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Sample records for 5300-year-old tyrolean iceman

  1. The 5300-year-old Helicobacter pylori genome of the Iceman.

    PubMed

    Maixner, Frank; Krause-Kyora, Ben; Turaev, Dmitrij; Herbig, Alexander; Hoopmann, Michael R; Hallows, Janice L; Kusebauch, Ulrike; Vigl, Eduard Egarter; Malfertheiner, Peter; Megraud, Francis; O'Sullivan, Niall; Cipollini, Giovanna; Coia, Valentina; Samadelli, Marco; Engstrand, Lars; Linz, Bodo; Moritz, Robert L; Grimm, Rudolf; Krause, Johannes; Nebel, Almut; Moodley, Yoshan; Rattei, Thomas; Zink, Albert

    2016-01-01

    The stomach bacterium Helicobacter pylori is one of the most prevalent human pathogens. It has dispersed globally with its human host, resulting in a distinct phylogeographic pattern that can be used to reconstruct both recent and ancient human migrations. The extant European population of H. pylori is known to be a hybrid between Asian and African bacteria, but there exist different hypotheses about when and where the hybridization took place, reflecting the complex demographic history of Europeans. Here, we present a 5300-year-old H. pylori genome from a European Copper Age glacier mummy. The "Iceman" H. pylori is a nearly pure representative of the bacterial population of Asian origin that existed in Europe before hybridization, suggesting that the African population arrived in Europe within the past few thousand years. PMID:26744403

  2. Preservation of 5300 year old red blood cells in the Iceman

    PubMed Central

    Janko, Marek; Stark, Robert W.; Zink, Albert

    2012-01-01

    Changes in elasticity and structures of red blood cells (RBCs) are important indicators of disease, and this makes them interesting for medical studies. In forensics, blood analyses represent a crucial part of crime scene investigations. For these reasons, the recovery and analysis of blood cells from ancient tissues is of major interest. In this study, we show that RBCs were preserved in Iceman tissue samples for more than 5000 years. The morphological and molecular composition of the blood corpuscle is verified by atomic force microscope and Raman spectroscopy measurements. The cell size and shape approximated those of healthy, dried, recent RBCs. Raman spectra of the ancient corpuscle revealed bands that are characteristic of haemoglobin. Additional vibrational modes typical for other proteinaceous fragments, possibly fibrin, suggested the formation of a blood clot. The band intensities, however, were approximately an order of magnitude weaker than those of recent RBCs. This fact points to a decrease in the RBC-specific metalloprotein haemoglobin and, thus, to a degradation of the cells. Together, the results show the preservation of RBCs in the 5000 year old mummy tissue and give the first insights into their degradation. PMID:22552923

  3. Nanostructure and mechanics of mummified type I collagen from the 5300-year-old Tyrolean Iceman

    PubMed Central

    Janko, Marek; Zink, Albert; Gigler, Alexander M.; Heckl, Wolfgang M.; Stark, Robert W.

    2010-01-01

    Skin protects the body from pathogens and degradation. Mummified skin in particular is extremely resistant to decomposition. External influences or the action of micro-organisms, however, can degrade the connective tissue and lay the subjacent tissue open. To determine the degree of tissue preservation in mummified human skin and, in particular, the reason for its durability, we investigated the structural integrity of its main protein, type I collagen. We extracted samples from the Neolithic glacier mummy known as ‘the Iceman’. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) revealed collagen fibrils that had characteristic banding patterns of 69 ± 5 nm periodicity. Both the microstructure and the ultrastructure of dermal collagen bundles and fibrils were largely unaltered and extremely well preserved by the natural conservation process. Raman spectra of the ancient collagen indicated that there were no significant modifications in the molecular structure. However, AFM nanoindentation measurements showed slight changes in the mechanical behaviour of the fibrils. Young's modulus of single mummified fibrils was 4.1 ± 1.1 GPa, whereas the elasticity of recent collagen averages 3.2 ± 1.0 GPa. The excellent preservation of the collagen indicates that dehydration owing to freeze-drying of the collagen is the main process in mummification and that the influence of the degradation processes can be addressed, even after 5300 years. PMID:20356896

  4. New insights into the Tyrolean Iceman's origin and phenotype as inferred by whole-genome sequencing.

    PubMed

    Keller, Andreas; Graefen, Angela; Ball, Markus; Matzas, Mark; Boisguerin, Valesca; Maixner, Frank; Leidinger, Petra; Backes, Christina; Khairat, Rabab; Forster, Michael; Stade, Björn; Franke, Andre; Mayer, Jens; Spangler, Jessica; McLaughlin, Stephen; Shah, Minita; Lee, Clarence; Harkins, Timothy T; Sartori, Alexander; Moreno-Estrada, Andres; Henn, Brenna; Sikora, Martin; Semino, Ornella; Chiaroni, Jacques; Rootsi, Siiri; Myres, Natalie M; Cabrera, Vicente M; Underhill, Peter A; Bustamante, Carlos D; Vigl, Eduard Egarter; Samadelli, Marco; Cipollini, Giovanna; Haas, Jan; Katus, Hugo; O'Connor, Brian D; Carlson, Marc R J; Meder, Benjamin; Blin, Nikolaus; Meese, Eckart; Pusch, Carsten M; Zink, Albert

    2012-01-01

    The Tyrolean Iceman, a 5,300-year-old Copper age individual, was discovered in 1991 on the Tisenjoch Pass in the Italian part of the Ötztal Alps. Here we report the complete genome sequence of the Iceman and show 100% concordance between the previously reported mitochondrial genome sequence and the consensus sequence generated from our genomic data. We present indications for recent common ancestry between the Iceman and present-day inhabitants of the Tyrrhenian Sea, that the Iceman probably had brown eyes, belonged to blood group O and was lactose intolerant. His genetic predisposition shows an increased risk for coronary heart disease and may have contributed to the development of previously reported vascular calcifications. Sequences corresponding to ~60% of the genome of Borrelia burgdorferi are indicative of the earliest human case of infection with the pathogen for Lyme borreliosis. PMID:22426219

  5. A whole mitochondria analysis of the Tyrolean Iceman's leather provides insights into the animal sources of Copper Age clothing.

    PubMed

    O'Sullivan, Niall J; Teasdale, Matthew D; Mattiangeli, Valeria; Maixner, Frank; Pinhasi, Ron; Bradley, Daniel G; Zink, Albert

    2016-01-01

    The attire of the Tyrolean Iceman, a 5,300-year-old natural mummy from the Ötzal Italian Alps, provides a surviving example of ancient manufacturing technologies. Research into his garments has however, been limited by ambiguity surrounding their source species. Here we present a targeted enrichment and sequencing of full mitochondrial genomes sampled from his clothes and quiver, which elucidates the species of production for nine fragments. Results indicate that the majority of the samples originate from domestic ungulate species (cattle, sheep and goat), whose recovered haplogroups are now at high frequency in today's domestic populations. Intriguingly, the hat and quiver samples were produced from wild species, brown bear and roe deer respectively. Combined, these results suggest that Copper Age populations made considered choices of clothing material from both the wild and domestic populations available to them. Moreover, these results show the potential for the recovery of complete mitochondrial genomes from degraded prehistoric artefacts. PMID:27537861

  6. Glycosylated proteins preserved over millennia: N-glycan analysis of Tyrolean Iceman, Scythian Princess and Warrior

    PubMed Central

    Ozcan, Sureyya; Kim, Bum Jin; Ro, Grace; Kim, Jae-Han; Bereuter, Thomas L.; Reiter, Christian; Dimapasoc, Lauren; Garrido, Daniel; Mills, David A.; Grimm, Rudolf; Lebrilla, Carlito B.; An, Hyun Joo

    2014-01-01

    An improved understanding of glycosylation will provide new insights into many biological processes. In the analysis of oligosaccharides from biological samples, a strict regime is typically followed to ensure sample integrity. However, the fate of glycans that have been exposed to environmental conditions over millennia has not yet been investigated. This is also true for understanding the evolution of the glycosylation machinery in humans as well as in any other biological systems. In this study, we examined the glycosylation of tissue samples derived from four mummies which have been naturally preserved: – the 5,300 year old “Iceman called Oetzi”, found in the Tyrolean Alps; the 2,400 year old “Scythian warrior” and “Scythian Princess”, found in the Altai Mountains; and a 4 year old apartment mummy, found in Vienna/Austria. The number of N-glycans that were identified varied both with the age and the preservation status of the mummies. More glycan structures were discovered in the contemporary sample, as expected, however it is significant that glycan still exists in the ancient tissue samples. This discovery clearly shows that glycans persist for thousands of years, and these samples provide a vital insight into ancient glycosylation, offering us a window into the distant past.

  7. Population genomic analysis of ancient and modern genomes yields new insights into the genetic ancestry of the Tyrolean Iceman and the genetic structure of Europe.

    PubMed

    Sikora, Martin; Carpenter, Meredith L; Moreno-Estrada, Andres; Henn, Brenna M; Underhill, Peter A; Sánchez-Quinto, Federico; Zara, Ilenia; Pitzalis, Maristella; Sidore, Carlo; Busonero, Fabio; Maschio, Andrea; Angius, Andrea; Jones, Chris; Mendoza-Revilla, Javier; Nekhrizov, Georgi; Dimitrova, Diana; Theodossiev, Nikola; Harkins, Timothy T; Keller, Andreas; Maixner, Frank; Zink, Albert; Abecasis, Goncalo; Sanna, Serena; Cucca, Francesco; Bustamante, Carlos D

    2014-05-01

    Genome sequencing of the 5,300-year-old mummy of the Tyrolean Iceman, found in 1991 on a glacier near the border of Italy and Austria, has yielded new insights into his origin and relationship to modern European populations. A key finding of that study was an apparent recent common ancestry with individuals from Sardinia, based largely on the Y chromosome haplogroup and common autosomal SNP variation. Here, we compiled and analyzed genomic datasets from both modern and ancient Europeans, including genome sequence data from over 400 Sardinians and two ancient Thracians from Bulgaria, to investigate this result in greater detail and determine its implications for the genetic structure of Neolithic Europe. Using whole-genome sequencing data, we confirm that the Iceman is, indeed, most closely related to Sardinians. Furthermore, we show that this relationship extends to other individuals from cultural contexts associated with the spread of agriculture during the Neolithic transition, in contrast to individuals from a hunter-gatherer context. We hypothesize that this genetic affinity of ancient samples from different parts of Europe with Sardinians represents a common genetic component that was geographically widespread across Europe during the Neolithic, likely related to migrations and population expansions associated with the spread of agriculture. PMID:24809476

  8. Whole mitochondrial DNA sequencing in Alpine populations and the genetic history of the Neolithic Tyrolean Iceman.

    PubMed

    Coia, V; Cipollini, G; Anagnostou, P; Maixner, F; Battaggia, C; Brisighelli, F; Gómez-Carballa, A; Destro Bisol, G; Salas, A; Zink, A

    2016-01-01

    The Tyrolean Iceman is an extraordinarily well-preserved natural mummy that lived south of the Alpine ridge ~5,200 years before present (ybp), during the Copper Age. Despite studies that have investigated his genetic profile, the relation of the Iceman´s maternal lineage with present-day mitochondrial variation remains elusive. Studies of the Iceman have shown that his mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) belongs to a novel lineage of haplogroup K1 (K1f) not found in extant populations. We analyzed the complete mtDNA sequences of 42 haplogroup K bearing individuals from populations of the Eastern Italian Alps - putatively in genetic continuity with the Tyrolean Iceman-and compared his mitogenome with a large dataset of worldwide K1 sequences. Our results allow a re-definition of the K1 phylogeny, and indicate that the K1f haplogroup is absent or rare in present-day populations. We suggest that mtDNA Iceman´s lineage could have disappeared during demographic events starting in Europe from ~5,000 ybp. Based on the comparison of our results with published data, we propose a scenario that could explain the apparent contrast between the phylogeographic features of maternal and paternal lineages of the Tyrolean Iceman within the context of the demographic dynamics happening in Europe from 8,000 ybp. PMID:26764605

  9. Whole mitochondrial DNA sequencing in Alpine populations and the genetic history of the Neolithic Tyrolean Iceman

    PubMed Central

    Coia, V.; Cipollini, G.; Anagnostou, P.; Maixner, F.; Battaggia, C.; Brisighelli, F.; Gómez-Carballa, A; Destro Bisol, G.; Salas, A.; Zink, A.

    2016-01-01

    The Tyrolean Iceman is an extraordinarily well-preserved natural mummy that lived south of the Alpine ridge ~5,200 years before present (ybp), during the Copper Age. Despite studies that have investigated his genetic profile, the relation of the Iceman´s maternal lineage with present-day mitochondrial variation remains elusive. Studies of the Iceman have shown that his mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) belongs to a novel lineage of haplogroup K1 (K1f) not found in extant populations. We analyzed the complete mtDNA sequences of 42 haplogroup K bearing individuals from populations of the Eastern Italian Alps – putatively in genetic continuity with the Tyrolean Iceman—and compared his mitogenome with a large dataset of worldwide K1 sequences. Our results allow a re-definition of the K1 phylogeny, and indicate that the K1f haplogroup is absent or rare in present-day populations. We suggest that mtDNA Iceman´s lineage could have disappeared during demographic events starting in Europe from ~5,000 ybp. Based on the comparison of our results with published data, we propose a scenario that could explain the apparent contrast between the phylogeographic features of maternal and paternal lineages of the Tyrolean Iceman within the context of the demographic dynamics happening in Europe from 8,000 ybp. PMID:26764605

  10. The omnivorous Tyrolean Iceman: colon contents (meat, cereals, pollen, moss and whipworm) and stable isotope analyses.

    PubMed Central

    Dickson, J H; Oeggl, K; Holden, T G; Handley, L L; O'Connell, T C; Preston, T

    2000-01-01

    The contents of the colon of the Tyrolean Iceman who lived ca. 5300 years ago include muscle fibres, cereal remains, a diversity of pollen, and most notably that of the hop hornbeam (Ostrya carpinifolia) retaining cellular contents, as well as a moss leaf (Neckera complanata) and eggs of the parasitic whipworm (Trichuris trichiura). Based almost solely on stable isotope analyses and ignoring the work on the colon contents, two recently published papers on the Iceman's diet draw ill-founded conclusions about vegetarianism and even veganism. Neither the pollen nor the moss is likely to have been deliberately consumed as food by the Iceman. All the available evidence concerning the Iceman's broad-based diet is reviewed and the significance of the colon contents for matters other than assessment of food intake is outlined. PMID:11205345

  11. Positioning the Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) Hunted by the Tyrolean Iceman into a Mitochondrial DNA Phylogeny

    PubMed Central

    Olivieri, Cristina; Marota, Isolina; Rizzi, Ermanno; Ermini, Luca; Fusco, Letizia; Pietrelli, Alessandro; De Bellis, Gianluca; Rollo, Franco; Luciani, Stefania

    2014-01-01

    In the last years several phylogeographic studies of both extant and extinct red deer populations have been conducted. Three distinct mitochondrial lineages (western, eastern and North-African/Sardinian) have been identified reflecting different glacial refugia and postglacial recolonisation processes. However, little is known about the genetics of the Alpine populations and no mitochondrial DNA sequences from Alpine archaeological specimens are available. Here we provide the first mitochondrial sequences of an Alpine Copper Age Cervus elaphus. DNA was extracted from hair shafts which were part of the remains of the clothes of the glacier mummy known as the Tyrolean Iceman or Ötzi (5,350–5,100 years before present). A 2,297 base pairs long fragment was sequenced using a mixed sequencing procedure based on PCR amplifications and 454 sequencing of pooled amplification products. We analyzed the phylogenetic relationships of the Alpine Copper Age red deer's haplotype with haplotypes of modern and ancient European red deer. The phylogenetic analyses showed that the haplotype of the Alpine Copper Age red deer falls within the western European mitochondrial lineage in contrast with the current populations from the Italian Alps belonging to the eastern lineage. We also discussed the phylogenetic relationships of the Alpine Copper Age red deer with the populations from Mesola Wood (northern Italy) and Sardinia. PMID:24988290

  12. A whole mitochondria analysis of the Tyrolean Iceman’s leather provides insights into the animal sources of Copper Age clothing

    PubMed Central

    O’Sullivan, Niall J.; Teasdale, Matthew D.; Mattiangeli, Valeria; Maixner, Frank; Pinhasi, Ron; Bradley, Daniel G.; Zink, Albert

    2016-01-01

    The attire of the Tyrolean Iceman, a 5,300-year-old natural mummy from the Ötzal Italian Alps, provides a surviving example of ancient manufacturing technologies. Research into his garments has however, been limited by ambiguity surrounding their source species. Here we present a targeted enrichment and sequencing of full mitochondrial genomes sampled from his clothes and quiver, which elucidates the species of production for nine fragments. Results indicate that the majority of the samples originate from domestic ungulate species (cattle, sheep and goat), whose recovered haplogroups are now at high frequency in today’s domestic populations. Intriguingly, the hat and quiver samples were produced from wild species, brown bear and roe deer respectively. Combined, these results suggest that Copper Age populations made considered choices of clothing material from both the wild and domestic populations available to them. Moreover, these results show the potential for the recovery of complete mitochondrial genomes from degraded prehistoric artefacts. PMID:27537861

  13. The iceman: discovery and imaging.

    PubMed

    Murphy, William A; Nedden Dz, Dieter zur; Gostner, Paul; Knapp, Rudolf; Recheis, Wolfgang; Seidler, Horst

    2003-03-01

    The anatomic features of a 5,300-year-old mummy, the iceman, were documented with conventional radiographic, portable computed radiographic, and conventional and spiral computed tomographic images obtained between September 1991 and June 2001. A team of scientists and radiologists from Austria, Italy, and the United States supervised the examinations and interpreted the images. The images demonstrated excellent preservation of the mineralized skeleton with profound dehydration of the soft tissues. The skeleton exhibited several types of trauma, including (a) healed rib fractures, (b) hairline skull fractures and a compression deformity of the thorax, probably acquired while encased in the glacier, and (c) damage acquired during the effort to recover the corpse. Skeletal variants were present, as was evidence of degenerative arthritis, frostbite, vascular calcification, and adaptation to cultural and geographic influences. In terms of anatomy and apparent health-related conditions, the iceman was very similar to modern humans. An arrowhead lodged between the rib cage and the left scapula was the probable cause of the iceman's death. Study of the images also provided insight regarding postmortem processes that led to the iceman's mummification. PMID:12601185

  14. Metagenomic analysis reveals presence of Treponema denticola in a tissue biopsy of the Iceman.

    PubMed

    Maixner, Frank; Thomma, Anton; Cipollini, Giovanna; Widder, Stefanie; Rattei, Thomas; Zink, Albert

    2014-01-01

    Ancient hominoid genome studies can be regarded by definition as metagenomic analyses since they represent a mixture of both hominoid and microbial sequences in an environment. Here, we report the molecular detection of the oral spirochete Treponema denticola in ancient human tissue biopsies of the Iceman, a 5,300-year-old Copper Age natural ice mummy. Initially, the metagenomic data of the Iceman's genomic survey was screened for bacterial ribosomal RNA (rRNA) specific reads. Through ranking the reads by abundance a relatively high number of rRNA reads most similar to T. denticola was detected. Mapping of the metagenome sequences against the T. denticola genome revealed additional reads most similar to this opportunistic pathogen. The DNA damage pattern of specifically mapped reads suggests an ancient origin of these sequences. The haematogenous spread of bacteria of the oral microbiome often reported in the recent literature could already explain the presence of metagenomic reads specific for T. denticola in the Iceman's bone biopsy. We extended, however, our survey to an Iceman gingival tissue sample and a mouth swab sample and could thereby detect T. denticola and Porphyrimonas gingivalis, another important member of the human commensal oral microflora. Taken together, this study clearly underlines the opportunity to detect disease-associated microorganisms when applying metagenomics-enabled approaches on datasets of ancient human remains. PMID:24941044

  15. The Iceman's last weeks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spindler, Konrad

    1994-06-01

    The author presents the archaeological, botanical and anatomical of medical evidence relating to the events of the last few days of the Iceman's life. The unfinished arrows and the half-completed bow indicate that he had lost his weapons and was in the process of re-arming himself. The quiver and the two primed arrows show clear signs of damage that has been proved to originate from before entombment in the ice of Hauslabjoch. An intravital series of fractured ribs and atrophic changes to the humerus on the same side of the body are also indicative of a violent conflict. The presence of threshing and winnowing fragments proves that, shortly before his death, the Iceman spent some time in a human settlement in which the grain crop was threshed. The theory is therefore proposed that shortly before his death the Iceman suffered some personal catastrophe involving damage to his possessions and physical injury. He fled in the direction of the inner Ötz Valley, a region of high alpine pastures he may have been familiar with from summer transhumance. Just beyond the ridge of the main Alpine chain he was caught by a sudden fall in temperature and snowfall, which he did not survive.

  16. Characterization of Nucleotide Misincorporation Patterns in the Iceman's Mitochondrial DNA

    PubMed Central

    Olivieri, Cristina; Ermini, Luca; Rizzi, Ermanno; Corti, Giorgio; Bonnal, Raoul; Luciani, Stefania; Marota, Isolina; De Bellis, Gianluca; Rollo, Franco

    2010-01-01

    Background The degradation of DNA represents one of the main issues in the genetic analysis of archeological specimens. In the recent years, a particular kind of post-mortem DNA modification giving rise to nucleotide misincorporation (“miscoding lesions”) has been the object of extensive investigations. Methodology/Principal Findings To improve our knowledge regarding the nature and incidence of ancient DNA nucleotide misincorporations, we have utilized 6,859 (629,975 bp) mitochondrial (mt) DNA sequences obtained from the 5,350–5,100-years-old, freeze-desiccated human mummy popularly known as the Tyrolean Iceman or Ötzi. To generate the sequences, we have applied a mixed PCR/pyrosequencing procedure allowing one to obtain a particularly high sequence coverage. As a control, we have produced further 8,982 (805,155 bp) mtDNA sequences from a contemporary specimen using the same system and starting from the same template copy number of the ancient sample. From the analysis of the nucleotide misincorporation rate in ancient, modern, and putative contaminant sequences, we observed that the rate of misincorporation is significantly lower in modern and putative contaminant sequence datasets than in ancient sequences. In contrast, type 2 transitions represent the vast majority (85%) of the observed nucleotide misincorporations in ancient sequences. Conclusions/Significance This study provides a further contribution to the knowledge of nucleotide misincorporation patterns in DNA sequences obtained from freeze-preserved archeological specimens. In the Iceman system, ancient sequences can be clearly distinguished from contaminants on the basis of nucleotide misincorporation rates. This observation confirms a previous identification of the ancient mummy sequences made on a purely phylogenetical basis. The present investigation provides further indication that the majority of ancient DNA damage is reflected by type 2 (cytosine→thymine/guanine→adenine) transitions and

  17. The reconstruction of the last itinerary of “Ötzi”, the Neolithic Iceman, by pollen analyses from sequentially sampled gut extracts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oeggl, Klaus; Kofler, Werner; Schmidl, Alexandra; Dickson, James H.; Egarter-Vigl, Eduard; Gaber, Othmar

    2007-04-01

    The investigations of the Tyrolean Iceman "Ötzi" and his artefacts, discovered at a remote location high in the Eastern Alps, have contributed greatly to the knowledge of the lifestyle of Neolithic humankind. However, the events immediately prior to the Iceman's death have remained unclear and even the recently discovered arrowhead in his back does not explain conclusively the cause of death satisfactorily. From the pollen and macrofossil content of his gut, we reconstruct his travels just before his demise. Sequential sampling of the food residues in the digestive tract of the 5200 year old glacier mummy has made possible the analyses of a series of meals and, from the pollen content, the deduction of the environments in which the last meals were eaten. During his last 33 or so hours, Ötzi crossed different habitats in the Ötztal mountains over considerable distances from high up near the timber line (at about 2500 m), to low down in the zone of warmth-loving trees (about 1200 m or less), and finally very high in the zone of perennial ice (above 3000 m). These final journeys lend new weight to the "disaster" theory of Ötzi's death, which suggests that, returning from the high alpine pastures to his native village, he came into a severe conflict with his kin such that he had to flee from the community back to the high ground familiar to him, where he died.

  18. Histological investigations on the Tyrolean Ice Man.

    PubMed

    Hess, M W; Klima, G; Pfaller, K; Künzel, K H; Gaber, O

    1998-08-01

    The 5,200-year-old Tyrolean Ice Man discovered in 1991 in the Otztal Alps is the world's most ancient known human glacier mummy. Histological investigation was aimed at 1) optimizing specimen preparation and 2) documenting the preservation state of (sub)cellular components. Minute pieces of frozen tissue were removed endoscopically from rib bone and cartilage, major blood vessels, oral cavity and alimentary tract, liver, spleen, diaphragm, respiratory system, femoral muscle and nerve, sympathetic trunk, brain, and skin. Double fixation with glutaraldehyde followed by osmium tetroxide and embedding in Epon/Araldite epoxy resins proved to be the method of choice for both light and transmission electron microscopy combined with classical histochemistry. In particular, mild evacuation of the desiccated tissue was determined to be essential to ensure homogeneous infiltration with fixatives and resins; as a result, sections of excellent quality could be obtained with any kind of sample. With regard to the preservation degree of (sub)cellular components, distinct tissue-specific patterns were observed. There were highly intact skeletal and connective tissues proper, however, most interestingly, there were remarkably intact nervous tissue components as well. By contrast, epithelial, muscle, and reticular connective tissues as well as blood had generally disintegrated due to autolysis, freeze/thaw damage, and adipocere formation. For a tentative interpretation of these patterns, we considered general aspects of cryopreservation, such as physicochemical properties of subcellular constituents and tissue physiology. PMID:9712480

  19. ``Isotope language'' of the Alpine Iceman investigated with AMS and MS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kutschera, Walter; Müller, Wolfgang

    2003-05-01

    This paper reviews the use of stable and radioactive isotopes to elucidate an extraordinary archaeological find, the Alpine Iceman "Ötzi". In 1991 the body of this man was accidentally discovered in an ice-filled depression at a high-altitude mountain pass (Tisenjoch, 3210 m) of the Ötztal Alps. This location at the Austrian-Italian border apparently formed an ancient transition across the Alps from South to North. 14C dating of the body with accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) revealed that the Iceman had lived some 5200 years ago, within the time period from 3370 to 3100 years BC (Before Christ). A variety of other materials from the discovery site were also dated with 14C AMS suggesting a use of the mountain pass at other time periods, and varying climatic conditions. Ongoing investigations with thermal ionization (TIMS), inductively-coupled plasma (ICP-MS) and gas mass spectrometry include isotope ratios of 18O/ 16O ( δ18O), 87Sr/ 86Sr and 206Pb/ 204Pb, in order to reveal the Iceman's origin and migrational behavior. Analyzed samples include tooth enamel, bones and contents of his intestine, which all represent different ontogenetic (developmental) stages. The isotopic composition of the Iceman is compared to both soils from archaeological sites and local waters. Taken together, the results point towards an origin of the Iceman in the Southeast of the finding site, consistent with archaeological and paleobotanical data.

  20. Genomic correlates of atherosclerosis in ancient humans.

    PubMed

    Zink, Albert; Wann, L Samuel; Thompson, Randall C; Keller, Andreas; Maixner, Frank; Allam, Adel H; Finch, Caleb E; Frohlich, Bruno; Kaplan, Hillard; Lombardi, Guido P; Sutherland, M Linda; Sutherland, James D; Watson, Lucia; Cox, Samantha L; Miyamoto, Michael I; Narula, Jagat; Stewart, Alexandre F R; Thomas, Gregory S; Krause, Johannes

    2014-06-01

    Paleogenetics offers a unique opportunity to study human evolution, population dynamics, and disease evolution in situ. Although histologic and computed x-ray tomographic investigations of ancient mummies have clearly shown that atherosclerosis has been present in humans for more than 5,000 years, limited data are available on the presence of genetic predisposition for cardiovascular disease in ancient human populations. In a previous whole-genome study of the Tyrolean Iceman, a 5,300-year-old glacier mummy from the Alps, an increased risk for coronary heart disease was detected. The Iceman's genome revealed several single nucleotide polymorphisms that are linked with cardiovascular disease in genome-wide association studies. Future genetic studies of ancient humans from various geographic origins and time periods have the potential to provide more insights into the presence and possible changes of genetic risk factors in our ancestors. The study of ancient humans and a better understanding of the interaction between environmental and genetic influences on the development of heart diseases may lead to a more effective prevention and treatment of the most common cause of death in the modern world. PMID:25667090

  1. Draft Genome Sequence of Staphylococcus carnosus subsp. utilis LTH 7013, Isolated from South Tyrolean Ham

    PubMed Central

    Müller, Anne; Huptas, Christopher; Wenning, Mareike; Weiss, Agnes

    2015-01-01

    Staphylococcus carnosus is used as a starter culture in meat fermentation, where it contributes to color formation and produces aromatic compounds. Here, we report the first draft genome sequence of an S. carnosus subsp. utilis strain, LTH 7013, isolated from South Tyrolean ham, with potential application as a starter culture. PMID:25977432

  2. Isotopic Composition of the Neolithic Alpine Iceman's Tooth Enamel and Clues to his Origin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muller, W.; Muller, W.; Halliday, A. N.

    2001-12-01

    Five small enamel fragments from three teeth of the upper right jaw from the mummy of the Neolithic Alpine Iceman have been investigated for their isotopic composition in order to shed light on his geographic origins. Soils from approximately contemporaneous sites were sampled for comparison. Tooth enamel forms ontogenetically very early and is not re-mineralized during later lifetime (unlike with bone material). Therefore, unique insights into the Iceman's childhood can be acquired. Enamel also is the densest tissue of a human body and is thus less susceptible to post-mortem alteration. Both radiogenic (Sr, Pb, Nd) and stable isotopes (O, C) are investigated. Radiogenic isotopes allow reconstruction of the local geological background, because humans incorporate Sr, Pb and Nd from their local environment by eating local food. Stable isotopes provide information about altitude and/or position relative to the main Alpine watershed. High spatial-resolution laser-ablation ICPMS profiles reveal that most elements are distributed in a manner that is essentially similar to modern human teeth except of that La, Ce, Nd (LREE) show up to a 100-fold enrichment towards the outer enamel surface. These uptake-profiles may reflect interaction with melt water, consistent with data for the composition of samples of the Iceman's skin. Biogenic apatites (enamel, bone) have very low in-vivo LREE concentrations, but take up LREEs post-mortem from the burial environment. Ice core samples from the finding site show concentrations up to 400 ppt Ce. Such high uptake of the LREEs precludes the derivation of an in-vivo Nd isotopic signal, but both other radiogenic tracers, Sr and Pb, show pristine (in-vivo) concentrations of 87 ppm and 0.1 ppm, respectively. Strontium isotopic compositions were determined on fragments from the canine, the first and second premolar (1 - 9 mg) and two hip bone samples, utilizing three sequential leaching steps for each sample to detect possible alteration

  3. The utility of ancient human DNA for improving allele age estimates, with implications for demographic models and tests of natural selection

    PubMed Central

    Sams, Aaron J.; Hawks, John; Keinan, Alon

    2015-01-01

    The age of polymorphic alleles in humans is often estimated from population genetic patterns in extant human populations, such as allele frequencies, linkage disequilibrium, and rate of mutations. Ancient DNA can improve the accuracy of such estimates, as well as facilitate testing the validity of demographic models underlying many population genetic methods. Specifically, the presence of an allele in a genome derived from an ancient sample testifies that the allele is at least as old as that sample. In this study, we consider a common method for estimating allele age based on allele frequency as applied to variants from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Exome Sequencing Project. We view these estimates in the context of the presence or absence of each allele in the genomes of the 5300 year old Tyrolean Iceman, Ötzi, and of the 50,000 year old Altai Neandertal. Our results illuminate the accuracy of these estimates and their sensitivity to demographic events that were not included in the model underlying age estimation. Specifically, allele presence in the Iceman genome provides a good fit of allele age estimates to the expectation based on the age of that specimen. The equivalent based on the Neandertal genome leads to a poorer fit. This is likely due in part to the older age of the Neandertal and the older time of the split between modern humans and Neandertals, but also due to gene flow from Neandertals to modern humans not being considered in the underlying demographic model. Thus, the incorporation of ancient DNA can improve allele age estimation, demographic modeling, and tests of natural selection. Our results also point to the importance of considering a more diverse set of ancient samples for understanding the geographic and temporal range of individual alleles. PMID:25467111

  4. The utility of ancient human DNA for improving allele age estimates, with implications for demographic models and tests of natural selection.

    PubMed

    Sams, Aaron J; Hawks, John; Keinan, Alon

    2015-02-01

    The age of polymorphic alleles in humans is often estimated from population genetic patterns in extant human populations, such as allele frequencies, linkage disequilibrium, and rate of mutations. Ancient DNA can improve the accuracy of such estimates, as well as facilitate testing the validity of demographic models underlying many population genetic methods. Specifically, the presence of an allele in a genome derived from an ancient sample testifies that the allele is at least as old as that sample. In this study, we consider a common method for estimating allele age based on allele frequency as applied to variants from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Exome Sequencing Project. We view these estimates in the context of the presence or absence of each allele in the genomes of the 5300 year old Tyrolean Iceman, Ötzi, and of the 50,000 year old Altai Neandertal. Our results illuminate the accuracy of these estimates and their sensitivity to demographic events that were not included in the model underlying age estimation. Specifically, allele presence in the Iceman genome provides a good fit of allele age estimates to the expectation based on the age of that specimen. The equivalent based on the Neandertal genome leads to a poorer fit. This is likely due in part to the older age of the Neandertal and the older time of the split between modern humans and Neandertals, but also due to gene flow from Neandertals to modern humans not being considered in the underlying demographic model. Thus, the incorporation of ancient DNA can improve allele age estimation, demographic modeling, and tests of natural selection. Our results also point to the importance of considering a more diverse set of ancient samples for understanding the geographic and temporal range of individual alleles. PMID:25467111

  5. Deletion in the EVC2 Gene Causes Chondrodysplastic Dwarfism in Tyrolean Grey Cattle

    PubMed Central

    Murgiano, Leonardo; Jagannathan, Vidhya; Benazzi, Cinzia; Bolcato, Marilena; Brunetti, Barbara; Muscatello, Luisa Vera; Dittmer, Keren; Piffer, Christian; Gentile, Arcangelo; Drögemüller, Cord

    2014-01-01

    During the summer of 2013 seven Italian Tyrolean Grey calves were born with abnormally short limbs. Detailed clinical and pathological examination revealed similarities to chondrodysplastic dwarfism. Pedigree analysis showed a common founder, assuming autosomal monogenic recessive transmission of the defective allele. A positional cloning approach combining genome wide association and homozygosity mapping identified a single 1.6 Mb genomic region on BTA 6 that was associated with the disease. Whole genome re-sequencing of an affected calf revealed a single candidate causal mutation in the Ellis van Creveld syndrome 2 (EVC2) gene. This gene is known to be associated with chondrodysplastic dwarfism in Japanese Brown cattle, and dwarfism, abnormal nails and teeth, and dysostosis in humans with Ellis-van Creveld syndrome. Sanger sequencing confirmed the presence of a 2 bp deletion in exon 19 (c.2993_2994ACdel) that led to a premature stop codon in the coding sequence of bovine EVC2, and was concordant with the recessive pattern of inheritance in affected and carrier animals. This loss of function mutation confirms the important role of EVC2 in bone development. Genetic testing can now be used to eliminate this form of chondrodysplastic dwarfism from Tyrolean Grey cattle. PMID:24733244

  6. A high-resolution modelling approach on spatial wildfire distribution in the Tyrolean Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malowerschnig, Bodo; Sass, Oliver

    2013-04-01

    Global warming will cause increasing danger of wildfires in Austria, which can have long-lasting consequences on woodland ecosystems. The protective effect of forest can be severely diminished, leading to natural hazards like avalanches and rockfall. However, data on wildfire frequency and distribution have been sparse and incomplete for Austria. Long-lasting postfire degradation under adverse preconditions (steep slopes, limestone) was a common phenomenon in parts of the Tyrolean Alps several decades ago and should become relevant again under a changing fire frequency. The FIRIA project compiles historical wildfire data, information on fuel loads, fire weather indices (FWI) and vegetation recovery patterns. The governing climatic, topographic and socio-economic factors of forest fire distribution were assessed to trigger a distribution model of currently fire-prone areas in Tyrol. By collecting data from different sources like old newspapers archives and fire-fighter databases, we were able to build up a fire database of wildfire occurrences containing more than 1400 forest fires since the 15th century in Tyrol. For the period from 1993 to 2011, the database is widely complete and covers 482 fires. Using a non-parametrical statistical method it was possible to select the best suited fire weather index (FWI) for the prediction. The testing of 19 FWI's shows that it is necessary to use two discriminative indices to differentiate between summer and winter season. Together with compiled topographic, socio-economic, infrastructure and forest maps, the dataset was the base for a multifactorial analysis, performed by comparing the maximum entropy approach (Maxent) with an ensemble classifier (Random Forests). Both approaches have their background in the spatial habitat distribution and are easy to adapt to the requirements of a wildfire ignition model. The aim of this modelling approach was to determine areas which are particularly prone to wildfire. Due to the

  7. Soil warming increased whole-tree water use of Pinus cembra at the treeline in the Central Tyrolean Alps.

    PubMed

    Wieser, Gerhard; Grams, Thorsten E E; Matyssek, Rainer; Oberhuber, Walter; Gruber, Andreas

    2015-03-01

    This study quantified the effect of soil warming on sap flow density (Qs) of Pinus cembra L. at the treeline in the Central Tyrolean Alps. To enhance soil temperature we installed a transparent roof construction above the forest floor around six trees. Six other trees served as controls in the absence of any manipulation. Roofing enhanced growing season mean soil temperature by 1.6, 1.3 and 1.0 °C at 5, 10 and 20 cm soil depth, respectively, while soil water availability was not affected. Sap flow density (using Granier-type thermal dissipation probes) and environmental parameters were monitored throughout three growing seasons. During the first year of treatment, no warming effect was detected on Qs. However, soil warming caused Qs to increase significantly by 11 and 19% above levels in control trees during the second and third year, respectively. This effect appeared to result from warming-induced root production, a reduction in viscosity and perhaps an increase also in root hydraulic conductivity. Hardly affected were leaf-level net CO2 uptake rate and conductance for water vapour, so that water-use efficiency stayed unchanged as confirmed by needle δ(13)C analysis. We conclude that tree water loss will increase with soil warming, which may alter the water balance within the treeline ecotone of the Central Austrian Alps in a future warming environment. PMID:25737326

  8. Snow cover characteristics in a glacierized catchment in the Tyrolean Alps - Improved spatially distributed modelling by usage of Lidar data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schöber, Johannes; Schneider, K.; Helfricht, K.; Schattan, P.; Achleitner, S.; Schöberl, F.; Kirnbauer, R.

    2014-11-01

    In the present paper multi-temporal Lidar (Light detection and ranging) data and Landsat images are used to assess the spatial variability of snow at the end of the accumulation season (April-May) in a glacierized catchment (167 km2) in Tyrol, Austria. Snow cover characteristics in the Tyrolean Alps have been analysed using regular snow measurements and snow course data. Results are used for the conversion of basin-wide Lidar snow depth into snow water equivalent (SWE). When considering different possible error sources, uncertainties of the mean basin-wide SWE obtained from Lidar are between 12% and 16%. Available distributions of SWE and snow covered area (SCA) in the catchment are used for the calibration and validation of the fully distributed hydrological model SES. The study focuses especially on the simulation of snow accumulation and the corresponding variability of snow. Observed accumulation patterns are related to the topography (elevation, slope and curvature), and according parameter settings of the hydrological model are derived by means of Monte Carlo simulations. The majority of the model runs simulates SCA for various datasets with an accuracy of 85-95%. The paper demonstrates that using SWE data is superior to SCA for constraining model parameter ranges. Results at the watershed scale are in agreement with respect to the total water volume of the snow cover with deviations lower than 5% between SWE from Lidar or from the hydrological model.

  9. Soil warming increased whole-tree water use of Pinus cembra at the treeline in the Central Tyrolean Alps

    PubMed Central

    Wieser, Gerhard; Grams, Thorsten E.E.; Matysssek, Rainer; Oberhuber, Walter; Gruber, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    The study quantified the effect of soil warming on sap flow density (Qs) of Pinus cembra at treeline in the Central Tyrolean Alps. To enhance soil temperature we installed a transparent roof construction above the forest floor around six trees. Six other trees served as controls in the absence of any manipulation. Roofing enhanced growing season mean soil temperature by 1.6, 1.3, and 1.0 °C at 5, 10, and 20 cm soil depth, respectively, while soil water availability was not affected. Sap flow density (using Granier-type thermal dissipation probes) and environmental parameters were monitored throughout three growing seasons. During the first year of treatment, no warming effect was detected on Qs. However, soil warming caused Qs to increase significantly by 11 and 19% above levels in control trees during the second and third year, respectively. This effect appeared to result from warming-induced root production, a reduction in viscosity and perhaps an increase also in root hydraulic conductivity. Hardly affected were leaf-level net CO2 uptake rate and conductance for water vapor, so that water-use efficiency stayed unchanged as confirmed by needle δ13C analysis. We conclude that tree water loss will increase with soil warming, which may alter the water balance within the treeline ecotone of the Central Austrian Alps in a future warming environment. PMID:25737326

  10. Personal networks: a tool for gaining insight into the transmission of knowledge about food and medicinal plants among Tyrolean (Austrian) migrants in Australia, Brazil and Peru

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Investigations into knowledge about food and medicinal plants in a certain geographic area or within a specific group are an important element of ethnobotanical research. This knowledge is context specific and dynamic due to changing ecological, social and economic circumstances. Migration processes affect food habits and the knowledge and use of medicinal plants as a result of adaptations that have to be made to new surroundings and changing environments. This study analyses and compares the different dynamics in the transmission of knowledge about food and medicinal plants among Tyrolean migrants in Australia, Brazil and Peru. Methods A social network approach was used to collect data on personal networks of knowledge about food and medicinal plants among Tyroleans who have migrated to Australia, Brazil and Peru and their descendants. A statistical analysis of the personal network maps and a qualitative analysis of the narratives were combined to provide insight into the process of transmitting knowledge about food and medicinal plants. Results 56 personal networks were identified in all (food: 30; medicinal plants: 26) across all the field sites studied here. In both sets of networks, the main source of knowledge is individual people (food: 71%; medicinal plants: 68%). The other sources mentioned are print and audiovisual media, organisations and institutions. Personal networks of food knowledge are larger than personal networks of medicinal plant knowledge in all areas of investigation. Relatives play a major role as transmitters of knowledge in both domains. Conclusions Human sources, especially relatives, play an important role in knowledge transmission in both domains. Reference was made to other sources as well, such as books, television, the internet, schools and restaurants. By taking a personal network approach, this study reveals the mode of transmission of knowledge about food and medicinal plants within a migrational context. PMID:24398225

  11. Transformation of traditional knowledge of medicinal plants: the case of Tyroleans (Austria) who migrated to Australia, Brazil and Peru

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background In ethnobotanical research, the investigation into traditional knowledge of medicinal plants in the context of migration has been of increasing interest in recent decades since it is influenced and changed by new environmental and social conditions. It most likely undergoes transformation processes to match the different living circumstances in the new location. This study compares the traditional knowledge of medicinal plants held by Tyroleans – and their descendants – who emigrated to Australia, Brazil and Peru at different time scales. The study’s findings allow a discussion of the complexities and dynamics that influence this knowledge within the context of long-distance migration. Methods Information was obtained from 65 informants by free-listing, semi-structured interviews and non-participatory observation in Tyrol (Austria) and the migrants’ countries: Australia, Brazil and Peru. The collected data was analysed using different quantitative approaches, including statistical tests, and compared between the countries of investigation. Results All respondents in all four investigation areas claimed that they had knowledge and made use of medicinal plants to treat basic ailments in their day-to-day lives. Informants made 1,139 citations of medicinal plants in total in free lists, which correspond to 164 botanical taxa (genus or species level) in Tyrol, 87 in Australia, 84 in Brazil and 134 in Peru. Of all the botanical taxa listed, only five (1.1%) were listed in all four countries under investigation. Agreement among informants within free lists was highest in Tyrol (17%), followed by Peru (12.2%), Australia (11.9%) and Brazil (11.2%). The proportion of agreement differs significantly between informants in Australia and Tyrol (p = 0.001), Brazil and Tyrol (p = 0.001) and Peru and Tyrol (p = 0.001) and is similar between informants in the migrant countries, as indicated by statistical tests. We recorded 1,286 use citations

  12. Differences in urbanization degree and consequences on the diversity of conventional vs. rapidly mutating Y-STRs in five municipalities from a small region of the Tyrolean Alps in Austria.

    PubMed

    Niederstätter, Harald; Berger, Burkhard; Kayser, Manfred; Parson, Walther

    2016-09-01

    In this study we set out to test at a micro-geographic scale for the potential effects of differences in urbanization degree on Y-chromosomal diversity and the paternal lineage differentiation of "conventional" and rapidly-mutating (RM) Y-STR markers. To avoid systematic underrepresentation of common lineages, 551 male samples were collected under a sampling regime allowing for the inclusion of paternal relatives. All participants came from a small, topographically highly structured, yet culturally homogeneous settlement area in the Tyrolean Alps of Austria, a region that is characterized by a longstanding coexistence of communities differing considerably in size and connection. The study participants reported provenance in one of the three rural villages Alpbach, Brandenberg, and Wildschönau - all being separated by topographical barriers from each other - or in one of the two more urban-like and better connected municipalities Kitzbühel and St. Johann in Tirol. When compared with the sample pools from the two larger communities, the three small villages showed distinctly higher rates of self-reported patrilocality since the paternal grandfather (85-95% vs. ∼42%), and featured evidence for a considerably higher proportion of close and cryptic paternal relationships among the study participants. We observed marked differences in the Y-SNP haplogroup frequency spectra and statistically significant Y-STR-based FST distances among the municipality samples, suggesting population sub-structuring along municipality borders. While for the two larger settlements a widely used "core" set of 17 conventional Y-STRs (Yfiler) provided reasonably high lineage resolution (Ĥ: 0.99515±0.00256, 0.99739±0.00224), a markedly reduced haplotype diversity was seen in samples from the rural villages (Ĥ: 0.96126±0.00701-0.98515±0.00278). This difference largely diminished when instead using a set of 13 RM Y-STRs (Ĥ: 0.99180±0.00380-0.99922±0.00187, for all groups). Most

  13. The Secrets of the Iceman. Technology Learning Activity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Deal, Walter F., III

    1993-01-01

    This learning activity asks students to use critical thinking skills to imagine life in the late stone age, including the tools and technology that would have existed. Presents the context, the challenge, objectives, resources, material and equipment needs, and evaluation methods. (SK)

  14. Some anthropological aspects of the prehistoric Tyrolean ice man.

    PubMed

    Seidler, H; Bernhard, W; Teschler-Nicola, M; Platzer, W; zur Nedden, D; Henn, R; Oberhauser, A; Sjøvold, T

    1992-10-16

    The corpse of a Late Neolithic individual found in a glacier in Oetztal is unusual because of the intact nature of all body parts that resulted from the characteristics of its mummification process and its protected geographical position with regard to glacier flow. Anthropological data indicate that the man was 25 to 40 years old, was between 156 and 160 centimeters in stature, had a cranial capacity of between 1500 and 1560 cubic centimeters, and likely died of exhaustion. PMID:1411539

  15. Convinced, ambivalent or annoyed: Tyrolean ski tourism stakeholders and their perceptions of climate change☆

    PubMed Central

    Trawöger, Lisa

    2014-01-01

    Its focus on snow-dependent activities makes Alpine winter tourism especially sensitive to climate change. Stakeholder risk perceptions are a key factor in adaptation to climate change because they fundamentally drive or constrain stakeholder action. This paper examines climate change perceptions of winter tourism stakeholders in Tyrol (Austria). Using a qualitative approach, expert interviews were conducted. Four opinion categories reflecting different attitudes toward climate change issues were identified: convinced planners, annoyed deniers, ambivalent optimists, convinced wait-and-seers. Although the findings generally indicate a growing awareness of climate change, this awareness is mainly limited to perceiving the issue as a global phenomenon. Awareness of regional and branch-specific consequences of climate change that lead to a demand for action could not be identified. Current technical strategies, like snowmaking, are not primarily climate-induced. At present, coping with climate change is not a priority for risk management. The findings point out the importance of gaining and transferring knowledge of regional and branch-specific consequences of climate change in order to induce action at the destination level. PMID:27064520

  16. Ancient Admixture in Human History

    PubMed Central

    Patterson, Nick; Moorjani, Priya; Luo, Yontao; Mallick, Swapan; Rohland, Nadin; Zhan, Yiping; Genschoreck, Teri; Webster, Teresa; Reich, David

    2012-01-01

    Population mixture is an important process in biology. We present a suite of methods for learning about population mixtures, implemented in a software package called ADMIXTOOLS, that support formal tests for whether mixture occurred and make it possible to infer proportions and dates of mixture. We also describe the development of a new single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array consisting of 629,433 sites with clearly documented ascertainment that was specifically designed for population genetic analyses and that we genotyped in 934 individuals from 53 diverse populations. To illustrate the methods, we give a number of examples that provide new insights about the history of human admixture. The most striking finding is a clear signal of admixture into northern Europe, with one ancestral population related to present-day Basques and Sardinians and the other related to present-day populations of northeast Asia and the Americas. This likely reflects a history of admixture between Neolithic migrants and the indigenous Mesolithic population of Europe, consistent with recent analyses of ancient bones from Sweden and the sequencing of the genome of the TyroleanIceman.” PMID:22960212

  17. Ötzi's last meals: DNA analysis of the intestinal content of the Neolithic glacier mummy from the Alps

    PubMed Central

    Rollo, Franco; Ubaldi, Massimo; Ermini, Luca; Marota, Isolina

    2002-01-01

    Samples of the intestinal content were collected from the ileum and colon of the Neolithic glacier mummy popularly known as the Tyrolean Iceman, or Ötzi. DNA was extracted from the samples and PCR amplified, using a variety of primer pairs designed to bind to different genes (mammal mitochondrial 12S ribosomal RNA gene, plant/fungal nuclear 18S ribosomal RNA gene, plant chloroplast ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase large subunit gene). This made it possible to distinguish between animal and plant food residues (macroremains) and pollen (microremains). According to the DNA reconstruction, the man's last meal was composed of red deer (Cervus elaphus) meat, and, possibly, cereals; this meal had been preceded by another one based on ibex (Capra ibex), different species of dicots, and cereals. The DNA spectrum corresponding to pollen residues in the colon, on the other hand, fits with the hypothesis that the last journey of the Neolithic hunter/warrior was made through a subalpine coniferous forest to the site at over 3,200 m above sea level, where his mummified body was to be discovered 5,000 years later. PMID:12244211

  18. Scalable metagenomic taxonomy classification using a reference genome database

    PubMed Central

    Ames, Sasha K.; Hysom, David A.; Gardner, Shea N.; Lloyd, G. Scott; Gokhale, Maya B.; Allen, Jonathan E.

    2013-01-01

    Motivation: Deep metagenomic sequencing of biological samples has the potential to recover otherwise difficult-to-detect microorganisms and accurately characterize biological samples with limited prior knowledge of sample contents. Existing metagenomic taxonomic classification algorithms, however, do not scale well to analyze large metagenomic datasets, and balancing classification accuracy with computational efficiency presents a fundamental challenge. Results: A method is presented to shift computational costs to an off-line computation by creating a taxonomy/genome index that supports scalable metagenomic classification. Scalable performance is demonstrated on real and simulated data to show accurate classification in the presence of novel organisms on samples that include viruses, prokaryotes, fungi and protists. Taxonomic classification of the previously published 150 giga-base Tyrolean Iceman dataset was found to take <20 h on a single node 40 core large memory machine and provide new insights on the metagenomic contents of the sample. Availability: Software was implemented in C++ and is freely available at http://sourceforge.net/projects/lmat Contact: allen99@llnl.gov Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:23828782

  19. [An unrivalled physician? Family strategies for child care in the late 19th century South Tyrolean countryside].

    PubMed

    Unterkircher, Alois

    2012-01-01

    Who was responsible for the treatment of sick children in the countryside during the second half of the 19th century? This paper investigates the medical complaint accusing the rural population of only reluctantly bringing their sick offspring to academic physicians. The following analyses the role Franz v. Ottenthal (1818-1899), a 'representative' of a private rural medical practice, played in the specialised medical market attending to childhood diseases. An exemplary survey of Ottenthal's medical records for patients from the age of one to 14 years throughout the 1890s has shown that children contributed a relevant percentage of the whole of the physician's patient distribution. It may therefore be assumed that Ottenthal knew how to successfully merchandise his specific therapies. On the demand side, however, parents of sick children were not solely reliant upon this physician. Evidence from the medical records provides information as to when parents regarded medical self-help as no longer supporting the recovery of their children, the cures of lay healers failed, or cases when parents were not satisfied with the therapeutic treatments other physicians had to offer and therefore consulted Ottenthal. PMID:23320379

  20. Patterns of Population Differentiation and Natural Selection on the Celiac Disease Background Risk Network

    PubMed Central

    Sams, Aaron; Hawks, John

    2013-01-01

    Celiac disease is a common small intestinal inflammatory condition induced by wheat gluten and related proteins from rye and barley. Left untreated, the clinical presentation of CD can include failure to thrive, malnutrition, and distension in juveniles. The disease can additionally lead to vitamin deficiencies, anemia, and osteoporosis. Therefore, CD potentially negatively affected fitness in past populations utilizing wheat, barley, and rye. Previous analyses of CD risk variants have uncovered evidence for positive selection on some of these loci. These studies also suggest the possibility that risk for common autoimmune conditions such as CD may be the result of positive selection on immune related loci in the genome to fight infection. Under this evolutionary scenario, disease phenotypes may be a trade-off from positive selection on immunity. If this hypothesis is generally true, we can expect to find a signal of natural selection when we survey across the network of loci known to influence CD risk. This study examines the non-HLA autosomal network of gene loci associated with CD risk in Europe. We reject the null hypothesis of neutrality on this network of CD risk loci. Additionally, we can localize evidence of selection in time and space by adding information from the genome of the Tyrolean Iceman. While we can show significant differentiation between continental regions across the CD network, the pattern of evidence is not consistent with primarily recent (Holocene) selection across this network in Europe. Further localization of ancient selection on this network may illuminate the ecological pressures acting on the immune system during this critically interesting phase of our evolution. PMID:23936230

  1. Multi-temporal analysis of aerial images for the investigation of spatial-temporal dynamics of shallow erosion - a case study from the Tyrolean Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiegand, C.; Geitner, C.; Heinrich, K.; Rutzinger, M.

    2012-04-01

    Small and shallow eroded areas characterize the landscape of many pastures and meadows in the Alps. The extent of such erosion phenomena varies between 2 m2 and 200 m2. These patches tend to be only a few decimetres thick, with a maximum depth of 2 m. The processes involved are shallow landslides, superficial erosion by snow and livestock trampling. Key parameters that influence the emergence of shallow erosion are the geological, topographical and climatic circumstances in an area as well as its soils, vegetation and land use. The negative impact of this phenomenon includes not only the loss of soil but also the reduced attractiveness of the landscape, especially in tourist regions. One approach identifying and mapping geomorphological elements is remote sensing. The analysis of aerial images is a suitable method for identifying the multi-temporal dynamics of shallow eroded areas because of the good spatial and temporal resolution. For this purpose, we used a pixel-based approach to detect these areas semi-automatically in an orthophoto. In a first step, each aerial image was classified using dynamic thresholds derived from the histogram of the orthophoto. In a second step, the identified areas of erosion were filtered and visually in-terpreted. Based on this procedure, eroded areas with a minimum size of 5 m2 were detected in a test site located in the Inner Schmirn Valley (Tyrol, Austria). The altitude of the test site ranges between 1,980 m and 2,370 m, with a mean inclination of 36°, facing E to SE. Geologically, the slope is part of the "Hohe Tauern Window", characterized by "Bündner schists" deficient in lime and regolith. Until the 1960s, the slope was used as a hay meadow. Orthophotos from 2000, 2003, 2007 and 2010 were used for this investigation. Older aerial images were not suitable because of their lower resolution and poor ortho-rectification. However, they are useful for relating the results of the ten-year time-span to a larger temporal context. No significant increase of erosion could be observed for the investigated ten-year period. The majority of the eroded areas show no distinct trend but rather an irregular pattern of increase and decrease. The results fit well in a larger temporal context: in aerial images of the 1950s, the slope already shows several eroded patches, which did not change until the year 2000. The owners also confirm that erosion was even a problem before abandonment. In this case, the inclination of the terrain seems to exceed the influence of land-use activities. With the semi-automated detection of such eroded areas, a more objective and time-saving method was found. The results contribute to an improved understanding of the process and can initiate a long-term observation. In subsequent studies we will apply the approach to further test sites and adapt it for the detection of smaller eroded areas.

  2. Genomes on ice.

    PubMed

    Parkhill, Julian

    2016-03-01

    This month's Genome Watch discusses the analysis of a Helicobacter pylori genome from the preserved Copper-Age mummy known as the Iceman and how ancient genomes shed light on the history of bacterial pathogens. PMID:26853114

  3. Drawing the history of the Hutterite population on a genetic landscape: inference from Y-chromosome and mtDNA genotypes

    PubMed Central

    Pichler, Irene; Fuchsberger, Christian; Platzer, Christa; Çalişkan, Minal; Marroni, Fabio; Pramstaller, Peter P; Ober, Carole

    2010-01-01

    Although the North American Hutterites trace their origins to South Tyrol, no attempts have been made to examine the genetic migration history of the Hutterites before emigrating to the United States in the 1870s. To investigate this, we studied 9 microsatellite loci and 11 unique event polymorphism (UEP) markers on the Y-chromosome, the hypervariable region I (HVRI) of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), as well as the complete mtDNA genome of Hutterite and South Tyrolean samples. Only 6 out of 14 Y-chromosome UEP+microsatellite haplotypes and 3 out of 11 mitochondrial haplotypes that were present in the Hutterites were also present in the South Tyrolean population. The phylogenetic relationships inferred from Y-chromosome and mtDNA databases show that the Hutterites have a unique genetic background related to a similar extent to central and eastern European populations. An admixture analysis indicates, however, a relatively high genetic contribution of central European populations to the Hutterite gene pool. These results are consistent with historical records on Hutterite migrations and demographic history. In addition, our data reveal similar numbers of Y and mitochondrial haplotypes in Hutterite male and female founders, respectively. The Hutterite male and female gene pools are similar with respect to genetic diversity and genetic distance measures and comparable with respect to their origins, suggesting a similar evolutionary history. PMID:19844259

  4. Early adipocere formation: a case report and review of literature.

    PubMed

    Mohan Kumar, T S; Monteiro, Francis N P; Bhagavath, Prashantha; Bakkannavar, Shankar M

    2009-11-01

    Adipocere has a long history of frightening and fascinating mankind, from so called "incorruptible saints" to the famous "iceman" and its formation on human remains has long been known and feared. Adipocere formation replaces the putrefactive changes, when the body lies buried in shallow, moist, clay, soiled grave or it is thrown into cess pools or submerged in water. As the progression of putrefaction is arrested, the facial features and wounds are preserved without much alteration, thereby aiding the identification and to certain extent, the cause of death. The time required for the formation of adipocere is a subject of controversy. Here we present a case of early adipocere formation within 3 days and the review of literature pertaining to it. PMID:19782320

  5. UV-induced effects on growth, photosynthetic performance and sunscreen contents in different populations of the green alga Klebsormidium fluitans (Streptophyta) from alpine soil crusts.

    PubMed

    Kitzing, C; Pröschold, T; Karsten, U

    2014-02-01

    Members of the green algal genus Klebsormidium (Klebsormidiales, Streptophyta) are typical components of biological soil crust communities worldwide, which exert important ecological functions. Klebsormidium fluitans (F. Gay) Lokhorst was isolated from an aeroterrestrial biofilm as well as from four different biological soil crusts along an elevational gradient between 600 and 2350 m in the Tyrolean and South Tyrolean Alps (Austria, Italy), which are characterised by seasonally high solar radiation. Since the UVtolerance of Klebsormidium has not been studied in detail, an ecophysiological and biochemical study was applied. The effects of controlled artificial ultraviolet radiation (UVR; <9 W m(-2) UV-A, <0.5 W m(-2) UV-B) on growth, photosynthetic performance and the capability to synthesise mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs) as potential sunscreen compounds were comparatively investigated to evaluate physiological plasticity and possible ecotypic differentiation within this Klebsormidium species. Already under control conditions, the isolates showed significantly different growth rates ranging from 0.42 to 0.74 μm day(-1). The UVR effects on growth were isolate specific, with only two strains affected by the UV treatments. Although all photosynthetic and respiratory data indicated strain-specific differences under control conditions, UV-A and UV-B treatment led only to rather minor effects. All physiological results clearly point to a high UV tolerance in the K. fluitans strains studied, which can be explained by their biochemical capability to synthesize and accumulate a putative MAA after exposure to UV-A and UV-B. Using HPLC, a UV-absorbing compound with an absorption maximum at 324 nm could be identified in all strains. The steady-state concentrations of this Klebsormidium MAA under control conditions ranged from 0.09 to 0.93 mg g(-1) dry weight (DW). While UV-A led to a slight stimulation of MAA accumulation, exposure to UV-B was accompanied by a strong but

  6. CT-Based Assessment of Relative Soft-Tissue Alteration in Different Types of Ancient Mummies.

    PubMed

    Sydler, Christina; Öhrström, Lena; Rosendahl, Wilfried; Woitek, Ulrich; Rühli, Frank

    2015-06-01

    Mummification leads to alteration of soft-tissue morphology. No research has focused specifically on differences in soft-tissue shrinkage depending on mummification type. This study evaluated whether soft-tissue alteration is dependent on type of mummification. A total of 17 human mummies have been investigated by computed tomography (CT). Samples included artificially embalmed ancient Egyptian mummies, naturally mummified South American corpses, ice mummies (including the Iceman, South Tyrol Museum of Archeology, Bolzano, Italy, ca. 3,300 BC), bog bodies and a desiccated mummy of possibly Asian provenance. The acquired data were compared to four contemporary bodies. The extent of soft-tissue shrinkage was evaluated using CT data. Shrinkage was defined as soft-tissue relative to area of bone (in number of voxels). Measurements were taken at 13 anatomically defined locations. Ice mummies show the highest degree of preservation. This finding is most likely explained due to frozen water within tissues. All other types of mummies show significantly (at P < 0.05) smaller relative area of preserved soft-tissue. Variation between different anatomical structures (e.g., upper lip vs. mid-femur) is significant, unlike variation within one compartment (e.g., proximal vs. distal humerus). Mummification type strongly affects the degree of soft-tissue alteration, surprisingly mostly independent of overall historical age. These results highlight the unique morphological impact of taphonomy on soft-tissue preservation and are of particular interest in tissue research as well as in forensics. PMID:25998649

  7. "Brienzi" - The blue Vivianite man of Switzerland: Time since death estimation of an adipocere body.

    PubMed

    Thali, Michael J; Lux, Bettina; Lösch, Sandra; Rösing, Friedrich W; Hürlimann, Joachim; Feer, Philipp; Dirnhofer, Richard; Königsdorfer, Urs; Zollinger, Ulrich

    2011-09-10

    In 1996, a cadaver in adipocere condition was discovered in a bay of the Brienzer See in Switzerland. The torso was named "Brienzi" following the "Iceman" Ötzi. Several outer parts of the body were incrusted; the incrustation was in blue color. Further investigations showed that the bluish covering of parts of the adipocere torso were a mineral known as Vivianite. Vivianite (Fe(3)(PO(4))(2-)(H(2)O)(8)) is an iron phosphate mineral with needle lengths between 100 and 150μm. It is normally associated in a context with organic archaeological and geological materials (some hundreds to millions of years old). Hitherto, it is only described in three cases of human remains. We were able to reconstruct the following facts about 'Brienzi': The man drowned in Lake Brienz or in one of its tributaries during the 1700s. The body was subsequently covered with sedimentation and thus buried under water. An earthquake produced an underwater landslide which eventually exposed the corpse. PMID:21571462

  8. Louis J. Battan 1923”1986

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atlas, David

    Dr. Louis J. Battan died on October 29, 1986, after a short illness. Although he had been a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Arizon a since 1958 and director of the Institute of Atmospheric Physics there from 1973 to 1982 (and associate director from 1958 to 1973), his activities on the national and international scenes were so varied that he was known in different ways by the numerous communities with which he was involved. However, all who knew him shared his uncommonly good humor, took pride in his friendship, and respected his wisdom and good judgment. Lou is survived by his wife Jeanette, daughter Suzette, and son Paul.Battan was born in New York City on February 9, 1923. He was the second of four sons born to Annibale and Luisa Battan, immigrants to the United States from the village of Vigo in the Tyrolean Alps of Austria. He grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., in a family environment that encouraged the highest moral standards and a devotion to hard work and self-reliance, qualities that remained with him throughout his life.

  9. Hydrological modeling in alpine catchments: sensing the critical parameters towards an efficient model calibration.

    PubMed

    Achleitner, S; Rinderer, M; Kirnbauer, R

    2009-01-01

    For the Tyrolean part of the river Inn, a hybrid model for flood forecast has been set up and is currently in its test phase. The system is a hybrid system which comprises of a hydraulic 1D model for the river Inn, and the hydrological models HQsim (Rainfall-runoff-discharge model) and the snow and ice melt model SES for modeling the rainfall runoff form non-glaciated and glaciated tributary catchment respectively. Within this paper the focus is put on the hydrological modeling of the totally 49 connected non-glaciated catchments realized with the software HQsim. In the course of model calibration, the identification of the most sensitive parameters is important aiming at an efficient calibration procedure. The indicators used for explaining the parameter sensitivities were chosen specifically for the purpose of flood forecasting. Finally five model parameters could be identified as being sensitive for model calibration when aiming for a well calibrated model for flood conditions. In addition two parameters were identified which are sensitive in situations where the snow line plays an important role. PMID:19759453

  10. Soil nitrogen gas emissions increase considerably in warmer forest soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kitzler, Barbara; Schindlbacher, Andreas; Jandl, Robert; Zechmeister-Boltenstern, Sophie

    2015-04-01

    Climate change will likely modify ecosystem properties and processes and therefore impact nitrogen (N) dynamics of forest soils. To elucidate the effect of warming and drought conditions on the nitrogen gas emissions we measured N2O and NO fluxes from the soil warming experiment Achenkirch, a spruce-fir-beech forest soil in the North Tyrolean limestone Alps in Austria. The uppermost layer of the soil was warmed (4°C) by heating cables during the snow-free seasons. Roofs were installed during 25 days in July/August 2008 and 2009 to simulate drought conditions. Gas sampling was conducted biweekly with static chambers (N2O). Gas concentrations were detected by GC. Nitric oxide fluxes were measured by an automatic dynamic chamber system on an hourly basis. In our study the emissions of N2O were increased by up to 73 % at warmed plots, and we observed a temporary increase following first rain. However N2O emissions of the drought affected plots remained depressed for more than two months after roof removal. Nitric oxide fluxes were increased considerably during dry periods and under warmer conditions.

  11. Spotted fever group--Rickettsiae in the Tyrols: evidence by seroepidemiology and PCR.

    PubMed

    Sonnleitner, S T; Simeoni, J; Lang, S; Dobler, G; Speck, S; Zelger, R; Schennach, H; Lass-Flörl, C; Walder, G

    2013-06-01

    The aim of our study was to assess the occurrence of Rickettsia in the inner-alpine valleys of the Eastern Alps and to determine the amount of seroreaction among the local human population. Ticks were investigated by PCR and the percentage of seropositives was determined among local blood donors by an in-house immunofluorescence assay. The local cut-off titre for screening of IgG was set at 1 : 128 with a well-characterised low-risk collective according to WHO-guidelines. Positive sera were confirmed by independent re-testing. Rickettsia is present in ticks north and south of the continental divide. Of 259 ticks investigated, 12.4% are positive for Rickettsia. Of over 1200 blood donors tested so far, 7.7% bear IgG at a titre of 1 : 128 or higher against R. helvetica. R. helvetica is present in the study area, causes immunoreaction among local residents and is associated with anamnestic erythema. Furthermore, screening with a second Spotted Fever Group Rickettsia indicates that significant parts of the Tyrolean population are exposed to a Rickettsia other than R. helvetica. PMID:22883690

  12. Foetal Gender and Obstetric Outcome

    PubMed Central

    Schildberger, B.; Leitner, H.

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: Data on specific characteristics based on the gender of the unborn baby and their significance for obstetrics are limited. The aim of this study is to analyse selected parameters of obstetric relevance in the phases pregnancy, birth and postpartum period in dependence on the gender of the foetus. Materials and Methods: The selected study method comprised a retrospective data acquisition and evaluation from the Austrian birth register of the Department of Clinical Epidemiology of Tyrolean State Hospitals. For the analysis all inpatient singleton deliveries in Austria during the period from 2008 to 2013 were taken into account (live and stillbirths n = 444 685). The gender of the baby was correlated with previously defined, obstetrically relevant parameters. Results: In proportions, significantly more premature births and sub partu medical interventions (vaginal and abdominal surgical deliveries. episiotomies) were observed for male foetuses (p < 0.001). The neonatal outcome (5-min Apgar score, umbilical pH value less than 7.1, transfer to a neonatal special unit) is significantly poorer for boys (p < 0.001). Discussion: In view of the vulnerability of male foetuses and infants, further research is needed in order to be able to react appropriately to the differing gender-specific requirements in obstetrics. PMID:27065487

  13. Insights from Characterizing Extinct Human Gut Microbiomes

    PubMed Central

    Tito, Raul Y.; Knights, Dan; Metcalf, Jessica; Obregon-Tito, Alexandra J.; Cleeland, Lauren; Najar, Fares; Roe, Bruce; Reinhard, Karl; Sobolik, Kristin; Belknap, Samuel; Foster, Morris; Spicer, Paul; Knight, Rob; Lewis, Cecil M.

    2012-01-01

    In an effort to better understand the ancestral state of the human distal gut microbiome, we examine feces retrieved from archaeological contexts (coprolites). To accomplish this, we pyrosequenced the 16S rDNA V3 region from duplicate coprolite samples recovered from three archaeological sites, each representing a different depositional environment: Hinds Cave (∼8000 years B.P.) in the southern United States, Caserones (1600 years B.P.) in northern Chile, and Rio Zape in northern Mexico (1400 years B.P.). Clustering algorithms grouped samples from the same site. Phyletic representation was more similar within sites than between them. A Bayesian approach to source-tracking was used to compare the coprolite data to published data from known sources that include, soil, compost, human gut from rural African children, human gut, oral and skin from US cosmopolitan adults and non-human primate gut. The data from the Hinds Cave samples largely represented unknown sources. The Caserones samples, retrieved directly from natural mummies, matched compost in high proportion. A substantial and robust proportion of Rio Zape data was predicted to match the gut microbiome found in traditional rural communities, with more minor matches to other sources. One of the Rio Zape samples had taxonomic representation consistent with a child. To provide an idealized scenario for sample preservation, we also applied source tracking to previously published data for Ötzi the Iceman and a soldier frozen for 93 years on a glacier. Overall these studies reveal that human microbiome data has been preserved in some coprolites, and these preserved human microbiomes match more closely to those from the rural communities than to those from cosmopolitan communities. These results suggest that the modern cosmopolitan lifestyle resulted in a dramatic change to the human gut microbiome. PMID:23251439

  14. First insights into the metagenome of Egyptian mummies using next-generation sequencing.

    PubMed

    Khairat, Rabab; Ball, Markus; Chang, Chun-Chi Hsieh; Bianucci, Raffaella; Nerlich, Andreas G; Trautmann, Martin; Ismail, Somaia; Shanab, Gamila M L; Karim, Amr M; Gad, Yehia Z; Pusch, Carsten M

    2013-08-01

    We applied, for the first time, next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology on Egyptian mummies. Seven NGS datasets obtained from five randomly selected Third Intermediate to Graeco-Roman Egyptian mummies (806 BC-124AD) and two unearthed pre-contact Bolivian lowland skeletons were generated and characterised. The datasets were contrasted to three recently published NGS datasets obtained from cold-climate regions, i.e. the Saqqaq, the Denisova hominid and the Alpine Iceman. Analysis was done using one million reads of each newly generated or published dataset. Blastn and megablast results were analysed using MEGAN software. Distinct NGS results were replicated by specific and sensitive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) protocols in ancient DNA dedicated laboratories. Here, we provide unambiguous identification of authentic DNA in Egyptian mummies. The NGS datasets showed variable contents of endogenous DNA harboured in tissues. Three of five mummies displayed a human DNA proportion comparable to the human read count of the Saqqaq permafrost-preserved specimen. Furthermore, a metagenomic signature unique to mummies was displayed. By applying a "bacterial fingerprint", discrimination among mummies and other remains from warm areas outside Egypt was possible. Due to the absence of an adequate environment monitoring, a bacterial bloom was identified when analysing different biopsies from the same mummies taken after a lapse of time of 1.5 years. Plant kingdom representation in all mummy datasets was unique and could be partially associated with their use in embalming materials. Finally, NGS data showed the presence of Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii DNA sequences, indicating malaria and toxoplasmosis in these mummies. We demonstrate that endogenous ancient DNA can be extracted from mummies and serve as a proper template for the NGS technique, thus, opening new pathways of investigation for future genome sequencing of ancient Egyptian individuals. PMID:23553074

  15. Insights from characterizing extinct human gut microbiomes.

    PubMed

    Tito, Raul Y; Knights, Dan; Metcalf, Jessica; Obregon-Tito, Alexandra J; Cleeland, Lauren; Najar, Fares; Roe, Bruce; Reinhard, Karl; Sobolik, Kristin; Belknap, Samuel; Foster, Morris; Spicer, Paul; Knight, Rob; Lewis, Cecil M

    2012-01-01

    In an effort to better understand the ancestral state of the human distal gut microbiome, we examine feces retrieved from archaeological contexts (coprolites). To accomplish this, we pyrosequenced the 16S rDNA V3 region from duplicate coprolite samples recovered from three archaeological sites, each representing a different depositional environment: Hinds Cave (~8000 years B.P.) in the southern United States, Caserones (1600 years B.P.) in northern Chile, and Rio Zape in northern Mexico (1400 years B.P.). Clustering algorithms grouped samples from the same site. Phyletic representation was more similar within sites than between them. A Bayesian approach to source-tracking was used to compare the coprolite data to published data from known sources that include, soil, compost, human gut from rural African children, human gut, oral and skin from US cosmopolitan adults and non-human primate gut. The data from the Hinds Cave samples largely represented unknown sources. The Caserones samples, retrieved directly from natural mummies, matched compost in high proportion. A substantial and robust proportion of Rio Zape data was predicted to match the gut microbiome found in traditional rural communities, with more minor matches to other sources. One of the Rio Zape samples had taxonomic representation consistent with a child. To provide an idealized scenario for sample preservation, we also applied source tracking to previously published data for Ötzi the Iceman and a soldier frozen for 93 years on a glacier. Overall these studies reveal that human microbiome data has been preserved in some coprolites, and these preserved human microbiomes match more closely to those from the rural communities than to those from cosmopolitan communities. These results suggest that the modern cosmopolitan lifestyle resulted in a dramatic change to the human gut microbiome. PMID:23251439

  16. Demographic Histories, Isolation and Social Factors as Determinants of the Genetic Structure of Alpine Linguistic Groups

    PubMed Central

    Coia, Valentina; Capocasa, Marco; Anagnostou, Paolo; Pascali, Vincenzo; Scarnicci, Francesca; Boschi, Ilaria; Battaggia, Cinzia; Crivellaro, Federica; Ferri, Gianmarco; Alù, Milena; Brisighelli, Francesca; Busby, George B. J.; Capelli, Cristian; Maixner, Frank; Cipollini, Giovanna; Viazzo, Pier Paolo; Zink, Albert; Destro Bisol, Giovanni

    2013-01-01

    Great European mountain ranges have acted as barriers to gene flow for resident populations since prehistory and have offered a place for the settlement of small, and sometimes culturally diverse, communities. Therefore, the human groups that have settled in these areas are worth exploring as an important potential source of diversity in the genetic structure of European populations. In this study, we present new high resolution data concerning Y chromosomal variation in three distinct Alpine ethno-linguistic groups, Italian, Ladin and German. Combining unpublished and literature data on Y chromosome and mitochondrial variation, we were able to detect different genetic patterns. In fact, within and among population diversity values observed vary across linguistic groups, with German and Italian speakers at the two extremes, and seem to reflect their different demographic histories. Using simulations we inferred that the joint effect of continued genetic isolation and reduced founding group size may explain the apportionment of genetic diversity observed in all groups. Extending the analysis to other continental populations, we observed that the genetic differentiation of Ladins and German speakers from Europeans is comparable or even greater to that observed for well known outliers like Sardinian and Basques. Finally, we found that in south Tyroleans, the social practice of Geschlossener Hof, a hereditary norm which might have favored male dispersal, coincides with a significant intra-group diversity for mtDNA but not for Y chromosome, a genetic pattern which is opposite to those expected among patrilocal populations. Together with previous evidence regarding the possible effects of “local ethnicity” on the genetic structure of German speakers that have settled in the eastern Italian Alps, this finding suggests that taking socio-cultural factors into account together with geographical variables and linguistic diversity may help unveil some yet to be understood

  17. Reducing Wound Tension with Undermining or Imbrication—Do They Work?

    PubMed Central

    Krishnan, Naveen M.; Brown, Benjamin J.; Davison, Steven P.; Mauskar, Neil; Mino, Matthew; Jordan, Marion H.

    2016-01-01

    Background: For the noncolonized wound, achieving tension-free, primary wound closure is ideal. Some surgeons advocate imbrication of deeper tissues rather than undermining, posing that imbrication preserves more dermal perfusion while still reducing tension at the wound edge. We sought to determine which technique most reliably reduced wound tension while preserving dermal wound perfusion. Methods: A total of 5 standardized, symmetrical pairs of full thickness wounds were created on Duroc swine. Wound tension was measured with a Tyrolean tensiometer before and after either method of closure, whereas a speckle contrast imager was used to assess dermal edge perfusion. Skin tension and dermal perfusion were evaluated for statistical significance via paired t tests and a multivariate analysis of variance. Results: There was a significant reduction in wound tension with undermining and imbrication relative to the raw wound tension (5 and 5.9 vs 7.1 N; P < 0.05) yet no significant difference between methods of closure (P > 0.05). There was a significant reduction in dermal perfusion between unwounded skin and the imbricated wound (222 perfusion units [PU] vs 48 PU; P < 0.05) and between the unwounded skin and the undermined wound (205 vs 63 PU; P < 0.05). Conclusions: We found no significant difference in wound tension between wound undermining or imbrication and a significant decrease in dermal perfusion after imbrication and undermining although the relative decrease in perfusion was greater with imbrication. Wound undermining reduces skin tension with greater relative dermal perfusion to the skin and should be selected over wound imbrication in standard primary wound closure. PMID:27536478

  18. Pasture Names with Romance and Slavic Roots Facilitate Dissection of Y Chromosome Variation in an Exclusively German-Speaking Alpine Region

    PubMed Central

    Niederstätter, Harald; Rampl, Gerhard; Erhart, Daniel; Pitterl, Florian; Oberacher, Herbert; Neuhuber, Franz; Hausner, Isolde; Gassner, Christoph; Schennach, Harald; Berger, Burkhard; Parson, Walther

    2012-01-01

    The small alpine district of East Tyrol (Austria) has an exceptional demographic history. It was contemporaneously inhabited by members of the Romance, the Slavic and the Germanic language groups for centuries. Since the Late Middle Ages, however, the population of the principally agrarian-oriented area is solely Germanic speaking. Historic facts about East Tyrol's colonization are rare, but spatial density-distribution analysis based on the etymology of place-names has facilitated accurate spatial mapping of the various language groups' former settlement regions. To test for present-day Y chromosome population substructure, molecular genetic data were compared to the information attained by the linguistic analysis of pasture names. The linguistic data were used for subdividing East Tyrol into two regions of former Romance (A) and Slavic (B) settlement. Samples from 270 East Tyrolean men were genotyped for 17 Y-chromosomal microsatellites (Y-STRs) and 27 single nucleotide polymorphisms (Y-SNPs). Analysis of the probands' surnames revealed no evidence for spatial genetic structuring. Also, spatial autocorrelation analysis did not indicate significant correlation between genetic (Y-STR haplotypes) and geographic distance. Haplogroup R-M17 chromosomes, however, were absent in region A, but constituted one of the most frequent haplogroups in region B. The R-M343 (R1b) clade showed a marked and complementary frequency distribution pattern in these two regions. To further test East Tyrol's modern Y-chromosomal landscape for geographic patterning attributable to the early history of settlement in this alpine area, principal coordinates analysis was performed. The Y-STR haplotypes from region A clearly clustered with those of Romance reference populations and the samples from region B matched best with Germanic speaking reference populations. The combined use of onomastic and molecular genetic data revealed and mapped the marked structuring of the distribution of Y

  19. Pasture names with Romance and Slavic roots facilitate dissection of Y chromosome variation in an exclusively German-speaking alpine region.

    PubMed

    Niederstätter, Harald; Rampl, Gerhard; Erhart, Daniel; Pitterl, Florian; Oberacher, Herbert; Neuhuber, Franz; Hausner, Isolde; Gassner, Christoph; Schennach, Harald; Berger, Burkhard; Parson, Walther

    2012-01-01

    The small alpine district of East Tyrol (Austria) has an exceptional demographic history. It was contemporaneously inhabited by members of the Romance, the Slavic and the Germanic language groups for centuries. Since the Late Middle Ages, however, the population of the principally agrarian-oriented area is solely Germanic speaking. Historic facts about East Tyrol's colonization are rare, but spatial density-distribution analysis based on the etymology of place-names has facilitated accurate spatial mapping of the various language groups' former settlement regions. To test for present-day Y chromosome population substructure, molecular genetic data were compared to the information attained by the linguistic analysis of pasture names. The linguistic data were used for subdividing East Tyrol into two regions of former Romance (A) and Slavic (B) settlement. Samples from 270 East Tyrolean men were genotyped for 17 Y-chromosomal microsatellites (Y-STRs) and 27 single nucleotide polymorphisms (Y-SNPs). Analysis of the probands' surnames revealed no evidence for spatial genetic structuring. Also, spatial autocorrelation analysis did not indicate significant correlation between genetic (Y-STR haplotypes) and geographic distance. Haplogroup R-M17 chromosomes, however, were absent in region A, but constituted one of the most frequent haplogroups in region B. The R-M343 (R1b) clade showed a marked and complementary frequency distribution pattern in these two regions. To further test East Tyrol's modern Y-chromosomal landscape for geographic patterning attributable to the early history of settlement in this alpine area, principal coordinates analysis was performed. The Y-STR haplotypes from region A clearly clustered with those of Romance reference populations and the samples from region B matched best with Germanic speaking reference populations. The combined use of onomastic and molecular genetic data revealed and mapped the marked structuring of the distribution of Y

  20. Mutations in FKBP14 cause a variant of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome with progressive kyphoscoliosis, myopathy, and hearing loss.

    PubMed

    Baumann, Matthias; Giunta, Cecilia; Krabichler, Birgit; Rüschendorf, Franz; Zoppi, Nicoletta; Colombi, Marina; Bittner, Reginald E; Quijano-Roy, Susana; Muntoni, Francesco; Cirak, Sebahattin; Schreiber, Gudrun; Zou, Yaqun; Hu, Ying; Romero, Norma Beatriz; Carlier, Robert Yves; Amberger, Albert; Deutschmann, Andrea; Straub, Volker; Rohrbach, Marianne; Steinmann, Beat; Rostásy, Kevin; Karall, Daniela; Bönnemann, Carsten G; Zschocke, Johannes; Fauth, Christine

    2012-02-10

    We report on an autosomal-recessive variant of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) characterized by severe muscle hypotonia at birth, progressive scoliosis, joint hypermobility, hyperelastic skin, myopathy, sensorineural hearing impairment, and normal pyridinoline excretion in urine. Clinically, the disorder shares many features with the kyphoscoliotic type of EDS (EDS VIA) and Ullrich congenital muscular dystrophy. Linkage analysis in a large Tyrolean kindred identified a homozygous frameshift mutation in FKBP14 in two affected individuals. Based on the cardinal clinical characteristics of the disorder, four additional individuals originating from different European countries were identified who carried either homozygous or compound heterozygous mutations in FKBP14. FKBP14 belongs to the family of FK506-binding peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerases (PPIases). ER-resident FKBPs have been suggested to act as folding catalysts by accelerating cis-trans isomerization of peptidyl-prolyl bonds and to act occasionally also as chaperones. We demonstrate that FKBP14 is localized in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and that deficiency of FKBP14 leads to enlarged ER cisterns in dermal fibroblasts in vivo. Furthermore, indirect immunofluorescence of FKBP14-deficient fibroblasts indicated an altered assembly of the extracellular matrix in vitro. These findings suggest that a disturbance of protein folding in the ER affecting one or more components of the extracellular matrix might cause the generalized connective tissue involvement in this disorder. FKBP14 mutation analysis should be considered in all individuals with apparent kyphoscoliotic type of EDS and normal urinary pyridinoline excretion, in particular in conjunction with sensorineural hearing impairment. PMID:22265013

  1. The architecture of Norway spruce ectomycorrhizae: three-dimensional models of cortical cells, fungal biomass, and interface for potential nutrient exchange.

    PubMed

    Stögmann, Bernhard; Marth, Andreas; Pernfuß, Barbara; Pöder, Reinhold

    2013-08-01

    Gathering realistic data on actual fungal biomass in ectomycorrhized fine root systems is still a matter of concern. Thus far, observations on architecture of ectomycorrhizae (ECMs) have been limited to analyses of two-dimensional (2-D) images of tissue sections. This unavoidably causes stereometrical problems that lead to inadequate assumptions about actual size of cells and their arrangement within ECM's functional compartments. Based on extensive morphological investigations of field samples, we modeled the architectural components of an average-sized Norway spruce ECM. In addition to our comprehensive and detailed quantitative data on cell sizes, we studied actual shape and size, in vivo arrangement, and potential nutrient exchange area of plant cortical cells (CCs) using computer-aided three-dimensional (3-D) reconstructions based on semithin serial sections. We extrapolated a factual fungal biomass in ECMs (Hartig net (HN) included) of 1.71 t ha(-1) FW (0.36 t ha(-1) DW) for the top 5 cm of soil for an autochthonous, montane, optimum Norway spruce stand in the Tyrolean Alps. The corresponding potential nutrient exchange area in ECMs including main axes of ECM systems, which is defined as the sum of interfaces between plant CCs and the HN, amounts to at least 3.2 × 10(5) m(2) ha(-1). This is the first study that determines the contribution of the HN to the total fungal biomass in ECMs as well as the quantification of its contact area. Our results may stimulate future research on fungal below-ground processes and their impact on the global carbon cycle. PMID:23435714

  2. Stalagmites from Spannagel cave (Austria) and holocene climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vollweiler, N.; Mangini, A.; Spötl, C.; Scholz, D.; Mühlinghaus, C.

    2009-04-01

    The Spannagel cave is located around 2,500 m asl at the end of the Tux Valley in Tyrol (Austria) close to the Hintertux glacier. While the area above the cave is ice free at present, it was covered by ice during past glacials as well as during colder periods of Interglacials. Presently, the temperature inside the cave is between 1.8° and 2.0° C. We used the d18O time-series of three stalagmites which grew in small distance from each other. This speleothem record is not influenced by effects of kinetic isotope fractionation due to the low temperatures in the cave. The stalagmites were precisely dated with the U/Th-method. The combined record (COMNISPA, Vollweiler et al. 2006) shows substantial variability within the last 9 kyr with features like the Holocene Climatic Optimum between 7.5 and 6.5 kyr, the Mediaeval Warm Period between 1.2 and 0.7 kyr and the Roman Warm Period between 2.25 and 1.7 kyr. In contrast, periods of lower temperatures are visible between 7.9 and 7.5, 5.9 and 5.1, 3.5 and 3 kyr, and during the LIA between 600 and 150 yr. The period between 5.9 and 5.1 kyr has equivalence in many records from various regions in both hemispheres corresponding to global cooling. It also includes the time of the Alpine Iceman at 5.3 kyr. The timing of the climatic variations revealed by COMNISPA agrees approximately with that shown by other Alpine archives. Joerin et al. (2006) dated wood and peat samples which were released by melting Swiss Alpine glaciers located between Engadin and Valais. Both the d18O maxima and minima recorded in COMNISPA clearly have counterparts in the glacier recession record. Comparisons of COMNISPA with other archives have shown that our stalagmite curve does not only record local climate but also the history of European climate. The extremely high correlation to the Hematite Stained Grain record of Bond et al. (2001) suggests that COMNISPA is a good archive for climate in the North Atlantic region (Mangini et al. 2007). In addition

  3. Frequent Extreme Cold Exposure and Brown Fat and Cold-Induced Thermogenesis: A Study in a Monozygotic Twin

    PubMed Central

    Vosselman, Maarten J.; Vijgen, Guy H. E. J.; Kingma, Boris R. M.; Brans, Boudewijn; van Marken Lichtenbelt, Wouter D.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Mild cold acclimation is known to increase brown adipose tissue (BAT) activity and cold-induced thermogenesis (CIT) in humans. We here tested the effect of a lifestyle with frequent exposure to extreme cold on BAT and CIT in a Dutch man known as ‘the Iceman’, who has multiple world records in withstanding extreme cold challenges. Furthermore, his monozygotic twin brother who has a ‘normal’ sedentary lifestyle without extreme cold exposures was measured. Methods The Iceman (subject A) and his brother (subject B) were studied during mild cold (13°C) and thermoneutral conditions (31°C). Measurements included BAT activity and respiratory muscle activity by [18F]FDG-PET/CT imaging and energy expenditure through indirect calorimetry. In addition, body temperatures, cardiovascular parameters, skin perfusion, and thermal sensation and comfort were measured. Finally, we determined polymorphisms for uncoupling protein-1 and β3-adrenergic receptor. Results Subjects had comparable BAT activity (A: 1144 SUVtotal and B: 1325 SUVtotal), within the range previously observed in young adult men. They were genotyped with the polymorphism for uncoupling protein-1 (G/G). CIT was relatively high (A: 40.1% and B: 41.9%), but unlike during our previous cold exposure tests in young adult men, here both subjects practiced a g-Tummo like breathing technique, which involves vigorous respiratory muscle activity. This was confirmed by high [18F]FDG-uptake in respiratory muscle. Conclusion No significant differences were found between the two subjects, indicating that a lifestyle with frequent exposures to extreme cold does not seem to affect BAT activity and CIT. In both subjects, BAT was not higher compared to earlier observations, whereas CIT was very high, suggesting that g-Tummo like breathing during cold exposure may cause additional heat production by vigorous isometric respiratory muscle contraction. The results must be interpreted with caution given the low

  4. Assessing Mantle Models with the Spectral-Element Method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tromp, J.; Komatitsch, D.; Ritsema, J.; Allen, R.

    2001-12-01

    We have developed and implemented a spectral-element method (SEM) to simulate seismic wave propagation throughout the entire globe. Our SEM incorporates the effects of fluid-solid boundaries, attenuation, anisotropy, the oceans, rotation, self-gravitation and 3-D mantle and crustal heterogeneity. The method is implemented on a massively parallel PC cluster computer using message-passing software (MPI). The effects of crustal thickness, anisotropy, and attenuation on surface waves are quite dramatic. Self-gravitation and, in particular, the presence of a water layer slow the Rayleigh wave down. For spherically symmetric Earth models the SEM is in excellent agreement with normal-mode synthetics at periods greater than 20~seconds. We use the SEM to assess the quality of mantle model S20RTS, developed by Ritsema and colleagues, and Iceland model ICEMAN, developed by Allen and colleagues. The effects of 3-D heterogeneity can be spectacular. For example, along oceanic paths from Fiji-Tonga to Western North America or Japan the Rayleigh wave arrives more than a minute earlier than in PREM, and the Love wave exhibits very little dispersion, unlike in PREM. These effects are largely due to the fact that the oceanic crust is much thinner than in PREM. For a set of well-recorded earthquakes we use the SEM to determine how well model S20RTS fits the travel-time data. Because the SEM synthetics are essentially exact at periods greater than 20~seconds, this facilitates a difficult test for a 3-D model. For Iceland we are investigating whether or not a narrow plume can explain the differential travel-time data used to constrain the model. The width of the plume is so small that standard ray theory may be inadequate for waves with periods greater than 20~seconds. Due to finite-frequency effects, a ray that `misses' the plume can still be significantly affected by its presence. The question is whether a thin plume, which is preferred in geodynamic models, can explain the data as

  5. Light, temperature, and desiccation effects on photosynthetic activity, and drought-induced ultrastructural changes in the green alga Klebsormidium dissectum (Streptophyta) from a high alpine soil crust.

    PubMed

    Karsten, Ulf; Holzinger, Andreas

    2012-01-01

    Members of the cosmopolitan green algal genus Klebsormidium (Klebsormidiales, Streptophyta) are typical components of terrestrial microbiotic communities such as biological soil crusts, which have many important ecological functions. In the present study, Klebsormidium dissectum (Gay) Ettl & Gärtner was isolated from a high alpine soil crust in the Tyrolean Alps, Austria. Physiological performance in terms of growth and photosynthesis was investigated under different controlled abiotic conditions and compared with ultrastructural changes under the treatments applied. K. dissectum showed very low light requirements as reflected in growth patterns and photosynthetic efficiency. Increasing temperatures from 5°C to 40°C led to different effects on respiratory oxygen consumption and photosynthetic oxygen evolution. While at low temperatures (5-10°C), respiration was not detectable or on a very low level, photosynthesis was relatively high, Reversely, at the highest temperature, respiration was unaffected, and photosynthesis strongly inhibited pointing to strong differences in temperature sensitivity between both physiological processes. Although photosynthetic performance of K. dissectum was strongly affected under short-term desiccation and recovered only partly after rehydration, this species was capable to survive even 3 weeks at 5% relative air humidity. K. dissectum cells have a cell width of 5.6 ± 0.3 μm and a cell length of 8.4 ± 2.0 μm. Desiccated cells showed a strongly reduced cell width (46% of control) and cell length (65% of control). In addition, in desiccated cells, fewer mitochondria were stained by DIOC(6), and damaged plasma membranes were detected by FM 1-43 staining. High-pressure freeze fixation as well as chemical fixation allowed visualizing ultrastructural changes caused by desiccation. In such cells, the nucleus and chloroplast were still visibly intact, but the extremely thin cell walls (75-180 nm) were substantially

  6. Cell-specific respiratory activity of aquatic bacteria studied with the tetrazolium reduction method, cyto-clear slides, and image analysis.

    PubMed

    Posch, T; Pernthaler, J; Alfreider, A; Psenner, R

    1997-03-01

    We present an improvement of the INT [2-(p-iodophenyl)-3-(p-nitrophenyl)-5-phenyltetrazolium chloride)] reduction method using Cyto-Clear slides, the fluorochrome DAPI (4(prm1),6(prm1)-diamidino-2 phenylindole), and an image analysis system. With this method we were able to simultaneously measure cell dimensions and formazan crystals as indicators of the respiratory activity of single bacteria. The method was tested on a natural bacterioplankton community of an oligotrophic high mountain lake (Gossenkollesee, Tyrolean Alps, Austria, 2,417 m above sea level) in midwinter ((symbl)1-m-thick ice and snow layer; dissolved organic carbon, 0.51 mg liter(sup-1); water temperature, 2(deg)C). About 25% of planktonic bacteria were respiratorily active, and a complex pattern of bacterial morphologies and specific respiratory activities was observed during a time series of INT incubation. Rod-shaped bacteria with cell lengths of between 1.6 and 4.8 (mu)m already showed visible activity after 0.5 h of INT incubation. Small cells (rods and cocci) in the size fraction <1.6 (mu)m and long filamentous bacteria (up to 120 (mu)m) were visibly active only after a 2-h incubation period. After 8 h of incubation, more than 90% of all cells between 3.2 and 6.4 (mu)m in cell length were respiratorily active, whereas only 5% of cells <1.6 (mu)m and 50% of filamentous bacteria contained formazan grains. We could distinguish five major bacterial phenotypes that showed distinct activity patterns with respect to incubation period and numbers and sizes of formazan crystals. There was no correlation between the total formazan volume per active cell and bacterial cell volume, and for any size class of active bacteria, total formazan volumes varied by about 2 orders of magnitude after 8 h of incubation. This indicates that cell-specific activity is extremely variable and is not related to size and that a small portion of all cells may account for the overall activity. PMID:16535553

  7. Assessing soil hydraulic characteristics using HYPROP and BEST: a comparison

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leitinger, Georg; Obojes, Nikolaus; Lassabatère, Laurent

    2015-04-01

    Knowledge of ecohydrological characteristics with high spatial resolution is a prerequisite for large-scale hydrological modelling. Data on soil hydraulic characteristics are of major importance, but measurements are often seen as time consuming and costly. In order to accurately model grassland productivity and in particular evapotranspiration, soil sampling and infiltration experiments at 25 grassland sites ranging from 900m to 2300m a.s.l. were conducted in the long term socio-ecological research (LTSER) site Stubai Valley, Tyrolean Alps, Austria, covering 265 km². Here we present a comparison of two methods to determine important hydrological properties of soils: (1) the evaporation method HYPROP (Hydraulic Property Analyzer; UMS Munich, 2010), and (2) the BEST-model (Beerkan Estimation of Soil Transfer Parameters; Lassabatère et al. (2006)), each determining the soil hydraulic characteristics and in particular the water retention curve. For the most abundant soil types we compared the pf-curves calculated from HYPROP data suing the Van Genuchten equation to the ones resulting from the comparatively time efficient BEST approach to find out if the latter is a suitable method to determine pf curves of alpine grassland soils. Except for the soil type Rendzina, the comparison of HYPROP and BEST showed slightly variations in the pF curves and resulting hydraulic characteristics. At the starting point BEST curves presented a slower dehydration, HYPROP a fast and continuous water loss. HYPROP analyses showed the highest variability in the measured values of Rendzina. Regarding BEST, the Alluvial Soils showed the highest variability. To assess equivalence between HYPROP and BEST we deduced several hydraulic characteristics from the pF curves, e.g. saturated water content, field capacity, permanent wilting point, pore size distribution, and minimum water retention. The comparison of HYPROP and BEST revealed that the results of soil water characteristics may depend on

  8. UAV-based Natural Hazard Management in High-Alpine Terrain - Case Studies from Austria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sotier, Bernadette; Adams, Marc; Lechner, Veronika

    2015-04-01

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) have become a standard tool for geodata collection, as they allow conducting on-demand mapping missions in a flexible, cost-effective manner at an unprecedented level of detail. Easy-to-use, high-performance image matching software make it possible to process the collected aerial images to orthophotos and 3D-terrain models. Such up-to-date geodata have proven to be an important asset in natural hazard management: Processes like debris flows, avalanches, landslides, fluvial erosion and rock-fall can be detected and quantified; damages can be documented and evaluated. In the Alps, these processes mostly originate in remote areas, which are difficult and hazardous to access, thus presenting a challenging task for RPAS data collection. In particular, the problems include finding suitable landing and piloting-places, dealing with bad or no GPS-signals and the installation of ground control points (GCP) for georeferencing. At the BFW, RPAS have been used since 2012 to aid natural hazard management of various processes, of which three case studies are presented below. The first case study deals with the results from an attempt to employ UAV-based multi-spectral remote sensing to monitor the state of natural hazard protection forests. Images in the visible and near-infrared (NIR) band were collected using modified low-cost cameras, combined with different optical filters. Several UAV-flights were performed in the 72 ha large study site in 2014, which lies in the Wattental, Tyrol (Austria) between 1700 and 2050 m a.s.l., where the main tree species are stone pine and mountain pine. The matched aerial images were analysed using different UAV-specific vitality indices, evaluating both single- and dual-camera UAV-missions. To calculate the mass balance of a debris flow in the Tyrolean Halltal (Austria), an RPAS flight was conducted in autumn 2012. The extreme alpine environment was challenging for both the mission and the evaluation of the aerial

  9. A high altitude paleoclimate record from an ice core retrieved at the northern margin of the Mediterranean basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gabrielli, P.; Barbante, C.; Carturan, L.; Davis, M. E.; Dalla Fontana, G.; Dreossi, G.; Dinale, R.; Draga, G.; Gabrieli, J.; Kehrwald, N. M.; Mair, V.; Mikhalenko, V.; Oeggl, K.; Schotterer, U.; Seppi, R.; Spolaor, A.; Stenni, B.; Thompson, L. G.; Tonidandel, D.

    2013-12-01

    Atmospheric temperatures in the Alps are increasing at twice the global rate and this change may be amplified at the highest elevations. There is a scarcity of paleo-climate information from high altitudes to place this current rapid climate change in a paleo-perspective. The 'Ortles Project' is an international scientific effort gathering institutes from six nations with the primary goal of obtaining a high altitude paleo-climate record in the Mediterranean area. In 2011 four ice cores were extracted from Alto dell'Ortles (3859 m, South Tyrol, Italy) the highest glacier in the eastern Alps. This site is located ~30 km away from where the famous ~5.2 kyr old Tyrolean Ice Man was discovered emerging from an ablating ice field (Hauslabjoch, 3210 m) in 1991. The good state of conservation of this mummy suggested that the current warming trend is unprecedented in South Tyrol during the late Holocene and that unique prehistoric ice was still present in this region. During the ice core drilling operations we found that the glacier Alto dell'Ortles shows a very unusual thermic behavior as it is transitioning from a cold to a temperate state. In fact, below a 30 meter thick temperate firn portion, we observed cold ice layers sitting on a frozen bedrock (-2.8 C). These represent remnants of the colder climate before ~1980 AD, when an instrumental record indicates a ~2 C lower temperature in this area during the period 1864-1980 AD. By analyzing one of the Ortles cores for stable isotopes, dust and major ions, we found an annually preserved climatic signal embedded in the deep cold ice of this glacier. Alto dell'Ortles is therefore the first low-accumulation (850 mm w.e. per year) alpine drilling site where both winter and summer layers can be identified. Preliminary annual layer counting and two absolute time markers suggest that the time period covered by the Ortles ice cores spans from several centuries to a few millennia. In particular, a Larix (larch) leaf discovered at

  10. Estimation of the amount of telomere molecules in different human age groups and the telomere increasing effect of acupuncture and shiatsu on St.36, using synthesized basic units of the human telomere molecules as reference control substances for the bi-digital O-ring test resonance phenomenon.

    PubMed

    Omura, Y; Shimotsura, Y; Ooki, M; Noguchi, T

    1998-01-01

    who had exceptionally high telomere levels often had excellent physical conditions or mental acumen). The amounts of measured TTAGGG and CCCTAA molecules before and after acupuncture on St. 36 in adenocarcinomas and small cell carcinoma coexisting in the lung of a 54-yr.-old Asian male were: telomere in adenocarcinoma decreased from 950 ng to 750 ng and telomere in small cell carcinoma decreased from 770 ng to 600 ng. When the cancer treatment is effective, the amount of telomere is reduced towards the value of the normal internal organ. We found that acupuncture on St.36 on apparently normal subjects increased the telomere levels up to a maximum of more than 2 times their telomere levels prior to the treatment, depending on the method of treatment, but frequently increases were between 60% to 100%. Strong Shiatsu performed on St. 36 produced a somewhat lesser effect than acupuncture. We also determined the amounts of TTAGGG and CCCTAA molecules non-invasively in 3 mummified Egyptian sisters from the 8th Century BC on exhibit at the Museo Egizio in Turin, Italy in order to estimate their approximate ages (at the time of death). The amounts of body telomere were 500 ng, 550 ng, and 750 ng. For the prehistoric Iceman (about 3350 B.C. to 3310 B.C) discovered in 1991 in the Italian Otzal Alps at about 3,200 meters altitude, estimated body telomere was about 400 ng and telomere in brain and heart was 1600 ng, similar to that of a contemporary human being. Although these studies are preliminary, the findings may have potential applications not only in anti-aging, cancer treatments, and pathophysiology of brain and heart, but also for the estimation of the difference in the ages of cadavers studied in archeology and forensic medicine. PMID:10193703