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Problems with ancient DNA

28 April 2011

Recent DNA tests on the mummies of Tutankhamon and his close relatives came up with the odd, if not  too likely finding that they had origins in western Europe. Now it is thought the DNA sampling procedure was open to contamination. The mummies have been handled by a lot of European archaeologists and scientists – so that is not surprising. See www.nature.com/news/2011/110427/full/472404a.html for an idea of the limitations of DNA research and the inhouse controversies about the way it is applied in practise – and an expectation it might get better in the future.

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