Thursday, February 19, 2015

Kinda Scary, If You Ask Me

Hunting for Germs in an Ancient Graveyard

Researchers scour Italian cemetery for DNA of ancient strains of cholera
"An Italian church graveyard could preserve more than bodies: Researchers are searching the cemetery for the DNA of ancient strains of cholera.

Cholera is a deadly diarrheal disease caused by a bacterium called Vibrio cholerae. In the 1850s, an epidemic swept the world. In 1854, during this epidemic, London doctor John Snow famously traced one outbreak to a contaminated water pump in the Soho district of the city. The case is still cited today as a triumph of epidemiology.

Cholera still kills today. According to the World Health Organization, there were more than 100,000 cases in 2013, and periodic epidemics send that number soaring. In 2011, for example, there were nearly 600,000 cholera cases worldwide, driven largely by an outbreak that occurred after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti."

And in other "science" news:

Evolution theory confirmed: Big is better, Stanford researchers say

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