Blog

DNA Tests prove that the body found under a parking lot belongs to King Richard III; but was he truly a “hunchback?”

Feb 7, 2013 | Ancestry DNA Testing, DNA science, DNA test, Forensic DNA Testing, Genetics

Long viewed as a hunchbacked villain, King Richard III may be in for a rewritten history. DNA tests prove that the skeleton found beneath an English car park just a few months ago belongs to the oft-vilified king. But did he really suffer from kyphosis (“hunchback” syndrome)?
Technically, no.

Kyphosis is a “curving of the spine that causes a bowing or rounding of the back, which leads to a hunchback or slouching posture.” However, as we now know King Richard III suffered not from kyphosis, but rather from scoliosis. Understandably, the two conditions may seem similar through the eyes of Shakespeare, perhaps distorted for dramatic effect, who initiated the famous depiction of the king as a hunchback “rudely stamp’d”, and “deformed, unfinish’d” in his appropriately titled play, Richard III.
Scientists utilized a Mitochondrial DNA test to determine lineage (more info can be found here), but as University of Leicester archaeologist Richard Taylor said in a recent press conference, “We believe the individual would have had severe scoliosis, a form of spinal curvature.” He added, “The skeleton does not have kyphosis – a different form of spinal curvature – and was not a hunchback.”

The King’s spine had been distressed in ways consistent with scoliosis rather than kyphosis; the main difference being that the former causes a lateral curvature of the spine while the latter causes a forward curvature.

Photo: REUTERS/University of Leicester/Handout

0 Comments

AABB Accredited DNA Testing: Why It Matters

AABB Accredited DNA Testing: Why It Matters

When people think of DNA testing, they often associate it with words like reliable, high-tech, and accurate. The reality, however, is that DNA testing is only as good as the laboratory performing the testing. In the absence of a government agency regulating or...

The Discovery of the DNA Double Helix: Why It Still Matters

The Discovery of the DNA Double Helix: Why It Still Matters

    A Momentous Find: DNA Double Helix Structure In 1953, two talented scientists, Francis Crick and James Watson, building on the earlier work of their colleague Rosalind Franklin, discovered a structure in cells containing the blueprint that makes each creature...

10 Helpful DNA Facts for Everyone

10 Helpful DNA Facts for Everyone

  With the popularity of DNA testing for ancestry and up-and-coming lifestyle tests for fitness, nutrition, skincare and more, the science of DNA has finally entered the mainstream of the American consciousness. Home DNA paternity test kits have been in retail stores...

DNA Science: Paternity and Family Relationship Testing

DNA Science: Paternity and Family Relationship Testing

DNA science has revolutionized the paternity and family relationship testing industry with a higher power of discrimination among individuals, non-invasive sample collection options, and faster turnaround time. Get your geek on and learn information about the...

Reach Us

Have questions or need assistance? Contact our team.

DNA Technology Park
1 DDC Way
Fairfield, OH 45014

Leave A Message