NICOSIA (Cyprus Mail) — Members of the Armenian community were asked to provide DNA samples on Sunday, January 6, after a Christmas church service in Nicosia for research that aims to map the genetic background of the Cypriot population.
Armenians celebrate Christmas on January 6 and the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics (CING) – which is carrying out the research – has chosen this date as the most suitable for the DNA collection since it the church was expected to see a bigger turnout than usual.
Members of the Armenian community over the age of 18 who were born in Cyprus and who would like to participate in the project, will give saliva samples after the liturgy.
The aim of the study, supervised by Professor Marios Cariolou of the CING’s Department of Cardiovascular Genetics and the Laboratory of Forensic Genetics, is to identify the genetic profile of Armenians living in Cyprus.
The project, according to Cariolou, is a continuation of efforts to study the background of the Cypriot population.
Cariolou and his team have already published the results of a similar study on Greek and Turkish Cypriots which revealed a common pre-Ottoman paternal ancestry between members of the two communities. Next in line are Armenians, Maronites and later on, Latins, he said.