Distribution of distal femoral osteophytes in a human skeletal population.
OBJECTIVES: To examine objectively spatial patterns of osteophytes around the distal end of the femur and to identify distinct subgroups. METHODS: A sample of 107 human femora from a large skeletal population were selected for study. These femora included subjects with evidence of late stage osteoarthritis (that is, with eburnation present) and those with no such evidence. The location of osteophytes was recorded using a video camera and digitised computer images were extracted. Multidimensional scaling was used to identify clusters of femora based upon osteophyte location. RESULTS: A distinct subgroup of femora was identified with osteophytes present only within the intercondylar notch region. None of these subjects had any evidence of eburnation. CONCLUSIONS: This finding adds to an earlier study based on radiographs. Osteophytes located within the intercondylar notch of the femur appear to be a distinct subset, which may occur either as an early stage of knee osteoarthritis or for some independent reason. (+info)
Why genes don't count (for racial differences in health).
There is a paradoxical relationship between "race" and genetics. Whereas genetic data were first used to prove the validity of race, since the early 1970s they have been used to illustrate the invalidity of biological races. Indeed, race does not account for human genetic variation, which is continuous, complexly structured, constantly changing, and predominantly within "races." Despite the disproof of race-as-biology, genetic variation continues to be used to explain racial differences. Such explanations require the acceptance of 2 disproved assumptions: that genetic variation explains variation in disease and that genetic variation explains racial variation in disease. While the former is a form of geneticization, the notion that genes are the primary determinants of biology and behavior, the latter represents a form of racialization, an exaggeration of the salience of race. Using race as a proxy for genetic differences limits understandings of the complex interactions among political-economic processes, lived experiences, and human biologies. By moving beyond studies of racialized genetics, we can clarify the processes by which varied and interwoven forms of racialization and racism affect individuals "under the skin." (+info)
Anatomical appraisal of the skulls and teeth associated with the family of Tsar Nicolay Romanov.
This article describes the identification of skeletal remains attributed to the family of Tsar Nicolay Romanov and other persons buried together at a site near present-day Ekaterinburg, Russia. Detailed descriptions are given regarding the objective methods of craniofacial and odontological identification that were used. Employing computer-assisted photographic superimposition techniques and statistical analysis of morphologic and other characteristics of the specimens, this study identifies with a high likelihood of certainty the remains of the Tsar, his wife, three of his four daughters, and four household assistants. Very strong evidence is presented that the Tsar's daughter Anastasia was killed in 1918. This study demonstrates the effectiveness of the methods and trustworthiness of the results, as well as the prospects of future application of the methods for the identification of skeletonized human remains. Anat Rec (New Anat) 265:15-32, 2001. (+info)
Mitochondrial DNA analysis of the putative heart of Louis XVII, son of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette.
According to official historiography, the 10-year-old Louis XVII died in the Temple of Paris on June 8, 1795. However, public rumour spread the theory that Louis XVII escaped and that his descendants would be alive today. One such putative 'Louis XVII' was Carl Wilhelm Naundorff, who died in 1845 in Delft (the Netherlands). Comparative mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis gave evidence that his remains could not be identified as those of Louis XVII. In the present study, mtDNA analysis was performed on the heart of the young boy who died in the prison of Paris in 1795. In order to obtain the strongest evidence possible, two laboratories independently analysed the heart. The results showed that the consensus mtDNA sequence of the heart was identical to that of the maternal relatives of Louis XVII. (+info)
A look at forensic dentistry--Part 1: The role of teeth in the determination of human identity.
Forensic dentistry can be defined in many ways. One of the more elegant definitions is simply that forensic dentistry represents the overlap between the dental and the legal professions. This two-part series presents the field of forensic dentistry by outlining two of the major aspects of the profession: human identification and bite marks. This first paper examines the use of the human dentition and surrounding structures to enable the identification of found human remains. Conventional and novel techniques are presented. (+info)
DNA typing from skeletal remains: evaluation of multiplex and megaplex STR systems on DNA isolated from bone and teeth samples.
AIM: To evaluate the performance of three multiplex short tandem repeat (STR) systems (AmpflSTR Profiler, AmpflSTR Profiler Plus, and AmpflSTR COfiler), and a megaplex STR system (PowerPlex 16) on DNA extracted from the skeletal remains. By performing a microbial DNA challenge study, we also evaluated the influence of microbial DNA on human DNA typing. METHODS: A subset of 86 DNA extracts isolated from 8-50 years old bone and teeth samples, corresponding to 20 identification cases from mass graves in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and to 4 paternity cases involving deceased parents in Spain, were analyzed by the above systems. RESULTS: Bone samples with no detectable human DNA (tested with Quantiblot), as well as teeth samples with detectable human DNA, were successfully amplified. Surprisingly, even in highly degraded samples, PowerPlex 16 offered very robust amplification for the both Penta E and Penta D markers. We observed a few non-specific extra peaks of 202 and 308 base pairs, which appeared to match 16S rRNA of the Pseudomonas halodenitrificans. CONCLUSION: AmpflSTR Profiler Kit, AmpflSTR Profiler Plus Kit, the AmpflSTR COfiler Kit, and the PowerPlex 16 system are very sensitive multiplex STR amplification systems, which can be successfully used to obtain a multilocus STR profile from old teeth and bone samples with minimal amounts (pg) of human DNA or even with no detectable human DNA. (+info)
Identification of missing persons: the Spanish "Phoenix" program.
In 1999, Spain was the first country to officially start a National Program to try to identify cadavers and human remains which could not be identified by the use of traditional forensic approaches. This attempt is called "Phoenix Program". Two independent mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) databases were generated, which can automatically compare and match identical or similar sequences. One is the Reference Database, with mtDNA sequences from maternal relatives of missing persons, who provide the samples (buccal swabs) voluntarily; the other is the Questioned Database, comprised of mtDNA data of unknown remains and cadavers. Although the first phase of the program (typing of all unidentified human remains) will probably not be completed until December 2003, positive identifications are being made in the interim. To date, more than 1,200 families have contacted Phoenix, and at least 280 reference samples and 48 questioned evidences have been analyzed. When mtDNA matches are found, another independent analysis is performed as a part of the quality control mechanism. Once a match is confirmed (so far in 6 cases), an attempt is made to analyze short tandem repeat (STR) loci. We call for international collaboration to make this effort valuable worldwide. (+info)
Mass identification of persons missing from the break-up of the former Yugoslavia: structure, function, and role of the International Commission on Missing Persons.
The staff of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) is attempting to undertake the largest mass human identification effort in history. Through the generosity of numerous governmental and private corporations the ICMP has established or is currently establishing a strong network of political allies, family outreach centers, and DNA laboratories throughout the former Yugoslavia. Furthermore, the ICMP is currently working to streamline current technology as well as employ new technology in its efforts to assist in identifying missing individuals. ICMP will continue to act as a link between the family associations in the region and will synchronize the work of the DNA identification process in the countries affected by the war in the regions of the former Yugoslavia. In the longer term, ICMP seeks to contribute to the closure of the missing persons issue, to raise awareness of the human dimension of the missing persons tragedy, and to preserve a shared and common memory of the missing in the former Yugoslavia. (+info)