How One Strain of Plague Bacterium Ravaged Eurasia

Even today, the specter of the Black Death looms over society. The disease, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, began a deadly march through Eurasia starting in the mid-14th century, killing hundreds of thousands along the way. And researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History believe that a single strain of the bacterium is to blame, and it remains the source of modern plague epidemics.

The disease was likely introduced in Europe in 1334 via fleas that h

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