Paper Chase: DNA Analysis and the Shroud of Turin: Development of a Shroud CODIS

imageSTERA has just published another paper by Kelly Kearse, DNA Analysis and the Shroud of Turin: Development of a Shroud CODIS. This is Kelly’s fourth paper at This paper will certainly shape discussions about future research on the shroud.

Barrie Schwortz, in introducing the paper this morning on, writes:

once again, he has taken a very technical subject and made it interesting and understandable for everyone,”

Based so far on an early morning first read (the coffee is still brewing), I agree. More importantly, what do you think?


Since its development in the mid 1980s, DNA analysis has become a standard procedure utilized by law enforcement and legal systems in the forensic examination of human remains, and to help establish or exclude a connection to a crime scene. The recent progression of gene amplification and enrichment strategies, together with next generation sequencing techniques, have made the analysis of ancient and degraded DNA samples much more feasible than previously imagined. Human DNA has been isolated from the Shroud of Turin, although the results remain rather limited and controversial. Indeed, it is unknown if such DNA truly originates from blood cells present on the cloth or is the result of contamination from exogenous sources. Here, the potential and limitations of modern molecular biology techniques in the analysis of the Shroud of Turin are reviewed, including the evaluation of both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA.

3 thoughts on “Paper Chase: DNA Analysis and the Shroud of Turin: Development of a Shroud CODIS”

  1. Well done, Dr. Kearse.

    So for us science-challenged Shroudies, the gist of the paper is: DNA is such a complex element to work with that all existing conclusions (re: the Shroud) should be considered unconfirmed at best. We have new technologies and methodolgies that would allow us to provide much more accurate and confirmable conclusions. It would be nice if these someday could be utilized.

    This paper is a great audtion for Dr. Kearse to be a member of any STURP II.

  2. Kelly, congratulations on an extremely interesting paper, but it may be challenging for you in the future, if your studies find Jesus’ mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) places Him in the Katrine haplogroup (European origins).

    Enjoy the research!


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