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An Analysis of the Alleged Skeletal Remains of Carin Göring
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Molecular Medicine.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Genomics.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology.
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2012 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 7, no 12, e44366- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In 1991, treasure hunters found skeletal remains in an area close to the destroyed country residence of former Nazi leader Hermann Göring in northeastern Berlin. The remains, which were believed to belong to Carin Göring, who was buried at the site, were examined to determine whether it was possible to make a positive identification. The anthropological analysis showed that the remains come from an adult woman. The DNA analysis of several bone elements showed female sex, and a reference sample from Carin's son revealed mtDNA sequences identical to the remains. The profile has one nucleotide difference from the Cambridge reference sequence (rCRS), the common variant 263G. A database search resulted in a frequency of this mtDNA sequence of about 10% out of more than 7,000 European haplotypes. The mtDNA sequence found in the ulna, the cranium and the reference sample is, thus, very common among Europeans. Therefore, nuclear DNA analysis was attempted. The remains as well as a sample from Carin's son were successfully analysed for the three nuclear markers TH01, D7S820 and D8S1179. The nuclear DNA analysis of the two samples revealed one shared allele for each of the three markers, supporting a mother and son relationship. This genetic information together with anthropological and historical files provides an additional piece of circumstantial evidence in our efforts to identify the remains of Carin Göring.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 7, no 12, e44366- p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-192064DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0044366ISI: 000312694300001OAI: diva2:589270
Available from: 2013-01-17 Created: 2013-01-15 Last updated: 2014-01-23Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Application of Mitochondrial DNA Analysis in Contemporary and Historical Samples
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Application of Mitochondrial DNA Analysis in Contemporary and Historical Samples
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The mitochondrion is a tiny organelle that is the power supplier of the cell and vital to the functioning of the body organs. Additionally it contains a small circular genome of about 16 kb, present in many copies which makes the mitochondrial DNA more viable than nuclear DNA. Mitochondrial DNA is also maternally inherited and thus provides a direct link to maternal relatives. These two properties are of particular use for forensic samples, which only contain limited or degraded amounts of DNA, and for historical samples (ancient DNA). This thesis presents work on the mitochondrial DNA in the hypervariable regions (HV) I and II, in both contemporary and historical samples. Forensic genetics makes use of mitochondrial DNA analysis in court as circumstantial evidence, and population databases are used for the calculation of evidence value. Population samples (299) across Sweden have been analysed in order to enrich the EDNAP mtDNA database (EMPOP) (paper I). The application of mitochondrial DNA analysis allowed for analysis of historical skeletal remains: Copernicus, 1473-1543 (paper II), Karin Göring, 1888-1931 (paper III) and Medieval bones, 880-1000 AD, from a mass grave found in Sigtuna, Sweden (paper IV). The thesis also includes analyses of bones and teeth from the shipwrecked crew of the Vasa warship, 1628, samples from the Vasa museum, Stockholm, Sweden (paper V). Overall, the varying age of the samples and the different conservation environments (soil and water) accounted for variations in quality, but still allowed for successful DNA analysis.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2013. 62 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 950
Forensic genetics, Mitochondrial DNA, HVI/HVII, Population database, Haplotype, Haplogroup, Ancient DNA, Historical DNA samples, skeletal remains, Vasa museum, Medieval samples, Copernicus, Göring
National Category
Natural Sciences
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-209970 (URN)978-91-554-8799-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-12-14, Auditorium Minus, Gustavianum, Akademigatan 3, 75310 Uppsala, 13:00 (English)
Available from: 2013-11-22 Created: 2013-10-29 Last updated: 2014-01-23

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Edlund, HannaLembring, MariaAhlgren, ViktoriaAllen, Marie
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