Unravelling the mystery of Nanga Parbat
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Since the disappearance of Günther Messner, brother of the world-famous mountaineer Reinhold Messner, on an expedition to Nanga Parbat in 1970, the circumstances of his death have given rise to controversy. Reinhold Messner claimed that he and Günther descended the Diamir face together when an avalanche killed his brother, while other expedition members argued that Günther was abandoned by Reinhold to descend the Rupal face. Now, 35 years after the event, Günther’s remains have been found at the Diamir face and have been identified by forensic DNA fingerprinting. The location of the remains supports Messner’s version, thus putting to rest one of the climbing communities’ most publicised controversies.
KeywordsMessner Mitochondrial DNA SNP screening Y-STRs Identification Forensic DNA typing
We thank Cordula Eichmann, Anna König and Bettina Zimmermann for their assistance and valuable laboratory work.
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