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What is Next Nature?

With our attempts to cultivate nature, humankind causes the rising of a next nature, which is wild and unpredictable as ever. Wild systems, genetic surprises, autonomous machinery and splendidly beautiful black flowers. Nature changes along with us.

Genetic Map of Europe

Genetic Map of Europe

European biologists have constructed a genetic map of Europe showing the relations between its various populations.

The right part of the map shows the location in Europe where each of the sampled populations live. The left part shows the genetic relationship between these 23 populations. The area assigned to each population represents the amount of genetic variation in it.

The genetic map of Europe bears a clear structural similarity to the geographic map. However it also clearly identifies two genetic barriers within Europe. The apparent isolation of the Finnish population arose because the Finnish population was once very small and then expanded, bearing the atypical genetics of its few founders. The genetic distance between the Italians and other Europeans is may have been caused by the Alps, who are thought to have hindered the free flow of people between Italy and the rest of Europe.

The pattern of genetic differences is caused by three colonization waves of the European region, respectively 45,000 years ago (when the first humans entered Europe), 17,000 years ago (when people returned after the ice age that froze large parts of Europe) and 10,000 years ago when farmer-immigrants brought new agricultural technology from the Near East.

The team of scientists tested almost 2,500 people to compile their map. The map was published in the August 2008 issue of the scientific journal Current Biology in the article Correlation between Genetic and Geographic Structure. The research was funded by various European institutions. Next we use the data to synthesize the perfect average European model citizen?

See also: Social Networking down to the genetic level, Poetry of Genetics, DNA Synthesizer.


  1. American readers who have European roots and wonder how they relate to all of this can look at the european-american ancestries map of the US here here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maps_of_American_ancestries#European_American_ancestries

    (surprise, surprise: most of the US citizens are genetically Germans)

  2. =A=

    Let me refrase that: A majority of the US citizens that has roots in Europe, comes from Germany, England, Ireland and Scotland. Of course the African, Hispanic and perhaps Asian ancestry are left out since the research concentrates on European roots; but must be taken into account to not get a distorted view of the full American demography here. 8)

  3. Pierre

    The map is quite statistically irrelevant for most of the countries, such as Romania, France, Spain, Portugal etc. Here is the table with the number of samples taken from each country: http://www.current-biology.com/content/article/table?uid=PIIS0960982208009561&tableid=tbl1&popup=y [current-biology.com] Romania (population 23 milion) had only 12 samples taken! In comparison, Netherlands (population 16 milion) had 500 samples taken. Other genetically diverse countries with small (or too localized) samples include France, Italy or Portugal. And of course add to this the fact that not all populations were studied, among which populations which had huge genetical influence, especially in South-Eastern Europe (Turkish, northern Slavic, Arab, Maurish, North African, Indian-gipsy etc)… So I find the map totally irrelevant under these conditions…

  4. @ Pierre: You said it! and I argue that 500 people per region is only the number to begin with, to be able to draw any conclusion.
    By the way–> In the Netherlands they took samples of 280 (not 500) women… I wonder why that is.

  5. Acheron

    False, the map linked by Koert is not about genetical links but it is about the wishes of Americans to have German ancestors as the sign of “better origins”. Another reason is that most emigrants from Europe (especially from Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary,…) traveled to America through Hamburk port – so the emigration office signed them as Germans (it is also what you find when you visit archive). My friend from CZR has relatives in Nebrasca who always thought they are from Germany for this reason.

  6. Ben Storz

    Take in account that for instance Cz and Hungary were the part of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy therefore many ppl from Germany settled down in those regions. So no wonder they were signed as Germans since they were Germans.

  7. Mark

    Pretty interesting. My fathers side is French, German and English while my mothers side is German and Yugoslavian. Wondering where I would cluster. Probably in that little patch with Germany, France and The Netherlands. Might explain why I love Cabbage. Bad joke, I know. Oh yeah what the hell is Ch?

  8. Ch is Switzerland. And if we may believe the genetic map Switzerland is part of France.

  9. lIAM

    Yo! This is for real dude. Man, yeah! This is the real thing, how we is all interrelated dude, like we is one sub-species for real!