Gothic Epidemiology? or Gothic Historiography?

I was reading David Mengel's recent article on plague in Bohemia and he kept referring to this apparently well-known concept, gothic epidemiology. Being the early medieval geek that I am, my first thought was Ostrogoth or Visigoth, and what do they have to do with epidemiology, especially in Bohemia? Feeling that I was clearing missing... Continue Reading →

Plague Detection by Immuno-PCR

Once again the Marseille research group is pushing the bounds of plague detection. This time their target is looking for a more sensitive method of detecting non-nucleic acid biomolecules from Yersinia pestis, 'the plague'. We have now moved into an era where PCR is being used in the mechanics of testing, rather than amplifying the... Continue Reading →

Black Death Genome Fished Out of East Smithfield

Fishing just isn't what it used to be, and neither is DNA sequencing. Reconstructing the ancient plague genome required the development of new technology that was able to enrich the sequencing sample by concentrating the Y. pestis sequence fragments from the brew of human DNA and contaminants in all aDNA extracts. Using an Agilent Capture... Continue Reading →

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