Friday, February 15, 2013

Muddy Medici

These are the bones of the woman who bequeathed the contents of Italy's Ufizzi Gallery. In 1966, severe flooding in Florence engulfed the tombs of the Medici family, patrons of the arts during the Renaissance. During a recent collaboration to exhume the tombs, the skeleton of Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici (1667-1743) was remarkably intact. She is recorded as experiencing a very painful death, so researchers are taking advantage of modern technologies to determine whether it was breast cancer that killed her, rather than syphilis as previously thought. "Full DNA sequence information may allow us to identify any susceptibility genes for breast cancer, but we don’t yet know if the sample is of sufficient quality for this since the tomb environment had been very damp,” says biological anthropologist Albert Zink of the European Academy of Bolzano. Zink also examined the remains of the mummified iceman.
Today I see my urologist, Dr. Michael Fountain, who had more faith than I did that I would get back to the blog. He will be happy to see my smile and Quigley's Cabinet if he has not checked it.

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