12 October 2011
The researchers extracted DNA fragments of the ancient bacterium from the teeth of medieval corpses found in London.
They say the pathogen is the ancestor of all modern plagues.
The research, published in the journal Nature, suggests the 14th Century outbreak was also the first plague pandemic in history.
Humans have rarely encountered an enemy as devastating as the bacterium, Yersinia pestis. Between 1347 and 1351 it sparked the Black Death, an infection carried by fleas that spread rapidly across Europe killing around 50 million people.
Now scientists have uncovered some of the genetic secrets of the plague, thanks to DNA fragments drilled from the teeth of victims buried in a graveyard in London’s East Smithfield.
Professor Johannes Krause from the University of Tubingen, Germany, was a member of the research team. He said all current strains circulating in the world are directly related to the medieval bacterium.
“It’s the grandmother of all plague that’s around today.”
Read more: here
Oh My God…How can my fellow human beings even work on this stuff..
Oh I know, for the good of mankind..Right…