Media mentions

Mummified remains yield oldest smallpox DNA known

The Lithuanian crypt where mummified remains of a child led researchers to recover the oldest complete DNA sequence of the smallpox virus, variola.

The Lithuanian crypt where mummified remains of a child led researchers to recover the oldest complete DNA sequence of the smallpox virus, variola.

The Globe and Mail’s Ivan Semeniuk delves into IIDR’s groundbreaking research on smallpox. The oldest complete DNA sequence of the smallpox virus, variola, was extracted from mummified remains of a Lithuanian child believed to have died between 1643 and 1665. Findings show that smallpox may not be an ancient disease but a much more modern killer that went on to become the first human disease eradicated by vaccination. Read more.