søndag 27. juni 2021

East Asia was hit by another coronavirus epidemic 20,000 years ago, new study shows

Over the past 20 years, people have faced a series of outbreaks caused by coronaviruses, including SARS, MERS, and Covid-19. But humans may have faced the disease millennia ago, new research suggests. A team of researchers from Australia and the United States has found evidence of a coronavirus epidemic that broke out more than 20,000 years ago in East Asia, according to a study published in the Current Biology scientific journal on Thursday.

In the study, the researchers studied the genomes of more than 2,500 people from 26 different populations around the world. They pinpointed the earliest interaction of the human genome with coronaviruses, which left genetic imprints on the DNA of modern-day people in East Asia. The genomes they studied contain evolutionary information about humans tracing back hundreds of thousands of years, said lead author Yassine Souilmi -- information we've only learned to decode in recent years.