Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Genetic Data from Arctic Expedition

By examining DNA collected from skeletal remains, researchers hope to gain insight into the doomed 1845 Franklin Expedition to the Arctic, Live Science reports.

The expedition was searching for the Northwest Passage linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, but the sailors became trapped by ice and abandoned their ships to journey by land south to a mainland trading post. None made it, as Live Science recounts, and remains found along the route have been examined to find evidence of scurvy and cannibalism.

A team of Canadian researchers has now developed a DNA database based on bone and tooth samples collected from these sites, as they report in the Journal of Archaeological Science. From this, they generated genetic profiles for 24 members of the expedition.

The researchers say their analysis provides a more accurate view of which crewmembers died where. Live Science adds that the team found that some of the samples appeared to come from women. The researchers note that that could be due to insufficient levels of the Y chromosome in samples or that there were indeed women on board.

Author Douglas Stenton from the Department of Culture and Heritage in Nunavut, Canada, tells Live Science that his team has been in touch with descendants of the expedition crew and that they are interested in participating in additional research.

Filed under

The Scan

Hormone-Based Gene Therapy to Sterilize Domestic Cat

A new paper in Nature Communication suggests that gene therapy could be a safer alternative to spaying domestic cats.

Active Lifestyle Linked to Type 2 Diabetes Prevention in People at High Genetic Risk

A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows that an active lifestyle goes a long way in type 2 diabetes prevention.

Beneficial, Harmful Effects of Introgression Between Wild and Domesticated European Grapes

A paper in PNAS shows that European wild grapevines were an important resource for improving the flavor of cultivated wine grapes.

Genetic Ancestry of South America's Indigenous Mapuche Traced

Researchers in Current Biology analyzed genome-wide data from more than five dozen Mapuche individuals to better understand their genetic history.