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Is it possible to DNA test the dead?

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  • Is it possible to DNA test the dead?

    This is not a test that this company offers because the tests require a sample from the mouth, but what other options are there for testing a person who has died? If not from this company, from where and what is the cost of such a test? It must be expensive! I think that human hair would be the best sample for such a test. If there is no living person to provide a sample, is doing a DNA test of someone who has died ever an option? Is it just to expensive, that it is never a consideration?

  • #2
    dna test the dead

    Why yes the police and anthropologists do it all the time. Its how police identify bodies and anthropologists identify "skeletons and other remains.
    Lil

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    • #3
      I don't think technical difficulties are the biggest, but legal and ethical obstacles. I don't think you can go and dig up dead people just like that and test them.

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      • #4
        Elapsed time is a factor, too, especially for the Y chromosome, which deteriorates much more rapidly than the mitochondrial DNA.

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        • #5
          Yes, FTDNA lecturer stated that Y DNA cannot be obtained from deceased subjects; it is too fragile to survive.

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          • #6
            You may find some answers here:
            http://www.dna-fingerprint.com/
            Also, this may help on your other issue with foreign participants.

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            • #7
              Forum of the Living Dead

              I don't know; sometimes this forum is pretty dead, and just about everyone here has been dna tested!

              He's coming for you, Barbara!

              No, no! Keep that torch away from the gas pump!!!

              Aieeeeeeeeeeeee!

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              • #8
                I guess if yer Y-DNA goes south, the saying is true: Dead men don't tell tales.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Marttinen
                  I guess if yer Y-DNA goes south, the saying is true: Dead men don't tell tales.
                  Someone - Eki, I think - posted a link to an article a month or two ago about some German scientists who had actually succeeded in extracting and testing y-dna from the remains of some Neanderthals using a revoltuionary new method. I haven't heard any more about it since then. Maybe it didn't actually work after all?

                  Has anyone heard more about that?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Stevo
                    Someone - Eki, I think - posted a link to an article a month or two ago about some German scientists who had actually succeeded in extracting and testing y-dna from the remains of some Neanderthals using a revoltuionary new method. I haven't heard any more about it since then. Maybe it didn't actually work after all?

                    Has anyone heard more about that?
                    Give them time. The news is less than 2 months old:

                    http://arstechnica.com/journals/scie...2006/5/16/3992

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Eki
                      Give them time. The news is less than 2 months old:

                      http://arstechnica.com/journals/scie...2006/5/16/3992
                      Yeah, I knew I remembered reading that here.

                      If they can sequence the y-dna of a 47,000-year-old Neanderthal skeleton, they ought to be able to do it with much more recent corpses, even, say, Cro-Magnons.

                      Man, would that answer a lot of questions!

                      (And raise all sorts of new ones.)

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                      • #12
                        Arrrrgh! 14 anthrogeneologists on a dead man's chest. Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.

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