View Full Version : Lyme DNA Found In 5,000 Ice Mummy

10-28-11, 06:21 PM
I was watching a PBS's special NOVA episode called the Iceman Murder Mystery.
They were doing an autopsy on Otzi the Iceman, a 5,000 year old mummified corpse found in the Italian Alps to find the cause of his death and something about what life was like at that time.
They took a DNA sample from deep in the bone to get a pure sample not contaminated by surface DNA. The sample was 97% pure Otzi's DNA, but 3% was from the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease, Borrelia burgdorferi .

The researchers on the video were surprised and said that this shows Lyme disease is at least 5,000 years old.
They went back and looked at Otzi's x-rays which showed arthritic changes that could have been due to Lyme disease.

The part about the Lyme DNA starts around 41 minutes into the video:

Mellow's super research skills found a transcript with results of the autopsy from National Geographic:

10-28-11, 06:29 PM
Otzi also showed DNA markers for heart disease and had calcification in the arteries (sign of heart disease). Even though he exercised and had a real organic diet, the smoke from fires was equivalent to a heavy smoker today.....