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Blood On Cloth Didn't Belong To King Louis XVI

Publication Date: 
April 24, 2014
Source: 
The Local - France's News In English/AFP

Professor Hank Greely weighs in on a controversy surrounding ancient relics for The Local-France.

Two centuries after the French people beheaded King Louis XVI and dipped their handkerchiefs in his blood, DNA analysis has thrown new doubt on the authenticity of one such rag kept as a morbid souvenir.

The contents of an ornately-decorated gourd alleged to hold traces of the king's dried blood has long been the subject of scientific disagreement, with tests throwing up contradictory results.

...

Hank Greely, a genetics ethics expert at Stanford University, said he doubted this was the end of the blood saga.

"Fundamentally, though, this is how science works. People do studies, they agree or disagree... they get followed up with more and better to see why and how there were differences -- and who, if anyone, was right."