King Tut died of blood disorder: German researchers
Sunday 27 June 2010
Legendary pharaoh Tutankhamun was probably killed by the genetic blood disorder sickle cell disease, German scientists said Wednesday, rejecting earlier research that suggested he died of malaria.
The team at the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in the northern city of Hamburg questioned the conclusions of a major Egyptian study released in February on the enigmatic boy-king's early demise.
That examination, involving DNA tests and computerised tomography (CT) scans on Tutankhamun's mummy, said he died of malaria after suffering a fall, putting to rest the theory that he was murdered.
But the German researchers said in a letter published online Wednesday by the Journal of the American Medical Association that closer scrutiny of his foot bones pointed to sickle cell disease, in which red blood cells become dangerously misshaped.
"We question the reliability of the genetic data presented in this (the Egyptian) study and therefore the validity of the authors' conclusions," the letter said.
"(The) radiological signs are compatible with osteopathologic lesions seen in sickle cell disease (SCD), a hematological disorder that occurs at gene carrier rates of nine percent to 22 percent in inhabitants of Egyptian oases."
Tutankhamun's death at about 19, after 10 years of rule between 1333 to 1324 BC, has long been a source of speculation.
One of the most common genetic disorders, sickle cell disease causes blood cells to take the shape of a crescent instead of being smooth and round, thereby blocking blood flow and leading to chronic pain, infections and tissue death.
The researchers called for further DNA tests on Tutankhamun's mummy for a definitive cause of death.
Life & Style blogs
What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
iPhone 6s photos leak shows new phone will be thicker than iPhone 6, could make cases defunct
Overly-controlling parents cause their children lifelong psychological damage, says study
Women really are more attracted to men who make them laugh, study finds
What do the emojis on Snapchat mean?
- 1 What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
- 2 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 3 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
- 4 Bob Geldof offers to take four refugee families into his home 'immediately' as he condemns humanitarian crisis as a ‘f**king disgrace'
- 5 Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...
£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...
£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...
£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...