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Switzerland Regional DNA Project

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One Family Project

The One Family One World Project is a partnership between Living DNA and Eupedia initiated in 2017. The project aims to map the regional genetic variations of the world with a great level of detail and accuracy in order to improve our understanding of both recent and ancient migrations and see how humans are all connected with one another as one big family.

Genetic variations within Switzerland

Modern Switzerland is like an island in the middle of the European Union, a country that prides itself on its neutrality and its old traditions. Yet, the Swiss speak four different languages and numerous dialects, a sure sign of the stupendous amount of diversity that evolved over time between secluded valleys.

Genetically, Züricher may be closer to South Germans, while the Ticinese would be closer to Lombards, and the people of Geneva more similar to Savoyards. Or at least that is what linguistic affinities suggest.

Previous genetic studies have shown that mountain areas, including the Alps, acted as refuges for populations at least since the Indo-European invasions took place in the Bronze Age. Pockets of people with high Neolithic ancestry were found in Tyrol and the Italian Alps. Another study by Niederstätter et al. (2012) showed that different parts of East Tyrol had completely different ancestry, some clearly Germanic, while others retained mostly ancient Celtic ancestry.

No proper study of the genetic diversity between Swiss region has been conducted to this day. This project will attempt to shed light these genetic variations. To determine the boundaries between proposed genetic regions we took into account the dialects spoken in each canton, as we believe that areas sharing a same dialect represent a group of people with enough shared ancestry over the centuries to have formed an ethnically coherent entity.

Objective

The aim of the project is to confirm whether the proposed genetic boundaries are correct, and redefine them if necessary based on the actual genetic data collected from participants in each region.

Proposed genetic regions of Switzerland

Our preliminary research indicates at least 10 areas of Switzerland may have distinct genetic differences.

Proposed genetic divisions of Switzerland - One Family One World DNA Project
  • Bern
  • Central Romandy
  • East Switzerland
  • Franche-Comté
  • Grisons/Graubünden
  • Lombard Switzerland
  • Northwest Switzerland
  • Old Cantons
  • Valais/Wallis
  • Zürich

How do I qualify?

The One Family project is open to everyone worldwide and has two parts.

  • 1. To build a genetic family tree of everyone from around the world, regardless of where your family comes from.
  • 2. To build a regional genetic breakdown of ancestry within countries, similar to 'The Peopling of the British Isles project'. This part of the project is looking for people with all four grandparents born within 80km (50mi) of each other inside our project areas of interest.

If you have already tested with Living DNA, all you need to do to join the project is log into your account, click on the Research tab and choose to participate in our global ancestry research project, if you haven't already done it.

If you already tested your DNA with another company (23andMe, AncestryDNA, MyHeritage, or FTDNA's Family Finder), you can join the project here for free. After submitting the form with your family information, you will receive an email to confirm the creation of your Living DNA account and will be asked to upload your genome there for free.

If you have not yet tested your DNA with one of the above companies, then you will need to order a Living DNA test to take part.

The data provided as part of the project is kept strictly private and confidential under Living DNA’s ISO:27001 certification for information security. Please read Living DNA's Privacy Policy for more information.


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