Richard III – it’s all in the genes

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genetic testing for disease

Genetic Testing

Richard III is undergoing genetic testing for inherited diseases and oddball mutations.  Once Richard III was found with scoliosis,  it became pretty clear that the 'huntchback' picture portrayed by William Shakespeare was correct, well at least in physical terms.  Now the University of Leicester is to sequence Richard III's genome and the results could show whether or not the car park monarch was likely to suffer from anything such as lactose intolerance, bowel cancer, prostate cancer or gluten intolerance along with the scoliosis. Controversy has always surrounded the monarch who many believe  committed infanticide by murdering the princes in the tower.  The Richard III society won't have it, they believe that Henry VII stood to gain much more from the demise of the Princes and that he was the real culprit. The society are on a mission to prove Shakespeare wrong and show that Richard III was an honourable knight and pious prince.  If the genome tests are thorough, they may well shed a bit of light on the matter.  If the tests throw up genes that point to aggression or psychopathic behaviour such as the  MAO-A gene, or the gambling and risk taking gene, it could well be game over for the pious Richard (again).  None of it will help with the latest battle of the roses though.  Where will they bury Richard?  The white rose want him back in York but Leicester want to keep him. Given that the head of the house of Lancaster, John of Gaunt was an Earl of Leicester, the incumbents could be accused of surreptitiously waving a red rose. Maybe it will all come down to genetics in the end and Richard's descendants will have the last word. 


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