A Nobel Prize-winning scientist who provoked a public outcry by claiming black Africans were less intelligent than whites has a DNA profile with up to 16 times more genes of black origin than the average white European.
An analysis of the genome of James Watson showed that 16 per cent of his genes were likely to have come from an ancestor of African descent. Most people of European descent would have no more than 1 per cent.
"This level is what you would expect in someone who had a great-grandparent who was African," said Kari Stefansson of deCODE Genetics, whose company carried out the analysis. "It was very surprising to get this result for Jim."
The findings were made available after Watson became the second person to publish his fully sequenced genome online earlier this year. He was forced to resign his post as head of a research laboratory in New York shortly after triggering an international furore by questioning the comparative intelligence of Africans.
The American scientist said 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".