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The first fine-scale analysis of the population of the UK shows that subtle variations in the genetic make-up of modern Britons reflect the history of their islands’ colonisation by peoples from mainland Europe since the last Ice Age. ‘It has long been known that human populations differ genetically, but never before have we been able to observe such exquisite and fascinating detail’, says Peter Donnelly, Director of WTCHG, who co-directed the work and led the statistical analysis together with Simon Myers, who also works in the WTCHG, Garrett Hellenthal from University College London and Stephen Leslie of Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Australia.