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Researchers have discovered that a new method of establishing hair and eye color from modern forensic samples can also do the same for ancient human remains.

Using the HIrisPlex DNA analysis system, they say, a team of researchers from Poland and the Netherlands has been able to reconstruct hair and eye color from teeth up to 800 years old. The system looks at 24 DNA polymorphisms, ornaturally occurring variations, which can be used to predict eye and hair colour.

They had already tried out the technique on the remains of the Polish general Wladyslaw Sikorski (1881 to 1943) confirming his blue eyes and blond hair. Now, though, they say that the system’s accurate enough to work on older and more degraded samples from human remains such as teeth and bones. Read more.

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