October 31, 2008

The Iceman didn’t, apparently

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 2:49 pm

Ancient iceman probably has no modern relatives

“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.

1 Comment

  1. Is it me, or does this article make no sense? As I understand it, mtDNA traces matrilineal descent: Otzi may have impregnated every woman in Europe and it would leave no mtDNA traces.

    Comment by dogscratcher — October 31, 2008 @ 9:20 pm

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