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problems with the number of markers

 
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Sothis
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 11:18 pm    Post subject: problems with the number of markers Reply with quote

I have stumbled over the number of markers which is required to provide sufficient proof of parent/child relationship.
In the series of videos called "king Tut unwrapped" the speaker states twice that at least a number of 10 matching markers is required to provide evidence in the sense of modern court practise. This relates to the testing of both Y-chromosomes and autosomal DNA.

In one of the videos called "Maternal DNA" there is a brief statement that the 8 markers "they (the scientists) could read" all matched the DNA of Tut and the Younger Lady.
To me this sounds as if they tested more markers on the nuclear DNA (up to 16 markers are possible), but only 8 of them were readable.

In the JAMA report the statement under "kinship analyses" reads ".......yielded complete data sets for all 8 markers in 7 mummies...."
Now this sounds as if only 8 markers were tested. No mention of more tested markers which could not or not definitely be read.

Usually one would rely more on what a scientific paper states rather on what they say in a documentary. But in this case i think it is more likely that the truth is they tested more markers which were partly unsuccessful.
The low number of markers has already been questioned elsewhere.

But why not say so in the official report? In order not to let the results look feeble and unconvincing?
After all, there could have been markers among the unsuccessfully tested markers where the DNA between Tut, KV55 and YL would not have matched. And only one not matching marker of transmitted alleles makes the parent-child kinship virtually impossible. So better not talk about it as the aim is to find and "name" Tut`s parents.

And in any case, if usually 10 matching markers are required and they have only 8, why is the result accreditet so much certainty?

The closer I look at it the more I ask myself if the results presented by Hawass really deserve to be taken as granted and if they are worth that many people including me are wrecking their brains about the identity of KV35YL and other relationships.

Has anyone else doubts like me?
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RobertStJames
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 6:21 am    Post subject: Re: problems with the number of markers Reply with quote

Sothis wrote:


The closer I look at it the more I ask myself if the results presented by Hawass really deserve to be taken as granted and if they are worth that many people including me are wrecking their brains about the identity of KV35YL and other relationships.

Has anyone else doubts like me?


Not so much. Really, these results are not entirely shocking.

KV55=Akhenaten is a long-standing belief, now confirmed.
Akheanaten=Tut's father, likewise a long held belief (tho not universal)
KV35YL=Tut's mother, a bit surprising, but knowing that Tiye was
his grandmother and their mummies were found together,
pretty logical.
KV35YL=Akhenaten's sister. Ok, this one really did come out of the blue. For me, this is by far the most important new fact the DNA study produced. Previously, Tut's mother could be any number of women. Now it can only be one of five and we know who they are.

The biggest doubters will be the Smenkhare ethusiasts because this deals a huge blow to their theories. Will they accept it and move on? Or will they try to refute the DNA with age mathematics and chimeras such as an unknown (royal) son of AIII and Tiye?

RstJ
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Sothis
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My concerns are not the results, I can put up with all of them if I am convinced that they are really conclusive. But don`t you think that with only 8 markers yielding results and up to further 8 markers which should have been tested but weren`t or not successfully, the results are pretty unconvincing?
My main concern is an ambitious Hawass who had made it his goal to identify Tut`s parents and who did not want to fail in it. So these results are promoted as being compromising.

Besides, those who cannot see Akhenaten in the KV55 remains do not have to refute the results. It is clear for everyone that the only real information is that KV55 is a son of AIII and Tiye, the rest is propaganda. The question how you name him can if at all be resolved by finally getting a definite age range and by putting him into the right historical context.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The JAMA report is poorly presented, and possibly driven by somebody's personal agenda. Data is scanty in certain key areas (the DNA markers, as you say, the the CT scan on KV 55): either they skimped their work, or they are holding things back, either because the additional data undermines the published conclusions, or because someone wants to give another headline-grabbing press conference. The bibliography and the discussion of diseases/disabilities are a laugh.
However, on p. 639 of the report it does state that they studied 16 Y-chomospmal STRs (i.e. only masculine DNA transmission, not feminine mtDNA), but amplified 8 polymorphic microsatellites, i.e. the ones that appear in the chart. Could someone with expert knowledge please explain this, and let us know if the numbers of readings mentioned constitute a reliable basis for the conclusions?
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Sothis
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for letting me know that I am not all alone on this track.

Unfortunately, as long as Hawass is out there there is not much hope for further explanations from this side, and other experts do not have any insight in the matter except for what is being presented to them.
And as far as neseret stated referring to EEF in another thread it looks that Hawass is not willing to let another institiution verify the results (which surely does not surprise anyone).

So for the moment we can only hope that the promised testing of female mtDNA yields some additional information.

Interesting in this context are also the concerns raised by Kate in the latest entries to her blog "news from the valley of the kings" regarding the problems posed by consanguinity when evaluating DNA within a genetically narrowed population like Tut`s family especially when it comes to the determination of first-degree relationships.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:11 am    Post subject: Re: problems with the number of markers Reply with quote

RobertStJames wrote:

KV55=Akhenaten is a long-standing belief, now confirmed.
Akheanaten=Tut's father, likewise a long held belief (tho not universal)


no, not confirmed. the age for the mummy makes it impossible to be akhenaten. since akhenaten already has a daughter by year 1, he cant be in his early 20's at death with a 17 year rule. also, as neseret pointed out in another thread, there is no evidence that akhenaten was ever buried in kv 55. the most likely scenario is the remains found in his amarna tomb torn to shreds were akhenaten's remains.

RobertStJames wrote:
KV35YL=Akhenaten's sister. Ok, this one really did come out of the blue. For me, this is by far the most important new fact the DNA study produced. Previously, Tut's mother could be any number of women. Now it can only be one of five and we know who they are.


and she still could be. all we know of her is that her parents were amenhotep III and tiye. god knows how many daughters they actually had. she might not be one of the attested daughters.


RobertStJames wrote:
The biggest doubters will be the Smenkhare ethusiasts because this deals a huge blow to their theories. Will they accept it and move on? Or will they try to refute the DNA with age mathematics and chimeras such as an unknown (royal) son of AIII and Tiye?


actually, these findings are more convincing for smenkahre as the kv 55 mummy. it is not impossible that amenhotep III and tiye had more than 2 sons. it is also not impossible that a younger son and daughter paired up and had children. given that the age at death for the kv 55 mummy is too young, which i might add has been confirmed 4 times by leading experts since 1911, disproves your so called sound evidence the mummy is akhenaten. as for burial evidence from the tomb, there is only to objects that could once have been akhenaten's: two magic bricks. the coffin was made for a woman (possibly kiya) addressing prayers to akhenaten.
so his name is on a few objects, but most of those were never his.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sothis wrote:
My concerns are not the results, I can put up with all of them if I am convinced that they are really conclusive. But don`t you think that with only 8 markers yielding results and up to further 8 markers which should have been tested but weren`t or not successfully, the results are pretty unconvincing?


Convincing enough for the moment. It would be nice to have stronger DNA evidence sure (although some people will hold on to Smenkhare forever, no matter what), but what we've gotten so far is fascinating in itself. The ancient Egyptians themselves were trying to cover up these relationships, to effectively deny that anyone from Akh on down ever held the throne of Egypt, and if possible, to erase the existence of certain people completely. To be able to use DNA to expose the coverup is incredible, don't you think?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:34 pm    Post subject: Re: problems with the number of markers Reply with quote

kylejustin wrote:
<...>as for burial evidence from the tomb, there is only to objects that could once have been akhenaten's: two magic bricks. the coffin was made for a woman (possibly kiya) addressing prayers to akhenaten. so his name is on a few objects, but most of those were never his.


Actually, I agree. I think a lot of that stuff was his mother's. But the bones aren't, and age estimates aren't going to overturn the DNA findings. I don't agree with Team Zahi's increasing the age of the remains. I think they're a man in his mid to late 20s. But I think that for different reasons (because I think AIII died in Year 30 and Akh only reigned for 12yrs).

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sothis wrote:
My concerns are not the results, I can put up with all of them if I am convinced that they are really conclusive. But don`t you think that with only 8 markers yielding results and up to further 8 markers which should have been tested but weren`t or not successfully, the results are pretty unconvincing?


The only mitigating circumstances I can find for this is if the reason to only use 8 is explained in one of the references. If it is not, there does need to be an explanation as to why they only used 8.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:33 am    Post subject: Re: problems with the number of markers Reply with quote

RobertStJames wrote:
Actually, I agree. I think a lot of that stuff was his mother's. But the bones aren't, and age estimates aren't going to overturn the DNA findings. I don't agree with Team Zahi's increasing the age of the remains. I think they're a man in his mid to late 20s. But I think that for different reasons (because I think AIII died in Year 30 and Akh only reigned for 12yrs). RstJ


the age of this mummy is 21 at the most. every exam by the leading experts has confirmed this. all the dna proves is this man was the son of amenhotep III and tiye. and that he had a son with his sister.
so it does not prove akhenaten is the father, instead it proposes a younger son.

amenhotep III is attested to in his 38th year. akhenaten is attested to his 17th year. if akhenaten died after the durbar scene, then you be pushing that date to 10 years earlier than previously thought. likewise you would have to push all the chronology of ancient egypt's new kingdom back 10 years to fit your theory. why doesnt it work?

because they have the highest attestable regnal years at 38 and 17. we also have outside countries current events. you cant screw with a few dates in egyptian history to make your scenarios fit. egyptian dates are attested by the events in outside cultures. archaeologists cross reference dates and events to make the chronologies work.

you are just showing that you really havnt read up on this subject, simply because you ignore a lot evidence.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:26 pm    Post subject: Re: problems with the number of markers Reply with quote

Sothis wrote:
I have stumbled over the number of markers which is required to provide sufficient proof of parent/child relationship.
In the series of videos called "king Tut unwrapped" the speaker states twice that at least a number of 10 matching markers is required to provide evidence in the sense of modern court practise. This relates to the testing of both Y-chromosomes and autosomal DNA.


The 10 is, I think, a number made up to give lawyers an easy guide they can understand. In practice the number is irrelevant compared with the probabilty of a false positive. That depends on the rarity of the alleles found. At a glance, finding two alleles that only 1 in a million people have is clearly more persuasive that there is something common to them than 3,4, maybe even 10 alleles that 50% of the population have.

Kate
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RobertStJames
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 7:58 am    Post subject: Re: problems with the number of markers Reply with quote

kylejustin wrote:

the age of this mummy is 21 at the most. every exam by the leading experts has confirmed this. all the dna proves is this man was the son of amenhotep III and tiye. and that he had a son with his sister. so it does not prove akhenaten is the father, instead it proposes a younger son.


At some point we have to stop creating people out of perceived necessity and simply go with the facts as we currently have them.



Quote:

amenhotep III is attested to in his 38th year. akhenaten is attested to his 17th year. if akhenaten died after the durbar scene, then you be pushing that date to 10 years earlier than previously thought. likewise you would have to push all the chronology of ancient egypt's new kingdom back 10 years to fit your theory. why doesnt it work?


I prefer to go with dates on public architecture, tombs, and state documents over dicey sources like wine dockets. It's through those dates that controversies about co-regencies have sprung up. The opinions of latter day Egyptologists are not proven fact. They got Tut's parentage totally wrong (see Reeves' Akhenaten), for example. And Horemheb is still being credited with a 25yr reign in some circles.


Quote:

because they have the highest attestable regnal years at 38 and 17. we also have outside countries current events. you cant screw with a few dates in egyptian history to make your scenarios fit. egyptian dates are attested by the events in outside cultures. archaeologists cross reference dates and events to make the chronologies work.


Sure. And they all end up agreeing on all the dates, right?

Quote:

you are just showing that you really havnt read up on this subject, simply because you ignore a lot evidence.


You're showing your unwillingness to question what you've read and weigh it against newer, better evidence. I'm not pushing any "scenarios" nor am I trying to make any date math come out right. I'm simply observing that given the scarcity of evidence beyond AIII's Year 30 and AIV's Year 12, there's reason to doubt those rulers lived beyond those years. It's because of this articifical reign length that your favorite authors have concocted their own scenarios which, as we're seeing now, don't play out.



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:42 pm    Post subject: Re: problems with the number of markers Reply with quote

RobertStJames wrote:

At some point we have to stop creating people out of perceived necessity and simply go with the facts as we currently have them.


I would agree but with the new DNA data then we must either:

a) hypothesise unknown queens for both Akhenaten [KV55] and Tutankhamun,

OR

b) accept the existence of Smenkhare

Personally I favour the latter because it requires the addition of no "invented" royals, even if Smenkhare is somewhat obscure.

Kate
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