Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Next Gen Sequencing
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Genetic Study Shows Europeans are One Big Family

Published: Wednesday, May 08, 2013
Last Updated: Wednesday, May 08, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Europeans are basically one big family, closely related to one another for the past thousand years, according to a new study of the DNA of people from across the continent.

The study, co-authored by Graham Coop, a professor of evolution and ecology at the University of California, Davis, is published May 7 in the journal PLoS Biology.

"What’s remarkable about this is how closely everyone is related to each other. On a genealogical level, everyone in Europe traces back to nearly the same set of ancestors only a thousand years ago," Coop said.

"This was predicted in theory over a decade ago, and we now have concrete evidence from DNA data," Coop said, adding that such close kinship likely exists in other parts of the world as well.

Coop and co-author Peter Ralph, now a professor at the University of Southern California, set out to study relatedness among Europeans in recent history, up to about 3,000 years ago. Drawing on the Population Reference Sample (POPRES) database, a resource for population and genetics research, they compared genetic sequences from more than 2,000 individuals.

As expected, Coop and Ralph found that the degree of genetic relatedness between two people tends to be smaller the farther apart they live. But even a pair of individuals who live as far apart as the United Kingdom and Turkey — a distance of some 2,000 miles — likely are related to all of one another's ancestors from a thousand years ago.

Subtle local differences, which likely mark demographic shifts and historic migrations, exist on top of this underlying kinship, Ralph said. Barriers like mountain ranges and linguistic differences have also slightly reduced relatedness among regions.

Coop noted, however, that these are all relatively small differences.

"The overall picture is that everybody is related, and we are looking at only subtle differences between regions," he said.

To learn about these patterns, Ralph and Coop used ideas about the expected amount of genome shared between relatives of varying degrees of relatedness. For example, first cousins have grandparents in common and share long stretches of DNA.

Ralph and Coop looked for shorter blocks of DNA that were shared between cousins separated by many more generations.

Because the number of ancestors doubles with every generation, the chance of having identical DNA in common with more distant relatives quickly drops. But in large samples, rare cases of distant sharing could be detected. With their analysis, Coop and Ralph were able to detect these shared blocks of DNA in individuals spread across Europe, and calculate how long ago they shared an ancestor.

Coop and Ralph hope to continue the work with larger and more detailed databases, including much finer-resolution data on where individuals lived within a country.

However, Coop noted that while studies of genetic ancestry can shed light on history, they do not tell the whole story. Archaeology and linguistics also provide important information about how cultures and societies move and change.

"These studies need to proceed hand in hand, to form a much fuller picture of history," Coop said.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,100+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Industry-Sponsored Academic Inventions Spur Increased Innovation
Analysis questions assumption that corporate support skews science toward inventions that are less useful than those funded by the government or non-profit organizations.
Monday, March 24, 2014
International Fruit Pest Targeted by Genomic Research
The spotted wing drosophila is itself being targeted, thanks to groundbreaking genome sequencing.
Friday, December 06, 2013
Scientists Pinpoint Cell Type and Brain Region Affected by Gene Mutations in Autism
UCSF-led study zeroes in on when and where disrupted genes exert effects.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
DNA Found Outside Genes Plays Largely Unknown, Potentially Vital Roles
UCSF study identifies thousands of previously unknown RNA molecules.
Monday, July 01, 2013
Tick-Borne Lone Star Virus Identified through New Super-Fast Gene Sequencing
The tick-borne Lone Star virus has been conclusively identified as part of a family of other tick-borne viruses called bunyaviruses, which often cause fever, respiratory problems and bleeding.
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
New Center for Data Storage Research Established
Researchers in the Baskin School of Engineering at UC Santa Cruz are partnering with data storage industry to establish the Center for Research in Storage Systems (CRSS).
Thursday, March 28, 2013
New Network Being Built to Support Transfer of Big Data
The University of California, San Diego, is taking another leap forward in the name of enabling data-intensive science.
Thursday, March 21, 2013
National Study to Examine Risks, Benefits in Emergent Whole Genome Sequencing
UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member to lead four-year, $2.4 million project.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
'Defective' Virus Plays Major Role in Spread of Disease
Defective viruses now appear able to play an important role in the spread of disease, new research by UCLA life scientists indicates.
Friday, March 01, 2013
Methylome Modifications Offer New Measure of our “Biological” Age
Women live longer than men. Individuals can appear or feel years younger – or older – than their chronological age. Diseases can affect our aging process. When it comes to biology, our clocks clearly tick differently.
Monday, November 26, 2012
Gladstone Scientists Map Genomic Blueprint of the Heart
Findings could help scientists combat the underlying causes of congenital heart disease.
Friday, September 14, 2012
Beyond Base-pairs: Mapping the Functional Genome
Unprecedented study maps significant portion of the functional sequences of the mouse genome.
Wednesday, July 04, 2012
Gene Mutations Likely Cause of Massive Brain Asymmetry
It is hoped that these genetic changes can be inhibited by designer drugs, thus avoiding drastic surgery.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Scientific News
How Did The Giraffe Get Its Long Neck?
Clues about the evolution of the giraffe’s long neck have now been revealed by new genome sequencing.
Big Data Can Save Lives
The sharing of genetic information from millions of cancer patients around the world could be key to revolutionising cancer prevention and care, according to a leading cancer expert from Queen's University Belfast.
Making Genetic Data Easier to Search
Scripps team streamlines biomedical research by making genetic data easier to search.
Collaborative Study of WES Offers New Hope
Company has announced that the collaborative study of whole exome sequencing offers new hope for children with white matter disorders.
Using Portable Nanopore DNA Sequencers to Combat Wildlife Crime
University of Leicester researchers aim to develop a test using DNA to identify species at crime scenes in as little as an hour.
TGAC Installs Largest SGI UV 300 Supercomputer for Life Sciences
The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC) partners with Global HPC hardware giant SGI to address the most complex problems in genomics analysis.
Shining A Light On Bladder Cancer
Researchers scrutinize patterns of mutations in bladder tumor genomes, gleaning insights into the roles of DNA repair and tobacco-related DNA damage.
Monovar Drills Down Into Cancer Genome
Rice, MD Anderson develop program to ID mutations in single cancer cells.
Five New Breast Cancer Genes Found
Discovery of mutations paves the way for personalised treatment of breast cancer.
New Neurodevelopmental Syndrome Identified
Study pinpoints underlying genetic mutations, raising hopes for targeted therapies.
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,100+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,500+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!