‘Connecticut vampire’s’ identity revealed through genetic analysis of remains

ystkzbgfe j tz xyqxs
Image: U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Robert M. Trujillo

Back in 1990, children playing near a gravel pit in Griswold, Connecticut, stumbled across a pair of skulls that had broken free of their graves in a 19th century unmarked cemetery. Subsequent excavation revealed 27 graves—including that of a middle-aged man identified only by the initials “JB55,” spelled out in brass tacks on his coffin. Unlike the other burials, his skull and femurs were neatly arranged in the shape of a skull and crossbones, leading archaeologists to conclude that the man had been a suspected “vampire” by his community.

Analysis … showed signs of lesions on the ribs, so JB55 suffered from a chronic lung condition—most likely tuberculosis… . The infection frequently spread to family members. So perhaps it’s not surprising that local folklore suspected some victims of being vampires, rising from the grave to sicken the community they left behind.

Related article:  Diagnosing deadly medieval fever epidemics through ancient DNA

[R]researchers used Y-chromosomal DNA profiling and cross-referenced the genetic markers with an online genealogy database. The closest match had the last name of “Barber.” A newspaper notice from 1826 recorded the death of a 12-year-old boy named Nathan Barber, son of one John Barber of Griswold. … That’s strong evidence that JB55 is probably John Barber, while NB13 was his son.

Read full, original post: DNA analysis revealed the identity of 19th century “Connecticut vampire”

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend