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  #481  
Old 06-22-2008, 02:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChatNoir View Post
There are several references to Gill calling the sample "putative" on the internet, but I have no access to his own papers. From the book "The Romanovs" by Massie:
Peter Gill described what he had done: he had extracted both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA from the Charlottesville tissue (which, he always said carefully, was "said to have come from Anna Anderson")
Chat,
I think he used the word putative was at the press conference. I'll see if I still have that news story.
Lexi
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  #482  
Old 06-22-2008, 03:33 AM
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Originally Posted by lexi4 View Post
Chat,
I think he used the word putative was at the press conference. I'll see if I still have that news story.
Lexi
".... two different samples said to have come from Anna Anderson have been independently collected and analysed by three different laboratories."

"To assess the strength of the evidence we compared the DNA profile from the Maucher and putative Anna Anderson samples with over 300 Caucasian sequences in published and unpublished databases."

From "Establishing the identity of Anna Anderson Manahan", Nature Genetics, Volume 9, pages 9-10, January 1995.

JK
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  #483  
Old 06-22-2008, 07:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
Did anyone test the US samples against a sample from Margarette Ellerick? If so, were they using the same tests and the same loci as the people who tested the German sample?
Ellerick (mother of Maucher, daughteer of Gertrude) was never tested.

If the samples were not AA's, why were they in the hospital marked under her name? AA had a very small portion of intestine removed. What are the chances another person who had the same exact piece of intestine out of countless yards of intestines removed, and that they would match the FS family?

I really don't understand what AA supporters are saying happened here. Sometimes they act as if the samples from the hospital were not hers, other times they make it sound like they were swapped out along the way somewhere after they left the hospital. If they were, with what? Did somebody kidnap a member of FS's family, cut him open, remove just that same exact piece of intestine? Was it intentional to discredit AA, or did it somehow just happen to get mixed up with another sample that just happened to match the FS family? Which is it? Or will anything do in a storm grasping at straws?

The main issue here is, if you allege that they are not hers, please tell us when and how this occured, it couldn't have been both ways. Since they were in the hospital labeled as being hers and not just found in the middle of the road, the burden of proof is on those claiming they weren't to prove their case, though they always make it sound like it's the other way around. There really needs to be some kind of hard evidence to make such a strong claim.
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  #484  
Old 06-22-2008, 10:34 AM
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On the subject of the Queen rigging the results, I found this post (but won't mention the name or board in case that's not okay) Here is one person's theory: (disclaimer- of course I don't believe this!)

I think there is a simple answer to the problem with the DNA. If you look carefully at the whole procedure you will find that there was only one European royal family directly involved- the Windsor, in England. The Hohenzollerns no longer have anything to lose politically [if Anna Anderson turns out to be Anastasia]. The Romanovs have nothing to lose politically, either- only the Windsors, who would suffer a massive public relations nightmare at having left a poor royal cousin in the gutter. There are already many in England who see the Windsors as incorrigibly corrupt, and who clamor for their removal. Does Prince Phillip want this scandal to make things worse? Of course not.


The Windsor family is one of the wealthiest in the world, with a fortune exceeding $25 billion for the queen alone. Also, contrary to what some people, the royal family of Great Britain is not absolutely devoid of power. In some ways they are still one of the most powerful families in the world.


It would not have been difficult, at all, for the Windsors to have rigged the results, in order to protect their own public relations image and political position.
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  #485  
Old 06-22-2008, 10:48 AM
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As far as their image concerning the Romanovs, well they had nothing to lose as asylum had been refused to the family way back, surely if that didn´t damage their public relations image I doubt whether not accepting someone they thought a fraud would.
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  #486  
Old 06-22-2008, 11:00 AM
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After you read Dr. Ginther's letter, take a look at this thread.

RomanovsRussia :: Anna Anderson's Story :: Timeline of Anna Anderson :: Dates: AA's Surgery on bowles to DNA tests

RomanovsRussia :: Login

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  #487  
Old 06-22-2008, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Menarue View Post
As far as their image concerning the Romanovs, well they had nothing to lose as asylum had been refused to the family way back, surely if that didn´t damage their public relations image I doubt whether not accepting someone they thought a fraud would.
Of course, the whole theory is ridiculous. Who'd pay that much money to cover up something so minor and insignficant today? People who want the tests to be wrong will try anything. But at least he offered a theory, most of them just say it must have happened but can't give you any details or even theories on how this allegedly occured. They even contradict themselves, sometimes seeming to believe it happened at the hospital, other times en route or at the labs. Some people are just so desperate to hold onto a claimant mystery they'll say anything, but they can't prove what didn't happen.
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  #488  
Old 06-22-2008, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by J Kendrick View Post
".... two different samples said to have come from Anna Anderson have been independently collected and analysed by three different laboratories."

"To assess the strength of the evidence we compared the DNA profile from the Maucher and putative Anna Anderson samples with over 300 Caucasian sequences in published and unpublished databases."

From "Establishing the identity of Anna Anderson Manahan", Nature Genetics, Volume 9, pages 9-10, January 1995.

JK
Thanks for finding that - I missed the "putative" on the second page.

I don't see why this is a problem, though. Here's the context of the first quote:

"In conclusion, two different samples said to have come fromAnna Anderson have been independently collected and analysed by three different laboratories. Because our results are in agreement, this strongly suggests that the samples came from the same individual (Anna Anderson herself); the contention that the samples came from another (unknown) individual seems highly unlikely. The samples could not be associated with a maternal relative of the Tsarina or of HRH Prince Philip."

In other words, the "said to have come from" refers to the initial conditions. They acknowledge that their information about the source of the samples came from the people who were providing them. Knowing that there was this question about the source, they had the two samples analysed independently. This is standard scientific practice - one result may or may not be correct, but independent confirmation makes a very strong case. The fact that the two samples gave the same result provides scientific confirmation that they were from the same person.

Now, if you go into a court of law and say that you have a tissue sample that the hospital said was from Mrs Anderson, and it didn't match Prince Philip's sample, then you certainly have the basis for reasonable doubt, which is what counts as far as trials are concerned. Everybody knows that hospitals mislabel things; it's always possible that they came up with some totally random sample just to stop all the inquiries and make the people go away and stop bugging them. I'm sure that if that had been the only sample available, it could be made to look pretty uncertain.

However, you also have the hair sample, which didn't come from the hospital. If I remember right, the hairs were found in a book that had belonged to Mrs Anderson or something like that. I mean, there was reason to believe that they did have something to do with her. Again, these samples on their own might not have been believable - in fact, I'd say they were probably less believable.

But you have the actual state where both of these samples turned out to give the same results. You could make a case for either one of them not being from Mrs Anderson, but the combination of the two results makes a very much stronger case. The standards in a court of law, if I understand them correctly, basically revolve around whether there's reasonable doubt about the evidence. In this case, even though there's a theoretical possibility that, by total chance, these two samples came from the same person who wasn't Mrs Anderson, that goes way beyond the "reasonable doubt" standard. The other possibility is that there was tampering of some sort going on, and in this case you'd have to prove motive, opportunity, and all that good stuff, in two different environments (the hospital and the situation with the book). The third possibility is that the two samples really were from Mrs Anderson.

So if any of these authors found themselves in court having to defend "said to have come from," the defence would be obvious. They didn't take the word of the people who claimed that the samples were from Mrs Anderson, they applied the usual standards of science research and had the samples analysed independently; the fact that the analyses gave the same results provided confirmation for the claim that the samples were from the same person. The notion that the samples were from the same person but not from Mrs Anderson is highly unlikely unless there's been some high-level interference with the samples at some point. Therefore it's reasonable to conclude that they were from Mrs Anderson. All of which basically means that their conclusion isn't based on "said to have come from."

The same applies to the "putative" comment in the last paragraph, as should be clear from the fact that they go on to say "We did not find a match, which suggests that the DNA sequence is rare. Assuming that the databases we have used are representative of European Caucasians, the changes of finding matching DNA profiles if Carl Maucher and Anna Anderson are unrelated through the maternal line is less than 1 in 300. This finding supports the hypothesis that Anna Anderson and Franzisca Schankowska were the same person." If there was doubt about the identity of the samples, their conclusion would be unreasonable.
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  #489  
Old 06-22-2008, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anna was Franziska View Post
On the subject of the Queen rigging the results, I found this post (but won't mention the name or board in case that's not okay) Here is one person's theory: (disclaimer- of course I don't believe this!)

I think there is a simple answer to the problem with the DNA. If you look carefully at the whole procedure you will find that there was only one European royal family directly involved- the Windsor, in England. The Hohenzollerns no longer have anything to lose politically [if Anna Anderson turns out to be Anastasia]. The Romanovs have nothing to lose politically, either- only the Windsors, who would suffer a massive public relations nightmare at having left a poor royal cousin in the gutter. There are already many in England who see the Windsors as incorrigibly corrupt, and who clamor for their removal. Does Prince Phillip want this scandal to make things worse? Of course not.


The Windsor family is one of the wealthiest in the world, with a fortune exceeding $25 billion for the queen alone. Also, contrary to what some people, the royal family of Great Britain is not absolutely devoid of power. In some ways they are still one of the most powerful families in the world.


It would not have been difficult, at all, for the Windsors to have rigged the results, in order to protect their own public relations image and political position.
It's fine to post the name of the board and the ID of the person making that post, and even to provide a link. However, if the person at that forum has a different ID from their ID at this forum, just stick with the ID at that forum. Some people prefer not to have their IDs at other forums identified.
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  #490  
Old 06-23-2008, 04:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
The same applies to the "putative" comment in the last paragraph, as should be clear from the fact that they go on to say "We did not find a match, which suggests that the DNA sequence is rare. Assuming that the databases we have used are representative of European Caucasians, the changes of finding matching DNA profiles if Carl Maucher and Anna Anderson are unrelated through the maternal line is less than 1 in 300. This finding supports the hypothesis that Anna Anderson and Franzisca Schankowska were the same person." If there was doubt about the identity of the samples, their conclusion would be unreasonable.
Dear Elspeth, , I'm sure you will want to shoot me after reading this but please note that what i will argue in the following lines is not an accusation but my personal try to look at the details of this mystery from all possible points of view and to assess them in a way that is convincing/believable for me - and for me alone. I'm not trying to create a new conspiracy theory but want to reflect over certain details that have been mentioned here.

1. The DNA and three labs with identical results:
My "database" of what I'm writing here is a long talk I had with my husband , who is a research scientist about publications of results. He claims after having published virtually hundreds of conference papers but so far only 5 journal papers, that a publication in a journal that is peer revised is a high goal and a big success if you're into research. He has himself worked as a reviewer in his field of research, so knows the criteria of acceptance: to be accepted with a paper at a journal you need: real good news about research or a topic that mightily interests readers because of something uncommon in it. Plus you need to have something decisive in your work: "maybe" does not qualify as content of a journal paper.

So there we have an interesting topic to begin with: is Anna Anderson Anastasia? We have scientific research to publish about but to get a journal publication you need: results. So it was clear IMHO to the scientists that if they wanted to have a journal paper, they needed results.
My husband said that in such a case even if more than one research institute is involved, the different groups of scientists will work together normally to peer assess their work and to eleminate faults. They probably won't work against each other or keep their results secret. My husband said that of course it's a bit different when it comes to proof for a court of law (even though not always) but if it was a privately financed investigation than scientists would work together to give their client the best result possible - and themselves the opportunity to be recognized in their own field of research with a paper that from its topic attracts attention.

So IMHO this is a potential explanation why the results were similar, even though the material wasn't good in its quality. Let's now image that the scientists had results that were the best they could manage and they had a topic that was good enough for publication. Now they needed a clear answer: Yes or No. Let's imagine that the results were not that good, really, to give an absolutely clear answer. But that this was needed. So they enclosed the result of the consequences into their reasoning: if they claimed that Anna Anderson was Anastasia, they risked that someone took the case to court again, now that there was "proof". In that case their work would be closely scrutinized by a lawyer out to destroy their results and their reputation with it. For I don't think the Romanovs would have left this statement unchallenged. If they settled on the result: Anna Anderson wasn't Anastasia, much less would happen. Anna Anderson herself was dead and buried without leaving offspring. Her supporters would not start a court case - how could they?

So I know which result (and DNA-testing under these circumstances is difficult, to say the least) I'd choose.

2. But they added another tidbit of information: Anna Anderson and Carl Maucher could well be related.
My husband again: he says he has no idea how human DNA developpes but as any human being has a different one and we seem not to head for one "DNA-mixture" in the far future that anyone shares, he believes that there could well be a sort of "regional" element to it. Meaning that the probability to find similar structures between two people is greater in a village where they intermarried for generations than on taking people from North African, comparing them with Scandinavians. And he said that 1:300 does not sound reliable, as there is always a basic fault in results, if you're able to find a match 1: 300, that doesn't make for scientific proof in his opinion.

Especially as no regional component has been thought of. The Schanzkowskis and the Romanovs were roughly from the same area - Russia and Baltic Sea-countries including Germany.
"European Caucasians" as they are called genetically have settled from the Scandinavian countries to Island in the North, and from North Afrika to Arabia in the South plus all countries in between: the whole of Europe and the European part of Russia. if you take samples from all this countries into a database, it might be 1:300 for a match, but what once you reduce the area to the places where the Romanovs and the Schanzkowskis came from?
So IMHO the chance to find the same DNA-sequences are much higher with people coming from the same geographic reagion and thus the positive identification of Anna = Franziska does not held out against the other facts that tell me that she couldn't have been one and the same: people simply cannot be at two places at the same time. That's a basic physical law noone has been able to challenge so far.

While scientific results published in papers have been challenged before and found to be lacking on closer scrutiny. Sometimes because of errors, in other cases because the wish for scientific fame was more important to the scientists than scientifical honesty. Let's just name "Dolly" as an example or "Hwang Woo-Suk" when it comes to genetics.

So my personal decision is that I won't put too much weight on the DNA-results. I have no insider knowledge, so can only try to evaluate from the outside. There are too many questions open for discussion for me: starting at the source of the samples, what happened to Kurth's third sample, the fact hat the results are very convenient for the labs involved..

So for me personally the question is still open whether Anna was Anastasia and won't be resolved because convincing DNA-testing is impossible due to a lack of samples from the deceased.
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  #491  
Old 06-23-2008, 03:00 PM
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Jo, perhaps this analysis done by a DNA expert on another forum will help:

What are the chances that Anna Anderson was Franziska Schanskowksa based on DNA?

By DaveK

Some AA proponents assert that AA’s specific mtDNA type is very common type, therefore a match between AA and FS is just by accident. However, this argument is fundamentally flawed. If so, why don’t they just show the data of someone who has same mtDNA? There are more than dozens populaiton genetics papers that you can check very easily. They can’t, because their claim is not true.

Before showing the evidence, I have to point out that the probability 1/300 reported in Peter Gill’s study in 1995 was outdated. Gill “guessed” the number from statistical average because he didn’t find AA’s mtDNA type in database available in 1995. Therefore, any unknown mtDNA in 1995 was estimated as “1/300” temporally, even if its actual probability is 1/5000 or 1/100,000 (!).

To get more accurate estimate, I checked all mtDNA (HVI) database available to me that contained 8,902 sequences of European Caucasian including US Caucasian, British, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Russian, Hungarian, Austrian, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, Ashkenazic Jewish, Belgian, Icelandic, Austrian, Bulgarian, Portuguese and so on. I also checked African and Asian population just in case. Most convenient sources are major human genetics journals such as Annals of Human Genetics and American Journal of Human Genetics (especially Annals of Human Genetics vol 67 (2003), p281 was helpful). Also computerized database were used, such as NCBI GenBank, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), and US Department of Justice FBI CODIS database.

The reason why I investigated different regions separately was to see “population structure” due to ethnic subgroup, but prevalence of Tara clan was 10 +/- 2% in all countries in Europe, which indicates there is no siginificant structure (also see Science Vol 254 p1735). I’ll discuss this issue in Question 3.

TABLE 4 (Some examples of European mtDNA (HVI) studies)
---------------------------------------------------------------------
French (total = 109)
9 person has the most common type: CRS (no mutation)
Almost all other 93 person has a unique mtDNA (does not share mtDNA each other).
No one has AA’s mtDNA (16126C, 16266T, 16294T, 16304C)
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Autstrian (total = 101)
9 person has the most common type: CRS (no mutation)
Almost all other 80 person has a unique mtDNA (does not share mtDNA each other).
No one has AA’s mtDNA
----------------------------------------------------------------------
British (total = 100)
12 person has the most common type: CRS (no mutation)
No one has AA’s mtDNA
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Russians and Ukrainians (total = 201)
22 person has the most common type: CRS (no mutation)
No one has AA’s mtDNA
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Polish (total = 436)
67 person has the most common type: CRS (no mutation)
No one has AA’s mtDNA
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
US Caucasians total = 323
61 person has the most common type: CRS (no mutation)
No one has AA’s mtDNA


In all regions, by far the most common mtDNA haplotype (HVI) is CRS (Cambridge Reference sequence). About 10% of population in any country (except US) has this sequence (almost same prevalence as AB blood type), i.e. about 65 million European has an exactly same mtDNA sequence (at HVI). There is no known reason why this specific type is so prevalent. It seems just stochastic genetic drift event. A friend of mine jokes this mtDNA type is related to “beauty phenotype” expressed in their daughters, but I don’t think it’s true. (By the way, this CRS sequence itself from a British woman whose identity kept secret for some reason since 1981. A rumor goes that it was a researcher’s wife’s mtDNA.)

However, this CRS mtDNA is an exception. Almost all other mtDNA type is rare, usually less than 1%. For example, I checked Tsarina’s mtDNA type 16111T/16357C. There was 0 in database of 8902 caucasians. Tsar’s mtDNA was also rare, 0 out of 8902. And Anna Anderson’s mtDNA had 1 in 8902 (1 found in Iceland study). therefore the random match probability is 1/8902 = 0.01%: about 30 times rarer than the original Peter Gill’s estimate (1/300).

So, can I conclude from this DNA evidence alone? Not so fast. I think many people confuse DNA’s random match probability, likelihood ratio, with Posterior Odds. To discuss if AA is FS, we have to discuss posterior odds.

Bayesian inference is the logical/mathematical framework to interpret the combined probability of independent event. Forensic science in both US and UK are always interepreted in a logical sturucture of Bayesian inference. In the court, forensic exprert are instructed by judge to testify only regarding to “DNA random match probability” or “likelihood ratio”, but what really concern jury is the posterior odds. Here I try to be a jury rather than a DNA expert.

O (posterior) = O (prior) * DNA likelihood ratio

Roughly speaking, if two person’s sex, age, physical feature including height, hair color, face feature, prior odds are 1:10. Considering FS has been missing at almost exactly same time at same geological area as AA appeared, even conservative odds brings this to 1:100. DNA random probability is a simply inverse of likelihood ratio in this case, so my calculation shows:

O (posterior) = 1/100 x 1/9000 = 1/900,000 (that is to say, probability that AA is FS is 99.9999%)

As “reasonable doubt” is generally considered O(posterior)(threshold)
=1/10,000, it is reasonable to accept hypothesis that “AA is FS”.

Therefore, with overwhelming evidential support and lack of alternative scenario, I support the hypothesis that AA= FS.

Anna Anderson was FS = 99.9999%
Anna Anderson was Anastasia = 0.00000000 (add 80 of zero here)0001% *
FS was murdered by Grossmann = 0.00001%
FS was murdered by other murders = 0.00002%
FS was killed by accident = 0.00002%
FS was living peacefully under other pseudonym = 0.00004%
FS was kidnapped by foreign intelligence agency such as KGB = 0.00001%
FS didn’t exist from beginning, she was a fiction by her family= 0.000001%

Anna Anderson was Franzkiska Schanzkowska = 99.9999%
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  #492  
Old 06-23-2008, 03:01 PM
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And on the subject of 'the tests are now outdated/invalid' here's proof that's incorrect, too



But aren't the 1994 tests now outdated? Don't they need to retest using the newer 23 point testing?

Not in the case of mtDNA, or the Anna Anderson tests.
Perhaps this explaination will help.

For example (this is going to be extremely oversimplified, but ok for our purposes). Here are two sequences:


ACTGGGTAACGTAAGGTC
AGTAAGCCACTATACGCC


So we are comparing them to see if the two match. Normally you won't compare the entire sequence but just part of it...

So if we look at random loci (positions) then there is a chance we may get a false positive if we don't look at enough of them... Like this:

ACTGGGTAACGTAAGGTC
AGTAAGCCACTATACGCC


So even though these specific loci match, the sequence doesn't. Statistically speaking, the more loci you compare the more accurate the result will be, because in this case, if you did one more, there would be a mismatch and we would have our answer.

However, with mismatch, it's a different story once there is a mismatch, even of one base. So if you look at the same sequence but compare more loci and get one mismatch, it's a mismatch, period. There is no way you can a false mismatch... Like this:

ACTGGGTAACGTAAGGTC
AGTAAGCCACTATACGCC


And once there is a mismatch, even ONE mismatch, all bets are off.

To be clear. Whether one looks at 13 or 23 loci, ONE mismatch is an exclusion for mtDNA. The case of Anna Manahan had FIVE mismatches to the Victoria line of descent. There were NO mismatches for the Karl Maucher mtDNA. IF one examines 23 loci, the same five mis-matches will STILL be there. This is the reason that every single specialist in forensic mtDNA analysis says there is no reason to re test the Anna manahan samples.
Yes the entire genome is vast, BUT every single human being shares the exact same sequences over 99.5% of the genome. The actual amount of variation is rather small, and occurs in what is called "junk DNA". Only certain strings of junk DNA will match with close blood relations. HOWEVER, only two or three max. mis matches will exclude relationship 100% no doubt. THIS is why those claiming the mtDNA of Anna Anderson should be retested or is "unrealiable" are simply ignorant, misguided or deliberately avoiding the reality.

Thank you for sitting through science class! The hypothesis has been proven, the conclusion is evident.

Anna Anderson was Franzkiska Schanzkowska = 99.9999%
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  #493  
Old 06-23-2008, 03:39 PM
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Ah, my dear, you want to function on facts and logic. That will never satisfy those that want to function on myths and conspiracy. Some who have made money selling books about these "inaccuracies". Thank you for your clear and documented study.
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  #494  
Old 06-23-2008, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by COUNTESS View Post
Ah, my dear, you want to function on facts and logic. That will never satisfy those that want to function on myths and conspiracy. Some who have made money selling books about these "inaccuracies". Thank you for your clear and documented study.
Exactly my thoughts. Science against myth, the "mythologists" will never accept scientific evidence......
As far as I am concerned I am very grateful for such a clear explanation of how FS is AA.
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  #495  
Old 06-23-2008, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Jo of Palatine View Post

1. The DNA and three labs with identical results:
My "database" of what I'm writing here is a long talk I had with my husband , who is a research scientist about publications of results. He claims after having published virtually hundreds of conference papers but so far only 5 journal papers, that a publication in a journal that is peer revised is a high goal and a big success if you're into research. He has himself worked as a reviewer in his field of research, so knows the criteria of acceptance: to be accepted with a paper at a journal you need: real good news about research or a topic that mightily interests readers because of something uncommon in it. Plus you need to have something decisive in your work: "maybe" does not qualify as content of a journal paper.
I don't know what field of research your husband works in, but my husband is a researcher in solar physics with quite a few more than five journal papers to his credit (as was my father), and I worked as an editor in the journals department of a major life sciences association for over 20 years and read probably thousands of research papers in the process of editing them (to say nothing of having done research for my PhD and published a paper in a peer-reviewed journal), and from both our experiences I'd say that "maybe" does qualify as content. In fact it can be an important result. Now, for a journal like Nature, where they're looking for high-profile results, they can be more selective and not accept papers which don't give really interesting answers, but they still aren't in the business - as far as I know, anyway - of encouraging people to submit papers whose conclusions are sensational at the expense of being correct. It reflects very badly on a journal to publish fraudulent results on a regular basis. I know it's happened a few times that Nature has published high-profile work that's had to be retracted after either genuine mistakes or falsification has been shown to have occurred, but it's a very small proportion of the work published in that journal over the course of a year. To extrapolate from those few cases to saying that anything published in Nature is suspect is, IMO, inappropriate.

Quote:
So there we have an interesting topic to begin with: is Anna Anderson Anastasia? We have scientific research to publish about but to get a journal publication you need: results. So it was clear IMHO to the scientists that if they wanted to have a journal paper, they needed results.
In this case, "inconclusive" wouldn't have cut it as far as Nature was concerned. However, either "yes" or "no" would have been equally interesting. Nature published a paper by more or less the same people claiming that they had found the burial place of the imperial family, a result far more likely to be challenged than one saying they hadn't.

Quote:
My husband said that in such a case even if more than one research institute is involved, the different groups of scientists will work together normally to peer assess their work and to eleminate faults. They probably won't work against each other or keep their results secret.
They don't have to work against each other in this case since one of the labs was testing a different sample from the other two. If the hair sample had come from a different person and had given different results in the analysis, then they're committing criminal fraud by saying in writing that it gave the same results. Do you really think that's likely? If so, do you have a basis for that conclusion? If something like this can be shown, it would be a career-ending event for whichever scientists had falsified their result.


Quote:
My husband said that of course it's a bit different when it comes to proof for a court of law (even though not always) but if it was a privately financed investigation than scientists would work together to give their client the best result possible - and themselves the opportunity to be recognized in their own field of research with a paper that from its topic attracts attention.
And if that involved falsifying results, that would be the end of their careers if it was ever found out - which it very probably would be, given the high profile of the case. I mean, either these nucleotides were the same or they weren't; there isn't a lot of room for interpretation.

I'm still not clear why you think - which you fairly obviously do - that this sort of highly unethical and downright criminal behaviour would be more likely than the notion that their results were in fact what they said they were. I mean - I'm sorry, but this has some strong overtones of the creationist "evolutionists are all in a conspiracy to falsify their results because they hate God" apologetics, which is based squarely on emotional needs and not on objective evidence.


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2. But they added another tidbit of information: Anna Anderson and Carl Maucher could well be related.
My husband again: he says he has no idea how human DNA developpes but as any human being has a different one and we seem not to head for one "DNA-mixture" in the far future that anyone shares, he believes that there could well be a sort of "regional" element to it. Meaning that the probability to find similar structures between two people is greater in a village where they intermarried for generations than on taking people from North African, comparing them with Scandinavians. And he said that 1:300 does not sound reliable, as there is always a basic fault in results, if you're able to find a match 1: 300, that doesn't make for scientific proof in his opinion.
Which is why the scientists said that it was very likely that she was related to Carl Maucher, not that she definitely was. They said in their paper, and Dr Stoneking said to me, that the notion that she wasn't related to Prince Philip is virtually certain; the notion that she was related to Carl Maucher is highly likely but a lot less certain.

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Especially as no regional component has been thought of. The Schanzkowskis and the Romanovs were roughly from the same area - Russia and Baltic Sea-countries including Germany.
Doesn't sound to me, from reading the paper, that the regional component had been ignored. They knew at the time that the DNA type wasn't common; perhaps things have changed in the meantime and the odds of her being related to Carl Maucher have changed. However, nothing about that is going to change the fact that her DNA didn't match Prince Philip's.


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While scientific results published in papers have been challenged before and found to be lacking on closer scrutiny. Sometimes because of errors, in other cases because the wish for scientific fame was more important to the scientists than scientifical honesty. Let's just name "Dolly" as an example or "Hwang Woo-Suk" when it comes to genetics.
And how many thousands of honest researchers are there to set against a handful of dishonest ones? This, again, sounds like the creationist argument that, look at the Piltdown Man hoax, so clearly everything ever done by any scientist in evolutionary biology is wrong because scientists obviously have an agenda that's more important than their science. It's inductive reasoning run wild, to say nothing of attempting to smear someone's professional reputation by association. It also seems to have a strong element of projection; creationists aren't interested in scientific data - they Know The Truth, and therefore they believe that scientists aren't interested in scientific data either but are just out to prove that The Truth is wrong. If you don't have actual reason to believe that Drs Gill and Stoneking are falsifying their data, what does Hwang Woo-Suk have to do with it? Yes, there are some dishonest people in the sciences just like everywhere else. The scientific method, however, has some built-in checks and balances to identify incorrect work, so mistakes and falsifications are usually caught. So far the results in the Anna Anderson tests don't seem to have been successfully challenged, at least on a scientific basis. Most of the challenges have been pretty much what you're doing - trying to discredit the scientists by questioning their motivation or their honesty, without, as far as I can tell, much basis other than wishful thinking.

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So my personal decision is that I won't put too much weight on the DNA-results. I have no insider knowledge, so can only try to evaluate from the outside. There are too many questions open for discussion for me: starting at the source of the samples, what happened to Kurth's third sample, the fact hat the results are very convenient for the labs involved..
Well, from my perspective of having been around scientists for my whole life is that I'd prefer not to throw accusations of misconduct and fraud around without some actual evidence. In my experience, people who don't like a scientific result are very fast to point the finger at the scientists concerned whereas they're quite happy to accept the honesty and competence of scientists who come up with results that they do like. My husband has been on the receiving end of some of this stuff because he works in the area of solar physics and climate change, so we both know what it feels like to be on the receiving end of casual accusations of fraud and misconduct just because someone doesn't like your results, and I don't care for it under any circumstances. I think the least a person can do is to steer clear of accusations - or even sly innuendo - of misconduct, fraud, incompetence, or anything along those lines without some actual evidence thereof. In this case, considering how badly some people need to believe that Anna Anderson was Anastasia, I'm sure there have been attempts to discredit the work. That they haven't succeeded should tell you something.
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  #496  
Old 06-24-2008, 01:58 AM
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Elspeth
Quote:

However, nothing about that is going to change the fact that her DNA didn't match Prince Philip's.
Very interesting reading, for me, this is the crux of the matter. I must say I really couldn´t care less if FS is AA or not, or if AA was related to everyone in her region, the important part is "Is she related to Archduchess Anastasia, or for that matter anyone of the IF?" Obviously it has been proved she isn´t.
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  #497  
Old 06-24-2008, 03:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
I don't know what field of research your husband works in, but my husband is a researcher in solar physics with quite a few more than five journal papers to his credit (as was my father),
I don't think the numbers of journal papers is important here as there are different fields of research with a different grade of newsworthyness. But to state it clearly, I never doubted the fact that you know what you are talking about.

Quote:
They don't have to work against each other in this case since one of the labs was testing a different sample from the other two. If the hair sample had come from a different person and had given different results in the analysis, then they're committing criminal fraud by saying in writing that it gave the same results. Do you really think that's likely? If so, do you have a basis for that conclusion? If something like this can be shown, it would be a career-ending event for whichever scientists had fudged their result.
I was not accusing the scientists of any wrong-doing. I was just trying to evaluate the possibilities and one possibility is that the scientists reached non-satisfying results and decided to do something about it. They in all probability didn't do it but they could have done so, they had a motive and thus I won't reject the possibility outright. You from your personal point of view have a different view and that's ok, but as I pointed out, scientific fraud is something which happens more often than one likes to think and there is no 100% change that it didn't happen here. I personally believe that in a high-profile case like that, the scientists have to live with it and normally cope with it in a cool and professional way. It's not an initial suspicion in a juridical sense, it's just a possibility.

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And if that involved falsifying results, that would be the end of their careers if it was ever found out - which it very probably would be, given the high profile of the case. I mean, either these nucleotides were the same or they weren't; there isn't a lot of room for interpretation.
No risk, no high-profile career. And again: I don't accuse the scientists of anything. But with the result of "No" in the question of identity and the fact that no other samples would be forthcoming, the result is much more convenient considering the circumstances than a "Yes". That's a fact. I don't know why you want to read an accusation into this fact. And why you seem to take exception at the mere mentioning that scientific mistakes exist. This is not a black and white world. Not even when it comes to genetics.

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I'm still not clear why you think - which you fairly obviously do - that this sort of highly unethical and downright criminal behaviour would be more likely than the notion that their results were in fact what they said they were.
But I'm not thinking that. But I put into my very own consideration of the case as a whole the fact that there is no 100% security that the results in fact were what they said they were.

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And how many thousands of honest researchers are there to set against a handful of dishonest ones?
As I said: as a trained lawyer I'm simply not willing to see a case with so many questions simply in black & white. And apart from your personal experience of your husband who as you said had some of his results challenged I don't see why you should do that either. Of course I see the DNA-results as very important, but my personal view on them is that they don't completely outweight all other arguments of the other side. Why do you have a problem with that?

Quote:

Most of the challenges have been pretty much what you're doing - trying to discredit the scientists by questioning their motivation or their honesty, without, as far as I can tell, much basis other than wishful thinking.
As I said: I didn't try to discredit the scientists. Does any judge who askes for two expertises in a disputed case challenge the scientists or is it only that he wants to make sure to get reliable information? But somehow I take exception at your view that the closer view I tried to take on the DNA-results is based in my wishful thinking of being able to discredit them.
And I have still more questions: why did they take the DNA of the duke of Edinburgh and not the DNA of a female relation?
I would have thought that the duke with the somehow nasty rumours based on his former daughter-in-laws sexual conduct would do anything but spreading his DNA around to commercial labs as it can't be impossible to obtain samples of his grandson who's serving actively as officer....

Who was financing the DNA-check on Anna Anderson? Who searched for the samples? etc. Lots of questions which have not been satisfactorily answered.

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In this case, considering how badly some people need to believe that Anna Anderson was Anastasia, I'm sure there have been attempts to discredit the work. That they haven't succeeded should tell you something.
Yes, it tells me something. But as I simply don't know how the results could have been challenged successfully when there are no more samples of Anna Anderson around and all those concerned were aware of that fact, I don't see this as 100% convincing.

I do understand that for many, many people these DNA-results are convincing enough so they forget about all the other open questions of this intriguing mystery. For example why DNA-results give an estimated 99,9% probability that one person was another when both were accounted for at the same time at a different place. For me the most plausible solution is that here the small but existing fault comes into play. And arguing with this 99,9 something plausibility does not make it into a 100% plausibility when there is other evidence which points to it that this was the rare fault which comes into play.

As I have said before, I'm not convinced at all that Anna Anderson was Anastasia and I'm convinced that we won't ever find out. It would be different if Anna Anderson or offspring was still alive, could be properly tested and these samples checked against properly obtained samples from maternal relatives. In this case I would be convinced one way or the other. But this won't happen and so there is room for doubt. Maybe they will find Anastasia's skeleton and prove without a doubt that it's her. We'll see.

But: all people claiming that Anna Anderson was not Anastasia or vice versa are basing their conviction on belief as well, on belief in science, in probabilities, in their Russian-Orthodox priest, in whatever. They all as well as me don't know for sure. That's all I wanted to discuss here, nothing else.
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  #498  
Old 06-24-2008, 05:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Jo of Palatine View Post
... why did they take the DNA of the duke of Edinburgh and not the DNA of a female relation?
I would have thought that the duke with the somehow nasty rumours based on his former daughter-in-laws sexual conduct would do anything but spreading his DNA around to commercial labs as it can't be impossible to obtain samples of his grandson who's serving actively as officer....
Wow! Now Diana's sexual behaviour and Prince Harry's paternity have been introduced into the Anastasia-Anna Anderson debate! Way to go!
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  #499  
Old 06-24-2008, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anna was Franziska View Post
Jo, perhaps this analysis done by a DNA expert on another forum will help:
What are the chances that Anna Anderson was Franziska Schanskowksa based on DNA?
By DaveK
Just who is this "DNA expert"?
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  #500  
Old 06-24-2008, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Jo of Palatine View Post
I was not accusing the scientists of any wrong-doing. I was just trying to evaluate the possibilities and one possibility is that the scientists reached non-satisfying results and decided to do something about it.
But wouldn't that 'something' be falsifying?
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They in all probability didn't do it but they could have done so, they had a motive and thus I won't reject the possibility outright
What is the motive? This I have never understood.
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Of course I see the DNA-results as very important, but my personal view on them is that they don't completely outweight all other arguments of the other side. Why do you have a problem with that?
I cannot speak for her or any others, but for me the problem is that once we have DNA results proving she isn't Anastasia, nothing else on the other side matters because we now know there has to be logical explanations for it all. The problem remains that if you are still clinging to things other than DNA you do not believe the DNA and believe wrongdoing occured in the testing.
Quote:
And I have still more questions: why did they take the DNA of the duke of Edinburgh and not the DNA of a female relation?
It doesn't matter at all if the person was male or female as long as they have the same mtDNA as Queen Victoria. A son can inherit his mother's mtDNA, he just won't pass it onto his children. Therefore there is no reason that Prince Phillip and Carl Maucher who are sons from the direct female lines of their families should not be used.
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I do understand that for many, many people these DNA-results are convincing enough so they forget about all the other open questions of this intriguing mystery. For example why DNA-results give an estimated 99,9% probability that one person was another when both were accounted for at the same time at a different place.
Where do you get this information, it is not true.
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in their Russian-Orthodox priest, in whatever. They all as well as me don't know for sure. That's all I wanted to discuss here, nothing else.
The Russian Orthodox priest doesn't believe that Anderson was Anastasia. The ROC has not officially accepted the 1991 remains as the family but they do believe the entire family died the night of July 16, 1918 in Ekaterinburg.
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