Contagions Round-up 15: Vampires, Vikings and Viruses

After a little break from doing round-ups, here we are again. I plan on continuing these round-ups with one every 2-4 weeks. It takes too long to do them weekly. So here are some of the articles that caught my attention in the last couple weeks.


Bamburgh Research Project posted a bioarchaeology update on the Bowl Hole cemetery from Bamburgh castle. The cemetery dates to the golden age of the Bamburgh kings covering about the 6-8th century. They have also posted on excavations in the chapel of St Oswald within the castle.

I looked at a little bioarchaeology this past month here on Contagions  with a post on the plague aDNA findings at East Smithfield in London, and a couple Irish vampires.

Kristina Killgrove of Powered by Osteons gives us a good overview of the Archaeology of the Undead, the burial of an Italian witch,  and she shared some of her own research on foreign women migrating to Imperial Rome.

Katy Meyer of Bones Don’t Lie recently wrote about female Mayan rulers and about her trip to Italy with  posts on mortuary archaeology in Rome and on Pompeii.

This reminded me of on old Loreena McKennitt you-tube video featuring Pompeii that I just have to share again.

History and History of Science

Jon Jarrett of A Corner of the Tenth Century digs a little deeper at the traditional stories of the first Viking raids in England and Francia.

Tim Clarkson of Senchus hosts a post by Kevin Halloran on a Viking battle in southern Scotland in 952.

Thony C at Renaissance Mathematicus takes on the history of the BC/AD vs BCE/CE debate and also writes about the some of the back story of Isaac Newton’s writing of the Principia.

Lindsey Fitzharris of the Chururgeon’s Apprentice writes of the hangman’s fracture,  the grisly history of the barber pole,   about the  17th and 18th century anatomy training of surgeons and a 18th century forensic case. She also wrote a post on cutting out bladder stones at the group blog Wonders and Marvels.


History of Vaccines blog writes about new evidence on the 1918 influenza virus taken from victim autopsies.

I recently found an interesting blog Infection Landscapes by epidemiologist Michael Walsh. He has great overview posts on cholera and shigellosis.

SE Gould of Lab Rat writes about the discovery that penicillin, tetracycline and other antibiotic resistance genes were present in arctic permafrost 30,000 years old.

Merry at Small Things Considered writes about NDM-1, a scary new antibiotic resistance gene that is spreading quickly.

Siouxsie Wiles of Infectious Thoughts writes about sniffer bees used to detect tuberculosis. This reminds me of the animals in contraptions on the Flintstones.

Jennifer Frazer of The Artful Amoeba writes about a rust bloom in Alaska, funny how so many ancient so called primitive organisms (like fungi and jellyfish) are thriving on climate change.

Mary McKenna of Superbug brings us up to date on the ongoing Listeria Cantaloupe outbreak.

James Bryne of Disease Prone writes about the Hendra Virus, coming from fruit bats (not unlike the origins of the virus in the movie Contagion though this one goes for horses rather than pigs).

Connor Bamford of the Rule of 6ix looks at targeting the host antiviral response as therapy to head off cytokine storms.

I also looked at the cradle of the seventh wave of cholera.

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