The Iceman(‘s Sequence) Cometh
by Kim Evans - 07/28/10
Researchers from Germany will be using Applied Biosystems’ “revolutionary” SOLiD sequencing technology to develop a genetic profile of the oldest known, naturally preserved mummy, affectionately dubbed Ötzi.
Since Ötzi’s discovery in 1991, he has been extensively studied, and science knows a lot about him. He’s been x-rayed, dated and measured. His tissues and the contents of his intestines have been examined with a microscope, revealing information about his diet and the fact that today he would be diagnosed with smoker’s lung. But his entire genome has not yet been sequenced.
Ötzi’s genome sequence could yield important information about how he lived and who his descendents are. It could also give modern medicine information about the diseases people who lived over 5,000 years ago struggled with. It is only now, with the development of advanced sequencing technologies like SOLiD, that science can gain a true understanding of our ancestors’ genetic makeup.
Perhaps when we finish, we can compare Ötzi’s DNA to Ozzy’s DNA.