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King Tut and half of European men share DNA - Comments

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 1 by Cartomancer

The article seems pretty keen to repeat that these similarities in the DNA are found in the male members of populations (Tutankhamun - a male king! well fancy that! Surely nobody can be so dense as to have failed to notice...), but is that because it's only on the Y-chromosome, or are female members of the population somehow considered not as important to study?

Sat, 06 Aug 2011 15:12:40 UTC | #858656

green and dying's Avatar Comment 2 by green and dying

Comment 1 by Cartomancer :

The article seems pretty keen to repeat that these similarities in the DNA are found in the male members of populations (Tutankhamun - a male king! well fancy that! Surely nobody can be so dense as to have failed to notice...), but is that because it's only on the Y-chromosome, or are female members of the population somehow considered not as important to study?

I'm guessing the first one.

But it means the same percentage of women have the same common descent, right?

Edit: Actually, way more men than the ones with this DNA will be descendants of this common ancestor unless the common ancestor only had male children who only had male children etc.

So, what does this result show us exactly?

Sat, 06 Aug 2011 15:27:54 UTC | #858660

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 3 by Jos Gibbons

It may just be they couldn't get their hands on the DNA of female Ancient Egyptians. To be fair, weren't those who were candidates for mummification mostly male? In any case, the haplogroup they studied is indeed only found on the Y chromosome. Incidentally, Y-specific genes are unknown, but haplogroups are a different matter.

Sat, 06 Aug 2011 15:40:22 UTC | #858661

green and dying's Avatar Comment 4 by green and dying

Comment 3 by Jos Gibbons :

It may just be they couldn't get their hands on the DNA of female Ancient Egyptians. To be fair, weren't those who were candidates for mummification mostly male?

You don't need female ancient Egyptian DNA to compare an ancient Egyptian man's DNA with modern women!

But yes I put it into Wikipedia and it's a Y chromosome thing.

Sat, 06 Aug 2011 15:47:03 UTC | #858664

OnTheEdge's Avatar Comment 5 by OnTheEdge

Comment 1 by Cartomancer The article seems pretty keen to repeat that these similarities in the DNA are found in the male members of populations (Tutankhamun - a male king! well fancy that! Surely nobody can be so dense as to have failed to notice...), but is that because it's only on the Y-chromosome, or are female members of the population somehow considered not as important to study?

I'm a member of 23andMe and they provide analysis of both your maternal and paternal lines. I saw the following on Wikipedia and it is consistent with what I've read in the past:

Haplogroups most commonly studied are Y-chromosome (Y-DNA) haplogroups and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroups, both of which can be used to define genetic populations. Y-DNA is passed solely along the patrilineal line, from father to son, while mtDNA is passed down the matrilineal line, from mother to offspring of both sexes. Neither recombines, and thus Y-DNA and mtDNA change only by chance mutation at each generation with no intermixture between parents' genetic materialBlockquoteBlockquote

Sat, 06 Aug 2011 16:06:16 UTC | #858671

Roedy's Avatar Comment 6 by Roedy

Powerful kings are good bets for common ancestors. They could well have sired hundreds of children.

The equivalent today would be actors and pop stars.

Sat, 06 Aug 2011 16:23:51 UTC | #858679

Atheist Mike's Avatar Comment 7 by Atheist Mike

According to a group of geneticists in Switzerland from iGENEA, the DNA genealogy center, as many as half of all European men and 70 percent of British men share the same DNA as the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun, or King Tut.

That explains my affinity with cats and my enthusiasm for great monuments.

Sat, 06 Aug 2011 17:21:59 UTC | #858690

Tony d's Avatar Comment 8 by Tony d

All that moaning about Europeans looting Egypt.And it turns out the treasure was ours anyway. Where is my cut? This also explains this Night boat to Cairo

Sat, 06 Aug 2011 17:25:06 UTC | #858691

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 9 by Cartomancer

It may just be they couldn't get their hands on the DNA of female Ancient Egyptians. To be fair, weren't those who were candidates for mummification mostly male?

Not really, no. We have lots of female Egyptian mummies in museum collections all over the place. Several female members of Tutankhamun's family have been identified, and possibly also the mummy of Hatshepsut too. I don't know if anyone has done a count of all the extant specimens yet (and some are quite hard to date, apparently, due to skeletal distortion caused by the mummification processes), but there are definitely female mummies out there.

Sat, 06 Aug 2011 18:09:35 UTC | #858698

Atheist Mike's Avatar Comment 10 by Atheist Mike

Oh apparently King Tut was inbred! We just got past the bible stories claiming that the human race was descended from incestuous families and now we learn this. Darn ancient egyptians and their odd hereditary dynastic methods.

PS: We should change the text on the 'We are all africans' T-Shirt to:

"The Bible says modern people are the result of incestuous relations Cain and his brothers had with their sisters. Science says we are all descendants of Africans and of King Tut who was the product of incestuous relations between Akhenaten and his sister. I believe science"

Sat, 06 Aug 2011 18:34:19 UTC | #858702

Crazycharlie's Avatar Comment 11 by Crazycharlie

I always thought KingTut was born in Arizona and then moved to Babalownyaa!

Just ask Steve Martin.

Sat, 06 Aug 2011 21:01:54 UTC | #858728

Scruddy Bleensaver's Avatar Comment 12 by Scruddy Bleensaver

Comment 6 by Roedy :

Powerful kings are good bets for common ancestors. They could well have sired hundreds of children.

The equivalent today would be actors and pop stars.

Wasn't King Tut about 18 when he died, though? I don't think we Europeans share his DNA because he was shagging his arse off, but rather because the human gene pool has some narrow bottlenecks that survived because of random peculiarities. This of course, also means most of us related to each other. It was only a few years ago that I saw the story that most of us (Europeans) are descendants of Djenghis Khan, after all.

Mind you, had I been born a royal during a time when that meant something, I would most certainly have been siring royal bastards left right and centre.

Sat, 06 Aug 2011 23:46:32 UTC | #858763

green and dying's Avatar Comment 13 by green and dying

Er, this doesn't show that Tutankhamun WAS the common ancestor of all these people. It's not like this piece of DNA began with him.

Sun, 07 Aug 2011 00:28:11 UTC | #858768

William T. Dawkins's Avatar Comment 14 by William T. Dawkins

I'm R1B1B2, Guess I missed out.

Sun, 07 Aug 2011 02:47:32 UTC | #858781

JuJu's Avatar Comment 15 by JuJu

Now I know why I occasionally have the urge to walk like an Egyptian.

Sun, 07 Aug 2011 04:41:05 UTC | #858793

bendigeidfran's Avatar Comment 16 by bendigeidfran

I like cats. Their fleas have 10,000 more genes than me. But fewer base pairs. Locusts have twice as many as me.

Sun, 07 Aug 2011 05:32:42 UTC | #858799

justinesaracen's Avatar Comment 17 by justinesaracen

One of the posters on the original article pointed out something worth considering.

The extraordinary commonality between Tut's genes and those of Europeans while there is only a minute commonality with modern Egyptians could easily result from contamination (i.e. by European researchers) during the testing phase. All you need is one skin cell, one micro-dandruff, one eyelash to fall into the sample and it's got YOUR DNA.

My ex is an Egyptologist/microbiologist and she pointed out that contamination is always a factor, especially given the fragmented DNA samples that are obtained from mummies. I would like to read a better accounting of the original experiment to have any confidence in the announcement.

The fact that the procedure is being touted by a commercial enterprise also has my alarm bells going off.

Sun, 07 Aug 2011 07:57:32 UTC | #858809

Philster61's Avatar Comment 18 by Philster61

Would this 1% also have inherited Tuts hereditary disorders? He had quite a few...

Sun, 07 Aug 2011 10:59:34 UTC | #858836

AfraidToDie's Avatar Comment 19 by AfraidToDie

Is there a good "DNA for Dummies" book anyone would recommend?

Sun, 07 Aug 2011 11:45:22 UTC | #858840

bendigeidfran's Avatar Comment 20 by bendigeidfran

Comment 19 by AfraidToDie

Not if you're as dumb as me. And if you pretend a human genome is known, remember it riffs off whole other universes of genomes and lots live amongst it. But a gene is called what does something despite all that. It's a contrast thing. I think you may have to learn sums. You cant count on me, but tell me if you find a good book.

Sun, 07 Aug 2011 15:45:12 UTC | #858873

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 21 by Alan4discussion

Comment 15 by JuJu

Now I know why I occasionally have the urge to walk like an Egyptian.

What! .. and you need a big spanner to get your head to face forwards?

Mon, 08 Aug 2011 19:48:48 UTC | #859196

HuntingGoodWill's Avatar Comment 22 by HuntingGoodWill

Comment 12 by Scruddy Bleensaver Wasn't King Tut about 18 when he died, though? I don't think we Europeans share his DNA because he was shagging his arse off, but rather because the human gene pool has some narrow bottlenecks that survived because of random peculiarities. This of course, also means most of us related to each other. It was only a few years ago that I saw the story that most of us (Europeans) are descendants of Djenghis Khan, after all.

Being that Djenghis Khan lived in the 12th/13th century, so just 700 years ago, this is nonsense.

Now North-African and even Middle Eastern gene-pools mixing with Mediterranean (today's Italy/Spain/France/Greece, etc...) for the last couple thousand of years? That's a completely different story.

And there was no "bottleneck" in the gene-pool around Tut's time. It is estimated that 10-15 million people might have lived on Earth in his time, while what you refer to is an event which probably took place 70.000 years ago and brought the total population down to maybe 10,000 people. Thut lived roughly 3,500 years ago,

That's why the article makes absolutely no sense though; if Europeans migrating to Egypt and Northern Africa are the reason why a majority of men in Western Europe share that gene, but Egyptian men do not, then how can it be, that the Europeans migrating to Egypt...............can share genes with Europeans. LOL It's like saying that white Americans and European people share no genes, because Europeans moved to America. LOL

Mon, 22 Aug 2011 13:14:14 UTC | #863192