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Beethoven’s genome

Scientists have sequenced the composer’s genome using five genetically matching hair locks

The study shows Ludwig van Beethoven was predisposed to liver disease, and infected with Hepatitis B, which – combined with his alcohol consumption – may have contributed to his death. Furthermore, DNA from modern relatives points to an extramarital ‘event’ in Beethoven’s paternal line. Johannes Krause, director at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and his team contributed to this study.

© Anthi Tiliakou