Biological Materials as Historical Artifacts
Does medical privacy last beyond the grave? Historical artifacts that are biological materials, such as a lock of Beethoven’s hair or the blood of Lincoln–in the form of stains on bed sheets–can provide answers to historical questions: Were opiates included in the more than 75 medicines given to Beethoven on his deathbed? Did Lincoln have Marfan syndrome?
This article describes the activities of a one interdisciplinary group organized by the Chicago Historical Society to look at these questions.
Glennda Chui, Rules Sought for Genetic Sleuths, Mercury News, April 9, 2004.