07 June 2007

Ancient DNA in modern art

Many genetic genealogists are familiar with Oxford Professor Bryan Sykes' theory of the Seven Daughters of Eve, which says that, based on DNA studies, the majority of Europeans can trace their genetic lineage back to seven "clan mothers."

Ulla Plougmand-Turner, a Danish artist, has created portraits of the clan mothers using paint containing reconstructed ancient DNA.

Sykes met the artist when he was taking DNA samples from villagers, and he commissioned the exhibit, which is on display at Wolfson College, Oxford, through June 22.

Said Sykes in an interview in the Oxford Mail:

"I am not sure what the public will think as nothing like this has been done before. People will be able to buy prints of paintings and will get a free print if they want to get their DNA tested at the exhibition."

Prints of the paintings will be available at an art gallery whose owner is a former molecular biologist.

For articles about this art/science collaboration, click here, here or here.

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