Neuron Culture

Copernicus corpse confirmed

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Computerized reconstruction, via BBC

from Nature’s The Great Beyond:

Copernicus corpse confirmed – November 21, 2008

A skull from Frombork cathedral in Poland has been identified as that of revolutionary astronomer Copernicus.

Marie Allen, of Uppsala University, says DNA from the skull is a match for DNA from hairs found in books owned by Copernicus, whose book De revolutionibus orbium coelestium started the movement to viewing the sun — rather than the Earth — as the centre of the solar system.

“The two strands of hair found in the book have the same genome sequence as the tooth from the skull and a bone from Frombork,” she says (AFP).

Polish police have used the skull to create a reconstruction of how its owner might have looked. This, says AFP, “bears a striking resemblance to portraits of the young Copernicus.”

More via the BBC and the Guardian