Ten pigtails of hair thought to be from seven mutineers of “Mutiny on the Bounty” fame and three of their female Polynesian companions will be analysed in a new collaboration between the Pitcairn Islands Study Centre at Pacific Union College (California, US) and the forensic DNA group at King’s College London (UK).
The forensic DNA group at King’s has been sent hair strands from the ten pigtails, which are currently on display in the California-based centre, to help establish as much information as possible on their origins.
As the pigtails purportedly date back to the pre-1800s, the King’s team will first attempt to extract DNA from the historical hair samples after cleaning the outside and then digesting the hair matrix using a chemical process. Nuclear DNA is not found in hair shafts, only the roots which are not available here; however, mitochondrial DNA may be present. If sufficient mitochondrial DNA can be collected, the first step will be to investigate the ancestral origins of the owners of the pigtails.
Read more : http://phys.org/news/2016-08-forensic-analysis-pigtails-mutineers-hms.html