Tue 14 Oct, 2008 10:42 pm
Ancient bones show tuberculosis older than thought
Scientists have discovered tuberculosis in 9,000 year-old human bones found submerged off Israel's coast -- evidence the disease is at least 3,000 years older than previously thought, researchers said on Wednesday.
The findings show how tuberculosis has evolved over thousands of years and provides a better understanding of ways it may change in the future, the researchers said.
"Examining ancient human remains for the markers of TB is very important because it helps to aid our understanding of prehistoric tuberculosis and how it evolved," said Mark Spigelman of University College, London, who worked on the study.
"This then helps us improve our understanding of modern TB and how we might develop more effective treatments."