Drs. Niesel and Herzog Medical Discovery News - bridging the world of medical discovery and you...
HomeAbout UsRadio ShowsPodcastListener QuestionsRadio StationsContactsReliable LinksStudents

Radio Shows | DNA Testing of the Romanovs | mp3wmawav

What's fascinating about DNA technology is its ability to solve mysteries.

That's why shows like CBS's CSI do so well.

You know DNA science is powerful when it has the ability to clear up history.

In this case, we're talking about what happened to the last Russian Tsar, Nicholas the second and his family the Romanovs.

In 1917 Tsar Nicholas abdicated under pressure from the Bolshevik party led by Lenin.

The secret police imprisoned the royal family which included the Tsar, his wife, their son Alexei, and four daughters. A year later they were moved to Yekaterinburg, a militant Bolshevik stronghold.

One night Nicholas, Alexandra, their children, physician, and three servants were woken and taken into the basement and shot and bayoneted at 2:33 A.M. on July 17, 1918. Lenin personally ordered the executions.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union we've learned they were buried at a secret site, a now abandoned cart track 12 miles north of Yekaterinburg.

In 1991 their remains were found and DNA testing confirmed the identities of the Tsar, the empress and 3 daughters but not the Tsar's son, Alexei and one sister - either Maria or Anastasia.

Rumors have circulated for 80 years that it was Anastasia not Maria who survived. In fact a woman named Anna Anderson was best known among several women for claiming they were the Grand Duchess.

When Anna died in 1984 DNA testing confirmed it was a charade. But Hollywood and Walt Disney continued to perpetuate the myth she survived.

The chance to solve the mystery came last August when two more sets of bones were located near Yekaterinburg. DNA tests this April proved they belonged to Alexei and not Anastasia but Maria.

Modern DNA science has finally accounted for the last of Tsar Nicolas' family, solving one mystery of history.

Click here to email this page to a friend.

For more information…

Two good news articles about this news can be found here and here.

A wonderful PowerPoint of a lecture by Mark Pallen provides information about the normal bacteria that are associated with the human body called commensal organisms. It provides information about why they are important, how they protect us from pathogens and what happens when they are disturbed.
For more information…

A paper published in Nature Geneticsvolume 6, pages 130 - 135 (1994) entitled "Identification of the remains of the Romanov family by DNA analysis" by Gill and others presented genetic evidence that the nine skeletons found in a shallow grave in Ekaterinburg, Russia, in July 1991 are those of the Romanov family. They had been tentatively identified by Russian forensic authorities as the remains of the last Tsar, Tsarina, three of their five children, the Royal Physician and three servants. This study did not include the remains of Crown Prince Aleksei, the hemophiliac heir to Russia's throne or his other sister whose graves were found years later and DNA testing confirmed their identities in 2008.
For more information…

A book entitled "The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II" by Edvard Radzinsky is a good resource for more information about the last Tzar of Russia.
For a remarkable experience that is a virtual tour of the Ipatiev House where the Romanovs were killed go here. This site provides the history of the last Czar, the house itself and some of the most famous pretenders who claimed to be surviving members of the Romanov family. Even though the house no longer exists, the virtual tour assembled at this website is remarkable and the images of the basement disturbing.

A brief history of Czar Nicholas II and his family can be found here. This web page also provides links to other related websites.


home | about us | radio shows | podcast | listener questions | radio stations | contact us | links | students | disclaimer

2006-2007 Drs. David Niesel and Norbert Herzog. All Rights Reserved.
The University of Texas Medical Branch. Please review our site policies.
Send mail to J. Junemann with questions or comments about this web site.