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Immigration: Follow the Mice

In this political season, the hot topic of immigration will come up again. One way to follow the trail of migrating human beings is to study MOUSE genes, since they came along with us.

BBC News quotes researcher Jeremy Searle as saying, "If we look at the genetic patterning of the mice, we find they have patterning that very much relates to human history; and so we get a particular genetic type of mouse that is found in the region where the Norwegian Vikings operated.

"What this suggests to us is that the Norwegian Vikings were taking these mice around and they were taking a particular genetic type; because there are all sorts of genetic types and the particular type that happened to be where the first Vikings picked them up is the one that got spread around."

Much of the UK has another strain of mice with genetic similarities to a type of mouse in Germany, and researchers think that they arrived from Europe with the Iron Age people.

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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