The Plague of Justinian is estimated to have killed between 30 and 50 million people. Researchers isolated DNA fragments from the teeth of two plague victims buried in Bavaria. Using these fragments, they reconstructed the genome of the oldest Yersinia pestis, the bacterium responsible for the plague, and compared it to a database of genomes of more than a hundred contemporary strains. Results show that the strain responsible for the sixth-century outbreak was an evolutionary 'dead-end' and distinct from strains involved later in the Black Death and other plague pandemics that would follow.
- Mar 15, 2014 Postdoctoral Research Associate in Byzantine Studies, Princeton University
- Mar 15, 2014 Two-Year Curatorial Post-Doctoral Associate, ISAW: Institute for Study of Ancient World
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