Friday, August 15, 2008

Finns - it's official: they're all a bit inbred

You go to some small towns and in the Finnish countryside and it might feels a bit Deliverance, but - hey, you find those towns in every country - but now the New York Times proves what some of us have suspected about the Finns genetically:

The Genetic Map of Europe

Yep, your cousin is daddy, Bubba. As the NYT puts it:
The map also identifies the existence of two genetic barriers within Europe. One is between the Finns (light blue, upper right) and other Europeans. It arose because the Finnish population was at one time very small and then expanded, bearing the atypical genetics of its few founders.
More seriously, I have a friend who does societal level pharmacological studies and says that Finland is fascinating because firstly it has excellent records going back many decades, and that secondly there are quite bizarre genetic conditions that occur regularly here and not in any other countries. As another of my friends, who also happens to work in the the pharma-world as well as being like me a British-married-to-a-Finn-and-with-kids, put it: "We're doing them the favour, expanding the gene pool and all that!" Whether Finland really wants my genes, is a completely different question.

Many thanks to Tony who sent me the NYT link.


Katie said...

What looks surprising to me is how little the UK overlaps with France. What about the Norman conquest?
I remember learning all about Finlands interesting genetics as part of my Biology course. Was one of the more interesting bits.

Anonymous said...

To be fair to the Finns the map only shows one of their Neighbours, missing out the Estonians or the Russias