Sequencing the Black Death

A few years back, while I was reading Eifelheim, I read up on the Black Death. There was a theory floating around at the time that, based on symptoms and virulence, the black death might have been caused by a viral hemorrhagic fever like Marburg, not by the bubonic plague that’s still endemic in some parts of the world. Since then, researchers have managed to extract bacterial DNA from the bones of Londoners who died when the plague reached the city in 1348, confirming that they were infected with a relative of the modern plague…and have reconstructed its genome.

Wow.

(via Slashdot)

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