Surprising Evidence of DNA Art from the Omo Valley

by admin nagas

Image: Body designs of a male torso from the Omo Valley reveals the structure of the mitochondrial DNA.

As research proceeds, the Omo Valley in Ethiopia reveals one of the most unique places for anthropological studies on earth. New evidence indicates that the people of the Omo Valley paint their bodies with a sacred symbolism attributable to elements of the human biological system. An in-depth study of the various body painting designs of the Karo, Mursi, and Surma people revealed several artistic reproductions of various patterns such as the DNA ladder, DNA supercoiling, different cell structures, chromosomal aberrations as well as the structure of the human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA).

Facts about Mitochondria

Mitochondria (singular mitochondrion) are complex bean-shaped organelles found in almost every cell of the human body as well as the cells that make up plants, animals, and many other forms of life. The word mitochondrion derived from the Greek μίτος, mitos, i.e. "thread", and χονδρίον, chondrion, i.e. "granule". Because they have their own DNA, most scientists think they were once free-living cells, engulfed and incorporated into larger cells over a billion years ago. We, humans, inherit our mitochondrial DNA only from our mother so we've been able to use mitochondria to trace human origin back millions of years.

Mitochondria range from 0.5 to 1.0 micrometer (μm) in diameter and are sometimes described as "the powerhouse of the cell" because they generate most of the cell's supply of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), used as a source of chemical energy. Mitochondria make 90% of the body's energy. The more energy a cells needs, the more mitochondria they have. Mitochondria make up half of our dry body weight. Moreover, mitochondria generate 90% of the free radicals in your cells as they make ATP, an important enzyme that provides energy for the cell to use through the synthesis of adenosine. Many scientific studies support the mitochondrial free radical theory of aging, the idea that mitochondria also play a part in the aging process.

Ref. Mitochondria Structure and Functions