Study seeks to better understand Traveller heritage

People with at least two grandparents from the Traveller community are being asked to take part in a new genetic study.

The research will provide a unique opportunity to understand how Scottish Travellers relate to Irish Travellers, English Gypsies and Welsh Kale, as well as their settled neighbours.

Some 400 people are being invited to join the study, which will also seek to understand patterns of health – including any genetic risk factors  – in the Traveller community.

Study origins

Representatives of the community asked researchers at the University of Edinburgh to carry out the study, as there has been no genetic research involving Scottish Travellers.

The study will build upon previous work by the Edinburgh team with the Irish Traveller community, which helped in establishing them as distinct ethnic minority, recognised by the Irish Government.

Genetic analysis

Everyone who takes part in the University of Edinburgh study will complete an online questionnaire about their health and lifestyle.

They will also be asked to return a saliva sample by post, which will be used for genetic analysis by researchers.

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