Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



EPIDEMICS
Plague first came to Europe during the Stone Age
by Brooks Hays
Washington (UPI) Nov 22, 2017


The earliest evidence of the plague-causing bacterium Yersinia pestis suggests the disease first arrived in Europe during the Stone Age, several millennia before the first documented epidemics.

According to analysis by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, the bacteria was carried to Central Europe by wave migrations of steppe nomads arriving between 4,800 to 3,700 years ago.

Scientists detailed their discovery this week in the journal Current Biology.

Researchers surveyed more than 500 tooth and bone samples collected from Germany, Russia, Hungary, Croatia, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. Their analysis yielded six instances of the Yersinia pestis genome.

These bacteria strains that caused these early infections were closely related.

"This suggests that the plague either entered Europe multiple times during this period from the same reservoir, or entered once in the Stone Age and remained there," researcher Aida Andrades ValtueƱa said in a news release.

Roughly 4,800 years ago, people of the Caspian-Pontic Steppe began to move into Europe. The genetic signatures of their arrival are present in almost all modern Europeans. These signatures can be traced to reveal specific waves of migration.

The latest analysis suggests the arrival of Yersinia pestis coincides with the expansion of Caspian-Pontic Steppe populations into Europe.

"In our view, the human genetic ancestry and admixture, in combination with the temporal series within the Late Neolithic-Bronze Age Y. pestis lineage, support the view that Y. pestis was possibly introduced to Europe from the steppe around 4,800 years ago, where it established a local reservoir before moving back towards Central Eurasia," said researcher Alexander Herbig.

The new research also confirmed that the plague bacteria was undergoing genetic mutations related to its virulence at the time of its arrival.

Some have suggested the bacteria didn't evolve the ability to cause significant outbreaks until a few thousand years later, but it's possible the bacteria was already potent enough to trigger epidemics during the Stone Age.

"The threat of Y. pestis infections may have been one of the causes for the increased mobility during the late Neolithic-early Bronze Age period," said Johannes Krause, director of the Department of Archaeogenetics at MPG.

The arrival of the plague bacteria during the Stone Age could have triggered genetic turnover among European populations.

"It's possible that certain European populations, or the steppe people, may have had a different level of immunity," Krause said.

Further analysis of Y. pestis genomic samples is needed to unravel the detailed history and evolution of the deadly disease and its effects on human evolution.

EPIDEMICS
Kill switches for engineered microbes gone rogue
Boston MA (SPX) Nov 20, 2017
Synthetic biologists are fitting the genomes of microorganisms with synthetic gene circuits to break down polluting plastics, non-invasively diagnose and treat infections in the human gut, and generate chemicals and nutrition on long haul space flights. Although showing great promise in the laboratory, these technologies require control and safety measures that make sure the engineered microorga ... read more

Related Links
Epidemics on Earth - Bird Flu, HIV/AIDS, Ebola


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

EPIDEMICS
Libya navy says over 30 migrants dead, 200 rescued off coast

South Korea quiet for quake-delayed college entrance exam

Aid groups urge Greece to improve refugee camps before winter

Dutch St Martin's PM quits after pressure over Irma aid

EPIDEMICS
New way to write magnetic info could pave the way for hardware neural networks

Borophene shines alone as 2-D plasmonic material

Metal membranes in construction: From Russia with love

Spin current from heat: New material increases efficiency

EPIDEMICS
The tragedy of the seagrass commons

Ocean acidification harms young mussels

New research could predict La Nina drought years in US

Coral transplant raises Barrier Reef survival hopes

EPIDEMICS
Study reveals structure and origins of glacial polish on Yosemite's rocks

Polar bears crowd on Russian island in sign of Arctic change

Salt pond in Antarctica is fed from below

A new timeline for glacial retreat in Western Canada

EPIDEMICS
Intercropping formula promises food security in Sahel Africa

Urbanization may have a positive effect on the soils

Portuguese cattle farmers desperately wait for rain

Crunch time for food security

EPIDEMICS
Thousands flee over Bali volcano eruption fears

Iran earthquake death toll rises to 483

Floods paralyse Saudi city of Jeddah

Thousands flee as Bali raises volcano alert to highest level

EPIDEMICS
Zimbabwe crisis: What we know

Chinese firm probes if children work in African mines

China respects 'good friend' Mugabe's resignation

US strike in Somalia kills more than 100 Shabaab fighters

EPIDEMICS
What grosses out a chimpanzee?

Human evolution was uneven and punctuated, suggests new research

Chimp study reveals how brain's structure shaped our evolution

High cognitive ability not a safeguard from conspiracies, paranormal beliefs




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement