Tia Ghose reports from ASHG2012:
To answer that question, Sikora's team sequenced Ötzi's entire genome and compared it with those from hundreds of modern-day Europeans, as well as the genomes of a Stone Age hunter-gatherer found in Sweden, a farmer from Sweden, a 7,000-year-old hunter-gatherer iceman found in Iberia, and an Iron Age man found in Bulgaria.
The team confirmed that, of modern people, Sardinians are Ötzi's closest relatives. But among the prehistoric quartet, Ötzi most closely resembled the farmers found in Bulgaria and Sweden, while the Swedish and Iberian hunter-gatherers looked more like present-day Northern Europeans.Any ASHG attendees want to add any interesting details from the presentation? Comment away or e-mail me.
The findings add to a growing body of evidence showing that farming played a major role in shaping the people of Europe, said Chris Gignoux, a geneticist at the University of California San Francisco, who was not involved in the study.
"I think it's really intriguing," Gignoux said. "The more that people are sequencing these ancient genomes from Europe, that we're really starting to see the impact of farmers moving into Europe."