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Plague decoded: Researchers link 2 of the most devastating pandemics in history
ctvnews.ca ^ | January 27, 2014 | Christina Commisso

Posted on 01/27/2014 5:08:06 PM PST by John W

An international team of scientists has discovered that two of the most devastating pandemics in human history -- responsible for killing as much as half the population in Europe at the time -- were caused by strains of the same bacterium.

The researchers announced Monday that the Plague of Justinian and the Black Death were caused by distinct strains of the same pathogen, and warned that similar pandemics can strike again.

The Plague of Justinian struck in the 6th century and is estimated to have killed between 30 and 50 million people -- virtually half the world’s population as it spread across Asia, North Africa, parts of the Middle East and Europe.

The Black Death struck about 800 years later, killing an estimated 50 million Europeans between just 1347 and 1351 alone.

Researchers were able to isolate miniscule DNA fragments from the 1500-year-old teeth of two victims of the Plague of Justinian who were buried in Bavaria, Germany. They then reconstructed the genome of the oldest Yersinia pestis, the bacterium responsible for these plagues, and compared it to a database of genomes of more than a hundred contemporary strains.

The bacterium Yersinia pestis has jumped from rodents to humans throughout history, and Poinar said rodent reservoirs of plague still exist today in parts of Asia and Ukraine.

"What (the study) does seem to suggest is that obviously Yersinia pestis has this tremendous capability of emerging and re-emerging from these centres with these rodents," said Hendrik Poinar, director of the McMaster Ancient DNA Centre.

(Excerpt) Read more at ctvnews.ca ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: blackdeath; blackplague; bubonicplague; dsj02; godsgravesglyphs; helixmakemineadouble; justinian; pandemic; pestilence; plague; plagueofjustinian; romanempire; yersiniapestis
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1 posted on 01/27/2014 5:08:06 PM PST by John W
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To: John W

Hmmmm 800 year gap and the last time was roughly 800 years ago...


2 posted on 01/27/2014 5:09:41 PM PST by null and void (We need to shake this snowglobe up.)
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To: John W; neverdem; ProtectOurFreedom; Mother Abigail; EBH; vetvetdoug; Smokin' Joe; Global2010; ...
Bring Out Your Dead

Post to me or FReep mail to be on/off the Bring Out Your Dead ping list.

The purpose of the “Bring Out Your Dead” ping list (formerly the “Ebola” ping list) is very early warning of emerging pandemics, as such it has a high false positive rate.

So far the false positive rate is 100%.

At some point we may well have a high mortality pandemic, and likely as not the “Bring Out Your Dead” threads will miss the beginning entirely.

*sigh* Such is life, and death...

3 posted on 01/27/2014 5:11:06 PM PST by null and void (We need to shake this snowglobe up.)
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To: John W

This is so scary that you can’t even be afraid of it.

If it happens it happens and I would expect Guam to blow up its airport to keep the pathogen off the island


4 posted on 01/27/2014 5:11:12 PM PST by Fai Mao (Genius at Large)
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To: null and void
Hmmmm 800 year gap and the last time was roughly 800 years ago...

I hear the plague is quite susceptible to modern antibiotics--unless biowarfare people have fooled around with it. They wouldn't do that, would they?

5 posted on 01/27/2014 5:12:38 PM PST by Pearls Before Swine
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To: null and void

We’re living on borrowed time, it seems.


6 posted on 01/27/2014 5:12:38 PM PST by ClearCase_guy (Anti-Complacency League! Baby!)
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To: John W
"The Plague of Justinian struck in the 6th century"

Close in time to the plague of Islam.

7 posted on 01/27/2014 5:13:18 PM PST by Paladin2
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To: John W

China has been plaguing us for centuries...


8 posted on 01/27/2014 5:14:34 PM PST by NativeSon ( Grease the floor with Crisco when I dance the Disco)
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To: John W

Well ‘RATS’!


9 posted on 01/27/2014 5:14:49 PM PST by Kartographer ("We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.")
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To: Pearls Before Swine

Absolutely.


10 posted on 01/27/2014 5:14:54 PM PST by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: null and void
Bring out your dead!
11 posted on 01/27/2014 5:14:55 PM PST by lightman (O Lord, save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance, giving to Thy Church vict'ry o'er Her enemies.)
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To: John W
I know we are all going to die, but for sanity's sake, KILL the fleas.

Sheesh.

5.56mm

12 posted on 01/27/2014 5:15:51 PM PST by M Kehoe
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To: null and void

From what I remember reading years ago, the real problem with plague, aside from fleas, was the black rat (Rattus rattus) which nowadays has been largely displaced by the brown rat (Rattus norvegicus).

It’s been so long, but I believe it had something to do with the black rat’s nesting behavior in human habitations. Simply put, the black rat is more an indoors sort of critter, while the brown rat is more outdoorsy. Needless to say, black rats, indoors, with plague-carrying fleas, is a recipe for disaster.


13 posted on 01/27/2014 5:16:14 PM PST by AnAmericanAbroad (It's all bread and circuses for the future prey of the Morlocks.)
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To: Pearls Before Swine

Nahhhh, never...


14 posted on 01/27/2014 5:16:31 PM PST by null and void (We need to shake this snowglobe up.)
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To: ClearCase_guy

No, I think natural disasters are the way populations are supposed to be controlled, and not with death panels or global control freaks. That way people aren’t singled out for political or religious beliefs, and people aren’t making the decision of who lives and who dies.
Anyway, being ready to go is always wise.


15 posted on 01/27/2014 5:16:40 PM PST by Kackikat
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To: ClearCase_guy

Yeah, ever...


16 posted on 01/27/2014 5:16:56 PM PST by null and void (We need to shake this snowglobe up.)
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To: John W

It’s treatable now with antibiotics, though there have been some resistant strands.

We’re much more effective at both treating, and identifying the source. But I do think we have forgotten how to quarantine or lost the will to. We didn’t do so good with SARS.


17 posted on 01/27/2014 5:18:11 PM PST by DannyTN (A>)
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To: John W

It’s treatable now with antibiotics, though there have been some resistant strands.

We’re much more effective at both treating, and identifying the source. But I do think we have forgotten how to quarantine or lost the will to. We didn’t do so good with SARS.


18 posted on 01/27/2014 5:18:12 PM PST by DannyTN (A>)
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To: M Kehoe

and dont let the bedbugs bite


19 posted on 01/27/2014 5:18:18 PM PST by bigheadfred
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To: John W

So, about 130 million died of the plague in the history of mankind.

How many died because of Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Islam in that same time span?


20 posted on 01/27/2014 5:19:14 PM PST by 353FMG
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