Until now, the only gene Ozzy Osbourne knew about was the equally flamboyant KISS star, Gene Simmons. As a rock and TV star, Ozzy has led a remarkably chaotic lifestyle, fuelled at times by an excess of alcohol and drugs. So just how has he survived and does the answer lie locked up in his DNA?

Life Technologies supplied our current leading edge sequencer, SOLiD™ 4, to read Osbourne’s genome the equivalent of 13 times over. The information was downloaded onto a USB stick and our Massachusetts-based partner, Knome Inc. went through the results, which for the first time shows the possible genetic reasons for Osbourne’s indestructability.

Discoveries include: his ancient cousins lived in the Roman city of Pompeii and survived the explosion of Vesuvius in AD79, and that he has an unusual variant in “regulatory segment” in his ADH4 gene, which metabolises alcohol.

So having used the most advanced technology in the world today to unlock his genome how has he survived? Is it in his genes or could it be he owes his life to his loving wife, Sharon? Read the story in The Sunday Times to find out.

Osbourne and Greg Lucier will also be attending a biotech chat on Friday as part of the final session of TEDMED at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego. The San Diego Union Tribune will be live-blogging the event online, so tune in at 8:30am Pacific for more!