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Using DNA to develop a profile of phenotypic characteristics of historic period human remains

  • Kelly M. Elkins
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author.
    Affiliations
    TU Human Remains Identification Laboratory (THRIL), Chemistry Department, Forensic Science Program, Towson University, 8000 York Rd., Towson, MD 21252, USA
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  • Dana D. Kollmann
    Affiliations
    Archaeology and Forensic Science Laboratory (AFSL), Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice, Towson University, 8000 York Road, Towson, MD 21252, USA
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  • Paige Bowie
    Affiliations
    TU Human Remains Identification Laboratory (THRIL), Chemistry Department, Forensic Science Program, Towson University, 8000 York Rd., Towson, MD 21252, USA
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  • Tess Chart
    Affiliations
    TU Human Remains Identification Laboratory (THRIL), Chemistry Department, Forensic Science Program, Towson University, 8000 York Rd., Towson, MD 21252, USA
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  • Karissa K. Gorr
    Affiliations
    TU Human Remains Identification Laboratory (THRIL), Chemistry Department, Forensic Science Program, Towson University, 8000 York Rd., Towson, MD 21252, USA

    Archaeology and Forensic Science Laboratory (AFSL), Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice, Towson University, 8000 York Road, Towson, MD 21252, USA
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  • Brianna Hutson
    Affiliations
    TU Human Remains Identification Laboratory (THRIL), Chemistry Department, Forensic Science Program, Towson University, 8000 York Rd., Towson, MD 21252, USA
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  • Brianna D. Kiesel
    Affiliations
    TU Human Remains Identification Laboratory (THRIL), Chemistry Department, Forensic Science Program, Towson University, 8000 York Rd., Towson, MD 21252, USA
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  • Adam Klavens
    Affiliations
    TU Human Remains Identification Laboratory (THRIL), Chemistry Department, Forensic Science Program, Towson University, 8000 York Rd., Towson, MD 21252, USA
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  • Cynthia B. Zeller
    Affiliations
    TU Human Remains Identification Laboratory (THRIL), Chemistry Department, Forensic Science Program, Towson University, 8000 York Rd., Towson, MD 21252, USA
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Published:October 25, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fsigss.2022.10.066

      Abstract

      Massively parallel sequencing (MPS) is a powerful tool to uncover relationships and features of individuals from human skeletal remains. In this study, we employed the Verogen ForenSeq Signature Prep Kit STR and SNP panel MPS on a MiSeq FGx instrument to develop a phenotypic profile and ancestry predictions of historic period human remains from two locations in Maryland and Virginia, USA. Externally visible characteristics (EVCs) and human identity markers applied to familial relationships can be used to augment the bioarcheological findings. Of fifteen historic period human remains we tested in this preliminary study, tooth, temporal bone, and femur and tibia long bone DNA led to biogeographical ancestry predictions. Phenotype predictions of eye color, hair color and skin tone were developed from DNA extracted from a tooth, temporal bone, fibula, and femur using the Verogen Universal Analysis Software and Erasmus HIrisPlex-S.

      Keywords

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