Aconcagua mummy (Source: IFLS)

Aconcagua mummy (Source: IFLS)

Here is another great success story about the use of mitochondrial DNA for learning about our ancestors.

A partially frozen 500-year-old mummy of an Incan child was found by mountaineers in 1985 in the mountains of Argentina. Part of the mummified lungs was removed and used for analysis of the mitochondrial DNA, which has allowed genetic scientists to map the entire genome of this child. This mapping has led to the discovery of an entirely new genetic lineage that has not been found in contemporary Native Americans.

You can read about this fascinating story at IFLS and for a more in-depth read of the science involved in the Nature Science Report.