Scheme to map Richard III’s DNA

York Press: The skull of Richard III The skull of Richard III

Richard III is to make history by becoming not only the last English king to die in battle, but also the first to have his genetic code sequenced.

Scientists want to map the king’s DNA before his remains and any samples taken from them are reinterred. York and Leicester are embroiled in dispute over where his remains should be buried.

The experts hope the work will reveal information about the dead monarch’s hair and eye colour, shed light on his ancestry and links to people living today, and provide more details about his susceptibility to disease.

They have already learned that besides being a hunchback, the king was badly infected with roundworm, a once common parasite in the UK.

A battle-scarred skeleton with a twisted spine unearthed by archaeologists from a Leicester car park was identified as that of Richard III last year.

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