Some of the oldest Irish genomes have been sequenced by genetic engineers. They have yielded a ton of clues about the ancestry of the Irish and mysterious mass migration.
Genetic engineers hailing from Dublin and Belfast have hooked up to sequence the most ancient of human genomes that belong to Irish people. This analysis will open up vital evidence regarding who the ancient people of Ireland really were.
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A genome of an early farmer woman that was 5200 years old was sequenced. And genomes of three men who lived 4000 years ago were sequenced as well. That must have been the Bronze Age.
The results of the study in genetics was published in international journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. The genes of the ancient people of Ireland are a mystery.
They exist on the end of the spectrum of the normal European genetic repertoire. Among the things that figure in these genes are those for lactose intolerance and diseases such as iron retention.
The origins remain hazy at best though. For that a sort of genetic space warp must be entered through the wisps of time and that is a difficult task. Migration has been the hottest of topics in the mix until now.
In the Island of Great Britain, a transition took place from a hunting gathering lifestyle to an agricultural and settled way of life. Furthermore, there was a shift away from stone tools to metal implements.
The important question is whether these changes were due to an internal evolution or simply the influx of different people from another region into the British Isles.
The Irish genomic sequences show that massive migrations took place. The farmers had genes that came from a stock that lived in the Middle East. And those who used metals instead of stones came from the Pontic Steppes.
A whole horde of individuals swept in from the Black Sea into Bronze Age Europe. This wave of migrants lapped the farthest westerly shores of Europe.
The Celtic tongue was another element in the linguistic heritage of the migrants. This research demonstrates what a potent tool DNA analysis could be.
The farmers of ancient Ireland had black hair, brown eyes and looked like Southern Europeans. The Bronze Age Irish however had blue eye alleles and had iron retention as a common malady among their stock.
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The various characteristics and diseases that are common to the ancient Irish show that they were products of various influences from far off regions.