The so-called Maiden mummy of a 15-year-old Incan girl who was sacrificed 500 years ago is giving up some secrets, revealing the teenager suffered from a bacterial lung infection at the time of her death, scientists report Wednesday (July 25).
The researchers analyzed tissue proteins, rather than DNA, from the Maiden and another young Inca mummy who died at the same time.
Over the last decade, DNA techniques have proven useful in helping solve ancient mysteries, such as how King Tut died. But these techniques aren't without faults. For example, finding evidence of a malaria-causing parasite in King Tut's system doesn't necessarily mean the Egyptian king suffered any malaria symptoms. Additionally, the environment can easily contaminate DNA samples, if researchers aren't careful.
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'Maiden' Inca Mummy Suffered Lung Infectionmummy ancient history health
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