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Ancient teeth offer new insight on how the Black Death emerged and spread globally

Ancient teeth offer new insight on how the Black Death emerged and spread globally

Researchers believe they have finally pinpointed the origin of the Black Death, solving a 684-year-old mystery.

Researchers believe they have finally pinpointed the origin of the Black Death, solving a 684-year-old mystery. 

The second plague pandemic, which began in the 14th century and swept through Europe, Asia and elsewhere, killed millions, upended societies and even halted wars. For decades, researchers have chased leads and debated where the pandemic originated, with plenty of theories, but little certain evidence. 

Now, new analysis of ancient DNA pulled from a burial ground in modern-day Kyrgyzstan dates the plague’s explosion to the year 1338. 

Researchers discovered DNA evidence of the bacteria that causes the plague inside teeth pulled from the bodies of several people buried there. The DNA is closely related to the strain that caused the Black Death less than a decade later and also to the majority of plague strains circulating today. 

“What we found in this burial ground… was the ancestor of four of five of those lineages — so it’s really like the big bang of plague,” Johannes Krause, a professor at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, said in a news conference. “So, we have basically located this origin in time and space, which is really remarkable.” 

https://www.nbcnews.com/science/science-news/ancient-teeth-offer-new-insight-black-death-emerged-spread-globally-rcna33329


Post ID: 184dcf97-a5a1-49e5-a8fc-8a66486c2061
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Updated: 1 week ago

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