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The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science That Reveals Our Genetic Ancestry (2001)

de Bryan Sykes

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In 1994 Professor Bryan Sykes, a renowned world authority on genetics, was called in to examine the frozen remains of a man trapped in ice in northern Italy. News of the discovery of the Ice Man and his age which Professor Sykes put at over five thousand years old, fascinated the world. But what made the story particularly extraordinary was that Professor Sykes was also able to track down a genetic ancestor of the Ice Man, a woman living in Britain today. How was he able to locate a living relative of a man who died thousands of years beforehand? In The Seven Daughters of Eve, Bryan Sykes tells us of his scientific research into a strand of DNA, known as mithocondrial DNA, which passes undiluted from generation to generation through the maternal line making it possible to trace one's DNA throughout the world and throughout time. After plotting the sequences of sample DNA tissue, he found that they clustered around only seven main groups. The conclusion: almost everyone of European descent, wherever they live in the world, can trace their ancestry back to one of seven women, the so-called seven daughters of Eve. He has named them: Ursula, Tara, Helena, Katrine, Xenia, Jasm… (més)
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In 1994 Professor Brian Sykes, a leading world authority on DNA and human evolution, was called in to examine the frozen remains of a man trapped in glacial ice in northern Italy. News of the discovery of the Ice Man and his age, which was put at over 5000 years old, fascinated the world. But what made the story particularly extraordinary was that Professor Sykes was also able to track down a living generic relative of the Ice Man, a woman living in Britain today. How was he able to locate a living relative of a man who died thousands of years ago? In this work, Sykes gives us a first hand account of his research into a remarkable gene which passes undiluted from generation to generation through the maternal line and shows how it is being used to track our genetic ancestors through time and space. After plotting thousands of DNA sequences from all over the world he found that they had clustered around a handful of distinct groups. In Europe there are only seven. The conclusions: amost everyone of native European descent, wherever they live in the world, can trace their ancestry back to one of seven women, the seven daughters of Eve. Sykes has named them Ursula, Xenia, Helena, Velda, Tara, Katrine and Jasmine. In this scientific adventure story we learn exactly how our origins can be traced; how and where our ancient genetic ancestors lived; what their lives were like; and how we are each living proof of the almost miraculous strength of our DNA which has survived and prospered over so many thousands of years to reach us today. It is a book that presents the story of our evolution, striking right at the heart of ourselves as individuals and of our sense of identity.
  Lin456 | Oct 20, 2020 |
I don’t often read about science, but the field of human evolution fascinates me. I find it almost impossible to imagine the sheer expanse of time that has passed between the development of the first modern humans and the present day. It makes my head hurt. Things that seem so important in everyday life suddenly dwindle into nothingness when confronted with the epic story of humanity. But, if you turn the question on its head, you realise that humans really haven’t been around that long at all compared to other species with much longer innings – the dinosaurs, obviously, but even our extinct cousins the Neanderthals. Keep thinking, though, because the really staggering thought is actually the most obvious. Every single one of us alive today has direct ancestors who learned to make fire, who hunted mammoths, who made flint knives. It wasn’t just our general species that descended from these people. You did. I did. If there was a way to trace your family tree back far enough, through the Ice Age and beyond, into a world that looked completely different to the one we know today – if that was possible, you could find out who your ancestors were. Well, it is possible. Bryan Sykes and his fellow geneticists have done it. And this is the story of their work...

For the full review, please see my blog:
https://theidlewoman.net/2019/12/14/the-seven-daughters-of-eve-brian-sykes/ ( )
  TheIdleWoman | Jan 7, 2020 |
GAVETA DEL CENTRO, SEGUNDO ANAQUEL.DE ABAJO HACIA ARRIBA.
  ERNESTO36 | May 2, 2019 |
Very interesting subject. But I read a 2001 edition so it’s outdated. Interesting stories but too much imagination in the telling. Hard to tell the validity. ( )
  pennykaplan | Jul 25, 2018 |
Science that reveals our genetic ancestry
  jhawn | Jul 31, 2017 |
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In 1994 Professor Bryan Sykes, a renowned world authority on genetics, was called in to examine the frozen remains of a man trapped in ice in northern Italy. News of the discovery of the Ice Man and his age which Professor Sykes put at over five thousand years old, fascinated the world. But what made the story particularly extraordinary was that Professor Sykes was also able to track down a genetic ancestor of the Ice Man, a woman living in Britain today. How was he able to locate a living relative of a man who died thousands of years beforehand? In The Seven Daughters of Eve, Bryan Sykes tells us of his scientific research into a strand of DNA, known as mithocondrial DNA, which passes undiluted from generation to generation through the maternal line making it possible to trace one's DNA throughout the world and throughout time. After plotting the sequences of sample DNA tissue, he found that they clustered around only seven main groups. The conclusion: almost everyone of European descent, wherever they live in the world, can trace their ancestry back to one of seven women, the so-called seven daughters of Eve. He has named them: Ursula, Tara, Helena, Katrine, Xenia, Jasm

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