Biologists reconstruct ancient genome of E. coli bacteria from the gallstone of a 16th century mummy

  • In Science
  • 2022-06-16 19:28:51Z
  • By Business Insider
Researchers studied the mummified remains of an Italian nobleman who died in 1586 from what is thought to be chronic inflammation of the gallbladder due to gallstone.
Researchers studied the mummified remains of an Italian nobleman who died in 1586 from what is thought to be chronic inflammation of the gallbladder due to gallstone.  
  • Researchers reconstructed the genetic code of E. coli bacteria from an Italian nobleman who died in 1586.

  • E. coli is commonly found in human and animal intestines, but certain strains can make people sick.

  • Researchers hope their findings will allow scientists to study how the bacteria has evolved.

E. coli, short for Escherichia coli, has been among the most thoroughly studied bacteria since it was discovered in the 19th century, but researchers are only starting to understand its evolutionary history.

Now, for the first time, scientists have extracted the genetic code of a 400-year-old version of the pathogen from an Italian mummy.

In a study published Thursday in the journal Communications Biology, an international team of researchers analyzed the mummified remains of an Italian nobleman from the Renaissance period, whose well-preserved body was recovered along with other nobles in Naples, Italy, in 1983. Giovani d'Avalos - the individual studied - was 48 when he died in 1586, from what is thought to be chronic gallbladder inflammation from gallstones.

"It was so stirring to be able to type this ancient E. coli," Erick Denamur, who led the French research team that collaborated on the study, said in a statement. While the genome was unique, Denamur said it was evolutionarily similar to bacteria that still cause gallstones today.

Co-lead author George Long identified and extracted the genetic code of the E. coli bacteria from mummified remains.
Co-lead author George Long identified and extracted the genetic code of the E. coli bacteria from mummified remains.  

While most strains of E. coli are harmless, some result in serious infections and make humans sick. But unlike smallpox, an infection with outward signs on the human body, like red spots on the skin, an E. coli infection is characterized by stomach problems and not visible to the human eye.

"When we were examining these remains, there was no evidence to say this man had E. coli," George Long, a graduate student at McMaster University and lead author of the new study, said in a press release. "No one knew what it was."

Colorized 2006 scanning electron microscope image of the E.
Colorized 2006 scanning electron microscope image of the E.  

"We were able to identify what was an opportunistic pathogen, dig down to the functions of the genome, and to provide guidelines to aid researchers who may be exploring other, hidden pathogens," Long said.

Long and the rest of the team hope understanding the genome of an ancestor to the modern version of E. coli will help future scientists unravel how the bacteria evolved over time.


More Related News

Gene test spared baby unnecessary chemotherapy
Gene test spared baby unnecessary chemotherapy

It revealed a lump on the newborn's leg was a rare and benign mass called a myofibroma.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


  • dark web links
    (2022-06-22 09:56:41Z)

    Have you wondered, can you go to the dark web on an iPhone? If so, you are not alone. Many people have become obsessed with knowing how they can access the dark web. The internet is fast becoming one of the biggest ways that we stay connected with friends and family all over the world

  • deep web
    (2022-06-22 10:20:49Z)

    We all want to stay in touch and stay up to date with what's going on in our favorite hobbies, sports, or travel locations. The internet has helped us be able to do this with the click of a mouse

  • dark web links
    (2022-06-22 10:35:38Z)

    There are still many of us who question can you go to the dark web links on an iPhone, but there is good news. With a few simple steps you will be able to access any site you desire.

  • dark web sites
    (2022-06-22 10:51:30Z)

    The first thing you must do is get a new cell phone. Some of these services can be found online for free, and other's you will have to pay for. This type of service is normally a text only or "text and talk" plan. Be careful because there are many companies that say they are giving you unlimited texts and calls, but in actuality they are charging you a high per minute rate.

  • dark web
    (2022-06-22 11:06:11Z)

    Once you have received your new cell phone you will need to go to the internet and sign up for a new online account. There are many websites that will let you log into your account and have access to the internet. Some of these websites will let you surf the internet while you are signed into your cell phone. Others will let you view the internet as a desktop computer. It really depends on which one will work better for you.

  • work from home jobs
    (2022-06-22 11:31:01Z)

    Once you've decided to become an affiliate marketer, the next of the three major affiliate marketing success secrets revealed is to find a good product that already has a large demand. The great thing about finding an affiliate product is that there are usually plenty of sellers who are ready, willing, and able to help you get started.

  • affiliate marketing success
    (2022-06-22 11:42:54Z)

    You may also want to consider choosing an affiliate program that offers free training or other tools. This way, you can learn more about how to be an effective affiliate marketer in no time.

  • fb账号解封
    (2022-06-29 14:45:17Z)


  • 海外网红营销
    (2022-07-04 03:59:51Z)


  • customized products
    (2022-07-04 08:18:34Z)

    99diy is a Personalized print-on-demand & Dropshipping supplier. We help entrepreneurs, artists, small business owners, and influencers sell personalized products more easily by printing and drop-shipping them straight to their customers. Customize anything: Jewelry, Necklaces, Charms, Bracelets, Rings, Earrings, Contact Lens, t-shirts, shoes, leggings, bags, mugs, pet supplies, home decor, wall art, accessories, and personalized gifts.You sell it, we handle the rest.

  • office space design
    (2022-07-04 12:14:34Z)


  • security camera
    (2022-07-04 12:15:36Z)

    We want our products to have the same meaning as our brand name: to output the light of technology. The word “Noorio” comes from Latin, meaning “light.” The “IO” at the end means “output,” reminiscent of technology and intelligent products.

  • Wifi Air Conditione
    (2022-07-05 13:30:34Z)

    Headquartered in Southern California, Ukoke is a complete automation system with intuitive control suitable for residential homes, commercial premises, and other purposes. We leverage our expert knowledge, unique talent and advanced technology to design and develop state-of-the-art home appliances that help people do their daily routine tasks more efficiently and easily. All our products are developed keeping simplicity, technology, and convenience in mind.

  • wireless dog fence work
    (2022-09-22 02:32:03Z)

    Wireless dog fence is a type of fencing used for dogs. This system works on radio waves that are transmitted from the transmitter to the receiver collar worn by your pet.


Top News: Science