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Scientists to sequence King Richard III's DNA

England's King Richard III, whose remains were unearthed in 2012, is set to have his genetic code sequenced.  

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Michael Ibsen, a 17th generation nephew of King Richard III, poses with a facial reconstruction of King Richard III at a news conference in central London in February 2013.

Andrew Winning/Reuters

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Richard III has already been immortalized as Shakespeare's hunchbacked antihero. Now scientists hope to immortalize his genetic code by sequencing his DNA.

Scientists believe the information will reveal the dead monarch's hair and eye color, provide insights into his ancestry, and even give some hints as to what ailed the infamous monarch, whose skeleton was unearthed beneath a parking lot in the English city of Leicester in 2012.

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The University of Leicester's Turi King, who is leading the gene sequencing project, said Tuesday that sequencing Richard III's genome "will help to teach us not only about him, but foment discussion about how our DNA informs our sense of identity, our past and our future."

Scientists will also sequence the genome of one of the king's confirmed living relatives, Michael Ibsen.