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'It’s not like CSI': The science of the search for Richard III
Date:11/15/2012

mains can cause the sample to be contaminated with modern DNA.

While the testing of modern DNA from Michael Ibsen is being carried out at Leicester, the extraction of DNA from the skeleton is taking place in partnership with "ancient DNA" testing facilities which will allow the sample to be tested safely, without risk of contamination.

A separate genealogical study is being undertaken to verify Michael Ibsen's connection to the Plantagenets and researchers also hope to identify a second line of descent.

The skeleton is also being radiocarbon dated by two separate labs, which should indicate - to within 80 years - the date the individual died.

The skeleton has now been cleaned, and is currently being examined in detail in an attempt to ascertain the individual's age, build and the nature of its spinal condition.

Particular attention will be paid to the trauma to the skeleton which may have been incurred in battle including the injury to the skull. Specialists in medieval battles and weaponry are advising the team on the kinds of instruments that may have caused the damage.

Forensic pathologists at the University's East Midlands Forensic Pathology Unit are also working with the team and are involved in helping to determine the cause of death.

Richard Buckley said: "We are looking at many different lines of enquiry, the evidence from which all add up to give us more assurance about the identity of the individual. As well as the DNA testing, we have to take in all of the other pieces of evidence which tell us about the person's lifestyle including his health and where he grew up.

"There are many specialists involved in the process, and so we have to coordinate all of the tests so the analysis is done in a specific order.

"The ancient DNA testing in particular takes time and we need to work in partnership with specialist facilities. It is not like in CSI, where DNA testing can be done alm
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Contact: Ather Mirza
pressoffice@le.ac.uk
01-162-523-335
University of Leicester
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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