Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Scientists find oldest human blood

A bit about Otzi

Otzi the iceman lived roughly 5,300 years ago.

The mummy was found back in 1991 and is Europes oldest mummy.

Last Thursday scientists discovered what they believe to be the oldest traces of human blood ever seen.

Otzi was examined and found in a glacier and was discovered to have been felled by an arrow wound.

Professor Albert Zink said "So far, this is the clearest evidence of the oldest blood cells."

Over the last 2 decades scientists have probed Otzi's body for clues to his enviroment.

Scientists have examined his stomach, teeth and bowels.
A reconstruction of what he may have
looked like

Otzi has type-O blood and was roughly 45 when he died.

Doughnut cells

While examining Otzi, Zink said he found 'doughnut shaped' cells, much similar to today's red blood cells.

To confirm his results, Zink and his team used another method called the Raman spectroscopy method.

A laser beam illuminates a tissue sample and analysis of the spectrum of the dispersed light allows molecules to be identified.

The second experiment confirms Otzi's blood as the oldest documented human blood discovered.

Zink hopes his team can probe Otzi further for analysis on his enzymes, proteins and immune system also.

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