Northern, Southern Swedes are genetically different

Feb 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.

Explore further: First genetic link discovered to difficult-to-diagnose breast cancer sub-type

More information: The full study can be found here: www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0016747

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Link between nationality and cervical cancer

Sep 03, 2008

Gynaecological screening tests for cervical cancer have been available to all women in Sweden for almost four decades. Despite this, many immigrant women have a higher risk of developing the disease than Swedish-born women, ...

Gene tests and brain imaging reveal early dementia

Mar 06, 2007

Dementia diseases develop insidiously and are generally discovered when the memory has already started to deteriorate. New research form Karolinska Institutet shows, however, that approaching Alzheimer's can be detected several ...

Does Smokeless Tobacco Help Smokers Quit Cigarettes?

Jan 26, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Some smokers say they just can’t quit cigarettes. But previous studies of smokers in Sweden have suggested that many have done just that, by switching to smokeless tobacco. While not without health risks, ...

Recommended for you

Refining the language for chromosomes

Apr 17, 2014

When talking about genetic abnormalities at the DNA level that occur when chromosomes swap, delete or add parts, there is an evolving communication gap both in the science and medical worlds, leading to inconsistencies in ...

Down's chromosome cause genome-wide disruption

Apr 16, 2014

The extra copy of Chromosome 21 that causes Down's syndrome throws a spanner into the workings of all the other chromosomes as well, said a study published Wednesday that surprised its authors.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Study says we're over the hill at 24

(Medical Xpress)—It's a hard pill to swallow, but if you're over 24 years of age you've already reached your peak in terms of your cognitive motor performance, according to a new Simon Fraser University study.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.