DNA Testing

The analysis of Human DNA is a newly emerging science which is in a stage of accelerating growth, due to the fact that the same basic technique can be used for a number of different purposes.

In forensic investigations it can help identify the perpetrator of a crime. In medicine, research showing our genetic make is being linked to a predilection to certain illnesses. It can therefore assist in the cost effective targeting of preventative care.

It can also tell us much about our heritage.

Cells, Nucleii and Chromosones

inheritance-1 DNA is found in the neucleus of every cell within the human body were it works in conjuction with RNA to produce proteins which determine all our biological traits. Within the structure of the DNA there are 22 pairs of numbered Chromosones which contain two versions of each chromosone, one drawn from the mother and one from the father.

Structure of DNA

chromosones Although the structure of DNA is complex the nature of the strucure is a straightforward sequence of purines (A for Adenine, G for Guanine) and Pyrimidines (C for Cytosine, T for Thymine). In a double helix structure the double helix is linked by Purines and Pyrimidines ( A always bonds with T, G always bonds with C)

It is the sequence of these bonded links (AAAGAGAGGGGAAGA)which determines genetic structure.


inheritance-2 The two versions of DNA inherited from parents have distinctive markers called STR’s (Short Tandem Repeats). A child’s STR pattern will include both the parents STR’s. These markers can help pinpoint parents or grandparents of a child. STR’s however become unreliable beyond that as the mutations change relatively frequently and can reverse.

XY Pairing

xy-inheritance The XY Pairing is quite different. Each male child receives an X chromosome from the mother and a Y chromosome from the father. Over the history of Homo Sapiens, the X and Y chromosomes have experienced two kinds of genetic mutation. STR’s occur as they do in other sections of the DNA, and are similarly relatively transient. In the XY pairing another mutuation occurs SNP’s(Single Nucleotide Polymorphism) or “snips”

Tracing Ancestors

SNP mutations happen infrequently and do not reverse. For males analysis of the structure of the Y chromosome makes it possible to trace back male ancestors for tens of thousands of years and to identify which tribe the person belongs to. The scientific name for “tribe” is Haplogroup.

DNA Discrimination

A female child however receives an X chromosome from both father and mother but no Y chromosome . It is not possible therefore to trace a woman’s patrilineal heritage directly. It can be traced through the Y DNA of a father, brother or uncle, assuming those relationships are firmly established.


mitochondri-2 All of us, male and female, also carry, independent of the chromosomes in the nucleus of each cell, a material called Mitochondri. It is the material which enables cells to use the energy generated from food. It has its own independent, stable DNA and it is only inherited from our mothers. The Mitochondri therefore permits the tracing of our matrilineal heritage.

This tracing is possible for both men and women without a need to use relatives as a reference.

The most dangerous woman in the world

The Treasure of Trencavel

List of Characters

Table Of Contents



List of Places

Table of Contents

Pseudo History


Extract from The Prisoner of Foix--Chapter 43 -The EntranceNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley-26th April 1355


'Looks like we are going to see a bit of excitement, John. The Captain tried to get an agreement from the Prince that if there is surf running across the channel to Arcachon we will turn back to Bordeaux, but the Prince would hear none of it. Instead, he has offered to provide insurance for all three ships. If they are damaged or sunk, the owners will be compensated and every sailor who makes the passage will be given a bounty payment. What none of this seems to take into account is that if we sink in rough, fast-flowing waters we might all drown.'

John raised his eyebrows. 'But that is what we are going to do?'

'Yes, despite the fact that surf running accross the entrance is not uncommon and the deep water channel moves continually. In the end, the Prince attacked their captains on their weakest point, their professional pride! He threw down the gauntlet. He offered to take the Sally first through the channel, and to take control during the passage.' He raised his brow. 'We are going into the Bay of Arcachon, come what may! '

Extract from The Eagle of Carcassone -- Chapter 24-- A Real GoddessNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley - 22 July 1355

An hour later John walked with Ximene close to the river along the valley below St Feriole. It was the very essence of a summer’s day. The sun was fierce but in the shadow of the trees, it was cool and fragrant. The trees and shrubs along the riverbank hid their progress, from the Château, from St Feriole.

Eventually they reached a point where John thought it was safe to emerge from cover. To his satisfaction the stream extended into a pool with a sandy beach, shaded by trees. Where the stream entered the pool there was a flat grassy area, almost circular. Behind this, the bulk of two mountain ridges provided a splendid backdrop. He looked around once more ‘Not just a good training ground but a great training ground. If the Greek heroes knew about this they might be tempted to join me, to train with me’

Ximene laughed out loud. He turned to look at her. She had removed her outer clothes and was wearing a white chemise, cut short so that it barely reached her knees. Around her waist, she wore a plaited leather belt, obviously fashioned from the multitude of leather straps to be found in the tackle room.

She ran her hands down over her breasts. ‘When you were unconscious I heard you muttering about gods and goddesses, so  I have decided that from now on, for you, I will be the goddess.’

The Prisoner of FoixVol 1 of the series—The Treasure of Trencavel

Aquitaine, an English possession, is in crisis. It is under threat from neighbouring nations and internal dissension.

The Black Prince, King Edward III’s eldest son has been given the task of taking command in Aquitaine.

Suddenly there is an opportunity. Ximene Trencavel is the heiress to the lands of Occitan, to the east of Aquitaine: lands controlled by the Franks. Ximene wants independence, both for herself and for Occitan.

A union between Aquitaine and Occitan would be mutually beneficial. The Black Prince undertakes a secret journey to meet Ximene to negotiate a marriage contract. It is, however, a marriage neither of them really wants.

Meanwhile, the  Franks plot to murder Ximene to prevent ,not just the marriage, but any kind of union between England and Occitan.

The Eagle Of CarcassonneVol II of the series—The Treasure of Trencavel

The loose alliance between Ximene Trencavel and the Black Prince is under threat.

The Prince invades Occitan, to show his support for Ximene but it becomes an invasion which creates more problems than it solves.

The Prince has fallen hopelessly in love with Joan of Kent and Joan is now determined to marry him and become the next Queen of England.

Joan is therefore  determined to convince Ximene that she should not marry the Prince.

Part of her strategy is to encourage Ximene’s relationship with John Stanley—one of the Princes bodyguards—not an easy task as both John and Ximene have doubts about their compatibility.

However, John is grievously injured in a battle and Ximene commits herself to nurse him back to health.