Was Oetzi alone in the world? New DNA analysis of Oetzi, a mummified man from 5300 years ago who was discovered in 1991 in a melting glacier in the Italian Alps, indicates that the mummified man may be alone in the modern world -- with no known living descendants. Researchers have sequenced his entire mitochondrial genome and compared it with other published human mitochondrial DNA sequences to construct Oetzi's phylogenetic family tree. The researchers found no matches -- and, what's more, found that Oetzi seems to be from a unique branch of the human family tree. The work was published this week in the journal Current Biology. In this Halloween-day edition of Science Friday, we'll talk about the mummy's DNA and what it tells us about human evolution.
Produced by Annette Heist, Senior Producer