How closely are we related to each other, and how recently do we all share an ancestor? The answer to those questions is: closer and more recently than you might think.
Professor Jones discusses patterns of relatedness in ancient and modern populations and how they can be measured from the records, from surnames, and – more and more – from the DNA. The pedigree hidden in every genome reveals some quite unexpected patterns of kinship and suggests that some may be very relevant to the chances of disease. However, the evidence that close kinship is breaking down is, in this modern and mobile world, very persuasive and it may be that the most important event in human evolution, and even in human health, was the invention of the bicycle.
Speaker: Professor Steve Jones