It is first time scientists have been able to reconstruct an ancient pathogen and it will allow researchers to track changes in its evolution and virulence over time.
The work by an international team of researchers from Germany and Canada., published in the journal Nature, could lead to a better understanding of modern infectious diseases.
In a separate recent study, the team also described a novel approach to pulling out tiny degraded DNA fragments of the causative agent of the Black Death, and showed how a specific variant of the Yersinia pestis bacterium was responsible for the plague that killed 50 million Europeans between 1347 and 1351.
After that success, the next major step was to attempt to 'capture' and sequence the entire genome, said geneticist Hendrick Poinar of the University of Tubingen. Read More