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Science:古代粪便展示了疾病可能曾沿着丝绸之路传播的方式

摘要 : 实践是真正的检验,但有时“真知”是在粪便里面。

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实践是真正的检验,但有时“真知”是在粪便里面。这正是发生在中国西部的事,在那里科学家们在2000年前的人类排泄物中发现了肠道寄生虫化石,这是传染病沿着丝绸之路传播的第一个证据。这堆排泄物堆积在“清洁棍”上——这是种缠绕着布条的竹棍,用来擦拭下体,而发现它的厕所的石墙以及干燥的气候将其完好地保存下来。1992年从一个驿站的茅厕出土的这些竹棍之前一直保存在一个博物馆里,直到现在才被想起来。驿站是旅客们最多用来休息和吃饭的地方。这些竹棍及其装饰被运送到了英国的剑桥大学,在那里,研究人员在显微镜下检查了这些粪便。他们发现来自四种不同寄生虫的卵,其中包括中国肝吸虫,一种沼泽地带特有的扁虫。人们通过食用被感染的鱼类接收到这些寄生虫。由于这些竹棍是在塔克拉玛干沙漠的东部边缘发现的,那里即使在当时也是如此干燥和干旱,因此科学家们得出结论说寄生虫一定是来自大约2000公里以外的如今的广东省的湿软土地中。《考古学杂志:报告》发表了这项研究,它提出了两个结论:传染病曾沿着丝绸之路传播,且这些早期的旅客随身携带的不仅仅是丝绸,还有更多。

原文链接:

Ancient poop shows how diseases may have spread along the Silk Road

原文摘要:

The proof is often in the pudding, but sometimes it’s in the poop. That’s the case in western China, wher scientists have found fossilized intestinal parasites in 2000-year-old human excrement: the first evidence of infectious diseases spreading along the Silk Road. Preserved by the arid climate and stone walls of the latrine in which they were found, the poo was deposited on “hygiene sticks,” bamboo sticks with strips of cloth used to wipe the nether regions. The sticks, excavated in 1992 from a latrine at a relay station wher travelers most likely slept and ate, were kept in a museum and forgotten about until now. The sticks—and their trimmings—were transported to the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, wher researchers examined the feces under microscopes. They discovered eggs from four different parasites, including the Chinese liver fluke—a flatworm endemic to marshy areas. People contract the parasite by eating infected fish. Because the sticks were found on the eastern edge of the Taklamakan desert—dry and arid even then—scientists concluded the parasite must have been picked up from the marshy lands of modern-day Guangdong province, about 2000 kilometers away. The findings, reported today in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, suggests two things: that infectious diseases were carried and spread along the Silk Road, and that these early travelers toted a lot more than silk.

来源: Science 浏览次数:0

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