A Conversation for Eyam - the Plague Village - Derbyshire, UK
Delta 32 - the survivor's legacy
Metal Chicken Started conversation Mar 11, 2002
Recent scientific research has apparently involved the citizens of Eyam to look for genetic predispositions to resist highly infectious diseases. Many residents of Eyam can trace their families back to the days of plague and quarantine so the theory ran that those who survived the plague years of Eyam may have passed on to their ancestors whatever it was that helped them resist or recover.
Studies of the Eyam genes showed an unusually high occurrence of a mutated gene known as Delta 32 - approximately 10 times more common in Eyam than for other European populations. The inference is that people with this particular gene have a natural resistance to plague and other types of infectious diseases.
The exciting part of the research is that this same gene seems to be present in people not succumbing to HIV infection in spite of high risk lifestyles. Obviously loads of research to go before anything's proved but what a fascinating link from the old plague survivors to the modern day scourge.
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