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DNA technique reconstructs hair, eye color of dead Polish general, say researchers

January 14, 2013

DNA technique reconstructs hair, eye color of dead Polish general, say researchers

Researchers determine eye, hair color of deceased Polish general using new technique.

Researchers from the Institute of Forensic Research and Jagielonian University have used a new method of determining hair and eye color from modern forensic samples that can also be used to identify details from ancient human remains. Researchers used the HIrisPlex DNA analysis system to reconstruct the hair and eye color of Polish General Wladyslaw Sikorski, who lived from 1881 to 1943. They discovered that General Sikorski had blue eyes and blond hair.

“DNA analysis of ancient skeletal remains is invaluable in evolutionary biology for exploring the history of species, including humans. Contemporary human bones and teeth, however, are relevant in forensic DNA analyses that deal with the identification of perpetrators, missing persons, disaster victims or family relationships. They may also provide useful information towards unravelling controversies that surround famous historical individuals,” wrote the authors in the open-access journal Investigative Genetics.

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