Tag: Scotland

The billion SNPs of Alba?

By Razib Khan | April 18, 2012 7:33 am

A man of astonishing multitudes?

Daniel MacArthur points me to one of the funniest historical genetic popular write-ups I’ve seen in years. Study reveals ‘extraordinary’ DNA of people in Scotland:

Researchers believe that Scotland’s location could be a factor in the “astonishing and unique” origins of people from the country.

In a statement, Dr Wilson and Mr Moffat said: “Perhaps geography, Scotland’s place at the farthest north-western end of the European peninsula, is the reason for great diversity.

“For many thousands of years, migrants could move no further west. Scotland was the end of many journeys.”

I am aware that modern Scotland does emerge from a rather patchwork ethno-cultural background. That is, it is the fusion of Gaels (the Scots), Picts, the Norse, the Strathclyde Britons, and of course the German speaking Anglo-Saxon populations migrating up from Northumbria. But the “astonishing and unique” genetic heritage of the Scots seems as plausible as the culinary delights of haggis. From what I recall genetic diversity drops off as you go north and west in Europe because the effective population drops (less gene flow with surrounding populations because there are fewer surrounding populations). Rather than gene flow in, like the British Isles as a whole it seems that there is likely to be a whole lot of Scot in the rest of the world due to the migrations of its Diaspora.

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