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Most modern Europeans shared common ancestors

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Genetic research suggests that all modern Europeans have common ancestors who lived 1,000 years ago.

Whether they are a Serb and a Swiss, or a Finn and a Frenchman, any two Europeans are likely to have many common ancestors who lived around 1,000 years ago. A genomic survey of 2,257 people from 40 populations finds that people of European ancestry are more closely related to one another than previously thought, and could help to bring about new insights into European history.

The first efforts to trace human ancestry through DNA relied on ‘uniparental genetic markers’ — DNA sequences from the mitochondrial genome, which is inherited through mothers, or on the Y chromosome, which men inherit from their fathers.

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Story: Ewen Callaway, Nature | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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