Tags: Iceman | lyme | heart | Oetzi
Image: DNA of 'The Iceman' Cometh to Show Health Problems
The fact that Oetzi was buried in ice for 5,300 years left his corpse remarkably preserved. (Getty Images Photo)

DNA of 'The Iceman' Cometh to Show Health Problems

Tuesday, 28 Feb 2012 06:02 PM

By Marti Lotman

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“Oetzi The Iceman,” whose 5,300-year-old corpse was found in the permafrost of the Italian Alps in 1991, had a few health challenges, including Lyme disease and a bad ticker, according to a new report in Nature Communications.

Those findings emerged in the 20-year quest for Oetzi’s full genetic picture, which reveals that he was not only the first documented case of Lyme disease bacterium infection but also lactose intolerant and predisposed to heart disease, reports BBC News.

What’s more, he had brown eyes and type O blood, the tests found.

Although his body was found in the Alps, Oetzi’s DNA revealed that he is more closely related to modern populations in Corsica and Sardinia.

“We’ve been studying The Iceman for 20 years. We know so many thing about him — where he lived, how he died — but ever little was known about his genetics, the genetic information he was carrying around,” Albert Zink of the Eurac Institute for Mummies and the Iceman in Bolzano, Italy, told the BBC.

Questions about his cause of death may linger, but many refer to it as the oldest murder case on record.

“This was really exciting, and I think it’s just the start for a longer study on this level,” Zink said. “We still would like to learn more from this data — we’ve only just started to analyze it.”

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