The 5,000-year-old mummy Öetzi, found in a glacier in the European alps 17 years ago and believed to be an ancestor of modern Europeans, actually belonged to a different genetic family and may have no living descendants, researchers report today in Current Biology. The researchers sequenced linkurl:mitochondrial DNA; extracted from Öetzi's intestines, offering the oldest complete mtDNA sequence of modern humans. "We sort of assume when we look at populations today we see representations of [ancient populations] as well," linkurl:Joanna Mountain; an anthropological geneticist at Stanford University who was not involved in the study, told The Scientist. The current study, she said, "counters that thinking." "Sequences from linkurl:mummies; and fossils can inspire us to consider a whole new history or path for human history" by revealing populations that we don't commonly think about, she added. Franco Rollo, an anthropological geneticist at the University of Camerino in Italy and first author...
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