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Genetics experts paying a visit

6 February 2013

Town fans' needed for family history project

Genetics experts at the University of Sheffield are looking for volunteers with a family history in Shropshire to take part in an experiment that will feature in an exciting new science television series - and they will be at the Greenhous Meadow this Saturday ahead of the Sheffield United game. 
The researchers are looking for male volunteers from the Shropshire area who can trace their paternal ancestry back at least two generations (i.e. both they and their father's father should be from the Shropshire area).
The overall aim of the experiment is to study the DNA of people from Wales and the neighbouring county of Shropshire to try to interpret their ancestry  in the context of known historical events such as Bronze Age Copper mining activity in Llandudno and Anglesey. 
The efforts of the research team will be filmed by the Alfresco production company, part of the Boom Pictures group, for a new S4C series called Corff Cymru ('Welsh Body’) 
The research project is led by Dr Andrew Grierson from the University of Sheffield. He said the procedure is quick and straightforward. 
"A DNA sample will be taken in the form of a painless cheek swab," he said. "The individual results will be anonymised and we will only report the aggregated data from Shropshire as a whole. 
"This is an exciting experiment and will contribute hugely to an important piece of historical research in this area."
If you would like to help, the research team will be at Greenhous Meadow to take samples before Shrewsbury Town's match with Sheffield United. Anyone interested is asked to turn up at the ground as early as possible.   
The team will also be collecting samples at the Made in Shropshire market at The Square in Shrewsbury on Saturday morning. 
You can find out more about the ongoing research on the University's website at

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