Ever wondered where your ancestors lived a thousand years ago?
Well, a new ground-breaking technique developed by scientists can help you trace where your DNA was formed a millennium ago, Press Trust of India reported.
A new Geographic Population Structure (GPS) tool has been designed to help you find your actual ancestor's home from 1,000 years ago.
"Previously, scientists have only been able to locate where your DNA was formed and that was within 700 kms (435 miles), however this pioneering technique has been 98 percent successful in locating worldwide populations to their right geographic regions, and down to their village and island of origin," PTI reported.
"The breakthrough of knowing where the gene pools that created your DNA were last mixed has massive implications for life-saving personalized medicine, advancing forensic science and for the study of populations whose ancestral origins are under debate."
When two or more individuals from previously separated populations begin interbreeding, genetic admixture occurs. According to PTI, this results in the creation of new gene pools representing a mixture of the founder gene pool.
Migrations and invasions have experienced the common occurrences of such processes in history.
"What we have discovered is a way to find not where you were born - as you have that information on your passport - but where your DNA was formed up to 1,000 years ago by modeling these admixture processes," said Dr. Eran Elhaik from the University of Sheffield's Department of Animal and Plant Sciences.
"What is remarkable is that, we can do this so accurately that we can locate the village where your ancestors lived hundreds and hundreds of years ago - until now this has never been possible," said Elhaik.
Data from 10 villages in Sardinia and over 20 islands in Oceania were analyzed by Elhaik and colleagues to demonstrate how accurate their GPS predictions were.
Elhaik and his team were able to place a quarter of the residents in Sardinia directly to their home village and most of the remaining residents within 50 km of their village, PTI reported.
The GPS has been made accessible to the public through the development of a website, Elhaik and Dr. Tatiana Tatarinova, from the University of Southern California, said.
"To help people find their roots, I developed a website that allows anyone who has had their DNA genotyped to upload their results and use GPS to find their ancestral home," said Tatarinova.
The study was published in the journal Nature Communications.