British men may have a hunter-gatherer past

New study contradicts previous research that they came from farmer lineage

British men may trace their lineage back to hunter-gatherers, not farmers as had previously been suspected.

A new genetic lineage study finds that, contrary to previous research, British men do not descend from immigrant farmers who migrated west from the Near East around 10,000 years ago. Instead, the new study finds that a common Y-chromosome gene in today’s British men traces back to hunter-gatherers who settled in Europe long before farming got popular.

In a study first published online in August 2010 in the European Journal of Human Genetics, researchers from the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation in Utah reported that a certain genetic mutation on the Y chromosome (male sex chromosome) was most common in the southeast of Europe and much less prevalent on the British Isles and other northwestern regions. This southeast-northwest pattern matched the spread of the Linearbandkeramik, or Linear Pottery, culture, a Neolithic culture known for their pottery kitchen dishes.

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Categories: Genetics, UK

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