Tuesday, July 17, 2007

DNA analysis used to identify Egyptian queen

DNA analysis used to identify Egyptian queen
Source: scenta

Preliminary results from a DNA test are expected to confirm that unidentified mummy remains are indeed of Queen Hatshepsut, Egypt’s most powerful female ruler.
Egyptologists in Cairo announced last month that a tooth found in a wooden box associated with Hatshepsut fitted the jaw socket and broken root of the mummy exactly.
Now, Dr Angelique Corthals, a biomedical egyptologist at the University of Manchester, has said that DNA tests she helped carry out with colleagues at the National Research Centre in Cairo have promising preliminary results suggesting the identity of the queen.
Dr Corthals, who is based at Manchester’s KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology, advised and trained a team led by Dr Yehia Gad in Egypt in techniques of extracting DNA samples from the mummified remains of the mystery female.
The group then compared the DNA samples with those taken from Hatshepsut’s royal relatives – her grandmother Ahmose Nefertari, the matriarch of 18th dynasty royalty, and her father Thutmose I.
"The difficulty in carrying out DNA testing on the royal mummies resides in the many times the remains have been handled as well as the chemical processes of mummification," said Dr Corthals.
"Ironically, the chemicals that preserve the appearance of the mummies actually damage their DNA but the team was able to extract small amounts of genetic information from the areas of the mummies least affected by contamination.
"When the DNA of the mystery mummy was compared with that of Hatshepsut’s ancestors, we were able to scientifically confirm that the remains were those of the 18th dynasty queen," Dr Corthals added.
The most powerful queen of Egypt
Hatshepsut, meaning 'Foremost of Noble Ladies', was Egypt’s greatest female ruler, having greater power than even Cleopatra.
The fifth pharaoh of the 18th dynasty, her reign in the 15th century BC was longer than any other female ruler of an indigenous dynasty
Most of the 18th dynasty royal mummies were moved away from their original tombs in the Valley of the Kings by the priests of the 21st dynasty, who feared desecration and tomb robberies.
The preliminary DNA evidence – to be included in a Discovery Channel documentary being broadcast in the United States this Sunday – suggests that the mummy is indeed the great queen Hatshepsut.
The team is now planning to carry out more tests on the 40 remaining royal mummies, including that of Tutankhamun, in order to resolve the many questions surrounding the genealogy of the 18th and 19th dynasties.
Further DNA testing is expected to help resolve such mysteries as the identity of the mummy of Tuthmosis I: whether it is really the mummy of the mighty warrior-king of the 18th dynasty or just the remains of a nobleman.
Two foetuses found in Tutankhamun’s tomb could also be tested to confirm their identities as the children of the young pharaoh.


arabisraelites said...

DNAPrint ... Bible Geneology n DNA, what can we learn from Secrets of Egypt's Lost Queen HATSHEPSUT


Michael Steven said...

DNA consists of two long polymers of simple units called nucleotides, with backbones made of sugars and phosphate groups joined by ester bonds. These two strands run in opposite directions to each other and are therefore anti-parallel. Attached to each sugar is one of four types of molecules called nucleobases (informally, bases). It is the sequence of these four nucleobases along the backbone that encodes information. This information is read using the genetic code, which specifies the sequence of the amino acids within proteins. The code is read by copying stretches of DNA into the related nucleic acid RNA in a process called transcription.

Michael | Levitra Online

Richard Feynman said...

I found this excellent information that i would like to share.

DNA was first isolated by the Swiss physician Friedrich Miescher who, in 1869, discovered a microscopic substance in the pus of discarded surgical bandages. As it resided in the nuclei of cells, he called it "nuclein". In 1878, Albrecht Kossel isolated the non-protein component of "nuclein", nucleic acid, and later isolated its five primary nucleobases. In 1919, Phoebus Levene identified the base, sugar and phosphate nucleotide unit. Levene suggested that DNA consisted of a string of nucleotide units linked together through the phosphate groups. However, Levene thought the chain was short and the bases repeated in a fixed order. In 1937 William Astbury produced the first X-ray diffraction patterns that showed that DNA had a regular structure.

Best regards,
Richard F | Carl Mont