Oldest Human Virus Found in Bronze Age Skeleton 4,500 Years Old

Oldest Human Virus Found in Bronze Age Skeleton 4,500 Years Old


The oldest known human virus has been found by British scientists on a 4,500-year-old Bronze Age skeleton.

Traces of Hepatitis B (HBV) were found in DNA recovered from a collection of bones from parts of Eurasia, the Daily Mail reported. About 25 of 300 specimens contained evidence of HBV infection, and of those 12 skeletons had enough genetic code to analyze in detail.

“Scientists mostly study modern virus strains and we have mainly been in the dark regarding ancient sequences — until now,” Cambridge University professor and joint study author Dr. Terry Jones said of the findings, the Daily Mail reported. “It was like trying to study evolution without fossils.” > >> read more ...

Ground Zero Workers Battling Cancer Years Later: Study

Ground Zero Workers Battling Cancer Years Later: Study


Many of the rescue workers who flooded the ruins of the World Trade Center after 9/11 now face their own private battles for survival, a pair of new studies shows.

New York City Fire Department employees who worked at Ground Zero are expected to develop cancer at a greater rate than their fellow New Yorkers over the next decade, the first study found.

For example, Ground Zero firefighters are being diagnosed with the pernicious blood cancer multiple myeloma years earlier than would be expected, and their cancer is more aggressive than is typical, the second study discovered. > >> read more ...

Drinking? Years Off Life If You Have More Than One, Study Says

Drinking? Years Off Life If You Have More Than One, Study Says


Drinking more than one alcoholic beverage a day can take years off your life, a new international study says.

The study found that people who down more than seven drinks a week can expect to die sooner than those who drink less.

“What this is saying is, if you’re really concerned about your longevity, don’t have more than a drink a day,” said David Jernigan, a Johns Hopkins University alcohol researcher who was not involved in the study.

While the U.S. government currently recommends no more than seven drinks a week for women, the recommendation for men is 14 drinks. That’s because earlier studies found women are hit by the effects of alcohol at lower amounts than men for several reasons, including women weigh less than men on average and blood alcohol concentrations rise faster. > >> read more ...

Earlier Menopause May Mean Poorer Memory in Later Years

Earlier Menopause May Mean Poorer Memory in Later Years


Women who are older when they enter menopause may have a slight advantage when it comes to keeping key memory skills as they age, British researchers report.

The study was decades long and tracked outcomes for more than 1,300 women. The research showed that a woman entering menopause 10 years later than her peers was able to recall one extra word on a 15-word test for every year as she grew older.

No such link was seen between menopause timing and thought-processing speed. But the verbal recall finding held up whether or not a woman took hormone replacement therapy after menopause. > >> read more ...

Baby Born Four Years After Parents’ Death: Chinese Media

Baby Born Four Years After Parents’ Death: Chinese Media


A surrogate mother has given birth to a baby boy in China four years after his parents died in a car crash, Chinese media reported.

The deceased couple was undergoing fertility treatments before the fatal accident in 2013.

Their parents fought a drawn-out legal battle to gain access to the couple’s fertilized embryos, kept in a hospital in the eastern city of Nanjing.

The baby boy — nicknamed “Tiantian,” or “sweet” in Mandarin — was born on December 9 to a Laotian surrogate, the Beijing News reported Tuesday. > >> read more ...

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