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Archive for the ‘Family Reconstruction’ Category

Did Hitler Have A Son?

posted by DNA Identifiers @ 2:08 PM
Tuesday, March 26, 2013

New evidence emerged in February of 2012 to support the controversial claim that Hitler had a son with a French teenager.

The man, Jean-Marie Loret, who claimed to be the Hitler’s son back in 1981 in his autobiography titled “Your Father’s Name Was Hitler.” Died four years later, at the age of 67, having never been able to prove his family line. Loret’s Paris lawyer, François Gibault, told a French magazine that a number of photographs and documents can now support the claim of paternity to Hitler, as well as how Loret discovered his heritage.

Jean-Marie Loret was born in March, 1918. He grew up knowing nothing about his father, only that his mother, Charlotte Lobjoie, had given him away for adoption to a family with the name Loret. It wasn’t until the early 1950s, just before his biological mother’s death, that she told him her secret – that at 16 year of age she had a brief affair with Adolf Hitler and he was conceived after what she claimed was a “tipsy” evening in June 1917.

Charlotte Lobjoie told Jean-Marie Loret “I was cutting hay with other women, when we saw a German soldier on the other side of the street. He had a sketch pad and seemed to be drawing. All the women found this soldier interesting and wanted to know what he was drawing. They picked me to try to approach him,” she said. They started a brief relationship, and the following year Jean-Marie was born.

“On the rare occasions your father was around, he liked to take me for walks in the countryside. But these walks usually ended badly. Your father, inspired by nature, launched into speeches I did not really understand,” Miss Lobjoie said. She recalled that Loret’s father did not speak French “but solely ranted in German, talking to an imaginary audience.”

The new evidence included official Wehrmacht, documents which show that officers brought envelopes of cash to Lobjoie during the German occupation of France. In addition paintings signed “Adolf Hitler” were discovered in Miss Lobjoie’s attic, including a picture of a woman painted by Hitler which according to Le Point magazine, “looked exactly like Loret’s mother.”

In what he called a “manic effort” to prove or disprove his mother’s claim, Loret used the services of  geneticists, handwriting experts and historians. In an effort to share his discovery and the journey that followed, Loret wrote a book titled “Your Father’s Name Was Hitler,”.

Loret’s lawyer, Gibault, states that Loret’s children could claim royalties from Hitler’s Mein Kampf based on this evidence.

 

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Paternity Testing A Holy Man: Cardinal Franc Rode

posted by DNA Identifiers @ 3:24 PM
Friday, October 5, 2012

October 3, 2012

According to the Vatican Insider, a news website, a DNA test has cleared an accused Cardinal, Franc Rode, of fathering a child by the name of Peter S., who is a 42 year old German citizen. The German man claimed that he was born out of a relationship between his mother, Tanja Breda, and the Cardinal who, at the time, was a young priest and professor on the faculty for Theology in Ljubljana.

According to Wikipedia, “Franc Rode is a Slovenian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He is the prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, having served as prefect from 2004 to 2011. He was elevated to the cardinalate in 2006.

This Cardinal Deacon has emphatically denied these claims and, after speaking with his alleged son, he agreed to take a paternity test to prove that he was not the father. The DNA test was conducted at the Munich University Institute of Legal Medicine and it was confirmed that the DNA paternity test results between the two men were, in fact, negative. It has been reported that upon learning the results of the test the Cardinal made two public statements:

1) “I am glad that the results are those I expected at the start. Defamation of this kind isolates a man in his pain.”

2) “After all they’ve done to me they deserve this…”, in which he is referring to proposed lawsuits against the media for alleged breaches of his right to privacy.

While the paternity test did disprove fatherhood, one must wonder why a woman would name a holy man as the father of her child. Only the mother and the Cardinal know what really happened between them, if anything, 43 years prior.

Sitting Cardinal Franc Rode

Author: Meagan Thompson
(Photo courtesy of Facebook.com)

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Pearl Harbor: DNA Testing Brings Hope To Missing Soldiers’ Families

posted by DNA Identifiers @ 2:57 PM
Tuesday, July 31, 2012

On December 7, 1941 the Japanese struck Pearl Harbor in a surprise attack that decimated the US Pacific Fleet. Of the ships that were attacked few sank as fast or as completely as the Oklahoma, which listed and capsized within minutes after a rapid series of direct torpedo strikes.

Survivors from the Oklahoma described a surreal scene below deck of sloshing water and fuel oil, men trying to climb from the darkness through hatches, beating their way out with tools. Hundreds remained trapped in interior compartments. Of the dead on the Oklahoma, 36 were easily recovered and identified. The remainder were not able to be identified and were interred in communal caskets.

Approximately 74,000 soldiers from World War II still remain unaccounted for. About one-quarter of those are considered recoverable by the military’s Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, the Hawaii organization that has relied on scientific and geopolitical changes to identify more than 600 long-lost MIAs since 2003.

The Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command’s military and civilian teams have tracked down aircraft wrecks and burial sites in remote locations, exhumed remains, and analyzed bone fragments and bits of material at the world’s largest forensic anthropology lab. They work with casualty offices from each branch to find survivors and collect DNA samples for matching. For each name, the military tries to locate at least two relatives who share a long-lasting form of DNA passed along maternal lines.

In Hawaii, Greg Berg, the forensic anthropologist who manages the joint command’s Central Identification Laboratory, cautions that the work to identify remains could take years, the process he warns is complicated by commingling of remains which is far more extensive than expected. Only five people have been definitively identified since 2003.

Still, “the commingling problems are not insurmountable, and [we are] confident in our abilities to eventually bring about case resolution,’’ Berg said by e-mail.

For more see: Boston Globe

If you enjoyed this story you might also enjoy: Dog Tages Out DNA Profiles In‪ ‬

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Dog Tags Out, DNA Profiles In

posted by DNA Identifiers @ 12:52 PM
Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I just came across an article distributed by the New Zealand Herald announcing the above topic. This brought my thinking to the use of DNA Profiling in general.

Dog Tags give way to DNA – 5:00AM Thursday November 01, 2007

CANBERRA – The DNA of all serving defence force personnel will from next year be stored to help identification of remains.

The Australian Defence Force decision follows a review of operating procedures and operational experience in Iraq and Afghanistan. Traditionally, soldiers have been identified by dog tags – discs inscribed with name, service number and religion – worn around the neck.

Although it sounds like a grim, possibly invasive, practice, using DNA in place of dog tags to identify the remains of soldiers is, in fact, very wise. Many different issues can arise with tags worn around the neck: they can be stolen, lost, destroyed, or held on to by another solider, to name a few.

The practice of DNA Profiling and Banking is elected by many companies that send employees or contractors to war zones. A sample of that person’s DNA is collected in the case of emergency. Should there be an incident, both the company and the family can have peace of mind. Quickly. So, why not utilize the same technology for soldiers who are on the front lines?

The same goes for cases involving human remains in public cases, such as in the search for a missing or abducted child, family members (parents, siblings or children) have to give a personal sample to be matched to remains found in the accident or murder. The amount of time between the incident/crime scene collection, family collection and laboratory screening for a match can be agonizing. Especially when using State and County Forensics labs which are notorious with delayed specimen processing. All of these issues, and more, have led some protective parents to have profiles performed on their children, “just in case”.

As a matter of fact, our company, DNA Identifiers, is arranging a collection at this very moment with a client who is traveling overseas in the coming year. The client is an American Soldier currently serving in the war and he has requested a Child ID Kit and DNA Profile… “just in case”. Understandably, he, of all people, has his concerns about his child’s safety and had decided to err on the side of caution.

Creating a U.S. database with solider DNA Profiles would help cut through the waiting and possible confusion with John Does’ and missing and destroyed dog tags. At the very least, the profiles could work in conjunction with the tags, not in place of. And it is conceivable that, not accounting for a backlog of cases, a lab could have the profile matched in a 24 hour period.

So why not use this technology the same as the Australians? Based on the number of times we have asked out Congress for an increase in funds and our militaries’ struggle to keep the troops properly armored, funding for this kind of project appears to be long way down the road.

For now, my advice to any soldier or family who feels the need to have peace of mind (like our client with daughter mentioned above) – don’t wait for the government to provide this service, have a private DNA Profile performed. I know it’s a relative matter, but they are not outlandishly expensive. If you ask, who knows, you might even get a discount!

For more information about DNA Profiling and Banking visit DNA Banking

(Please note that the above views of the author, and of DNA Identifiers, do not intend to lend support to, nor oppose, the War on Terror.)

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Proving the Death of Osama Bin Laden Through DNA Testing

posted by DNA Identifiers @ 12:31 PM
Tuesday, July 31, 2012

When President Obama announced Sunday evening, May 1st,  that Osama Bin Laden had been killed in a United States military operation, many wanted physical proof that the person killed and taken into custody was in fact Mr. Osama Bin Laden.

At this time reports are confirming 3 ways the remains were identified: 1) Facial recognition software was used to match the remains with facial photos of Osama Bin Laden. 2) There was apparently a personal identification of the body by someone inside the complex (exactly who identified the remains is unclear).  3) DNA testing of the remains took place within hours of death.

DNA Testing is now fast and accurate. It no longer takes weeks but can be done in the matter of hours and has a 99.9% or better accuracy rate.  At least one question remains – who, how or what did they test to confirm that it was Osama Bin Laden?  Did they test a family member against his DNA? There is speculation that they could they have tested the purported Osama Bin Laden sample against DNA from his sister, which (according to reports) had been held at Massachusetts General Hospital after her death in Boston last year. Or did they somehow already have Osama Bin Laden’s DNA on file and test against that?

According to Dr. M. Al Salih, who works at DNA Reference Laboratory in San Antonio, TX, he is sure that the results are accurate.  “You can come up with a very solid and absolute certainty that that is him and nobody else. If you identify that individual through those markers, and you can compare and you can say, ‘They match,’ or ‘They don’t match.’” Salih went on to state that the technology is very precise and results are 99.9 percent accurate.

However, on the other side is Dr. Greg Hampikian, a biology professor at Boise State University, says if they can get DNA from one of his kids and their mother then they do a reverse paternity test to confirm his identity and he suspects that is the type of DNA testing that was done. However even with a 99.9 percent identification Hampikian says that this case is not closed. As a scientist, Hampikian says 99.9 percent does not equal a positive identification.

As is the case with most major events such as this, skeptics speculate that we have not received enough proof and conspiracy abounds. One thing is for certain, we love conspiracies and we will never really know the truth.

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DNA Tests Could Solve Mystery Death of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio

posted by DNA Identifiers @ 1:50 PM
Monday, July 30, 2012

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio Baroque master’s death is surrounded in mystery, but that mystery may soon be solved thanks to DNA testing — as long as the right body can be found.

The caused of death for this famous painter in 1610 and the whereabouts of his corpse have always been unclear.  But a team of Italian anthropologists believe that what is left of Caravaggio’s body may be hidden among dozens of bodies buried in a crypt in Tuscany, thanks to recent historical clues.

The team using CAT scans and kits for carbon dating plan to study what they believe are the painter’s exhumed remains to discover how he died.  “If we are lucky enough to find Caravaggio’s skull, we will also be able to do a reconstruction of his face, just as we did in 2007 for Dante Alighieri,” Silvano Vinceti, head of the National Committee for Cultural Heritage, told Reuters.

The only images of the artist available until now have been self-portraits.  Scholars have put forward many theories about Caravaggio’s death. The most popular are that the painter was assassinated for religious reasons or collapsed with malaria on a deserted Tuscan beach.

However, in 2001 an Italian researcher claimed to have found the painter’s death certificate, which allegedly proved that he died in hospital.  “This historical document shows Caravaggio did not die alone on the beach but after three days in hospital, which means the body must have been buried in the San Sebastiano cemetery,” said Vinceti, referring to a Tuscan town near the city of Grosseto.

But in 1956, bodies buried at the tiny San Sebastiano graveyard were moved to a nearby town, Porto Ercole, and scholars hope that the remains of Caravaggio will be among them.

The team from the departments of Anthropology and Cultural Heritage Conservation at the universities of Ravenna and Bologna will have to examine the bones of between 30 and 40 people, selecting those that belong to young men who died at the beginning of the 17th century, to try and identify the painters remains.

“We will check the DNA extracted from the bones and teeth of possible matches against that of the painter’s male descendants,” Professor Giorgio Gruppioni, who will head the team, told Reuters.  “Sadly Caravaggio died childless,” said Gruppioni, “but his siblings had children whose relatives are still living in the northern Italian town that carries his name.”

Caravaggio, who pioneered the Baroque painting technique of contrasting light and dark known as chiaroscuro, is famed for his wild life. Legend has it that he was on his way to Rome to seek pardon for killing a man in a brawl when he died.

Based on the article by Ella Ide: DNA tests could solve mystery of Caravaggio’s death

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The Importance Of DNA In Estate Planning

posted by DNA Identifiers @ 11:35 AM
Friday, July 27, 2012

Regardless of net worth, it is important for all individuals to have a basic estate plan in place.  This can be done with a family attorney or there are many online legal aid sites that can assist you in creating the proper document. Most often the biological children of deceased individuals have inheritance rights, DNA is being used more and more when estates are in question.

In some cases, previously unknown children can appear to claim part of the estate. Or, a greedy or unhappy family members may claim that a beneficiary is not a biological descendant of the deceased person. Depending on the timing of the claim, defending this claim could require exhumation or testing of autopsy specimens, neither of which is a pleasant process and which can be an expensive process.

DNA has emerged as a common tool in modern human identification and has magnificent and unparalleled applications in modern society. The best defense is a strong offense. In many cases proper legal registration of your DNA profile with your estate planner or attorney will help ensure legal and rightful administration of your estate, should the need arise.

The DNA relationship testing market has been growing steadily over the last twenty years.  Prices are decreasing and the easy of testing is increasing. Today, it is projected that the annual number of persons that will participate in some type of paternity or extended relationship test will exceed 1 million. In sharp contrast, it is estimated that less than 200,000 persons were tested in 1988. The increased demand for DNA testing has been fueled by greater public awareness of the power of DNA and the affordability and easy access to testing.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 2007 was a record year for births in the United States, there were 4,315,000 recorded births. Experts think that the increase has to do with a range of factors, including immigrants having more children, professional women delaying pregnancy until their 40s and a larger population of women in their 20s and 30s. These factors, coupled with the fact that 38.5% of all U.S. births in 2006 were from unwed mothers translates into an increasing need for education of families about the importance of knowing ones biological parents.

About DNA

DNA is the map of life and defines the essence of our individuality. Despite the size of the human genome, over 3.2 billion genetic markers, 99.9% of the DNA in all unrelated people in the world is identical. Thus, the vast differences observed in the human race are created from the minute differences in only 0.1% of DNA. An individual’s DNA can contain valuable information to help the lives of present and future generations. Locked in our DNA code are the secrets of our ancestry and medical conditions that scientists are only now beginning to understand.

PATERNITY

It is natural for families to want to know who the biological father of their baby is. Nationwide, approximately 30% of tested men are excluded as the biological father.  That means that 3 out of 10 test comes back as a negative result for paternity. A child has the right to the sense of identity that comes from knowing who both biological parents are. Knowledge of a child’s biological heritage is also very important in understanding future possible health risks. In addition, determining paternity gives a child legal right to receive financial support from the father and to inherit from the father.  This is the same if the mother is unknown.  In an era when adoption is a popular option it is important to remember that more and more people do not know either biological parent.

RELATIONSHIP TESTING

Relationship DNA testing can determine if a long lost brother or sister, grandparent, aunt or uncle is truly related to the family in question. DNA testing can also reveal if twins are identical or fraternal. Modern DNA testing can provide answers for a new world of relationships. Paternity testing can also be performed indirectly by testing relatives of an alleged father.

FORENSIC PATERNITY

If a person is deceased or unavailable for testing which is often the case in the question of estate settlement, forensic DNA testing can be an invaluable tool.  DNA can be found on evidence that is decades old. Common sources of forensic DNA evidence include: fingernail clippings, hair with roots or follicles, chewing gum, used beverage containers, eyeglasses, hats, lickable stamps or envelopes, teeth, post mortem tissue, a toothbrush, or cigarette butt.  The results that can be looked for from each item differs and it is best to contact your laboratory to see what items they recommend. For more infomation on DNA testing and how it can asssit you please contact DNA Identifiers.  Remeber regardless of you net worth it is important to have an estate plan in place and DNA can be an important part of your plan.

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Have Amelia Erhart’s Remains Been Found?

posted by DNA Identifiers @ 10:42 AM
Monday, July 23, 2012

Amelia_Earhart

Three bones found on Nikumaroro Island a remote island in the South Pacific by a group that recovers historic aircraft might prove to be those of Amelia Erhart.  The DNA from the bone fragments will be compared to samples donated by an anonymous member of Earhart’s family.

Researchers at the University of Oklahoma are hoping that DNA will prove the remains belong to the legendary pilot.

Ric Gillespie, director of the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery in Delaware said, “There’s no guarantee. You only have to say you have a bone that may be human and may be linked to Earhart and people get excited. But it is true that, if they can get DNA, and if they can match it to Amelia Earhart’s DNA, that’s pretty good.”

In a 2007 trip to Nikumaroro, personal items were found, as well as the remains of a campsite.  ”Bird and fish remains around the island suggest a Westerner’s style of eating.”These fish weren’t eaten like Pacific Islanders” eat fish, Gillespie said.

Researchers have said that it will take months before they can speak with any certainty about their findings.

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April 25th – Celebrate DNA DAY!

posted by DNA Identifiers @ 11:09 AM
Friday, April 15, 2011

That’s right, April 25th is National DNA Day! In 2003, it was proclaimed as such by both the US Senate and the House of Representatives. DNA Day is a remembrance of the advancements in DNA technology. Among them: a ground breaking article on the structure of DNA which was first published in 1953; and the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003.While you might not have the day off, you might want to stop and think about just what DNA has done for us.

Whether you are in the industry as a geneticist, scientist, doctor, of just a regular citizen, you probably understand how big of a contribution mapping our human genome has made to our lives. From medicine, cancer and disease research, the more we understand the better equipped we are to provide personalized medicine to each and every person. So this April, honor these advancements by taking some time to think about DNA and some of it’s many uses:

1. In archeology, DNA helps record genetic information of life on earth many centuries ago. This creates a data base that can be used to learn more about our planet’s past.

2. Genetic testing is used to determine the paternity or maternity of a child.

3. DNA testing can be used to help create a family tree or genealogical chart. Through genetic databases one can trace lost relatives or find their ancestral heritage. Using both the Y-Chromosome and Mitochondrial DNA people can use DNA testing to establish ancestral lines (both remain unchanged for generations). Now, technology is improving and recent advancements have been made in using non-sex chromosomes for ancestral research.

4. Prenatal genetic tests can help doctors determine whether or not the unborn fetus are predisposed to have certain health problems.

5. DNA tests are also used to help solve murders and other crimes. In recent years, many unsolved mysteries have been solved due to new and better types of analysis, as well as clearing many people found guilty of crimes that they did not commit.

6. DNA testing finds great use in the health field as DNA sometimes is the cause of rare medical conditions or heritable diseases.

7. Genetic testing is used in healths checks. For example it can be used to help determine the presence of viruses or cells that have mutated (causing cancer).

8. DNA tests are often used to reunite lost siblings or families or identify remains of the unknown. The genetics of a person leaves an indelible mark and this is used by police, military and authorities, as well as individuals to confirm relationships.

9. DNA tests on new species, or on material from outer space, help scientists and researchers determine the origins of a species and where they stand with reference to known living forms.

There are even more applications then the 9 mentioned, but this might give you a glimpse into the basic importance of our genetic relationship with ourselves and our surrounding. So, on April 25th, celebrate DNA Day!

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Priority Three Immigration

posted by DNA Identifiers @ 12:40 PM
Friday, January 7, 2011

Humanitarian efforts can be very delicate issues, and the U.S. State Department’s suspension of the East African family-reunification (or Priority Three) is a prime example. The program, was instituted to reunify families from civil war-torn areas with relatives living in the U.S..  The program was suspended in March of 2008 and has not been reopened at this time.

According to the State Department in February of 2009:

There are currently three priorities or categories of cases that have access to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. Priority One and Two applicants are granted access to the program through an individual referral by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a U.S. Embassy or qualified NGO, or by membership in a group of cases designated as having access to the program by virtue of their circumstances and apparent need for resettlement. Priority Three, or P-3, refers to individual cases from eligible nationalities who are granted access for purposes of family reunification with certain legal residents in the United States.

The State Department decided to preform DNA test on the P-3 starting with the embassy in Kenya to test for fraud.  What they discovered is that the rate of fraud varied from country to country but they were able to confirm biological relationships between fewer than 20% of the cases tested (family units outside the U.S.).

The suspension of this program effects families in a variety of locations including:  Afghanistan,  Bhutan,  Burma,  Burundi,  Central African Republic (CAR), Colombia, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK),  Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe.

As of October 22, 2008, the Department of State stopped accepting Affidavits of Relationship (AORs) for all nationalities. Although in some location where there was no evidence of fraud (Bangkok, Cairo, Havana, Ho Chi Minh City, Istanbul, Kathmandu, Moscow, and Vienna) there are a small number of AORs that were submitted and cleared prior to March 2008 are being processed. No new applications will be accepted for any nationality at this time.

This does not mean that the State Department has not been working to assist the refugee populations seeking admittance to the U.S.  According to the State Department:

We continue to work closely with UNHCR to determine which African refugee populations are appropriate candidates for group and individual referrals. For example, we recently authorized the processing of several thousand Eritrean refugees in a camp in Ethiopia and continue to receive P-1 (individual) referrals of Congolese, Burundians, Somalis, and other African nationalities.

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