Iceman Carries The Oldest Red Blood Cells In The World

While some scientists dedicate their lives into preparing for the future, some keep going back as much as technology and evidence allows for. Our history as civilization continues to mesmerize and bring new developments, as scientists keep tracing human history back in time. In recent news, scientists found the oldest red blood cells in the world in a 5300-year-old iceman.

Scientists with the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology made a discovery that shows exactly what kind of advanced technologies we benefit from. Looking at forensic studies and evidence from a mummy called Otzi the Iceman, scientists managed to identify the oldest red blood cells in the world. Basically, Otzi lived some 5,300 years ago, when was killed by an arrowhead injury and then was frozen.

Researchers Marek Jankol, Robert W. Stark and Albert Zink are the scientists that have announced the finding. They published their study in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface and they say their red blood cell findings are of essential value for the medical and historical world.

They were particularly intrigued by solving the cause of the crime, so forensics and blood analyses were a huge part of their work. The study reads that “the recovery and analysis of blood cells from ancient tissues is of major interest. In this study, we show that RBCs were preserved in Iceman tissue samples for more than 5000 years”.

The finding was possible thanks to the use of an atomic force microscope based on nanotechnology. Then the results were confirmed by submittal to a laser technique known as Raman spectroscopy.

Otzi’s death has been puzzling scientists for quite a while. Ever since his finding in 1991 in a glacier at 3,200 meters, scientists were intrigued to learn how Otzi the iceman died. Was it a violent death or did he struggle for several days? Thanks to this study, the mystery now has an answer.

According to researchers, Otzi had a quick and most likely painless death. Evidence of blood-clotting agent called fibrin told researchers that he died quickly, thus putting an end to theories that claimed the iceman survived the arrow injury for some time.

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