Navigation Links
DNA Testing Lays Romanov Murder Mystery to Rest
Date:3/11/2009

Bodies found near rest of Tsar Nicholas II's family identified as 2 missing children

WEDNESDAY, March 11 (HealthDay News) -- An enduring mystery has been laid to rest with the DNA identification of the bodies of two children of the last Tsar of Russia.

The bones of the siblings, Tsarevich Alexei and a sister, were discovered in a grave outside Yekaterinburg in 2007. The remains of their father, Tsar Nicholas II, the Tsarina Alexandra and their three other daughters were found in 1991 about 70 meters away and were subsequently identified.

"The DNA evidence is strong, but if you if you look at the entire evidence, it's very convincing that this was, in fact, the Romanovs," said Michael Coble, lead author of a study published in the March 11 online issue of PLoS One and research section chief of the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory.

Other evidence included three silver amalgam fillings on the crowns of two molars which undoubtedly belonged to an aristocrat.

The U.S. researchers worked with the Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation, which was treating the case like an unsolved homicide, Coble said.

"In many ways, it's not unlike a lot of missing person and unidentified cases where we have no bodies," said study co-author Anthony B. Falsetti, a forensic anthropologist with the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Over the years, skeptics have argued that the remains had not definitively been identified as those of the ill-fated Romanovs.

The Tsar, his entire family and four staff members were killed by a Bolshevik firing squad early on the morning of July 17, 1918.

Apparently, the executioners had attempted to destroy the bodies of Alexei and his sister (either Maria or Anastasia).

"The historical record is that when the Bolsheviks were disposing of the bodies, they took two of the remains and tried to cremate them to try to get rid of all of the evidence. They did a test [on the recently discovered two bodies] to see how it worked, and it didn't work that well. It took them all night," said Coble. "It takes a very high temperature to cremate a body, and when you're out in the woods, you don't necessarily get that kind of heat. The executioner had actually brought in an expert on cremation, but apparently, the guy broke his leg. It was a ridiculous sequence of events."

The end result was that these two bodies were buried in one grave and the rest of the bodies in another, a fact that had fueled speculation that two of the children had managed to elude the bullets and escape.

Based on DNA technology available in the 1990s, the first five bodies were positively identified as the Tsar, the Tsarina and three of their children.

The second set yielded 44 bone fragments and teeth which were subjected to three types of genetic testing: mitochondrial DNA, autosomal STR and Y-STR testing.

The mitochondrial tests (mitochondria are passed through the mother) confirmed that the bodies were children of the Tsarina. Confirmation was done with a living maternal relative, HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

The autosomal STR test was basically a paternity test, Coble said, revealing that the newer remains are 4.3 trillion times more likely to be related to the Tsar and Tsarina than two random individuals. Skeletal remains from the three daughters found in the first grave also matched up.

"It's as strong as evidence you're going to find as far as nuclear DNA goes," Coble said.

The Y-STR testing, done only on the remains of Alexei, matched the STR profile of the Tsar and also a living relative, Prince Andrew Romanov, a cousin of the Tsar.

The STR and Y-STR findings were confirmed by testing blood on a shirt that Nicholas had worn on a trip to Japan in April 1891, when he was attacked with a saber. The shirt had been stored at the Hermitage Museum.

The results were confirmed, reconfirmed and confirmed again by independent labs.

One mystery remains however: the identity of the daughter found in the later grave. Russian forensic anthropologists have insisted and continue to insist that it is Maria. American experts assert it is Anastasia.

"For about 80 years, no one knew the real truth of where the bodies were taken, and you always had the romantic mythology of Anastasia, the youngest daughter, who was beautiful and adored and able to survive, because she charmed her captors into letting her go," said Coble. "Since 1918, over 200 different people have claimed to be one of the children. This truly now ends the case. You can no longer say, 'You never found the two children.' "

More information

Visit romanov-memorial.com for more on the last Tsar of Russia.



SOURCES: Michael Coble, Ph.D., research section chief, Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, Rockville, Md.; Anthony B. Falsetti, Ph.D., forensic anthropologist, University of Florida, Gainesville; March 11, 2009, PLoS One, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Midbrook Introduces ATP Cleanliness Testing
2. For Medical Device Makers, Full Spectrum Software Releases New Software Technical Report, QA Software Automation and Software Testing
3. Cascade of Studies, New Clinical Tests Build the Case for Genetic Testing in Pharmacy Care Says Medco Expert
4. Physicians Wellness Network Offers Online Laboratory Testing Services On Google Health
5. When should prostate-specific antigen testing be stopped?
6. Prostate specific antigen testing may be unnecessary for some older men
7. Parents avoid pregnancy rather than face testing choices
8. Study Finds Lifeclinic Self-Testing Health Stations in Workplace Help Reduce Hypertension and Obesity
9. New Local TV Ad Campaign To Educate St. Louis Women About Cervical Cancer Prevention and HPV Testing
10. New Local TV Ad Campaign To Educate Memphis Women About Cervical Cancer Prevention and HPV Testing
11. Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) Unveils New Testing Features for 2009: PTCB Exam to be Offered Daily; Test Results Given to Candidates Immediately in 2009
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
DNA Testing Lays Romanov Murder Mystery to Rest
(Date:5/28/2016)... ... 2016 , ... After a year and a half of planning the Multiple Pathways of ... Multiple Pathways of Recovery Conference was held May 2 -4, 2016 at the Mystic ... came together to explore the many pathways individuals use to get into and sustain their ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... Two director-level employees of Horizon Blue Cross Blue ... Industry (TWIN) 2016 honorees. The award recognizes businesswomen who excel in their fields ... Director of the MLTSS (Managed Long-Term Services and Supports) Program at Horizon NJ Health ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... , ... This campaign aims to provide a path to improved education and ... and change. , As nearly 795,000 Americans suffering from a new or recurrent stoke ... with an estimated 129,000 of these people dying from stroke, it’s become our nation’s ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... Aimed at nurses and employees in ... courtesy of leaders in the nursing and health care industry. It also provides ... and associations—namely Jones & Bartlett Learning. , Jones & Bartlett Learning is adding ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... ... Despite last week’s media reports hinting at a June rate hike after the ... for an interest rate increase, according to Rajeev Dhawan of the Economic Forecasting Center ... Market Committee (FOMC) dot charts are of interest to the press for their noise ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/27/2016)... PUNE, India , May 27, 2016 ... in the instances of hypertension is driving ambulatory blood ... muscles lose their elasticity and their ability to respond ... blood pressure. This condition can lead to various cardiovascular ... and peripheral vascular disease. These diseases are growing in ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... , May 26, 2016 According ... "Medical Waste Management Market - U.S. Industry Analysis, Size, Share, ... management market in the U.S. was valued at US$ 5.89 ... CAGR of 3.4% from 2015 to 2023 to reach US$ ... analysis of current and emerging needle free drug delivery devices ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... May 25,2016 FDA 510(k) ... Cellvizio platform for urological and surgical applications ... inventor of Cellvizio®, the multidisciplinary confocal laser endomicroscopy ... in the US with the 12 th ... Administration (FDA). This new FDA clearance covers Confocal ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: