Friday, March 16, 2007

Mummies' parasites
Ana Vicente and her team at the Oswaldo Cruz Institute in Rio de Janeiro began their quest for ancient pinworm RNA at San Pedro de Atacama, a pre-Incan village that was once part of an important trade route to the Pacific coast. Considered the driest place on earth, the region boasts 35 mm of rainfall in its wettest years and is considered a veritable time capsule for archaeologists, says paleoparasitologist Adauto Araujo, "There are so many bodies there, that archaeologists no longer excavate them."

Great graphic: