La Universidad Médica de Innsbruck, Austria, cobró fama en calidad de análisis genético cuando estudió con éxito restos humanos atribuidos a la familia Romanov, la  del último ZAR de todas las Rusias. Cotejó los restos de una fosa común con ADN mitocondrial del príncipe Felipe, esposo de Isabel II de Inglaterra, descendiente en línea materna de los Romanov. Me dice en mail Antonio Lazcano, experto en genética del origen de la vida:

En análisis de mtDNA “Las certezas son tan sólidas que dudo que haya normas establecidas, sobre todo porque puedes identificar con enorme precisión cambios en algunos genes mitocondriales presentes en el mtDNA materno y de la descendencia (y) toda duda desaparece”. Se refiere a mi pregunta acerca de si conoce normas, por ejemplo porcentajes, para que un juez entregue un niño a la mujer que lo reclama como su hijo… El caso de Salomón y las dos madres. Duda planteada en mi pregunta sobre porcentajes mínimos para certificar la maternidad. Repito: “…puedes identificar con enorme precisión cambios en algunos genes mitocondriales presentes en el mtDNA materno y de la descendencia”. Identificados los cambios en ciertos genes “toda duda desaparece”.

En otras palabras: para identificar si una fotografía es de mi madre no es necesario juntar todos los pedazos (si está rota): me bastan algunos rasgos clave para no tener duda.

http://gerichtsmedizin.at/successful-dna-analyses-mexican-remains.html

Successful DNA analyses on missing Mexican remains

Novel DNA technology applied at the Institute of Legal Medicine, Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria, yielded successful results in severely damaged Mexican remains.

Researchers at the Institute of Legal Medicine, Medical University of Innsbruck, adapted a novel technology known as Primer Extension Capture Massively Parallel Sequencing (PEC MPS) to successfully type highly damaged DNA. The method has been adapted to meet the stringent quality standards required in forensic genetics.

The scientists demonstrated that this method enables identification of biological material that is too damaged for conventional forensic DNA analysis.

The Institute of Legal Medicine received 17 severely burned samples from Mexico in November 2014. One sample was identified as belonging to one missing Mexican student using conventional DNA technology. This was reported in December 2014. The remaining 16 samples did not yield DNA results using conventional forensic DNA fingerprinting.

With PEC MPS the researchers were able to generate DNA profiles for nine of the 16 challenging samples. In two samples they found human-specific mitochondrial DNA. One sample matched the relevant family references of the previously identified student, the other sample matched the relevant family references of another missing Mexican student. The two mitochondrial DNA profiles were unique in the set of family references of the missing students provided to the Institute. No other family reference sample matched either of the two.

The remaining seven samples brought results not related to human mitochondrial DNA. The biological source of these seven samples will be determined using metagenome analyses, which is currently under way.

Gerichtsmedizin Innsbruck