Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Scots Genetic Journey Continues

In 2011, Alistair Moffat and Dr. Jim Wilson published their book, The Scots. A Genetic Journey (now available in paperback and Kindle versions). At the same time, BBC Scotland produced a radio series to coincide with the release of the book and I posted about it here, here, here, here, and here. Unfortunately, the radio series was made available via the BBC iPlayer and not as a podcast, so it is no longer possible to listen to it.

I have not had time to read the book yet (in fact I don't even own a copy of it), but Moffat and Wilson have been busily investigating Scotland's DNA ever since through their new company ScotlandsDNA. Apparently, unlike the US, it is not easy to have your DNA tested in the UK. The cost for having your either mtDNA or Y chromosome tested by ScotlandsDNA is £170, males can have their mtDNA tested for an additional £30.

A flurry of articles about the company and their project have appeared this year.

From April:  BBC pieces on the ScotlandsDNA project are here and here; a BBC Scotland video clip in which Moffat discusses the project with Fred MacAulay is here (apparently only available in the UK), The Southern Reporter has a piece on the project here.

From June: an article in the Telegraph about a Caithness man with super-ancient mtDNA here.

From August: a summary of Moffat's talk at the Book Festival appears in the Edinburgh Reporter here, a blogger at Genotype likes the project but not Moffat's use of the term identity here (she has a valid point), a 2 minute video clip from STV about the project's results is here (available in the US, I watched it), and finally stories about the findings, including the importance of porridge (oatmeal) are from the Guardian here and the Scotsman here.

Learn more about the principals of ScotlandsDNA at their About page, which includes links to their personal websites. You can also follow ScotlandsDNA on Twitter.

nb. In the interests of full disclosure: I find what DNA can say about migration patterns fascinating. I have absolutely no connection to the company. In fact, I'm pretty sure they don't even know I exist. 
Update (9/23/2012): They now know I exist as ScotlandsDNA has followed me back on Twitter and contacted me via email.

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