Our contributing editor Rick Crume sent me a note about this cool genetic map of Europe
, created by the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam. Overlapping color-coded outlines show the genetic relationships of 23 populations. The New York Times also covered the map
According to geneticists who developed the map, it shows populations in Europe are similar, but not too close to tell them apart genetically. The Times
reports that one of those scientists says it “should be possible” to create a test that can tell you which European country you’re probably from.
That’d be great. Right now, DNA tests can give you a haplogroup or a general population (for example, East Asian or Indo-European), but they can’t specifically tell you which countries your DNA represents.
The outlines on Europe’s genetic map resemble those on its geographic map. The most genetic difference occurs between northern and southern populations, probably reflecting ancient migrations that populated Europe from the south.
The map also shows where two “genetic barriers” arose: One separated the Finns from the rest of Europe due to the small early Finnish population; the other separated those in Italy, perhaps because the Alps kept people from moving back and forth.
The map came from genetics testing that analyzed 500,000 sites on the human genomes of nearly 2,500 Europeans.