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Genetics researchers at the University of Oxford have used DNA to map the history of population movements in and around Europe. The technique may help historians to understand more about how over nearly three thousand years people across the continent have migrated, mingled and multiplied. Their results are published in the journal Current Biology.

Studying 500,000 genetic markers in 2000 samples, the international team including the Department of Zoology and the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics and led by Prof Cristian Capelli, looked at how genes had been exchanged between 1000BCE and 1950. While half the samples were from within Western Eurasia (Europe, the Caucasus and areas of the Middle East), half were from other areas of the world, enabling the researchers to trace not only which groups moved around Europe, but also which groups migrated to the continent.

Read more (University of Oxford website)

Further information (Capelli Group website)

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