Northern, Southern Swedes are genetically different

February 11, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- People from northern and southern Sweden differ from each other genetically, according to the largest genetic study of the Swedish population yet. Swedes also have genetically more in common with Germans and British than with Finns. The study, performed jointly at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and University of Helsinki, has been published in PLoS ONE.

"Knowledge of the population's genetic structure is important for understanding where we come from and for identifying genes that underlie diseases," says one of the leaders of the study, Professor Per Hall from the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Karolinska Institutet.

The study showed that people from Northern and Southern Sweden are genetically different from each other. However, the from south to north is gradual, and no strong genetic borders exist within Sweden. In the study, the researchers used more than 350,000 genetic markers called single (SNPs) that are distributed across the human . More than 1500 people of Swedish origin from different parts of the country were analyzed, and also compared to many neighboring populations.

"Despite close contacts within the Nordic region, the Swedes appeared genetically closer to Germans and British than to Finns", says Professor Juha Kere from the Department of Biosciences and Nutrition at Karolinska Institutet.

The results also show that local genetic differences are small in Southern Sweden but larger in the North. These differences are a result of population history: in the north, the population has been smaller, which has led to pronounced local differences.

More information: The full study can be found here: www.plosone.org/article/info%3 … journal.pone.0016747

Related Stories

Recommended for you

An architect gene is involved in the assimilation of breast milk

October 17, 2017
A family of "architect" genes called Hox coordinates the formation of organs and limbs during embryonic life. Geneticists from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), ...

Study identifies genes responsible for diversity of human skin colors

October 12, 2017
Human populations feature a broad palette of skin tones. But until now, few genes have been shown to contribute to normal variation in skin color, and these had primarily been discovered through studies of European populations.

Genes critical for hearing identified

October 12, 2017
Fifty-two previously unidentified genes that are critical for hearing have been found by testing over 3,000 mouse genes. The newly discovered genes will provide insights into the causes of hearing loss in humans, say scientists ...

Team completes atlas of human DNA differences that influence gene expression

October 11, 2017
Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have completed a detailed atlas documenting the stretches of human DNA that influence gene expression - a key way in which a person's genome gives rise to an observable ...

Genetic advance for male birth control

October 10, 2017
When it comes to birth control, many males turn to two options: condoms or vasectomies. While the two choices are effective, both methods merely focus on blocking the transportation of sperm.

Researchers uncover new congenital heart disease genes

October 9, 2017
Approximately one in every 100 babies is born with congenital heart disease (CHD), and CHD remains the leading cause of mortality from birth defects. Although advancements in surgery and care have improved rates of survival ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.