According to the BBC, researchers have rebuilt the genetic code of the black death.
Because that’s a great idea.
To those of you who aren’t aware, the Black Death was a near-apocalyptic plague in the past: It killed nearly 50 million people. Back then, that was around 30 percent of the population of Europe.
The specific plague the researchers have ‘rebuilt’ is Yersinia pestis, “thanks to DNA fragments drilled from the teeth of victims buried in a graveyard in London’s East Smithfield”. Yersina pestis still kills around 2000 a year, and I imagine the reasoning of the scientists in extracting it is simple: To find a cure, and as the strain is potentially the ancestor of all modern plagues, to find a cure for future epidemics. I salute and support this endeavor.
Or, it could be to mix it with all the other illness they have in their labs so they can hold the world to ransom. I don’t know, I’m not a scientist.
But, hey,either way, they are really are going for the full thing here. Drilling into the teeth of the dead for a famously lethal plague. That never ends with zombie virus, right?
Never fear. We at ICoS are currently stuffing the gaps in our windows with herb-soaked cloth and are building ourselves plague masks. We’ll keep an eye on this news story- if only so we know when to start painting peoples doors with big red X’s.