Nobel laureate has African genes

You may or may not remember when, back in October, Nobel laureate James Watson made some rather questionable comments about Africans.

Watson was quoted by the Sunday Times as saying he was, "inherently gloomy about the prospects for Africa" because "all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours - whereas all the testing says not really". Dr Watson went on to say that while he hoped that everyone was equal "people who have to deal with black employees find this is not true".

We don’t want to bore you with the details of everything that happened as a result of these remarks, so here’s a brief summary of how the events unfolded after that fateful interview.

-Nobel laureate makes racist comments in an interview with the Sunday Times
-Nobel laureate’s speech gets cancelled
-Nobel laureate apologises for aforementioned comments
-Nobel laureate is suspended from duties at The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
-Nobel laureate retires

If you thought you’d heard the last of James Watson, you were wrong.

It has emerged that 16 percent of Watson’s genes were likely to come from a black ancestor of African descent, which is 16 times the percentage of an average Caucasian of European descent. A further 9 percent of his genes were thought to be of Asian origin.

Kari Stefansson of decode, the firm who carried out the analysis, said that 16 percent was “the kind of level you’d expect to find in someone who had a great grandparent who was African.”

What’s worse is, this discovery was only made available for anyone and everyone to see when Mr Watson became the second person to ever publish his fully sequenced genome online. Could have spared yourself a red face, James. Oops.

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