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Ethics and Geneaology

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By Raramosa - Posted on 20 February 2021

Hello,

I am not sure if this was discussed before, but I wanted to get additional information and this forum's thoughts on the ethicalness of performing DNA tests on the remains of deceased ancestors.

1. I have no background in biology/chemistry, but I was wondering whether anyone has some insight as to whether DNA can be gathered from the remains of interred ancestors. For example, would bones that are 150 years old provide DNA which could be compared to more "recent" DNA? How useful would such DNA be?

2. How ethical would it be to "dig up" old tombstones and to perform these tests? Is there a period of time/generations where it becomes more and more okay? Say individuals deceased over 100 years ago?

3. Are there any university projects or initiatives that have taken this approach?

Appreciate any thoughts,

Rafael

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