Assessment of missing links in atherogenesis via paleogenetic, computed tomography and stable isotopic investigations

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  • Project duration: September 2014 - September 2022
  • Project status:
    Approval by the Scientific Committee
  • Total project budget: €636,000.00

In this project we are planning to investigate the evolution of known and novel genetic and environmental causes of atherosclerosis. In particular, the presence and extent of atherosclerosis with genetic and environmental factors will be compared in different study populations. The populations are composed of artificial and natural mummies from cultures across the globe dating back to 6,000 years Before Present (BP). Additionally, the genomes of these populations will be compared to early human populations including Neanderthals and the Denisova hominid. The investigation techniques include the confirmation of phenotypic evidence for atherosclerosis in mummies by using x-ray computed tomography. Biopsy samples will be analysed through next generation sequencing and stable isotope analyses.

The results will be used to assess atherosclerotic burden in past populations and with the genomic analysis the genomes of the studied populations can be correlated to the phenotype.

Correlation of atherosclerosis and osteoarthritis in ancient Egypt: A standardized evaluation of 45 whole-body CT examinations
Panzer S, Augat P, Sprenger M, Zesch S, Rosendahl W, Sutherland ML, Thompson RC, Paladin A, Zink A (2021)
Journal article
International Journal of Paleopathology

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Ancient DNA analysis of rare genetic bone disorders
Maixner F, Gresky J, Zink A (2021)
Journal article
International Journal of Paleopathology

More information:

Minimally-Invasive Bone Biopsies of Fully Wrapped Mummies Guided by Computed Tomography and Fibre-Optic Endoscopy: Suggested Methods and Guidelines
Wurst C, Paladin A, Wann LS, Frohlich B, Fritsch KO, Rowan CJ, Sutherland ML, Sutherland JD, Michalik D, Allam AH, Zesch S, Rosendahl W, Seyfried F, Thompson RC, Thomas GS, Zink A (2020)
Journal article
Journal of Archaeological Sciences: reports

Atherogenesis in Human Mummified Remains: Archaeogenetics
Wurst C, Maixner F, Zink A, The HORUS Study Team (2019)

Conference: EMBO Practical Course - Bioinformatics and genome analyses | San Michele all'Adige | 16.6.2019 - 30.6.2019

Possible evidence for care and treatment in the Tyrolean Iceman
Zink A, Samadelli M, Gostner P, Piombino-Mascali D (2019)
Journal article
International Journal of Paleopathology

Preliminary Biopsy findings, Turin mummies
Frohlich B, Wurst C, Paladin A, Zink A (2017)

Conference: Horus-Eurac conjoint symposium on the fundamental etiologies of atherosclerosis | Torino | 1.4.2017 - 1.4.2017

Preliminary aDNA analysis of Egyptian mummies of the Ägyptisches Museum in Berlin
Wurst C (2017)

Conference: Horus-Eurac conjoint symposium on the fundamental etiologies of atherosclerosis | Torino | 1.4.2017 - 1.4.2017

A target enrichment capture for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease SNPs in human mummies
Wurst C, Maixner F, Coia V, Zink A (2017)
Search for Cardiovascular Genetic Risk Factors in ancient DNA of Egyptian Mummified Human Remains
Wurst C, Wann S, Thompson R, Maixner F, Allam A, Finch C, Frohlich B, Sutherland L, Sutherland J, Narula N, Narula J, Fritsch K, Rowan C, Michalik D, Paladin A, Zesch S, Rosendahl W, Huppertz A, Seyfried F, Thomas G, Zink A (2016)

Conference: 9th World Congress on Mummy Studies | Lima | 10.8.2016 - 13.8.2016

Atherosclerosis in ancient mummified human remains: Linking genetic predisposition with the occurrence of calcified plaques
Wurst C, Wann S, Thompson R, Keller A, Maixner F, Allam A, Finch C, Frohlich B, Kaplan H, Lombardi G, Sutherland L, Sutherland J, Watson L, Cox S, Miyamoto M, Narula J, Stewart A, Thomas G, Zink A (2015)

Conference: 83rd EAS Congress | Glasgow | 22.3.2015 - 25.3.2015

Mount Sinai Hospital
Smithsonian , National Museum of Natural History
Columbia St. Mary's Hospital
Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute, and University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Medicine, Kansas City, MO, USA
Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, Long Beach, and University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA, USA
University of Vienna, Department of Computational Systems Biology
Project Team
1 - 2


1 - 7


Development and centralization of the laboratory infrastructures of the Institute for Mummy Studies ...

Duration: December 2017 - October 2021Funding:
FESR (EU funding / Project)

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Institute's Projects

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Eurac Research is a private research center based in Bolzano (South Tyrol) with researchers from a wide variety of scientific fields who come from all over the globe. Together, through scientific knowledge and research, they share the goal of shaping the future.

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