If you want to discover your genetic history and where you came from... you’ve found the right place!

888-806-2588

Review of Science Writing and News Reports on DNA Testing and Popular Genetics

Surprises in English and Irish DNA

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Over a year ago, there appeared one of the few studies of autosomal DNA in Ireland and Britain. If you have English/Welsh, Irish, northern Irish, Highlands Scottish, Lowlands Scottish or Swedish matches, you will want to read this post. Here is the original article and abstract.

Eur J Hum Genet. 2010 Nov;18(11):1248-54. Epub 2010 Jun 23.

Population structure and genome-wide patterns of variation in Ireland and Britain.

Abstract

Located off the northwestern coast of the European mainland, Britain and Ireland were among the last regions of Europe to be colonized by modern humans after the last glacial maximum. Further, the geographical location of Britain, and in particular of Ireland, is such that the impact of historical migration has been minimal. Genetic diversity studies applying the Y chromosome and mitochondrial systems have indicated reduced diversity and an increased population structure across Britain and Ireland relative to the European mainland. Such characteristics would have implications for genetic mapping studies of complex disease. We set out to further our understanding of the genetic architecture of the region from the perspective of (i) population structure, (ii) linkage disequilibrium (LD), (iii) homozygosity and (iv) haplotype diversity (HD). Analysis was conducted on 3654 individuals from Ireland, Britain (with regional sampling in Scotland), Bulgaria, Portugal, Sweden and the Utah HapMap collection. Our results indicate a subtle but clear genetic structure across Britain and Ireland, although levels of structure were reduced in comparison with average cross-European structure. We observed slightly elevated levels of LD and homozygosity in the Irish population compared with neighbouring European populations. We also report on a cline of HD across Europe with greatest levels in southern populations and lowest levels in Ireland and Scotland. These results are consistent with our understanding of the population history of Europe and promote Ireland and Scotland as relatively homogenous resources for genetic mapping of rare variants.

Though the focus was on genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and linkage disequilibrium, or medical aspects of DNA, this study was groundbreaking in using supercomputing and has enormous implications for the history of the British Isles. It used data from over 3,000 individuals from seven populations:

1. Ireland/Dublin

2. Scotland/Aberdeen

3. Bulgaria

4. Portugal

5. Sweden

6. South/Southeast England

7. Utah

Data came from several sources:  the International Schizophrenia Consortium, Wellcome Trust Cast Control Consortium 1958 Birth Control Data set, Utah European ancestry population (CEU) and HapMap project.

The study aimed to describe, statistically, four measures of the Irish and English populations: 

1. Population structure

2. Linkage disequilibrium, with consequences for the study of common Irish and English genetic disorders

3. ROH, or runs of homozygosity, essentially a reflection of inbreeding and the remoteness of a population

4. Haplotype diversity (based on SNPs in atDNA)

The main conclusion was that Irish/English formed a separate and unique population since the Ice Age very different from either Bulgarian (SE Europe) or Portuguese (SW Europe), with great affinities to Sweden or Scandinavian populations (p. 1250). For instance, "the breakdown and patterning of LD [linkage disequilibrium] ... is virtually indistinguishable among the Irish, Scottish, southern English, Swedish..." (p. 1250).

"Diversity across Britain and Ireland is reduced in comparison with mainland European populations, with Scotland and Ireland having lower levels than southern England (p. 1251)."

The study postulates that Irish and English proneness to genetic disease came about as a result of population stasis or unchanging conditions. The agricultural revolution swept in a lot of additions to the gene pool in most of Europe, including Southeast England, but in areas like Ireland, Scotland and Sweden the same population stayed on the land with little increase, in fact with a negative effect during the Norse migrations of the 10th century and the Irish Potato Famine. The study mentions a "kinship effect" apparent in Irish and Scottish clan histories (p. 1254).

The surprising suggestion is that there will now be a groundswell of research into "Irish" and "Scottish" and "English" diseases comparable to Jewish diseases.

A related study is:

A. Auton, K. Bryc, A. Boyko, K. Lohmueller, J. Novembre, A. Reynolds, A. Indap, M. H. Wright, J. Degenhardt, R. Gutenkunst, K. S. King, M. R. Nelson and C. D. Bustamante, Global distribution of genomic diversity underscores rich complex history of continental human populations, Genome Research, February 2009. Abstract.

Comments

Stephanie Hayward commented on 27-May-2011 09:15 AM

I am reading the book "When Scotland was Jewish" and am also doing research on the mythical Milesians. Was wondering if this mythical Irish group had ever come up in your discussions. It is said they were descended from Jewish line and I started making
a connection by what is outlined in your book. By the way, the book is great! Stephanie

Teresa Panther-Yates commented on 08-Jun-2011 03:12 PM

How interesting! The Milesians are thought to be one of the mythical populations that started Ireland. They are thought to be Middle-Eastern and from Spain, but this population is not in the book and has not come up. Thank you for this adding this observation.
Teresa P. Yates

Brian Costello commented on 19-Jul-2012 11:39 PM

I can believe that Scots and English have some genetic relationship to the populations of Sweden and / or Norway. They look basically Germanic. However, the Irish are not a Germanic people at all and therefore must descend from a different gene pool, and
I don't think it is one from Spain either.

Peter O'Connor commented on 26-Jun-2013 12:41 PM

I support Bob Quinn's contention that the Irish and (West British) populations came via the sea - and from North Africa - via Spain.
The language, music, culture art and boat-design support this.


Please tell us what you think

Name, website, and email are optional; if we publish your comment, your name will be shown, and may be linked to your website if provided, but the email you enter will not be published.





Captcha Image


Recent Posts


Tags

Puerto Rico human migrations genomics labs Colin Renfrew health and medicine Bureau of Indian Affairs megapopulations mummies Valparaiso University Tara MacIsaac university of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Luca Pagani Thuya Scotland District of Columbia Asian DNA Bode Technology Robinson Crusoe Melba Ketchum Wendell Paulson Juanita Sims Population genetics Family Tree DNA Neolithic Revolution ethnic markers Peter Parham immunology Washington D.C. Daniel Defoe When Scotland Was Jewish gedmatch First Peoples religion haplogroup U Asiatic Fathers of America peopling of the Americas population genetics Richard Buckley Nephilim, Fritz Zimmerman Elizabeth C. Hirschman BATWING DNA magazine King Arthur Phoenix Old World Roots of the Cherokee EURO DNA Fingerprint Test American Journal of Human Genetics Bering Land Bridge Elizabeth DeLand methylation Nature Communications Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act Donald N. Yates India metis DNA databases Albert Einstein College of Medicine El Paso French Canadians genetic memory origins of art Anasazi Kitty Prince of the Bear River Athabaskans Cooper surname Micmac Indians Indo-Europeans Maui Rebecca L. Cann Barnard College Discovery Channel Pima Indians Israel Dienekes Anthropology Blog Jim Bentley Turkic DNA haplogroup W microsatellites Carl Zimmer Gustavo Ramirez Calderon Germany Sinti Great Goddess genetic determinism Mary Kugler Jewish novelists Acadians Holy Roman Empire Waynesboro Pennsylvania horizontal inheritance Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies Douglas C. Wallace Ukraine Etruscans Illumina Timothy Bestor AP familial Mediterranean fever North African DNA Tintagel Applied Epistemology Richard Dewhurst John Ruskamp 23andme Erika Chek Hayden Thruston Tablet Hispanic ancestry pipe carving Alec Jeffreys Tennessee DNA testing companies aliyah John Butler haplogroup G Hopi Indians Leicester breast cancer Central Band of Cherokee Grim Sleeper Richmond California Middle Eastern DNA Old Souls in a New World PNAS Ziesmer, Zizmor Europe Native American DNA Test Alabama Jewish contribution to world literature Rafael Falk Magdalenian culture population isolates Chris Tyler-Smith Cornwall Fritz Zimmerman Jalisco James Stritzel Brian Wilkes Khazars Bradshaw Foundation El Castillo cave paintings Cancer Genome Atlas Hadassah Magazine education ISOGG b'nei anousim Les Miserables Ethel Cox Mother Qualla John Wilwol New Mexico far from the tree Helladic art N. Brent Kennedy Gregory Mendel Phillipe Charlier Nayarit Tumamoc Hill human leukocyte antigens Kate Wong Melanesians Rich Crankshaw Sea Peoples Sorbs Sinaloa Italy palatal tori NPR Lebanon Smithsonian Institution Freemont Indians rapid DNA testing DNA Fingerprint Test Peter Martyr Virginia DeMarce Maya Irish history Jan Ravenspirit Franz Mohawk Science Daily, Genome Biol. Evol., Eran Elhaik, Khazarian Hypothesis, Rhineland Hypothesis haplogroup J Holocaust Database clinical chemistry Wales Elzina Grimwood Nova Scotia Joseph Andrew Park Wilson Cohen Modal Haplotype Pomponia Graecina Echota Cherokee Tribe of Alabama New York Academy of Sciences Stacy Schiff Epigraphic Society Nature Genetics Los Lunas Decalogue Stone Harold Sterling Gladwin Sarmatians Nancy Gentry Cherokee Freedmen Zizmer haplogroup E FOX News Mark Stoneking Genome Sciences Building European DNA Y chromosomal haplogroups Jewish GenWeb Iran seafaring Ostenaco Britain Tom Martin Scroft Y chromosome DNA crypto-Jews Colima Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute Sasquatch Robert C. Hyde Wikipedia Odessa Shields Cox Promega Hawaii Daily News and Analysis Egyptians Theodore Steinberg Chauvet cave paintings DNA Forums Harry Ostrer Hohokam Indians single nucleotide polymorphism Mary Settegast Lab Corp Mildred Gentry Nadia Abu El-Haj Melungeon Heritage Association DNA security Riane Eisler hoaxes Jon Entine evolution Cree Indians Moundbuilders history of science American history myths Navajo Anne Marie Fine Mucogee Creeks Black Irish BBCNews Jack Goins Zuni Indians ENFSI London Oxford Nanopore Lithuania Cismar haplogroup C Epoch Times Bill Tiffee Israel, Shlomo Sand Shlomo Sand New York Times X chromosome polydactylism Charles Darwin Henriette Mertz Maronites Svante Paabo Patagonia MHC art history The Calalus Texts haplogroup M Cismaru Mexico FBI alleles Arizona Russia Jesse Montes consanguinity Kennewick Man Gypsies George Starr-Bresette Abraham Lincoln Satoshi Horai Douglas Owsley DNA Diagnostics Center Scientific American Asiatic Echoes Ireland Miguel Gonzalez Barack Obama ethics Native American DNA The Nation magazine Basques occipital bun Rutgers University Salt River Navajo Indians Phyllis Starnes Pueblo Grande Museum Joel E. Harris family history Melungeons Wendy Roth Jewish genetics anthropology Ron Janke Teresa Panther-Yates haplogroup Z Victor Hugo Hohokam Chromosomal Labs Bode Technology surnames Denisovans IntegenX Olmec Gila River Columbia University Beringia Penny Ferguson Stephen Oppenheimer Dragging Canoe INORA Greeks Indian Territory Bigfoot David Cornish Belgium Stony Creek Baptist Church Austronesian, Filipinos, Australoid Khoisan Hertfordshire Cajuns Normans Michoacan haplogroup D Russell Belk Stone Age Kentucky Smithsonian Magazine Janet Lewis Crain Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma Choctaw Indians phenotype Roberta Estes Bentley surname research Colin Pitchfork Black Dutch Ancestry.com Taino Indians Elvis Presley DNA HapMap haplogroup B Abenaki Indians North Carolina Solutreans Richard Lewontin Neanderthals Kurgan Culture Pueblo Indians bar mitzvah Monica Sanowar Telltown Hebrew inscriptions Arabia Ancient Giantns Who Ruled America Ari Plost cancer private allele haplogroup H Stephen A. Leon Current Anthropology haplogroup N Terry Gross Arizona State University Melungeon Union Ananya Mandal linguistics mitochondrial DNA Mark Thomas Antonio Torroni haplogroup X andrew solomon Middle Ages England pheromones Tutankamun Tucson Oxford Journal of Evolution Douglas Preston B'nai Abraham Marie Cheng ancient DNA Patrick Henry Virginia genealogy Ashkenazi Jews Havasupai Indians Slovakia David Reich Marija Gimbutas FDA M. J. Harper Johnny Depp Signal Hill Caucasian bloviators giants Finnish people GlobalFiler Chris Stringer Sam Kean news Paleolithic Age Early Jews and Muslims of England and Wales (book) Austro-Hungary Monya Baker James Shoemaker haplogroup T Kari Carpenter University of Leicester Altai Turks Arabic race Melungeon Movement Sizemore Indians National Health Laboratories Cocoraque Butte Central Band of Cherokees George van der Merwede Algonquian Indians French DNA Bulgaria Cherokee DNA Project Early Jews of England and Wales Irish Central Rare Genes Richard III Gravettian culture Kari Schroeder Michael Schwartz forensics Tucson crosses oncology Majorca Clovis Nikola Tesla Plato Michael Grant Anne C. Stone Joseph Jacobs Sonora Philippa Langley ethnicity Alia Garcia-Ureste William Byrd Sir Joshua Reynolds Secret History of the Cherokee Indians National Museum of Natural History African DNA Amy Harmon Henry IV Romania mental foramen Texas A&M University ged.com archeology Sizemore surname Life Technologies Irish DNA Silverbell Artifacts Bryony Jones epigenetics Discover magazine Patrick Pynes New York Review of Books Yates surname Comanche Indians Louis XVI Myra Nichols Keros Holocaust powwows admixture Panther's Lodge CODIS markers Tifaneg National Geographic Daily News Charles Perou rock art Anglo-Saxons Roma People Anacostia Indians Genie Milgrom Eske Willerslev Gunnar Thompson Genex Diagnostics Panther's Lodge Publishers Constantine Rafinesque Charlotte Harris Reese climate change Muslims in American history human leukocyte testing Walter Plecker Isabel Allende autosomal DNA mutation rate Horatio Cushman prehistoric art China corn Jews medicine Bryan Sykes Rush Limbaugh Akhenaten Cave art statistics Celts King Arthur, Tintagel, The Earliest Jews and Muslims of England and Wales research Zionism cannibalism Eric Wayner Henry VII Chuetas genetics haplogroup L Stan Steiner prehistory Cherokee DNA Jews and Muslims in British Colonial America genealogy Charlemagne haplogroup R Ripan Malhi Cleopatra Phoenicians hominids clan symbols DNA Fingerprint Test personal genomics Science magazine

Archive