Feeds

Ancient Iceman murder victim was lactose-intolerant, sickly

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

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Simon's says quantum computing will work
Boffins blast algorithm with half a dozen qubits
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
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.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.