16th century Korean boy helps scientists decipher hepatitis B genetic code

Israeli and Korean scientists have teamed up to study the remains of a Korean child, dating to the 16th century Joseon Dynasty, which show evidence of the hepatitis B virus. The results led to the map of the entire ancient hepatitis B viral genome.

The mummified remains of the boy were well enough preserved to allow the team to conduct a genetic analysis on a liver biopsy, helping to "study the evolution of chronic hepatitis B and help understand the spread of the virus, possibly from Africa to East-Asia."