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Ötzi'll Be Over for the Holidays

Using a high-density regional sampling approach that drew upon some 3,700 specimens, researchers led by Walther Parson from Innsbruck Medical University report on the distribution of the Y-chromosomal haplogroup G2a in modern-day Tyrol, Austria, in Forensic Science International: Genetics.

Nearby Tyrol, Italy, was where 5,300-year-old Ötzi the Iceman was uncovered back in 1991.

Parson and his colleagues report that some 19 modern men in the region belong to the same Y-chromosomal haplogroup as Ötzi, indicating that they share a common ancestor, stretching back some 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. "In that sense, those 19 are closer related to the iceman than other individuals," Parson tells "Note that all human beings are related to each other to some degree."

"It will be interesting to see whether additional analysis of Ötzi’s Y-DNA will reveal more specific SNPs and lead to better identification of his male relatives," adds Blaine Bettinger at the Genetic Genealogist.