Oldest blood cells found in iceman

Scientists examining the remains of “Otzi”, Italy’s prehistoric iceman who roamed the Alps some 5,300 years ago, said on Thursday they have isolated what are believed to be the oldest traces of human blood ever found.

The German and Italian scientists said they used an atomic force microscope to examine tissue sections from a wound caused by an arrow that killed the Copper Age man, who was found frozen in a glacier, and from a laceration on his right hand. “They really looked similar to modern-day blood samples,” said Professor Albert Zink, 46, the German head of the Institute for Mummies and the Iceman at the European Academy in Bolzano, the capital of Italy’s German-speaking Alto-Adige region. “So far, this is the clearest evidence of the oldest blood cells,” he said by telephone, adding that the new technique might now be used to examine mummies from Egypt.
The studies were carried out in conjunction with the Center for Smart Interfaces at Darmstadt Technical University in Germany and the Center for Nano Sciences in Munich.
Over the last two decades, scientists have collected data from the stomach, bowels and teeth of the well-preserved man, who was found protruding out of a glacier by German climbers in1991 in the Tyrolean Alps on the Austrian-Italian border.
Otzi, whose nickname derives from the German word for the area where he was found, had brown hair and type-O blood and was believed to be 45 when he was felled by an arrow while climbing the high mountains some 5,300 years ago. The nanotechnology instrument used by Zink and his team scans the surface of the tissue sections using a very fine probe, the scientists said in a summary of their report.
As the probe moves over the surface, sensors measure every tiny deflection of the probe, line by line and point by point, building up a three-dimensional image. Zink, an anthropologist, said the red blood cells his team found had a classic doughnut shape seen in healthy people today. “It is very interesting to see that the red blood cells can last for such a long time,” he said. “This will also open up possibilities for forensic science and may help lead to a more precise determination of the age of blood spots in crime investigations,” he added.
Earlier this year, the scientists made the first complete genome-sequencing on Otzi, determining that the man had a predisposition for cardiovascular diseases and brown eyes that betrayed possible near-Eastern origins. Otzi had lactose intolerance that was common among Neolithic agrarian societies and was also the first-known carrier of Lyme disease, a bacterial infection spread by ticks. Exam-ination of the wound where the arrow entered Otzi’s back identified fibrin, a pr-otein involved in the clotting of blood. — Reuters

Post new comment

<form action="/comment/reply/148396" accept-charset="UTF-8" method="post" id="comment-form"> <div><div class="form-item" id="edit-name-wrapper"> <label for="edit-name">Your name: <span class="form-required" title="This field is required.">*</span></label> <input type="text" maxlength="60" name="name" id="edit-name" size="30" value="Reader" class="form-text required" /> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-mail-wrapper"> <label for="edit-mail">E-Mail Address: <span class="form-required" title="This field is required.">*</span></label> <input type="text" maxlength="64" name="mail" id="edit-mail" size="30" value="" class="form-text required" /> <div class="description">The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.</div> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-comment-wrapper"> <label for="edit-comment">Comment: <span class="form-required" title="This field is required.">*</span></label> <textarea cols="60" rows="15" name="comment" id="edit-comment" class="form-textarea resizable required"></textarea> </div> <fieldset class=" collapsible collapsed"><legend>Input format</legend><div class="form-item" id="edit-format-1-wrapper"> <label class="option" for="edit-format-1"><input type="radio" id="edit-format-1" name="format" value="1" class="form-radio" /> Filtered HTML</label> <div class="description"><ul class="tips"><li>Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.</li><li>Allowed HTML tags: &lt;a&gt; &lt;em&gt; &lt;strong&gt; &lt;cite&gt; &lt;code&gt; &lt;ul&gt; &lt;ol&gt; &lt;li&gt; &lt;dl&gt; &lt;dt&gt; &lt;dd&gt;</li><li>Lines and paragraphs break automatically.</li></ul></div> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-format-2-wrapper"> <label class="option" for="edit-format-2"><input type="radio" id="edit-format-2" name="format" value="2" checked="checked" class="form-radio" /> Full HTML</label> <div class="description"><ul class="tips"><li>Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.</li><li>Lines and paragraphs break automatically.</li></ul></div> </div> </fieldset> <input type="hidden" name="form_build_id" id="form-47ddbf27f306d510b6a22a23333b45e8" value="form-47ddbf27f306d510b6a22a23333b45e8" /> <input type="hidden" name="form_id" id="edit-comment-form" value="comment_form" /> <fieldset class="captcha"><legend>CAPTCHA</legend><div class="description">This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.</div><input type="hidden" name="captcha_sid" id="edit-captcha-sid" value="61532871" /> <input type="hidden" name="captcha_response" id="edit-captcha-response" value="NLPCaptcha" /> <div class="form-item"> <div id="nlpcaptcha_ajax_api_container"><script type="text/javascript"> var NLPOptions = {key:'c4823cf77a2526b0fba265e2af75c1b5'};</script><script type="text/javascript" src="http://call.nlpcaptcha.in/js/captcha.js" ></script></div> </div> </fieldset> <span class="btn-left"><span class="btn-right"><input type="submit" name="op" id="edit-submit" value="Save" class="form-submit" /></span></span> </div></form>

No Articles Found

No Articles Found

No Articles Found

I want to begin with a little story that was told to me by a leading executive at Aptech. He was exercising in a gym with a lot of younger people.

Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen didn’t make the cut. Neither did Shaji Karun’s Piravi, which bagged 31 international awards.