Comparison of the lipid profile of the Tyrolean Iceman with bodies recovered from glaciers
In September 1991, an approximately 5000 year-old frozen mummy of a man was found in the Tyrolean Alps. The Tyrolean Iceman is a unique find, which has been the subject of several studies since then. Even from frozen anthropologic samples, decomposition of macromolecules is one of the major obstacles in the analysis of proteins or nucleic acids (1, 2). Small molecules present at high concentrations in tissue, such as fatty acids, should have a better chance to evade the decomposition process. We therefore analyzed the lipid profile of samples from the skin, trabecular bone, nose cavity and paranasal sinus of the tyrolean ice man and other human corpses, buried in glaciers (skin, muscle from calf and thigh, cardial muscle, lung, liver, bone marrow), by gas-liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry. The lipid profile of these samples was compared with the corresponding tissue samples from fresh human corpses. Additionally, three tissue samples from a well preserved female body, recovered from a lake after 50 years, could be analyzed.
KeywordsLipid Profile Trabecular Bone Hydroxy Acid Methyl Silicone Phenyl Methyl Silicone
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