Jan
18
2006

Who's your pappy?

Researchers at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, have discovered the father of the Irish people—literally.
According to their research,
as many as 1 in 12 Irish men—more than three million worldwide—are descended from Niall Nóigiallach, a powerful warlord who died around 400 AD.

The study compared the Y chromosomes of 800 men across Ireland. They found a large number of them were identical. Since Y chromosomes are passed on from father to son, it means they must have all started in the same ancestor. They then compared the prevalence of that chromosome in different families. The found it was most common in families believed to have descended from Niall. Long suspected to be mythical, it turns out Niall was very real after all!

(The results are similar to the previously-discovered Genghis Khan effect. In 2002, researchers discovered that about 1 in 12 men in the region of the former Mongol Empire had the same Y chromosome. The groups with the highest incidence of these genes were the groups believed to have descended from the Khans.)

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

looks like a pretty good article to me i wonderwhy niobody has given you and comments yet.

posted on Fri, 01/20/2006 - 2:24pm
Mandy's picture
Mandy says:

I read this article and was surprised. I never really thought about how one person could be the main ancestor of thousands of people. I suppose long ago when there wasn't much movement between regions, then there weren't many people to choose to have a child with. I've known of the story of Genghis Khan, and that may be why the people of Asia look somewhat similar. This Niall person could have passed on the trait of red hair and green eyes known only to be held by the Irish! That would be interesting to know...

posted on Sun, 01/22/2006 - 3:29pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

our earth is important to us .....so dont mess it up

posted on Fri, 07/14/2006 - 12:16pm

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