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Keyword: pandemics

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  • Oldest Bubonic Plague Genome Decoded

    06/11/2018 5:14:12 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    Eurekalert ^ | June 8, 2018 | Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
    The strain identified by the researchers was recovered from individuals in a double burial in the Samara region of Russia, who both had the same strain of the bacterium at death... this strain is the oldest sequenced to date that contains the virulence factors considered characteristic of the bubonic plague, and is ancestral to the strains that caused the Justinian Plague, the Black Death and the 19th century plague epidemics in China... caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis... The disease continues to affect populations around the world today. Despite its historical and modern significance, the origin and age of the...
  • Old trees reveal Late Antique Little Ice Age (LALIA) around 1,500 years ago

    02/10/2016 12:58:46 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 29 replies
    Tree-ring measurements have revealed a period of extreme cold in Eurasia between 536 and around 660 CE. It coincides strikingly with the Justinian plague, migrations of peoples and political turmoil in both Europe and Asia... WSL dendroclimatologist Ulf Buntgen and his fellow researchers were able for the first time to precisely reconstruct the summer temperatures in central Asia for the past 2,000 years. This was made possible by new tree-ring measurements from the Altai mountains in Russia. The results complement the climatological history of the European Alps, stretching back 2,500 years, that Buntgen and collaborators published in 2011 in the...
  • An Empire's Epidemic (Justinian Plague)

    09/18/2006 4:38:39 PM PDT · by blam · 38 replies · 1,248+ views
    UCLA ^ | 5-6-2002 | Thomas H Maugh II
    An Empire's Epidemic Scientists Use DNA in Search for Answers to 6th Century Plague By THOMAS H. MAUGH II, Times Staff Writer By the middle of the 6th century, the Emperor Justinian had spread his Byzantine Empire around the rim of the Mediterranean and throughout Europe, laying the groundwork for what he hoped would be a long-lived dynasty. His dreams were shattered when disease-bearing mice from lower Egypt reached the harbor town of Pelusium in AD 540. From there, the devastating disease spread to Alexandria and, by ship, to Constantinople, Justinian's capital, before surging throughout his empire. By the time...
  • Black Death 'Was Not Plague' Say Experts

    04/12/2002 5:43:45 AM PDT · by blam · 49 replies · 726+ views
    Ananova ^ | 4-12-2002
    Black Death 'was not plague' say experts The Black Death may not have been caused by bubonic plague after all, say US scientists. They have been looking at church records from the 14th century to find out how the disease spread. They now think it was probably some other infection passed on by human contact and not bubonic plague which relies on flea-ridden rats. Records show the disease spread along busy roads and rivers and over natural barriers which would have restricted rats. They also say there are other diseases with similar symptoms which are more likely candidates. The modern...
  • Infectious Pests

    04/29/2003 2:17:15 PM PDT · by sourcery · 16 replies · 330+ views
    Safe Haven ^ | April 29, 2003 | Marc Faber
    Although SARS does not appear to be as contagious as the 1918 Spanish flu, its mortality rate is higher. The current pandemic shows that in the future, new infectious diseases will increasingly be a global problem. Modern air transportation can spread a disease all over the world within a very brief period of time. In other words, as was the case with food-borne epidemics, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, insect-borne diseases such as the West Nile virus and AIDS, an outbreak anywhere in the world is soon a threat everywhere. As we experienced with the Hong Kong bird flu in 1997, when more...
  • Unusual climate during Roman times plunged Eurasia into hunger and disease

    04/15/2018 6:41:17 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 50 replies
    Science News ^ | April 11, 2018 | University of Helsinki
    A recent study indicates that volcanic eruptions in the mid 500s resulted in an unusually gloomy and cold period. A joint research project of the Chronology Laboratory of the Finnish Museum of Natural History and Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) suggests that the years 536 and 541-544 CE were very difficult... An extended period of little light may make it difficult for humans to survive. The level of production of plants is dependent on the amount of available sunlight. Food production, i.e, farming and animal husbandry, rely on the same solar energy. Humans, meanwhile, become more prone to disease if...
  • Ancient DNA Tells Tales of Humans' Migrant History

    03/03/2018 12:13:33 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 22 replies
    Popular Archaeology ^ | Wednesday, February 21, 2018 | editors Vol. 29 Winter 2018
    Reich and a cast of dozens of collaborators chart the spread of an ancient culture known by its stylized bell-shaped pots, the so-called Bell Beaker phenomenon. This culture first spread between Iberia and central Europe beginning about 4,700 years ago. By analyzing DNA from several hundred samples of human bones, Reich's team shows that only the ideas -- not the people who originated them -- made the move initially. That's because the genes of the Iberian population remain distinct from those of the central Europeans who adopted the characteristic pots and other artifacts. But the story changes when the Bell...
  • Plague ‘hiding in plain sight’, warn scientists 

    03/03/2018 8:41:49 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 39 replies
    David Markman, from Colorado State University who led the study, said that plague is endemic in many different parts of the world and its origins are still not well understood. "The interesting and troubling part of plague, and part of the reason why there are so many unanswered questions, is that it is present in many different environments - from the jungle to the desert and everywhere in between. "It's difficult to find one mechanism that unites all these different locations which explains when, where and why plague breaks out when it does," he said.  The researchers identified amoebae, bugs that live...
  • Italian Skeletons Reveal Old World Diseases

    04/13/2004 5:22:18 PM PDT · by blam · 30 replies · 719+ views
    Discovery News ^ | 4-13-2004 | Rossella Lorenzi
    Italian Skeletons Reveal Old World Diseases By Rossella Lorenzi, Discovery News Columbus: Syphilis Spreader? April 12, 2004 — Researchers investigating Italian cemeteries have found further evidence to confirm that syphilis and rheumatoid arthritis plagued the Americas long before the arrival of Columbus. Involving various sites throughout Italy, the study examined 688 skeletons dating from the Bronze Age to the Black Plague epidemic of 1485-1486. The remains were investigated for the presence of bony alterations characteristic of rheumatoid arthritis, gout, spondyloarthropathy and syphilis-causing organisms, called treponemes. Indeed, syphilis is known to scar and deform bones. Legend holds that Columbus and his...
  • Gloucester's Roman Mass Grave Skeletons Were Plague Victims (Smallpox?)

    04/30/2008 6:04:50 PM PDT · by blam · 3 replies · 167+ views
    24 Hour Museum ^ | 4-29-2008 | Oxford Archaeology
    GLOUCESTER'S ROMAN MASS GRAVE SKELETONS WERE PLAGUE VICTIMS By 24 Hour Museum Staff 29/04/2008 Archaeologists work to uncover the Roman mass grave in Gloucester during 2005. © Oxfod Archaeology A mass Roman grave, discovered in Gloucester in 2005, may have contained the victims of an acute disease of epidemic proportions, possibly plague. This is the startling conclusion to a new report by Oxford Archaeology and archaelogical consultancy CgMs, who have been conducting an 18-month programme of scientific study on the grave, which contained around 91 skeletons. The discovery of a mass grave of Roman date is almost unparalleled in British...
  • Medieval plague victims unearthed in City of London square

    03/14/2013 10:10:16 PM PDT · by Beowulf9 · 18 replies
    The Guardian ^ | Thursday 14 March 2013 | Gwyn Topham
    Seven centuries after their demise, the skeletons of 12 plague victims have been unearthed in the City of London, a find which archaeologists believe to be just the tip of a long-lost Black Death mass burial ground. Arranged in careful rows, the bodies were discovered 2.5 metres below the ground in Charterhouse Square in works for a Crossrail tunnel shaft beside the future ticketing hall for Farringdon station. Tests are needed to confirm the skeletons' provenance, but the discovery should shed more light on life and death in 14th-century Britain and help scientists to understand how the plague mutated.
  • Sea Lions And Seals Likely Spread Tuberculosis To Ancient Peruvians

    08/21/2014 1:43:29 PM PDT · by Theoria · 15 replies
    NPR ^ | 21 Aug 2014 | Michaeleen Doucleff
    When Europeans came to the Americas, they brought some nasty diseases — smallpox, cholera and typhus, to name a few.But one pathogen was already there. And it likely traveled to the shores of South America in a surprising vessel.By analyzing DNA from 1,000-year-old mummies, scientists have found evidence that sea lions and seals were the first to bring tuberculosis to the New World. The sea animals likely infected people living along the coast of Peru and northern Chile, a team from the University of Tubingen in Germany reported Wednesday in the journal Nature."We weren't expecting to find a connection to...
  • Researchers confirming AIDS passed to humans from chimps in Central Africa So Much For Bill Cosby

    01/17/2002 12:38:00 PM PST · by Outraged At FLA · 103 replies · 412+ views
    MSNBC ^ | MSNBC
    Here is some of what is posted on the page: Jan. 17 — The chimpanzee version of the AIDS virus appears to be extremely rare in wild chimps, which suggests the apes evolved a way to deal with the killer virus generations ago, researchers said on Thursday. The study also confirmed earlier theories that AIDS passed to humans from chimps in Central Africa, they said SCIENTISTS HAVE long known nonhuman primates carry their own version of the AIDS virus. But so far, it has been found only in captive chimpanzees. No one knows how prevalent or geographically or genetically diverse ...
  • Skeleton dating clears Columbus of importing syphilis to Europe

    10/25/2010 5:12:35 AM PDT · by Palter · 17 replies
    The Australian ^ | 25 Oct 2010 | Jack Malvern
    The question of whether Christopher Columbus and his crew were responsible for bringing syphilis to Europe from the Americas appears to have been answered by the discovery of a collection of knobbly skeletons in a London cemetery. A popular theory among experts in tropical diseases is that outbreaks of syphilis in the mid-1490s were a direct result of Columbus and his randy crew returning from their first voyage across the Atlantic in 1492-93. However, the largest excavation of skeletons undertaken in Britain has unearthed seven that suggest the disease was known in England up to two centuries before that. Archaeologists...
  • New study blames Columbus for syphilis spread

    01/14/2008 5:31:47 PM PST · by Sub-Driver · 67 replies · 228+ views
    New study blames Columbus for syphilis spread By Julie Steenhuysen 13 minutes ago New genetic evidence supports the theory that Christopher Columbus brought syphilis to Europe from the New World, U.S. researchers said on Monday, reviving a centuries-old debate about the origins of the disease. They said a genetic analysis of the syphilis family tree reveals that its closest relative was a South American cousin that causes yaws, an infection caused by a sub-species of the same bacteria. "Some people think it is a really ancient disease that our earliest human ancestors would have had. Other people think it came...
  • Origins of Syphilis [It was waiting for Columbus and his crew~~~NEW WORLD]

    10/06/2007 6:04:49 PM PDT · by shield · 95 replies · 3,583+ views
    Archaeology.org ^ | January/February 1997 | Mark Rose
    snip... Syphilis, it seems, developed in the New World from yaws, perhaps 1,600 years ago, and was waiting for Columbus and his crew. The Rothschilds are now examining skeletal collections from the Bahamas to look for evidence of syphilis nearer to Columbus' landfall.
  • A New Skeleton and an Old Debate About Syphilis

    02/19/2016 8:53:01 AM PST · by C19fan · 13 replies
    Atlantic ^ | February 18, 2016 | Cari Romm
    In June 1495, the Italian historian Niccolo Squillaci wrote a letter describing a horrific disease that was sweeping through Europe. “There are itching sensations, and an unpleasant pain in the joints; there is a rapidly increasing fever,” he wrote. “The skin is inflamed with revolting scabs and is completely covered with swellings and tubercules, which are initially of a livid red color, and then become blacker.” And, tellingly, “It most often begins with the private parts.”
  • Syphilis widespread in Central Europe even before Columbus' voyage to America

    11/23/2015 9:54:22 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 31 replies
    Journal of Biological and Clinical Anthropology via Health Canal ^ | November 19, 2015 | Johanna Sophia Gaul, Karl Grossschmidt, Christian Gusenbauer and Fabian Kanz
    In 1495, a "new" disease spread throughout Europe: syphilis. Christopher Columbus was said to have brought this sexually transmitted disease back from his voyage to America. At least, that has been the accepted theory up until now. Using morphological and structural evidence, researchers from the Department of Forensic Medicine and the Center for Anatomy and Cell Biology (bone laboratory) at MedUni Vienna have now identified several cases of congenital syphilis dating back to as early as 1320 AD in skeletons from excavations at the cathedral square of St. Polten, Austria... Congenital syphilis, which is passed from a pregnant mother to...
  • Skeletons point to Columbus voyage for syphilis origins

    12/20/2011 1:17:42 PM PST · by decimon · 68 replies
    Emory University ^ | December 20, 2011
    More evidence emerges to support that the progenitor of syphilis came from the New WorldSkeletons don't lie. But sometimes they may mislead, as in the case of bones that reputedly showed evidence of syphilis in Europe and other parts of the Old World before Christopher Columbus made his historic voyage in 1492. None of this skeletal evidence, including 54 published reports, holds up when subjected to standardized analyses for both diagnosis and dating, according to an appraisal in the current Yearbook of Physical Anthropology. In fact, the skeletal data bolsters the case that syphilis did not exist in Europe before...
  • The flu can kill tens of millions of people. In 1918, that’s exactly what it did

    01/30/2018 10:14:37 AM PST · by rktman · 93 replies
    washingtonpost.com ^ | 1/26/2018 | Ashley Halsey III
    The flu arrived as a great war raged in Europe, a conflict that would leave about 20 million people dead over four years. In 1918, the flu would kill more than twice that number — and perhaps five times as many — in just 15 months. Though mostly forgotten, it has been called “the greatest medical holocaust in history.” Experts believe between 50 and 100 million people were killed. More than two-thirds of them died in a single 10-week period in the autumn of 1918. Never have so many died so swiftly from a single disease. In the United States...