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Sunday, June 11, 2006

CelebriDNA

A growing number of people are checking their DNA to see if they're related to famous historical figures. Tom Bopp of Kailua, Hawaii, found out he's related through his mother to Marie Antoinette.

The guillotined French queen's mitochondrial DNA had previously been extracted from a lock of hair clipped when she was a child, and the analysis published in a genetics journal.

Just who Mr. Bopp's and the monarch's shared ancestor might be is unknown. But that doesn't stop Ms. Bopp from telling her husband to "eat cake" when, for instance, he expresses premature concern about what's for dinner.
Of course, not everyone gets the results they're hoping for.
Of the 74 Lees who have had their DNA tested with Relative Genetics in hopes of finding a link to Robert E., for instance, none matched the signature of the known descendants of the general.

"One lady who sponsored a male cousin of hers asked if he did the test incorrectly," said M. Clint Lee, the project coordinator, who counts himself among the disappointed. "She didn't want to believe the results." [Link (reg. req.)]

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