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Additional DNA tests to be performed on Richard III’s remains

The remains of King Richard III were recently identified using mitochondrial DNA tests, a type of DNA transmitted through women. Now researchers are trying to identify the king through DNA found on the Y chromosome, carried only by men.

Chris Tyler-Smith, a geneticist at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute near Cambridge, said the mitochondrial DNA type identified by Dr. King was “rare enough to be interesting, but not rare enough to be conclusive.”

The Leicester team plans to investigate the paternal DNA of the remains. Kevin Schürer, a historian at the university, has already found four living descendants of John of Gaunt, the son of Edward III, who was Richard III’s great-great-grandfather. Dr. King has found that their Y chromosome, which is carried only by men, match, establishing that they are all true descendants of John of Gaunt.

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Story: Nicholas Wade, NYT | Photo: University of Leicester, AP

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