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19 Mar, 2015 13:21

Quoi?! British DNA is 40% French, Oxford study finds

Quoi?! British DNA is 40% French, Oxford study finds

Despite a robust Gallic flavor, British genes have survived intact for centuries with many still residing within the ancient kingdoms they descend from, a wide-ranging Oxford University study claims.

The People of the British Isles Study was carried out by scientists from the University of Oxford's Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics using DNA from over 2,000 rural people, whose four grandparents were born within 80 kilometers of each other in the late 1800s.

One of its most striking findings was that white Britons today share 40 percent of their DNA with the French and 30 percent with modern Germans.

READ MORE: Discovery of ‘alien’ DNA hailed by scientists, raises ethical concerns

It found there is no evidence for a single Celtic genetic group, traditionally considered to span Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Cornwall.

Oxford archaeologist and report co-author Mark Robinson told the Guardian: “The Celtic regions one might have expected to be genetically similar, but they’re among the most different in our study.

“It’s stressing their genetic difference, it’s not saying there aren’t cultural similarities,” he said.

Cornish people, the study adds, are much more closely related to the English than the Celts.

The genetic impact of Norman, Viking and Roman invaders was found to be negligible. Even today many British people are still located within the borders of ancient kingdoms from which they are descended.

The only notable exception was found in Orkney, where islanders turned out to be 25 percent Norse.

READ MORE: Scientists discover secret code hidden within human DNA

The long standing claim by the Welsh that they are the most original Brits was also vindicated in the study, which found they are the most closely related to the original Stone Age hunter gatherers, who settled in Britain following the last Ice Age.

The Welsh were the least affected by a large wave of pre-Roman European settlement by Angles in the east, south and center of Britain.

One myth regarding this migratory episode appears to have been laid to rest entirely. Far from obliterating the existing population, the study suggests the new arrivals succeeded by intermarrying with the natives.

Project archaeologist Professor Mark Robinson said: “The results give an answer to the question we had never previously thought we would be able to ask about the degree of British survival after the collapse of Roman Britain and the coming of the Saxons.”

The study was carried out in conjunction with Australia's Murdoch Childrens Research Institute.

The institute takes its name from the late Australian philanthropist Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, mother of global media mogul Rupert Murdoch. It is somewhat ironic that Murdoch’s Fox News and tabloid newspapers are known for their anti-immigration rhetoric.