• Sweden edition
 
Swedish scientists study ice man bacteria samples

Swedish scientists study ice man bacteria samples

Published: 22 Dec 2010 13:58 GMT+01:00
Updated: 22 Dec 2010 13:58 GMT+01:00

Ötzi was discovered by two Germans tourists in September 1991 in the Ötztal Alps, near Hauslabjoch in Italy close to the Austria border.

His body is usually kept frozen, but he has been thawed recently to allow experts to examine him, among them Swedish infectious disease control professor Lars Engstrand at KI.

Engstrand hopes that the samples will reveal whether Ötzi had gastric ulcer and resistant bacteria.

"We are performing DNA extraction to map the gastric and intestinal microflora from 5,000 years ago and to try out to find if he had any signs of ulcer-causing bacteria. We will probably be finished in a couple of months, that's my gut feeling," Engstrand told The Local on Wednesday.

Engstrand and his team received faecal samples, as well as a 1 square centimetre section of Ötzi's stomach, on November 8th and will disclose their findings through scientific journals.

Engstrand is working with other scientists in Germany and Bordeaux to find any possible resistant genes that Ötzi may have possessed before the antibiotic era.

"We are quite convinced that we will find something. They have been found in soil bacteria. It will be interesting to see how these genes looked like then compared with today," explained Engstrand.

"This is a scientific study for public health, antibiotic resistance and virulence as these genes may have evolved over the years," he added.

Engstrand has never worked with such dated material, but pointed out that the material was long dead when they received it and as such, there are no viable organisms, so they are only working with DNA.

"This part of the body has not been exposed to other contaminating bacteria. He has been frozen for so many years, the DNA quality is crucial to our success," said Engstrand.

He added that the team will resume the research after Christmas and they expect to learn shortly thereafter if the DNA quality is viable for the study.

Ötzi is Europe's oldest natural human mummy. His body and belongings are displayed in the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, northern Italy.

Initially, Ötzi was believed to be a modern corpse, similar to others found in the region. The crude methods used to remove him by Austrian authorities from a glacier resulted in damage to the hip of the body.

At the time of his death, Ötzi was about 1.65 metres tall, weighed about 50 kilograms and was about 45 years old. When his body was found, it weighed 38 kilograms.

Because the body was covered in ice shortly after his death, it had only partially deteriorated.

Vivian Tse (vivian.tse@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

16:40 December 22, 2010 by JulieLou40
"We will probably be finished in a couple of months, that's my gut feeling," Engstrand told The Local on Wednesday.

Ho ho.
03:49 December 23, 2010 by Nemesis
Ötzi. The guy is full of suprises.

I have been following the results of research into him. He definately has been around.
07:05 December 23, 2010 by Tennessee Thunder
Sweden has a Scientist,,Damn.
Today's headlines
Motorists in sticky drama after jam spill

Motorists in sticky drama after jam spill

Drivers in western Sweden were forced to jam on the brakes after a van shed its load of preserves and juices which led to major traffic problems. READ  

Property of the Week
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån

In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week

Why settle for owning a house when you can own part of the island it is located on? This week's property allows you to get your money's worth of solitude while spending some time with your closest neighbour - the sea. READ  

Saab buys Swedish submarine shipyard
File photo: TT

Saab buys Swedish submarine shipyard

Swedish defence and aeronautics group Saab said Tuesday it had completed the acquisition of German heavy industry giant ThyssenKrupp's submarine shipyard in southern Sweden. READ  

Opinion
'The Danish narrative on Sweden is based on a lie'
File photo: Shutterstock

'The Danish narrative on Sweden is based on a lie'

There is a popular narrative that in Sweden people bite their tongues while in Denmark they speak their minds; political commentator Brian Esbensen debunks this, arguing that Danes simply find it easier to criticize others. READ  

Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'

Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'

After reports that wandering elks were scaring the public, police on the island of Frösön have decided not to open fire on the animals, but have urged locals to exercise caution instead. READ  

Swedish funds to tackle female genital mutilation
Sweden's Minister of International Development Cooperation Hillevi Engström with Foreign Minister Carl Bildt. File photo: TT

Swedish funds to tackle female genital mutilation

Sweden has earmarked 48 million kronor ($7 million) of its development aid budget to a United Nations programme to tackle female genital mutilation. READ  

Swedish leaders speak out on Gaza crisis
Photo: TT

Swedish leaders speak out on Gaza crisis

Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt believes Israel is interested in negotiating a ceasefire with Hamas while Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven has stood by his comment about the Israelis having a right to defend itself. READ  

New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
File photo: Systembolaget

New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries

Swedish micro-breweries have reacted with concern to new distribution regulations being imposed by the state controlled alcohol monopoly Systembolaget, which they fear may put them out of business. READ  

ABB and Volvo in electric buses tie-up
Volvo hybrid bus. Photo: Volvo Buses

ABB and Volvo in electric buses tie-up

Swiss-Swedish engineering group ABB and Volvo Buses of Sweden have announced a joint project to develop a system for electric buses to recharge their batteries fast when at bus stops. READ  

'First ever' heat warning issued for Sweden
Photo: TT

'First ever' heat warning issued for Sweden

Swedish weather agency SMHI has issued its first ever warning for high temperatures with the many areas set to bask in plus 30C heat. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
People-watching Båstad
Business & Money
Sweden falls to third in global innovation index
Society
Swedish ornithologists keep webcam watch
Photo: Andreas Nordström/Image Bank Sweden
Gallery
Top ten Swedish beach hot spots
Tech
Swedish Wiki vet sets new content record
Blog updates

22 July

PROTECTING GIRLS FROM ABUSE OF THEIR RIGHTS (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Today (22 July) my Prime Minister, David Cameron, and UNICEF, are hosting the world’s first #GirlSummit in London. The Summit’s aim is to mobilise domestic and international efforts to end the appalling practices of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Child Early Forced Marriage (CEFM). This is a high priority for the UK government and the Prime..." READ »

 

18 July

Starting over (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

" I’ve now been off the water for almost 14 days. At first I was totally gutted being forced into a rest period, I had Stockholm in my sights and apart from the pain and discomfort in my shoulder, spirits were high and I was starting to gain some momentum. The news hit me fairly hard and..." READ »

 
 
 
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån
Lifestyle
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching July 15-16
Photo: Ola Ericson/Image Bank Sweden
Society
What's On in Sweden
Photo: Lisa Mikulski
National
Hope springs eternal for expat pet shop owner
Gallery
Princess Estelle steals limelight at mum's birthday
National
Swedes risk infants' lives by covering up prams
National
Swede runs for office just using Bitcoin funds
Gallery
People-watching July 11-13
National
Malmö mayor slams Danish beggar ban
National
Swedish anti-abortion midwife sues county
National
Swede's salary chopped for Facebook use
National
Northern Sweden warmest in 90 years
Gallery
'Victoria Day': Crown Princess Victoria turns 37
Politics
Mona Sahlin to fight extremism in Sweden
National
EU tells Sweden to cover up snus flavours
Society
Swede snags assassin role in Tom Cruise film
Lifestyle
Top ten ways to spend a few days in Malmö
Gallery
Swedish summer tourism highlights
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

691
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se