Shortly before the famous composer Ludwig van Beethoven died, he asked his brothers to have his illness examined by a doctor after his death and to publish the result. Since then, there has been uncertainty about the Bonn composer's health and cause of death, because the records of Beethoven's doctor have never been found. A new study now shows that Beethoven had a hereditary predisposition to cirrhosis of the liver and was infected with hepatitis B, which in combination with his alcohol consumption probably led to his severe liver disease and consequent death. The international research team included geneticist Johannes Krause, who gives a vivid account of this archaeogenetic find.
Prof. Dr. Johannes Krause is director at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig. His research focuses on the analysis of ancient to very ancient DNA. He helped decipher the genes of Neanderthal man - and now those of Beethoven.
As part of the International Science Festival - Geist Heidelberg
The real reason for Beethoven's death
Geist Heidelberg Lecture
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