Feeds

Ancient Iceman murder victim was lactose-intolerant, sickly

5,000-year-old corpse shows Oetzi might have pegged soon anyway

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Scientists sequencing the genome of the 5,000-year-old "Iceman" corpse found 20 years ago in the Tyrolean Alps, have discovered that he had brown eyes, was lactose-intolerant, prone to heart disease and had Lyme disease. The boffins also found that he may be related to some modern-day Northern Mediterraneans.

The results of their tests are published in the journal Nature Communications and unveil some of the characteristics of the ancient mountain roamer, the world's oldest glacier mummy.

Oetzi, who died of a flint arrow to the left shoulder and a blow to the head, also suffered from the tick-borne nervous system disorder Lyme disease, the scientists discovered after they found traces of an infection by the bacteria. It is the oldest documented case of Lyme disease in the world.

Despite a diet that was likely to be low in pork scratchings, the Iceman was also predisposed to coronary heart disease, the scientists found – confirming earlier findings that his arteries were found to be calcified. It's a discovery that shows it's not just modern lifestyles that are giving people heart attacks:

“The evidence that such a genetic predisposition already existed in Ötzi’s lifetime is of huge interest to us. It indicates that cardiovascular disease is by no means an illness chiefly associated with modern lifestyles. We are now eager to use these data to help us explore further how these diseases developed,” says anthropologist Albert Zink of Bolzano’s EURAC Institute for Mummies and the Iceman.

Oetzi may also have had trouble digesting milk products, as certain genes suggest he was lactose-intolerant – though that may have been the least of his troubles.

Oetzi's murder is described as the world's oldest murder case, and it's likely the Iceman was killed in a mountain-top skirmish between tribes as blood from other people was found on his clothes. He was found with a flint-bladed knife, a copper axe, and some berries and mushrooms (believed to be for medicinal use) on a string.

The gene-crunching also revealed some nuggets about Oetzi's ethnicity. One gene in particular suggested that Oetzi's ancestors migrated from the Middle East. The gene is uncommon in Europe but found in some modern day inhabitants of the Northern Mediterranean, including Italians but particularly the geographically isolated populations of Sardinia and Corsica. ®

New insights into the Tyrolean Iceman's origin and phenotype as inferred by whole-genome sequencing is published in Nature Communications.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault
Tooth embedded in thigh bone may tell who pulled the trigger
DOLPHINS SMELL MAGNETS – did we hear that right, boffins?
Xavier's School for Gifted Magnetotaceans
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.