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    Research: redOrbit: Uncovering The History Of Medieval Leprosy With Genomics
    Submitted by J.W. Bizzaro; posted on Monday, June 17, 2013


    An article by Lee Rannals:


    "The team compared the European medieval M. leprae genome with those of the seven biopsies and four additional modern bacteria strains. They observed all M. leprae strains have a common ancestor that existed less than 4,000 years ago. The genome-wide comparisons suggest unusually minor changes of the bacteria's genetic material within the last 1,000 years, which had no effects on the virulence of the pathogen. This suggests the end of the leprosy epidemic was influenced by other factors like improved social conditions during the Middle Ages."


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