Professor Sykes latest book DNA USA: A Genetic Portrait of America is now on sale in the US. It has already received excellent advanced reviews.
“The US human population is a bouillabaisse of DNA. Geneticist Bryan Sykes took on the challenge of identifying its ingredients on an epic cross-country trip. He recounts the detective work — including interviews with genealogists and fellow geneticists — and methodology behind the findings. How did European genes appear in the DNA of Native Americans some 10,000 years ago, for instance? And why does the southwestern Hispanic population contain genes typically found in Jewish people? Ultimately, Sykes suggests, the country is an even richer human mix than we thought.” Nature
"Oxford geneticist Sykes traveled across the United States collecting DNA samples, recording family histories, and gazing out the window of his train car. (His evocative landscapes are one of the book's chief pleasures.) The resulting "chromosomal portraits" painted by analysing markers that correlate with African, or Asian-Native American populations, reveal DNA tell-tales of unsuspected centuries-old migrations and mixings; Mexican American Catholics descended from Spanish Jews; white Southerners with substantial African-American ancestry; possible journeys from Europe to North America 10,000 years ago. Sykes gives lucid, entertaining explanations of new genetic techniques and their startling success at tracing familial ties across continents an millenia. Publishers Weekly
British geneticist Sykes, whose account of his discovery of the "clan mothers" of Europe The Seven Daughters of Eve (2001), became a bestseller, wondered what a genetic protrait of America would look like. He gamely embarked on a coast-to-coast DNA-collecting adventure and learned that the collision between genetics and people's sense of identity can be explosive. After cogently explaining how "the record of the past" is "written in DNA" and how it is interpreted, he presents startling findings about Native American ancestry, which stand in profound conflict with traditional beliefs and reopen old wounds. African Americans, by and large, have embraced the revelations of DNA as a remedy to the rupture and erasure of the slave trade, and Sykes was able to reconnect individuals with heretofore lost legacies rooted in specific African regions. ... Human genetics energetically elucidated, entertaining travel writing, the fascinating personal stories of DNA volunteers, and Sykes' candid musings on his awakening to the complex emotional and social implications of hidden biological inheritances make for a milestone book guaranteed to ignite spirtied discussion" Booklist