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letters in JAMA
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Diorite
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Toth wrote:


Hmm, I see; well you also could read from it that she is disputing the way Hawass et all handle the specimens AND the fact that the present day researchers from Egypt weren't genotyped (which I understand as recording someone's DNA, just in case it contaminates a sample, a technique commonly used in criminal DNA research)



It wasn't the present day researchers that handled the mummy, it was those that had handled it in the past. Problem is, a lot of those folks are dead so it would be difficult. They'd have to dig up Howard Carter, for one, plus I doubt we even know who some of them were.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Diorite wrote:
Toth wrote:


Hmm, I see; well you also could read from it that she is disputing the way Hawass et all handle the specimens AND the fact that the present day researchers from Egypt weren't genotyped (which I understand as recording someone's DNA, just in case it contaminates a sample, a technique commonly used in criminal DNA research)



It wasn't the present day researchers that handled the mummy, it was those that had handled it in the past. Problem is, a lot of those folks are dead so it would be difficult. They'd have to dig up Howard Carter, for one, plus I doubt we even know who some of them were.


Diorite, I think you take "present day researchers" a bit too literal, I think even Howard Carter would fall in that category when dealing with 3000 + years old DNA, don't you think so? Also "Toth" didn't write that, it was de requested text from one of the Amarna letters, which I just copied, as written.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Toth wrote:
Diorite wrote:
Toth wrote:


Hmm, I see; well you also could read from it that she is disputing the way Hawass et all handle the specimens AND the fact that the present day researchers from Egypt weren't genotyped (which I understand as recording someone's DNA, just in case it contaminates a sample, a technique commonly used in criminal DNA research)



It wasn't the present day researchers that handled the mummy, it was those that had handled it in the past. Problem is, a lot of those folks are dead so it would be difficult. They'd have to dig up Howard Carter, for one, plus I doubt we even know who some of them were.


Diorite, I think you take "present day researchers" a bit too literal, I think even Howard Carter would fall in that category when dealing with 3000 + years old DNA, don't you think so?


No, because the researchers DID get and test DNA from the people who worked on the DNA typing in this study to eliminate them as possible contamination. Those people are the "present day researchers". It's contamination from the early 20th century from those who unwrapped Tut that I believe the complaint was about. DNA on the surface of the body from those who mummified and wrapped Tut would not likely have survived in quantities large enough to measure. Note that the author expresses doubt that any 3000 yr old DNA might survive. If it did, my comment about having to identify and then dig them up still applies.

Toth wrote:

Also "Toth" didn't write that, it was de requested text from one of the Amarna letters, which I just copied, as written.


I believe you wrote the sentence in question. If you didn't write it, you should have put the statement in quotes. It would eliminate any question as to authorship.

The exact quote from the article is, "Although laboratory members involved in the study were genotyped, no persons handling the specimens prior to the study were included, raising a question of the reliability of the microsatellite profiles."
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Diorite,

As far as I can remember, I have put the entire additional requested information in a Quote block, so if you quoted something from there, you are already quoting a quote (The different lay-out should be a dead giveaway).

I hope this clarifies things.

Regards from The Netherlands

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Toth wrote:
Aromagician wrote:
Thanks.
But wasnt really. She is just disputing that they could get any correct dna. Which seems a bit futile really.

I was hoping for more juicier disputes over the analysis of the dna. As per our discussions on here Smile


Hmm, I see; well you also could read from it that she is disputing the way Hawass et all handle the specimens AND the fact that the present day researchers from Egypt weren't genotyped (which I understand as recording someone's DNA, just in case it contaminates a sample, a technique commonly used in criminal DNA research)

Although things gradually start to become clearer, most of you discuss is way over my head, coming from a whole different discipline (Computers), doesn' really help me, so please be patient with me; I'm trying Laughing


As you can see if you compare this to the quote I gave in my first message, this is what I quoted. What I quoted is not in a quote block, it is presented as something you wrote. I searched the letter in the JAMA letters and I couldn't find this text anywhere. Therefore, this isn't a direct quote from the article. I fail to see why you would claim it was.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Diorite wrote:
Toth wrote:
Aromagician wrote:
Thanks.
But wasnt really. She is just disputing that they could get any correct dna. Which seems a bit futile really.

I was hoping for more juicier disputes over the analysis of the dna. As per our discussions on here Smile


Hmm, I see; well you also could read from it that she is disputing the way Hawass et all handle the specimens AND the fact that the present day researchers from Egypt weren't genotyped (which I understand as recording someone's DNA, just in case it contaminates a sample, a technique commonly used in criminal DNA research)

Although things gradually start to become clearer, most of you discuss is way over my head, coming from a whole different discipline (Computers), doesn' really help me, so please be patient with me; I'm trying Laughing


As you can see if you compare this to the quote I gave in my first message, this is what I quoted. What I quoted is not in a quote block, it is presented as something you wrote. I searched the letter in the JAMA letters and I couldn't find this text anywhere. Therefore, this isn't a direct quote from the article. I fail to see why you would claim it was.


Diorite, my apologies, you were right in your first statement; I think that while these high temperatures are being measured here, I should take my leave of the forum to prevent this from happening!
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those (presumably the majority) who have been denied access to the JAMA letters re the Mummies' DNA study, the different writers make 12 criticisms of the original report, viz:
1) mtDNA ( unpublished by Hawass et al.)from ancient mummies is practically irretrievable for analysis purposes, and Y-DNA (published) is even more so
2) More recent capture approaches should have been used
3) Avoidance of the influence of contamination, both before and during the study, is not sufficiently described
4) There is a lack of reported quality control measures
5) There is no substantiation for claiming KV55 is much older than previously believed
6) It is not clear that Tutankhamun had club foot
7) Reports of inherited disorders among the Amarna family are inconsistent
Cool Visual observation rules out brachycephaly for KV55 and Tutankhamun, and rather suggests the opposite, i.e. dolichocephaly
9) The Discovery programme shows poorly developed interdigitated cranial sagittal sutures on KV55 and Tutankhamun, indicating ages of 20 or less
10) The JAMA authors mention macroscopic and radiologic inspection of the mummies, but fail to describe these analyses
11) By the age of his death Tutankhamun should have developed an immunity to malaria
12)Certain lesions on his body should be ascribed to sickle cell disease

In their reply, Gad, Selim and Pusch address numbers:
1) Printing Figure 1, showing strong traces, at least to my untutored eye (but why wasn't it published in the original report?)
3) With reference to possible contamination during the study
4) By simply stating that all accepted controls were adhered to
5) By basically saying that CT scans are best, period
6) The allegations are based on the photos printed in the JAMA article, which in themselves are not enough
11) By assuring us that they are currently looking into the possibility of SCD

Personally, I believe that if the original article3 had limited itself to the DNA and family relationships aspects, and devoted more space to justifying its findings with concrete data (and much more of it),rather than diving into a series of speculations on Tutankhamun's health problems, it would not have aroused so much scepticism as it has.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Granite wrote:
For those (presumably the majority) who have been denied access to the JAMA letters re the Mummies' DNA study, the different writers make 12 criticisms of the original report, viz:
1) mtDNA ( unpublished by Hawass et al.)from ancient mummies is practically irretrievable for analysis purposes, and Y-DNA (published) is even more so
2) More recent capture approaches should have been used
3) Avoidance of the influence of contamination, both before and during the study, is not sufficiently described
4) There is a lack of reported quality control measures
5) There is no substantiation for claiming KV55 is much older than previously believed
6) It is not clear that Tutankhamun had club foot
7) Reports of inherited disorders among the Amarna family are inconsistent
Cool Visual observation rules out brachycephaly for KV55 and Tutankhamun, and rather suggests the opposite, i.e. dolichocephaly
9) The Discovery programme shows poorly developed interdigitated cranial sagittal sutures on KV55 and Tutankhamun, indicating ages of 20 or less
10) The JAMA authors mention macroscopic and radiologic inspection of the mummies, but fail to describe these analyses
11) By the age of his death Tutankhamun should have developed an immunity to malaria
12)Certain lesions on his body should be ascribed to sickle cell disease

In their reply, Gad, Selim and Pusch address numbers:
1) Printing Figure 1, showing strong traces, at least to my untutored eye (but why wasn't it published in the original report?)
3) With reference to possible contamination during the study
4) By simply stating that all accepted controls were adhered to
5) By basically saying that CT scans are best, period
6) The allegations are based on the photos printed in the JAMA article, which in themselves are not enough
11) By assuring us that they are currently looking into the possibility of SCD

Personally, I believe that if the original article3 had limited itself to the DNA and family relationships aspects, and devoted more space to justifying its findings with concrete data (and much more of it),rather than diving into a series of speculations on Tutankhamun's health problems, it would not have aroused so much scepticism as it has.


I think the info you give in your points 8 and 9 is not exactly what Braverman says in his letter.
I`ve just double-checked, he approves Tut and KV55 (whom he calls Akhenaten) being brachycephalic but he states that in addition their skulls are unusually elongated. He assigns dolichocephaly to ThutmosisII (which has not been disputed by anyone).
Regarding the skull sutures he concludes that the absent to poorly developed .......sutures are consistent with premature fusion seen in craniosynostosis ( which is a sign of Antley-Bixler-Syndrome).
He does not draw any conclusions as to their age from the sutures.
BTW the sutures of both KV55 and Tut have never been described as prematurely closed by anyone else AFAIK.
Braverman suggests a kind of "putative syndrome" with excess production of estrogene as an explanation for the Amarnan feminine appearance. As such a disease is as yet undescribed (as he admits) , meaning it actually does not exist, it is IMO something of "there just has to be a rational explanation for them guys looking so womanish".
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your comments, Sothis.
On my 8th point, re brachy/dolicho-cephaly, after giving Hawass et al's brachypcephalic measurements for KV55 and Tutankhamun, and the dolichocephalic ones for "Thutmose II" (whoever he may be), Braverman and Mackpwiak state that "Nevertheless these skulls (which must be those of KV55 and Tutankhamun) are visibly abnormally elongated. having ther 'family head' of the 18th Dynasty". This is odd, that there should be such a discrepancy between the measurements and the visible appearance of the skulls.
On the other point you are absolutely right, and thank you for your correction.
My main point is that the response to the criticisms is extremely weak, adducing practically no new data to refute them. Also, the whole study was wrongly bfocussed, in so far as it tried to embrace too many aspects of the question. This is a pity because there are some conclusions in the report that look rock-solid: i.e. Amenhotep III really is himself, in spite of the anachronistic mummifying techniques practised on him; KV35EL is Tiye; KV55 and KV35YL are children of the former; Tutankhamun is probably the son of KV55 and KV35YL, or any other combination of sibling children of Am III and Tiye. However, even these conclusions begin to look doubtful in the light of the methods used in the study and especially the presentation of the results.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You`re absoluyely right about the discrepancies between measurements and actual appearance.
For example, the skulls of KV55 and Tut look without doubt very long and quite broad. Now I just had another look at the measurements taken by Dr. Derry which are 54.2 cm for KV55 and 54.7 cm for Tut (head circumference). Everyone who takes a measuring tape and measures his/her own head circumference will get a similar or even greater mearurement (mine is about 56 cm over the hair). Similar the length of the skull which should be considerably more in them than usual: KV55 measures 19.0 cm and Tut 18.7 cm. Almost everyone who measures his head will get a length of 17-18 cm.
How does it come then that their skulls look so unusual?

Regarding AIII`s mummy its treatment is certainly unusual but as discussed on another thread (can`t remember which one) it does not show the embalming features typical for the 21st dynasty or any other period either.
It is unique which is probably due to AIII`s unusually corpulent body shape that posed problems to the embalmers. They packed the inside of the body with lots of resious material but did not use any of the materials that were used in later times for the stuffing of the body such as sawdust, linen etc.
Therefore I do not doubt that AIII really is "himself" though I think the DNA testing should have been extended to a few more mummies like Thutmosis IV, III and II and Amenophis II even more so as they are readily available in the cairo museum.

But I suspect that maybe in the meantime as the testing apparently goes on a few more mummies from the 18th dynasty might be tested as it seems the boy from KV35 was tested after the release of the results.
Hawass and his team may officially reject all kind of criticism but I think they still take some of it to heart. They prefer to work secretly and then at a time it suits them to come out with sensational news.

I`m optimistic that sooner or later we will get more news, sensational or not.
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