Ludwig von Beethoven’s genome sheds light on chronic health problems and cause of death

In 1802, Ludwig van Beethoven asked his brothers to request that his doctor, J. A. Schmidt, describe his malady—his progressive hearing loss—to the world upon his death so that “as far as possible at least the world will be reconciled to me after my death.” Now, more than two centuries later, a team of researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology on March 22 have partially fulfilled his wish by analyzing DNA they lifted and pieced together from locks of his hair.

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