Black Death genome nearly found

I came across this fascinating piece of news this morning in the about work being done to track down the genetic pattern of the virus that caused the Black Death in the fourteenth century.

Here’s a bit more information from the full article:

‘The principal investigator at McMaster University’s ancient DNA centre says his team has found a match confirming that Yersina pestis, the source of the modern bubonic plague, is also behind the Black Death plague that ravaged medieval Europe.

‘Associate professor Hendrik Poinar, who is also Canada’s research chair in paleogenetics, is excited the finding may one day lead to the discovery of the Black Death plague’s entire genome so scientists “can have the history of the development of this bug and the changes in it that made it so deadly.”’

Perhaps once the genetic code is cracked some time traveller boffins could go back and help prevent the outbreak? How would history have been different? Hmm, sounds like an idea for a story!

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