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Wednesday 24 September 2014

TV show getting all shook up over Elvis Presley’s DNA

TV show getting all shook up over Presley's DNA

Sherna Noah

Published 26/03/2014 | 02:30

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Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley

A TELEVISION show which attempts to sequence the DNA of historical figures from Adolf Hitler to Marilyn Monroe claims to have discovered what could have caused Elvis Presley's early death.

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The controversial Channel 4 show, Dead Famous DNA, has already hit the headlines after it emerged that TV bosses paid Holocaust denier David Irving thousands of pounds for a lock of what was supposed to be Hitler's hair.

At an advance screening yesterday of the first episode in the new series, it was revealed that tests have also been performed on what could be bone from the Nazi leader's ribcage, while producers have discovered that the hair which they paid Irving £3,000 for had not come from the German dictator.

DNA analysis on a hair sample thought to have come from the king of rock-'n'-roll, which was bought from a friend of the singer's barber, has revealed that the Suspicious Minds singer could have suffered from a heart muscle disease.

The DNA results – analysed by Dr Stephen Kingsmore in Kansas – showed mutations, known as "variants", which cause migraines, glaucoma and obesity.

Presley, a junk-food addict who relied heavily on prescription drugs, was known to have suffered from headaches, bad eyesight and ballooned in weight towards the end of his life.

Scientists also found a "crucial" variant known to cause hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – a heart muscle disease which causes the thickening of the heart and weakening of the heart muscle.

Presley displayed many of the symptoms of this disease, including an irregular heartbeat, fatigue, fainting and high blood pressure. The star was found dead in 1977 at the age of 42 slumped in a bathroom at Graceland, his mansion in Memphis, Tennessee.

Producers said that although it was officially known that Presley died of heart failure, the cause of his heart failure was still subject to speculation.

Press Association

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