CSI Cairo

Posted by on October 9th, 2009

It took 2,500 years but investigators finally cracked the case of out what killed an Egyptian woman. What makes this particularly interesting is how recent DNA extraction techniques made it possible to extract fragments of tuberculosis bacteria DNA. She had been misdiagnosed just a decade earlier as having been killed by ovarian cancer.

After analyzing ancient DNA from tissue samples, Helen D. Donoghue of University College London and colleagues say that the mummified woman, who lived around 600 B.C. and was entombed in Thebes, died of tuberculosis, not ovarian cancer.

link: Observatory – Revising the Diagnosis Behind an Ancient Death – NYTimes.com

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