But there are so many people I’d rather not be related to!
The next time you’re having a disagreement with a work colleague or annoying neighbour, bear this in mind: Chances are you’re related.
A new study of DNA patterns throughout the world suggests that North America was originally populated by no more than 70 people.
Most experts agree that, around 14,000 years ago, a group of humans crossed the land bridge that connected what is now Siberia in Russia with Alaska.
But new research has shown just how small that group was, venturing into a vast continent from Asia during the last Ice Age.
Up to now DNA analyses of the intrepid and original ‘founding fathers’ looked at a particular gene, using estimates and academic assumptions on constant population sizes over time.
The new study, by Professor Jody Hey, came at the subject from a different angle – looking at nine genomic regions to account for variations in single genes, and assuming that sizes of founding populations changed over time.