The Black Death May Have Had a Surprising Effect on the Environment

From 1347 to 1351, a nightmare disease ravaged Europe, afflicting victims with putrid black boils, fevers, vomiting, and in short order, death. Daily life ground to a halt as the Black Death spread along medieval trade routes, claiming an estimated 20 million lives with ruthless efficiency. Now, a team of researchers is asserting that the plague had an unexpected impact: clearing the air of a toxic pollutant for the first time in over a thousand years. Read More >>

The Same Microbe That Led to Black Death Also Caused a Huge Plague Centuries Before 

Centuries before the Black Death decimated the population of Western Europe, an earlier plague epidemic took out over 50 million people (about 15 per cent of the population) in the Byzantine empire. A team of German scientists has confirmed that the two plagues were caused by the same bacterium, albeit genetically different strains. Read More >>

Why Do People Still Get the Plague?

The Black Plague is a horrifying disease, confined to centuries gone by, right? One of history's more gruesome blips, never to return? Wrong on both counts. It's out there, and it's not going away any time soon. Read More >>

The Black Plague Was Probably Caused By Cute Gerbils, Not Dirty Rats

Conventional wisdom has it that the Black Death was spread throughout Europe by nasty, evil dirty, disease-carrying rats. Well, prepare to have your mind blown (and find a new pet): according to a new study, gerbils are more likely to blame. Read More >>