Iceman may have been infertile

Feb 03, 2006

The prehistoric man discovered in 1991 on a glacier in the Alps had roots in Central Europe and may have been infertile, say Italian researchers.

Researchers at the University of Camerino used mitochondrial DNA removed and isolated from the contents of his mummified intestines to perform their analysis, the BBC reported Friday.

Oetzi, the prehistoric man, had been frozen in a glacier for 5,000 years, until hikers found him 15 years ago.

"We screened sites, which have been described by other scientists as being linked to other pathologies or environmental adaptations -- a couple of these sites have been described as being linked to reduced sperm mobility and we found both on Oetzi's mitochondrial DNA," Dr. Franco Rollo, of the University of Camerino told the BBC.

"We cannot say for certain that he was suffering from this -- reduced sperm mobility-- but there is a chance."

The study is published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Group identity emphasized more by those who just make the cut

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New tool identifies therapeutic proteins in a 'snap'

Aug 21, 2014

(Phys.org) —In human and bacterial cells, glycosylation – the chemical process of attaching complex sugar molecules to proteins – is as fundamental as it gets, affecting every biological mechanism from cell signaling ...

Synthetic molecule makes cancer self-destruct

Aug 11, 2014

Researchers from The University of Texas at Austin and five other institutions have created a molecule that can cause cancer cells to self-destruct by ferrying sodium and chloride ions into the cancer cells.

Australia launches 'Green Army' for environment

Aug 02, 2014

Australia on Saturday launched its 'Green Army' which plans to recruit up to 15,000 young people for projects to conserve and rehabilitate the environment—the biggest land care mobilisation in the nation's ...

Recommended for you

Study identifies upside to financial innovations

2 hours ago

Financial innovations can make or break an economy. While the negative impact of financial innovation has been extensively covered, a new study of financial innovations before and during the last financial crisis indicates ...

User comments : 0