Leicester research cited in new series of the X-Files
Actors David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson have solved countless mysteries and battled a variety of fierce aliens throughout the years playing agents Mulder and Scully on the X-Files - and now they've turned their attention towards research from our Department of Genetics.
2016 has seen the long-awaited tenth season of the X-Files airing after a 14 year hiatus, with the new season premiering on UK screens on 8 February.
In a new episode, Mulder and Scully find themselves debating human/alien hybrids and how this would require changing the genetic makeup of a population. An inspired Mulder suggests that 'one child with the correct combination of DNA could be a start', to which Scully responds:
"There was a study published last year in Nature Communications...that found that Y chromosomes in the majority of European men could be traced back to just three individuals from the Bronze Age."
The study Scully is alluding to is none other than research publicised by the University in May of 2015, where geneticists led by Professor Mark Jobling discovered a European male-specific population explosion that occurred between 2,000 and 4,000 years ago and resulted in most European men being descended from a handful of Bronze Age forefathers.
The study showed that almost two out of three (64%) modern European men belong to just three young paternal lineages, which is referenced in Scully's comment.
So, while the supernatural elements of the X-Files are scientifically dubious, we can at least be assured that the scientific research referenced in the show is sound.
The X-Files airs in the UK on Channel 5 on Monday 8 February at 9:00pm.