New study fingers gerbils as Black Death culprit

February 24, 2015 3:48 PM

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Researchers at Norway's University of Oslo recently looked at tree rings in Europe and Asia to gain a better understanding of climatic conditions during the middle of the 14th century. As detailed in a new study published in PNAS, scientists found that wind and weather conditions in Europe would not have been conducive to large rodent- and flea-spawned disease outbreaks.

Asia, on the other hand, would have been ripe for Yersinia pestis, the bacterial infection more commonly known as bubonic plague. The spice trade across the Silk Road would have provided an ideal highway for the delivery of new iterations of the plague. Researchers contend this explanation is more l...

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