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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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Live Chat: Secrets of the Grave
10 December 2013 10:45 am
This week, researchers described an ambitious project to study 1000 years of sickness and health in people buried since the year 1039 in one graveyard along a well-known pilgrimage route in Tuscany, Italy. By studying the skeletons of farmers, peasants, monks, and nobles, paleopathologists hope to find out what diseases killed people from medieval times until the present—and how their overall health fluctuated during famine, war, climate change, and other challenges. They are also using new tools, such as ancient DNA, to trace the origins and evolution of deadly pathogens that cause plague, TB, cholera, and other illnesses. Why is it important to study our ancestors' health? What are we learning from studying ancient diseases? And what impact can studying the evolution of pathogens have on treating or preventing modern epidemics?
Join us on Thursday, 12 December, at 3 p.m. EST on this page for a live video chat. Our guests will be two experts on studying ancient diseases with two different methods—using ancient DNA or studying fossil bones. Be sure to leave your queries for them in the comment box below.