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The royal dynasty, and facial disfigurement-known as the ‘Habsburg jaw’ is caused by inbreeding, scientists say

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Facial disfigurement-known as “Hapsburg jaw,” a famous mention in the the Habsburg dynasty, the Spanish and Austrian rulers, which can be attributed to inbreeding.

According to a new study published in the Annals of Human Biology, that looked at facial malformations, and examined the possibility of a genetic basis for the unique-chin is the result of generations of intermarriage.

“The Hapsburg dynasty, and was one of the most powerful in Europe, and became well-known due to inbreeding, which is the ultimate trap. We show for the first time, that there is a positive relationship between inbreeding and the appearance of the Habsburg jaw,” said lead researcher, Professor of the Roman Center of the University of Santiago de Compostela, in a statement.

The researchers recruited 10 maxillofacial, surgeons for the diagnosis of facial deformity, with 66 portraits of each of the 15 members of the Habsburg dynasty. The surgeons were able to diagnose 11 of the features of the mandibular prognathism, which is also known as the “Hapsburg jaw,” as well as the screening of the maxillary deficiency, it is most commonly recognized by a prominent lower lip and a small nose-tip.

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King Charles II of Spain was under the austro-Hungarian lines in the most severely affected, with a face deformity. (Don Juan Carreño de Miranda)
(Don Juan Carreño de Miranda)

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The Habsburgs occupied the throne of the Holy Roman Empire from 1438 until the dynasty’s extinction in the male line in 1740. The last Habsburg king of Spain, Charles II, died in 1700. The dynasty of the Austrian line continued to be up until the end of the first world War, when the Emperor, Karl I, renounced control over the affairs of state.

According to a press release, the study found an association between the two conditions, suggesting that it is the “Hapsburg jaw”) is characterized by both-and they all share a common genetic basis.

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While the origins of the relationship between inbreeding and deformity of the face, it is not clear, the scientists suggest that this is because of the mating between close relatives causes an increase in the probability that the offspring will possess the identical forms of a particular gene from both parents. This will reduce the peoples’ of the genetic condition.

“During the course of our research, it is based on the historical data, the future is still very common in some geographic regions and among certain ethnic, racial, and religious groups, and, therefore, it is very important nowadays to research what the effects are,” says the Center. “The Hapsburg dynasty will serve as a sort of human laboratory for the researchers to do so, because of the range of inbreeding is so high.”

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