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Iceman mummy reveals new clues about stomach bacteria

Image: Iceman, the mummy that was found perfectly preserved in a Tyrolean glacier, is seen at the European Academy (Eurac) in Bolzano, northern Italy , in this December 4, 2015 picture. REUTERS/Sudtiroler Archaeologiemuseum/EURAC/Marco Samadelli-Gregor Staschitz/ Handout via Reuters

BOLZANO, Italy – A 5,300 year-old mummified corpse known as the Iceman, or Oetzi, is offering scientists new clues about a stomach infection.

Scientists at the EURAC Institute of Mummies and the Iceman in northern Italy removed the bacteria Helicobacter pylori from the mummy and conducted a DNA analysis. It showed the Iceman had an unmixed strain of the bacteria not seen in modern humans.

“He carried a more pure strain, an unmixed strain yet and we can say that the history of Helicobacter population genetics in Europe is different from previously thought,” said Albert Zink, the head of EURAC.

Scientists hope to conduct further studies to get more information about  the evolution and onset of the bacteria.   

Copyright 2015 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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