Science offers insight into King Louis XVI
Science never fails to amaze me.
According to a LiveScience.com article, scientists have been able to confirm that 200-year-old dried blood stored in a gourd actually came from French King Louis XVI.
The scientists figured out that a detached, mummified head — thought to be an ancestor of the king, King Henry IV — and the blood from the gourd were in fact related, which in turn confirmed that the blood was from King Louis. (Louis was decapitated during the French Revolution, while Henry was assassinated.)
The scientists were able to link the pair via a DNA analysis of the Y chromosome.
Now, using that bit of dried blood, the scientists are hoping to map out the entire genome of Louis XVI.
It's a fascinating process — one that sounds somewhat out of a Michael Crichton novel. But maybe one day, this technique could be used to solve some of history's other mysteries.