The name game

It?s a no-brainer that people who share last names usually share genes as well. I, for one, am often asked if I?m related to the Indian cricket player Sourav Ganguly. (Sadly, no.) But now there?s a scientific linkurl:study;http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=16488872&query_hl=8&itool=pubmed_docsum to back up such questions. The research, which focuses on paternal lineages, verifies what we all would have guessed: that sharing a surname inc

Ishani Ganguli
Feb 20, 2006
It?s a no-brainer that people who share last names usually share genes as well. I, for one, am often asked if I?m related to the Indian cricket player Sourav Ganguly. (Sadly, no.) But now there?s a scientific linkurl:study;http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=16488872&query_hl=8&itool=pubmed_docsum to back up such questions. The research, which focuses on paternal lineages, verifies what we all would have guessed: that sharing a surname increases the probability of sharing a Y-chromosomal haplogroup. And the rarer your name, the more likely it is you are genuinely related. Researchers from genetics and history departments in British universities advertised nationally to pull together a collection of 150 men with distinct surnames. The team compared 11 binary markers in the Y chromosomes of these men to those of a specially recruited set of 150 with surnames that matched one to one with those of the first group. They found that 47% of pairs with the most common...

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