Researchers uncover genetic Lincoln family secretBreaking News
Now, researchers at the University of Minnesota have uncovered a genetic secret that has plagued the Lincoln family for at least 11 generations: a mutation that causes a form of ataxia, a crippling neurological disease.
The discovery could shed new light on the causes of a number of similar diseases, said Laura Ranum, a university geneticist who led the research project.
But on a historic level, she said, it also raises intriguing new questions about the 16th president, whose health has long been a topic of speculation.
Ranum, who has studied the Lincoln family since 1992, doesn't know whether the president carried the defective gene.
But through genetic detective work, she and her colleagues studied 300 distant cousins of the president (he has no living descendents himself; the last, Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith, died in 1985). They found that about a third have ataxia, including Smith, of Manteca, Calif.
comments powered by Disqus
- Rise of Donald Trump Tracks Growing Debate Over Global Fascism
- Tales of African-American History Found in DNA
- History Celebrates New Show Roots With Project to Digitize Post-Slavery Documents
- In 1453, this Ottoman sultan ended Christian rule in Constantinople. But was he a good Muslim?
- Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation among documents sold for $6.2m in New York
- History Relevance Campaign meets at the Smithsonian
- Bernard Lewis Turns 100
- David Lowenthal, author of "The Past Is a Foreign Country,” says it’s folly to scratch the names of slaveholders off buildings
- Jean Edward Smith, biographer of FDR and Ike, has a new biography coming out … of George W. Bush
- Flora Fraser, biographer of George and Martha Washington, wins $50,000 George Washington Prize