Sunday, December 09, 2007

A Surprise in Jim's Genes

James Watson—who helped discover the structure of DNA, and suggested recently that black people are genetically inferior to whites—has had his own genome sequenced.

An analysis of his genome shows that 16% of his genes are likely to have come from a black ancestor of African descent. By contrast, most people of European descent would have no more than 1%.

The study was made possible when he allowed his genome - the map of all his genes - to be published on the internet in the interests of science.

“This level is what you would expect in someone who had a great-grandparent who was African,” said Kari Stefansson of deCODE Genetics, whose company carried out the analysis. “It was very surprising to get this result for Jim.” [Link]
Based on Watson's own arguments, this means that he is 16 times more likely to say stupid things about race and intelligence than the average person of European descent.

Miriam Robbins

Hmmm...reminds me very much of a little surprise that occurred in my husband's family this year when a close relative got the results back on their DNA test...! It's time to start a new genealogy website: ;-)

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