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'Iceman' mummy holds world's oldest blood cells

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posted on May, 2 2012 @ 10:44 AM
I found this, and thought it was pretty cool.
Despite the fact that we have tissue from a 5,000 yr. old human, which is cool all by itself.

They did not expect to find any whole blood cells, most likely just dessicated bits.
What I found particularly interesting was the way they were able to identify the blood cells.

They turned to a device called an atomic force microscope, which works by "feeling" rather than "seeing" an object. The minuscule probe, itself invisible to the naked eye, runs over the object like a needle on a record player. As the probe bumps up and down along the object's contours, a laser measures the movement. The result is a three-dimensional "tracing" of the object.

I would imagine this could help identify cancerous or malformed cells earlier on.

Additionally it appears studying this mummies blood will also benefit other areas.

While other researchers have attempted to identify blood on older stone tools, this is the oldest definite confirmation of blood, Zink said. The find may help advance forensic science, because current crime-scene technology has trouble differentiating between old and new blood, he said.


I wonder if they are going to clone him? I think it would be cool to see any differences compared to people today. That might not be noticeable from a mummy.

posted on May, 2 2012 @ 01:01 PM

posted on May, 2 2012 @ 08:19 PM
That's some amazing technology. What material is the probe made of?

posted on May, 2 2012 @ 08:23 PM
That was my first thought.
How long til somebody clones him?

Cool story either way

posted on May, 3 2012 @ 04:48 AM
Interesting. I wonder if they will be able to isolate any DNA, especially mitochondrial DNA.

Could be some new info on human history to be found.

posted on May, 3 2012 @ 04:58 AM

Originally posted by watchitburn

The mummy is a cricket??

Very interesting stuff.

posted on May, 3 2012 @ 09:52 AM
reply to post by Cecilofs

Yes, they were able to extract and analyze his mt-DNA, apparently a few years ago. I'm sure they have learned much.

This new study (released August 2, 2010) provides the most information to date about the iceman's DNA. Two earlier studies (see below) analyzed his mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) which provides information about his female ancestors. The new study--with its complete genome--opens the door to a wider population of matches. By the twentieth anniversary of the Iceman's discovery (September 19, 2011), scientists are hopeful that a few modern-day relatives might be found.


reply to post by dsm1664

Ha Ha, no. The thread had been up for about 10 hours before anyone wanted to discuss it.

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