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Sequencing King Richard III’s Genome

Posted on Feb, 12, 2014
Contributed to WCHV by Alex Ellis


About a year ago a team of archeologists from University of Leicester announced that they had discovered beneath an ordinary parking lot in the town of Leicester, bones that believed to belong to King Richard III. Now as reported by several news outlets, researchers at the University of Leicester, have announced that they are planning to sequence the King’s entire genome by using the DNA from his skeleton.

After finding the skeleton, the researchers used several evidences including the fact that the bones showed signs of scoliosis – the king had a hunched back as well as a raised right shoulder. In addition, carbon dating placed the bones somewhere between 1455 and 1540 (Richard died in 1485), and a DNA test showed that the skeleton’s DNA was a perfect match to that of two known descendants. The archeologists believe that King Richard III experienced a very traumatic death since the skeleton showed several wounds including to the head.

Archeologists and geneticist who will be working with the team are hoping that sequencing DNA from the skeleton can reveal more information about the monarch including facial features like eye colors. In addition, researchers can obtain more information about the genetics of the monarch.

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