The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The genetic uniqueness of the Irish.

Being Irish, is about being different. Unless you actually are Irish, this is hard to appreciate.

The Irish have lived for thousands of years, relatively isolated, on the Western fringes of Europe. This has led to a curious situation: the Irish genome is not like other "Caucasians", in Europe, indeed, the Irish genome is turning out to be something very surprising indeed.

Brendan Loftus of University College Dublin has just finished sequencing the genome of an Irishman, chosen, by genotyping, as being "representative of the Irish". Surprisingly, this Irishman's genome has turned out to have over 400,000 NOVEL single DNA base mutations, as the New Scientist reports this week. This is an unexpectedly high number of unique differences. Indeed, so distinctive is this genome that Loftus said: "The Irish genome inhabits a hitherto untapped region of European genome variation".

So, there you have it. The feeling that I had always had, that the Irish were different from other white races, including the "British", turns out to be genetically proven. It is not just my own particular little family that is a bit unusual, therefore...but the whole Irish race, for one reason or another.

This study tallies well with another study that showed that Irish people from the West of Ireland (where my family is from), showed Neolithic haplotype markers which means that the genome has certain characteristics found 10,000 years ago, in the stone age.

I am sure that there are more genetic surprises in store for those studying the Irish genome. I will keep you posted.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, 10, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, 6 and Tiarnan, 4, this month, please go to:

I also write of gifted education, child prodigy, child genius, adult genius, savant, megasavant, HELP University College, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, Malaysia, IQ, intelligence and creativity.

My Internet Movie Database listing is at:
Ainan's IMDB listing is at
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This blog is copyright Valentine Cawley. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited. Use only with permission. Thank you.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 9:58 AM 


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