Oldest Human Blood Cells Found In Otzi The Iceman

By on May 3, 2012 in Archaelogy, Europe, Science, World Comments

Scientists were able to extract what is believed to be the oldest human blood cells ever found, international news sites reported on Thursday, May 3, 2012.

Otzi the Iceman
Otzi, the Iceman
Image Credit: 12vn.net

Reports said that the oldest human blood cells were found on the remains of Otzi, a prehistoric iceman from Italy who was believed to have roamed the Alps some 5,300 years ago.

An atomic force microscope was used to examine the tissue sections from a wound caused by an arrow on Otzi.

“They really looked similar to modern-day blood samples,” Professor Albert Zink, the German head of the Institute for Mummies and the Iceman at the European Academy in Bolzano reportedly said.

“So far, this is the clearest evidence of the oldest blood cells,” he added.

According to reports, the red blood cells found in Otzi had the same doughnut shape seen in people today.

“It is very interesting to see that the red blood cells can last for such a long time. This will also open up possibilities for forensic science and may help lead to a more precise determination of the age of blood spots in crime investigations,” Zink was quoted as saying.

The studies were done in conjunction with the Center for Nano Sciences in Munich and the Center for Smart Interfaces at Darmstadt Technical University in Germany, reports said.

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