Friday, June 16, 2006

DNA Test Leads to Confucian Results

The Chinese have jumped on the celebriDNA bandwagon. A genetics lab is offering a test to prove descent from ancient philosopher Confucius for just 1,000 yuan ($125)—a lot of yuan in a country where the average farmer might take home $300 a year.

"We would like to help these unconfirmed claimants to test their DNA and to establish a Confucius-DNA database," [the Shanghai Morning Post] quoted Deng Yajun, a DNA expert from Beijing Institute of Genomics at the Chinese Academy of Science, as saying.

How the scientists had obtained a sample of Confucius's DNA was not explained. [Link]
Given how well-documented his family tree reportedly is, it shouldn't have been hard to find living male descendants carrying around his Y chromosome (though the 2,500-year time span is daunting).

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