Thursday, September 04, 2008

Yeah, But What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?

Not much, at least when it comes to AIDS, at least. You see, we never part of the empire:

The spread of the Roman Empire through Europe could help explain why those living in its former colonies are more vulnerable to HIV.

The claim, by French researchers, is that people once ruled by Rome are less likely to have a gene variant which protects against HIV.
But was it intentional? Probably not:
However, the researchers do not believe that the genetic difference is due to Roman soldiers or officials breeding within the local population - history suggests this was not particularly widespread, and that invading and occupying armies could have been drawn not just from Italy but from other parts of the empire.

Instead, they say that the Romans may have introduced an unknown disease to which people with the CCR5-Delta32 variant were particularly susceptible.
Just like a conquering power, huh?

See what we missed out on?

No comments: