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posted by hubie on Friday June 17, @03:58AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the we-should-probably-keep-studying-that dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

In the foothills of the Tian Shan mountains in what is now Kyrgyzstan, tombstones in the Kara-Djigach cemetery with Syriac inscriptions showed that the village's death rate skyrocketed over a two-year period. [...]

Ten of the gravestones from those two years had longer inscriptions memorializing the persons and their cause of death—pestilence. This made [Phil] Slavin wonder whether the site might help settle a long debate about the origins of the Black Death pandemic that arrived in Europe around 1347 CE. [...]

The results of their analysis, published today (June 15) in Nature, implicate an ancient strain of the bacterium Yersinia pestis as the likely source of the Black Death pandemic, which Spyrou says killed half of Europe’s population in the decade after it arrived in the Black Sea region. The research also puts the village’s outbreak near the epicenter of a phylogenetic diversification, called a polytomy, where the bacterium’s lineage split into four new branches. “So it’s really like the big bang . . . of plague that we have there; the strain that gave rise to the majority of strains that are circulating in the world today,” Krause said in the briefing. Although it was already known that Y. pestis underwent an explosive radiation, the timing of it has been debated.

[...] All told, the study authors say their evidence supports the notion that the Black Death originated from Central Asia and counters other theories, such as the East Asia hypothesis, which postulates that Y. pestis swept into Europe from China. Their results also narrow the timeline of the big bang compared to other recent studies, which have suggested that the bacterium’s phylogenetic split could have occurred more than a century before the second plague pandemic. 

[...] Krause notes that the plague bacterium has long resided in animals in the Tian Shan mountain region, and we still don’t understand much about pathogens in animal reservoirs, leaving us ill-equipped to predict the next spillover event. “I think we really have to increase our efforts to understand the diversity of pathogens in animal reservoirs—to monitor them.”

Journal Reference:
Spyrou, M.A., Musralina, L., Gnecchi Ruscone, G.A. et al. The source of the Black Death in fourteenth-century central Eurasia [open]. Nature (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41586-022-04800-3


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  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @04:23AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @04:23AM (#1253901)

    The original China Virus?

  • (Score: -1, Spam) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @05:21AM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @05:21AM (#1253910)

    Even the most tone deaf editors, like janrinok, should be aware that an otherwise innocuous story like this will trigger right-wing nut-job assholes like our own Runaway, who is an ignorant moron. Perhaps, we should take a pass on things like this, for a while, at least until the House Special Committee hearings are over.

    • (Score: 2, Touché) by janrinok on Friday June 17, @09:49AM (4 children)

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Friday June 17, @09:49AM (#1253953) Journal

      It will also trigger left wing nutjobs, and nutjobs with other political views too. There is nothing that you can show that connects these comments to Runaway or any other account on this site. That you are still trying to smear people using the same old techniques that you have used repeatedly only confirms your identity, not the political persuasion of the supposed commentator.

      ACs, including yourself, who make such comments are what is killing this site. And don't think that you are hiding your own identity. You cannot submit 2 stories openly (albeit promptly rejected) using the same give away signs that you want to now hide behind.

      --
      We are always looking for new staff in different areas - please volunteer if you have some spare time and wish to help
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @11:51AM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @11:51AM (#1253970)

        It will also trigger left wing nutjobs, and nutjobs with other political views too

        For which we thank you. It keeps out a large part of the infantilized adult population.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @07:49PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @07:49PM (#1254063)

          Then why do we keep getting runaway/fusty/wingman journals?

      • (Score: -1, Spam) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @12:06AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @12:06AM (#1254107)

        Just a quick question. Who is janrinok talking to? Is someone living rent-free in his head?

        ACs, including yourself, who make such comments are what is killing this site.

        As I thought! "AC" must stand for central "Asian Commentor". Busted, I confess. But why am I getting blamed from America's failure to deal with a plague? And you wonder why I try to hide my identity. SN is a racist place!

  • (Score: 1) by shrewdsheep on Friday June 17, @09:56AM (2 children)

    by shrewdsheep (5215) on Friday June 17, @09:56AM (#1253956)

    I think we really have to increase our efforts to understand the diversity of pathogens in animal reservoirs—to monitor them.

    While this is a typical closing statement of a paper (give-me-more-money), and cannot be taken too seriously, I am not sure it is helpful advise. We need to isolate more from wild animals, most notably by not eating them. Ebola and arguably Covid are two recent examples of this. Also wild animals should not be kept as pets.

    • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @01:42PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @01:42PM (#1253996)

      We can't isolate from animals if we keep expanding into and removing their habitats.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @02:24PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @02:24PM (#1253999)

        went to the moon.
        went to the north and south pole w/ wind powerz only.
        "somehow" went alllll the way from afrika to north and even south amerika to build temple in jungles.
        disallow to harvest fruit in forests from going to waste 'cause "food waste" ...
        oh, man, i really don't know ...
        methinks the "jungle" and "untouched" virus and bacterial extra-super-speed-evolution soup kitchen is maybe found more in ... cities -aka- human nests (some with and some without biolabs, but prolly with a lot of /angled new! /angled pharma outlet stickers)?
        in "nature", the weak get eaten or die or get left behind?
        in cities they hopefully get nurtured or ...weehh... self medicated.
        also "solve the problem not the source" sayZ pharma ... else no profit.

        and no, spraying perfume on yourself doesn't make you clean (even very expensive ones).

  • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @12:11PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @12:11PM (#1253974)

    I knew it!
    It was from a lab in China.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @12:24PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @12:24PM (#1253982)

      I don't think they had labs in china back then. Maybe it was a shi-quan or one of those Tibetan temple dogs.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @06:43PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @06:43PM (#1254053)

      Yes! We all thought it was the disgusting Wops and Dagos and Camel Fuckers bringing their dirty diseased cultures to our pristine Western civilization, but NOW it makes sense it was the filthy Chinks and their dog-eating, unclean, Godless, opium smoking shit-holery that caused it.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 19, @02:50PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 19, @02:50PM (#1254402)

      I'm fairly certain the Black Death was spread by all the new smoke signal towers.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @03:42PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @03:42PM (#1254015)

    How simple geography and environment gave Europe/Asia an advantage but also helped spread germs
    https://www.amazon.com/Guns-Germs-Steel-Fates-Societies/dp/0393317552 [amazon.com]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @12:45PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @12:45PM (#1254210)

      How is that book? I was given it years ago when it was very popular, but it never made it onto my short list (you should see the stacks of books I have). I really should pull it out and read it.

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