news 23 Jan 12

Serbs, Croats 'Have Most Similar DNA' in Region

A study of the DNA profiles of Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks have shown that these three groups are genetically the closest in the region.

B92, Tanjug

A six-year long DNA study of Balkan peoples conducted by the Skopje Forensics Medicine Institute has showed a remarkable resemblance among the three groups.

“The analysis of the data has showed that residents of Macedonia share the most DNA with Bulgarians; Serbs and Croats with Bosniaks; while Kosovo Albanians have the fewest similarities with the others,” says the Institute’s Dr Zlatko Jakovski.

Macedonian scientists received samples and data from most of the Balkan countries, except from Greece, which refused to take part in the project. All the other countries sent DNA analyses of persons who had died in their territory to the institute in Skopje.

“By using sophisticated computer technology we have compared the data from Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia and Kosovo,” Jakovski explained.

The research has been published in leading world forensics magazines and the results will be used in criminal investigations in cases when victims are from the Balkans.

"For example [it could be used] in the identification of the victims of the plane crash that killed Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski [in 2004]. It will also be used in proving the paternity of Macedonian children when it is suspected that their parents are from Serbia, Croatia and Kosovo," said Jakovski.

Dr. Jakovski pointed out that the research represented a very useful scientific project and had nothing to do with daily politics in a region where ethnicity has often been a reason for conflict.

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