Pompeii Victim Gets His Genome Sequenced

When archaeologists dug out the ancient city of Pompeii, they found the remains of hundreds of people trying to flee the destruction wrought by Mt. Vesuvius. But they also found two skeletons crouching in a corner of their dining room. Why weren’t they trying to run away? They weren’t elderly. New research gives us a clue.    

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An international team of scientists took a piece of bone from the male skeleton and sequenced his DNA. They found that he suffered from spinal tuberculosis, which probably meant that he was unable to run, or possibly even walk. The man, who was about 35, was doomed from the beginning of the eruption. Was his companion also afflicted with some disability, or was she just unwilling to leave without him? The study also gives us clues as to the man’s origins, as he wasn’t a native of Pompeii. Read about this discovery at Engadget. -via Boing Boing

(Image credit: Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità)

Source: neatorama

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