How Black Death survivors gave their descendants an edge during pandemics

Using DNA extracted from the teeth of people who died during and after the Black Death, researchers were able to identify genetic differences between survivors and those who died of the virus.

Up to 50% of Europeans died of bubonic plague. Now, a new study shows that survivors have a protective gene mutation they passed on to boost immunity – but it comes at a heavy cost.

(Image credit: Matt Clarke/McMaster University)


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