Tuesday 29 December 2015

Scientists sequence first ancient Irish human genomes

A team of geneticists from Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and archaeologists from Queens University Belfast has sequenced the first genomes from ancient Irish humans. The landmark results are published today in the international journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA.

The team sequenced the genome of an early farmer woman who lived in Ballynahatty, near Belfast, some 5,200 years ago, and those of three men who died on Rathlin Island in Co. Antrim around 4,000 years ago, after the introduction of metalworking.

The information discovered is already answering pivotal questions about the origins of Ireland’s people and their culture. The genomes show unequivocal evidence for mass migrations into Ireland, which are likely to have brought cultural changes including the transition to agriculture and may even have provided the origin of western Celtic language.

You can find out more in the short video below, or read the full press release from TCD here.