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How mice went global

8 July 2009

Did you know that very specific parts of north-west Britain are colonised by Viking mice - mice that originate from Norway? Or that there are mice families in New Zealand whose rodent ancestors come from India?

A group of scientists have published their findings after a global study of mouse genetics that they say will tell us more about human migration, and where early colonists - going back to the Iron Age - settled many centuries ago. Because, as it turns out, the colonists accidentally took their home-grown mice with them - and mice, like humans, have DNA and genetic patterns that can be identified and classified.

One of the researchers on the project, Jeremy Searle, a professor of biology at York University in northern England, explains:

JEREMY SEARLE

Mice have been moved all throughout the world by people and clearly when you had the voyages of the discoveries, and you had settlements all round the world starting off from western Europe, they took mice with them so mice are now absolutely cosmopolitan around the world.

Identifying the chromosomes originating from these seafaring mice should provide useful data to back up studies such as the Genographic Project, in which the DNA of hundreds of thousands of people around the world is being catalogued with the aim of telling us where our individual ancestors came from and settled.

David Bamford, BBC

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  • 1 decade ago
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    老鼠如何遍布全球

    2009年7月8日

    你知道英國西北部的某些特定地區被源自於挪威的維京老鼠殖民了嗎?抑或在紐西蘭有些老鼠家族,牠們的囓齒類祖先來自於印度?

    在進行一項全球性的老鼠遺傳學研究後,一群科學家發表了他們的研究成果。科學家相信該研究能讓我們更加瞭解人類的遷徙,甚至能讓我們得知幾世紀前的鐵器食代早期殖民者在哪些地方定居過。因為結果顯示,那些殖民者不經意地帶了他們家鄉的老鼠一起遷移。而老鼠和人類一樣,其DNA和基因序列也能被辨識和分類。

    計畫裡的一位研究員,來自北英格蘭約克大學的生物學教授-Jeremy Searle解釋道︰

    JEREMY SEARLE

    老鼠被人類散佈到世界各地,尤其是在地理大發現後,西歐人向世界各地殖民,同時也帶著老鼠一起遷移,所以老鼠現在才會廣佈全球。

    辨識出源自於這些遠渡重洋老鼠們身上的染色體後,應能得到一些有利進行像『基因地理計畫』這類研究的資料。該計畫對全球成千上萬人的DNA進行分類,以得知我們的祖先各是源自何處又在哪定居過。

    BBC記者 David Bamford報導

    Source(s): 本人
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