disease is making a comeback in some parts of the country, with more than a hundred thousand lepers still living in colonies, shunned from society. Duration: 02:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

AP (Mar. 31, 2015) Although she never had much interest in prosthetic limbs before, Faith Lennox couldn&apos;t wait to slip on her new robohand. The 7-year-old, who lost part of her left arm when she was a baby, grabbed it as soon as it came off a 3-D printer. (March 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins