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Old 03-01-2008, 09:18 AM
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Identification of the Remains of the Romanov Family by DNA Analysis (Gill 94) (1994)

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Identification of the Remains of the Romanov Family by DNA Analysis

Peter Gill, Pavel L. Ivanov, Colin Kimpton, Romelle Piercy, Nicola Benxon, Gillian Tully, Ian Evett, Erika Hagelberg, and Kevin Sullivan

Nat Genet 6:130-135, 1994


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Recently the TRF staff were able to read this report on the identification of the lost Romanovs. The purpose of this thread is to discuss the scientific report covering the testing of the remains that were later identified as that of the murdered family of the Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra of Russia.

Readers who would like to read the report for themselves should follow this link. The report is available and costs $18 to subscribers of

Because the contents of this report are not so easily accessible to the general public as other literature, we decided to provide for our readers a short summary of the main points in the report.

Be warned however, that as laymen, we cannot vouch for the accuracy of the report. We can only read the report as layman and provide a summary of the main points in the article for benefit of our readers who may not have read the report. We can note however that the presence of the findings in a peer-reviewed scientific journal does add a generally accepted level of reliability in the report's findings however the fact that a paper has been peer-reviewed and printed in a journal does not guarantee that the report is 100% accurate.

Of course being layman, there may be errors in our summary. Again, this summary is only provided as a courtesy to our readers and should not be taken as evidence in and of itself. Only the original report can do that.

If any member finds errors in this summary, please inform one of the Russian moderators and we will review and revise.

If you have access to the original report, you may quote up to 20% of the original report here at TRF. Because this is a copyrighted work, do not quote more than 20% of the report.

If you would like to refute part or all of this report, it would be helpful to the layperson if you compare apples to apples and cite another peer-reviewed scientific report as your evidence. It would also be helpful if you provide a link and a synopsis of the report as we are doing here for this report.

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Old 03-18-2008, 10:14 PM
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  • Prior to their deaths, the Russian Imperial family were held captive by the Bolsheviks at in Ipatiev House at Ekaterinberg.
  • It is generally believed that the family, three of their servants and the family doctor, Eugeny Botkin were killed in the basement of the house by the Bolsheviks shortly after the night of July 16, 1918. It was alleged that some victims were stabbed, the bodies stripped and placed on a truck with the intention of disposing them down a mine shaft. However, it was believed that a truck developed a mechanical fault and the family and the victims were placed into a pit in the road, sulfuric acid was thrown into the open grave and once the grave was covered, a truck was driven back and forth to flatten the area.
  • Forensic evidences produced in 1918-19 by Nikolai Sokolov forms the historical basis for the fate of the Russian Imperial Family and it supported the above theory; however, the theory has never been positively verified.
  • Two amateur investigators announced they had found a communal grave 20 miles from Ekatinerburg and the Russian government authorized an investigation by the Chief Forensic Medical Examiner at the Russian Federation.
  • Nine skeletons were found in a shallow grave less than 1 meter deep.
  • All the skeletons showed evidence of violent treatment before death; the skulls were so badly damaged that conventional facial identification techniques were difficult; some skulls had bullet wounds, and bayonet marks were also found.
  • Russian experts carried out the computer-aided facial reconstruction, odontology, age estimation, and sexing of the remains.
  • Some of the skulls had dental work including gold and platinum fillings, indicating that they were aristocrats.
  • Sex testing using the amelogenin gene indicated that there were four male and five female bodies; three skeletons were immature and six were adult.
  • Short tandem repeat DNA testing gave results consistent with five of the skeletons, the three immature ones and two of the adults, being from the same family; however, the identity of the family could not be determined by this technique.
  • mtDNA analysis showed that the female adult thought to be the mother and the three children had identical sequences, which matched the sequence from a blood sample provided by Prince Philip, a female-line relative of the Tsarina.
  • The mtDNA sequence of the skeleton thought to be the Tsar was compared with sequences from to female-line relatives of the Tsar and found to be a close match, with the exception of heteroplasmy at one position in the sequence.
  • Two years after this study was performed, an mtDNA sample was obtained from Grand Duke George, a brother of the Tsar, and found to also contain heteroplasmy.
In 2004 these results were challenged by a group at Stanford, who compared the mtDNA sequence of the putative Tsarina with the mtDNA sequence obtained from a finger believed to be that of Grand Duchess Elisabeth, the Tsarina's sister, and did not find that the sequences matched. The mtDNA sequence from Grand Duchess Elisabeth was not compared with the sample from Prince Philip. The Stanford group also alleges that some of the DNA sequences extracted in the 1994 study were too long to be from ancient DNA and must have been the result of contamination. The Gill team stand by their results, and accusations of political motivations on both sides are still being made.
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Old 03-23-2008, 07:11 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Los Angeles, United States
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Shay McNeal states in her book, "The Plots to rescue the Tsar", that only a tenuous match at one point in the DNA chain gave the same results as a sample from Prince Philip. The tenuous results were presented to the press as a match. Both the British Home Office's Forensic Science Service and the United States Armed Forces DNA identification Laboratory have consistently refused to release their full case file to the members of the Russian Expert Commission Abroad, so that the Commission can release the full case file for independent peer review and the legal procedure of discovery by a truly independent body. Given that the scientific community has been denied the opportunity to analyse the Romanov raw test data, it seems very likely that a judge would throw the 'irrefutable proof' out of court.

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Old 03-23-2008, 08:54 PM
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Location: Belleville, United States
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So the Gill results are a best speculative without the complete report being submitted for peer review. One must wonder why, after all these years, that hasn't been done. I wonder if anyone has ever asked Melton about that???
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dna, ekaterinburg, gill, imperial family, peter gill, romanov remains

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