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Tracing pathogens through time with ancient DNA

This conversation was led by Verena Schuenemann, Assistant Professor for Paleogenetics at the University of Zurich. In the last decade, groundbreaking advances in the field of ancient DNA research have revolutionized our understanding of pathogen evolution as we can now trace back evolutionary dynamics of pathogens throughout historical times. Here, we looked at the evolutionary history of Treponema pallidum (causative agent of syphilis and other treponemal diseases), a pathogen with highly debated origins and dispersal routes. We discussed our latest genomic data from early modern Europe revealing a more complex pattern in the geographical distribution of early treponemal diseases than previously understood.

Verena Schuenemann in a Zoom meeting

Resources discussed:

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