British researchers led by Mark Jobling studied the Y chromosome haplotypes of modern men living in northwest Britain, an area that had a large Viking influx about 1,000 years ago. Based upon patrilineally inherited surnames, that genetic data was split in two groups by "modern" and "medieval" last names. (Last names dating back to the Vikings were found through historical records, such are surveys and ale-house licensing.) People with Viking-era names showed greater Scandinavian admixture than people with modern names, the scientists report in Molecular Biology and Evolution. Blogger Simon at Henry adds, "One of the most important questions in evolutionary biology today is how closely are genes and cultures linked."
Yes, But Does It Also Explain the Penchant for Setting Ships on Fire?
Nov 28, 2007