A personal genomics company in Switzerland says they've reconstructed a DNA profile of King Tutankhamen by watching the Discovery Channel, claiming the results suggest more than half of Western European men are related to the boy king. But researchers who worked to decode Tut's genome in the first place say the claim is "unscientific."
Swiss genomics company iGENEA has launched a Tutankhamen DNA project based on what they say are genetic markers that appeared on a computer screen during a Discovery Channel special on the famous pharaoh's genetic lineage.
"Maybe they didn't know what they showed, but we got 16 markers from the Y chromosome from these pharaohs," Roman Scholz, the managing director of iGENEA, told LiveScience.
If the claims were true, it would put King Tut in a genetic profile group shared by more than half of Western European men. That would make those men relatives — albeit distant ones — of the pharaoh.
News from the Valley of the Kings (Kate Phizackerley)
Kate has a look at the sources used for the iGENEA claims.