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Genomics and the plague

Genomics and the plague: the Black Death and how the genomes of ancient DNA from victim's graves can still be used to track past disease transmission.
A drawing of a plague doctor in the 1700s, wearing a long robed costume with a snout in front of the nose to purify the air. Also shown is a caricature of the same outfit.
© Wellcome Image Collection, London
Many of you will have heard of the Black Death, it was one of the biggest pandemics in human history and it was caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Amazingly, we can detect and sequence whole genomes of ancient DNA from the graves of the victims, which enables us to understand the transmission of bacteria 1000s of years ago. The video below describes the recent discovery of suspected plague victim remains during the building of a new train line in London. © Copyright Crossrail Limited 2016

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Bacterial Genomes: Disease Outbreaks and Antimicrobial Resistance

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