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(Washington Post)   Gene map of the black death found   ( divider line
    More: Interesting  
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3461 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Oct 2001 at 2:45 PM (15 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

61 Comments     (+0 »)

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2001-10-03 02:48:19 PM  
Sure you have the map, but can you get there from here?
2001-10-03 02:50:33 PM  
2001-10-03 02:51:48 PM  

The microbe can be transmitted to humans by fleas that have fed on the blood of an infected rat. It also is spread in airborne droplets when infected people cough.

I was under the impression that the Black Death may have been caused by *two* agents - the Y. Pestis bacterium and another agent, possibly a virus. Y. Pestis was the airborne form fo the disease that killed within weeks, while the other one was the form that caused the buboes, internal bleeding, and invariably led to death withing just a few days.

Either way, that's pretty spiffy.
2001-10-03 02:53:30 PM  
Oh, and one more thing.

"The Black Death brought the social and economic revolution that ended the Middle Ages and signified the beginning of the modern era."

Or not.
2001-10-03 02:58:33 PM  
Is this a good thing, or a bad thing.
2001-10-03 02:59:08 PM  
Ashes Ashes We all fall down
2001-10-03 02:59:36 PM  
Ring around the rosie
Pocket full of posies
Ashes, ashes
We all fall down!
2001-10-03 03:00:51 PM  
Black Death, wow it's a good thing I'm a cracker. I'd imagine Neo Nazis and the KKK are behind this.

~Sorry I know that was too easy~
2001-10-03 03:03:23 PM  
Just thought about Monty Python.

Bring out your dead! Bring out your dead!
2001-10-03 03:04:58 PM  
Finally! The "brother virus's" gettin the respeck they deserve!
2001-10-03 03:07:48 PM  
It liquifies your organs? Damn. That's nasty.
2001-10-03 03:08:54 PM  
how much use is a map when no man will use one anyway?
2001-10-03 03:10:17 PM  
Shogo Yahagi

It liquifies your organs so they are able to be slurped through a straw nothing like a cup off liqhfied guts.
2001-10-03 03:13:16 PM  
One historian I heard on PBS said that the Black Death set back human civilzation 300 years. Of course, I would question what would have happened if social norms (feudalism) had been allowed to be maintained.
2001-10-03 03:18:27 PM  
Henchman: Exactly my point. Your PBS historian is, in my non-professional opinion, full of shiat. :) It set us back in some ways, but paved the way for changes and "advancement" (however you want to look at that) in others.
2001-10-03 03:18:33 PM  
I couldn't find the map of bubonic but here is a plague.

Mine Creek, IA, US
2001-10-03 03:21:44 PM  
I bet it's really hard to fold back up.
2001-10-03 03:35:45 PM  

It's like any other map. Once you take it out of the glove compartment, you'll never get it back in.

I like the contradictions in the article:

"The genome sequence we have produced contains every possible drug or vaccine target for the organism..."

The gene map shows that Y. pestis adapts quickly and adroitly.

So if you follow the map you get a cure to last week's plague... This week's plague is something else.

2001-10-03 03:40:09 PM  
sure, they found the map of the black death gene, but what about the bubonic plaque? or the black plaque? or even the bubonic death?!?!?
2001-10-03 03:43:02 PM  
Slippy - I'm curious-- is that opinion from some particlar school of thought that opposes the generalally held idea that the plague thrust Euope into the dark ages? Is there some evidence/reason to challange this understanding.
(Seriously, not giving you a hard time- I am very interested in the biological side of history and anthropology.)
2001-10-03 03:44:55 PM  

Sounds like one of those crazy asian drinks reviewed in the classifieds.

Remember, though, 'Soft drinks should not contain flesh'
2001-10-03 03:52:57 PM  
Slippy: I always thought that the Dark Ages ended partly due to the fact that the universities were freed from the control of the church, which enabled a rebirth of creativity and productivity that fueled the Rennaisance.
2001-10-03 03:53:17 PM  
Crap! Now you tell me-- guess I should quit nibbling that thumb that was in my pepsi.
2001-10-03 03:53:44 PM  
FuzzyMonkey: Although the plague may have had consequences of setting back the human race in "advancement", it was the Catholic Religion that thrust us into the Dark Ages. And in my humble opinion, the Catholics were worse than the plague as far as holding back the advancement of the human race.
2001-10-03 03:54:37 PM  
MaxLoad: That's pretty clever! But it could also be construed as a frightening metaphor on genetics, like being unable to cork the bottle once the genie is out.
2001-10-03 03:55:29 PM  
Just in time!

How come you 20+ farkers get a crack at this before it shows up on my browser?

A plague on both your houses!
2001-10-03 03:58:02 PM  
you have my vote
2001-10-03 04:02:30 PM  
Diogenese: Which Renaissance? There were several. Universities were not really "freed" from Chuch control until, I would guess (not having facts in front of me), the Enlightenment of the 18th century, if they were freed at all (see all the denominational colleges in the US). And if they played any part in the ending of the Middle Ages, I would think it minimal.

FuzzyMonkey: Actually, I've never heard anyone argue that the plague sent Europe into the 'dark ages'. If there's a school of thought about the *start* of the Middle Ages it is centered on the fall of Rome in (insert arbitrary date here).

If you want a good history of the Black Death from a biological standpoint, I'd recommend David Herlihy's _The Black Death and the Transformation of the West_. It's a very short book, and explains both the point of view I gave above and the biological history of the plague. Pretty cool.
2001-10-03 04:03:31 PM  
Although the plague may have had consequences of setting back the human race in "advancement", it was the Catholic Religion that thrust us into the Dark Ages.

LDMF: Explain? I'm interested in hearing more of what you've got to say...:)
2001-10-03 04:05:38 PM  
It was the fall of the roman empire that sent us into the dark ages. As the government withdrew farther and farther out of parts of europe, the economies struggled to maintain themselves, but eventually devolved into a barter system. Eventually this came all the way down to Rome itself, which by that time the seat of power was in Byzantium anyways. The Byzantine empire lived on for nearly 1000 years after the dark ages began. One of the main reasons for the renaissance was the islamic empires taking Byzantium and sending thousands of refugees with new ideas into Italy, france, and spain. Did the Catholic church cause it? I don't think so, the greek orthodox church was just as backward at the time. Did they help end the middle ages? Hell no.

It amazes me that the type of economy that we have (and the romans had) is so fragile that it can be destroyed so easily. And it scares me to think that that was exactly what these terrorists were trying to do.
2001-10-03 04:09:18 PM  
Shiat--let's stop talkin' about it and start spreadin' it.
(Not to be intended as a threat on America or any other nation--although those goddaumn Canadians have been askin' for this shiat for a loong time.)
2001-10-03 04:11:29 PM  
cool, now can we gene map the clap?
2001-10-03 04:12:28 PM  
There was no Roman emperor in the West. The ruling body at the time circa, 400-1000 AD, was the Catholic Religion. The time period was marked by frequent warfare and a virtual disappearance of urban life. Anything that could be seen as a attack, no matter how small, was termed as heresy (sp). Basically it was punsishable by death. And remember at that time there was no emperor to stop this. A very bad time to be a Scientist.
2001-10-03 04:13:17 PM  
The plague totally disrupted society (1/3 died within a span of 5 years) It caused a major depression, changing the way the economy worked. The sheer scarcity of workers enabled the survivors to make demands of higher wages and better conditions. The Plague also changed people's attitudes about life, made them very fatalistic. These were all factors in the renaissance, among many others.
2001-10-03 04:13:51 PM  
Slippy , Deboard- Thanks-- got my head up my butt today. I'm too tired and mixed up I should quit typing but....

LDMF- I think you're right that the church did exploit the results of the plague. A lot of policy was created to increase the churches power as europe repopulated. That whole 'be fruitful and multiply' and banning of birthcontrol was done at that time and has nothing to do with god and a whole lot to do with more creating more catholics to fill the churches'coffers with their tithes.
2001-10-03 04:16:09 PM  
Tinrobot: DING DING DING! We have a winner. :) That's exactly what I'm talking about - the problems caused by the Black Death brought social and economic revolution to western Europe, so that by the time the world had recovered, it was completely and utterly different.
2001-10-03 04:20:26 PM  
One of the main reasons for the renaissance was the islamic empires taking Byzantium and sending thousands of refugees with new ideas into Italy, france, and spain.

Deboard: Yes and no. The Islamic empires started influencing western European thought well before the fall of Byzantium in 1453 and the Italian Renaissance of the 15th/16th centuries. There are many instances of Muslim science and thought penetrating the west before then - the Crusades, for instance, and the Muslims' control of Spain for so many years.
2001-10-03 04:28:54 PM  
The plague decimated the urban population of Europe, which under feudal rule was on a strictly "who you know" basis. But after the Black Death in about 1400, survivors started gravitating towards the cities, because there were not enough people left on any given farm to bring in the crops. So as people in general moved to the cities, they formed a new middle class, and began forming guilds, etc. This wasn't the end of the plague, though.

Do I get a prize too?
2001-10-03 04:30:48 PM  
There was no Roman emperor in the West. The ruling body at the time circa, 400-1000 AD, was the Catholic Religion.

Actually, LDMF, the Church was *not* the ruling body at all; if anything, the Church prior to 1000 AD was comparatively benign and toothless. Look for ruling bodies for that time period in the Merovingians and Carolingians (before and after Charlemagne) through most of the continent (France, Germany, Italy, etc.); Romans, Saxons and Danes in Britain; Muslims in Spain; the Byzantines in the east (Greece, the Balkans, etc.); and so forth.

It wasn't until the 11th century, when Popes like Gregory VII were brought on the scene, that the Church began to find its teeth and exert a very real, political influence on western Europe.
2001-10-03 04:31:05 PM  
The background on this page makes me sick:
2001-10-03 04:32:30 PM  
Oompaloompa: Absolutely you get a prize. :) Wage labor, urbanization, new middle class, itinerant workers, "free time", etc. all can be traced to the Black Death. Pretty nifty, in some ways.
2001-10-03 04:46:00 PM  
Dammit Gene! Stop killing people!
2001-10-03 04:49:57 PM  
In this day and age shouldn't it be called the 'ethnic' plague??? Bloody PC
2001-10-03 04:55:33 PM  
Okay damn you Slippy!! You set me up, huh? I will stand corrected on my time frame but read on. I believe that you were referring to the Inquisition. But again I may be mistaken.

The Dark Ages was a period in European history which has been arbitrarily set at between approximately 800 AD and lasting until the Renaissance: although this is by no means a fixed definition, the common thread throughout this period of history was the total dominance of Christianity and the repression of all art, science and progress that was not Christian in nature.
In this way the great scientific, philosophical and cultural works of the thousands of years of pre-Christian civilization were suppressed, all being ascribed to the work of pagans and therefore of virtual devil authorship: in many places even the possession of classical works was taken to be proof of the possessor being a witch or a necromancer. More often than not such unfortunates would end up being burnt at the stake by zealous Christians.

Thank you, thank you very much.
2001-10-03 04:58:26 PM  
Interesting Trivia. In the middle ages, (and in some cultures today) cats were seen as satanic and the bearers of diseases. One of lingering beliefs is that if a black cat cross your path, bad luck will result.

In fact, when the black plague first appeared, many towns killed thousands of cats, thinking this would help prevent the spread of this disease.

If they hadn't done this, the cats would have killed thousands of these rats that ended up spreading the Black Plague throughout Europe.
2001-10-03 05:04:02 PM  
I was always under the impression that the plague weekend the curch because so many of it's local workers (nuns and local friars) were the doctors of the time and as such mostly died.
Thid gutting (no pun intended) of the curches infrastructure weekened it significantly and several grass roots religious movements got their start.

Anyway. Just bored and posting.
2001-10-03 05:06:25 PM  
You are correct, but that's not what I was saying. Islamic influence was felt in many parts of europe before Byzantium fell, true. But what I was saying was that the refugees of Byzantium influenced a lot of thought once they settled in other parts of Europe after 1453. That would be a Byzantine influence, which still held on to a lot of Roman ideas, not islamic influence.
2001-10-03 05:08:43 PM  
Sorry, my last post should have a Slippy: before it so you will know what the hell I'm talking about.
2001-10-03 05:09:40 PM  
LDMF: No setup at all. But you're still mistaken. :) I never referred to the Inquisition, actually - the Inquisition is largely the product of Innocent III, who was the pope around 1200 or so (exact dates elude me at the moment).

The "Dark Ages" (I use quotes because I find the term to be bullshiat) are more commonly referred to as the period of about 400-800 AD - after the Romans but before Charlemagne. The reasons for them being referred to as "Dark" are similar to what you cite - only I'd call attention to the forgetting and loss of ancient knowledge rather than its outright suppression by the Church. Yes, some works were suppressed (such as the poetry of Sappho, for example), but much of it was read carefully and even adopted as essential reading for Church scholars.

The Italian Renaissance of the 15th/16th centuries is just one of several renaissances. Similar rediscoveries of ancient knowledge were made in the early 9th century under Charlemagne (he and his 'court' were known to speak Greek frequently), and again in the 12th century. The 12th century one is a major renaissance, too, as contact with the Islamic world through the Crusades brought a good bit of ancient learning back into the forefront. This renaissance was particularly influential on the Church, actually - many theologians such as St. Thomas Aquinas did their best to marry the ideas of the ancients and the Bible (Aquinas in particular worked at making Aristotelian concepts work within the framework of Christianity). And that's only part of the story - it's much too complex for right here and right now.

I would definitely argue that Christianity was *the* dominant force in western European culture during the entire Middle Ages (circa 400-1500), just as it has been one of several dominating forces ever since then. However, to first, describe the Middle Ages as a thoroughly backward and repressive period, and second, to blame it all on the Roman Church are both gross generalizations.
2001-10-03 05:10:56 PM  
Why don't we just let all the terrorists know? I don't think that this is something they should let everybody know.
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