Edinburgh University experts used volunteers from small communities in the north of Scotland, Italy and Croatia to quickly scan half a million DNA letters – the chemical combinations that make up our genes – and pinpointed in some cases 100% accurately where their distant relatives lived.
Within five years they believe the technique could be developed sufficiently so that a person who lives in a city could trace their ancestors from other towns or countries.
Dr Jim Wilson, a Royal Society research fellow who led the university’s study, said: “This holds out the hope that, with more information, we might one day be able to determine the ancestry of city dwellers.
“There is a vast amount of untapped information residing in our DNA. This is not going to happen tomorrow, but within the next five years, if a database of samples from villages across Scotland is built up, we may be able to achieve this.”
You can read more in the Herald web site at http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/scots-breakthrough-in-helping-families-go-back-to-their-roots-1.1039443