Ozzy Osbourne DNA Reveals Neanderthal Lineage

Ozzy Osbourne’s DNA sequence reveals some interesting ancestors in the family tree.

Ozzy Osbourne DNA Reveals Neanderthal Lineage

Ozzy Osbourne fancies himself a miracle of science—enough so that he thought his body should be one of the few on earth to undergo a full DNA genome sequencing and analysis.

“I was curious,” he wrote recently in a column for Sunday Times of London, “Given the swimming pools of booze I’ve guzzled over the years—not to mention all of the cocaine, morphine, sleeping pills, cough syrup, LSD, Rohypnol…you name it—there’s really no plausible medical reason why I should still be alive. Maybe my DNA could say why.”

Ozzy worked with Cofactor Genomics and Knome to sequence and analyze his DNA and see if they could decode the rosetta stone of Ozzy Osbourne’s famous resilience in the face of epic substance abuse.

Scientific American today features a great interview with two of the scientists from Knome who analyzed the data. They didn’t find anything specific that would make him him impregnable against cocaine, but they did discover something interesting: “We found a little segment on Ozzy’s chromosome 10 that very likely traces back to a Neandertal forebearer.”

The scientists go on to say that “a drop in the bucket” of European and Asian people likely have Neanderthal ancestry, but that one of Knome’s founders has three times as much as Ozzy.

They did also find an unusual double-dosage of a particular gene that affects the nervous system, which they say could explain Ozzy’s unusual nervous-system impacted hallmarks: “He’s a world-class musician, he has an addictive personality, he has a tremor, he’s dyslexic, he gets up very early in the morning. And many of these can be traced back to the nervous system.

The verdict: science is still not sure whether Ozzy’s resilience stems from his Neanderthal lineage or another anomaly in his DNA sequence. Whatever the case, Ozzy seems somewhat of a walking mystery—a (seemingly) healthy 61 year-old who has managed to live through enough drug use for three or four of us mortals to overdose on.

Maybe this is why he’s just landed a spot as the new Rolling Stone health columnist. Now you’ll be able to tune in every week and pick up health tips from the opiate oracle himself.