Now there’s a new word for you! (or at least for me…) I’d never encountered it until I read a fascinating article at one of my favorite blogs, Small Things Considered. The word means the study of ancient micro-organisms, including human diseases. The subject is worthy of study. As the human population of this over-stressed planet increases there is no doubt we will encounter new viral and bacterial diseases; they are evolving faster than we are!
The article linked to below delves into some recent research into the origin and mutations of the dreaded plague virus. It’s hard to imagine, but 40% of the population of Europe was decimated by this disease several hundred years ago. It could happen again, notwithstanding the marvels of modern medicine.
If you happen to follow the link (go ahead, it’s better than kitten videos and Facebook updates!) take a little time and look through the archives of Small Things Considered. The site is a wonderful resource for anyone who wants to learn a bit more about the lives of the small living creatures who share our world with us.