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UMMS researchers publish DNA identification of czar's children
Date:2/25/2009

WORCESTER, Mass. Cutting edge science has finally put to rest a 90-year-old mystery that involved nobility, revolution, murder and the long-romanticized story of a child's escape from the firing squad. Genomic analysis performed at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in cooperation with Institutions of Russian Academy of Science (VIGG) and Academy of Medical Sciences (MHRC) have confirmed that human remains found in the Ural Mountains in July 2007 are indeed those of the two "missing" children of Nicholas II, the last czar of Russia, whose family was murdered in 1918 during the Bolshevik Revolution. The final evidence was presented in a paper published this week in the online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, "Genomic identification in historical case of Nicholas II Royal family" by Evgeny I. Rogaev, PhD, professor of psychiatry at UMass Medical School's Brudnick Neuropsychiatric Research Institute and professor of genetics at the Russian Academic Institutions, and his colleagues.

Rogaev was asked by the Russian officials to examine DNA from the newly discovered bone fragments; comparing remains from the first grave found in the 1990s to those found more recently, he and his colleagues completed basic studies of mitochondrial DNA inherited through the maternal lines and linked the remains genetically to Empress Alexandra, wife of the Czar, indicating that the remains were very likely those of the czar's children. Rogaev and his UMMS colleagues, including Anastasia Grigorenko and Yuri Moliaka, were able to determine the complete mitochondrial genome sequences from the remains. After doing so, they determined the gender of the bone fragments and recovered profiles of nuclear DNA, including that inherited exclusively through the paternal lines. The data conclusively demonstrated that the remains found belonged to children of the Romanovs, 13-year-old Crown Prince Alexei and one of his older sist
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Contact: Alison Duffy
alison.duffy@umassmed.edu
508-856-2000
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3 4

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