Europeans have recent common ancestor

A new study published in the journal PLOS Biology found that all Europeans shared a common ancestor only 1,000 years ago. This means that people of European decent are much more closely related than previous genetic research had suggested.

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, analyzed 500,000 spots on the genome of 2,000 Europeans and calculated the length of their shared segments of DNA. The longer the stretch of identical DNA between two people, the more likely they are to share a more recent common ancestor. The results revealed that Europeans had a common ancestor only 1,000 years ago.

They also found that Italians are less closely related to one another than people from other European countries because Italians have had a large population without significant migrations for several thousand years. People from the United Kingdom, on the other hand, were found to be more closely related to people from Ireland than to their fellow countrymen, possibly because so many people migrated from Ireland to the UK over the last several hundred years. The researchers also found that people in Eastern Europe were slightly more related to each other than were those in Western Europe.

Rather than focusing primarily on migrations from tens of thousands of years ago as  most genetic research does, this study allowed researchers to examine more recent patterns of population movements.

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Sourced from: Live Science, Europeans All Closely Related, Gene Study Shows