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Titanic : Deceased infant aboard Titanic gets new identity
Posted by webmaster on 2007/8/1 18:07:27 (55692 reads)

DNA sequencing nearly 100 years later shows boy baby is misidentified and re-identified to someone else.

Original news release at BBC, Thanks to BBC for linking to us!.

A Finnish boy at times of the first DNA sequencing showed an age of 13 months now experts contend that the baby would be a 19 months old English child.


The baby was found floating in the water six days after the event.

DNA testing in 2002 misidentified the baby as Eino Panula, matching the DNA strains to a family members in Finland.


Canadian experts contend that he was the 19 months old Sidney Leslie Goodwin, travelling on the Titanic with the rest of his family to start a new life in America.


"It's very easy to say you got this wrong, but nevertheless that is how science works, and you do change your ideas and you do change your theories," said Ryan Parr, the Canadian expert and educational researcher at Lakehead University in Ontario.


"The evidence was pretty conclusive at the time." he further contended.


The teeth of the child was the major factor that scientists used to narrow the field of possible candidates to children of about one year old.


"There were some aspects that made us a bit uncomfortable, even though that's what the teeth experts were telling us," Mr Parr said. "So we pressed forward and did more DNA testing." he further contended.


A test on the child's HVS1, a type of mitochondria DNA molecule, did not match the Panula family, the researchers said.

The body was buried in a grave along with another 1,500 Titanic victims in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, which was dedicated to "the unknown child".

He became a symbol of all the children who died in the disaster.

After he was first identified, his surviving Finnish relatives travelled to the grave for a high-profile ceremony.

Although the Goodwin family has been informed of the discovery, it is not known whether they have any plans to visit the cemetery.

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