Background: A set of human remains unearthed near Ekaterinburg, Russia has been attributed to the Romanov Imperial Family of Russia and their physician and servants. That conclusion was officially accepted by the Russian government following publication of DNA tests that were widely publicized. The published study included no discussion of major forensic discrepancies and the information regarding the burial site and remains included irregularities. Furthermore, its conclusion of Romanov identity was based on molecular behaviour that indicates contamination rather than endogenous DNA. The published claim to have amplified by PCR a 1223?bp region of degraded DNA in a single segment for nine individuals and then to have obtained sequence of PCR products derived from that segment without cloning indicates that the Ekaterinburg samples were contaminated with non-degraded, high molecular weight, fresh DNA.
- Knight, A.; Zhivotovsky, L. A.; Kass, D. H.; Litwin, D. E.; Green, L. D.; White, P. S. & Mountain, J. L. (2004). Molecular, forensic and haplotypic inconsistencies regarding the identity of the Ekaterinburg remains. Annals of Human Biology, 31(2), 129-138.
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