“Otzi,” Italy’s prehistoric iceman, probably does not have any modern day descendants, according to a study published Thursday.
A team of Italian and British scientists who sequenced his mitochondrial DNA — which is passed down through the mother’s line — found that Otzi belonged to a genetic lineage that is either extremely rare or has died out.
Otzi’s 5,300-year-old corpse was found frozen in the Tyrolean Alps in 1991.
“Our research suggests that Otzi’s lineage may indeed have become extinct,” Martin Richards of Leeds University in Britain, who worked on the study, said in a statement.
October 31, 2008
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