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This is a very good point!

December 22nd, 2004 Leave a comment Go to comments

On this page: http://news.bb c.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4091525.stm#friday there is a question posed:The Monitor this week received a Christmas card, in a normal-sized envelope, but on which the address had been typed with an old-fashioned typewriter. The address showed evidence of a mistake having been corrected with Tipp-Ex. The postmark was too indistinct to read. The flap was not sealed, but rather tucked down inside the envelope.

The card was unremarkable, with no particular distinguishing factors. And there was no writing inside. None at all. In short there was no indication whatsoever who had sent this card.

So your challenge is to come up with a way of determining who sent it.

One guy answers with this:Unless it was one of those new self adhesive stamps, DNA may be the key. The stamp will have been licked. Recent reports suggest that DNA can be related directly to surnames – this will immediately reduce the field considerably.

And then I thought, that must be very true! They could be a very distinct link between surnames and DNA.

For those of you who don’t know, English Surnames (originally) relate to the occupation of the person (we’re talking ancient times here, and as jobs stayed in the family, so did the name). So if your surname is “Smith”, at some point in the past, an ancestor was a smith (of some description). Over the years, some occupation descriptions have been mangled, and some lost from the English language, etc.

So, if we assume that a Gene in your DNA makes you particularly good at working metal (roll with me here….), then you probable have a desire to work with metal, and so you become a smith and a Smith. And if that DNA travels successfully down the line of the descendents, then it would still be in the Genes of the modern Mr (or Mrs) Smith.

So, find the smith Gene, and find people with that Gene, you could probably guess their name. Cool!

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