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Sci/Tech

Danish scientists unlock the mysteries of the past

New research demonstrates that proteins can show how individuals lived and died in the past


Researchers are closer to finding out how our ancestors lived and died (Photo: Colourbox)

March 24, 2014
15:36

by Annette Birch


New research has begun to unlock how our ancestors actually lived, what illnesses they suffered from, and how they died by analysing proteins found in their bodies, according to the scientific magazine Videnskab.dk.

Lung infection in mummy
By studying the building blocks of life, researcher Enrico Capello and his colleagues from the country’s natural history museum, Statens Naturhistoriske Museum, have been able to determine the illnesses of people and animals.

The researchers have, for example, been able to determine the antibiotic resistance of humans 1,000 years ago by analysing the proteins found in a 1,000-year-old mummified corpse's plaque residue. Likewise, in another study cited by Videnskab.dk, proteins were studied to show that a subject suffered from a serious lung infection at the time of death.

More research needed
However, the Danish researchers are not yet able to identify a lot of the illnesses and infections. To do so, they would first need to measure the number of proteins. As thing stand, they are only able to detect their presence.  



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