Discoverynow reached into a new mode of thinking in the minds of scientists. Researchersnow have finally traced Hepatitis B virus to the 16th Century from a mummyof a Korean boy, Joseon Dynasty which was detected by Carbon 14 tests. Thisfirst discovery of this Hepatitis inKorean mummy came in 2007. The preserved organs helped them to recover theviral DNA sequence by mapping the entire ancient Hepatitis B viral genome. Thismajor study was done by the researchers from Hebrew University of Jerusalem,Seoul National University and other institutions. Their study helped tounderstand the mutational changes in Hepatitis B genome from the ancient to thepresent. Israeli-South Korean Researchers conducted a genetic analysis by liverbiopsy and revealed the ancient sequence of Hepatitis B viral (HBV) genome which has some sequence variationsfrom the present viral sequence. HBV helped in the study of the flow of virusfrom Africa to East-Asia. In May 21st edition of a scientificjournal, Hepathology reported that this reconstruction of full viralgenome of HBV is the oldest viral genome described to date. Scientists reportedafter comparing the ancient DNAsequences those changes in the genetic code has been brought about byspontaneous mutations due to environmental pressures during evolutionaryprocess. Based on their observations for the mutation rates over time they cometo the conclusion that HBV has an origin between 3,000 to 100,000 years ago. This wonderful work really needs an appreciation to the research teamfrom the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Koret School of Veterinary Medicine,the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment; the HebrewUniversity’s Faculty of Medicine, the Hadassah Medical Center’s Liver Unit;Dankook University and Seoul National University in South Korea.
HBV is species of Orthohepadnavirus, whichcauses cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma and sometimeseven causes pancreatic cancer. This new discovery will soon may disclose allthe secrets behind HBV.