Bacteria May Explain Shroud of Turin

Guardian Unlimited: University of Texas Health Science Centre believes he may have an explanation for the Shroud of Turin: bacteria. Microbiologist Stephen Mattingly thinks he understands how the famous Shroud of Turin was created: not by mystical power, but by simple science. He believes that microbes multiplied in the wounds of a slowly-dying man who was washed and wrapped in the linen shroud after death. The bacteria from the wounds was then transferred to the shroud, died, and shed proteins which caused the stains. Mattingly, a Catholic, believes in Jesus, but does not believe in the mystical creation of the Shroud.

"I am convinced that bacteria painted the image," Mattingly says. "They would have to have, based on the conditions that existed during the crucifixion."

Mattingly and a team are now conducting experiments but results have yet to be published in a scientific journal. Even so, the announcement has sparked controversy.

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