Research undertaken by Professor Einar Árnason at the University of Iceland, Reykjavik and published in the January 2003 issue of Annals of Human Genetics highlights the inaccuracy of claims that Icelanders are a ’genetically homogenous’ population.
Professor Árnason explains in his article: "Recently, statements have been made about a special ’genetic homogeneity’ of the Icelanders that are at variance with earlier work on blood groups and allozymes." Iceland has been said to be an "island so inbred that it is a happy genetic hunting ground", ideal for gene mapping, and that "nowhere else has such a pure – and predictable – genetic inheritance" in the popular press. This supposed genetic homogeneity was a major factor in the establishment of deCODE Genetics, the biotechnology company set up in Iceland in 1996 to map disease genes in the Icelandic population. The geographical isolation of the country with little migration for over 1000 years, combined with a series of disasters such as plague and famine, was presumed to have minimized variation in the gene pool. Researchers now suggest that there was a lack of evidence to confirm this homogeneity.
To investigate these claims an extensive reanalysis of mtDNA variation was undertaken by examining primary data from original sources for 26 European populations. The results showed that Icelanders are actually among the most genetically heterogeneous Europeans by the mean number of nucleotide differences, as well as by estimates of parameters of the neutral theory. This is a signature of population admixture during the founding or history of Iceland. Examination of the published literature on blood group and allozyme variation did not provide any support for the notion of special genetic homogeneity of the Icelanders, and further studies of microsatellite variation are unlikely to do so. It is doubtful that population changes during past calamities had much effect on the genetic variability of Icelanders.
Professor Einar Árnason | EurekAlert!
Flow of cerebrospinal fluid regulates neural stem cell division
22.05.2018 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt
Chemists at FAU successfully demonstrate imine hydrogenation with inexpensive main group metal
22.05.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.
Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...
A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.
Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.05.2018 | Information Technology
18.05.2018 | Information Technology