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1,500-year-old case of Down Syndrome unearthed

The 1,500-year-old remains of a child who had Down Syndrome has been unearthed at a medieval cemetery in France. Down's syndrome is a genetic disorder that delays a person's growth and causes intellectual disability. People with Down's syndrome have three copies of chromosome 21, rather than the usual two. It was

Medici children suffered from vitamin deficiency

A study of the remains of nine Medici children, born in the 16th century, has revealed that they suffered from rickets, a bone disease caused by a vitamin D deficiency. Rickets is usually associated with poverty and living in heavily polluted, close-built cities where there is little exposure to sunlight. But

120,000-year-old bone tumour found in Neanderthal rib

The oldest human tumour yet found has been discovered in the 120,000-year-old Neanderthal rib. The new images reveal a hollow shell, with an empty cavity where a network of inner "spongy bone" should be. (This spongy bone is so named because it's full of holes where blood vessels sneak through.) "We do

Analysis mummies reveals heart disease is part of aging

Researchers have employed the use of CT scanners to examine mummies from across the world spanning a period of 4,000 years. They found evidence of ancient heart disease all over the world suggesting that it is just a basic part of human aging. The findings, published Sunday (Mar. 10) in the

Christopher Columbus brought syphilis back from the New World

The theory that syphilis originated in the New World has been around for a while, but new analysis of 54 Old World skeletons has confirmed the suspicions. But scientists have yet to fully agree about how it all started, Amrelagos said, with arguments beginning soon after Columbus’ return to Europe was

“Modern” ailment found in medieval bones

Medieval bones uncovered in Albania show traces of brucellosis, a "modern" disease associated with eating unpasteurized dairy. Primarily an animal disease, brucellosis is common in rural farming parts of the Mediterranean region and is typically transmitted to humans through eating raw sheep and goat cheeses that come from infected animals. The disease can cause

2,250-year-old Egyptian mummy had prostate cancer

I thought this article was interesting, with Movember underway and all: A CT-scan performed on a 2,250-year-old Egyptian mummy has revealed that the deceased suffered from prostate cancer. Now an international research team has diagnosed what ailed M1: the oldest known case of prostate cancer in ancient Egypt and the second

Ancient Egyptians affected by “modern plague”

An analysis of Egyptian mummies shows that they also suffered from schistosomiasis, what was considered to be a product of modern urbanization. A new analysis of mummies has revealed that a tiny-wormlike parasite, Schistosoma mansoni that plagues people worldwide, also infected ancient Africans. The resulting disease from the worm, called schistosomiasis, is