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About this book
About this book
Prof Sykes made news in 1994 by identifying a living descendant of a prehistoric man trapped in glacial ice in northern Italy. By isolating a gene which passes undiluted through the maternal line, he discovered that human DNA clusters around a tiny number of distinct groups, and that everyone of native European descent can trace their ancestry to one of 7 women. This is an engaging account of his method and wide-ranging case studies.
is Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Oxford, has had a remarkable scientific career in genetics. After undertaking medical research into the causes of inherited bone disease, he set out to discover if DNA, the genetic material, could possibly survive in ancient bones. It did and he was the first to report on the recovery of ancient DNA from archaeological bone in the journal "Nature" in 1989. Since then Professor Sykes has been called in as the leading international authority to examine several high profile cases, such as the Ice Man, Cheddar Man and the many individuals claiming to be surviving members of the Russian Royal Family. Alongside this, he and his research team have over the last ten years compiled by far the most complete DNA family tree of our species yet seen.He has always emphasised the importance of the individual in shaping our genetic world. The website www.oxfordancestors.com offers people the chance to find out for themselves, from a DNA sample, where they fit in. As well as a scientist, Bryan Sykes has been a television news reporter and a parliamentary science adviser. He is the author of The Seven Daughters of Eve.