I’m 100% Irish

While I was at Webstock I signed up online for the 23andme service – which takes a saliva sample, analyzes your DNA and tells you all about yourself.

I got the results very rapidly, went into the system and determined that I don’t have too many dread diseases risks linked with my genotype. Then I ignored it until today.

Today I decided to find out where I am from.

First up – I’m 100% European.

That seems relatively rare – a sample Italian man has a little Asia and Africa mixed in – less than 1% of each, while the sample Japanese was 100% Japanese.
Check out the sample African American woman – a healthy mix of backgrounds – which makes for, you’d think, a much more robust system.
Then I found that you could narrow in your search. I’m the green blob in Europe in this chart:

When I zoomed in, I found the Emerald Isle.
Not a lot of English in the sample – they are in Red. To make sure I zoomed in again – definitely Ireland.

So I’ll have some Guinness tonight.

Next up I took a health survey – and compared my results to others on the site.

Apparently having your tonsils out (which was common amongst my generation) is classified as ‘head surgery’, but I’m not alone on the 23andme site.

Actually – it’s a pretty skewed bunch on the site – I suppose there are not many ‘normal’ people that are willing to pay the $500 or so. Almost half have heart issues
A third are nuts (in the Croc Dundee sense)
and I’m not sure what to make of this:

For the gene nerds (and my family) beneath the fold are the descriptions pertaining to the Maternal and Paternal lines. It’s fascinating stuff – well for me anyway.

Maternal Line

The H3 haplogroup arose during the Ice Age in northern Iberia, one of the only hospitable regions of Europe at a time when most of the continent was covered either by barren tundra or a mile-thick layer of ice. Then when Europe’s climate started to warm about 11,000 years ago, people rapidly migrated northward into the formerly frozen landscape.

Haplogroup H3 followed two paths, one up the Atlantic seaboard to present-day France and the British Isles and another along the Mediterranean into Italy and Sardinia, then across the Alps into what is now Hungary.

H3 Today
Haplogroup H3 is now found throughout western Europe thanks to the dramatic northward migrations at the end of the Ice Age and more gradual diffusion since then. It is most common in and around northern Spain, reaching levels of 14% among the Basques and 8% among the Galicians of extreme northwestern Iberia.

H3 is extremely rare outside Europe. It reaches levels of about 2% among the Berbers of Morocco, due to the migration of Spanish women across the Gibraltar Strait since the Ice Age. A few individuals with H3 mitochondrial DNA have also been found in the Caucasus region of southwest Asia.

Paternal Line

Haplogroup R1b1c9 <update – I’m now R1b1b2a1a1* but the description remains>
Today R1b1c9 is found mostly on the fringes of the North Sea in England, Germany and the Netherlands, where it reaches levels of one-third. That distribution suggests that some of the first men to bear the haplogroup in their Y-chromosomes were residents of Doggerland, a real-life Atlantis that was swallowed up by rising seas in the millennia following the Ice Age.

Doggerland was a low-lying region of forests and wetlands that must have been rich in game; today, fishing trawlers in the North Sea occasionally dredge up the bones and tusks of the mastadons that roamed there. Doggerland had its heyday between about 12,000 years ago, when the Ice Age climate began to ameliorate, and 9,000 years ago, when the meltwaters of the gradually retreating glaciers caused sea levels to rise, drowning the hunter’s paradise. Doggerland’s inhabitants retreated to the higher ground that is now the North Sea coast.

Published by Lance Wiggs


2 replies on “I’m 100% Irish”

  1. Lance, you probably need to read a but more Dawkings if you have time.

    Your DNA come from all over the place. You have parts that are probably more related to a chimp in the Congo than some great grandmother in Ireland.

    The gene used to track your maternal heritage happens to be pretty stable but is is only one solitary line of evolution that flows through your, no doubt exquisite, DNA.


  2. Lance — I think they’ve got you pegged on the head surgery comment…or at least they can predict the need for it. :)


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