New DNA test can determine eye and hair colour from people who lived in the Middle Ages

A team of researchers from Poland and the Netherlands have developed a system that is able to answer what the hair and eye colour is from individuals who lived over 800 years ago.

 The HIrisPlex DNA analysis system was recently recreated for modern forensic research, but the researchers have now shown that this system is sufficiently robust to successfully work on older and more degraded samples from human remains such as teeth and bones. The system looks at 24 DNA polymorphisms (naturally occurring variations) which can be used to predict eye and hair colour.

 In their article, ‘Bona fide colour: DNA prediction of human eye and hair colour from ancient and contemporary skeletal remains’, the researchers examined the remains of Polish General Wladyslaw Sikorski (1881 to 1943) confirming his blue eyes and blond hair.

Click here to read this article from Medievalists.net

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