Scientists discover smallpox-virus strain in Siberian mummies

11/26/2012 | Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model)

A group of Russian and French scientists found that 300-year-old mummies discovered in Siberia in 2004 died of smallpox after the researchers performed DNA sequencing on tissue samples. An analysis of tissue from a woman less than 23 years old found fragments of variola strain known as PoxSib. Researchers suggested that the strain might have been related to a smallpox epidemic in 1714.

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