BAMAD no.50

 DNA and 
 Anthropology Updates 

Updates in DNA studies along with Anthropological Notes of general interest with a particular emphasis on points pertinent to the study of Ancient Israelite Ancestral Connections to Western Peoples as explained in Brit-Am studies.


The Brit-Am Rose
Official Symbol of Brit-Am


BAMAD no. 50
Brit-Am Anthropology and DNA Update
7 April 2009, 13 Nisan 5769
1. DNA Proof that Gaels from Ireland invaded Scotland?
2. Arabian Genealogy
3. Blue eyes in lemurs and humans: Same phenotype, different genetic mechanism.

Site Contents by Subject Home
Site Map
Contents in Alphabetical Order


This Site

1. DNA Proof that Gaels from Ireland invaded Scotland?
Clues to ancient invasion in DNA

DNA may hold clues to an ancient movement from Ireland to Scotland

Scientific evidence of an ancient invasion of Scotland from Ireland may have been uncovered by DNA techniques.

Researchers from Edinburgh University said studies of Scots living on Islay, Lewis, Harris and Skye were found to have strong links with Irish people.

Early historical sources recount how the Gaels came from Ireland about 500 AD and conquered the Picts in Argyll.

Scientists said the study was the first demonstration of a significant Irish genetics component in Scots' ancestry.

The research, which features work by geneticist Dr Jim Wilson, a specialist in population genetics, is being featured in programmes on Gaelic television channel BBC Alba.

The study also suggests intriguing ancestry of Scots living on the Western Isles and in the north and north east of Scotland.

Trading networks

Dr Wilson said: "It was extremely exciting to see for the first time the ancient genetic connection between Scotland and Ireland - the signature of a movement of people from Ireland to Scotland, perhaps of the Scots or Gaels themselves."

The origin of the Gaels - who by conquering and integrating with Pictish northern tribes created the Kingdom of Alba - has been debated by historians for centuries.

The earliest historical source comes from around the 10th Century and relates that the Gaels came from Ireland in about 500 AD, under King Fergus Mor.

However, more recently archaeologists have suggested the Gaels had lived in Argyll for centuries before Fergus Mor's invasion.

The study also suggested an east-west genetic divide seen in England and attributed to Anglo-Saxons and Danes was evident in the north of Scotland.

This was noted in places far from Anglo-Saxon and Danish settlements, indicating that this division was older and may have arisen in the Bronze Age through trading networks across the North Sea.

Geneticists also said as many as 40% of the population on the Western Isles could have Viking ancestry, while no Viking ancestry was found in north east Scotland.

2. Arabian Genealogy
This is not a topic that is much known or discussed outside the Arab world, but it's certainly a very interesting one due to the patrilineal descent observed by traditional Arabian tribes.

Getting to the roots of family trees
According to Mr al Matroushi, Arabic family trees were kept diligently during the pre-Islamic period, between the time of Jesus and the Prophet Mohammed; with the expansion of Islamic influence beyond the Arabian peninsula, however, there was a lot of mixing and it became increasingly difficult to keep track of the various branches of far-flung families.

However, he says all Arab tribes can trace their origins to two main ones, the Qahtaniya and Adnaniya, that are direct descendants of Ismail, son of the Prophet Ibrahim. Prophet Mohammed's ancestry is from the Adnaniya tribe.

Mr al Shehhi has published a book about the outcome of DNA testing on some of the main tribes in the UAE; he concluded that all the Emirati tribes come from "three fathers", tens of thousands of years ago.

The UAE tribes, he says, "are the same as the rest of the Arabian tribes as there was no UAE or Saudi Arabia or any specific country; it was all open land and the tribes moved around."

In genetics, the various major branches of the family tree of the human race are defined as "haplogroups". According to genetic theory, says Mr Shehhi, the entire human race came from one man and one woman, labelled as "Adam" and "Eve", and both came from Africa.

The samples taken by Mr al Shehhi from UAE tribes show about 70 per cent of them are from haplogroup J1 and the rest are from J2 and E1B1. The "father", labelled by genetic science as J1, came from an area we know now as Iraq; J2 came from the area north of modern-day Syria and E1B1 from Syria itself.

3. Blue eyes in lemurs and humans: Same phenotype, different genetic mechanism.
Bradley BJ, Pedersen A, Mundy NI.
Am J Phys Anthropol. 2009 Mar 10.
Almost all mammals have brown or darkly-pigmented eyes (irises), but among primates, there are some prominent blue-eyed exceptions. The blue eyes of some humans and lemurs are a striking example of convergent evolution of a rare phenotype on distant branches of the primate tree. Recent work on humans indicates that blue eye color is associated with, and likely caused by, a single nucleotide polymorphism (rs12913832) in an intron of the gene HERC2, which likely regulates expression of the neighboring pigmentation gene OCA2. This raises the immediate question of whether blue eyes in lemurs might have a similar genetic basis. We addressed this by sequencing the homologous genetic region in the blue-eyed black lemur (Eulemur macaco flavifrons; N = 4) and the closely-related black lemur (Eulemur macaco macaco; N = 4), which has brown eyes. We then compared a 166-bp segment corresponding to and flanking the human eye-color-associated region in these lemurs, as well as other primates (human, chimpanzee, orangutan, macaque, ring-tailed lemur, mouse lemur). Aligned sequences indicated that this region is strongly conserved in both Eulemur macaco subspecies as well as the other primates (except blue-eyed humans). Therefore, it is unlikely that this regulatory segment plays a major role in eye color differences among lemurs as it does in humans. Although convergent phenotypes can sometimes come about via the same or similar genetic changes occurring independently, this does not seem to be the case here, as we have shown that the genetic basis of blue eyes in lemurs differs from that of humans.

BAMAD Archives

Join the Brit-Am Ephraimite Discussion Group
Just Send an
with "Subscribe"
in the Subject Line

Main Page

Offerings and Publications

Return to
Question and Answer
Table of Contents