DNA analysis of Beethoven's hair reveals the primary cause of his death

By Jurassic JennJun 21, 2024 13:12 PMScience
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Primary cause of Beethoven's death
Primary cause of Beethoven's death. Source: www.foxnews.com

Speculation and questions surrounding the health and life of Ludwig van Beethoven have captivated enthusiasts for centuries. Now, advancements in genetic analysis have finally shed some light on the musician's various ailments and untimely demise. In 1827, Beethoven, bedridden and fighting jaundice, passed away at the age of 56. It is a well-known fact that he battled progressive hearing loss, leading to functional deafness by 1818. However, the primary cause of this affliction has remained a mystery to this day. This was reported by SSPDaily.

In a remarkable twist, a team of researchers embarked on a mission to unlock the secrets hidden within Beethoven's DNA, preserved within samples of authenticated hair. Their findings, unveiled in 2023, aimed to fulfill Beethoven's desire for the world to comprehend the true extent of his health struggles. To the surprise of many, the study debunked the previously suggested link between lead poisoning and his demise, attributing it instead to a hepatitis B infection aggravated by a variety of risk factors for liver disease.

The investigation also revealed intriguing discoveries about Beethoven's personal life. Comparisons of the hair samples' Y chromosome with that of modern relatives from his paternal lineage suggest the presence of extramarital sexual engagement in preceding generations. This significant finding provides an unexpected glimpse into the composer's family history and adds another layer of complexity to his enigmatic persona.

Despite these revelations, certain aspects of Beethoven's health history remain elusive. The root cause of his deafness and chronic gastrointestinal issues, which plagued him from his early 20s onwards, remains unexplained. The research has raised more questions than answers, leaving historians and music lovers to wonder where he contracted hepatitis and how locks of an unidentified woman's hair were misattributed as Beethoven's own for centuries.

The desire to unravel the mysteries of Beethoven's life is a testament to his enduring legacy and the profound impact he had on the world of music. While this study may not provide all the answers sought, it adds a unique dimension to our understanding of the complexities and challenges faced by one of the greatest musicians in history. Beethoven's wish to be comprehended continues to resonate, even after 200 years.

It is fascinating to contemplate how these scientific endeavors would have astonished Beethoven himself. Little did he realize that, as his friends and associates collected snippets of his hair on that stormy Monday night in 1827, they were unwittingly preserving fragments of a perplexing and multi-faceted legacy, destined to be unraveled in the future. The journey to decipher the truths behind the life and demise of this renowned composer carries on, ensuring that his extraordinary story lives on for generations to come.

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