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Keyword: yersiniapestis

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  • Black Death skeletons unearthed by Crossrail project

    03/31/2014 11:43:12 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 33 replies
    BBC ^ | 29 March 2014 Last updated at 20:00 ET | James Morgan
    Records say thousands of Londoners perished and their corpses were dumped in a mass grave outside the City, but its exact location was a mystery. Archaeologists now believe it is under Charterhouse Square near the Barbican. They plan to expand their search for victims across the square - guided by underground radar scans, which have picked up signs of many more graves. Crossrail's lead archaeologist Jay Carver says the find "solves a 660-year-old mystery". "This discovery is a hugely important step forward in documenting and understanding Europe's most devastating pandemic," he said
  • European genes altered by Black Death

    02/04/2014 9:45:45 PM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 23 replies
    Mother Nature Network ^ | February 4, 2014 | Stephanie Pappas
    The Black Death of the 14th century may be written into the DNA of survivors' descendants, new research finds. The study reveals that Roma people (sometimes known as gypsies, although this is considered a derogatory term) and white Europeans share alterations to their genetic code that occurred after the Roma settled in Europe from northwest India 1,000 years ago. The plague of the 1300s, which killed at least 75 million people, is a likely candidate for forcing this evolutionary change. "We show that there are some immune receptors that are clearly influenced by evolution in Europe and not in northwest...
  • Black Death may have scuppered Roman Empire

    01/28/2014 3:29:18 PM PST · by Renfield · 31 replies
    New Scientist ^ | 1-28-2014 | Debora MacKenzie
    hat caused the fall of the Roman Empire? A devastating plague that struck during the reign of Emperor Justinian in 541 AD, killing a quarter of the population, seems to have landed the final blow, but the identity of the infection was a mystery. Now sequencing of DNA taken from two skeletons buried in Bavaria, Germany, in the 6th century has uncovered the complete genome of Yersinia pestis, the bacteria also blamed for the Black Death that struck Europe in 1348. The find suggests that Y. pestis may have emerged to ravage humanity several times. Hendrik Poinar at McMaster University...
  • Dipstick test for plague on the way

    07/20/2013 6:47:00 PM PDT · by neverdem · 15 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 19 July 2013 | Daniel Johnson
    Researchers have isolated an antibody that can be used to test for Yersinia pestis © Rocky Mountain Laboratories NIAID, NIH Plague could soon be diagnosed faster than ever before, thanks to scientists in Germany. The group have pioneered a new, dipstick test which will drastically cut the time it takes to spot the disease. This could save many lives in developing countries, where modern outbreaks are concentrated, and where there is little access to the labs needed for conventional diagnosis methods.The team, from the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, isolated an antibody which specifically recognises and binds...
  • Black Death Genetic Code "Built"

    10/13/2011 3:44:55 AM PDT · by Just4Him · 15 replies
    BBC ^ | 10/12/2011 | Matt McGrath
    The genetic code of the germ that caused the Black Death has been reconstructed by scientists for the first time. 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.
  • Plague Helped Bring Down Roman Empire

    05/12/2013 6:14:17 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 87 replies
    LiveScience ^ | May 10, 2013 | Charles Choi
    ...The bacterium that causes plague, Yersinia pestis, has been linked with at least two of the most devastating pandemics in recorded history. One, the Great Plague, which lasted from the 14th to 17th centuries, included the infamous epidemic known as the Black Death, which may have killed nearly two-thirds of Europe in the mid-1300s. Another, the Modern Plague, struck around the world in the 19th and 20th centuries, beginning in China in the mid-1800s and spreading to Africa, the Americas, Australia, Europe and other parts of Asia. Although past studies confirmed this germ was linked with both of these catastrophes,...
  • Black Death Bacterium Identified: Genetic Analysis of Medieval Plague Skeletons...

    09/03/2011 7:46:55 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 36 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | Monday, August 29, 2011 | via AlphaGalileo
    A team of German and Canadian scientists has shown that today's plague pathogen has been around at least 600 years. The Black Death claimed the lives of one-third of Europeans in just five years from 1348 to 1353. Until recently, it was not certain whether the bacterium Yersinia pestis -- known to cause the plague today -- was responsible for that most deadly outbreak of disease ever. Now, the University of Tübingen's Institute of Scientific Archaeology and McMaster University in Canada have been able to confirm that Yersinia pestis was behind the great plague... Previous genetic tests indicating that the...
  • Colorado Cat Tests Positive for Bubonic Plague

    06/08/2011 11:42:42 AM PDT · by EBH · 47 replies
    Catster ^ | 6/8/11
    Officials in Boulder County, Colo., announced last week that a pet cat and a dead squirrel tested positive for the bubonic plague. The cat’s owner took it to the Humane Society of Boulder Valley to be checked by veterinarians, and it was there that the presence of the bacteria was confirmed. A dead squirrel also tested positive for the plague. Jennifer Bolser, chief veterinarian at the Humane Society clinic, said that the cat brought the dead squirrel home and likely became infected from it. The bubonic plague is caused by a bacterium called Yersinia pestis. It begins its life cycle...
  • Plague researcher in Chicago dies from infection (Yersinia pestis, septicemic plague infection)

    09/21/2009 11:55:48 AM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 18 replies · 1,240+ views
    Reuters on Yahoo ^ | 9/21/09 | Julie Steenhuysen
    CHICAGO (Reuters) – Public health officials are investigating the death of a University of Chicago researcher who studied plague bacteria and was found to have the microbe in his blood, university officials said on Monday. Malcolm Casadaban, who died on September 13, was researching a weakened strain of the plague bacteria Yersinia pestis. Because it is missing key proteins, the strain is not normally harmful to people. Medical center spokesman John Easton said Casadaban had the laboratory strain of Yersinia pestis in his blood, suggesting he had a form of the infection known as septicemic plague, which can kill even...
  • Scientists Discover Why Plague Is So Lethal

    05/05/2008 3:19:54 PM PDT · by blam · 16 replies · 137+ views
    Science Daily ^ | Society for General Microbiology
    Scientists Discover Why Plague Is So Lethal ScienceDaily (May 5, 2008) — Bacteria that cause the bubonic plague may be more virulent than their close relatives because of a single genetic mutation, according to research published in the May issue of the journal Microbiology.Yersinia pestis, direct fluorescent antibody stain (DFA), at 200x magnification. (Credit: CDC / Courtesy of Larry Stauffer, Oregon State Public Health Laboratory) "The plague bacterium Yersinia pestis needs calcium in order to grow at body temperature. When there is no calcium available, it produces a large amount of an amino acid called aspartic acid," said Professor Brubaker...
  • Disabling Key Protein May Give Physicians Time To Treat Pneumonic Plague

    01/27/2007 3:41:17 PM PST · by blam · 289+ views
    Science Daily ^ | 1-26-2007 | WU School Of Medicine
    Source: Washington University School of Medicine Date: January 27, 2007 Disabling Key Protein May Give Physicians Time To Treat Pneumonic Plague Science Daily — The deadly attack of the bacterium that causes pneumonic plague is significantly slowed when it can't make use of a key protein, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis report in this week's issue of Science. Scanning electron micrograph depicting a mass of Yersinia pestis bacteria (the cause of bubonic plague) in the foregut of the flea vector. (Credit: Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIAID, NIH) Speed is a primary concern in pneumonic plague, which...
  • Study of ancient and modern plagues finds common features

    11/21/2008 9:01:03 PM PST · by neverdem · 24 replies · 1,190+ views
    biologynews.net ^ | November 21, 2008 | NA
    In 430 B.C., a new and deadly disease—its cause remains a mystery—swept into Athens. The walled Greek city-state was teeming with citizens, soldiers and refugees of the war then raging between Athens and Sparta. As streets filled with corpses, social order broke down. Over the next three years, the illness returned twice and Athens lost a third of its population. It lost the war too. The Plague of Athens marked the beginning of the end of the Golden Age of Greece. The Plague of Athens is one of 10 historically notable outbreaks described in an article in The Lancet Infectious...
  • Plague Victims Discovered After 1500 Years (Justinian)

    04/10/2008 3:16:15 PM PDT · by blam · 48 replies · 266+ views
    Adnkronos ^ | 4-10-2008
    Italy: Plague victims discovered after 1500 years Rome, 10 April (AKI) - The remains of hundreds of victims, believed to have been killed in a plague that swept Italy 1500 years ago, have been found south of Rome. The bodies of men, women and children were found in Castro dei Volsci, in the region of Lazio, during excavations carried out by Lazio archaeological office. News of the extraordinary discovery was reported in the magazine, "Archeologia Viva". The victims are believed to have been victims of the Justinian Plague, a pandemic that killed as many as 100 million people around the...
  • Clues to Black Plague’s Fury in 650-Year-Old Skeletons

    01/28/2008 10:00:36 PM PST · by forkinsocket · 32 replies · 182+ views
    NY Times ^ | January 29, 2008 | NICHOLAS BAKALAR
    Many historians have assumed that Europe’s deadliest plague, the Black Death of 1347 to 1351, killed indiscriminately, young and old, hardy and frail, healthy and sick alike. But two anthropologists were not so sure. They decided to take a closer look at the skeletons of people buried more than 650 years ago. Their findings, published on Monday in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest that the plague selectively took the already ill, while many of the otherwise healthy survived the infection. Although it may not be surprising that healthy people would be more likely to survive an...
  • Lost documents shed light on Black Death

    06/01/2007 6:38:06 AM PDT · by Daffynition · 59 replies · 1,117+ views
    The Times ^ | June 1, 2007 | Simon de Bruxelles
    For centuries, rats and fleas have been fingered as the culprits responsible for the Black Death, the medieval plague that killed as many as two thirds of Europe’s population. But historians studying 14th-century court records from Dorset believe they may have uncovered evidence that exonerates them. The parchment records, contained in a recently-discovered archive, reveal that an estimated 50 per cent of the 2,000 people living in Gillingham died within four months of the Black Death reaching the town in October 1348. The deaths are recorded in land transfers lodged with the manorial court which – unusually for the period...
  • 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...
  • Bubonic Plague Traced To Ancient Egypt (Black Death)

    03/11/2004 3:40:50 PM PST · by blam · 94 replies · 5,507+ views
    National Geographic News ^ | 3-10-2004 | Cameron Walker
    Bubonic Plague Traced to Ancient Egypt Cameron Walker for National Geographic News March 10, 2004 The bubonic plague, or Black Death, may have originated in ancient Egypt, according to a new study. "This is the first time the plague's origins in Egypt have been backed up by archaeological evidence," said Eva Panagiotakopulu, who made the discovery. Panagiotakopulu is an archaeologist and fossil-insect expert at the University of Sheffield, England. King Tutankhamun lies in his burial chamber in the Valley of the Kings, Egypt. Some researchers now believe that the bubonic plague, or Black Death, originated in the village where builders...
  • Medieval Black Death Was Probably Not Bubonic Plague

    04/15/2002 11:36:11 AM PDT · by Gladwin · 71 replies · 1,378+ views
    Science Daily ^ | Posted 4/15/2002 | Penn State
    The Black Death of the 1300s was probably not the modern disease known as bubonic plague, according to a team of anthropologists studying on these 14th century epidemics. “Although on the surface, seem to have been similar, we are not convinced that the epidemic in the 14th century and the present day bubonic plague are the same,” says Dr. James Wood, professor of anthropology and demography at Penn State. “Old descriptions of disease symptoms are usually too non-specific to be a reliable basis for diagnosis.” The researchers note that it was the symptom of lymphatic swelling that led 19th century...
  • 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...
  • Convicted Disease Doc Won't Be Charged in MIA Scare

    09/03/2010 11:27:11 AM PDT · by La Lydia · 6 replies
    NBC Miami ^ | September 3, 2010 | WILLARD SHEPARD and BRIAN HAMACHER
    Scientist found with suspicious item at airport did prison time for plague sample flap -- A world-renowned Texas scientist specializing in infectious diseases who was once charged with smuggling dangerous samples of plague bacteria into the U.S. was questioned by authorities after a suspicious item found in his luggage caused a massive evacuation at Miami International Airport Thursday night. Dr. Thomas C. Butler, 70, was questioned by agents with the FBI and Miami-Dade police Friday after a suspicious item was found in his checked luggage by a MIA baggage screener Thursday night, sources told NBC Miami.... Friday, it was learned...
  • Cause of the big plague epidemic of Middle Ages identified

    10/20/2010 12:55:40 AM PDT · by neverdem · 49 replies
    PhysOrg.com ^ | October 11, 2010 | NA
    Geographical position of the five archaeological sites investigated. Green dots indicate the sites. Also indicated are two likely independent infection routes (black and red dotted arrows) for the spread of the Black Death (1347-1353) after Benedictow. ©: PLoS Pathogens The 'Black Death' was caused by at least two previously unknown types of Yersinia pestis bacteria. The latest tests conducted by anthropologists at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) have proven that the bacteria Yersinia pestis was indeed the causative agent behind the "Black Death" that raged across Europe in the Middle Ages. The cause of the epidemic has always remained...
  • [Plague] Bacteria linked to university scientist's death

    09/20/2009 9:20:38 AM PDT · by null and void · 25 replies · 1,484+ views
    WLS Ch7 ABC ^ | September 19, 2009
    (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- There was word Saturday that the death of a University of Chicago scientist may be linked to a bacteria that causes the plague. The University of Chicago says there doesn't appear to be any threat to the public, and no other illness related to the case has been reported. The modified strain of "y-pestis" has been approved by the Centers for Disease Control for routine laboratory studies, and it is not known to cause illness in healthy adults.
  • Plague kills 37-year-old man in Arizona

    10/21/2008 1:43:56 PM PDT · by george76 · 42 replies · 2,000+ views
    Chicago Sun-Times ^ | October 21, 2008
    One day last October, Eric York lugged the carcass of an adult mountain lion from his truck and laid it carefully on a tarp on the floor of his garage. The female mountain lion had a bloody nose, but her hide bore no other signs of trauma. York, a biologist at Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, found the big cat lying motionless near the canyon’s South Rim. He was determined to learn why she died. Because the park lacks a forensics lab, he did the postmortem in his garage, in a village of about 2,000 park employees. Epidemic experts...
  • Tobacco Plant Transformed into Plague Vaccine Factory

    01/18/2006 5:49:06 PM PST · by neverdem · 25 replies · 576+ views
    Scientific American ^ | January 10, 2006 | NA
    Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) is one of the oldest known diseases of the plant world. Plague--known as the "black death" in medieval Europe--is one of the oldest diseases afflicting humans, and has become a focus of concern in recent years because of its potential use as a bioweapon. Now scientists have transformed TMV to infect host plants and produce immunizing proteins rather than debilitating leaf shrivel, turning greenhouse tobacco into a biofactory for plague vaccine. Biotechnology specialists Charles Arntzen and his colleagues at Arizona State University used a process developed in Germany to effect the change. First, they injected the...
  • The Trials of Thomas Butler

    12/20/2003 9:19:35 AM PST · by Lessismore · 6 replies · 402+ views
    Science Magazine ^ | 2003-12-19 | Martin Enserink and David Malakoff
    Thomas Butler was a sought-after plague expert, with a clinical trial in Tanzania that promised important results for biodefense. Then he was charged with mishandling plague samples and lying to the FBI. This month, a jury convicted him of financial wrongdoing. Who is Thomas Butler, and what lessons do his trials hold? Sitting on an airplane preparing to take off from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, American microbiologist Thomas Butler had some time to reflect on his rising fortunes. Stowed in the plane's belly was a footlocker containing carefully packed specimens from more than 60 Tanzanian bubonic plague victims. His journal...