Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Are you related to the Iceman

In what I think is really cool news researchers have now conducted DNA studies on Oetzi the iceman. Oetzis well-preserved, 5,300 year old mummified body was found in 1991 on the Tisenjoch Pass in the Italian part of the Oeztal Alps. The DNA analysis shows us he had brown eyes, type O blood, and was lactose intolerant. He was also genetically predisposed to coronary heart disease and shows signs of the earliest known infection of Lyme disease.

But what I think is really cool is the possibility that researchers may be able to find living descendants using DNA testing. Of course we don't know for sure if Oetzi fathered any children. His DNA test did show mutations typically found in men with reduced sperm function that can render them infertile. But even if Oetzi had only one or two sons, after 5,300 years he could literally have millions of descendants. You could be one. How cool would that be.

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