Meet Paranthropus Boisei, The Ancient Hominin That Gave Humans Genital Herpes

by on October 2, 2017

Genital herpes infects about one in six American adults. But who was patient zero, the individual responsible for this irritating scourge? Researchers in England believe they’ve found him, or at least his species: Paranthropus boisei, a heavyset, bipedal hominin likely passed the first case of genital herpes to our ancient ancestors. The new study, published in Virus Evolution, has identified when and how the first human ancestor likely contracted genital herpes. The team used fossil data showing where and when ancient people were likely present in Africa, the estimated range for ancestral chimpanzees in the tropical rainforest, and viral genetics to model the history of the virus. They… – Science News

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