How Black Death survivors gave their descendants a genetic edge : Goats and Soda : NPR

“We all think that COVID-19 was insane and completely changed the world and our societies,” Barreiro says. “COVID has a mortality rate of about 0.05% – something like that. Now try to project – if it’s even possible – a scenario where 30 to 50% of the population dies.”

Now a new study, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, shows that the Black Death altered more than society: It also likely altered the evolution of the European people’s genome.

In the study, Barreiro and his colleagues found that Black Death survivors in London and Denmark had an edge in their genes – mutations that helped protect against the plague pathogen, Yersinia pestis. Survivors passed those mutations onto their descendants, and many Europeans still carry those mutations today.

Source: How Black Death survivors gave their descendants a genetic edge : Goats and Soda : NPR

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