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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Amazed Boffins Probe Ozzy's Genetic Code

Elizabeth Scott,
Sky News Online

Scientists are to map Ozzy Osbourne's genetic code in a bid to find out how he is still alive after decades of drug and alcohol abuse.

Ozzy Osbourne

Hard-living Ozzy Osbourne has admitted abusing drink and drugs for 40 years

The former Black Sabbath frontman is only one of a few people in the world to have his full genome analysed.

It is hoped the results from the £27,000 test, which takes three months, will provide information on how drugs are absorbed in the body.

Ozzy, 61, has lived a life that would presumably kill any ordinary person.

Even the singer himself cannot understand how he has survived this long, recently describing himself as a "medical miracle" after going on a "bender" for "40 years".

He has admitted drinking four bottles of cognac a day at one point, "blacking out, coming to again and carrying on".

Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne with wife Sharon, who he once tried to strangle

Ozzy famously bit the head off a rat while performing with Black Sabbath and in 2003 broke his neck in a quad bike accident.

He also has a genetic disorder similar to Parkinson's disease and on at least one occasion has been committed to a mental institution.

Despite all his excesses, he is still with wife Sharon, who he once tried to strangle, and the couple have three grown-up children.

Now he may get some answers from US company Knome, which will use a blood sample to map his genome.

Nathan Pearson, director of research at the firm, said: "Sequencing and analysing individuals with extreme medical histories provides the greatest potential scientific value."

The results will hopefully help scientists understand why the bodies of hard-living rockers such as Ozzy, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Iggy Pop are able to take more substance abuse than the average person.