Scientists have reconstructed the genetic code of the germ that caused the Black Death. The researchers extracted DNA fragments of the ancient bacterium from the teeth of medieval corpses found in London.
The investigation suggests that the 14th Century outbreak was the first plague pandemic in history. Scientists have uncovered some genetic secrets of the plague thanks to the DNA obtained from London’s East Smithfield graveyard. Professor Johannes Krause from the University of Tubingen, Germany; confirmed that the strains circulating in the world come directly from the medieval bacterium.
The ancient Yersinia pestis strain it’s the grandmother of all the plagues that exists today. The researchers believe that the techniques developed in this work can be used to study the genomes of many other ancient pathogens. (AV)