Researchers suggest Genghis Khan and ten other powerful Asian rulers dating back to 1300 BC share distinctive sequences in Y-chromosomes—part of our DNA that only men carry—with over 800 million men living today. Perhaps as many as 16 million men are directly tied to Genghis Khan himself.
Published in the European Journal of Human Genetics and highlighted in a Daily Mail feature on January 28, 2015, the study links prolific leaders in Asia to men living today, by studying the distribution of gene sequences in today’s populations. Researchers analyzed the Y chromosomes of 5,231 men from 127 different populations around Asia. They found 11 common Y chromosome sequences that cropped up repeatedly in the genomes they examined; 37.8 percent of the men tested belonged to one of these 11 lineages.
Geneticists have found lineage clusters, but cannot clearly identify the original individuals unless their remains are found and tested. They believe the only men with the opportunity to father as many children needed to create these large clusters would have been warlords of Mongolia like Genghis Khan 800 years ago.
Writing in the European of Human Genetics, professor Mark Jobling wrote “High reproductive success if often associated with high social status, ‘prestigious’ men having higher intramarital fertility, lower offspring mortality and access to a greater number of wives.”
“If the tomb of leaders like Genghis Khan are ever unearthed, it could result in the ultimate paternity test for millions of men around the world” writes Richard Gray of the Daily Mail. “The only way to know for sure who these 11 founding fathers were will be to find their remains and extract DNA.”
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